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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fishtastic!
What a great book.

I love it. It is laid out in fish types, which makes it easy to find recipes for fish bought at my local fishmongers. The recipes are relaively simple. Certainly he does not over complicate recipes, so lets the fish be the star of the dish - perfect. It has helped me to broaden the different types of fish I eat.

There is also a lot...
Published on 3 May 2009 by Rachel Finsbury

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so complete
I thought it would explain more on how to fillet fish as it talked about catching etc before cooking but instead it only said how to cook it.
Published 23 months ago by Jeannette P.


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fishtastic!, 3 May 2009
By 
Rachel Finsbury "Foodie" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
What a great book.

I love it. It is laid out in fish types, which makes it easy to find recipes for fish bought at my local fishmongers. The recipes are relaively simple. Certainly he does not over complicate recipes, so lets the fish be the star of the dish - perfect. It has helped me to broaden the different types of fish I eat.

There is also a lot of information on fishing and the fishing industry as well as sustainability.

A great recipe book as well as a great book on fish.

The pictures also help me to identify, what I have bought at the fishmongers, as they don't label things!

I'd recomend this anyone who loves fish but does not always know how to cook it and for anyone wanting more contemporary ways of cooking fish, that aren't overly fussy or overly complicated to do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPER book from a self-taught fishmonger & chef....., 23 Sep 2009
This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
....now successful restaurateur, which goes way beyond just recipes.

And the opening page gives an indication that Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion to give it its full title, is far more, as Mitch Tonks recalls fishy childhood memories alongside the photo of:-
'the skinny me holding a rod and a lovely mackerel'.

He goes on to say:
..........'Fish and fishing is a complicated subject - even more so today because we have realized that it is a finite resource.
It's not just the tricky bones, the cooking times or wondering if something is fresh that puts people off.
It is understanding about the all-important issue of sustainability.
But this shouldn't deter the modern cook, as there's good news out there ....and this book to help....

So, why another book about cooking fish?
Mitch goes on to successfully address this very question.

..............'You may be thinking 'why another fish book?'...........

I've taken a different approach with this book and have majored on the most widely eaten species.
I wanted to add to the magic of enjoying a piece of fish by:

* giving you some knowledge about where and how it was caught
* the particular environmental issues associated with the species
* a defined taste description for each fish
* the seasonality of each fish as well as their international names

...and if you have ever wondered just how much fish you get per kilo when you buy it, and how many calories, how much fat and that all-precious omega-3 are actually in each fish, I've included that too....'

And all that is just from the two-page intro. which neatly sums up just why this book is such a great investment.

On the culinary side of life, the preparation and cooking of fish is not my strong point and I found this publication contained exactly the right information for me to expand my confidence in this area.
Of course, there is no doubt about it, it helps if you have got an understanding and reliable fishmonger who can do the preparation that some of us would rather not do.....like scaling, gutting and......er......removing heads!

...'The way to use this book is to read through the front section, get yourself fully acquainted with the buying guide, and then enjoy cooking each species of fish.'..

Five shiny silvery-green sardines adorn the simple cover of this hardback book with 320 high quality pages, split into two:-

PART ONE - the main reference section ends on page 39 with a nutrient chart.

PART TWO - is subdivided into three sections:-

1. WHITE FISH (pages 43-191)
2. OILY FISH (pages 194-255)
3. SHELLFISH (pages 256-313)

with each section further divided into a particular fish and/or variety with the previously mentioned 'fishy' details along with interesting notes preceding the recipes, e.g.:

Bream

'Gilt-Head Bream - This beautiful fish was once sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and you can see why. Its dark blue-grey body contrasts with a silver belly, its gill covers are edged in scarlet and black, and a crescent moon-shaped gold band runs from the forehead between black-ringed eyes.'

Eye-catching photography from by Chris Terry and illustrations from Richard Bramble of the fish featured, some 'on-location' shots, and a number of finished dishes, intersperse this chunky tome which is completed with a full index (including the illustrated dishes shown in italics).

Each recipe starts with a relevant opening note, the list of ingredients, the number of servings and a clearly laid out method along with 'a note to ask the fishmonger to do' (if you are lucky to have one reasonably local)!

The recipes are aimed at both the novice and the more accomplished cook and include:

* bream cooked en papillote with garlic, chilli and rosemary
* grilled cod with caper and avocado butter
* crisp fried slip soles with tartare sauce
* baked grey mullet with dill and brandy
* Thai fishcakes of haddock and prawns
* halibut with Béarnaise sauce
* goujons of lemon sole with fennel coleslaw
* monkfish cooked as osso bucco
* spaghetti with red mullet and tomato
* sardines on toast
* grilled tuna with pepperonata
* my favourite seafood stew
* pickled cockles
* dressed crab

and my particular favourites:

* grilled salmon with watercress, capers and mint
* red snapper curry served with garden fresh coriander
* grilled herrings with devilled butter
* mackerel tagine
* steamed mussels with wine and parsley
* lobster thermidor

For me two great pages are 26 & 27 which show the 'eating parts' of a fish, and relevant notes on what you can do best with them, followed by the three simple ways of fish cooking techniques.

Generally, this is not only a great book to cook from but is also a really useful general reference.
Although the book is directed at the more well-known, some of the lesser known fish are mentioned, such as:-

* coley, gurnard and ling........

and..... over a coffee, I managed to expand my rather sparse knowledge of the somewhat little known flatfish - 'megrim'!

