Saltbox Seafood Joint Cookbook Review

Saltbox Seafood Joint Cookbook Review

Title: Saltbox Seafood Joint Cookbook
Author: Ricky Moore
Published: October 14, 2019, The University of North Carolina Press
No. of Pages: 160
Cover Price: $25.00 Hardcover, $17.49 Kindle

Ricky Moore has an amazing story, and because everyone seems to want to duplicate the incredible dishes served at his restaurants, he has published them in a fun cookbook, Saltbox Seafood Joint Cookbook. According to the introduction, “Moore’s religion is seafood,” and he proves it in his success. In the first pages of the cookbook, there are black and white pictures of Moore and things connected to his story. Next are illustrations of the fish he loves most from the shores of North Carolina, as well as information on seasonality and use.

The recipes are featured next, many of which are mouthwatering. However, it is a crime in this modern day not to include pictures of the recipes, and there are none. That is an unfortunate negative. Another negative to this cookbook is the fact that many of the fish dishes call for fish that is only available in Moore’s area, and those of us who don’t live there need information on what substitutions are available for the fish that is unobtainable. For instance, dogfish isn’t available in my area, and he doesn’t offer an alternative.

On the upside, there are fabulous side dishes to serve with seafood, such as Saltbox Bread and Butter Vegetable Slaw, Sweet Potato Grits, and Skillet Fried Broccoli (divine). Moore uses lots of southern ingredients, and you can almost hear the southern accent while reading the recipes. The Skillet succotash is amazing, and so are the Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon.

Main dishes worth making include Saltbox’s Famous Shrimp Roll (along with great sauces), Grilled Dogfish with Red Jalapeño Rub, and Monkfish Chowder with Sea Beans and Dill.

Those who live in the area will enjoy this cookbook, and those who don’t live in the area will have to do a lot of research to find substitutions for some of the varieties of seafood. No one will be able to guess what the dishes are going to look like because of the absence of photographs, so this book is only recommended for those who have been lucky enough to enjoy the dishes at his restaurants and have taken pictures with their phones (or have taken the plunge and prepared dishes sight unseen).

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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