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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fish-tastic, 1 Aug. 2011
This review is from: The Fishy Fishy Cookbook (Hardcover)
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I adore fish, so any cookbook dedicated to the subject is fine by me. My heart sank a little when I saw the restaurant on which the book is based is part-owned by Dermot O'Leary but, in fairness to him, he manages a forward which is not at all `show-biz'.

The book is large and substantial to hold but not so huge that it is unusable. At over 190 pages, containing more than 90 recipes, it also represents good value for money. The photos of the dishes are clear, not overly `staged' and very tempting.

The recipes are simple, appetizing and unpretentious. Most people who have any interest in cooking whatsoever could find the majority of ingredients in their store cupboards and freezers. Inexperienced cooks will find the hints and tips very useful, such as cooking a pastry pie lid separately to avoid the filling boiling up and making the underside soggy.

Many recipes come with numerous variations so a technique, once learned, can be used over and over again without boredom setting in. Examples include 3 ways with mussels (Marinere, Thai, Provencal) and eggs (Benedict, Florentine and Royale).

There are a sprinkling of non-fish dishes, including a goat's cheese tartlet and a variety of scrumptious desserts, and I particularly enjoyed the interesting snippets scattered throughout the book. For example, did you know that clam chowder has been served at every US president's inauguration since 1981?

One very small point about this book, but one that makes such a difference, is that the page numbers are HUGE. This makes it so easy to find the recipe you want.

There are very few minuses to this volume but I would mention two:
I've said the pictures are good but, unfortunately, not all recipes are accompanied by a photo of the dish itself. Often there is no picture at all or else it is one of trawlers, hunky fishermen or boxes of fish.

Finally, bizarrely, there are absolutely NO fresh salmon recipes. I find this difficult to fathom as the book supports the use of fresh farmed salmon in view of the fact that the wild variety is expensive and rare. Also, a lot of the recipes are clearly made with entertaining in mind - whether a full sit-down dinner party or impromptu barbeque - and, for a lot of people, Summer entertaining means a buffet. Mine are rarely complete without a quiche, coulibiac or poached side of salmon and none of these appear in the book..

These small niggles aside, I would fully recommend this book since it is simple enough for beginners yet inspiring for the experienced.
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Location: UK

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