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What to Cook First from The Outlander Kitchen by Theresa Carle-Sanders

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Behind every beloved show is a fan blog or 20—and chef Theresa Carle-Sanders' Outlander Kitchen is just that: featuring recipes that bring the food in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels and TV adaptation to life.

The novels are based mostly in Scotland, though the characters travel through France, the Caribbean, and the Americas—in the 18th century—so Carle-Sanders was tasked with modernizing historical Scottish foods for the readers of her blog and the cookbook that came of it.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Judging by how enthusiastic readers were to nominate The Outlander Kitchen as a Piglet Community Pick, it's safe to say she did a mighty good job at it.

Each recipe starts with a related passage from one of the novels—"a creative way to relate to the recipes," one community reviewer remarked.

Another said:

"The author has tied each recipe to either Scotland, or the Outlander characters, or an homage to the author of Outlander, Diana Gabaldon. It is wonderfully illustrated and the recipes are clearly laid out. Any special instructions as to techniques or ingredients are also clearly explained. It's a wonderful read as well as a terrific resource."

Photo by Bobbi Lin

what to make first, according to our community

One community reviewer said "the recipes are thoroughly researched and tested; Theresa makes a big effort to connect recipes to the Outlander series, providing beautiful descriptions for each." Another said "I could not get over the level of attention to detail in these recipes and descriptions!"

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Wendy Stone, another community reviewer, explains that the cookbook covers "everything from spaghetti and meatballs to adult beverages, from Diana Gabaldon's recipe for enchiladas to ginger-nut biscuits. If it's related to Outlander, it's in the book." But here are the recipes that our community members raved out:

  • Ginger-Nut Biscuits: "Unexpected—they are not a traditional crunchy ginger cookie, and you'll never have a better cookie."
  • Ian's Buttered Leeks —"the recipe elevates the vegetable superbly. It is the recipe I most frequently use in the book, but it's closely followed by Mrs. Bug's Buttermilk Drop Biscuits, which is remarkably easy, visually pleasing, and tastes delightful."
  • Another vote for Buttermilk Biscuits: "These are simple and delicious. You can't help but think about living on Fraser's Ridge while eating one of these. Make a double batch—just trust me."
  • The Bannocks (there are two different recipes for these oatty flatbreads): "I never make my old recipe for biscuits now; the addition of the ground oats adds so much flavor, and grating in the cold butter gives a wonderful texture. Great with either a slice of ham or butter and jam, and with any meal."
  • Scotch Eggs "because they're such fun to look at and eat. They're also not too complicated if the cook is not very confident." "They are authentically 'Scottish,' easy to make, and tasty."
  • Maple Pudding: "I now know what Jamie fed Claire when she was recovering from her illness and how it tasted."
  • Stephen Bonnet's Salted Chocolate Pretzel Balls are "an incredibly amusing take on an incident that occurs in one of the Outlander books—and they're delicious."

2017's roster of Piglet Community Picks were chosen by an open call to our community; the reviews you see here are from some of the folks who voted these books into the tournament. To see other Piglet Community Picks reviews, head here.

The Outlander Kitchen is available wherever books are sold.

Tags: Books, Cookbooks