Test Kitchen: Rock Recipes 2

August 28, 2015

With the fall season about to kick off, we’re making our new TBR lists and checking them twice (wait, I think that’s for a different season). One new title that made it to the top of all of our lists here at ALU HQ was Rock Recipes 2 by Barry C. Parsons. We all love to eat and many a conversation over here starts with “I just found an amazing recipe for…” so this one was a no brainer. Especially after our experience with the original Rock Recipes cook book, which we tried out in our winter Test Kitchen. It was definitely a crowd-pleaser!

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With the fall season about to kick off, we’re making our new TBR lists and checking them twice (wait, I think that’s for a different season). One new title that made it to the top of all of our lists here at ALU HQ was Rock Recipes 2 by Barry C. Parsons. We all love to eat and many a conversation over here starts with “I just found an amazing recipe for…” so this one was a no brainer. Especially after our experience with the original Rock Recipes cook book, which we tried out in our winter Test Kitchen. It was definitely a crowd-pleaser!

Parsons is a home chef whose blog has hundreds of thousands of followers all across North America and it is easy to see why. His recipes are easy to follow and work for the average person who wants to be able to put a delicious meal on the table but doesn’t want to have to search for fancy ingredients you can’t even pronounce.

With Rock Recipes 2 due out in just a few days ( sign up to get an email reminder now!) we each selected a recipe to test out on each other. If you’re not hungry now, you will be after you finish reading this blog post. You’ve been warned!

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We started out our meal with a couple of apps:

 

FishCakes

First up was traditional Newfoundland Fish Cakes. Made with fresh fish (though you can use salt dried cod), these fish cakes can take some time, depending on how fastidious you are, but the results are definitely worth it. The delicate fish flavour combined with the smoothness of the mashed potatoes make these cakes hard to resist. Are you pro ketchup or against?

 

Burgers

Next, we turned the Peanut Butter Sriracha Bacon Cheeseburgers into sliders, basically so we could eat more (and it worked if the before and after photos below are any indication!). None of us had ever tried peanut butter on a burger before but we have both peanut butter and sriracha lovers in this office so our curiosity had to be appeased. And it was delicious! You have every kind of flavor—sweet, salty, smoky, and spicy—all coming together in one magical bite. And if you’ve never had a bacon blanket then you must try one; it ensures maximum bacon coverage. Which is a must.

 

Noodles

Next we took a bit of a breather with a rice noodle dish, Spicy Ginger Orange Noodles. This side dish, with its grated ginger pieces and bamboo shoots, provided a lighter fresh flavour. While we followed the recipe as written, Parsons suggests this is a great base recipe that can be modified depending on whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand. Hands definitely all went up when asked if we’d make this one again.

 

Chicken

We continued on with another Asian-inspired recipe: Baked General Tso Chicken. A classic Chinese take-out menu item, we all agreed that this version tastes better than any we’d tried before. And it was really easy to make! You probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard right now. So go make it. You won’t be disappointed. We may have even (politely) fought over the leftovers.

 

Carrots

We rounded out the main course of our meal with a veggie dish: Honey Roasted Carrots with Mint. A very traditional side dish, carrots may seem like a simple choice but the fresh mint flavour plus the sweetness of the honey makes your palate sit up and take notice. Next time you’re roasting vegetables throw in some carrots and partway through toss them in a pan with some fresh mint. It adds a whole new dimension.

 

Dessert

It was tough to even think about dessert after all that food but put a plate of these bars down in front of anyone, and they will disappear. These Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars are so creamy and smooth with a pop of tartness from the lemon and gooeyness from the blueberries. They satisfy the craving for cheesecake with a lot less fuss. In less than twenty minutes you can have these guys in the oven, soon to be on their way into your belly. These scored a ten across the board!

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If you’re not hungry now, then I’m not sure what’s up with your stomach. If you are hungry, then you should consider Rock Recipes 2 by Barry C. Parsons. It’s filled with many delicious looking ideas—it was actually really tough for each of us to select just one recipe to try. Thank you to Breakwater Books for giving us a sneak peek!

 

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