'It's easy to say that cooking fish is simple when it's what you do for a living, but I started as a nervous fish cook and over the years I have mastered techniques and recipes for cooking seafood......'

A quote from a man who started off in a career in accountancy and changed paths to open his latest eating place:

'The Seahorse Restaurant', overlooking the river in Dartmouth, last year, offering (amongst other dishes):

'fish to share from today's local landings served simply grilled over the charcoal fire in our style with herbs and garlic'

...which also helps explain the title of the recipe on pages 306/307:

* scallops Seahorse-style

'The Seahorse' is the latest restaurant I have opened with my chef and great friend Mat Prowse and old school friend Mark Ely. It is a relaxed sort of place, that gives you the impression it has been there for years; it's nice and comfortable just as a restaurant should be. We do serve some local meat but in the main the restaurant is known for its great seafood, which is cooked over charcoal or just prepared simply according to the seasons and served unadorned, so our guests can appreciate the fabulous seafood that's caught just outside our door....'

This book is a sincere tribute to memories revisited!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely complete, 24 May 2009
This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
Just as the title says this is the complete fish and Seafood Companion. Mitch Tonks brims over with enthusiasm for his subject from the first page. The book is divided into sections covering different types of fish and seafood. Each section gives detailed information about species and sustainability which is easy reading at all times. The recipes are a delight - straightforward for the most part, and I find that I have been trying varieties that I would have been unsure of before with great success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely fish book, 9 Sep 2011
This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
This is a very useful book but not just for the recipes.
There is interesting and helpful info about the types of fish enabling substitution if you can't get the one in your chosen recipe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A treasury of cookery information... if you can get the right fish in your area of the world, 15 Feb 2014
This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
As usual I received this book for free in exchange for a review. This time it was from NetGalley. Also as usual I give my scrupulously honest opinions below.

The structure of the book is fairly binary. The first 40 pages out of the 200 center on the general bits you would want to know about fish. How to buy it, how to know it's fresh, how to make sure it's sustainably harvested, etc. It also includes a few interviews with key movers in the fishing industry in Europe. The other 160 pages contain a species by species "fishopedia" of how various species taste, where they're found, any local names for them, environmental issues they may be facing, what season they should be bought in and specific cooking instructions.

All things considered the book is a treasure trove of intimate fishy cookery details. The only down side I see as a user is that I'm not sure I can even get most of this fish in the state required to execute these recipes. Your mileage will vary wildly with since I live in a land-locked state in the U.S. that tends to prefer all-beef patties over a more piscatorial bill of fare. To help you determine if you can get the fish described in a shoppe near you, I give you below a complete list of the various fishes described in this book. If you can buy them where you are, then buy the book because it really is a treasure.

White Fish:
Bream
Brill
Cod
Coley
Dover Sole
Grey Mullet
Gurnard
Haddock
Hake
Halibut
John Dory
Lemon Sole
Ling
Megrim
Monkfish
Pollack
Red Mullet
Sea Bass
Skate
Snapper
Turbot
Whiting

Oily Fish:
Anchovy
Herring
Kingfish
Mackerel
Salmon
Sardine
Sprat
Swordfish
Tuna

Shellfish:
Clam
Cockle
Crab
Cuttlefish
Langoustine
Lobster
Mussels
Oysters
Prawn

PS: It is always my endeavor to provide helpful reviews. If you find my review helpful please vote appropriately. If you do not, then please leave me a comment indicating what you want to know and I'll be sure to do better next time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but less than expected, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
I bought this book with the isdea it would help identify fish by pictures with a name but found it was more basic types of fishes with specific recipes While the recipes are good and I will of course utilise them I must admit the item description made it look fmore like a reference book
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5.0 out of 5 stars As I live in France I particularly like the fact that he lists the name of the ..., 9 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
At Last The Definitive Fish Book!
This is the only book you will ever need for preparing and cooking fish.
As I live in France I particularly like the fact that he lists the name of the fish in all the common European languages so I know what I am looking at in the Poissonerie or supermarché.
His enthusiasm for his subject is catching and he describes each fish according to type, where fished, the best months to eat etc and then gives several recipes with clear advice and instructions.
I am a great fan of fish and am eating even more now.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only fish book you'll ever need!, 14 July 2009
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This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful book to own if you love fish. It doesn't only contain mouthwatering recipes using every type of fish, each recipe beautifully illustrated, but it is a comprehensive reference book. The first 40 pages deal with every aspect of fish and fishing. Part Two is divided into 3 sections - white fish, oily fish and shellfish, each section further broken down into every species of that category and recipes for them. Written by Mitch Tonks, fishmonger, fisherman, chef and restaurateur, and over 300 pages long, this is a quality book you will delve into often and greatly enjoy reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great success., 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my 83 year old Dad as he buys fish every week. He was thrilled with it, especially as it tells you when is the best time to buy each fish and has several recipes for each.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion (Hardcover)
Even if you are not from England, even if you haven't heard of Mitch Tonks before...all fish lovers should have this book as a reference.
Good book, good recipes, wonderful photos and great tips.
Trust me, do not hesitate and push "buy"
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Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion
Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion by Mitch Tonks (Hardcover - 16 Mar 2009)
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