When you’ve had enough fancy food and are looking for something to satisfy your cravings for a hamburger, here’s the cookbook for you. This one is all about “burgers, fries, shakes, wedges, and more.” It’s 120 recipes that the author calls “a rallying cry” for all-American food.
This cookbook is full of full-page, decadent, amazing looking photos to go along with many of the recipes, so you know just how the Toasted Marshmallow Shake should look. You’ll see Mendelsohn at work at the toasting station (and read his rule: “You cannot eat hamburgers without toasted buns.”). And just try looking at the photo next to the recipe for Baked Sweet Potato fries without seeing if you have any sweet potatoes in stock!
One of the first things to check in The Good Stuff cookbook is your own pantry list. Compare it to the one he spells out on page 29. Olive oil. Check. Mayonnaise. Check. Sriracha. Hmmm, will have to check. It’s the first sign that Spike Mendelsohn does things a little differently.
He also offers a “Fridge List” and a list of eleven “must-have tools,” including a grill and a deep fryer. Yes, there is quite a bit of frying in this book, but it also coaches you through the process, all the way from the proper pan to the proper way to dispose of the grease. There are recipes for hand-cut fries, Village Fries, onion petals, Zucchini Fritters, and Fried Brussel Sprouts.
If you like a burger with your fries, you can make the Farmhouse Bacon Cheeseburger, Spike’s Sunny-Side Burger with an egg, a Lamb Burger, a Caprese Burger, or a Good Stuff Melt—and 18 more. Wash it down with a homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly Shake, or a Mint Oreo Shake, or an Avocado Shake. Follow it up with Baklava Cookies, Good Stuff Popsicles, or Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, and you’ll know you’ve had an All-American meal!
The book is a brother-sister collaboration, with some family stories strewn in—including from and about some of the closely-knit restaurant family members. After reading this cookbook, you’ll be convinced of at least one thing: it’s great fun to do something that you are passionate about. This cookbook reminds me of that on a regular basis, as I refresh my memory of the ingredients in his Mac ‘N’ Cheese recipe—made with Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses, panko breadcrumbs, and more.
I think I have everything I need in my pantry, and, for today’s cravings, in this cookbook.
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