ForeWord Reviews

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Wicked Good Food

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

Wicked good is a bit of an oxymoron. However, that’s probably the best description for some of the sinfully rich recipes in this fine cookbook. Mashed potatoes blended with butter, sour cream, and heavy cream, for example, are wicked for waist watchers but they’re darn good for the taste buds.

Wicked Good Food features sections on appetizers and snacks; soups, chilies, and salads; entrees; starches and vegetables; and desserts; amongst others. The introduction contains a “how to” section where readers will find quick tips for baking, roasting, grilling, deep frying vs. shallow frying, steaming, and more. There’s also a handy guide to well-stocked kitchen tools—from pots and pans to blowtorches and measuring tools. Four appendices, a glossary, an index, and a “things you should know” chapter complete the book.

Matthew D. Williams, an award winning chef and author, lives in Massachusetts where he heads a culinary arts program and provides private chef services.
Busy people who want to prepare fresh and delicious meals will find everything they’re looking for in this cooking gem. From basic standbys like creamed soups, salads, and baked desserts, to a few decadent surprises like Lobster Roll, Pancake Chicken w/Maple Butter, and Yeast Donuts.

While some of the recipe names sound fancy and difficult, they’re actually easy to follow. There’s no haughty cuisine requiring exotic or hard to find ingredients, and everyone—baker, fryer, and party maker—will find something to love.

Cooks in a pinch to prepare a complete family meal simply need to choose a selection from the entree chapter, which is heavy on lean-protein selections, and two from the starches and vegetables chapter. Most of the recipes offer a simple ingredient list and no fuss.

And those seeking to cook for a crowd can choose from an alluring list of party pleasers, including Mini Beef Wellingtons, Crab Rangoons with Ginger Dipping Sauce, and Williams’ fresh salsa recipe.

Dieters won’t find nutrition and calorie information for the recipes, although the not so waist-friendly dishes are easy to spot based on ingredients and cooking techniques, e.g., deep fried.

The book’s front cover features a full-bleed color photo of a bowl of French fries, in addition to chicken wings, red velvet cake and spaghetti—any one of these will make a red-blooded American instantly seek out the recipe. The back cover photo shows the author as a child—already at work in the kitchen.

Whether readers select a wicked recipe or a healthy one, it’s sure to satisfy all who partake of the finished result. This simple, home-style cookbook is a great addition to the unpretentious cookbook shelf.

Angela Black