I have never hosted a dinner party. But if I did, Gather is the book I would use to lay out a memorable meal for my guests. And you certainly don’t have to be hosting a party to take advantage of all these great recipes.
The Food Lovers’ first book, Make it Paleo, is my default recipe book when I’m trying something new (and some recipes, like their Baked Chicken Thighs are in permanent rotation), and I’m glad that Gather is further expanding on that high-level of quality recipes by taking the guesswork out of planning a multi-course meal.
Each menu consists of 4-8 recipes, and line up with important holidays and seasonal events. For the purpose of this review, I chose to make the General Tso’s Chicken from the Takeout Fake-out menu, since I frequently only entertain for one.
The following events occurred in real time.
18:00 Take out the chicken thighs are start de-boning them and removing the skin(since bone-in chicken thighs are half the price of boneless, skinless).
18:10 Begin to make batter, come to realize I only have duck eggs in my fridge, proceed to use a duck egg like a BOSS.
18:11 Arrowroot flour explosion all over my kitchen, and my laptop on which I’m watching The Daily Show. I think I got some on the cat too. She is displeased.
18:15 Batter the chicken. Taste the batter, forgetting that it has raw egg in it. Slap palm to forehead, forgetting that I just tasted the batter with that hand. This is why I don’t work in a restaurant.
18:20 Start making the sauce. Add way too much vinegar. Try to correct by adding more arrowroot and maple syrup. Second arrowroot explosion of the night. Realize I don’t have duck fat, substitute with beef tallow and prayer.
18:30 Fry the beaten and battered chicken in more beef tallow in a skillet. So far, it looks nothing like what’s in the book.
18:40 Finish frying and toss everything with the sauce and dump it into one of the blue bowls I’ve had since college.
18:45 Try to take fancy pictures, then remember that I have no idea what I’m doing, so I decide to eat instead.
18:46 Holy crap, that turned out delicious despite my every attempt to screw it up.
19:00 Try to put away the arrowroot flour. It explodes again.
Just go buy this book already, it’s delicious, the photography is stunning, and if you decide to throw a Paleo dinner party, just be sure to send me an invite!