“ Type: Fish „
I love fish but being something of an indifferent cook, despite having an 'O' level in Domestic Science, I find I often end up ruining a perfectly good piece of fish by overcooking so that it's dry to the point of being almost inedible or being so scared of overcooking it that I end up with semi-raw food on my plate. As anyone who regularly buys fresh fish will know, being the last food that man actually still needs to go out and hunt, it's an expensive commodity so when I spotted this Kindle format book on Amazon going for free and with the word 'easy' in the title, I thought I'd give it a try to see if it would help improve my culinary skills.
As one of the healthiest sources of protein around being low in saturated fat and containing essential fatty acids such as omega 3, dieticians often recommend people eat at least two portions of fish a week and as a non-meat eater, I generally do, though with varying degrees of success when it comes to the cooking. Claire Williams has put together a varied collection of 31 recipes all using fish as the main ingredient and which are to quote the author, 'the finest fish recipes ever assembled into one eBook.' Although I wouldn't go quite so far as to agree wholeheartedly with that claim, this collection certain has greatly helped to improve my fish cookery skills and introduced me to some new recipes and some new varieties of fish as well as giving some helpful cooking tips and techniques along the way.
If you've never thought of using your Kindle or other eReader for cookbooks, I can highly recommend it and if you're worried about getting your Kindle messy you may like to do what I do which is pop the Kindle into a ziplock plastic bag so that you can still operate the Kindle but there's a layer of plastic between you and the controls.
There isn't any particular order to the recipes that I can discern other than the recipes begin with the more basic ones using very simple techniques and with the minimum of fussy preparation. Early recipes include such dishes as Grilled Fish with Lemon and Garlic and Home Made Fish Sticks (that's Fish Fingers to you and me). The book gradually moves onto slightly more involved recipes, by which I mean they have more ingredients and require slightly more preparation and here there are such dishes as Fish Bouillon and Spicy Neopolitan Fish, but Claire Williams is absolutely correct in saying that all 31 recipes are easy.
Most of the recipes in the collection are western in origin although there are a couple of Chinese and Thai style recipes. I can highly recommend the Steamed Ginger Fish and Vegetables which is delicious and only takes 30 minutes from start to finish.
The book is laid out every bit as simply as the recipes and after the Table of Contents, there's a brief introduction from the author explaining why she's put this collection together, followed by the recipes. Like most electronic recipe books, it's possible to select the recipe required from the table of contents and skip straight to it rather than having to wade through anything which comes before.
Each recipe gives preparation time, cooking time and total time to make as well as the number of people it will serve, after which there is a brief introduction which usually gives the reason why that particular fish or recipe has been included in the collection. This is then followed by the ingredients list and the directions for cooking. This same format is used throughout the collection making it very simple to use.
As Claire Williams is American there are a couple of drawbacks to this e-book recipe collection in that when it comes to oven baking she only gives temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit and as I have a gas cooker, I needed to check out what gas mark to use and also some of the ingredients are listed in cups rather than ounces. I actually have a set of American cup measures but if you don't, there are plenty of sources on the internet which give the British equivalent.
I can't claim to have made every one of the recipes listed here and I know that there are a couple I will never make because I can't bear fish soups or stews and there are also a couple of recipes which use ingredients only available in America or not available in Bracknell at any rate. I've made getting on for half of these recipes now, however, and can honestly say that my fish cookery skills have improved enormously. These recipes are absolutely failsafe.
Not only has this book improved my techniques, it's also made me more adventurous when it comes to using different fish. I'd never even contemplated using tilapia before but now it's often on the menu and I have some basa fillets in the freezer awaiting my attempt at Crispy Basa Fish with Shrimps.
If you are at all unsure about cooking fresh fish, this book will help you overcome your reservations and teach you to be more confident when it comes to fish cookery.
This book is currently available for Kindle download for 77p. It's already saved me a small fortune as I now no longer ruin fish when I cook it.