Sometimes I get PR pitches for some really crazy things:
Sex oil? Check.
Adult Incontinence Underwear? You betchya.
Dog butt cream? Sure why the hell not? I've got dogs. They apparently have been living without butt cream for way. too. long.
In this laundry list of PR pitches I have not once, in all my eight glorious years of blogging, ever been asked to review a cookbook. If you read this blog than you know I don't pride myself on being a great cook. Sure I cook morning noon and night for the mini's but it's not even close to what they get from the Chef. They've often told me in the midst of a school night dinner that they would prefer to go to our restaurant. Harsh.
I thought to myself how does one actually review an entire cookbook? Do I cook from it every night? Do I make a couple things and review them? I mentioned to the bestie that someone wanted me to review a cookbook for the blog and I had no idea how to actually do it. She offered up her services as cookbook reviewer and a new blog segment was born! Everyone, meet AK. AK, meet everyone. AK has been my bestie since 1st grade. She is my rock and my sanity and is also a fantastic cook. She has made each of the minis birthday cakes since they were born and we try to make family dinner together with our kids at least once a month. She rules and really there is no better person to review a cookbook than her.
Welcome to the blog, AK, thanks for playing!
AK reviews 2 recipes from John Sarich at Chateau Ste. Michelle: For Cooks Who Love Wine
This didn't require any exotic ingredients, which I really appreciate in a recipe.
The recipe required quite a bit more olive oil than the 1/8 cup it called for. I needed a total of at least a 1/4 cup to brown one large Italian eggplant.
I would also recommend reducing the amount of vinegar from 6 oz. to 3 or 4 oz. at best. The vinegar overwhelmed this dish to the point some people didn't eat it at all.
Using these modifications, I would absolutely make again. This would be an especially nice dish for vegetarians, as it was hearty and satisfying like a main course.
Easy to prepare and cook.
A nice change from the usual Italian calamari preparations.
Most of the ingredients are things you have on hand (squid notwithstanding).
The squid drastically reduce in size during cooking, so I would recommend increasing the recipe size if more than 3 people are being served.
All in all this cookbook is pretty user friendly, almost too friendly. I tend to like a challenge in the kitchen and neither of these recipes made me stretch my culinary muscles. The layout is nice and each recipe has a nice Riesling wine pairing from the Chateau Ste. Michelle vineyard. I actually found myself drinking the wine pairing while cooking. That's ok, right? Soooooo, the big question is would I buy this book? If the price is right then yes, the food came out good, the instructions were simple, and most important the wine TASTES GOOD!
:: AK ::