The Food Truck Cookbook: No. 2 – Michael Van De Elzen

Posted: August 28, 2013 in cookbook, Review

food truck cookbook 2It is a rare thing indeed that I get a book to review not only before its embargo date, but also before the series has even finished on TV. And I am very happy to give the latest offering from the Food Truck a big thumbs up!

The recipes featured on TV are all here – at least all the ones that worked (and one of the things we love about the series is that things don’t always work, and there’s a lesson in that). And often they’re in improved versions. For example, the pretzels in the German episode turned out hard and dry, so there is a softer version here that I am going to have to have a go at. (Along with the quick sauerkraut and the Japanese cabbage salad. Definitely a change from coleslaw!)

While this is not necessarily a beginners’ cookbook, it is an excellent addition to any collection, featuring an eclectic selection of recipes from a variety of cultures. It’s worth purchasing for the healthy Pacific Island recipes alone. The overall theme is healthier fast food, and it would be so nice to see takeaway vendors taking some of these ideas on board. But the point is to make your own, at home; and by and large, the recipes presented here are approachable by the average home cook, the ingredients easily obtained, and the result something the family are likely to eat. There are exceptions – the Banh Mi recipe looks tasty, but there’s nearly fifty ingredients spread over three pages! On the other hand, it is a case of first, bake your Vietnamese baguettes, and then prepare three fillings and a sauce. This is one of the things I like about Michael’s approach, it’s that he’s very thorough and likes to start with raw ingredients. Besides, a lot of the sub-recipes can be used for other dishes, especially the sauces.

The book is well illustrated – on those occasions when the picture isn’t next to the recipe it’s not far away. There are also lots of photos of the Food Truck, and of real people enjoying the food. It sits reasonably flat on the bench, though for recipes near the beginning or end it will probably be necessary to use the bookstand.

Random House

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

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