The Skillet Cookbook | Josh Henderson

 

From the truck to the diner, Skillet is a delicious journey.

The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto

TITLE: The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto
AUTHOR: Josh Henderson
PUBLISHER: Sasquatch Books
CUISINE: Diner/Street Food

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Featured Ingredient: Aioli
Aioli is a Provençal traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and (typically) egg. There areaioli bright with yolks with Ladleah's chickens and Morse's pickles by kthread many variations, such as the addition of mustard or, in Catalonia, pears. It is usually served at room temperature. The name aioli (alhòli) comes from Provençal alh ‘garlic’ (< Latin allium) + òli ‘oil’

Aioli is, like mayonnaise, an emulsion or a suspension of small globules of oil and oil-soluble compounds in water and water-soluble compounds. Egg yolk can be used as an emulsifier and is generally used in making aioli. However, mustard and garlic both have emulsion-producing properties and some variants (such as Catalan Allioli) omit the egg. [Wikipedia]

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First Impressions
I love The Skillet Diner, so it’s a little tough to be subjective. But, duty calls and I must try my best. Here goes. The book itself has a retro feel to it. That’s owed in large part to the black and white format. Photographs by Sarah Jurado provide a glimpse into the diner and the famous Skillet food truck/Airstream. The dishes included are spilt nicely between meal types. The small finish size means it won’t need much real estate on your book shelf.

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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Dessert

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Food trucks have been around for a little bit now. So, when you watch this old news report featuring the Skillet truck it seems funny. Food served out of a truck, what a crazy concept, I can’t believe that would catch on…

Oh, I’ve got a bonus video for you today. The Poutine that Skillet serves is amazing (as you find out later). Here’s a look at this unique Canadian food fav. What is Poutine?

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The Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Skillet Granola Guanciale with Fried Egg on Brioche
Crab Cake Po’Boy with Lemon “Aioli” Duck Tacos
Fried Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Jalapeno “Aioli” Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate

 

I’m lucky enough to have been to the diner. My son and I actually took my wife there for Mother’s Day (what a treat for her, right?). I had to be talked into ordering the Skillet Poutine (p. 67). I’m not sure why, probably a brain cramp. It is a bowl of pure, unrepentant, deliciousness. If you’re a fan of cheese or gravy fries, then this will blow you away. The Sockeye with Mashed Potatoes (p.109) is a great way to showcase some of the Pacific Northwest’s amazing seafood. And, of course it would be hard to pass up the Nutella Crostini (p.128). Nutella spread on anything is great. It’s ramped up with the addition of a little caramelized banana.

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Special Features
The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food ManifestoThe commentary on the history of the food truck and diner are an important part of the book. It’s easy to see after reading through the stories just how passionate Josh is about his food. It gives some great context to the recipes that follow. As a way to wrap this up in a tidy package, there is a short look at Josh’s food/business/life philosophy towards the back of the book. It’s presented in a very thoughtful, humble and introspective way. Interesting given that the fact that the food is so bold and confident. It’s a nice way finish the meal.

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Conclusions
If you have a Skillet connection of any kind, this book is a must for you. If you don’t, this is a fantastic way to acquaint yourself with some of Seattle’s best food. The recipes aren’t for culinary novices. Some dishes suggest a one day head start! They’re doable, but, you’ve got to want it. There are just over thirty recipes in the book. It seems like there’s more. The book has a feel that is a lot like the finished food. Easy to love, but, leaves you wanting more.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto

 

 

Resources, Links and Press
The Skillet Street Food Website
Seattle Times review of the diner
Skillet Street Food on Twitter
Seattle Magazine review of the diner

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