The urge kicks in no
later than Memorial Day: to hear the ceaseless roar of waves, to
sift the sand between your toes, to eat of the shelled and the
finned (maybe washed down with a pint of the foamy).
Here in the land-locked portion of Massachusetts, I often just
have to make do with the eating part. Luckily, it's high tide
for new seafood cookbooks--at least three good ones that I know
Fish, a West-Coast oriented book (think Arctic char, wild
salmon, sablefish) with smart and simple recipes for more widely
available shellfish as well.
There's the paperback reissue of Jasper White's The Summer
Shack Cookbook, which tells you precisely how you go about
drawing butter and pushes you to try all the pit, plank, and kettle
recipes you might have shied away from before.
Then there's For Cod and
Country (somewhat oddly titled, as near-extinct Atlantic cod is
one of the fish the author warns you to steer clear of)--an
attractive, upscale tome filled with slightly-involved,
showoff-for-a-date recipes arranged by season.
No seafood cookbook is complete without a discussion of
sustainability, and all of these will tell you what you can and
can't eat in good conscience. It's a good thing they do, too,
because if you're like me, all higher reasoning (including moral
differentiation) disappears with the first forkful.