Dishing Up New Jersey Book Review

Dishing Up New Jersey Book Review

Title: Dishing Up New Jersey
Author: John Holl
Published: 2016, Storey Publishing
No. of Pages: 288
Cover Price: $19.95 Paperback, $15.95 Kindle

When thinking of fun foods from places in America, New Jersey isn’t the first state to cross my mind. However, Dishing Up New Jersey has enough mouthwatering recipes to change it. New Jersey is known for its Italian foods, but it has a large Irish population, too, so there is great Irish food there. Actually, New Jersey is kind of a melting pot, and there are ethnic foods all over the state. This book includes dozens of recipes from restaurants and bakeries, and it is difficult to decide which recipe to try first.

The Beer-Braised Sausage and Peppers were extra easy, and I transferred the sausages to my slow cooker when my family visited. They were great. Although I’ve tried dozens of Boxty recipes over the years, the Bacon-Cheddar Boxty from the Shannon Rose is the best – hands-down! It is also very easy and suitable for every cook, from beginner to advanced. Unfortunately, some of the recipes seemed to be printed as they came, right from the restaurants. That would be fine, but laymen don’t always know the terms used in professional kitchens. This is a problem in the recipe for Rosemary-Black Pepper Shortbreads from the Inn at Fernbrook Farms. While the ingredients and instructions are easy to understand, the directions instruct the cook to line a “rimmed baking sheet” with parchment. A rimmed baking sheet is not a standard size pan for home kitchens, and this recipe doesn’t give a size. According to Cook’s Illustrated and an article on Martha Stewart, a rimmed baking sheet is another name for a jelly-roll pan which measures about 18” x 13” and has a rolled edge 1” high. There simply wasn’t enough dough for a standard jelly-roll pan, so I opted for a quarter sheet pan (9” x 12”). I had to bake mine longer, because the pan obviously wasn’t quite the right size. Incidentally, the shortbread is delicious.

Although there are inconsistencies in a few of the recipes, that doesn’t make this a bad cookbook. In fact, it is excellent in most ways. There are impressive pictures, although not of every dish, interesting vignettes of the restaurants featured, and recipes that everyone will actually want to make.

Since this is a part of an ongoing series of cookbooks of each state in the US, this is a “must-have” for cookbook collectors or collectors of this series.

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

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Dishing Up® New Jersey: 150 Recipes from the Garden State, Paperback
Dishing Up® New Jersey: 150 Recipes from the Garden State, Kindle

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