Thursday, January 8, 2009


The halibut season is closed right now, but who doesn't have a few pieces of locally-caught halibut sitting in their freezer, just waiting to be devoured? The nice thing about this fish is that it is like a blank slate - so light and mellow that you can do anything with it. Smother it in a cream sauce for a filling, winter dish or grill it with a lemon-pepper baste for a perfect warm-weather treat. Our newest cookbook, Halibut edited by Karen Barnaby, provides over 100 different ways you can turn that chunk of frozen fish into something truly delectable. Since Chef Barnaby and the book's publisher both hail from Canada, ingredient amounts for these recipes are provided in both standard and metric amounts. Most of the recipes are low-key and simple to follow, while even the more complex entries (such as Baked Halibut with Tapenade Crust and Caponata) are easy for intermediate cooks. With the exception of a few unusual ingredients - lavender and blood oranges, for example - most of the necessary supplies are easily obtainable in Ketchikan, and the variety of cooking techniques in this book - grilling, poaching, baking, frying - make it attractive for a wide range of cooks. My only quibble is with the photos. The few that are provided (not every recipe gets a photo) look very nice, and the food is artistically presented, but they are clumped in a couple of sections rather than accompanying the actual recipe. I'm a visual cook, and I need to see the finished product before I get fired up enough to want to make it. This is an essential cookbook for Southeast Alaska, regardless of the photo issue.

No comments: