Chrissy Teigen has been lauded the queen of many things: clapbacks, relatability, Twitter, and, most importantly, food. Her two cookbooks, Cravings and Cravings 2, have launched her into a new website, kitchen line, and more. Though I'm not necessarily a mega-fan, I am constantly impressed by her natural talent in the kitchen and her recognition that cooking doesn't have to be fancy. So, in an effort to use my cookbooks more, I decided to throw a dinner party using only her recipes (that have sat way too long on my bookshelf unused). Here are my true thoughts on the dishes, no exaggeration needed:
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Difficulty level: 3/10
Overall rating: 6/10
First things first, I loooovvveee a summer roll, so I had incredibly high hopes for this dish. But, sadly, it just wasn't memorable whatsoever. Not only was it incredibly labor-intensive (it literally took up my entire counter space), the end product was prettier than it was flavorful. Made up of reliable ingredients (shrimp, mint, basil, carrots, noodles), you'd think I'd love this more, but it's easier and more cost-efficient to just order some from your local takeout and call it a day.
Cook time: 15 minutes
Difficulty level: 1/10
Overall rating: 8.5/10
This slaw was a true side dish: delicious, inoffensive, and easily paired. The recipe is fairly simple to assemble, complete with cabbage and a very oil-heavy dressing (3 different oils are used!), but the end product is lacking the texture and oomph of a full-fledged slaw. However, I think you can bring it from a nice complement to a full-scale, memorable dish with the addition of a few ingredients. I'd recommend adding avocado, shredded chicken, and/or vermicelli noodles to the dish (which we did the next day for lunch) to really bring it up a notch. The end product was so beyond delicious, I went back for seconds.
Cook time: 25 minutes (active)
Difficulty level: 4/10
Overall rating: 9.5/10
Point blank: This is a perfect sandwich. It is flavorful, balanced, incredibly easy to make, and a true crowd-pleaser. A lot of Chrissy's recipes over-promise, but somehow she undersold this one. What I love most is that both her quick pickles and pork marinade can be made a mere hour before eating, and the end product is still flavorful. We will never, ever order a banh mi sandwich again now that we can have these at home. Bonus? The pickles you make last up to a week, so you can make the recipe the following day and top off basic lunches throughout your week.
Cook time: 20 minutes
Difficulty level: 3/10
Overall rating: 7.5/10
Okay, so, the title of this recipe is kind of misleading. Unless you have corn syrup and Rice Krispies on hand, you're buying more than three ingredients at the store. The assembly of this dessert was seamless and easy, though I was instantly taken aback that there were no eggs in this dish as a traditional mousse would have. After quickly incorporating the ingredients, I let the dish set in the fridge and made the crackle for topping. The final product, while good, wasn't really a mousse. It was much more similar to a pot de creme or cheesecake filling- which obviously is not a bad thing! Also, the crackle is not bad in its own right, but its flavor and texture "third wheel" with the otherwise perfect pair of chocolate and whipped cream. Next time I make this at home (and I will make this again), I'll definitely forego the topping.
Overall, for as delicious as the slaw and sandwiches were, her cookbook is kind of all over the place in terms of the types of dishes she offers and the ingredients needed. I truly struggled to make a cohesive meal out of it, which is why our dinner party turned into a "test kitchen" with our dish elements scattered throughout the apartment. I recommend making one dish from the book and finding supporting recipes elsewhere! I'll be reaching for her book for quick party bites or reliable sandwiches, but I'll probably leave the dessert and technique-heavy recipes to my reliable sources.
Have you cooked from Cravings? What did you think? Should I attempt another cookbook? Let me know in the comments! x