Yes, we do love our cookbooks here at True Food Movement. How else would we discover gems of recipes for our readers that we test first in our own kitchen before sharing with you? “The Epicurious Cookbook” is a great addition to our library (Amazon affiliate link). The photos are beautiful and the recipes are great! We tested a bunch of them over the weekend and came away with very happy tummies.
If you like food porn, you’ll really like the Epicurious Pinterest page. And if you like simple, well-directed recipes, you’ll love Epicurious.com. Their site is chock full of recipes from the staff, but also includes member contributions with everything based on a one to four fork review. “The Epicurious Cookbook” has collected over 250 Four-Fork dishes and packaged them just for you. (For the record, we paid retail and didn’t get a free copy for review.)
Here’s what was especially surprising about the recipes: they were very precise. If it said cook 20 to 22 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick, then it was … every time. We’re almost always futzing with the timing of doneness in the TFM test kitchen (um, actually our crappy kitchen with an iffy gas stove from the ’80s), but in “Epicurious” everything was as written. It was a relief not to feel hyper-vigilant after we banged out a few dishes.
Recipes that we tested include:
- Strawberry shortcake with buttermilk biscuits
- Baked zucchini fries with tomato coulis dipping sauce
- Extreme granola with dried fruit
- Honey-glazed butternut squash
- Sage cornbread (pictured above and click here for the recipe for it!)
Everything we made came out great. We are also saving for later their double chocolate layer cake — the most reviewed recipe on Epicurious.com and “classic birthday cake material,” according to the editors. The 1,541 reviews (as of this writing) were almost unanimous in their love for this cake.
We will definitely quibble about one thing: we needed more photos! The food photographer for the book, Ellen Silverman, is gifted and we wanted to see more. Silverman also shot Gwyneth Paltrow’s first book, “My Father’s Daughter,” a mix of memories and recipes. We were drooling over the photos that Epicurious included, when they were available. Another quibble is how often the editors chose to use all-purpose white flour in recipes with not a lot of whole grain options. We swapped out some basic white flour for whole wheat a few times and you can too. Just be sure to keep an eye on the moisture content as whole grains do absorb more.
So we highly recommend “The Epicurious Cookbook” and it’s going on the counter in the kitchen, not back on a shelf, because we know we’ll be reaching for it again and again! (Please note all links are Amazon affiliate links, so yes we’ll make about 25 cents if you buy through us and that helps to keep our little blog going.)
You might also want to check out our interview with Susan Landry of the Passionate Vegetable, another fave of ours.