This classic book published in 1977 goes into great detail on the basics of fish cookery.

The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery lists in a A-Z format (aalmutter to zubatac) many different fish species, both fresh and saltwater varieties. Basic terminology is defined, as well as basic kitchen prep. Recipes include sauces to serve with fish, descriptions of classic dishes, and new ways to serve them.

Full color pictures show what a fishermen’s life is like worldwide for the different species, as well as step by step instruction on how to recreate regional favorites. While looking a little dated now, this classic book is a collector’s delight, with highlights of fish we see everyday, mixed in with unusual species that are definitely local specialties.

The California Cioppino classic recipe is adapted below.

California Cioppino

Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen fresh clams in shells
  • 1 1/2 pounds of halibut or rock cod fillets, cut into serving sized pieces
  • 1 pound large shrimp in shells, split and deveined
  • 2 medium sized Dungeness crabs
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, or more
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups canned tomato puree
  • 1 cup red Burgundy, or other dry red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed mixed herbs (sweet basil, rosemary, marjoram and oregano)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Instructions

  1. Use a Dutch oven or a large pot with lid. Chop onion, garlic and parsley fine. Cook in oil over moderate heat until soft but not browned. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, wine, water, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. This basic sauce may be made ahead of time, to be cooled and refrigerated ,if desired, but heat before adding to fish.
  2. While sauce is cooking, place clams in cold salted water (¼ cup to 2 quarts water) for 30 minutes. Dress the crabs, crack claws, and break into serving pieces.
  3. When sauce is completed, reserve it in a separate container. Layer all fish in the kettle, placing clams on top. Pour sauce over all. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 20 to 25 mintues.
  4. Serve in large heated bowls.

Notes

Frozen rock lobster tails may be used in place of crabs; frozen shrimps may be substituted for fresh; canned clams (two 10 1/2-oz cans) may be used when fresh clams are not available.

Book Info:

Disclosure: Any opinions are my own.

John’s motto is ‘release it unharmed or do it justice on the plate.’ Executive Chef, photographer, and surfer, John photographs ocean marine life when he’s out fishing, and creates masterpieces in the kitchen with what he keeps on deck. His photo works have been used in OEHHA Fish Advisories, National Geographic presentations, and nonprofit marine life groups. When he’s not fishing, he’s making great BBQ. Visit him at johnsheltondesigns.com, and send him a message using the contact form using the link above.