A New England Fish Tale

Martha Watson Murphy, Author Henry Holt & Company $12.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8050-4204-7
Murphy (The Bed-and-Breakfast Cookbook), who owns a B&B in coastal Rhode Island, writes here as an advocate for commercial fishers and their bounty. Her first-hand commentary on fishing as a tough and uncertain livelihood and the tips she offers on the selection and handling of fish and shellfish embellish the book's core--her recipes. Murphy has a knack for homey dishes, e.g., a crumb-crust Lobster Pie developed when (imagine!) she needed ways to use leftover lobster. She also has an eye for presentation, evidenced by colorful Fettuccine with Scallops in a Rosemary Cream Sauce (prepared with tomato fettuccine and served with Stewed Swiss Chard). Salads and pizzas provide lighter fare, while a chapter on chowders (clam, oyster, fish), bisques, soups and stews offer a shoreline take on the familiar. Also included are selections of vegetable sides (Zucchini Pancakes) and desserts (Lemon-Soaked Lemon Cake) that serve up as felicitous co-stars when the menu headlines dishes like Sauteed Bluefish with an Apple Crust or Oyster Bread Pudding. Murphy emerges as an opinionated cook who experiments readily and can recommend Curried Monkfish (made with commercial curry powder, a real phooey-on-elitism dish) as well as Crab Souffle or Smoked Haddock Cassoulet. With this diverse and abundant but not overwhelming collection, Murphy delivers a seafood cookbook that even land-lubbing cooks will find useful and encouraging. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-8050-4205-4
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