Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2001
Thirty years ago Hansen grilled wild king salmon for 500 guests who attended her wedding, and she has studied, cooked, and promoted seafood ever since. In this, her sixth seafood cookbook, she shares her knowledge, recipes, and methods for successful grilling.
The book begins with authoritative information about fish and seafood safe-handling tips, including shopping for seafood, refrigeration, and freezing. A detailed chapter, “At the Grill,” explains grilling equipment, procedures, and techniques, including aromatic cooking. It also clarifies heating styles: direct and indirect heat, covered and uncovered grills, dry and moist heat, and broiling.
Intelligent layout throughout the recipe section guides the reader to ingredients (in boldface), then to seasoning or marinade, and on to grilling temperature, substitution possibilities, special equipment needed, and nutrition facts, all in the same position on every recipe page. These easy-to-read pages will be appreciated by busy cooks.
Hansen’s purpose is to promote seafood education and share simple recipes for good seafood, and there are no distracting anecdotes or epigrams on the recipe pages.
She does include helpful inspiration as in the recipe for Crab Quesadillas: “Tortillas are blank canvases that can be filled with innovative
ingredients!” Also, at times she makes serving suggestions such as, “Shark Teriyaki Kabobs is spectacular served on a pile of steaming rice!” With characteristic ease, Hansen wraps albacore, a mild-tasting fish, with Canadian bacon and uses bottled Italian dressing and Teriyaki sauce before barbecuing for spice variety.
Along with kabobs and barbecued fish, Hansen shares fresh, welcome seafood recipes for salads, entrees, and fishermen’s favorites. Recipes for marinades and rubs, for accompaniments like spiced or herbed butters, fruit and vegetable salsas, and interesting sauces are also inviting. The sauces are easy to make, and some are subtle and complicated in taste. Hansen uses herbs and spices with an experienced, talented hand.
Black and white sketches, especially those showing the forms and cuts of fish, round fish or flat fish; whole or drawn; and the loin, roasts, fillets, and steaks are rare in cookbooks, and they are particularly helpful to this book’s recipes. Readers who seek more detail will appreciate a modest bibliography and a particularly health-conscious resource list; the book is helpfully indexed by subject and by recipe.
The author is enthusiastic about regional and ethnic recipes, Louisiana Cocktail Sauce, or Italian Grilled Shrimp and Pasta, for instance; and the originality of other recipes, Clam Pizza or Zesty Salmon Pockets, will also tempt readers to fire up the grill.
The simplicity of Hansen’s recipes is the pervading virtue of the book. Her message, and that of the American Heart Association’s, is clear: Eat three to three and a half ounces of seafood twice a week. Hansen likes it grilled.