I wished I enjoyed this book more because I like the gifted Christopher Kimball. I have been a follower of Chris’ for a long time and his departure from America’s Test Kitchen left me wondering where our relationship was headed. I was glad to find this cookbook as it sounded interesting but it just wasn’t one for me.
This is a thick, heavy cookbook containing 304 pages, from Christopher Kimball. If you don’t know Christopher, you should check him out. Christopher, is a down-to-earth guy, who is serious about cooking. What I like about Christopher is that he brings cooking down to my level. He takes normal, basic ingredients and using easy recipes, he prepares meals while explaining the reasoning behind his cooking. It’s like each recipe is a cooking class. Christopher used to be on America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country which is where I became acquainted with him and I began to follow him. In this cookbook, Christopher takes 75 rules of cooking and transforms them.
Some of these rules he transformed I was familiar with, while others were interesting. Rule #8, Jumpstart Your Potatoes. Kimball says for potatoes that you want tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, you should start cooking them in the microwave first. Rule #19 Season Your Water. Add hearty seasoning to the cooking liquid when preparing beans and grains as it gives them bolder flavor. Along with each rule, Christopher provides a recipe or two proving his point.
The recipes are divided into categories: vegetables, eggs, beans & grains, noodles & breads, seafood, chicken, pork, and beef. At the beginning of each category, he lists all the recipes for that category, plus there’s a nice index in the back. Each recipe has the start to finish time, how many it will serve, ingredients, and step-by-step instructions. Christopher also includes other detail information about the recipe, which I find interesting and helpful. This might include how the recipe tastes, how it came together, where it came from, tips or other information Christopher decided to include.
Christopher includes other pages in the cookbook that are helpful and are themed, they are like bonus material. It really is a great cookbook but what I found disappointing is the recipes. Most of the recipes in this cookbook were things that I wouldn’t cook. I only found a handful of recipes that I would actually make. Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodles, Shrimp with Kerkennaise Sauce, Thai Stir-Fried Glass Noodles, Lemon- Lime Lacquered Grilled, these were just a few that just don’t look good to me. I’ll be keeping my eye out for Christopher in the future, he still has my vote. 3.5 stars