Bluestem, The Cookbook

Chef Colby Garrelts also known as The Best Chef Midwest in culinary circles all over the US, along with Pastry Chef guru Megan Garrelts offer their own special spin of techniques with over 100 well thought out and timeless seasonal t recipes. This is by far the absolute biggest edition about cooking I've ever seen and it's called simply; Bluestem The Cookbook. If you want the biggest "Jaws" of cooking topics I think this might be the one. It's a complete and detailed compilation of the 2 Chef's works and they aren't holding anything back. They cover each season of the year with their hearty favorites. Each recipe uses easy to find spices so the meals are well seasoned and not hard to put together.

Recipes Include: Milk Chocolate Walnut Ice Cream | Butterscotch Sauce | Concord Grape Jelly Sauce | Tangerine Sherbet | Warm Eggplant Salad | Potato-Crusted Halibut | Honey Custard | Peanut Butter Beignets (doughnuts) | Amuse-Bouche

In these luscious thick chapters you'll find a showcase of family friendly dishes using local ingredients at their peak of freshness. I like how they use only the freshest in-season products for their Midwestern fare. Like pure honey, fresh vine ripe green beans and a host of other farm fresh produce and vegetables for their meals. Local foods are much fresher since they don't have to be shipped anywhere you can get the cream of the crop that way.

Bluestem reminds me of the now vintage classics, cookbooks my mom cherished as it has 100 recipes and 100 color photographs of them all. That's hard to find now in cookbook land as most people try to cut corners by only having a few of the actual pictures with the recipes. So I love that this has them all included together making it easy for you to see what your finished recipe should look like. I'm really not a fan of cookbooks without photography. I mean what's up with that? I feel like I can't even try it if I don't know what it's supposed to come out looking like.

They also generously include a wine suggestion pairing for the recipes which is really going all out for their readers. It eliminates the question of what’s to be served with what question that many of us have. So it's a cookbook you could use for entertaining too.

From the Milk Chocolate Walnut Ice Cream to the creamy sweet Butterscotch Sauce these desserts will have you drooling in a few minutes. I did make the Butterscotch Sauce and we had it over slices of Carrot Cake. It was to die for is what my son said. It was really pretty on the plate too. It made the carrots and raisins shine on the plate. I'll be making it again. We've decided we should just keep a jar of this in the fridge, that's how good it is.

There's a Tangerine Sherbet I've got my eyes on since it looks scrumptious and it's been calling my name. At least sorbets and sherbets are healthier so there are some good healthy choices in the book to for your family to enjoy. I also made the recipe for Whipped Butter and it was extra smooth and tasty. It was simple to, it just called for a bit of white wine and lemon juice. I would not have believed it was that easy and my tilapia filets tasted so much nicer with it on top.

I think everyone will like this special selection of recipes. It's quite unique how they tell exactly from what local spot they were able to get the ingredients for each dish. It makes for a very interesting storyline like a storybook feel along with the recipes. It's a definite keeper on my kitchen shelf.

Book Blurb for Bluestem, The Cookbook

A repeated nominee for the James Beard Award for "Best Chef Midwest," chef Colby Garrelts and highly respected pastry chef Megan Garrelts offer their culinary techniques inside Bluestem: The Cookbook. From Warm Eggplant Salad and Potato-Crusted Halibut with Herb Cream to delectable desserts such as Honey Custard and Peanut Butter Beignets with Concord Grape Sauce, the Garreltses showcase local, Midwestern ingredients and artisanal producers through 100 seasonally driven recipes.

Including a full-meal lineup of recipes, from amuse-bouche to dessert, Bluestem offers helpful tips from a professional kitchen alongside seasonal wine notes and 100 full-color photographs that capture the simple beauty of Bluestem's composed dishes. Guided by their childhood memories and inspired by the world around them, the Garreltses offer a Midwestern sensibility inside Bluestem: The Cookbook, while enabling cooks of all experience levels the opportunity of replicating Bluestem's contemporary taste and signature dishes at home.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2012 4.75