In case you hadn't noticed, the warmer Spring-to-Summer weather has put me in the mood for seafood 24/7. In the last few days, I've drooled over mussels and eaten oysters raw and fried at the Oyster Fest. As though someone read my mind, I received a copy of The Summer Shack Cookbook, a compendium of New England shack-style seafood recipes from Jasper White, the chef and owner of the East Coast's Summer Shack restaurants. Don't live in proximity to one of the shacks? You can still have the shore food experience; read more.
- Graphic design is fun and festive, and the book's reassuring voice sets a relaxed tone for readers to approach seafood.
- Book contains a number of helpful charts that list information such as soft-shell crab sizes, oyster varieties, and seafood steaming times.
- Chapters include basic information and tips for preparing various types of seafood, from swordfish to sea scallops.
- Most recipes don't include photographs or pictures.
- This book contains lots of information on seafood, but you may have trouble finding it without the helpful index. Basic information on salmon is included in a chapter on grilling, but you'll get most of the information on crabs in the chapter on chilled seafood.
Recipes: The book contains a number of classic New England seafood recipes, as well as a bunch of Summer Shack originals. While the focus of the book is on seafood, it also includes poultry, meat, dessert, and cocktail recipes. Here are a few offerings:
- Classic Maine Lobster Roll
- Quick & Tasty Oyster Stew
- Creamy Cape Cod Clam Chowder
- Conch Salad Bahamian-Style
- Crispy Fried Soft-Shell Crabs
Imagery: Of the 357 pages that compose the book, only 24 contain color photography.
Overall Rating: Transplanted New Englanders and seafood lovers, rejoice: this Summer cookbook would be a great addition to your kitchen.