Fresh fish and seafood make special meals, but so do canned versions, which are ultra-convenient since the contents are already cooked. Bart van Olphen, author of the Tinned Fish Cookbook (The Experiment/Canadian Manda Group, $24.95), is a Netherlands-born chef and Amsterdam fish marketer who handles only sustainable varieties. His book of more than 40 recipes is packed with useful information.
Unopened, canned fish can be kept, unrefrigerated, for up to four years (five years for sardines). Once opened and refrigerated, the product lasts up to three days. For a fast meal, you can heat a can in boiling water for two minutes, van Olphen writes, and then add colour, herbs, spices, some acidity (such as lemon) and whatever else you like. Canned tuna — represented by 13 recipes in the book — is his favourite, but salmon, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring and crab are also covered.