March 4, 2015

Tyler Florence's Guacamole and Inside the Test Kitchen Cookbook Review

Inside the Test Kitchen, By: Tyler Florence

I love the structure and layout of this book.  It looks like a journal, the pages are very thick, it's full of hand-written notes and it has an elastic band attached, so you can easily mark the page of the recipe you are wanting to make next.  All of the pictures in this book were taken with an iPad.  He wanted "real time" photography like we would see on social media.   Tyler and his "Test Kitchen Team" tasted and tested these recipes over and over again until they were perfect.  They even tested eight different cheeses to find the stretchiest one and used the winning cheese in Modern Grilled Cheese and Stretchy Mac and Cheese. 
Tyler says the goal of this cookbook is to empower the home cook with the confidence to put dinner on the table and to equip us with information that restaurant chefs have.

With that said . . .

This cookbook is not for beginner cooks and I don't think it's for the average home cook either.  I would love to try every recipe in this book, I just want someone else to make them for me :)

I'm sure all of the recipes are out-of-this-world, but most are not what you would make after a long day at work.

Some of the recipes require special equipment like an iSi whipped cream siphon, chargers and special pans and molds.  The recipes can get pretty pricey too, especially if you don't grow your own herbs and have to buy them at the store.  Some recipes call for multiple herbs and a tiny package of herbs at my local grocery store run about $3 a piece.  There are a lot of ingredients I have never used (or heard of).  I don't think that you would have all of the ingredients on hand for any of these dishes, except for maybe the 5-in-1 Baking Mix

I am excited about the  5-in-1 Baking Mix.   He uses this mix to make muffins, pancakes, waffles, cake and cookies.  The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake will most likely happen in my kitchen soon. 
I decided to try the easiest recipe in the book . . . Guacamole.  I didn't think I was a guacamole fan, but I had to taste it, since I was going to have to talk about it in this post, right?  I REALLY REALLY liked it.  Who knew guacamole was this good.  I scooped up this guacamole chip after chip and it was hard to stop eating it.  I also enjoyed a big dollop on a bowl of chili.

I WILL most definitely make this recipe again.   
Overall, if you want to step outside your comfort zone and you don't mind spending time and money on dinner, then you will probably really enjoy this book.  

And . . . I'm sure your recipes will taste like they came straight out of a restaurant kitchen.
adapted from: Tyler Florence
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

5 ripe Hass avocados
juice of 2 limes
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1 Serrano chile, ribbed, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 radish, thinly shaved

Slice the avocados all the way around from top to bottom and twist the halves to separate them.  Carefully tap the pit with a sharp knife, twist, and it will come right out.  Scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl.  Add some of the lime juice as you go, to prevent the avocados from browning.

Add the remaining lime juice, onion, Serrano chile, cilantro, a pinch of Kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  Use a fork to mash the mixture, leaving some chunks of avocado for texture.  Transfer to a bowl for serving and  garnish with the radish shavings.  Makes about 4 cups, depending on the avocados. 

Jenn's Notes: I used less onion and I used a yellow instead of a white onion.  I used a small jalapeno instead of a Serrano.  This is simple and delicious.  When refrigerating leftover guacamole, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and that will help keep it from turning brown.   

I received this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.

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