It has been a fascinating experiment testing recipes from Eva’s Kitchen written by Eva Longoria and published by Random House of Canada. I will admit to being a bit resistant to reviewing a celebrity cookbook but I could tell from the poll results of my readers that I was not the only one who was a tad curious about what this Desperate Housewife had to offer us in the kitchen!
What you don’t know is I also made her chunky guacamole where she insists that you use copious amounts of lemon juice and I must admit, it was fantastic on top of this fiesta salad I made.
Her baby spinach and beets salad with goat cheese was very good, even Reg liked it and he is not a big fan of beets. For additional texture I had to add my candied pecans otherwise the salad would have been too soft.
I made the asparagus with Grey Moss Inn white French dressing with shallots instead of white onion which gave it an odd pink hue, LOL. It was OK but I did not find it as memorable as Eva does. It was really, really runny and a tad sharp.
My favourite dish was her chicken with caramelized shallots and shiitake-wine sauce dinner. Absolutely delicious but mine came out this dark red bloody mess of a dish that my camera could not make heads or tails with and looked nothing like how it appears in the cookbook.
As you can see, my results were kind of all over the map. What I did love about the book is hearing Eva’s voice in the introductory paragraphs of each recipe, listening to her stories and finding out why she loves each particular dish. Her personality is evident throughout the book and her dedication to good food is very prevalent.
You do not come across glossy hard cover cookbooks anymore which is reflected in the price but if you are looking for a beautiful cookbook filled with stunning photographs and do not mind paying a little extra, perhaps this is the cookbook for you?
I wish my results had not been so varied, it would make rating this cookbook so much easier. I did enjoy many of the dishes and am grateful to Eva for showing me how to make a red wine reduction, something I have been wanting to learn. This cookbook offers so many styles of food, I know I will not get bored and will continue making recipes from this cookbook.
Taking everything into account, I give this cookbook four out of five wooden spoons. I appreciate the personal touches, the amount of work that went into the photography, the beautiful layout, the quality of the paper and binding… But I am a publishing geek! If you do not care about those things, you might want to give this cookbook a pass.
There is much beautiful food to discover and none of the recipes bored me. That is quite a feat!