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Cookbooks

December 20, 1987|TONI TIPTON

Whether you're buying gifts for a culinary novice or an expert, an ideal present is as close as the nearest bookstore. The Times' Food staff looked at a sampling of the cookbooks released in time for this holiday season and offers the following reviews to assist last-minute shoppers. Some of these books get down to the basics, some deal with ethnic cuisines while still others are as much a feast for the eyes as for the appetite. These--or the host of other cookbooks you'll find on sale at local stores--will not only delight the recipient but might ensure the giver some memorable repasts during 1988.

Salmon International Chefs' Recipes by Willy Wyssenbach (St. Martin's Press: $19.95 hardcover, 126 pp., illustrated)

All the research involving the merits of omega-3 fatty acid, that mysterious component of deep-water fish that seems to play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, has brought a wide assortment of recipes for fish to today's kitchen. More cooks than possibly ever before are now experimenting with dishes made with creatures from the sea--chefs included.

Thirty-eight chefs from around the world have contributed their favorite salmon recipes to this pretty yet utilitarian cookbook. Among the chefs who have contributed recipes are Michel Blanchet, L'Ermitage; Pierre Baran, Le Cirque, New York; Andrew Pappas, the Post House, New York, and Steven Melina, Manhattan Ocean Club, New York.

There are recipes using salmon in salads and snacks such as salmon sushi and gravad lax; soups such as salmon hot pot as well as salmon dishes that are braised, poached, steamed, baked, sauteed and grilled.

There's a section on how to handle fresh salmon and a conversion table from metric to imperial measurements, since most of the recipes come from abroad and proportions are given in metric weights and values.

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