Book Review: The Chopped Cookbook

Basic Information:

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Clarkson Potter

Book Cover Blurb:

The Chopped Cookbook: Use What You've Got to Cook Something GreatNever again let the question, “What’s for dinner?” stump you. The Chopped Cookbook features secrets for combining pantry staples to make exciting meals.

If you’ve ever looked into your fridge, hoping for inspiration to strike, let The Chopped Cookbook help you shake up weeknight dinners. Just as each basket on Chopped has many tasty possibilities, so, too, do the contents of your refrigerator. By showing you how to spin your favorite ingredients into 188 fun, doable, and delicious recipes—including go-to guides for making salad dressings and pan sauces, four-ingredient market baskets that can go in many tasty directions, and ideas for ways to reinvent pasta dinners—the culinary masterminds at Food Network set you up for mealtime victory every night.


INTRODUCTION:

I matched this cookbook from my local library. Of course, I’ve mentioned my obsession with Food Network’s Chopped. It’s the one show I watch on Tuesdays. So, it’s only natural that I would devour any cookbook ant cookbook based off it. So, here we go, my first review of a cookbook. Is it normal to be a little scared?

“Use what you’ve got to cook something great.” That’s the line that intrigued me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love cooking. What I don’t love about cooking is running to the store to fetch something I need for a recipe. So, if I can find a way to utilize stuff already in my pantry, I want to do it. This book was a saving grace almost. The “Chopped Cookbook” contains recipes from salads to desserts. (If you don’t mind, I think I’ll skip the salads and go straight to dessert.) Also, there are little snippets included in the book like how to cook pan sauces and what to look for when buying vegetables.

The book does a great job explaining each dish and how it’s prepared. It doesn’t explain what it means, for example, to chop. It’s an easy knife skill, but for someone new to cooking, it would be nice to have a section explaining that skill. If you’re not familiar with most cooking terminology, you’ll need Google on standby.

I loved the way the chapters and recipes were organized and displayed. The pictures within the cookbook were absolutely gorgeous. There were pictures for almost every recipe, and they were stunning. One would expect near perfect pictures of the completed recipe in a cookbook, right? Well, we got some in here.

The instructions were easy to follow, despite the lack of terminology explanation. I enjoyed their layout, and formatting. The whole cookbook is colorful, and the recipes are no exception. If you’re tired, just looking at this book is like a shot of espresso. There’s orange, yellow, and red everywhere. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

There are 11 sections to the “Chopped Cookbook”, excluding an introduction, an index, and an acknowledgment section. There are at least 7 recipes to a section, but there are usually 10. The sections are as follows:

PASTA NIGHT: which contains 10 recipes, and a special page called “Play with Your Pasta,” a page containing a few quick recipes with pasta.

CHICKENS GONE WILD: which contains 10 recipes and a special page called “Market Basket: Chicken,” a fun little page with chicken and a few other ingredients as if a Chopped mystery basket. The page features a few recipes containing those ingredients.

EGGS AFTER BREAKFAST: which contains 10 recipes and a special page called “Have Fun with Your Frittata,” a page featuring a few frittata recipes.

FLASH IN THE PAN: which contains 9 recipes and special pages called “Ten Fun Pan Sauces” and “Ramp up Your Pot Roast”

COMPLETELY FUN WAYS TO COOK VEGETABLES: which features 15 vegetables with at least 3 recipes for each.

ALL THINGS GROUND: BEYOND BEEF: which contains 9 recipes and a special page called “Make Over Your Meatloaf.”

BIG SALADS: HEARTY and FRESH: which contains 7 recipes and a special page called “Vinaigrettes & Salad Dressings”

FISHING for COMPLIMENTS: which contains 9 recipes and a special page called “Market Basket: Fish.”

SHORT and SWEET: EASY DESSERTS: which contains 7 recipes and a special page called “Market Basket: Strawberries.”

I expected this cookbook to offer substitutions for certain dishes, the book doesn’t deliver on that front. Although, the book did offer a substitution page for certain aspects of a dish, like “saltiness” and “richness”. It helped a little. It’s a good thing to keep on hand after a long day at the office, and your mind is blank — which is exactly what this cookbook does well.

CONCLUSION:

This is a well-developed cookbook. It’s no less than one would expect from the chefs behind the Food Network Kitchen.

The Chopped Cookbook: Use What You've Got to Cook Something GreatSO, WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK?

If you’re frazzled at the end of the day, and have no idea what to do with your pantry, you need this book. It’s chock full of tasty, unexpected recipes featuring common ingredients. Who knew there were so many ways to utilize eggs? The guys behind the Chopped Cookbook.

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My Rating

3

Rating Label: G


So, have you read this little cookbook? Do you plan on picking it up at your local library soon?

AbbySignature

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