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the rich melting pot that is American cuisine, coastal regional
cooking has long played an important role. The first immigrants to
this country landed on its shores with a few cooking implements, some
Old World staples, and a willingness to explore new tastes as well
as new territories. Later waves of immigration brought new foods and
new techniques to add to the earlier mix, creating culinary adventure
zones as well as havens of tradition, new and old.
This is the landscape that is explored in Coastal
Cooking with John Shields. Like his earlier books, this one
is a fond, lively, and personal look at foods both familiar and
fancy and at the people who grow them, raise them, and cook them.
The book examines the abundantly diverse and vibrant communities
of America's coasts through the eyes and stories of the people who
live there. Natives and immigrants, great chefs or home cooks, young
or old, rich or not, it is through these folks that this fascinating
part of America‘s many-layered culture comes alive. The more than
125 recipes range from quite simple, such as Basically Delicious
Steamed Clams or Mussels to beautifully elaborate, such as Pan-Seared
Halibut with Herbed Fennel Butter and Sweet Peas. Some recipes are
traditional, such as Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie and some are up to the
minute, such as Steamed Moonfish with Sesame-Chili sauce and Garlic
Coastal Cooking with John Shields (Broadway
Books, 2004) takes you from East Coast to West Coast, from South
Coast to Gulf Coast on a truly American adventure.