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Reata: Legendary Texas Cooking Hardcover – 1 Dec 2008

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
REAL cookbook? Or vanity press item? 28 April 2009
By K. Dignan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We tried to visit the restaurant in Alpine, but couldn't make it work with our schedule. So I got the book. It was beautiful and the early recipes I made were great.

So I invited 18 friends over and made a dinner with 8 recipes (plus "sub recipes-- those that are within a recipe, like the Chipotle Cream Sauce. This seems to be very common in the book.)

The number of serious errors in this book are totally unacceptable. The only reason that the dinner was so good is that the basic foods are good, but the writing is very bad. The dinner would have been much worse if I didn't have experience as a professional cook. Below is a listing of some of the errors. Some of them.

We found basic errors in the recipes:
* The Cajeta is either wrong or poorly written. It calls for 4 cups of sugar and a cup of water, which you cook till the sugar dissolves. What happens is that the sugar absorbs the water or it evaporates, leaving you with crystallized sugar. Most recipes call for 2 quarts of cream and 1-2 cups of sugar.

* The Braised Cabbage had too much vinegar, or the instructions were in error. It calls for 2 cups of vinegar. This is supposed to cook off/be absorbed in 5 minutes. It is more like a soup at that point. The added sugar can't caramelize with that much vinegar.

* The Stacked Chicken Enchiladas ask for 2.5 cups of Tomatillo Sauce plus 1.5 cups of cream, which are mixed together, resulting in 4 cups of sauce. This is only used to dip the prepared tortilla into, nothing else. So there was about 3 cups extra. What a waste.

* The Stacked Chicken Enchiladas are assembled in "a large baking dish". No indication of how large. When it is all assembled it is put in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. There is no way that it could get warm through the center in that amount of time.

* The Pico Vinaigrette does not look like the picture. In the picture it is mostly white. In reality, with .25 cup of tomato juice and an equal amount of vinegar, it is red.

We found other problems with expressed yields. For example:
* The Chipotle Cream sauce says it yields 3 cups. However, the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of cream and some chiles. Not 3 cups.

* Some recipes don't give any indication of yields.

* Some yields are confusing. For example; the Creme Anglaise recipe yields about 4 cups and serves 8. It is used with the Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding Tamale, which also serves 8. Yet, the tamale recipe calls for only 2 cups of Creme Anglaise. Why the difference? If only 2 cups are needed, why not just make a recipe for 2 cups?

Some information would have been nice to have, although not critical. For example:
* It would have been nice to have volume or pound equivalents for those items that may have wide variations in size. This would include cabbage, onions, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, potatoes, limes, etc.

* I never saw a suggestion for a size of pan, casserole, or other container. That would have made assessing yields easier.

* None of the recipes seem to indicate whether or not it is recommended that the baking container be sprayed with oil. We did, but it would have been nice to know.

As I said above, the food was good. The dessert tamales were amazing. However, the authors and their editors either are very careless, or are more concerned about having a vanity-press item to market their restaurants.

this is my first review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Yum! 6 Jan. 2009
By C. Breck - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am not a proficient cook, so I need a cookbook that is easy to follow and this one fits the bill! The receipes are straightforward and made me look like I knew what I was doing. I used a lot of the dishes over the holidays to rave reviews. The favorites were the guacamole, corn muffins, sour dough biscuits, shrimp enchiladas, potatoes au gratin (with a kick), mac n cheese and the goat cheese salad. The rubs work equally well on meat and fish.

It is also a beautiful book - the photos of Texas are lovely. This could be a cocktail table book in its own right! Would make a great gift for someone who loves upscale tex-mex cooking!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great Comfort Food Recipes and More 7 Jan. 2009
By M. Duncan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I got this cookbook as a gift from a friend who knew how much I loved the traditional Texas comfort foods found at Reata in Fort Worth. Now, I can make the Best Ever Mac and Cheese and their fantastic Jalapeno and Cheddar Grits at home. I served the Maple Duck Breast with Sage Brown Butter Sauce for a holiday party and everyone raved. The recipes are not difficult and are easy to follow. I gave the cookbook to a friend who likes to hunt because there are many recipes for wild game included.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful book -- did exactly what I wanted it to! 14 Jun. 2011
By BlackSheep01 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have "A Cowboy in the Kitchen," and follow Grady Spears' show on RFD TV. I bought this book specifically as a gift, and was not disappointed in any way, shape, or form. The history of the restaurant is touching. The photos (I gave it to my son, who's in "homesick Texan" mode) are absolutely breathtaking. The recipes? I haven't heard any complaints yet!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Cookbook 6 Jan. 2009
By Ann Berry - Published on
Format: Hardcover
After buying 1 for my cookbook collection - I went back and bought 5 more for gifts. Great recipes, entertaining stories and wonderful pictures. I've tried a couple of the recipes with success (totally amazed my family) - next best thing to eating at Reata!!
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