Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cooks Country TV Show Cookbook Book Review

The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook by Editors at Cook's Country was something on my list to read because I love the show and the recipes.  I have checked out a few of their other books and found some good recipes but only made one so I thought that I should check it out and see if it needs to be added to my Christmas wish list.
The book is broken down into 11 chapters as follows:
1.  As Good As Grandma's
2.  Fork-in-the-Road Favorites
3.  Steakhouse Specials
4.  Our Sunday Best
5. Tex-Mex Favorites
6.  Everybody Loves Italian
7.  The State of Grilling
8.  Rise-and-Shine Breakfasts and Breads
9.  Great American Cakes and Cookies
10.  Old Fashion Fruit Desserts
11.  Save Room for Pie
There are a few other sections with Shopping for Equipment, Stocking Your Pantry and Episode Directory.  In addition, there is a conversions and equivalencies section.
There are a ton of great recipes including the Batter Fried Chicken and Creole Fried Chicken with a little side of Extra Crunchy Fried Chicken in case one didn't give you enough to choose from.  Then, flip the page for the Nashville Hot Fried Chicken.  I tried a combination of one of these recipes from the show awhile ago so I was really interested in checking them out in black and white (with wonderful color pictures).  They also had the directions on how to quarter the chicken like they did on the show!!!  Just so you know, there is also a recipe for chicken nuggets :)  If you are more of a steak lover, there are three recipes for cooking up the perfect steak. 
There were a few recipes that made me wonder how I could have ever missed the show.  The one that had me super hungry was the Baltimore Pit Beef and seemed fascinating (especially since I am so close to Baltimore and have never heard of this yummy treat).  The Crispy Baked Potato fans seemed really easy and super tasty looking...wondering if those were on the same show.  A quick check in the back and they were not in the same show :)
What was the most surprising page?  Syracuse Salt Potatoes!!!  (for those of you who don't know me, that is where I am from)  I saw a whole plate of salt potatoes sitting there.  Not something I need a recipe for because I buy the small potatoes in the bag from Wegman's.  If you haven't had salt potatoes, they are a family must have for picnics and cook-outs.  I was surprised to see it in the pages of this cookbook but I hope that it spreads the popularity because they are tasty (and still best served hot unless you ask my cousin Lynn who likes leftovers cold the next morning).
The ones on my list to make soon are Cincinnati Chili (which I didn't see the show), St. Louis Style Pizza (which I did see) and Easy Chicken Tacos (not sure on the show).  Two recipes on my more long term list have been the Baked Manicotti with meat sauce and Cornell Barbecued chicken. 
There are also some pieces of recipes that are good.  There is a few different recipes for meatballs.  There was a recipe to mix up a normal container of store bought barbecue sauce by adding molasses, ketchup, cider vinegar, brown mustard, onion powder, and garlic powder!!  This sounds like the perfect solution since we aren't really a fan of the store bought ones but we have a few in the cupboard to use up :)

Needless to say, the breakfast and desserts are good enough to eat off the page.  I would love the cinnamon rolls, morning rolls, Shaker Lemon pie, key lime pie and much more.  I am super excited to try their pie crust next time because ours didn't turn out particular well with the help of Betty Crocker last time :)

Last but not least, the easy to use guide of all the products they recommend.  I obviously love them and all their cooking but their product reviews are amazing.  I already own two knives, tongs, bench scraper, pyrex dessert dishes, pastry brush, pyrex measuring cups, oxo pizza wheel, snapware, and dish towels. 

The pantry section gives you lots of interesting ideas of what items you normally buy and other brands you should try.  I know that I have tried a lot of the items and brands that they suggested but there are a few that were ones that I don't normally get.  Check it out and see what you and your family uses and what brand they recommend.  It is really interesting!!
If you want some great recipes with a trace of the history where they have come from, this is the best cookbook that I have seen in a long time.  I think that I have to add it to my list for Christmas but I really wish that it came with a magic button that would make the stuff in the picture instead of actually having to cook it.

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