Southern-style Comfort Foods

By David Venable
Ballantine Books 30.00 254 pages

“My wish is that these recipes encourage you and your family to gather around the dinner table for great meals and, more important, great memories.”

David Venable is certainly true to his promise in David Venable is certainly true to his promise in In the Kitchen with David—his recipes are easy to make; even for novice cooks, and that they are satisfying comfort foods. The hundred and fifty recipes are not for the dedicated gourmet cook—they are simple and familiar, nothing original, nothing you won’t find in most good all-purpose cookbooks. These are recipes like chicken salad, iceberg lettuce wedges, deviled eggs and scalloped potatoes, mostly lightly seasoned. The overall flavor is southern cooking. Many recipes are marked by an icon “Foodie Favorite”. These were highly rated by viewers of Venable’s TV show. Another icon, “Dishin’ with David,” are helpful hints in sidebars. “Make It Your Own” gives you alternatives or additional ingredients for that recipe. The recipe layout is excellent. The recipes are well written using readily available ingredients and many use canned, bottled or processed foods to reduce preparation time. The cookbook production is gorgeous with beautiful full-page photographs. It is too bad they almost embarrassingly overdid showing the author’s smiling face with twenty-six photos throughout the book. The index is thorough and well cross referenced.

This is a nice cookbook for a beginner cook.—his recipes are easy to make; even for novice cooks, and that they are satisfying comfort foods. The hundred and fifty recipes are not for the dedicated gourmet cook—they are simple and familiar, nothing original, nothing you won’t find in most good all-purpose cookbooks. These are recipes like chicken salad, iceberg lettuce wedges, deviled eggs and scalloped potatoes, mostly lightly seasoned. The overall flavor is southern cooking. Many recipes are marked by an icon “Foodie Favorite”. These were highly rated by viewers of Venable’s TV show. Another icon, “Dishin’ with David,” are helpful hints in sidebars. “Make It Your Own” gives you alternatives or additional ingredients for that recipe. The recipe layout is excellent. The recipes are well written using readily available ingredients and many use canned, bottled or processed foods to reduce preparation time. The cookbook production is gorgeous with beautiful full-page photographs. It is too bad they almost embarrassingly overdid showing the author’s smiling face with twenty-six photos throughout the book. The index is thorough and well cross referenced. This is a nice cookbook for a beginner cook.

Reviewed By George Erdosh

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