Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review: Melt: The Art of Macaroni & Cheese

Title: Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese
Authors: Stephanie Stiavetti, Garrett McCord
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 22nd 2013
Source: Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company


Four stars.

Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese is a cook book that specializes in various combinations of pasta and cheeses. The title is a bit misleading- this isn't just a collection of different American comfort food recipes. This book contains exotic and ethnic variations, including dishes from Greece, Mexico, and India.

This book is divided into sections: Always Refreshing, Stovetop Delights, Hearty & Satisfying, & On the Sweet Side. I really like this organization, because whether you want a filling casserole or a light summer pasta salad, you know what section to look in.

Though this cook book does not have a picture for every recipe, it does have quite a few, and the quality of these pictures is fantastic. If you didn't want to try these recipes just by reading their names and ingredients, the pictures will make you want to cook them immediately. For me, pictures are crucial for a good cook book, and Melt definitely has them.

Readers should take note that, as I mentioned above, this is definitely not just a comfort food book as the title suggests. There are a lot of gourmet dishes, with a lot of gourmet ingredients to match. Among them, there are a lot of name brand cheeses that are mentioned that might not be readily available to the average home cook. I personally live in a big city, so it wouldn't be too big of an issue, but not everyone lives so close to specialty shops.

That being said, the authors do try to remedy this by adding a list of acceptable substitute cheeses at the end of each recipe. Also at the end of each dish is a list of other flavors that work with the ingredients in the recipe, and a few wine pairing suggestions. I found that to be extremely helpful, because I have no idea how to pair wines (and I openly admit it!).

The instructions are clear and concise, and the authors include facts and tips for cooking/selecting both cheese and pastas alike.

Some of the dishes from this book that I'm the most excited to try are:

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Leonora Goat Cheese, Star Pasta, and Gingersnaps
Cahill's Irish Porter Cheddar with Bacon and Stout
& Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and Macaroni

This is a cook book that I would definitely keep handy in my kitchen, despite the misleading title. There is a huge variety of ethnicities, ingredients, and cooking techniques at work here, and as an avid cheese aficionado I recommend this to cooks, cheese lovers, and pasta lovers alike.

Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for my copy. Photo courtesy of Netgalley.


  1. Oh my gosh, there's so many good recipes! You've got me craving mac and cheese like nobody's business xD My cookbook list just got a little longer!

    1. Haha. Don't you always crave cheese though? ;)

  2. Mmm and now I want mac and cheese. lol It's so my weakness. It sounds like a great cookbook. I really like that they give some alternatives. I live in a nice sized city but whew sometimes it's hard to track some of the specialty items down.

    1. I liked that too. I live in a big city, but I go to school in a rural place. It's nice to know I can use this book both places.

  3. Aww, yay! Thank you so much for the review, Jillyn. It means a lot to me and to Stephanie. You'll dig the pumpkin recipe, I made it again last night and I do have to say that it definitely is one of the favorites. The pictures come from Matt Armendariz, and his husband Adam Pearson is the stylist. They're worth looking up just so you can see more of their amazing work.
    Again, thank you!
    Curds & whey,

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I definitely need to pick up a hard copy of this. My girlfriend is from Wisconsin- I need to know how to cook with as many cheeses as possible!