The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendelsohn [online pdf books]

  • Full Title : The Good Stuff Cookbook: Burgers, Fries, Shakes, Wedges, and More
  • Autor: Spike Mendelsohn
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lifestyle; 1 edition
  • Publication Date: March 7, 2013
    September 1, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00BS03TU4
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format: azw3


“With The Good Stuff Cookbook, Spike Mendelsohn applies his limitless imagination to classic American comfort food” (Tom Colicchio, chef/owner of Craft restaurants).

“Spike knows how to bring the fun to bun.” —Rachael Ray

One of the most popular contestants ever on the hit television show Top Chef, Spike Mendelsohn is one of the hottest celebrity chefs on the scene. His restaurant in Washington, DC, Good Stuff Eatery, has been a resounding success and even claims Michelle Obama as a fan. In The Good Stuff Cookbook, Chef Spike serves up fast, fun, and fresh recipes for classic fare like burgers, sides, shakes, and desserts, as well as menu suggestions for all types of events, from big parties to casual family dinners.

You’ll find old favorites with a twist: unique and tasty sauces and mayonnaises like Good Stuff Sauce and Curry Mayonnaise; fan-favorite sides like Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus; the famous Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake, malts, and floats; and, of course, Chef Spike’s crowd-pleasing burgers made with beef, turkey, chicken, pork, and even lamb.

Featuring 120 fresh and delicious recipes and 140 full-color photos, this is the perfect all-American cookbook for anyone who loves great casual comfort food like burgers, fries, and shakes, but wants to mix things up with a gourmet touch.
“Chef Spike Mendelsohn has a pulse on the American heartbeat for delicious, soul-satisfying comfort foods.” —Chef Art Smith




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o their kitchens in hopes of re-creating the simple, traditional foods that bring back nostalgic and happy memories of their childhoods. For some, success could be as sweet as Blueberry Scones and Raisin Challah French Toast, while for others, an ideal brunch consists of savory dishes—Chopped Cobb Salad and Savory Bacon and Cheese Bread Pudding, for instance. All of these are Bubby’s signature dishes, which make brunch a truly special meal. We’ve noted our most requested signature dishes with this icon next to the recipe title throughout the book. I hope Bubby’s Brunch Cookbook will be an invaluable resource for everyone interested in preparing great brunches. For beginning cooks and experts alike, my goal is to demystify this most rewarding of meals and to inspire you to take brunch to a whole new level.

Besides being the perfect meal for every weekend of the year, brunch is also the perfect special-occasion repast. It can be served most anytime, day or night. Don’t limit yourself to just between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Think midnight pancakes in bed for someone special or an early-morning feast on a sandy beach. A lazy, late-afternoon brunch with friends is a fine way to banish those Sunday, end-of-the-weekend blues.

Brunch is also great for special occasions of every ilk and every size gathering. Sometimes it’s planned and sometimes it’s not: for example, New Year’s Day versus when someone suddenly passes away. Brunch works whenever you want it to. It’s your call when to serve it, and what to cook, and whether to offer the meal in a casual setting (like in bed), an elegant venue (a formally set dining table with a silver buffet service), or somewhere in between.

Though you never need an excuse to host a brunch, there are innumerable special occasions that are especially appropriate for serving a satisfying and varied group of dishes. It can be a rather intimate meal, much more so than a lunch or a dinner, so you may want to plan a Valentine’s Day or birthday brunch. Before we were married, making brunch for my wife certainly helped draw attention away from my substantial list of flaws and cheflike personality blemishes, and it continues to help them matter less as time goes by. Not to say that cooking buttermilk pancakes for her means I get away with anything, but it doesn’t hurt.

Brunch feels right when served on a breezy morning at the lake, high noon at the park, or when it’s gray all day long on winter’s first official snow day, when everyone’s huddled inside by a fire. As a way to show off the fall harvest or the spring offerings at the farmers’ market, this meal is also ideal. It goes without saying that a brunch to highlight a particular food—oysters, for instance, or crabs, or some tasty seasonal treat, such as rhubarb after a long winter of potatoes and squash—is certainly one of the more unique and special ways to entertain.

Those intending to spend a day of relaxation outside with friends and family may find brunch a more inviting and leisurely option than lunch. Home cooks in possession of a basket of fresh produce from local farmstands or neighbors with extra-bountiful gardens may want to invite guests to hang out in the backyard for a healthy vegetarian brunch with freshly grown produce as the centerpiece.

Many annual celebrations offer beautiful reasons to invite friends and family over for a brunch. You may want to plan an intimate New Year’s Day brunch for just a few close friends, or a lavish Easter brunch for a crowd, or a Christmas brunch to set the festive tone for the day’s excitement.

