The Working Class Foodies Cookbook

Rebecca Lando. Gotham, $20 (320p) ISBN 978-1-592-40753-8
Inspired by the quality and low cost of three fresh apples at a farmer’s market, Lando went on a quest to reproduce the food she loved without breaking the bank, sharing her insights with viewers on her YouTube channel. Lessons learned are shared over the course of 100 recipes in this book, as she instructs readers how to cook basics like latkes, roasted tomato soup, and lasagna, complete with estimated costs for ingredients as well as cost per person. This is where the book falls short. Because she’s trying to serve three masters—beginners, those looking to save while eating well, and “foodies,” who require a degree of connoisseurship from their cookbook authors—Lando’s book fails. Beginners are unlikely to want to tackle D.I.Y. mayonnaise, peanut butter, pasta, or ricotta, and Lando’s costs (which she admits may vary) assume that readers have already stocked their pantries, and the cost of items like honey, spices, etc., are not included in the cost of preparing each dish. Also, many of the recipes are for common dishes like French onion soup, shrimp and grits, and braised lamb shanks. But limitations aside, the friendly and informative guide holds its greatest appeal for those new to cooking, as Lando peppers the book with salient, practical tips, such as saving trimmings for stock and grilling vegetables along with meaty mains for dishes later in the week, and her recipes and techniques are reliable. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
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