Treasures of the Sea: Cooking Seafood

Seafood is a delight for any season, and there are many different kinds that you can learn to cook. From favorite fish, such as salmon and trout, to Chesapeake crabs to oysters and clams, recipes for many different types of seafood can be found in CRRL’s cooking collection.

Tasty & Healthy: Saltwater and Freshwater Fish

Fish are a popular kind of seafood, and you can find thousands of recipes from all over the world. Eating more fish has become an increasingly recommended dieting option in recent decades because of its potential health benefits, opens a new window. Fish have high concentrations of Vitamin B12, opens a new window, which is needed to form red blood cells and is also a key player in the function and development of brain and nerve cells. Fish are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are an essential fat the body cannot make on its own and prevent blood clots and reduce hardening of the arteries.

CRRL has online videos on how to cook certain kinds of popular fish that you can check out and watch through the Kanopy streaming service., opens a new window Its Cooking Basics: What Everyone Should Know, opens a new window series, produced by the Culinary Institute of America, will teach you how to cook salmon, opens a new window and Dover sole, opens a new window. You will learn how to check fish for freshness, how to filet and remove bones, and how best to cook the fish.

The library’s cookbooks are also useful for teaching you various ways to prepare fish. Fish Forever, opens a new window explains how you can select fish to avoid species that have been overfished or have mercury contamination, and how to prepare them in 96 recipes drawn from many nations. Fish Without A Doubt, opens a new window features 250 recipes prepared by a variety of different methods, such as poaching and grilling. And, Foolproof Fish, opens a new window has 198 recipes that cover everything from appetizers to soups and main courses. 

Cracking Crustaceans: Crabs, Shrimp, and Lobsters

There’s nothing many Virginians love more than Chesapeake Bay crabs, but other kinds of crustaceans can be delicious, too. Simply Shrimp, opens a new window features over 80 globally inspired 80 recipes, from a French Stew where shrimp is used to enliven chicken to Shrimp Samosas with Sweet and Sour Chutney. The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook, opens a new window shows how you can cook crab in several different ways, with delicious recipes, such as Crabmeat with Mushrooms and Baltimore-style Crab Cakes.

In the Kitchen With the Pike Place Fish Guys, opens a new window offers popular recipes for crab from Seattle’s Pike Place Market, such as Crab Quesadillas and Breakfast Dungeness Crab. Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie, opens a new window teaches how to cook classic Maine recipes, including Lobster Rolls and Scallop Chowder. Our Kanopy collection has the streaming video How to Make Cioppino, opens a new window, which explains how you can make a Portuguese stew featuring shrimp and other delicious seafood. 

The Joys of Shellfish: Oysters, Clams, and Mussels

Many of CRRL’s cookbooks for shellfish have a distinctive Southern flavor. Tom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food, opens a new window features a variety of recipes for New Orleans-style seafood, including Louisiana Seafood Pasta and Oyster and Pecan Stuffing. Uncle Bubba's Savannah Seafood, opens a new window offers a variety of recipes with oysters, such as Baked Oysters with Crab and Oyster Stew, as well as other seafood recipes, including Vidalia and Lump Blue Crab Salad.

Other resources in CRRL’s catalog can also help you prepare shellfish. Seafood--From Market to Plate, opens a new window explains how to select high quality seafood at the market or grocery store, and how to make Mussels in a Cream Broth. The Best of Lodge, opens a new window teaches how to use cast-iron cookware to prepare a variety of foods, including fish and shellfish. And The Unofficial Bridgerton Cookbook, opens a new window tells how to cook a variety of recipes based on the food in the popular TV series, including Royal Wedding Oysters.

With all these books (and others!) from CRRL’s collection, you’re sure to find interesting and unique ways to prepare seafood with confidence. Come visit our collection and see what you can fish out.

CRRL Picks: Cooking Seafood

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