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Pike Place Public Market Seafood - Cookbook Review

Seafood Recipes from the Famous Market

By Braiden Rex-Johnson

(Ten Speed Press, 2005)

Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook also features a brief chapter on the history of the market

Good things sometimes do come in small packages. More than just a collection of recipes, this petite cookbook brings alive the rich tapestry that is Seattle's Pike Place. Best-selling author and Seattle native Braiden Rex-Johnson walks us through tips on shopping for seafood as well as proper storage and preparation techniques that would make any Pike Place novice "market-savvy." In addition to the attention she places on instructional "how-to's," Rex-Johnson takes pride in this market community, and her appreciation and respect for our ocean's resources further add to the book's charm.

After a brief historical background of Pike Place Fish Market and an introduction to seafood basics, the book delves into recipes which are arranged by group, from finfish to shellfish to seafood. They range from smelt to squid and include dishes such as halibut with sundried tomato tapenade and Alaskan spot prawn wonton salad. Doubtful about your cooking skills? The appendix gives a step-by-step rundown of cooking methods like reducing sauces and degreasing foods. Also, enjoy eco-friendly, healthful and economical tidbits while you build your wine-pairing knowledge and seafood trivia with the dozen or so "fun-facts" found throughout the book. Easy to follow, this consumer-friendly guide to seafood gives you a real feel for the Market and leaves you with the sights, sounds and knowledge of Pike Place in your heart.


Baked Salmon with Tarragon Pesto

1 ½ pounds salmon fillets, bones removed, rinsed, drained, patted dry, and cut into 4 (6-ounce) pieces
½ cup lightly packed fresh tarragon leaves, minced, plus tarragon sprigs for garnish
6 tablespoons fine, unseasoned dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place the fish fillets on the baking sheet, skin side down, evenly spaced, without crowding. Set aside while preparing the pesto.

In a small bowl, mix the minced tarragon, bread crumbs, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Spread evenly over the tops of the salmon fillets, pressing down with the back of a spoon to help the topping adhere to the fish.

Place the fish in the oven and cook 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets, until the fish just turns opaque.

To serve, divide the fillets among individual plates and garnish with lemon wedges and tarragon sprigs.

Serves 4

Reviewed by Camille Bulaclac


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