Besh's Big Easy Cookbook Review

Besh's Big Easy Cookbook Review

Title: Besh Big Easy
Author: John Besh
Published: 2015, Andrews McMeel Publishing
No. of Pages: 224
Cover Price: $25.00 paperback, $9.99 Kindle

The city of New Orleans is famous for its Jazz, but perhaps even more for the incredible food served, not only in restaurants, but also in private homes. Restaurateur John Besh, author of three previous New Orleans cookbooks, focuses on cooking New Orleans style at home in his new cookbook, Besh Big Easy. There are several reasons why this is a fabulous cookbook:
  1. In the Introduction, Besh explains why this book is different from other New Orleans cookbooks. His personality shows through, and he comes off as someone who is a real person (he is, of course), who is friendly and approachable, and not someone who is writing the book as an expert who deems himself better and more accomplished than every other cook on the planet.
  2. Besh doesn't take credit for every recipe; rather, he includes vignettes on each recipe telling who the recipe is from and giving information helpful to those of us who plan to cook the dishes.
  3. The pictures are phenomenal; not only of the mouthwatering dishes, but also of local sites, giving the reader a real feel for the area.
  4. Of course there is an excellent index, so cooks can quickly find what they are looking for.
  5. Besh lays out his recipes so that they are understandable and doable for everyone, from the most inexperienced cook to those who are professionals. Unlike some famous chefs, he doesn't try to make the recipes more complicated than necessary to intimidate.
  6. There are not only recipes for famous New Orleans dishes, but also homey, comforting recipes that may be less well-known, but are good nonetheless. One example is the Silver Queen Corn Pudding, which I was able to put together in about 15 minutes, and when baked was absolutely delicious – it looked exactly like the picture in the book and was truly the best corn pudding my family has ever eaten.

I'm looking forward to preparing the Pork Shoulder & Country Sausage Brown Jambalaya, the skillet cornbread, and Besh's Mustard-Fried Catfish with Jalapeño Tartar Sauce in the next week or two. I suspect that I will try at least 50% of the recipes by year's end - they are that tempting.

All told, if you like real Cajun food, without difficult preparation, this is the cookbook for you.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying an advance review copy of this book.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes, Paperback
Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes, Kindle
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