The Food Network compiled this cookbook based on the television show Chopped, which I have never watched, but I was interested in the idea to “use what you’ve got to cook something great”. I enjoyed the hardcover format with colorful pages of so many delicious looking meals. Otherwise I was disappointed in what seems to be just another standard cookbook with complicated recipes calling for ingredients that are not in my pantry. I tend to have fun making soups, stews, or pasta sauce out of leftovers in my fridge, and I assumed this book would offer something similar. Instead it starts out with a mile-long list of staples in the Chopped kitchen, adding a disclaimer that all of these are not really necessary as other items can be substituted. At least there is a chart with various items that can be used in place of others in certain categories. There are also charts on making sauces and salad dressings and cooking different kinds of grains, but in my opinion, these seem better fit for a gourmet kitchen. I was just not expecting to find recipes like “prosciutto-pesto coddled egg cups” or “char-corn-cress chowder with wonton crackers”. Maybe it’s just my simplistic cooking style and my husband’s meat and potatoes taste, but I will stick to my own recipes until I find a cookbook that suits us. In the meantime, if anyone would like to keep this book and have us over for dinner, we will gladly accept the invitation.
Required Federal Trade Commission disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest appraisal.