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Named one of The Best Cookbooks of 2021 by The New York Times
“Excellent. . . . Thanks to McDade’s assured guidance, those curious about this understated pantry staple will have no trouble diving in. Salty and satisfying, these recipes hit the spot.”
TINNED FISH IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT INGREDIENTS: brilliantly versatile, harvested and preserved at the peak of its quality and flavor, more economical than fresh seafood will ever be, as healthy and nutrient-packed as food gets. Focusing on sustainable and easy-to-find anchovies, sardines, mackerel, shellfish, and more, here are 75 recipes that will change the way we think about and cook with tinned fish. Whether it’s creating an addictively delicious Spaghetti con le Sarde, transforming a pork roast with a mackerel-based “tonnato” sauce, elevating mac and cheese with crab, or digging into the simplest and best snack ever—anchovies, bread, and butter—cooking with tinned fish is pure magic.
About the Author
Chris McDade is the chef and owner of Popina, an Italian restaurant with Southern touches, located in Brooklyn, New York. Previously he has worked in the kitchens of Union Square Hospitality Group’s Maialino and Marta as well as Estela and Huertas, among others. Follow him on Instagram at @alwaysanchovy.
“A comprehensive introduction to the original fast food—shelf-stable seafood packed in olive oil. With an eye toward convenience, sustainability and deliciousness, Mr. McDade guides readers through the world of canned seafood options by way of thoughtful recipes and helpful tips for what to look for and expect from each can.”
—The New York Times
“A must for anyone who has a can of seafood and a box of pasta in their cupboards, and potentially the definitive American cookbook on tinned fish.”
—La Cucina Italiana
“The Magic of Tinned Fish conjures extraordinarily delicious dishes. . . . The book is an enlightening and very useful compendium. . . . You’ll learn how to clean a salted anchovy; why you should only buy fish packed in oil, not water (much tastier); and why small fish, like anchovies and sardines, are better for the environment (they regenerate faster, in larger numbers, and contain less mercury than the bigger varieties). . . . You’ll discover the anticipatory pleasure of having a fresh new stash of versatile, creative, healthy, sustainable, and easy to prepare ingredients on your shelf, ready to use with the turn of a can-opener. But mostly, The Magic of Tinned Fish will help you learn to love your pantry again.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Tap[s] into the versatility and downright sophistication of tinned seafood. From the simplest applications . . . to po’ boys, mussel salads and savory dressings, the cookbook is full of details about each fish. We love the What’s In The Tin feature, which offers a mental picture of what to expect.
—Dallas Morning News
“Beautiful and informative.”
“Tinned fish isn’t only practical; it’s delicious. Chris McDade profiles the versatility of tinned fish that has turned this ardent fisherman into a fan.”
—Tom Colicchio, Chef/Owner, Crafted Hospitality
“Chef Chris McDade has successfully decoded the beauty of tinned fish, taking the reader on a flavor odyssey of tradition and preservation. This book’s thorough research and classic recipes are simply inspiring in their complex homage to this time-honored process.”
—Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, Chefs/Owners, State Bird Provisions, The Progress, and The Anchovy Bar
“Brooklyn chef McDade makes a strong case that tinned fish is the ultimate game-changing protein in his excellent debut, arguing that preserved fish ‘can be just as, if not more, versatile and delicious than their fresh counterparts.” French, Spanish, and U.S. influences inform the collection, which highlights all types of tinned seafood—from sardines and shellfish to squid and octopus—and how best to prepare each (some salted anchovies, for instance, need to first be soaked in cold water). The anchovy is showcased in a simple yet satisfying anchovies, bread, and butter snack, then moves to a ‘supporting role’ in a dish of grilled broccoli, pistachios, and Green Goddess dressing that offers a delightful punch with blended herbs and jalapeno. A celebratory presentation of sardines on a board suggests mixing cans of different-flavored sardines along with various complementary nibbles such as olives, almonds, potato chips, and spicy mustard, and breakfast gets its due with smoked trout and scrambled eggs on an everything bagel with horseradish. Meanwhile, a zesty celery and octopus salad makes a delicious case for branching outside one’s traditional tinned go-tos. Thanks to McDade’s assured guidance, those curious about this understated pantry staple will have no trouble diving in. Salty and satisfying, these recipes hit the spot.”