Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books (August 20, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #24,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #17 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Budget #147 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > U.S. Regional
I'm a bit of a cookbook maven, so have thought about what makes a great cookbook. Keepers gets an "A' on all five of my categories.First, of course, it has to have well-written recipes for dishes that I would actually make. While Thomas Keller's French Laundry Cookbook is beautiful and descriptive, realistically I'm not making too many recipes from it. Keepers on the other hand, has dozens of recipes that I will or have already made. The instructions are very clear, and the authors provide ideas for modifications. The range of recipes is impressive, and all are written with families in mind. Let me be clear though - these recipes have actual FLAVOR. My 11-year-old daughter actually licked the sauce off the saute pan that I cooked one of the fish recipes in.Second, a great cookbook is fun to actually read. I don't just want a list of recipes - I can get that by searching epicurious.com. A great cookbook should be just like a novel - you look forward to finding the time to sit down and enjoy. Keepers is just that - it's written so well that you don't want to put it down. I "stole" three hours on a Saturday morning to read the book, and still wasn't finished. The style is casual and somehow "intimate" - like you're chatting with your best friend over coffee (or wine). Not your typical hotshot chef cookbook.Third, a great cookbook teaches you something. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about cooking. I've had a subscription to Cook's Illustrated since its inception. But I learned a bunch of tricks from Keepers (e.g., "glueing" puff pastry to the pan sides for the gorgeous cover-photo dish - it worked!
Pasta..mac & cheese and baked fish...Thats all I dared to try and cook and then this book came along and I am making-Deviled Panko crusted ChickenChicken pot pieChicken MilaneseFancy!!!! Yes - Chicken Pot pie can be fancy if you never ever ever baked anything except pre-made frozen meals.I do consider myself reasonably good Indian cook but never ever got the courage to make anything other than basic pasta, mac and cheese.I made Deviled Panko crusted chicken first - added more cayenne and black pepper - EVERYTHING cleaned out- I was shocked - If 2/3 kids and my husband likes a recipe - it is a success. I was numb when 4/4 said - "This is great!! when can you make it again" or "what else are you making?" or "chicken pot pie- please..."I was super duper excited and shipped a book to my best friend-who cooks healthy, steamed, baked, simple recipes and is equally nervous about trying new ingredients and all.We teamed up (always helps with motivation!!) - since we both had the same book, we decided to cook together. I went and stocked on the basic ingredients that the book uses - dried thyme/tarragon, vinegars, chicken stock etc.My friend and I picked Chicken Pot pie for our first session - It was a hilarious cooking together. Figuring out, we have to take the dough out to thaw an hour before etc(oops!! mental note to read the recipe completely before we start to cook).Now both are families are sold - mine cleaned out - i had to bake some fish as the kids cleaned out the potpie, leaving only a bit for dad to taste. I was told to make two pies!!! AWESOME!!Friend and I got excited and decided on Chicken Milanese. Fennel and Shallots were new to us - We were nervous.
Not quite comfortable cooking? Stuck in a rut; always seem to be making the same dishes? Can't think what to make for dinner, again? Overwhelmed? Need help? Need a jump start? If so, and if these are questions you've been asking yourself, this is a cookbook you should consider.If you are looking to add to your collection of real "keeper" recipes: Those recipes that have stood the test of time; those that are requested by family and friends over and over again; those that have been handed down through generations; those that have your name in the title; those that give you comfort just thinking about them: Well, this book may add a few "keepers" to your list, but overall, I think you'll be disappointed. These recipes are not those kinds of "keepers".My actual rating of this cookbook is 3.5 stars. I know: I rounded it up to 4 stars--it is not a cookbook I'm going to buy, but it might be perfect for you, and I didn't want to dissuade you from taking a close look at it. My rating came with my realization that I require more from my "keepers" than these two authors who are past-editors of "Saveur" magazine. They just need their "keepers" to taste good and be quick and easy. I've been assembling my own list of "keepers" for a very long time, and I need my "keepers" to be over-the-top AND suitable for week-nights or the harried early day of a family-coming-for-holiday-dinner event. Some of these recipes fall into this category, but most are tweaks on recipes I've seen before in many other cookbooks and websites. So, I think the true value of this book depends on a mix of the experience level and the time schedule of the cook.There are a lot of helpful tips and suggestions for the less experienced cook.
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