But you need to a) be able to find the ingredients and b) have the time to make the recipes. You need a good source for various dried chilis and especially canned chilis in adobo sauce, as well as a couple other ingredients, especially good cheese. And you need the time not to make what are all pretty straight-forward home-cooked dishes at heart, but to kick them up a notch (to mix chefs) and add what makes them restaurant-worthy dishes. This means often making three or four side dishes or sauces or accompaniments for each main course. The main courses are all good enough on their own, like any roast chicken, but what makes this roast chicken really great is the smoking AND the black pepper vinegar sauce AND the spoonbread. Some recipes are dead simple, like the chicken cutlet, which is the best chicken cutlet I've ever had, or the bearnaise butter, which makes a plain steak truly great, and seem simple enough, but with an appetizer and vegetable, end up taking 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. But cooking these recipes gives me the best idea I've ever had into what it takes to make even simple restaurant quality meals, the time and care and cost involved. Without exception, every single dish in this book is worth trying. Many, many new favorites here. This book along with , Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries and Shakes, and Boy Meets Grill, are the very best of Bobby Flay. All of his other books (except Throwdown) seem to be just variations of these three, offering not much else new. The style of cooking, as with all Bobby Flay, is American regional meets the southwest. Period. Which isn't a bad thing at all to be when you feel like eating this sort of food. But beware: eating this way on a daily basis, or even every few days, will kill you.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Not easy...but worth the effort!Sept. 29 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
When you can't get to Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, let Bar Americain come to you!
There is something about Bobby Flay that I find captivating. I met him in person at the Borgata in Atlantic City about 5 years ago at a Women in Wine event, and he's just got the "it" factor that celebrities have. I could have talked to him for hours.
Aside from his persona, the man can cook! I have had the pleasure of eating at both his Bar Americain restaurant in Connecticut as well as the location in New York City. Actually, the last time I was in the city with my husband, we stopped in. We know what we're getting when we go there - the food is familiar with a twist, it's consistently good, and the atmosphere is elegant without being stuffy, and that's a comfort we enjoy after a busy day.
If you go to the Bar Americain website and take a look at the menu, you are looking at the contents for the cookbook. The cookbook leaves nothing off the menu, from your cocktails to dessert. Anything that I have ordered, and wished I could make at home - hello pizza! - is in Bobby Flay's Bar Americain cookbook. Chef Bobby Flay takes traditional American cuisine and puts his own spin on it.
A few of my personal favorites include: Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnut, Vidalia Onion Soup, Hot Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Sauce and the Oven Baked Pizza. These appetizers are worth the time and effort, and can be made into a meal all on their own. I haven't even gotten to the entrees or sides!
There are a few recipes that will definitely be joining my Thanksgiving table this year: Pumpkin Soup with cranberry-maple creme fraiche and the Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
The color photographs are beautiful and helpful to those who have not seen the finished product in person. Not every recipe has a photograph, but those that need it do.
A word of warning, many of these tasty dishes are not for the novice cook, especially the first time around. There are not many dinners from this cookbook you will get on the table in less than 30 minutes. (That being said, there is a reason Rachel Ray doesn't have her own restaurant While I was excited to try out these dishes I love in my own kitchen, I have come to appreciate Bobby Flay and the menu he has put together in his restaurants.
One of my good friends and neighbor is a wonderful cook, and she often turns to Bobby Flay's cookbooks for inspiration, so I have wanted to try some of his recipes for a long time. If you want to impress guests or your family, but want to stay within a certain comfort-zone of food choices, turn to Bobby Flay's Bar Americain cookbook.
Even though the publisher sent me a digital copy for review, this is one cookbook I am going to buy to have in my kitchen!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Fictionators ReviewSept. 30 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Reading Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook gave me the feeling of sitting down with Bobby Flay himself and going over his favorite things to cook. It's personable and fun, with recipes that range from simple to sophisticated.
First of all, regardless of whether it's a shot of a cocktail or Bourbon Praline Profiteroles with Toffee Sauce, the pictures are stunning. The recipes are amazing and cover a wide variety of tastes and interests. Simple recipes and tips, like how to make a Simple Syrup and the kitchen essentials every American pantry should have, were included, and I appreciated that.
I especially enjoyed the appetizer section, which offered great recipes of some of my favorites, with neat twists on serving ideas and variations on them. The Chicken Cutlet recipe was amazing, and even my kids enjoyed the Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
I loved the pictures of Bobby throughout as well as the commentary and bits of information that he gives with most of the recipes. Many cookbooks boast great pictures and commentary, but lack in recipes that the average person would enjoy making. Some cookbooks have great recipes, but too few visual representations to be appealing. The Bar Americain Cookbook is the perfect balance of beautiful photography, great personality, and good food. A must have for any cook.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Pump up your cooking another notch!Oct. 31 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
If you have been cooking for a while and need to elevate your cooking, this cookbook will help! I have had this cookbook only a short time - last night for dinner I made Shrimp and Grits, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding for company. I made Kentucky 95 as a cocktail. Everyone was super impressed, the flavors were nothing short of awesome. Everyone wanted second and thirds. These recipes are not for the beginner or novice cook. These are also not for everyday weeknight cooking. It took me 4 hours total to get the above meal on the table - some of that time was peeling shrimp. For the bread pudding, you have to make the pumpkin bread, toast the cubes, makes the caramel apple sauce, let the custard soak into the bread cubes, etc. The flavors are spot on. My plan is to try a recipe or two every couple of weeks on the weekend. I would say make sure you read the recipes several times before you start cooking so you don't forgot anything and plan your time. Pour a glass of wine (or Bourbon which BF likes!) and some nice music, and get into your kitchen for some awesome food!
