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Stop Drop and Cook: Everyday Dutch Oven Cooking with Food Storage -- a cook book review
It's customary -- when going off to college or leaving home for the first time -- to head out the door with a saucepan and a frying pan (some of you rural folks say, "fry pan") as the first kitchen staples. But perhaps that's wrong thinking! It would seem, according to a book published last year, that a Dutch oven is the original jack-of-all-trades in cookware. by Mark Hansen introduces beginners to the use of the old style of cookware, as well as long term survival preparation. I was happy to given a review copy of the book. Stop Drop and Cook: Everyday Dutch Oven Cooking with Food
The book first goes into what type of Dutch oven -- an enclosed, elongated, deep pan -- to buy, as well as how to care for it. While the author discusses the various theories on how to clean your purchase, all agree that one should never put one in the dishwasher. Various brands and sizes are mentioned, but the differences between each are not discussed.
There are special qualities about Dutch ovens that make them perfect for campers, outdoor grillers and potentially, preppers having to cook outside the home in an emergency situation.
- They can withstand direct fire
- Remove the top for frying/browning capabilities
- With a sufficiently deep oven, you can cook liquid, slow-simmering dishes such as chili, stew, etc.
- You can cook large portions at a time
The book has a list of supplies that differentiate between short-term and long-term storage.
One of the themes that re-appear throughout the various chapters is the importance -- for preppers -- to include spices, seasonings, flavorings, desserts and other treats to boost the appeal of emergency meals.
The book is good about including step-by-step instructions for each recipe as well as preparation of the cookware. However, there aren't any photographs, which really add to the enjoyment of any cookbook. Our appetites are stoked by seeing delicious foods, which inspire us to actually make the dish.
This is not the book to reach for if you're looking for exotic or modern cuisine. The recipes are basic stick-to-your-ribs, carb-intensive foods. You'll find ideas such as biscuits, breakfast casseroles, stews. No doubt, they would be satisfying if meals are severely rationed and one is forced to live off one meal for a long period of time.
However, they would be lacking in important nutrients, fiber, for regular meals. Additionally, for those who must limit red meat and/or carbohydrate consumption, there are very few options.
Additionally, though the recipes use mostly fresh ingredients, they tend to dupe things one would buy in a can. It's as though they're compiled by a bachelor type who has never been influenced by the wide range of cuisine from ethnic restaurants, farm to table bistros, regional specialties or more figure-friendly cafes.