This is the companion cookbook to the popular TV show that has just been renewed for 2 more seasons (that’s 6 & 7 in case you aren’t caught up!) It includes 50 recipes from a variety of sources.
If you haven’t seen Portlandia, it is a comedy sketch show starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. They play several different regular characters and the stories are all set in Portland. I hesitate to say they make fun of the local culture, but they do, with great affection.
The book is half comedy, half cooking with actual recipes, and they all tie in to an episode of the show. Fans will get the references, newcomers may be bewildered. For example, there is a recipe called “Butterflied Chicken Roasted Over Bread” that is a direct reference to the series premiere episode. That episode featured this nice young couple who are dining out and ask about the spatchcocked chicken on the menu. They are told it’s locally raised, and then the waitress brings them a dossier on the chicken whose name is Colin. They decide to visit the farm where he was raised to make sure he had a good life before they eat him, and it just gets crazier from there.
While I might actually try to make the Butterflied Chicken recipe, most recipes didn’t really inspire me to try them. The borscht had carrots in it, and I don’t remember my grandmother doing that (although the beets episode of the TV show is one of my favorites.) I did make one of the first recipes in the book, the “Brussels Sprouts with Bacon” which was great. It also had hazelnuts which added a nice crunch, but let’s face it, how can you go wrong adding bacon to a veggie dish!
As a cookbook, I wouldn’t really recommend it but any fan of the show will definitely want it.
2/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE PORTLANDIA COOKBOOK: Cook Like a Local by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein & Jonathan Krisel. Clarkson Potter; 1St Edition edition (October 28, 2014). ISBN 978-0804186100. 176p.