Customer Review

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Problems with the Recipes, June 12, 2011
This review is from: The Good Stuff Cookbook (Paperback)
It seems that most people giving this book five stars are rating The Good Stuff Eatery or Spike's appearances on television. I love eating at the Good Stuff Eatery; they have the best hamburgers and milk shakes I have every eaten. If I were reviewing Spike's restaurant here, I would give it five stars. The poor rating I am giving this cook book is based off of what I have read in the book and two recipes I have tried.

The first recipes I tried were the cheese sauce and Man 'N' cheese. There is no way that the recipe as printed in the book is the recipe Spike uses. There are three problems with the cheese sauce recipe. First the recipe has you make a roux from 1/4 cup of butter to 1 cup of flour. With this combination you get a very dry, lumpy dough, similar to what you would want if you were making a crumble topping for a dessert. When you add the milk, it thickens almost instantly--way too much flour! The next problem is the cheese. The recipe calls for one cup of grated sharp cheddar. After adding the cheese, it becomes very clear that this is not enough. The mixture is mostly white with a very pale yellow color. You can hardly taste any cheese. I added almost three cups to get a yellow color to the sauce and adequate cheese flavor. The last problem is the cayenne pepper. If you add the 1.5 teaspoons that the recipe calls for, that's the only thing you will be tasting. A dash or two is adequate.

The Mac 'N' Cheese recipe is problematic because it only calls for 1 cup of the cheese sauce to 1 pound of elbow macaroni. One pound of elbow macaroni noodles fills a 9x13" pan when cooked. Adding one cup of cheese sauce barely coats all of the noodles. I used three cups of the sauce and it still wasn't enough. After baking the macaroni, it was mostly dry, but still edible.

Though there are clear errors with the cheese sauce and the Mac 'N' Cheese recipes, Spike has not posted any corrections on the Good Stuff Eatery's website, or anywhere on Amazon.

The other big problem with this book is all of the shake recipes. Spike rightly boasts, in the book, that his shakes are made from fresh custard that they turn themselves in the restaurant. The shakes at the restaurant are unbelievably delicious. However on the introduction page of his cookbook, Spike says "Okay, so how do you make custard at home? well, that's simple... you don't. Ice cream will work great too..." (page 23 4th paragraph). All of the shake recipes to my disappointment, have you use ice cream. The shake recipes are nothing special that you didn't already know how to make. For example to make a vanilla shake, Spike tells you to blend 2 cups of vanilla ice cream to 1 cup of whole milk. That's it! The result of this will be a shake that tastes nothing like the vanilla shake you would get at the Good Stuff eatery. Why can't I turn my own custard at home, Spike? Why not let us in on your custard recipe? I understand if you want to keep your custard recipe secret, but don't waste my time and all that ink on shake recipes that are not actually your shake recipes.

On a positive note, the book has many full-page photographs of the recipes, the book is well organized, and Spike shares a nice history of how the Good Stuff Eatery came to be.

I am hopeful that the hamburger recipes will turn out better. After reading through them, they appear to be the recipes actually used in the restaurant. If more recipes turn out better as I try them, I may come back and give an extra star (to three stars). However, I cannot give it more than three given the omission of the custard recipes for the shakes and the blatant mistake for the cheese sauce which you need to use for three other recipes in the book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2012 11:51:12 AM PDT
Mac 'n' cheese was my first recipe from this book, and I didn't read this review before cooking it.
You're so right, there´s no way that cheese sauce recipe could work! I halved the flour and still it was a little too tick. And I used all the 3 cups of cheese sauce to one pound of pasta. I wish they would correct this!

Posted on Dec 5, 2013 7:59:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2013 8:01:19 PM PST
You are exactly right! I was so excited when I first got this, I love great pictures to see what I'm making, but I first tried the mac and cheese, and was so angry when it was awful after following the recipe exactly, then I checked here and saw that it was completely off! Its sposed to be equal butter and flour. This spike guy, I wanted to punch him in the face/ cry. My parents almost choked on the tripled cayenne and I spent so long making this, ughh. Then I gave the rosemary chicken a test, it was alright, but not amazing like I thought itd be.
Then I tried a cookie recipe, the banana chocolate one. I was like ok... the other one was a misprint, SURELY the other ones have to be great, but... noooo! The chocolate filling, I made exactly like it says, was so blah and not that chocolatey, nothing like I thought : ( And the burger recipes are pretty standard, russian dressing style sauces n stuff anyway, screw this book theres nothing special or awesome at all! I feel tricked by the pix.
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