Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook by Dan Whalen

Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook
by Dan Whalen [641.5 Wha]

We get a lot of new cookbooks that show up on the “new books” display at the downtown library, any many look fascinating but too “fancy’ for me to try out the recipes. But every once-in-a-while, a cookbook shows up that really grabs my attention. That’s what happened with Stuffed by Dan Whalen. Whalen is a food blogger, posting regularly at The Food in My Beard. He refers to himself as “the Mad Scientist of food” — he likes to experiment with new ways of preparing and presenting food — twists on conventional recipes or ideas that have never been tried before.

As the title Stuffed would indicate, this entire cookbook features 112 recipes that have one thing stuffed inside another, or in some cases, one thing wrapped around another. The contents are broken into broad categories — Stuffed Breads, Stuffed Pasta and Rice, Stuffed Meats, Stuffed Veggies and Fruits, Stuffed Sweets and Basics (some standard ingredient recipes that are often incorporated into the other categories). Whalen pulls in culinary elements from cultures around the world, featuring both standard and exotic ingredients. Some of the recipes that really jumped out at me included: Sweet Potato Tamales. Pork Belly Stuffed Cornbread Bites, Spaghetti Wrapped Shrimp, Lobster Stuffed Friend Mac and Cheese Balls, Meat Wrapped Corn on the Cob, Scotch Quail Eggs, Mac and Cheese Chile Rellenos, Pineapple Bacon Jalapeno Bites, Bacon Avodaco Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatos, Bacon Stuffed Peaches, and on the sweeter side, Ginger-Cinnamon Baked Apples and Pina Colada Stuffed Panna Cotta. Even though Whalen’s recipes are clear and understandable, some of them still seem far too elaborate for me to try. But they sound delicious. My one complaint about this book is the lack of illustrations — only about 1 out of every 4 recipes features a photo to show what the finished dish looks like. Those photos are gorgeous, but far too few! Now…somebody make me some of these!

[ official Stuffed page on Dan Whalen’s official The Food in My Beard blog ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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