Photo of Spaghetti Carbonara
Cookbook Reviews

Beat Bobby Flay

Cookbook by: Bobby Flay
with Stephanie Banyas &
Sally Jackson

Photo of the cover of Beat Bobby Flay Cookbook

“People point out to me all the time that I never lose. Well, those people clearly don’t watch that often! The bottom line is that I win about 65 to 70 percent of the time,” Bobby Flay. 

When home chefs think about chefs like Bobby Flay we assume that every dish they make is a winner, and that’s not true. I love the Beat Bobby Flay show as it showcases how any chef can become a master of a dish.

Now we can take this inspiration using the recipes in Beat Bobby Flay cookbook and apply it to our own lives. Will all of our recipe attempts be a success? No, but we will learn something every time and get better in the kitchen. 

Photo of Vanilla Cream Puffs on a white plate on a blue background

Vanilla Cream Puffs

I have never made cream puffs before and was really afraid they would fail. The recipe was very simple to follow. Make sure you make the vanilla bean pastry cream ahead of time as it needs to rest at least four hours. When I pulled my pastry cream out of the fridge it was a little tough to whisk it up but just keep whisking and it will be perfect to fill your puffs. 

The cream puffs themselves are easy to make. Once again I used a hand held mixer since I don’t currently have a stand mixer and it worked great. The detailed recipe makes a complicated dish so much easier to complete. Most importantly remember once you put the cream puffs in the oven you CANNOT open the oven door until you are ready to pull them out. If you open the oven door while they are cooking they will fall. I didn’t make the caramel sauce as I am not a big fan of bourbon or pecans, plus I love just simple desserts. 

I was very pleased with the result they look great and are so delicious! These are a great thing to make for a holiday party, you can make the cream and shells ahead of time and just fill right before you are ready to serve them.

Photo of Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Pasta is a long-time love of mine which is what made me choose this recipe to try. The ingredients seem to be easy to find, however, not living near a major city, I had a hard time locating a few of the ingredients. I couldn’t find guanciale, slab bacon, or grand padano cheese. My substitutions were pancetta, thick-cut bacon, and parmigiana reggiano cheese. 

The dish was very simple to make, and the flavors were perfectly balanced. I loved it and even my family, who aren’t as adventurous in their eating, loved it too. When I make this again, I am going to do some more searching to see if I can find the exact ingredients but even if I can’t I am sure it will be delicious once again. 

Cookbook Ratings: Recipe directions easy to follow: yes, Ingredients easy to find: no, Specialty ingredients needed: yes, Specialty equipment needed: no, Accurate time estimates: yes, Best for home chef skill level: novice, Taste/flavor: delicious, Family friendly: yes, specialty diet: no, How many recipes are unique: most, overall cookbook rating: good

I love the wide variety of recipes in Beat Bobby Flay. The only problem I had with the cookbook was finding some of the speciality ingredients. I wanted to make the shepherds pie but couldn’t find all of the ingredients. If you live in a major city such as New York or Los Angeles you shouldn’t have a problem finding what you need. I could name some grocery stores in NYC that carried what I needed, we just don’t have those here. Although I don’t let this stop me from trying the recipes, I just utilize google to find the best substitute for the dish. 

Beat Bobby Flay cookbook offers so many different types of cuisine in the recipes that it is a great staple to have on hand. Don’t be afraid of the longer recipes as the  directions are always well written and easy to follow. Let me know what you make first?

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