Monday, January 6, 2014

Wrapping Up, and Up Next

I'm moving on from Rome. It's a beautiful book, in terms of full page photos of the Eternal City, and lots of information about how and what Italians eat. Lots of information. Lots of information. This book has 192 pages, and only 50 recipes. As such, I consider my preparation of 13 of them to be a sizeable statistic. That's what? 26%? If I'd been a better math student, I'd be able to stake that claim with more confidence.

There are some excellent, easy recipes that I will (and have already) make many times. Favorites are Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Rigatoni con Guanciale e Cipolla, Petti di Pollo in Padella, and the Tozzetti. Apart from the cacio e pepe, nothing I tested was downright bad.

I'd only recommend this book to people who really want to look at pictures of Rome. For a book that only has 50 recipes, they included some pretty lame-sounding ones. Grilled Eggplant? Asparagus Frittata? Salad of Roman Field Greens? Thanks, but I'm not interested.

I'm keeping it, because the recipes that I love, I really love. I begrudge it the space it occupies on my shelf, though.

Next, I'll mosey about with The Epicurious Cookbook: More Than 250 of Our Best-Loved Four-Fork Recipes For Weeknights, Weekends, and Special Occasions. Phew. That was a mouthful.
You probably know this alread, but is a nifty little website and search engine in which you can find user-rated recipes, both professional and home recipes submitted by normal people, for pretty much anything you can think of. This book highlights a selection of their highest rated (Four Fork) recipes.

Off the bat, the broken-down-by-season thing doesn't work for me in this book. I don't mind it in some cookbooks. That type of breakdown is least offensive in books that predominantly focus on produce.

This book does not focus on produce. Why in the world should Soft Scrambled Eggs with Ricotta and Chives be in the Spring section? Yes, chives grow in the Spring, but they're pretty standard in any grocery store year-round, right? Same goes for the Buttermilk Biscuits with Green Onions, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt that can be found on the following page. If green onions are enough to qualify something as a "Spring" recipe, then everything I've ever cooked would belong in that section. Again, with the Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Dip. Mayo, Swiss, and minced onion are mixed together and baked. How is that seasonal? (Also for Spring, if you were wondering.)

Anyway, that says  nothing about the success of the recipes, but it just doesn't seem like an appropriate layout for these particular recipes. Because of it, it's nearly impossible to find a recipe that you mentally flagged. It could be anywhere. I'd much prefer a standard Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Dessert or Appetizer/Soup/Chicken/Beef/etc breakdown. Perhaps, as I use the book, the layout will begin to make sense. We'll see.

On the plus side, this book has a huge variety of recipes for every different meal of the day, and they all sound good to me.

1 comment:

  1. This might make you cry, but I have totally ripped recipes out of cookbooks then passed them on in the name of bookshelf space.