Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Cowgirl Creamery Cooks

 

I received a copy of Sue Conley & Peggy Smith’s new cookbook, Cowgirl Creamery cooks, several months ago after great anticipation of it’s publication. There’s a Cowgirl Creamery right here in the Washington, DC metro area, making it easy to source the recipes.

Our review team has made a handful of recipes from this beautiful book so far: Parmesan crusted chicken, classic mac and cheese, and pancakes.

The chicken dish turned out the best; the recipe was easy to follow and included a helpful and detailed description on how to wet/dry coat the chicken breasts and make clarified butter. A novice cook could follow this recipe with ease. We would have liked to see a picture included but otherwise it was very good and we will make this again.

The mac and cheese turned out well also. The directions were easy to follow and we loved the beautiful picture. Note that this recipe uses a béchamel sauce as the basis for the cheese sauce and this can be a tricky sauce to perfect, so it might be slightly more difficult for a novice cook to execute successfully. Our review team especially liked the addition of the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. We always add a dash of nutmeg to our béchamel so we were pleased that Sue and Peggy suggests this in the back of the cookbook in the detailed description section (she does not mention it in the mac and cheese recipe directly).

The pancakes were the least exciting of the recipes we tried (one reviewer’s daughter however scarfed down three, so your mileage may vary). The recipe is straightforward. It's a fairly simple set of instructions but as egg whites can prove temperamental our review team would have liked to see suggestions such as using cream of tarter when whipping and folding egg whites to ensure nice stiff peaks. Also, where is the vanilla in this recipe? Everyone knows great pancakes should always have a dash of vanilla.

Overall, our review team found Cowgirl Creamery Cooks to be a well written cookbook. We especially enjoyed the detailed descriptions in the back of the publication. The cookbook tells a story and gives you good insight into cheese selections you might not use often as well as those we are most familiar with. It’s primary appeal will be of course to cheese lovers.

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