Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fitzpatrick, Joe (Author) and Potter, Steven (Photographer). Strictly Sundays: Making Every Cook a Hero on Sundays.

Book Publishers Network. 2009. c.152p. photogs. index. ISBN 978-1-935359-19-7. $19.95.

In this generously-illustrated publication (27 color reproductions), Fitzpatrick (, also known as the “Blue Collar Gourmet,” a real estate agent living in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, who cooks on Sundays for his wife, children, and grandchildren, compiles the recipes that have won him accolades from his family, friends, and coworkers. Dividing his cookbook into six chapters, the author presents recipes for many types of foods with the exception of desserts. He covers appetizers, main dishes, salads, soups, side dishes, and salsas. The chapters featuring main and side dishes are the longest, whereas the ones on salsas and soups are the shortest, with the fewest recipes. Most of the recipes that Fitzpatrick sets forth are comprised of vegetables, meat, seafood, and/or pasta. Covering basic, American, old-fashioned dishes that every amateur chef probably should master as well as more sophisticated, contemporary, innovative creations, the author includes many recipes for comfort food, “real food that fills the belly, satisfies the soul, and wins the day,” (back cover) as well as for gourmet concoctions. Some of the down-home dishes Fitzpatrick showcases include Buffalo wings, beef and pork pot roasts, cabbage rolls, corned beef and cabbage, lasagnas, chicken cacciatore, goulash, fish and chips, Caesar salad, potato salad, clam chowder, chili, scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, garlic bread, baked beans, and more. The author’s gourmet-style fare are not limited to mustard seed pancakes with salmon and caviar, lamb stew, butter poached lobster, and salmon in cranberry Dijon sauce. The author’s creations are accompanied by the recipes for their marinades, sauces, and toppings. While many of Fitzpatrick’s masterpieces include ingredients that are commonly found in most supermarkets, others may have more exotic constituents or are comprised of wine or beer. The author unfortunately does not list possible, alternative substitutions, nor does he set forth the serving sizes for all his recipes. With the exception of the aforementioned exclusions, this book is nicely-illustrated and presented as well as sufficiently-documented. Instructions are complete, concise, and easy-to-follow. This publication will interest beginner and intermediate cooks. Written for men, it makes a great gift for the man, who may want to learn how to cook or who wants to cook for his loved one(s), thereby becoming a “hero on Sundays,” weekends, special occasions, or whenever. Women also will find this cookbook useful and worthwhile, even though many of the recipes may not be suitable for everyday meals. Highly recommended for many public library book collections. Review copy. Availability:, Barnes &