Sunday, April 18, 2010

Review: 50 Great Appetizers by Pamela Sheldon Johns

I have to confess a secret: I've never reviewed a cookbook before, and I'm not really sure how to do it. This book was sent to me through LibraryThing Early Reviewers and the publisher, Andrews McMeel. The physical book is gorgeous. It is separated into four sections of appetizers: Topped & Dipped, Grilled & Skewered, Stuffed & Rolled, and Plated & Sauced. Each section features many full-color photos of the appetizers described. The book also contains tips for preparing for a party, several sample menus for themed get-togethers, and helpful prep tips for making these treats.

There are many of the recipes I'd like to try, when I get a little extra money in my pocket and have a chance to entertain again: Marinated Mushrooms; Papaya-Avocado Salsa; Tea-Smoked Chicken Wings; Mozzarella, Basil & Cherry Tomato Skewers; Grilled Scallops Wrapped in Pancetta; Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Crumbled Stilton; Fried Spring Rolls; and Orange-Broccoli Salad. The only quibble I had with the book is that most of the foods are a tad...pretentious? Fancy? I don't know what word to use. They're quite a bit more upper-crust than my taste and my friends' tastes tend to be. We're potato skins and chicken wings people, and these recipes are for a bit more elegant a palate. However, as I noted, several of the recipes sound delicious, so I'm sure I'll find a way to sneak them in amongst the hot wings and spinach-artichoke dip at our next party.

Overall, three out of five Whatevers. A good, solid array of appetizers to try out, if they are a bit on the haughty side.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

Hi Lexi, I hope you will try some of the recipes and then comment on them. I have tried to make the methods easy and ingredient lists not too long. Most of the ingredients really aren't that expensive. As for 'elegant,' well I don't really consider myself an elegant cook, more rustic actually. But when i do a party, I do enjoy putting out something a little different than what my friends are used to having. So next party, try skewering some cherry tomatoes and small mozzarella balls or using some leftover rice to make the croquettes in the book. Your guests will love you for it!

Pamela Sheldon Johns
Cookbook author living in Tuscany