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Seafood, let's enjoy a good catch
Seafood favorites : recipes from the lowcountry
Charleston Cooks! and Danielle Wecksler.
Layton, Utah : Gibbs Smith, 2011.

Seafood Favorites of the Lowcountry is a collection of recipes taken from Taste of the Lowcountry cooking classes held at the Charleston Cooks! Maverick kitchen store in Charleston, South Carolina. The recipes feature the secrets behind this popular regional culinary draw and are perfect for anyone who enjoys regional southern cooking and delicious seafood to eat at home.

     
Fishmonger's apprentice : the expert's guide to selecting, preparing, and cooking a world of seafood, taught by the masters
Aliza Green. With photography by Steve Legato.
Beverly, Mass. : Quarry Books, c2010.
The masters featured in The Fishmonger’s Apprentice teach old-world, classic skills to the modern food enthusiast. Through extensive, diverse profiles of experienced experts plus tutorials, the reader gleans insider access to real-life fishermen, wholesale markets, fish buyers, chefs, and other sources-far away from the supermarket, and everywhere the fish go well before it makes it to the table.    The comprehensive guides in Quarry’s Apprentice series go beyond the “basics” or “101” books by pairing illustrated instruction, techniques, and recipes with extensive expert profiles. Our book is a handbook for enjoying fish-from fishing line to filleting knife and beyond-that offers instructional content as well as narrative, lifestyle-oriented insight.   Everyone from casual cooks to devoted epicures will learn even more ways to buy, prepare, serve, and savor all types of seafood. The book’s information guides readers’ shopping list, nutritional choices, food experiments, and even “backyard” or (harbor-side) projects. The book also focuses on eating more sustainably (and mindfully) by using more of the whole fish, and knowing how best to use it, head to tail.
     

Seafood preparation is a mystery to many home cooks. This is especially true of unfamiliar species such as skate, shark, squid, and monkfish.  Yet seafood, whether you catch it yourself or buy it at the store, is worth the effort it takes to discover how to prepare it.  Make it a culinary adventure. 

It is important to understand that seafood can be categorized as fatty, medium, and lean. The type you have, and how fatty it is, limits the options for the best way to cook it.

Lean and delicate fish from the sea are best pan sauted or poached. Bluefish and salmon are excellent to grill over charcoal. Whatever your tastebuds desire, knowing the best way to cook a fish is important to maximize the tastiness of your seafood dinner.

Even before cooking your seafood, it is important to understand how to buy your seafood:

Whole Fish:

  • Eyes should be clear, bright, and bulging.
  • Skin should have a lustrous appearance and feel firm.

Cooking seafood

Marinating: Marinate an hour or so, for fresher-tasting results.

Poaching: A low-fat technique for preparing seafood. For extra flavor, poach in an olive oil.

Boiling:  A good idea is to have a bowl of ice water nearby in which the seafood can be chilled to stop the cooking.

More ways to cook seafood

Fish Fillets/Cutlets:

  • Flesh should look moist and lustrous, with no signs of discoloration.
  • Bodies, claws, nippers, should be fully intact and not broken or missing.

Crustaceans (crabs, lobsters):

  • Should be active and moving freely.
  • Nippers and claws should be intact, not broken or loose.

Mollusks (snails, clams):

  • Shells should be tightly closed, or close quickly after being tapped.
  • Flesh should be firm, "plump", resilient and spring back when touched.

Of all ways to cook and enjoy seafood, perhaps the epitome is a succulent seafood salad. To be the best, each ingredient has to be extremely fresh. The perfect seafood salad of lobster tails and greens will make your mouth water on a hot summer's day.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff