Vicki Emmons, who lives in Yarmouth, Maine, has always been an enthusiastic cook. Now she specializes - in seafood. When she and her family moved to the East Coast, her husband took up lobstering, and this sparked her interest in cooking all kinds of fish.
Some of her favorite dishes to prepare include stuffing salmon with wild rice , grilling swordfish, steaming clams with herbs, or making a hearty fish chowder with a Bahamian touch.
She compiled these recipes, along with many others, in a small paperback book called ''Simply Seafood.'' In the beginning of the book there is information on how to buy various types of seafood, how much to buy in what form, what is the best way to cook it, and how to stuff, fillet, and butterfly or split fish.
Several of the recipes are especially good for summer - the season for light, simple meals eaten in a relaxed setting, perhaps on an open, airy porch at a beach house or at a backyard picnic table.
And because so much of our summer leisure time is spent near the water, whether it is the ocean or a lake, fish and shellfish are natural choices for summer meals.
This cookbook may be one of the least expensive purchases you make this summer, but it may also be among the most used.
It is available at L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine, as well as in bookstores, grocery stores, supermarkets, and fish markets throughout Maine. For mail order, send $4.95 plus $1.25 for postage to DeLorme Publishing Company, PO Box 298 Freeport, Maine 04032.
For a delicious summer appetizer that needs no cooking, here is Vicki's recipe for Ceviche (marinated fish). The acidity from the limes and lemons ''cooks'' the chunks of fish as it chills in the refrigerator.
This is also a pretty dish - the opaque white of the fish contrasts with fresh green lettuce and colorful slices of avocadoes and tomatoes. Ceviche 2 1/2 pounds haddock or halibut fillets Juice of 6 limes Juice of 6 lemons 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped 2 red onions, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or 1/4 cup diced, canned green chilies 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano Salt to taste Lettuce 1 ripe avocado
Cut fish in 1/2-inch cubes, making sure all bones have been removed. In glass bowl, combine fish cubes with juice from lemons and limes, making sure fish is covered. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally, until fish becomes opaque.
Add remaining ingredients except lettuce and avocado, mix well, cover, and refrigerate 1 hour more. Taste and add salt if needed.
Serve as an appetizer, on individual plates on beds of lettuce with avocado slices. Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer.