Sometimes you read a book and can't help being inspired by the author's enthusiasm for the subject matter. Maybe it's a book about cooking (like this one) and, although you can barely boil an egg, you feel inspired to whip out the frying pan and give one of the recipes a go (even when armed with the knowledge that your end product will never look like the image in the book!).
Clodagh McKenna's 'Fresh From The Sea', a recipe book to accompany the television series, takes a fresh look at all things fishy. The chef delves into the world of trawlers and oilskins and presents us with some handy ideas for making fish a regular part of our diets.
The chapters of the book are divided up according to fish classifications e.g. Shellfish, Oily Fish, Flat Fish, Round Fish. Added to that there are sections that detail suitable desserts for after your fish dishes, some sauces, garnishes and accompaniments for your fish and a full list of fishmongers, shops and stalls around the country. The chef also takes us through what fish are in season at what times of the year and where the most popular ports in the country are. As well as all that, there are also some lovely tales from the people who keep the industry alive in Ireland.
'Fresh From The Sea' offers a range of beautiful dishes, most of which seem quite easy to prepare, even for the non-chef, trying their hand at something new. The recipes are creative, using fish in a range of dishes that we might not have thought of, from curries to mousses. There are also handy tips for working with fish in the kitchen, like how to fillet a piece of fish and how to open an oyster.
This is a lovely reference book for your kitchen, one that you will come back to, again and again.