Cookbook Club: Breakfast, Brunch, and Beyond

At the November Cookbook Club meeting, we reviewed Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, and Beyond.  Clinton St. Baking Company is a restaurant in New York City's Lower East Side, famous for its Sunday brunch.  The restaurant came out with its first cookbook late last year.  As they don't take reservations, and the Sunday brunch waiting list can be hours long, this cookbook is closest many will come to experiencing the "Best Brunch Spot in the Whole Damn Country."


Overall Rating: 2.5 stars

In addition to the dishes pictured below, we also made spring pea puree soup, tomato zucchini bisque, the farmer's plate and sugar-cured bacon (we made this with duck "bacon" so we can't really comment on the real recipe, although the stuff we made was quite tasty).

Buttermilk biscuits (whole wheat and regular) - pretty good, but definitely not a southern-style, flaky biscuit.

Sunshine yogurt muffins - AMAZING - but let's be serious, these are cupcakes

Baked truffled grits - delicious (but when it's 50% grits and 50% cheese, it's bound to be pretty tasty)

Jalapeno cornbread

Goat cheese and herb muffins

French toast - this was pretty freakin' fantastic

and, of course, booze: hot buttered cider, bloody marys, bellinis, and mimosas

Overall, the recipes are delicious and easy to make.  We found two problems with the cookbook: (1) there are noticeably few egg recipes (several "scrambled eggs with different sides" recipes, but no quiche recipe? blasphemy to breakfasts everywhere!); and (2) some of the recipes seem like cop-outs.  Yes, we want recipes that don't require hours of prep and crazy ingredients.  But, when two pages are devoted to buttermilk biscuits and another two to whole wheat buttermilk biscuits (where the only change is subbing whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour), you have to wonder if the writers were just looking for filler.

That said, the book has a few stand-out gems, and would be a great addition to your cookbookshelf.  A must-read for those who want to serve a knock-out carb-based brunch.

Stay tuned for December's Cookbook Club where we review:

Cookbook Club Rating System:
-3 stars: This cookbook is essential, buy it now
-2 stars: Good overall, a nice addition, but not an urgent buy
-1 star: Meh; one or two good ideas, but not worth the money
-0 stars: Would work better as kindling than a cookbook

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What was cooking this time last year?  Two years ago?

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