Some brunches take on a more serious tone and can offer comfort and solace to those in need. Following a funeral or during the period of sitting shiva, a brunch can be a wonderful way to feed those in mourning, and it’s a much more personal way for family to spend time with one another than at a restaurant. And there are plenty of ways to prepare sustaining, substantial dishes that can sit for hours without your having to fuss over them.

Families get together for reasons both happy and sad, and a reunion can be one of the happiest (or the most annoying, depending on how you look at it). For a memorable meal to mark this event, a brunch offers something for everyone. It works especially well with a variety of dishes—some last-minute and others made ahead of time. The same principles apply for a bar mitzvah or a first communion brunch, or a brunch to celebrate a baby’s christening or bris. These types of occasions can end up being more of a crowd than one might choose if only because of the family nature of them and the obligation to invite twenty people for fear of offending one of them (everyone has a cousin Mel or aunt Esther, right?).


The following twenty-five menus are the perfect way to mark a variety of special occasions. You can double, triple, or even split any of the recipes in half to accommodate the size of your crowd. Look through the various menu choices and feel free to mix and match items. In the absence of hard-and-fast rules and fussy formality, brunch is what you want it to be and, as such, will be dictated by your budget, personal time constraints, and the size of your kitchen. If you live in a teensy city apartment with a teensier kitchen, you obviously will want to pass on hosting a large holiday brunch. But that mini kitchen is just intimate enough to whip up a midnight brunch for two or even six, or to make a takeout picnic to enjoy in a sunny park or an impressive Mother’s Day brunch for the immediate family. Add family and friends, and you’ve just cooked up the perfect meal.


NEW YEAR’S DAY BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 6 to 20)

Welcome in the New Year with an eye-opening brunch that will appeal to everyone, regardless of how they spent the previous evening. Coffee is a must, as are Bloody Marys. Tradition has it that if you eat the southern-style black-eyed pea dish called Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day, you’ll have good luck all year long. This is a substantial brunch guaranteed to make guests feel better no matter what their post–New Year’s Eve condition. Serve buffet style to allow guests to come and go as they please.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Sausage and Mushroom Casserole

Bagels and Smoked Salmon–Scallion Cream Cheese

Black-Eyed Peas and Andouille Sausage Hoppin’ John

Blood oranges and pineapples

Pitchers of Bloody Mary

VALENTINE’S DAY BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 2)

Why wait until dinnertime to tempt your sweetheart? Start the morning off with a romantic brunch for just the two of you, and you’ll both be glowing for the rest of the day. Champagne and chocolate are front and center on this menu, which is make-ahead so you can devote your time to each other. A single beautiful rose in a bud vase makes a nice centerpiece, though it also looks nice on a tray if the two of you share this feast in bed. Have a box of your sweetheart’s favorite chocolates on hand for dessert.

Strawberry Muffins with butter and jam

Raisin Challah French Toast with maple syrup

Pink Grapefruit and Champagne Cocktail

French-pressed coffee

PANCAKE LOVER’S BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 6 to 10)

If your guests think of brunch as an excuse to eat pancakes, why bother with protein? Set out several different kinds of pancakes and accompany them with an assortment of homemade syrups, butters, and conserves. One of the brunches most eagerly anticipated by kids of all ages, this one needs little else except maybe a generous platter of maple-glazed slab bacon.

Potato Pancakes with Pear Sauce

Buckwheat Pancakes with apples and maple syrup

Blueberry/Blackberry/Raspberry Buttermilk Pancakes (each separate or mix the berries and make mixed berry pancakes)

Maple-Glazed Bacon

Chocolate Chip Silver Dollar Pancakes

Mulled Spiced Cider

OYSTER BREAKFAST: THE HANGTOWN FRY (Ideal for serving 2 to 10)

If you like the idea of a brunch that has an actual theme, why not transport your guests back to California during the gold rush, when this hearty meal was created? At the time, the man who requested it thought it was the most decadent breakfast imaginable. Even if your guests couldn’t give a hang about history, it’s difficult to go wrong with cornmeal-crusted fried oysters, paired with bacon and eggs. The Bubby’s version of a Hangtown Fry also includes johnnycakes bursting with blueberries, and we glaze the bacon with maple syrup. This is a good brunch to plan on when you’ve got time to prepare the oysters to order, though some of the items can be made ahead of time.

Blueberry Johnnycakes

Scrambled Eggs

Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Oysters

Maple-Glazed Bacon

PICKLED AND SMOKED FISH BREAKFAST (Ideal for serving 6 to 30)

A bris is an important Jewish family occasion that calls for a traditional menu all the relatives will savor and appreciate. Arrange the pickled herrings in large bowls, garnish your homemade smoked salmon with lemon wedges and fresh dill sprigs, and pick up plenty of rye bread and assorted bagels to have on hand for the salmon and the smoked trout mousse.

