Local Author Releases New | Seafood Cookbook | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Local Author Releases New Seafood Cookbook

"For the Love of Seafood" includes 100 recipes that anyone can cook

The author herself confesses that she didn't always like seafood. In the introduction to Karista Bennett's brand-new cookbook, "For the Love of Seafood - 100 Flawless, Flavorful Recipes That Anyone Can Cook," she makes that confession and then tells the story of how she ultimately fell in love with fish and other "precious fruits from the sea."

click to enlarge Local Author Releases New - Seafood Cookbook
Karista Bennett
Date Night Linguine with Pink Clam Sauce is another recipe in the new cookbook “For the Love of Seafood.”

Bennett also takes the time to walk readers through buying and preparing seafood and even answers a series of frequently asked questions in the first section of the new book. The section is a detailed primer, designed to give readers the information and the confidence necessary to purchase, prep and cook everything from anchovies to tuna to prawns.

"Seafood is something we often want to incorporate into our diets but for whatever reason it's a little scary. My publisher and I talked about how to make this book highly instructional, like a cooking class in a book. I took that a step further and made the chapters build on each other," Bennett explains.

After the first section — Seafood 101 — comes three chapters, arranged according to skill level. Chapter one, entitled "Easy Like a Weeknight," is arranged by cooking technique and contains easy, yet still delicious, recipes. In this first chapter readers learn how to bake, steam, roast, pan cook and poach seafood and get the basics on cooking shellfish.

The second chapter, "Show Off Those Skills," is arranged by type of seafood and builds on the cooking techniques learned in the first chapter. And finally, chapter three, "A Little Fancy" includes recipes that involve more prepping and cooking time and incorporates more ingredients to take things up a notch.

The book has 100 recipes, ranging from a Wild Albacore Tuna Salsa to an Irish-Style Fish Chowder. Bennett, who lived in various regions across the U.S. before settling in the Pacific Northwest and ultimately making her way to Central Oregon, includes seafood dishes from around the United States.

click to enlarge Local Author Releases New - Seafood Cookbook (2)
Courtesy Betty Boyce Photography
The author preparing Salmon en Papillote.

"I have loved living in different regions of the country and each time I ate seafood in the different regions, they were so diverse, just like the people of each region are diverse, and I love representing those different regions," Bennett says. The Spicy Orange Marmalade-Roasted Salmon is similar to something diners would find in the Midwest, for example. A Shrimp Po'boy with Spicy Cajun Dressing recipe and a Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya dish are inspired by Bennett's time in Louisiana.

The book also includes a bevy of notes and side dish suggestions.

"I have several friends who text me what they're making for dinner and ask me, 'What's a good side dish?'" she says, which is why she included the side dish ideas in the book, to relieve the worry of what to serve with the recipes.

Bennett also took the food photographs for the new cookbook. "I wanted the book to look happy and inviting and cheerful and draw people in," she said, explaining her reasoning for using only natural light in the photographing process. "My hope is that this book inspires people to cook seafood," she goes on to say. "Hopefully I've taken some of the mystery out of cooking seafood."

Those interested can find "For the Love of Seafood" online and in bookstores now, including Roundabout Books in NW Crossing. Bennett is also the author of "The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook."

click to enlarge Local Author Releases New - Seafood Cookbook (3)
Karista Bennett
English Prawn Cocktail is an elegant but simple starter for family dinners and special occasions.

English Prawn Cocktail Reprinted with permission from "For the Love of Seafood"

Serves 4


1-pound raw large prawns (or shrimp) (16/20 or 21/25), thawed if previously frozen, peeled, and deveined (refer to Seafood 101 chapter for more instruction on deveining prawns/shrimp) (in a pinch you can buy shrimp cleaned and cooked and skip the poaching process)

For Poaching

2 teaspoons salt

½ stick butter

1 cup white wine

2 cups fish stock or more to cover shrimp

For the Dressing

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chili sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon cream sherry or brandy (optional)

Chopped fresh chives for garnish


1. To poach the shrimp, toss raw shrimp with salt. You want to let the shrimp rest while you heat the poaching liquid. This is much like a brine and allows the shrimp to maintain moisture after poaching. Do not rinse the shrimp prior to adding them to the poaching liquid.

2. Combine butter, white wine and fish stock to a medium size pot over high heat.

3. When the butter has melted and the liquid has just come to a low boil, lower the heat to low and add the prawns. Let the prawns gently simmer for 2-3 minutes or until they are opaque and have formed into a C shape.

4. Strain the prawns and then place them on a large platter and gently cover. Place in the refrigerator and chill.

5. Make the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, parsley, chili sauce, sugar, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire and cream sherry or brandy (if using) in a small bowl.

6. Once the prawns have chilled, toss them in the dressing and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

7. Divide the shrimp among 3-4 cocktail glasses or small plates and garnish with fresh chopped chives or microgreens and serve.

"For the Love of Seafood" by Karista Bennett
Available in bookstores and online now

About The Author

Donna Britt

Food writer, food stylist, recipe tester, cookbook editor, podcast producer/host are a few of the creative hats Donna Britt wears. Donna loves to hike, paddle board and spend quality time with family and friends. Oh, and she also collects cookbooks and cast iron cooking vessels.
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