I purchased this cookbook even though I had read mixed reviews on it. It seems that the restaurants get really good reviews, but the recipes did not transfer well to the cookbook. You can purchase this cookbook from Soul Veg Restaurant through Amazon for $19.95.
So I chose to try the Chile Olé and the Cornbread recipes. First was the cornbread. I tried to follow the recipe exactly. However, the recipe calls for 4 cups filtered warm water. Then in the instructions, it tells you to add the water slowing until the right consistency is obtained. It does not explain what the right consistency would be, so I assumed that it would be what I have seen in my past experience. I ended up only adding about 2 1/2 cups of water, because it was getting too thin in my opinion. I baked the cornbread as instructed. The texture did not seem right when it came out of the oven. It appeared too dense, where it should have been lighter and fluffier. Was it because I didn’t add the full 4 cups of water? I don’t know. I did eat a piece of the cornbread, and the flavor was very good.
I wanted to test out the Chili Olé to go along with the cornbread. The recipe seems pretty simple. The steps to the preparation did not make sense to me, so I did rearrange things slightly. For instance, the first step tells you to cook the first ingredients until done. There is no indication of how you would know when it’s done or how long that would take. It also lists brown sugar in the ingredients list and then turbinado sugar in the instructions. I don’t know if these are supposed to be the same thing, but I have turbinado sugar and brown sugar in my pantry, and they are not the same. Also, the recipes lists 8 cups of filtered water, but I added 6 cups and it seemed really thin to me, so I mixed up some potato starch and water and added that to thicken it up. Again, I did love the flavor of the chili, but I prefer my chili thicker than this.
I would make this again, but with some modifications, like less water in the chili and probably more beans, maybe add some lentils or black beans. I’m not sure how to fix the cornbread. I have a cornbread recipe from another cookbook or possibly from a website. I will have to check and find that recipe next time.