Synopses & Reviews
The formidable River Cottage team turns their attention to all matters aquatic in this definitive guide to freshwater fish, saltwater fish, and shellfish. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher examine the ecological and moral issues of fishing, teach individual skills such as catching and descaling, and offer a comprehensive (and fascinating) species reference section. They also demystify the cooking of fish with 135 recipes for preparing fish and shellfish in diverse ways, from pickling to frying to smoking.
This ambitious reference-cookbook appeals to both intellect and appetite by focusing on the pleasures of catching, cooking, and eating fish while grounding those actions in a philosophy and practice of sustainability. The authors help us understand the human impact on the seafood population, while their infectious enthusiasm for all manner of fish and shellfish—from the mighty salmon to the humble mackerel to the unsung cockle—inspires us to explore different and unfamiliar species. Fish is superlative food, but it’s also a precious resource. The River Cottage Fish Book delivers a complete education alongside a wealth of recipes, and is the most opinionated and passionate fish book around.
"In the latest of his British cookbooks re-edited for an American audience, the usually land-loving proprietor of River Cottage brings along an aptly surnamed seafood expert to explore a huge variety of crustaceous or finned delicacies. The collection bears the three classic earmarks of Fearnley-Whittingstall's writing. First, it is comprehensive to a fault. The 135 recipes are preceded by a 100-page chapter entitled 'Understanding Fish,' which examines the food's health benefits as well as necessary knife skills for the chef. And the final third of the book is a guide to sea creatures presented in encyclopedic format, from the history of herring to the lifecycle of the budgie. Second, he maintains a strong focus on sustainable eating. Not only are there rules for sustainable shopping and a list of threatened species to avoid, but also, amid treats like lobster with herb mayonnaise, and sea bass baked in raw salt, there is a section on thrift (i.e., leftovers) with entries including roast pollock head, and deep-fried fish skins. The third trait involves the disarming straightforwardness he often exhibits toward the dispatch of his prey. In a brief meditation entitled 'Killing fish,' he observes that the most effective means is 'a sharp crack across the head,' using either a 'bosher' made specifically for the deed, or a 'well-chosen found object.' Thus, a secondary function is born for this 600-page hardcover." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An opinionated, passionate, and definitive guide to catching, buying, cooking, and eating fish and shellfish—with an emphasis on making sustainable food choices—from the bestselling author of the River Cottage books.
Award-winning cookbook author Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and fishing expert Nick Fisher cover everything a consumer needs to know about finding and preparing the best freshwater fish, saltwater fish, and shellfish. The authors demystify the cooking of fish, teach skills such as descaling, and examine the ecological and moral issues of fishing. The book has been thoroughly Americanized to reflect terminology and availability for a North American audience using the guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program—ensuring that the fish recommendations are the most sustainable, ecologically sound options. With 135 recipes plus a species reference section, The River Cottage Fish Book is both a comprehensive reference and a stunning cookbook.
About the Author
is a renowned British broadcaster, writer, farmer, educator, and campaigner for sustainably produced food. He has written eight books, including The River Cottage Meat Book
, the 2008 James Beard Cookbook of the Year. Hugh established the River Cottage farm in rural Dorset, England, in 1998.
NICK FISHER is a leading fish authority and journalist who has created and presented television and radio shows on fishing. He lives in Dorset with his family, a lake full of trout, and several boats.
Table of Contents
1. Understanding fish 14
Fish as food 17
Sourcing fish 26
Fish skills 51
Shellfish skills 87
2. Fish cookery 110
Raw, salted, and marinated fish 119
Smoked fish 153
Open-fire cooking 185
Baked and broiled fish 211
Soups, stews, and poaching 249
Shallow and deep-frying 293
Cold fish and salads 343
Fish thrift and standbys 367
3. Guide to fish and shellfish 410
Sea fish 415
Freshwater fish 506
Notes to the US edition 590