Monday, 10 March 2014

Book Review - The New Chicago Diner Cookbook

Before I start into the review I must really apologise for the length of time since my last post. Excuses to follow! Firstly, we've all been sick - one at a time - so I have been busy getting us all healthy, as well as working pretty much full time at a paid job, and part time at a volunteer one, as well as getting all the stuff ready for the publication and launch of Vegan al Fresco. All I can do is try better from now on!

On to the review -

Never having been to Chicago (one day!) I have not eaten at the Chicago Diner so have no pre-conceived ideas about the food, not any favourites I was wanting to try at home. I selected the recipes by what appealed to me as I flipped through. On the whole I may good choices!

The book itself is medium sized, nicely laid out with clean, clear text and a good smattering of full colour photographs, illustrating both the recipes and the restaurant. There is a nice introductory section covering the story behind the restaurant and the players involved, a quick look at tools and ingredients, and the first chapter is those "basic" recipes utilised in other recipes in the book. The recipes are grouped logically into the chapters and those chapters are themselves logically ordered. It is an attractive, enticing book.

The recipes I made -
Page 70 - Simple Kale Salad
Nice, and simple. A little heavy on the red onion, but I should have known that as I was chopping it and just added less! Tahini Dressing that goes with it is lovely, creamy and smooth and rich. I would be happy to eat the dressing on anything!

Page 73 - Chicago Diner Vegan Ranch Dressing
This was nice. Tangy, herby and tasty!~

Page 74 - Tempeh Caesar Salad.
I didn't use Tempeh, but added some avocado to the salad. I enjoyed this - the dressing especially. Garlic-y and very more-ish.

Page 76 - Southwest Spice Dressing
Spicy, a little heated and very tasty. I didn't make the salad it "goes with" but enjoyed with just mixed greens. I imagine it would be better with the flavours of the actual taco Salad.

Page 97 - Curried Cauliflower Soup
Nice flavours, but not as thick and hearty as I was expecting from description. A little bit of a let down. Would make again with less liquid.

Page 102 - Gluten-Free Black Bean Burgers
Fail. I made this twice. The first time the mixture burnt when cooking for the time specified with the liquid specified and then the next time I added more liquid so it wouldn't burn and ended up with sloppy burgers which didn't form nice patties. From what I tasted the flavours were there but I didn't really enjoy them either time - and felt a bit cross to have wasted all the ingredients.

Page 140 - Fettuccine with Cashew Alfredo
This was tasty. Similar to recipes I've had in the past, but very nice sauce. Easy to eats lots of!

Recommended? If you're a fan of the restaurant and want to re-create the food at home then I'll think you'll like this. If, like me, you've never been there this is a nice introduction. (Even with the burger fail!)

1 comment:

Lee Ann said...

I saw you new book on Amazon.
Looks great.