Pickled herrings: in white sauce, in wine sauce, and matjes herring

Thinly sliced homemade Smoked Salmon with dill and lemon

Smoked Trout and Scallion Mousse

Creamy Buttermilk New Potato Salad

Dark rye toast, bagels, and cream cheese

Blood Orange Mimosas


First (and second) impressions really do count, so when you’re new at a relationship and maybe even a little nervous cooking for the two of you, make a delicious statement with this fresh and fabulous menu. Keep the preparation stress-free by making the blackberry compote and fruit salad ahead of time, and whip up the pancake batter in advance, too. The coffee ice cubes in the iced coffee definitely must be made the day before. All you need to do once that very special guest rings the bell is make the pancakes and sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar. It doesn’t get any sweeter than this.

German Skillet-Baked Pancakes with lemon, confectioners’ sugar, and Blackberry Compote

Fruit Salad with Lemon–Poppy Dipping Sauce

Sweet Italian sausage links

Brewed iced coffee with coffee ice cubes

HONEYMOON BREAKFAST (Ideal for serving 2)

You’ll be cooking together for a lifetime, but the beautiful beginning of your marriage is an ideal time to start preparing and sharing really romantic brunches. The strategy behind a perfect honeymoon brunch is that it should be ready quickly, since you may have other things in mind. This one doesn’t take long at all to prepare—three-minute eggs really are ready in three minutes. If you make the crêpes the day before and keep them in the refrigerator, the vegetable and cheese crêpes take just a few minutes. To finish off, slice and get ready your fruit offerings while the crêpes are warming up, and have plenty of fresh coffee on hand. This meal is best eaten in bed, with no interruptions.

Three-Minute Eggs on buttered sourdough toast

Crêpes with Zucchini, Spinach, and Onions

Sliced Melon and Raspberries with Port Syrup

Blood Orange Mimosas


During difficult times, family and friends feel cherished when a carefully chosen buffet of homemade food is at the ready to nourish and to comfort. It’s so much more personal than being at a noisy restaurant and it can help lift everyone’s spirits as you all gather together. What’s very nice about this meal is that it can be assembled well in advance and served when your guests are ready. It’s an eclectic menu with a little something for everyone. Since none of the dishes are difficult to make, it’s easy to pull this meal together during a stressful period.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Savory Bacon and Cheese Bread Pudding

Assorted sandwiches

Creamy Buttermilk New Potato Salad

Fruit Salad with Lemon–Poppy Dipping Sauce

Assorted cookies

FRESH CRAB BREAKFAST (Ideal for serving 4 to 10)

An elegant brunch for a very special occasion, this is a beautiful menu to feature in springtime when asparagus is in season. It’s delicious with crusty sourdough toast. Because all the components of the menu will hold for a little while, this works well as a buffet. Consider serving this outside on a patio, or poolside, or at a beach house. It’s festive and yet sophisticated, just the right offerings for when you’re having guests you need to impress.

Scrambled Eggs

Crispy Crab Cakes

Asparagus Potato Hash

Blood Orange Mimosas

EASTER BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 10 to 20)

Besides visits to church, Easter is also marked by egg hunts, parades to show off bonnets and other finery, and baskets filled with chocolate and jelly beans for the kids. Follow it all up with a lavish brunch that’s not too trying on the cook. For a perfect feast, a smoked ham accompanied by a frittata filled with seasonal vegetables is easy and perfect for a larger gathering. Both cream biscuits and silver dollar pancakes are popular with kids on sugar overload, and the rhubarb coffee cake, served with plenty of coffee, makes a not-too-sweet dessert for grown-ups. Take advantage of spring flowers by using them in table centerpieces, and offer a guests a celebratory mimosa as they arrive.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Bubby’s Variation on Mr. Beard’s Cream Biscuits

Maple-Glazed Smoked Ham

Roasted Asparagus and Leek Frittata

Chocolate Chip Silver Dollar Pancakes

BIRTHDAY BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 6 to 12)

You can never have too many candles at a birthday bash, so why not start and finish this brunch by having the guest of honor blow out the candles twice? In between the muffins and the guest’s favorite birthday cake is a power brunch: steak and eggs. The port syrup for the fruit can be made ahead of time, leaving you with plenty of time to lavish on the birthday girl or boy.

Blueberry Muffins

Gingered Sweet Potato Home Fries

Roasted New York Strip Steak and eggs

Sliced mixed melons with Port Syrup

Lemon–Poppy Seed Cake with candles

SPRINGTIME IN THE PARK BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 2 to 6)

That first unseasonably and unexpectedly warm day is always a cause for celebration, and what better way to put some spring into your step than with an alfresco brunch? Keep things simple with sandwiches and homemade granola with a berry topping. Pack sandwiches, loosely covered, in an insulated hamper and pack the topping separately from the granola so the granola stays nice and crunchy. Thermoses come in handy for drinks, and don’t forget a Frisbee!

