Review: Cooking with Frank's RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Ever since I was a little girl, Franks has always been a staple in our home. My mom would make something called "hot noodles". Which are essentially egg noodles mixed with various spices and seasonings, then doused in Franks. I put Franks in just about everything I make. I'm not joking, it goes onto everything from my morning eggs, to my popcorn. Not only does it have a kick to it, but it's got great flavor as well. So when I was asked if I wanted to review Cooking with Frank's Redhot Cayenne Pepper Sauce by Rachel Rappaport, I was over the moon excited. I mean, c'mon! This is a cookbook focusing on Franks. How could I say no?!

The first recipe I tried was the Sizzling Sesame Noodles. The recipe is easy to make and was ready in no time. My one issue with this was that the recipe is just for the sauce. In the description at the top of the page, the author talks about how you could make it a meal by adding various vegetables. I personally wish the vegetables were included into the recipe because I had no idea how much snow peas, scallions, or carrots to buy at the store. Which is why I settled on just carrots. As for the flavor... I've made peanut ginger noodles before and hated it. However, this recipe has tahini and Franks in it, which I thought would alter the flavors... it didn't. With that being said though, I did like the kick of heat the Franks brings to this dish. It's just I've come to terms with the fact that these types of noodle dishes are not for me. However, if you like peanut ginger noodles, then you should give this recipe a try.

The next recipe I tried was the Hot Nuts Brittle. I actually made this right before the holidays as one of our holiday treats. The directions were easy to follow, everything was mapped out for you in the recipe itself, unlike the previous recipe. I liked that there's a note at the bottom of the recipe that gives you a tip on howto make them even spicier (which we did). These turned out fantastic! I actually brought some over to a friends house on Christmas and she loved them. They aren't sweet like I would assume nut brittle to be, but rather savory. The Franks definitely adds this kick to them that really takes these to a new level. I plan on making this recipe every year for the holidays and even doubling the recipe to send out as gifts. Trust me, this recipe is that good.

The last recipe we tried was the Oven-Baked Crispy Catfish Nuggets. I've been on a fish kick lately and was excited to give these a try. I've never had catfish before and thought this was a good way to try it. Although I wasn't a fan of the fish itself (I guess I'm more of a salmon, tuna, swordfish kinda girl), the flavor combination was awesome. You definitely got that tangy, creamy, spicy flavor from the Franks buttermilk marinade. I was a little worried that after all the Franks I poured into the marinade you wouldn't even taste it with the coating, but you can. Plus, there's the added bonus of flavors with the mixture of chili powders and panko that really made for a delicious crispy outside. Now granted, the recipe called for breadcrumbs but all I had was panko. So with that being said, the recipe itself is forgiving if you need to swap a few things out for something else. I think this is a great recipe and if you like catfish or any white fish, then no swap outs needed. However, if you're not a white fish fan like myself, I would substitute the fish with chicken. ;)

In the end I would say this is a great cookbook for any Franks lovers out there. There are a lot of recipes in here. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, appetizers, dips, and dessert. A lot of the recipes even had full page pictures of the dish which I really liked. I'm a visual person and like to see what I'm making and how it's supposed to look. The only down side to this cookbook is that it is not vegetarian friendly and I currently gave up meat for a year. I was honestly hoping for more out-there recipes like the peanut brittle. There is one recipe in here that I wanted to try that's a cinnamon bun with Franks icing. THAT'S what I was hoping to see here but those kinds of recipes were few and far between in this cookbook. Then again, I realize that not everyone is as adventurous when it comes to cooking and eating new things.

With that being said though, I do think there are some good sounding recipes in here and I love that there is a cookbook out there that revolves around Franks. The author takes the time to give you the background story on Franks and even lists the various types of Franks sauces that are out there. If you didn't know, Franks is more than just the original hot sauce that's known for covering wings. She also includes a recipe to make your own dry ranch dressing mix and blue cheese dressing. Neither of which contain Franks, but compliment the hot sauce nicely. Like I said, this is a nice cookbook. It's not something you would want to get for your vegetarian family member or friend, but any Franks or carnivore lover would definitely get use out of this book.

 *I'd like to thank Kourtney and Ulysses Press for sending me a copy of the book for review.

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