Dec 20, 2010

Book Review: Flying Dog’s Dog Chow Cookbook

I’m a pretty big fan of most of the beer that Maryland based Flying Dog Brewery puts out. When I was given the opportunity to get a copy of their newly released cook book for review, I raised my hand like that spastic kid in grade school that just had to answer every question no matter how wrong he/she was.

Flying Dog Cookbook
Dog Chow photo

“The Dog Chow Cook Book” isn’t really a cook book in the traditional sense. It’s a thin spiral bound book totally 22 pages laid out in the frenetic style that adorns their label artwork. The layout looks great and is quite dynamic, showing off the photos of the beer and food quite well on a heavy stock paper that indicates a quality print job. The language throughout the pages is casual, light-hearted and entertaining — if not a bit raw at times. Be sure to read the footnotes in each recipe, as well.

Flying dog do a nice job with this short 8-recipe dive into cooking with beer. They do the smart thing and lead off with an introduction of cooking with beer that spans the gamut (baking, braising, frying, deglazing, marination, emulsifying, poaching and grilling) of preparing your dinner with their products (and this is ultimately what the cook book is all about — selling their beer).

The last four pages of the short publication are dedicated to pairing food and beer complete with a nice set of loose guidelines if you’re just dipping your toes into the pairing pool for the first time. In addition to the tips, the brewery does a nice job detailing their own products in terms of the beers’ flavors notes and potential food pairings. This was of particular interest to me as I’m more about drinking the beer with dinner than I am cooking with it.

As for the recipes, there are some tasty sounding options:

I haven’t yet attempted any of the recipes, but the Braised Brisket is on the docket for the next couple of weeks (I’ll be sure to post a review of how it turned out). On a side note, the wife and I did cook up a pot roast the other night using the brewery’s Road Dog Porter that turned out quite nice. Perhaps Flying Dog will be accepting customer submissions for the next installment of recipes.

The cook book retails for $5.00 online at the brewery’s website and so far, from what I’ve seen (and read) that seems pretty reasonable.