Creamy Buttermilk New Potato Salad

Cucumber and tomato salad

Open-Face Grilled Chicken, Maytag Blue Cheese, and Toasted Pecan Sandwiches

Fruity Clafouti

CINCO DE MAYO BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 4 to 10)

Brunches with a theme are always fun, and this is no exception, because Mexican fare by nature is casual, flexible, and universally appealing. You can make the dishes ahead of time and serve them buffet-style. Even the sangría can be served in big pitchers, so your guests can help themselves. To create a festive mood, put on some mariachi music and get out your most colorful serving dishes.

Huevos Rancheros

Chorizo sausages

Home Fries with Peppers

Watermelon Lemonade (Jugo de Sandía)


FIRST COMMUNION BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 6 to 20)

Once Mass is over and everyone changes out of their church clothes, it’s time for a family-centered celebration guaranteed to please guests ages three to ninety-three. Arrange this feast on a table spread with a white cloth and let guests help themselves. Cut the zucchini bread and coffee cake into small squares and arrange them in napkin-lined baskets. Pour the beverage into pretty glass pitchers and let everyone help him- or herself while waiting for the salads and omelets to be ready.

Zucchini Bread with Zucchini Flowers

Roasted Pear and Goat Cheese Omelets

Crab Salad

Creamy sliced Brie with sourdough baguette toast

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Cantaloupe skewers tossed in Port Syrup

Cranberry and Lime Press

EARLY-SUMMER FARMERS’ MARKET BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 6 to 20)

How to structure a brunch that celebrates the bounty of the farmers’ market will depend upon the season. In this case, the flavors to be showcased are at their best in early June. Wait to plan your menu until after you’ve strolled through the stalls, taking a look at what’s fresh and beautiful and bursting with flavor. Figure that you’ll want to serve one egg dish, a muffin or quick bread filled with fresh fruit or berries, and maybe an omelet or frittata featuring in-season vegetables. (Make the omelets ahead to serve at room temperature.) This menu works beautifully in a picnic or beach venue, so throw a red checked tablecloth and some sturdy flatware into an insulated cooler and head outside.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Ramp (or leek) and goat cheese scramble

Butter and Parsley Potatoes

Sourdough baguette toast with roasted spring garlic

Fresh strawberries

Pink Lemonade Cosmopolitans

GRADUATION BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 6 to 20)

You’re justifiably proud of your little scholar, whether he or she is graduating from kindergarten or law school. If your buffet brunch is following on the heels of one of those marathon, many-hours-long ceremonies, everyone is sure to be famished, so plan to serve a filling meal of casual dishes that guests can eat sitting or standing up as soon as you get home. In order to mingle and enjoy everyone’s company yourself, prepare the brunch ahead of time and just warm everything up at the last minute. Don’t forget a special cake to honor your star student.

Blackberry Corn Muffins

Spinach and Brie Omelet

Roasted new potatoes with rosemary and sea salt

Mixed Greens with Shallot Vinaigrette

Chocolate and Sautéed Banana Crêpes

Fruit Salad with Lemon–Poppy Dipping Sauce

MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 4 to 12)

The one day of the year that Mom vacates the kitchen is a fine occasion for you to show how much you love her by whipping up her favorite dishes. Since most moms like to pick at, rather than to finish off, one heavy main course, offer a selection of small bites. Cut the fruit-filled coffee cake into small pieces so that it’s nearly bite size, and make the delectable chocolate pancakes into silver dollar size. To tempt Mom out of bed with this meal, put fresh flowers and candles on the table and set the table with fine dishes. It’s your once-a-year chance to spoil the woman who loved you first.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Chocolate Chip Silver Dollar Pancakes

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Roses

Fruit Salad with Lemon–Poppy Dipping Sauce

Rose Hip and Mint Arnold Palmers

FATHER’S DAY BRUNCH (Ideal for serving 4 to 12)

This is a manly feast for a guy who may love commandeering the grill later on in the afternoon, but who wants to savor the first meal of the day with his family. The options here are meaty enough to please any dad, but they include lighter dishes for the rest of the family, too. Since the homemade corned beef takes some time to make from scratch (up to a week), be sure to plan far enough in advance. Dad will be impressed. This is a nice menu to serve outside at the picnic table or after Dad returns from an early-morning fishing trip, run, or round of golf on his special day.

Blueberry Muffins

Deviled Eggs

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette

Buttery thick-cut sourdough toast



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