CBR 14 Bingo: Adapt (Camel)
This book is chockfull of flexible recipes, easy to modify and adapt as you like.
Ruby Tandoh introduces recipes from across the world with an eye to accessibility and ease of making.
Before we go into this review, a caveat: I am a picky eater. A lot of foods don’t agree with me, whether due to taste or texture, and the only meat I eat is chicken. As such, I could not try out a lot of the recipes in this book. I am factoring this into my review.
This book is divided into several sections depending on the amount of time they require, or the kinds of ingredients – commonplace or more specialized – that are used. I found this a handy tool when deciding what recipes to make. I liked how the author specifically included sections for those people who might have trouble with expending lots of energy cooking, as well as for those who are unable to perform too many complex kitchen tasks such as chopping or grating.
The flavors of the recipes are eclectic, combining disparate ingredients and cultural influences with aplomb. This can be a bit of a double-edged sword, though – very fun for the adventurous eater, but not so much for more timid ones like me. However, something that helped with this was the detailed explanations for modifying recipes, which opened up the repertoire of recipes accessible to me. There’s a good mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes.
I tried out five recipes – Gnocchi with Chili Crisp Sauce, Capers, and Parmesan; Smoky Chicken, Okra, and Chorizo Casserole (minus the chorizo, according to the given modifications); Jollof Rice; Molten Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Rosemary Cookie Pie; and Wildflower Honey Cheesecake. I found that the desserts were more successful than the savory dishes – the recipes for Jollof Rice and the Smoky Chicken, Okra, and Chorizo Casserole created huge quantities of food that, alas, could not be managed by my family.
Though I liked the illustrations, I wished there had been pictures to reference, as I feel this would have made it easier to understand where I might be going wrong in my cooking.
Ultimately, I thought this was a thoughtful cookbook, but not necessarily one for me.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.