I’ll admit that I am not a member of the target audience for Dan Churchill’s DudeFood: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking Kick-Ass Food. Being a creature of habit, I tend to make the same thing over and over (and over) again; I just never feel I have the time to find something new, do the shopping, then actually cook it. I picked up DudeFood because the recipes looked appetizing, the ingredients were common (I didn’t have to find a specialty store for something I’ve never heard of), most of the recipes come with a beautiful full color picture of what the final dish should look like, and very impressively, Churchill has selected ingredients that place a variety of color onto the plate.
Churchill’s rhetoric is humorous. Most recipe books break down the food by main dish, side, salad, dessert, or some such thing. Churchill breaks food down in a different manner, such as “Foods That Last”, “The Hangover Cure” “Finger-Licking Feeds” or “How to Impress a Girl” (the Sweet Potato and Lime Mash greatly impressed me). Churchill measures nuts, spinach, arugula, and similar ingredients by small handful, handful, or big handful. In his directions for crushing walnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts, Churchill says, “the nuts should still be solid… if they look like bread crumbs, you don’t need another gym session” (from Oven-Baked Peach Surprise, which is an awesome treat).
Pictures and humorous words on the page don’t matter if the recipes are not doable or the result isn’t satisfying. I found many new favorites recipes within the pages of DudeFood. The recipes range from somewhat simple, to a little more complex, to I didn’t know I could do that (such as making a successful Chocolate Soufflé). The Basic Bro Burger (from the “Hangover Cure Section”) was possibly the best burger to come off my grill leading to raves from visiting friends. The Pizza In A Pan recipe is probably the recipe I’ve made most from this book. It is essentially an open-faced omelet and is a quick dish full of color, and perfect for any meal of the day. The Pea Mash (with the Marinated Sirloin) was a surprise–adding chive, garlic and sour cream with mashed peas made this side dish pop.
DudeFood is a recipe book that will remain readily available on my kitchen shelf. I’ve tried many recipes within these pages and plan to make many more. The ingredients are ones I commonly purchase or have in my fridge/pantry, the directions are clear (and humorous), and the results are fantastic. I appreciated the ability to create a satisfying meal without using an enormous amount of time (Churchill is upfront about preparing ahead for the few recipes that need time). If I had any complaints about this cookbook, it’d be for the lack of nutritional data for the recipes; however, this is easily remedied utilizing any number of fitness apps that allow for recipe input. In the end, I’ve found DudeFood an easy to use cookbook with healthy recipes that are delicious.
Nina Longfield is a writer living in Oregon’s fertile wine country. When she is not reading or writing in her spare time, Nina enjoys hiking in the hills surrounding her cabin.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.