Josh Henderson's "Street Food Manifesto" tells the story of how 5 years ago he took Seattle streets by storm with his tricked out Airstream: Serving up burgers with bacon jam, poutine and breakfast sandwiches; battling the health department; and barely making it through his second year in business before hitting the bacon jam jackpot.
Bacon jam is about the only Skillet recipe that didn't make it into the pages of Henderson's Skillet Cookbook. Yet other favorites from the trailer and Skillet Diner are included. There's the famous fried chicken sandwich, crab cake 'po boy, duck tacos, kale Caesar, poutine, Skillet burger, and even a recipe for making your own guanciale.
Skillet Cookbook is as much a peek behind the wizard's curtain as it is a cookbook. Henderson bares all about the challenges they faced in the early days of Seattle's food truck era. He also praises the eager and adventurous Seattle crowds that helped make Skillet a success. There isn't a lot of cooking tips or kitchen wisdom, save for a few pages interspersed among the chapters on breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert for tips on making pancakes, the story behind bacon jam, and Henderson's thoughts on culinary school (Spoiler: The CIA grad doesn't think it's worth the money).
For fans of Skillet, this tidy little cookbook will help you bring the flavors and comfort of those dishes home. They aren't always the simplest recipes--the cornmeal waffle with braised pork belly and a sunny side up egg includes a 8-day process for creating a rye starter for the waffles and a 2-day process for curing the pork belly--but serving up that dish at your home would be a serious show-stopper. That's why there are lines out the door at the Skillet Diner for brunch on the weekends. The food is by no means simple, but these are the flavorful, salty and satisfying dishes people crave.
Join Chef Josh Henderson at a cookbook launch party and 5-year anniversary celebrating the launch of Skillet on Sunday, July 22 at 4 p.m. at the Shilshole Bay Beach Club. The $60 ticket ($100 for couples) includes a signed copy of the cookbook, an all-you-can eat roasted pig dinner prepared by Henderson and the Skillet team; drinks, soul music, dancing, and more. Tickets available at brownpapertickets.com.