Early in life, North Carolinian Debbie Moose encountered fish primarily in stick form, but once she experienced her first raw oyster and first fried soft-shell crab, their pure flavors switched her on to shellfish and fish forever. Moose has now written the cookbook that unlocks for everyone the fresh tastes of North Carolina grilled tuna, steamed shrimp, pan-seared mountain trout, fried catfish, and baked littleneck clams, to name just a few of the culinary treasures sourced from the waters of a state that stretches from the mountains to the sea.
In ninety-six dishes, Moose shows how to prepare North Carolina fish and shellfish–freshwater, saltwater, wild-caught, and farmed–in both classic southern and inventive, contemporary ways. The book’s Best Basics section provides a much needed one-stop resource for confident selection, preparation, and storage, and the Think Seasonal section offers a comprehensive list with descriptions and peak availability of North Carolina fish and shellfish. Recipes include suggestions for appropriate alternate fish or shellfish–the idea is to try new varieties in season and support local fisheries. And, as Moose explains, dock-to-door services and local seafood organizations are making sourcing easier for home cooks.
WildlyRead Shelftalker: As a seafood lover new to North Carolina, this book has been invaluable! Not only do I now know what in-season fish and shellfish to look for at the grocery store and at restaurants, but I have a deeper understanding of how what I’m buying and eating affects fishing overall and the fisherman who catch them. Plus, yummy recipes!
WildlyRead Thoughts: Confession: I tend to read cookbooks like they’re novels, but I rarely review them. Why is that? I’m not really looking for an answer, but sometimes I do wonder this about myself.
I’m lucky enough to know the author of this book, Debbie Moose, from my time here in North Carolina. I’ve been here a year, and have found an incredibly welcoming community of readers and writers and really people of all sorts. Debbie is one of those people; we hit it off from the moment we met, and I’ve been thrilled to grab coffee personally and work with her professionally. I respect her work as a journalist, and am thrilled that I get to be a small part of her latest book’s journey, both with this review, and by helping at her author event at Quail Ridge Books on Thursday, April 12, at 7 pm. If you’re in the Raleigh, NC area, I hope you’ll join us, and I hope you enjoy the tasty recipes in this book.