18 February 2015

"Everyday RAW Express" by Matthew Kenney Cookbook Review

Matthew Kenney's "Everyday Raw Express Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less"

Is there an Index?
Yes.  But recipes are not listed, only components.

Is there a contents/chapters section?
Yes.  The chapter titles are clearly delineated.

What is the “Beginner’s Intro” volume?
Consists of 2% volume.  There is a 3 page (with one photo) "How to use this book and our recipes" section.  Definitely NOT a beginner's book, which I encourage.

What is the presentation like?
Most of the recipes have appealing photographs.

The recipes are consistently presented on a white background, with plenty of room for note-taking (important as my own cookbooks develop an interesting splatter and pen/pencil patina with time).

Each chapter is titled by its own colorful page.

If your library were wiped out tomorrow, would this make your cannot live without immediate re-buy list?
No.  It does not fit an everyday need, only irregular.

Comments -
I thought this one, like Wignall's "Going Raw," was approaching what I seek.  But the restauranteur within the author is glaringly obvious in many of the included recipes.  For me, this is high-falutin' raw food for rare occasions, as it is not flavorful, homey, ethnic (which is my preference).

I found Kenney's acknowledgments section describing Meredith Baird as a primary driver of "Everyday Raw Express" interesting.  I am left to wonder, should the author on the title page be Meredith Baird, rather than Matthew Kenney?

Additionally, a comment from the "Introduction," along the lines of we will help you incorporate more gourmet food in your diet is very descriptive of the contents.  These are not warm, cheery, comfort foods.  You do not find yourself dreaming of leftovers with this collection. 

This is, in fact, the book you pull out to impress guests with marvelous presentation.  A way to begin your meal with a feast for the eyes.

Recipes -

Red Beet Sangria (page 20)
Admittedly, I do not like beets.  It does not matter how recently they were pulled from the ground, or how tenderly Grandma massaged them for Thanksgiving dinner.  I do not like beets.  I know this is due to the geosmin content within, and I look forward to varieties that contain all the nutrients of our current beets but without the geosmin concentration (but I do not want them GMOed)!

As to Red Beet Sangria, I like the citrusy punch the oranges give the beet juice.  If you like beets, and the other contents of this recipe, I expect you will love this sangria.

I will finish my half recipe over the next couple days, i.e I will drink it dagnabit.  But it will likely never be remade in my household.  I do look forward to how the apple chunks change while absorbing the flavor and color of the liquid.  But that is more in the line of scientific, rather than gastronomic, inquiry.

Wild Mushroom Lasagna, Butternut Squash, Wilted Spinach (page 116)
This is the type of recipe I am seeking.  A couple components: squash, nut/seed cheez, marinated mushrooms, and marinated spinach.  There is no way I could get this recipe ready in 30 minutes or less (as per the subtitle), but it was worth the time investment.  Tasty blend of flavors.  However, this would not be a meal.  I made myself two stacks, but could only eat 1.5 of them.  It can be too much and may be best as an appetizer.  A half recipe left me with days of leftovers.

Kelp Udon, Mushroom Broth, Cabbage, Shiitakes (page 102)
As the family holds mushroom appreciation next to godliness, I figured this recipe was a shoo-in.  Instead I found it somewhat sickeningly sweet, offering little in the way of interesting flavors.  Confession, I ate half my serving and placed everything that remains in the compost.  (Shudder)

Himself - 
The SO's comment on the fare, "Do not take this the wrong way, these are good, but they are not very filling."

However, he used the last of the nut/seed cheez from the "Wild Mushroom Lasagna, Butternut Squash, Wilted Spinach" recipe on crackers and requested more.

Conclusion - 
Back to the library it goes.

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