My Perfect Pantry Cookbook Review

My Perfect Pantry by Geoffrey Zakarian
Rating:  3 stars (out of 5)

We recently received My Perfect Pantry by Geoffrey Zakarian to review from Blogging for Books.   We are familiar with Chef Zakarian from the Food Network television show Iron Chef and were looking forward to receiving this cookbook.  The concept of the cookbook is great.  Zakarian takes 50 ingredients that most people already have in their kitchens and then provides three recipes using each ingredient.  The only ingredients that we didn’t have in our kitchen out of the 50 were anchovies, dried lima beans, pine nuts, and gelatin.  Before the recipes, Zakarian gives a brief introductory description of each ingredient, as well as tips for storing and cooking them.  He also provides a variety of recipes using the ingredients including drinks, appetizers, salads, snacks, main dishes, side dishes and desserts.  We made the “Sweet and Spicy Popcorn” which we posted here.    We made the “Mushroom Soy Turkey Burgers” but found that they lacked flavor and weren’t worth posting.  We started to make the Elbow Macaroni with Crispy Bread Crumbs and Broccoli, but were going to substitute cauliflower, and then didn’t feel inspired to make it and ended up making a cauliflower macaroni and cheese instead.   There’s a decent amount of family friendly recipes in this cookbook including “Magnificent Meatballs” and “Family Chicken Fingers.”  My daughter was browsing through the cookbook and bookmarked the “Cinnamon Cupcakes, “Apple Cider Doughnuts” and the “Maple Candied Apples”…….all treats of course!

We’re not sure who exactly the targeted audience is for this cookbook.  While it appears that the goal of the cookbook is to use ingredients from your pantry, we found the majority of the recipes called for other ingredients that one would have to buy.  Most of the recipes also called for some type, if not multiple types, of fresh herbs. Overall, we were not impressed with book. Although the recipes seem promising, the concept falls short. Having all of the 50″essential ingredients” doesn’t get you very far toward actually cooking the dishes.

We received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  As always, all opinions are our own.