Top positive review
203 people found this helpful
on November 17, 2005
I agree that this is Rachael's best and most diverse collection of recipes to date. I actually did a rough count of the recipes by the protein or main ingredient. This is approximately how the recipes stack up: 53 meatless (many do contain cheese, however), 11 lamb, 4 egg, 8 ground turkey, 21 ground beef, 80 chicken, 21 beef (steaks, London broil, etc.), 5 ground pork, 16 pork (chops, tenderloin), 9 turkey (cutlets), 10 ground chicken, 29 fish (halibut, cod, swordfish, salmon, tuna), 11 veal (ground, cutlets, etc.), 30 shellfish (shrimp, crab, mussels, scallops, calamari), and 48 sausage, etc. (ham, prosciutto, chorizo, Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, bacon, salami, pancetta, etc). According to the listings in the front of the book, there are 48 pasta dishes, 33 soups and 20 burgers. I may have miscounted a few, but I think these numbers are fairly close. Perhaps some reviewers got the impression that the ingredients were repetitive because of the technique Rachael sometimes (but not always) uses of providing a master recipe with variations by swapping out ingredients. For instance, there is a master macaroni and cheese with broccoli recipe, followed by macaroni and smoked gouda with cauliflower, Tex-Mex mac and cheddar (with ground beef) and a chipotle mac and cheddar with chorizo and tomato.
While many of the recipes are Italian or Italian influenced, reflecting Rachael's heritage, with Tex-Mex following closely behind, there are also Spanish, Cuban, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, French, Cajun, Greek, German, and Carribbean influenced recipes as well. There is also plenty of "American" fare as well, although there are fewer traditional "comfort food" dishes in this book than there are in some of her other collections. The subtitle of the book is a hint at that. It truly is "a year of deliciously different dinners." And, after several years of watching Rachael's show regularly and making many, many of her recipes, I find that I can come close to the 30 minute mark in completing the meals, especially after the first time making a particular recipe.
As for pictures, if you are familiar with buying cookbooks, you realize that you trade off photographs for affordability. If this book were full of glossy photos of the food, it would probably have a list price of at least $40. I don't know of anywhere else you can find such a large and diverse collection of recipes for so little money.