A few weeks ago I was contacted about reviewing a new cookbook, which has just hit the shelves–Domestic Chic by Kristin Sollenne. I said yes, because I’m one of those people who will read a cookbook front to back, beginning to end, like it’s a regular book (I know, that’s a little weird, but it’s what I do). For one, that helps me, because I can start flagging things I want to make right away. For another, I get a better feel of the book and its layout, which helps me when I need to find a recipe that interests me.
The copy I received was a true review copy, in that the pages of the book were plain, printed paper. The for-sale copies will be printed with glossy paper.
I like that there’s a photo with every recipe. I find that helpful, so that I have somewhat of an idea what the dish should look like. And I like that this is divided into menus, based on seasons and/or holidays. It also gives you a list of seasonal produce that the recipes utilize:
One thing I didn’t quite care for is that the book contains an actual Table of Contents, at the beginning of the book, rather than an Index at the end, which seems to be more standard when it comes to cookbooks. For all I know, that could be changed in the final version. And it’s most certainly a personal preference, and really has nothing to do with the quality of the book or its recipes. I thought it worth pointing out, though, because I didn’t really even notice it until I went back to find a recipe I’d mentally bookmarked, and immediately went looking in the back of the book. I might not be the only person caught off-guard by that.
Some background on Kristin (whom I admit, I had never heard of until asked to review this book):
As a rising culinary star and Food Network Judge, Chef Kristin Sollenne has beenmaking headlines for her contemporary food philosophy, lightened-up Italian fare, and approachable cooking tips, with regular appearances on WCBS’s Morning News and WLNY’s “Live from the Couch,” as well as a feature on NBC’s “Today” show, Fox5 Good Day New York, Fox Business and regular guest judge on Beat Bobby Flay and Kitchen Casino on the Food Network. In 2014, she was featured on season ten of Food Network Star as a mentor to finalist Luca Della Casa and will appear in 2016 as a season finale judge for Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America. Sollenne, a 2013 honoree of Zagat’s Top 30 under 30, has cooked for Taylor Swift, Seth Rogan, Ed Sheeran and the entire SNL cast. She adds author under her belt with the release of her first cookbook – Domestic Chíc, A Fashionably Fabulous Guide to Cooking and Entertaining by the Seasons. Inspired to modernize the woman chef, Kristin has designed a line of kitchen couture designer aprons, CELLINI to keep you feeling fabulous in the kitchen.
There are no doubt those of you who probably have heard of Kristin–We don’t have cable, so if something isn’t on NBC, we never see it. I haven’t watched the Food Network in about 8 years.
I asked for and received permission to cook and share one of the recipes in the book, and since it’s the weekend, I went with a breakfast/brunch recipe, specifically Lemon Pancakes:
They caught my eye right away because the first ingredient in the recipe is crème fraîche, and I do love crème fraîche. I served them with some sausage on the side, but if you wanted to lighten up the meal, you could use turkey bacon.
The recipe itself is easy to follow, though I did notice a mistake. An ingredient in the list was left out of the directions. The recipe below contains my correction. I would assume that it’ll be corrected in the final printing. Mix the crème fraîche, melted butter and eggs in a bowl and beat well. Add lemon juice and zest, mix well. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder, and stir in wet batter, but do not over mix. Preheat a griddle or nonstick pan to medium heat and add vegetable oil. Pour the pancake mixture in pan to desired size and cook 2-3 minutes until browned on bottom. Flip pancake and brown opposite side. *As I did not have vegetable oil, I sprayed my pan with cooking spray instead
The recipe itself was easy enough to follow–The mistake was that there was no mention of the baking powder other than in the ingredient list. I simply mixed that with the flour and sugar, and proceeded with the recipe. The pancakes themselves are not very sweet, but very lemony and tart. They also appear like they’d be very dense, but their texture is surprisingly light. I dusted them with powdered sugar, as they are in the book photo, and ate a couple that way. I did find them to be a tad dry, so I ate a couple with some additional butter. I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea of having maple syrup on them, so I didn’t try them that way. Still, if you like lemon-flavored anything, give these a try. The bambino asked for seconds on them, so if a 7-year-old scarfs them up, that means they’re good!
Mix the crème fraîche, melted butter and eggs in a bowl and beat well. Add lemon juice and zest, mix well.
Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder, and stir in wet batter, but do not over mix.
Preheat a griddle or nonstick pan to medium heat and add vegetable oil.
Pour the pancake mixture in pan to desired size and cook 2-3 minutes until browned on bottom. Flip pancake and brown opposite side.
*As I did not have vegetable oil, I sprayed my pan with cooking spray instead
DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of Domestic Chic for review purposes. No other compensation was received. I was under no obligation to post a review. I received permission to share the recipe in this post.