When Cathy at A Blithe Palate asked me to participate in the Cookbook Spotlight I jumped at the chance to receive a free cookbook. Who wouldn't? The publisher would send us the book and our instructions were to read the book, make a recipe and blog our thoughts.
The book in question was Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis. My copy arrived, I read, I cooked, I tasted, I read some more and here are my thoughts.
Kitchen Sense is the ideal book if you are just starting out at cooking or to give as a gift to someone new to the kitchen. It is 515 pages of the basics, handy hints and some nice sounding recipes. I have a copy of Stephanie Alexander's The Cooks Companion , very similar to Kitchen Sense, and it is the most used book on my bookshelf.
Kitchen Sense is written for the American market without a thought for the rest of the world. I couldn't find any conversion chart for weights, measurements or temperature. Exactly how much is a stick of butter? All measurements are in cups because Mitchell is of the opinion not enough American cooks have scales. That's my only complaint.
So what did I cook. Firstly I made a Rosemary Herb Syrup which was easy and I'm thinking it might be quite nice as a syrup poured over a baklava made using pine nuts.
Then because it was such a cold day in Auckland and some comfort food would go down well with the family when they came in from work, I made a Bourbon Bread and Butter Pudding. I didn't have any Bourbon in the cupboard so I replaced it with Grand Marnier. It worked just as well as the Bourbon. The recipe was easy, the taste excellent with a butterscotchy tang to it and I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today.
A couple of things I'm looking forward to trying - Mitchell's slightly different method for muffins, Streusel Coffee Cake, and the Chardonnay Poached Salmon with Mustard Tarragon Sauce