Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: Comfort Food Makeovers

There's an old saying that goes: "Nothing worth having is free." This saying is definitely appropriate for the recipes in Comfort Food Makeovers by America's Test Kitchen. If you're looking for low-fat recipes that actually taste good, this is the cookbook to get. However, it will cost you something: time and money.

These recipes are not your usual, low-fat version. Instead, they use a combination of specific ingredients and special techniques to produce delicious versions of higher fat dishes found in most restaurants.

For instance, you'll have to purchase specific ingredients; no substitutions allowed or the fat/calorie count will not be what you see in the book. This means either shopping ahead for ingredients such as Boar's Head 25% Percent Lower Fat American Cheese, Panko, Funyun Onions, and Italian Fontina cheese. Some recipes call for wine and sherry, as well.

You'll also need a few special tools such as a water mister, oil mister, and mesh strainer; and you'll have to follow the directions precisely. That means you may need to pre-freeze meat or cheese, steam vegetables before using in a recipe, under bake cookies, use a foil sling (directions provided) or strain sauces.

This all sounds like a lot of hard work, but as I said in the beginning, "Nothing worth having is free." If you take the time to shop ahead and prepare these dishes, you WILL be delighted with the results. The food is so much tastier than traditional low-fat recipes that you won't even know you're on a diet! 

Even though it takes more effort, I still gave it five stars because the food is so delicious! For those of us working full-time, it is a little difficult to cook like this on a regular basis, but it's perfect for weekends and special occasions or for people with more time to cook.

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