Monday, March 03, 2014

Stuffed: the ultimate comfort food cookbook, by Dan Whalen

2014 promises to be remembered as “the cold year”. A year of new promise instead has brought horrific winter weather. Ice and snow decorate half the country, and chill breezes blow weekly. It's the sort of weather that creates the yearning for something warm and hearty, yet delicious However, snow isn't the only thing the new year has wrought. Dan Whalen also released his first cookbook, Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook: Taking Your Favorite Foods and Stuffing Them to Make New, Different and Delicious Meals.

Whalen, author of the popular blog FoodinMyBeard.com and owner of Café Burrito, is no stranger to unique food combinations. His blog features recipes such as chocolate risotto or Persian burritos. In Stuffed, Whalen turns his attention to doing exactly what the book title suggests. He becomes, in essence, a mad scientist, bent on world domination through gastro-experimentation. No recipe is too outrageous, from mac and cheese chile rellenos to avocado eclairs to tamale ravioli. Some sound insanely delicious, such as a loaded potato pierogi, but others like the spaghetti wrapped shrimp make me wonder “why bother?”

This is not a cookbook for amateurs. Most recipes involve a certain amount of prep time, or assume a comfortable familiarity with the kitchen; for example, Whalen makes sure that all pasta recipes start with is own recipe for pasta dough. Are the recipes worth it? Definitely.

Stuffable foods not doing it for your comfort level? Check out Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food that Makes Everybody Feel Like Family by Christy Jordan for classic cuisine, or popular chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s book Old-school Comfort Food: the Way I Learned to Cook, which is also available as a downloadable ebook. If you need something more specialized, Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food for the Body and Soul by Julie Hasson is also available in print and electronic format. There are many healthy comfort food options. Check out our catalog for more suggestions.

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