Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book Review - The Cheese Lover's Cookbook


The Cheese Lover's Cookbook

By: Emily Chambers and Whitney Lindsley
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Publication Date: May 2015
ISBN: 978-1462115907
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 2016

There’s oh so much more to cheese than simple cheese and crackers fare. Even the Golden Girls knew that when they needed some group comfort food, cheesecake it was. In the Cheese Lover’s Cookbook they could find Dulce de Leche and White Chocolate cheesecakes, definite crowd pleasers. Of course those gems can be found in the dessert section, but because cheese is such a versatile food this cookbook also has main dishes as well as appetizers, sides, and salads. I do tend to like what I might call middle of the road cheeses flavor-wise, but there are even ones that take into consideration those who adore spicy. Anyone for a jalapeño grilled cheese sandwich? Havarti jalapeño mac & cheese?

Even though I don’t do spices well, I do have some family members who love anything spicy. Vegans need not apply here, but rather they’ll head to books such as the Artisan Vegan Cheese. Needless to say, I do own that book and adore cheese. It provides that much needed dollop of protein with a mega-dollop of taste. This is a slim book packed with a nice variety of recipes that can be whipped up in as little as five minutes. There are no prep times given, so consider this one of those leisurely cookbooks. For example, I got that wedge salad up and running quite quickly.

The “Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing” is an easy one to prep and delicious. I’d stay away from President feta cheese on this one and head right for the nice fresh blue cheese crumbles in the deli section of your favorite store. The dressing is simple, but delicious, calling for those crumbles, mayo, Greek yogurt, and milk. The full-page, full color photographs that accompany many of the recipes are scrumptious looking, adding a lot of appeal to the book. Not all of the recipes are as simple as the wedge, but run to the more involved Stromboli and “Baked Ribbon Blade.”

One good to know section in the front of the book included a sidebar on types of cheeses: Soft, Semisoft, and Semi-Hard / Hard as well as a list of Fruit or Spreads for a fruit and cheese plate. I have yet to put together a platter, but definitely appreciated the inclusion of this information. Each recipe has a colorful sidebar that includes the number of servings as well as the ingredients that will be needed. The directions are in the main text as well as an interesting vignette about the recipe. For example when I read about the “Dubliner Puff Pastry Bites” I learned that it is an “Irish cheese named after the city Dublin” and is a “hard yellow cheese that is somewhere between Swiss and Parmesan in flavor.”

There are several places to pick up cheeses, but this time around I went to Trader Joe’s for ingredients for several recipes. I recently acquired a pizza stone and took several suggestions from the “Easy Marherita” pizza. Substitutions can be made and instead of the recommended buffalo mozzarella, I picked up a package of Trader Joe’s shredded mozzarella. Delicious! Most of us don’t keep a wide variety of cheeses on hand so this cookbook, for the most part, has recipes that will need to be planned. The ones I tried I loved, but do have my eye on several like the “Seafood Mac & Cheese” and “Romano-Crusted Eggplant.” Yep, this is definitely a cookbook for the cheese lover like me!

Quill says: If you’re a cheese lover, you’ll definitely find a great variety of cheese recipes for everything from the simple appetizer to a side dish or a full meal!