Brian Patton, the self-proclaimed “Sexy Vegan” and recent finalist in The Vegan Woman’s 2013 Sexy Vegan Man competition, shot to fame as a vegan chef making funny Youtube videos (see example in the video below) when he was discovered by publishers and encouraged to write his first vegan cookbook: The Sexy Vegan Cookbook.
Now, a year later, and after the great success with The Sexy Vegan Cookbook, Brian is back with a follow up: The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home.
The Happy Hour at Home concept
Happy Hour at Home offers 20 menus to create a Friday evening, post-work “happy hour” at home on the balcony at the end of a hard work-week. Each menu is designed to be prepared in one hour and contains 3-4 small plate dishes serving a maximum of 4 people. There are also coordinated cocktail recipes, kitchen efficiency suggestions, accompanying videos demo-ing several of the recipes, and a unique “WTF” feature explaining any less than common ingredients.
More than a mere cookbook, Happy Hour at Home offers a vegan kitchen education and an experience in the fun of creative food preparation and entertaining. Patton is funny, self-effacing, and writes as he speaks, so it really feels he is there with you in the kitchen, talking you through the recipes and not taking any of it too seriously.
Putting it to the test
I tested several of the recipes during a recent family vacation and literally every recipe produced lick-the-plate results.
The Yamburger sliders in fact, disappeared so quickly that if my sister hadn’t nabbed me one, I would never even have gotten a taste! An uncommon flavor explosion of spiced and carmelized yam slices, layered with an unusual herbed Tahini sauce, arugula, and mango slices on slider buns, those burgers were quickly devoured even by my fussy teens!
Equally delicious were the Holy Stromboli, Hearts of Palm Ceviche, Mango Gazpacho, Chile Cilantro Garlic Bread, and the sensational, beer-battered Green Bean Fries with Sexy Sprinkle Seasoning Mix.
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Some points to keep in mind
Before you rush out and buy the book, I do have a few cautions that will help you figure out how suitable this cookbook is for you:
Firstly, this is a cookbook best suited to people living in a major urban, foodie area, who are not afraid of trying new things. There are some hard to find ingredients in most recipes, some requiring visits to Indian or Asian groceries or specialty gourmet shops. Patton usually offers an easier to find substitute but cautions that results will not be as good. He also reminds readers they can order on the “interwebs” but shipping costs may be a consideration.
You will need to be willing to put in some time: Unless you are extremely quick in the kitchen, I doubt you will get these menus on the table from start to finish in the promised one hour. In fact, in the “Efficiency Tips” area, Patton often suggests preparing certain parts of the menu earlier in the week or even that morning before you leave for work.
Good for small-scale entertaining: This is a book of appetizers for four adults max. If you are a couple entertaining another couple or an individual inviting over 2-3 friends that you would like to impress, then the recipes in the book would be a perfect pre-dinner fit. However, as a working mother of several bottomless pit-stomached young men I can say that this book may not be the most practical to use for family meals, as I would need to quadruple the recipes, at least.
That said, the recipes I made will definitely go into our regular rotation – probably as side dishes to a regular meal. I am also looking forward to trying Patton’s Spinach Artichoke Dip served in a large bread bowl, Little Macs (think vegan Big Mac sliders), Rigatoni Poppers, and if I can ever get my hands on a can of young green jackfruit in brine, I’d love to try the Crab Roll (crabless, of course!).
Worked up an appetite?
Or purchase The Sexy Vegan Cookbook online via The Vegan Woman Shop.
The Vegan Woman is happy to award the Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home our recommendation label. Well done Brian!