Fish On
by Ingrid Baier

Touch Wood Editions, 2010. ISBN 978-1-926-74112-3.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 10/19/2010

Nonfiction: Food/Cooking/Kitchen

I don't normally read cookbooks. Rather, I tend to look in the index, find a recipe title that sounds intriguing, and check it out to see if it's something my family will eat. But I am so glad I discovered this book. It's informative, encouraging, delightfully witty, and filled with great recipes.

Baier lets us know right up front that this is not a book for food snobs. She says that good food is not synonymous with complicated cooking. She grew up fishing, preparing her own catch and learning to cook it. Baier has a deep appreciation for the ocean and its bounty, and wants to share her knowledge.

We learn to experiment, don't be afraid to break the rules, use whatever is in the fridge, eat food because we like it, and appreciate what is really important in life (especially tasty food).

The book is full of helpful instructions like how to find a good fishmonger (I didn't know there was such a person), properly kill a lobster, chose the right shellfish, identify whether rigor mortis has set in before buying your fish, and cook pasta and vegetables the right way.

And then there are the recipes! I've marked at least twenty of them to try (and I'm a very picky eater). Here's some of the ones on my list: Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip, Beer-battered Salmon, Prawn Marinara, Pan-seared Scallops with Cognac Butter, Scallop and Asparagus Salad, and Balsamic Rosemary Halibut. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Reading this book might just add some new tastes to your menu.

Ingrid Baier grew up in Port Hardy, BC, a fishing town at the northern tip of Vancouver Island, where she learned to catch and cook fish. She recently left an eighteen-year career in law enforcement to return to school and pursue her love of writing. She lives in Okotoko, Alberta, with her husband and two children.

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