The Founding Farmers Cookbook Cookbook Review

I was provided an eBook copy of The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & Drink from the Restaurant Owned by American Family Farmers to review. Founding Farmers is apparently a restaurant in the Washington, D.C. area which is owned by family farmers, according to its website. So basically- classic American food, served restaurant style. 

The cookbook is designed simply and beautifully, with full-page photos of most of the recipes and simple, strong fonts that make it easy to read. Comparing the book to the current menu posted online, I'm sure this restaurant has loyal fans who are very excited to see this cookbook. Not knowing the restaurant, perusing this cookbook makes me want to visit. All of the food looks so great!

I decided to try the Chicken Pot Pie recipe. Chicken Pot Pie is one of those things that many restaurants do, but few do really well. They are either too small, too dry, or too bland. This recipe is certainly none of the above, providing generous portions and lots of flavor and fat- maybe a bit too much fat. More on that in a minute.

The recipe first has you make a veloute with some veggies and aromatics, and then straining the veggies and stuff out of it. That made a really yummy veloute but also was a time-consuming and slightly difficult process, especially straining, because the veloute was thick.  

The veloute
Then you start over with new veggies, potatoes, etc and a few odd ingredients like a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. I can see why the restaurant does that, since they want their food to be extra pretty, but if I make this recipe again I will probably just use the stuff that's in the veloute because it was a lot of work to cook all that stuff twice. My tasters, hubby and a friend, both though the maple syrup was unnecessary, adding a sweetness that wasn't really needed. It didn't bother me, but I have to admit I wouldn't miss it either.

Fresh from the oven
You can make this as individual portions, and it makes four, but I didn't have the right size individual casserole dish, so I followed the instructions for a full casserole and topped with puff pastry. The recipe called for basting the pastry in butter, which was completely unnecessary and just made pools of butter form on top of the casserole. There is so much fat in this recipe, between butter, olive oil, cream, and whole milk, that the casserole was really fatty. Of course fat = flavor, my tasters did not complain about this at all, and I have to admit, it was pretty tasty, but I felt like it was a little too much fat.

I'm not giving up on this recipe or this cookbook, though. Restaurant recipes are oftentimes a lot fattier than their home-cooking counterparts, with steps you wouldn't take at home, and quirks specific to their own chefs. Bottom line- both of my tasters and I had seconds, and hubby and I had the leftovers for dinner tonight. With a few tweaks to make it more suited to home cooking and eating, this pot pie recipe will be a big winner, and I am sure there are plenty of fans of the restaurant who will be excited to see these recipes in print.

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