25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Tasty!Sept. 23 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook ISBN- 978-0-307-46138-4 The first chapter is Cocktails. Nine refreshing drinks, some are illustrated in clear precise pictures. You can choose a drink from one with blackberries to a drink that you make a mint or cinnamon syrup. If you like both your ice tea and bourbon, then there is a drink for you as well.
Now that you have your drink in hand, you can start making your soups and salads. Soups with roasted corn to vidalia onions. Gumbo to Catham Cod-Manhattan Clam Chowder. Pumpkin soup that includes honey and maple syrup. Off to the salads. Ingredients from apples with toasted walnuts to a fried green tomato salad that has trout and roasted beets for a start and top it with the sweet and sour dressing. Blue crab salad with a lemon dressing to a Boston lettuce salad with buttermilk-blue cheese dressing.
Next we head off into the sandwich section. A unique grilled cheese sandwich with aged cheddar, goat cheese, bacon and green tomato. Sandwiches with lobster, swordfish and pulled barbecued duck. Unique sauces to make for the sandwiches as well. For the southwest flavors there is a green chile cheeseburger. This burger recipe includes a green chile relish made from poblano, hatch & Serrano chile's and top it with a queso sauce.
To the appetizers. The choices here are many. Chips to Johnny cakes. Oysters. Lobsters & crabs oh my! And lets not forget appetizers with shrimp and mussels, tuna and steak. And even an oven baked pizza with double-smoked bacon,caramelized onions and garlic. There are not pictures for every recipe but the pictures that are in the book are mouth watering.
For the seafood lovers, this is your chapter. Blackened sea scallops, crispy soft shell crabs, salmon, red snapper and more. Add some of the relishes and sauces such as a black bean sauce, charred tomato salsa or a mango-avocado relish and you are good to go.
If you have a taste for poultry you will find recipes for chicken, turkey and duck along with sauces and sides. And meat lovers.... lamb, veal, pork, steak and even venison that includes a red cabbage bread pudding and concord grape sauce to make with it. Pictures so realistic they will have you picking up your steak knife and fork but don't forget your napkin as they are mouth watering as well.
I hope you have room for more because here come the side dishes. Potatoes in all kinds of styles, from hash browns and chips to lobster potato salad. And more veggies like peas, kale, corn and asparagus to name a few. Chutney, BBQ baked beans to green chile spoon bread and more.
No time to be full as we are now coming into the bread and desserts section. Black pepper buttermilk biscuits to corn bread sticks. Deep-dish chocolate cream pie to red velvet cake. Bourbon praline profiteroles with buttermilk ice cream to pumpkin bread pudding with a spicy caramel apple sauce to name only a few.
For the brunch folks there is a chapter with eight choices. Blue corn fried eggs with red and green chile sauces and black beans for starters, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal with apples, raisins and more and top it off with the recipe for cinnamon cream. Cracked wheat waffles, flapjacks and crepes.
The sauces and stocks chapter recipes include Bar Americain's barbecue sauce where the Mexican chiles show up with abut fourteen other ingredients. If you like your food to bite back you may want to try the habanero-mango hot sauce, when making this you want to make sure you keep your hands away from your eyes until they are well washed! Green & Red chile sauce goes well with foods from eggs to fish, pork and chicken. The chapter continues with recipes for chicken, lobster, shrimp and vegetable stocks.
The final chapters of this book are Kitchen Essentials, what to have in your pantry in the way of baking ingredients: flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, what canned goods, herbs & spices, fresh produce, frozen products, etc. What equipment you need in the way of measuring cups and spoons, graters, thermometers. What knives, pans and appliances. And finally Bobby shares some cooking techniques; blanching, braising, broiling, cold-smoking, grilling, pan frying, sauce consistency, roasting, sauteing and toasting. Enjoy! **Received through NetGalley for review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Boy leaves grillJan. 10 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I am a big fan of Bobby Flay's cook books. I can say I've never had a bad recipe from them and they are a great standard in my kitchen library so it was no surprise when I had his latest book under my Xmas tree. OK two under the tree was a surprise but I'll leave that to my relatives to sort out. They know a well loved cook book in my kitchen is stained.
Glossy and about the same size as his other books this is the house book for `Bar Americain,' Flay's newest Manhattan restaurant and it has his usual collection of grilled meats, veggies and desserts all looking very good and fun to try. Fan's of Flay's other books though, will notice a subtle difference. Most of this is less the BBQ fair or Tex/Mex themed of his earlier books and projects more of a sophistication. Bar Americain is Flay's idea of a European bistro, working with American tastes and flavors. It is no more or less complex than his earlier cook books, but it relies more on a kitchen and less on a BBQ station.
One can ask, with justification, just how many ways can you possibly write about grilling, and broiling meat but Flay comes through with surprisingly tasty new themes. Veering away from his usual fruit themed toppings to more serious sauces. One prepared for a wonderful ongeltte cut has also done double duty as the left over's went to enhance another book's duck and drizzled on another meal's fajitas.
To look at the book has a large number of color pictures give ideas of what it's supposed to look like. Ingredients are all laid out and directions are straight forward. All that makes it a very good cook book. Add to it Flay's record and it has every sign of being an amazing cook book, for that only time will tell. But for me, the copy I kept for use is already splattered and stained and marked up from use.