Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The American Diner Cookbook Review

I have an obsession with American diners. I've only ever been to a few in New York but I avidly watch Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network! I always end up craving burgers and massive plates of fatty foods - yummy! I've had this book from a while. It was on my Amazon wishlist for a long time but always seemed to be out of stock. I finally managed to nab it a couple of years ago and have only ever browsed through it, again feeling very hungry for having done so! The book was produced in America so all the measurements are in cups, pounds and quarts so the recipes take a little time to convert but it's very feasible.

A lot of the recipes come from different diners across America and there are black and white photos from many of them. There are no photos of any of the recipes which is a shame. A lot of dishes are familiar but it's a case of googling some of the recipes to see what they might look like, for example a Blackberry Slump or Chicken Tetrazzini. There are ocassionally some ingredients that a little mysterious such as Au Jus Mix (looks like it's beef stock mix) but I think most things can be worked out. There are over 450 recipes to choose from so there is always another dish to try and to be fair the book was produced for an American market so the recipes weren't catered towards British ingredients and measurements.

There's a great selection of recipes, chapters include Breakfast At The Counter, Sandwich Platters, Blue Plate Specials and What's For Dessert? There are pies galore as you would expect, as well as plenty of drink recipes like sodas and milkshakes.

I've wanted to make a Monte Cristo sandwich for ages as it sounded very wicked and fattening! There are in fact 2 Monet Cristo recipes in this book, I went for the 2nd one but I did vary it a little according to what I had in.

I didn't have any chicken so that was ommited and I didn't put any mayonnaise into the sandwich as I didn't really think it needed it. Also instead of sourdough I used the chollah bread we had left over from making French toast. It was completely yummy and I'd make it again. I'm a big French toast fan anyway and love combining savoury and sweet - I poured loads of maple syrup on these beauties! Yum!

Next up was a Sloppy Joe! It was a dish I'd heard of but I'd never tried it before so thought it was worth a go. The ingredient list wasn't too big and it was very easy to put together. I wasn't sure about the ketchup to mustard ratio but it was fine and it was actually delicious. The key is just to simmer the mixture for long enough for all the ingredients to meld together. Well worth a go. Jamie Oliver has made a version with a couple more ingredients (no kidney beans in mine) and this sounds a little spicier.

The last recipe I made was the Blue Cheese Burger. Not the most adventurous recipe but it had plenty of flavour and was still very moist. I liked all the melted blue cheese running through the burger.

So I'm pleased I finally made some use of this book and I'm really glad I have it. It's selling for a stupid price on Amazon Marketplace now but it is available of Kindle if you're super modern!

1 comment:

  1. ooh recipes sound delicious. I love American Breakfasts and my husband likes them even more. I've never made Sloppy Joes either, they look like mince on a roll, but the burger with blue cheese is right up my street. Off to see how stupid the price is on Amazon Marketplace!