The Fat Kitchen Cookbook Review

The Fat Kitchen Cookbook Review

Title: The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure & Cook with Lard, Tallow & Poultry Fat
Author: Andrea Chesman
Published: November 13, 2018, Storey Publishing LLC
No. of Pages: 304
Cover Price: $24.95 Paperback, $11.99 Kindle

Fat has a bad reputation. Cooks are constantly trying to remove it from their dishes, and usually find that the finished products are tough and tasteless. It is said in many medical and nutritional circles that fat is an important element in a healthy diet. Andrea Chesman’s The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure & Cook with Lard, Tallow & Poultry Fat is everything that anyone needs to know about fat in our diet, and includes mouthwatering recipes as well as trivia and methods to make our own fat to use in our cooking.

According to Chesman, “Food fried in animal fats have a far less oily-tasting surface than food fried in vegetable seed oils, because the saturated fat solidifies as it cools and cannot be absorbed into the food. Plus, some fats, like all poultry fats, are more flavorful than oils. So from a flavor and texture standpoint, animal fats are best.” With all the negative publicity on fats, who knew? In this excellent cookbook she includes smoking temperatures and plenty of information needed to cook with fat in home kitchens.

One of the things I love about the recipes is that Chesman adds information at the beginning of each to give the cook a sense of where the dish came from, why certain ingredients are used in it, and general information to make it more personal and fun to cook. Her recipes are easy-to-follow, and can be made with commercial fats if one doesn’t have the time to obtain and render fats, but her recipes make it easy to do it yourself, too.

Favorite recipes include a beautiful Summer Vegetable Galette, as well as excellent fried chicken and a dish enjoyed all over Hawaii, Mochiko Chicken. The Duck Fat-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate-Mustard Drizzle are a bit of work, but worth it. After testing several of the mouthwatering recipes, I’m sold on using other fats and learning that they help to make flakier crusts and lighter cookies and cakes. I could cook for months from this book. Every time I look through it, my queue becomes longer and I make it a point to put aside time to cook. Smothered Pork Chops are on the menu this week, as well as Chesman’s delectable Beef and Mushroom Pie. Lithuanian Bacon Rolls are also at the top of the list.

The recipes are easy enough for most cooks at any level, and the photographs make it difficult to decide what to make next. This is a cookbook that cooks have needed for years, and it should be included in every recipe collection.

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

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