Straight Up Tasty
by Adam Richman
The much anticipated first cookbook from Adam Richman, the irrepressible host of Man vs Food and NBC’s Food Fighters, delivers what his fans have been waiting for: a heaping helping of over-the-top flavors with a side order of the erudite humor that is his trademark.
Having eaten his way from coast to coast and around the globe, Adam Richman has learned more than a little bit about what makes food taste good. He draws on all that knowledge and his lifelong dedication to seeking out memorable flavors and eating experiences in this high octane collection of dishes that are, quite simply, straight up tasty.
The more than 100 diverse, dazzling, and downright delectable recipes reflect the flavor combinations, techniques, and ingredients Adam has encountered in his nonstop travels, all translated into easy-to-use recipes perfect for the home cook, and all given a distinctive Richman spin. But Straight Up Tasty is much more than a scrapbook of Adam’s culinary expeditions; it offers the perfect foodie flavor bomb for every occasion from a crowd-pleasing spread for game day to a turbocharged holiday feast.
Along the way he holds forth on topics as diverse as where to encounter the nation’s best burgers and why the best thing on a restaurant menu isn’t always what you might think; delivers helpful advice on kitchen prep in haiku form; and recounts the history of chocolate in rhyming couplets. And did we mention Candied Bourbon Bacon? You’ll find those delectable tidbits and oh so much more in Straight Up Tasty, a cookbook that could only have come from the passionate palate and irrepressible enthusiasm of America’s ambassador of flavor, Adam Richman
I was very excited to get started on this book because I love Adam Richman’s Show. This book has some amazing ideas and twists on common comfort food but it didn’t seem to be executed very well.
I followed all of these recipes exactly as written.
This was defiantly my favorite recipe I made from this book. Usually meatloaf recipes use eggs as a binder and this one did not. The ground turkey bound all the ingredients together really well. With the addition of ground pork and beef this three-meat-loaf reminded me a lot of Italian meatballs which is a good thing. In making the recipe there was one ingredient (ajvar) I couldn’t find at any local stores so I found out what it was on wiki and made it myself. The little amount of flavor it added was not worth the work of making it from scratch. Undoubtedly the most impressive part of this recipe was the addition of crumbled sheep’s cheese to the loaf. It really brought up the flavor in my book.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Never thought about twice baking sweet potatoes, cool idea. The sweetness from the potato meld nicely well with the Fontina and ricotta cheeses. The recipe even includes bourbon. Yay. Now for the bad part, there is no way the recipe cooking times are correct. When I pulled the potatoes out of the oven they collapsed and flattened out because they were so overcooked. This would be pretty good if you cooked it for about half the time.
This recipe has nothing good going for it. The beets stained the other vegetables so the dish just looked gross and there is way too much garlic powder on this, 1/4 a cup! After tasting this dish I ended up throwing out the entire thing. That sucks because even veggies aren’t cheap anymore.
Mom’s Spinach Pie
This had a lot of potential but it was missing some necessary spices. Adam uses lots of light or fat free ingredients when possible, although better for you, leaves the flavor lacking. It would have been nice if he added the flavor back in by using some spices and maybe a tiny bit of salt. My friend, on the other hand, thought this was great and said it reheats well. Reminded her of growing up in an Italian family. Try this recipe from Adam’s book here.
I wanted to give this book a big old score but Adam let me down. It seemed like no one tested the recipes before going to print. The time for the Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes was so long it turned my potato shell into a flat tire that couldn’t hold in the potatoes. Most of the recipes I tried had very little flavor and one of the recipes I tested was downright awful. Many of the recipes in the book have really cool ideas, like the cheese in the meatloaf, but even with the cool twists on traditional recipes I would have to say pass on this one.
The highest score a category can get is 5.
Singlearity Score: 3
how single friendly the recipes are
Flavor Score: 2
how tasty the recipes are
Easy Score: 3
recipe difficulty level
Overall Score: 2.6