Rock Recipes 3: Even More Great Food and Photos From My Newfoundland Kitchen
Barry C. Parsons
Breakwater Books (2020)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (1/2021)
Author of one of Canada’s most popular food blogs, Barry C. Parsons brings his cooking and photography expertise to this, his fifth cookbook “Rock Recipes 3.”
Before sitting down to read this book my husband got to it first. As he does with most cookbooks, he immediately began flipping through it and “flagging” the recipes he intends to try to cook, as the chef of the house. Thus, as I picked it up to read, it was littered with flags on nearly every page.
Covering every imaginable category (chicken, beef and pork, seafood, quick and easy dinners, slow cooked dinners, side dishes/soups/sandwiches/salads, brunch, cookies and bars, cakes and finally desserts), I challenge readers to NOT find at least 10 recipes that look absolutely delectable. Kicking off with chicken, the most searched for type of recipe, each chapter has an easy-to-follow picture bar- and color-coded upper corners to help readers follow along with where they are in the chapter/recipe continuum.
Before diving into each divine recipe, Parsons gives a quick background, origin story or tale about the creation of the dish before providing an easy to follow break down of the ingredients, cooking instructions and most impressively photos – for EVERY dish. As a visual learner and cook, photos are a must have for any cookbook as they provide a visual reference of what the dish should resemble. Pair this with the author’s background in photography, the photos provided were mouthwatering, detailed and captured each dish as it was meant to be showcased.
Candidly, some recipes were much easier than others as “Rock Recipes 3” provided a strong range of beginner, moderate and “this may take all day.” However, almost all recipes were made with ingredients even the most basic kitchen is likely to be stocked with, as most only required me to shop for the protein piece (ribs, lamb, chicken, etc.). Parsons’ ability to provide tips, tricks, notes and optional additions is uncanny, making it entirely unsurprising that this, “Rock Recipes 3” is his fifth released cookbook.
More impressive is his ability to continue modifying and coming up with new dishes as he maintains no recipe overlap in any book and is constantly refreshing his food blog offerings. I would however have liked to see substitutes for nuts, one of the most common food allergies, as he did provide coconut substitutes to several dishes. That said, he did offer strong alternates to less popular ingredients such as white wine vinegar and hoisin sauce.
Whether you are a beginner, seasoned chef or just looking for some new cooking ideas “Rock Recipes 3” is the perfect book for you. Chalked full of a variety of recipes for every palate, each is accompanied by a skilled photograph to help guide even the most beginner of cooks to success.