WHEN Susan Herrmann Loomis decided to put together a cookbook, it was understandable that her first effort be devoted to the subject she adores: seafood--all kinds of seafood, including salmon from Alaska, blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay and crawfish from Louisiana.
Loomis--a chef, food writer, cooking teacher and admitted "seafood junkie"--began her research not at the kitchen range but aboard fishing boats in fishing communities from one end of North America's coastal waters to the other. Her book, "The Great American Seafood Cookbook" (Workman: $19.95, hard-cover; $12.95, paperback) contains 250 recipes for seafood of all types.
Of the following recipe for Clams in Cider, Loomis says: "This is a quintessential Northwest recipe, originally prepared with Manila clams and Washington state hard cider. It's a terrific winter dish, hearty and delicious. Serve with chilled hard apple cider."
The staff tasters who sampled the dish considered it quite unnecessary to wait until winter to enjoy these well-blended flavors. Seafood lovers will find that it makes an excellent Sunday night supper dish any time of the year.