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Appetites: A Cookbook

Appetites: A Cookbook

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In what might be his most accessible book yet, Bourdain reveals his Ina Garten-like need to feed the people around me with a terrific collection of recipes for family and friends. This is a man who has declared the club sandwich as Americas Enemy and wants you to understand the principles of Bad Sandwich Theory. The recipe captions and supplemental writing are half-assed, at best, and the photography ranges from modernist to unhelpful to just plain gross.

Also, super awkward seeing his (now ex) wife plastered everywhere, usually sweaty and in the middle of a jujitsu match.And for every complex, world-class dish, there's a home recipe that I easily envision me making on a weeknight. I also think that the dry chorizo was too overpowering and next time I will use fresh chorizo which has a milder, less smoky flavor.

He drew Bourdain, small and at the bottom of the page, with a clown nose and his lolling drooling tongue of a congenital idiot, while behind him a large head explodes in various shades of red and pink, a ghostly Id with its brains blown out, like what Hunter did, only Bourdain does it sensibility, with macaroni and cheese and tomato soup with oyster crackers. The only other thing I couldn't see not doing was adding cheese - a slice of provolone went over the loaded bottom bun and was broiled until bubbly.

I found these crude displays off-putting enough that I couldn't make it through more than half the book. The chicken gets beautifully blackened and crisped on the outside, and is perfectly tender on the inside because of the yogurt marinade. Making a sauce from the pan drippings after roasting is a nice touch but it didn't thicken as much as I would have liked -- however the lemon and parsley flavor is very good, and makes it almost like a chicken francaise. I've had my eye on this recipe since I first got the Appetites book, but it's just been too hot here to enjoy chili.

So I tried the sausage gravy recipe and while I'm not a flourless convert, if you're into deeply concentrated sausage milk for your biscuits, by all means, give it a whirl. Since then he has settled (kind of) into family life and is cooking for the people he loves rather than people who pay.

This is not a run-of-the-mill guide to cooking, but rather a lovely stroll around Bourdain’s mind as he feeds you the things he adores. It was well worth it, the lemony, garlicky, olive-oily marinade was excellent on the ordinary (canned, in my case) garbanzos. nobody's appetite was ever whetted by seeing a picture of Eric Ripert with sausage gravy dribbling down his chin.

I was hesitant at several steps along the way--first, I marinated the chicken for a full 24 hours, and as I put the marinade together I thought the spice blend seemed a bit odd (there is a TON of cardamom, and the oregano seemed out of place to me). It was delicious, the mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire added a lot of flavor as did the combination of the four cheeses. I must admit I enjoyed the egg yolk surrounded by small dried fishes, an obvious and unsettling egg-and-sperm reference. I picked up this cookbook from the library right before Thanksgiving, which was well timed, because it includes a Thanksgiving Tactical Primer with a 3 day preparation plan and some delicious, quite traditional recipes for the feast.Really delicious black bean soup recipe (although it doesn't produce quite as much soup as I was expecting), and the recipe isn't too fussy or overly complicated. This is his "family cookbook", containing the recipes he makes all the time at home, so while there are a few "exotic" things from his travels like laksa and restaurant-style dishes like osso bucco and saffron risotto, there are lots of more typical home-cooking dishes like chicken pot pie and Italian-American Sunday gravy. The Pomodoro worked wonderfully with them but I did need to simmer for longer than the 20-25 mins to make it thick enough to coat the meatballs and not make the bread soggy in the heros. Bourdain has, in recent years, become the father of a little girl—a role he has embraced with enthusiasm. Other than that, it's rare that I read a cookbook and actually want to save a recipe or two for future use, and I'd go a step further with this one and consider actually purchasing it (versus just taking it back to the library and forgetting all about it, which is what I usually do).



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