I.Love.Fish. Could be in my blood (my family is from the East Coast of Canada). Could just be that my mom really knew how to make a scrumptious fish dinner.
Whatever the reason, fish is one of my favourite foods.
But good fish can be expensive. And since my kids are picky eaters, I tend not to spend too much money on food if I know it’s likely going to end up in the compost.
Tilapia filets are a dinner standby in my house. Luckily, both my kids love it. It’s economical and versatile (I buy it frozen, not fresh). But I get tired of eating the same kind of fish all the time, and attempts to introduce my children to other kinds fish have ended in wasted food.
And I’m not nearly as creative with fish as I am with other meats like beef or chicken. Despite my love of fish, I just don’t know what to do with it.
So, I was excited when I was offered the 200 best Canned Fish & Seafood Recipes cookbook for review. I was hoping it would be just what I needed to inject a little creativity into my very limited fish prep repertoire. Not to mention the fact that canned fish is cheaper than fresh fish and it never even occurred to me to cook meals with canned fish except maybe tuna melts or a tuna salad for lunch.
I started by reading the Introduction. (I figured this would be a good place to start given that I really could use all the help I can get).
The book was written by Susan Sampson, an award-winning newspaper columnist and former food editor for The Toronto Star. Her introduction, I swear, was written specifically for me (or more likely, it was written for every tired, working mother in the developed world who had to throw a healthy dinner together in under 30 minutes with only canned fish on hand and a bunch of picky eaters waiting impatiently at the dinner table).
In her introduction, she covers all the kinds of canned seafood you could encounter, the liquids they are canned in and a history of seafood canning. (Very interesting by the way. Did you know that “in the mid-19th century canned food was a novelty and a status symbol”? So different compared to today and how it’s “perceived as a symbol of humble nourishment.”)
When it comes to canned seafood, everyone knows the classics: tuna melts, tuna salad, hot crab dip, clam chowder and a few others.
Well, rather than bury those classics in the cookbook with all the other yummy looking offerings, 200 Best Canned Fish & Seafood Recipes puts them right up front in their own chapter called “The Top 15 Classics”. This is a fantastic idea for a cook like me who hadn’t really considered cooking full meals with canned seafood. I can get to the things I know quickly and then slowly work my way through all the other delicious possibilities.
And that’s what I did.
I have always wanted to try fish tacos, but couldn’t convince my family that they would be delicious.
Well, they were.
And then there was the Personal Pizzas with Crab and Roasted Garlic (oh so delicious!):
Another thing I really love about this cookbook is the substitution chart near the back of the book. The chart lists all the recipes in the book with their main ingredient and then suggests substitutions so you can try the recipe with another kind of fish or seafood.
So, if you’re looking to add more great recipes to your repertoire and you want to do that without adding a chunk to your grocery budget, give 200 Best Canned Fish & Seafood Recipes a try. You’ll love it!
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Title: 200 Best Canned Fish & Seafood Recipes
Author: Susan Sampson
Publisher: Robert Rose Inc.
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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of 200 Best Canned Fish & Seafood Recipes for this review. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed above are my own.