Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review: Man Made Meals

Title: Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys
Author: Steven Raichlen
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: May 6th 2014
Source: Netgalley & Workman Publishing


Five stars.


Author of cookbooks such as The Barbecue Bible! and BBQ USA Steve Raichlen is back with a new cookbook designed with men in mind: Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys. This guide is a must have for pros and newbies alike. From appetizers to dessert, simple to complex there is at least one dish in this book that you'll need to try.

Let's get something straight- I eat far more like a man than I do like a woman. And no, I don't mean in quantity. I like my food chock full of meat and bold flavors, and this book contains recipes full of both. This book is pumped full of peppers, meat, bacon, whiskey, and cheese. (Insert Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor grunting here, please.) That being said, this book is so diverse. There are dishes slammed with flavor and sinful ingredients, yes. But there is also a vegetarian section, and more delicate plates like salads and tartares. This book is divided both by course and by ingredient, making it easy to pick what you'd like to cook. This book extends beyond "guy" ingredients like beef and bacon and includes things like pheasant and squid. To give you some perspective, there were maybe ten things in this 600+ plus page book that didn't sound damned delicious. The pictures in this book are also really well done- it made me hungry to flip through this monstrous collection of recipes.

Speaking of pictures, I am exceedingly grateful for the amount of them in this book. Now, don't tell my girlfriend, but I picked this book out with her in mind. I was raised in a kitchen, but I'm just starting to coax out her inner foodie. This book is perfect for her. Raichlen offers step-by-step instructions for kitchen skills such as carving a turkey or eating a lobster, with a picture taken at each step. It's incredibly easy to follow along. In addition, this book is sprinkled with hints and guides on how to buy the best ingredients, how to clean them, and how to substitute ingredients if you don't necessarily have access to them all. In fact, a lot of the recipes include variation edits for just that reason.

I also really liked the interview profiles included here from "food dudes". Including chefs, TV personalities, musicians and more, Raichlen finds out what each of these dudes loves to cook, and their advice on cooking. It was a nice break from recipes, and interesting to read since I recognized a few of the names.

Now, I'm not going to give too much of this book away because I fully believe that y'all should get a copy of this one for yourselves. But, I will say that a few of the recipes that I can't wait to try are Belgian Beer Brownies, Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese with Ham, Saganaki (one of my favorites!), and Windy City Pork Chops (gotta rep Chicago after all). Whether you're a heavy eater or a light snacker, a carnivore or veggie lover, there's a recipe in here for you. I know that we'll be getting a copy of this for sure. Thanks to Netgalley & Workman Publishing for my copy in exchange for my honest review.


  1. There are no words to describe how much I want this cookbook in our house. The fact that it has so many pictures documenting the steps of prep and cooking is a huge plus for me since I'm such a visual learner, I can follow pictures and video a lot better than words by themselves.

    1. I think you'd learn a lot from it for sure.