Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders - Emeril Lagasse

Summary: In chef Emeril Lagasse's tribute to one-pot wonders, he shows there's nothing more satisfying than a hearty meal prepared in your most cherished pot or pan. Whether baked in a cast-iron skillet, braised in a Dutch oven, seared in a hot wok, or simmered in a slow cooker, Emeril's Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders serves up delicious meals to fit any pan or palate.

Go beyond your typical soups, stews, and casseroles to indulge in crave-worthy main courses like "BLT" Risotto or New England-Style Fish and Shellfish Chowder, and comforting classics such as Cola-Braised Pot Roast with Vegetables and  Southern-Style Chicken and Dumplings. Emeril also explores the spice trail with his bold twist on some of the world's global traditions -- Indian Karahi Chicken, Korean Kimchi and Beef Stew, and Mexican Pork and Red Chile Posole.

With more than 130 flavorful dishes and beautiful color photos throughout, Emeril's recipes use foolproof techniques and staples from a well-stocked pantry to create filling meals that you'll be proud to bring to your table. The perfect family dinner or star of your next potluck celebration is just one pot away! (Image from Amazon. Summary from book cover.)

My Review:  Beautiful, versatile cookbook with recipes to please a range of tastes. The photography is decent, the book design is clean and organized, and the book is divided according to the cooking vessel instead of ingredient or meal type. (Skillets, casseroles, Dutch ovens, big pots, woks, and slow cookers.)

Although it's a "one-pot" cookbook, it may give the impression of containing time-saving recipes for busy people. This is very misleading as most of the recipes have long ingredient lists and lots of steps, but as the title of the book suggests, it's all cooked in one pot. It's not a book I'd turn to on a Wednesday night at 5:30 looking for something quick. Nor is it a book from which I'd gather ideas if watching my diet. It's a book I'd turn to if I've got dinner guests on the weekend. Or a family gathering to prep. Or a cozy potluck with friends.

Kind of comes with the territory, though. Emeril isn't known for doing 30-minute meals. However, he is known for knocking socks off. Because Emeril is one of my favorite celebrity chefs I expected to be impressed with this book. I definitely was. We tried Emeril's Mulligatawny and Chicken in the Pot and adored both.

Like the summary says, Emeril explores flavors and types of food from all over the world. He uses a lot of pantry staples and easy-to-find produce, but he also includes a wide range of meat. That may have been my only turn-off in this book. I have a very small comfort zone when it comes to meat (texture issues, mostly), but someday I'll be brave enough to try one of his shellfish, lamb, duck, venison, and... rabbit recipes. *gulp* That being said, I've got a shopping list filled with recipes stuck in this book. I sincerely hope I can get to all of them before I die.

My Rating: 4 stars. (But only because of my personal meat issues.)

Sum it Up: Perfect cookbook for potlucks and dinner party menus. Not for frantic recipe searches at 5PM on a Wednesday.

If you'd like a chance at winning a free copy of this cookbook, visit the review post for Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders on Perry's Plate for details! (Jumping through hoops not required.)

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