by Sybil PrattAugust, 2004
The pleasures of coasting
When we say "coasting," we don't mean a foot-off-the-gas-pedal glide (though with these prices it's not a bad idea), but rather, red sails in the sunset, sand dunes and crashing waves. John Shields, restaurateur, chef, food journalist and TV host, grew up on the Chesapeake Bay and early on fell in love with the bounty that coastal waters yield. Coastal Cooking with John Shields, the companion volume to his TV cooking series airing this September, took Shields on a coastal culinary whirlwind; he cooked his way through the Carolinas, Key West and the Gulf states, up the West Coast from San Diego to Seattle, then down the East Coast from Maine to Baltimore, his home base. He met fishermen, farmers, prominent chefs and local home cooks who shared their recipes and their love of their own coastal regions. The 125 recipes here are seasoned with full-color photos and travelogue vignettes that take you from Latin Miami to Tangier Island, Virginia, and from Provincetown, Massa-chusetts, to Willamette Valley, Oregon. You'll find old-time favorites such as Savannah She-Crab Soup (if you're not in she-crab country, just use lump crabmeat), classic New England Boiled Dinner, Boston Baked Beans and Bourbon Street Beignets (it's not all from the briny deep). You'll also find champagne-based Cantaloupe Soup, Mussels with Smoked Salmon Cream and Saffron-Braised Leeks new ideas to spice up your late summer menus.