Fish etc. The Ultimate Book for Seafood Lovers By Mark Hix
Quadrille Publishing, £12.99
ISBN 978 184400 9718
Brought up in West Bay on the Dorset coast, Mark Hix has an affinity with fish which has stood him in good stead as a chef. From the age of 11, it was second nature for him to pluck fish out of the sea - although in those days it was more due to the thrill of landing a catch rather than an inbuilt desire to dish them up on a plate.
Today, of course, it is the eating qualities of fish which most appeal to Hix, who came to prominence as chef director of The Ivy and Le Caprice and now runs four acclaimed restaurants of his own including Hix Oyster and Chop House in London and Hix Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis.
In this, his latest cookery book, Hix aims to dispel the mysteries behind fish cookery through a range of highly appealing recipes. After a useful introduction to the key methods of preparing fish and shellfish prior to cooking, the book is divided into six sections - fast fish, fish soups, light fish, comfort fish, super-healthy fish and posh fish, which gives an indication of the style of dish you are aiming for. It also highlights the versatility of the subject in hand.
The fast fish chapter shows the usefulness of having fish on the menu when time is of the essence with the likes of fillet of pollack (a more sustainable alternative to cod) with parsley sauce and grilled squid with chickpeas and pancetta to choose from.
In the section on light fish, choose between cuttlefish salad with seashore vegetables and capers, fillet of sea trout with mousserons or red mullet and samphire salad with tomato vinaigrette.
While the chapter on comfort fish may appear to be aimed at the home cook, the pub chef would find useful recipes here for kedgeree, fish curry and smoked haddock with poached egg and colcannon.
To finish, the posh fish section features eggs royale - a twist on eggs Benedict, fillet of sea bass with lobster mash and pork-stuffed sea bream with ginger sauce.
Presented in a user friendly design with one recipe per page, often accompanied by excellent photography from Jason Lowe, HIX Fish Etc will appeal to anyone wishing to expand their repertoire with approachable, customer focused fishy dishes.
If you like this, you'll love these:
Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion Mitch Tonks
The River Cottage Fish Book Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher