Hot and Hot Fish Club Book Review

Review by Liz Williams

The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook: A Celebration of food, family & Traditions (Running Press Books, October 2009, $35) Chris and Idie Hastings with Katherine Cobb

This is a lovely combination of memoir and cookbook, reflecting recipes of family and restaurant. The photographs are integral to the mood that the book strikes.  The original Hot and Hot Fish Club which was a 19th century fishing and eating club on Pawleys Island, SC each summer.  The rules required sharing and eating and the pleasure of companionship among friends.  The reincarnation of the club in Birmingham, AL attempts to live by the same rules of conviviality and great food.

Arranged by seasons the book begins in the late spring/early summer. This means Hot and Hot Tomato Salad, a delicious deconstructed succotash.  Later in the year – in fall – they spotlight and Apple, Almond, and Endive Salad. The contrast of the slightly bitter endive with the sweetness of apple makes for a beautiful and delicious salad.  The recipes for Oyster Shooters, Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake, and Whole Roasted Baby Chicken with Crawfish and Tasso Jambalaya show the variety and breadth of the cookbook.

The really great thing about the book is that it is a great reference.  Want to learn about foraging?  Want to cook rabbit or foie gras?  Want to make pickled okra?  Want to make a cook cocktail?  This cookbook will give you a recipe for any of these things.  The photos give you great ideas for presentation.  This isn’t just a pretty book full of recipes, but a reference book full of recipes that you can actually cook, as well as an inspiration for the creative cook.

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2 Responses to “Hot and Hot Fish Club Book Review”

  1. Ashley Young Says:

    Sounds fabulous! I think pickled okra would be fantastic with a great deli sandwich piled high with thinly sliced turkey, strong Swiss cheese, and some honey mustard!

  2. September 2009 | Southern Food and Beverage Museum Says:

    […] Hot and Hot Fish Club Book Review […]

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