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Book Review: 25 Essentials: Techniques for Grilling Fish by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

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For those looking to break up the monopoly of red meat and chicken on their barbeque, seafood makes an excellent alternative. Authors Karen Adler and Judith Fertig have written over 24 cookbooks, 13 of which deal with barbeque, including Fish & Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked, so they write with good authority on the subject.

25 Essentials: Techniques for Grilling Fish starts off with suggestions how to prepare fish and shellfish and general rules about cook times. A seafood substitution chart is extremely helpful, offering alternatives when the cook can't find the type and condition of fish he's looking for at the market. Also included is information specific to using charcoal and gas grills. After the basics come the techniques for grilling seafood, which in actuality are recipes. As the title indicates, there are 25 of them, and while they sound like they will make very good and tasty meals in a variety of flavors, I wouldn't classify them as "essential."

The "Fish" section covers whole fish; fillets, both oily and thin; and steaks, using swordfish, trout, and tilapia. It also provides international flair with Baja-style fish tacos, Asian tuna burgers, and Caribbean Grouper kabobs. Different cooking styles on the grill are explored from stir-grilling with vegetables in a perforated wok, planking with cedar or alder, and encasing ingredients in an aluminum foil packet.

The "Shellfish" section covers lobster, whole and tails; oysters on the half shell; and scallops. Some recipes can be applied to creatures that are alike, such as clams or mussels, squid or octopus, and prawns or shrimps. Like the "Fish" section, there are opportunities for stir-grilling, planking, and kabobs. Also, "Shellfish" calls for a griddle to use when making crab cakes and searing scallops.

The book is spiral bound and is able to lay flat, making it easy to use while preparing and cooking. There are pictures of each item to help visualize the completed dish. For people on the metric system, the book provides conversion charts for liquids, weight, and oven temperatures.

For anyone who works the grill, 25 Essentials: Techniques for Grilling Fish is an excellent addition to their cookbook library.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS
  • El, you cook too?

  • Man does not live by movies and wisecracks alone.

    You should run through my articles. I have a wide range of interests. Even wrote a political article once a long time ago

  • I know, El. Just playin’!!!!!!!!!

  • I kinda liked your political articles, but I like grilled fish better. 🙂

  • which political articles, Joanne?

  • I found one, Joanne (and Christine.) Check out the following.

    It is a good read.

  • Thanks for the compliment, Roger. You must have had some free time to find that one from way back.

  • I was just fishing and I happened to run across that one. Had no idea you are such a prolific writer.

    Anyway, you whet my appetite, and I intend to get the book by Zinn you reviewed. It does sound interesting.