October has 5 Fridays, so I had originally planned on making 5 recipes from this month’s Cookbook of the Month – Thai Food. I had all the ingredients bought and everything ready to go to make the last recipe last night, but then I read on the Cafe Zupas blog that their new location was opened. It’s only blocks from my house, and after the week I’ve had, I knew I’d blow off cooking for Zupas!! So today I will do the cookbook review – but you still got 4 recipes from this book!
This month’s book was the most intimidating one that I have been through so far. When I started this year, and I decided to do different cuisines from around the world for the Cookbook of the Month series, I wanted authentic recipes. But for the most part, I have found that most of the cookbooks I come across have recipes that are adapted for the American kitchen. There are good and bad things about this. Good, because the recipes are more adaptable, but bad because they aren’t really authentic. I would say that of all of the countries I’ve cooked from this year, this Thai book was the most authentic. I definitely got a crash course in Thai cooking! I learned some new ingredients. I had some successes. I had some failures. But overall, I think that this cookbook was the most fun just because I did learn so much. I have so much more to learn, and I really can’t wait to learn more about Thai cooking!
Cooking Times Listed in Recipes: no
Not only are the cooking times not listed, but neither are the number of servings. I can live without the cooking times, but the number of servings is a big thing for me. And it seemed like some served a lot, and some only a few. It was hard to tell.
Number of Photos: medium
There are some great photos in this book. It is a huge book, so the majority of the recipes don’t have photos, but there are quite a few with photos.
Difficulty Level of Recipes: medium to hard
These recipes aren’t simplified recipes. They are the real deal. So they will be harder – especially if you aren’t familiar with Thai cooking!
Availability of Ingredients: medium to hard
I ended up being able to find most of the ingredients, but I did have to go to an Asian grocery store and ask for help. There were still some that I couldn’t find, but there were also some easily found ingredients.
Hot and Sour Prawn Soup – 3.5 out of 5
Aromatic Chicken Curry – 4.5 out of 5
Beef Panaeng – 3 out of 5
Bananas Simmered in Coconut Cream – 4.25 out of 5
I would definitely say this is a great cookbook, although challenging and not for beginners. But it’s a great place to learn!!
On my way home yesterday after a very long day, as I realized that I would be typing up this post for today, I realized that I needed a cookbook for November! So I stopped off at the library. It was a very quick stop since I had my daughter, and she is one of those children that loves to run around the library, looking through the racks of books and yelling “I see you mama!” Luckily, the only person I saw in the section of the library where we were was a library worker, so at least we weren’t bothering anyone else! But I still chose very quickly – trying to find a cuisine that I haven’t worked with yet. I pulled this copy of The Food of Paradise off the shelf and saw that it was a winner of the Julia Child Cookbook Awards, so I knew it couldn’t be that bad! So, for November, we will be exploring Hawaiian food. I’m excited to see what it brings!