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New cookbooks: Country stars' faves, vegetables, Southern recipes

TITLE: Country Music's Greatest Eats — Recipes and Riffs From Country's Biggest Stars with Tanner Latham, presented by CMT (Oxmoor House, $24.95, 272 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Many of the recipes in this cookbook have been handed down in families to the country stars. Given the huge Southern food influence, you'd think these recipes would be full of butter and all fried. Not so. While I wouldn't say all of them are healthy, most are not loaded with the fat we've all come to know from Southern cuisine.

COUNTRY STARS FEATURED: Amy Grant, Alan Jackson, Wynonna Judd, Scott McCreery, the Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis, Chris Young, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band and more.

FOR: Anyone looking for good, home-style comfort food. There are lots of Southern-influenced recipes here along with a few other ethnic styles thrown in for good measure. These recipes are suitable for all skill levels.

RECIPES: Aunt Donna's Chicken and Noodles, Avocado and Feta Dip, Serrano Pepper Burgers, Great-Grandma Cookie Cooke's Brunswick Stew, Cheesy Potato Soup With Almonds, Quick and Easy Hot Water Corn Bread, Mom's Gumbo, Goat Cheese and Arugula Frittata, Orange Dreamsicle Cake, Grace's Favorite Broccoli-Rice Casserole, Melting Moments and Honey-Rhubarb Pie.

TITLE: Tupelo Honey Cafe by Elizabeth Sims with chef Brian Sonoskus (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $29.99, 226 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: This is the second cookbook from Tupelo Honey Cafe, which is based in Asheville, N.C., and has seven other locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Inside, you'll find 125 recipes inspired by the flavors and history of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful color photographs and charming stories will transport you on a mini-vacation to the mountains. This cookbook will whet your appetite in more than one way.

FOR: Those home cooks who tend to cook toward healthy. This is not to say all the recipes are healthy but many are, and most use fresh ingredients.

RECIPES: Bronzed Catfish With Creole Mustard Sauce, Comforting Chicken Carbonara Casserole, Deep-Fried Macaroni and Cheese With Tomato Jam and Red Onion Marmalade, Tupelo Honey Buttermilk Biscuits, Maple Cinnamon Granola, Summer Corn Skillet Cakes, Root Beer and Molasses-Braised Beef Short Ribs, Blueberry Chipotle Flank Steak, Low-carb Baked Spaghetti Squash, Smoked Sunburst Trout Dip, Pistachio-crusted Sea Bass With Tomato Curry Broth, Maple Sweet Potato Bread Pudding, Heavenly Butter Almond Strawberry Tart and Taste of Summer Peach Blueberry Cobbler.

TITLE: Brassicas — Cooking The World's Healthiest Vegetables by Laura B. Russell (10 Speed Press $23, 168 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Brassica, according to Merriam-Webster, is any of a large genus (Brassica) of Old World temperate-zone herbs (of the mustard family with cylindrical pods. This cookbook focuses on a variety of these vegetables with fresh recipes. Most ingredients are readily available. Many brassicas are considered super-foods, meaning they are high in good-for-you nutrients.

FOR: Those who love to cook healthy with fresh ingredients. The flavors incorporated in these recipes are bright and intense.

RECIPES: Quick Collards Saute, Mustard Greens With Caramelized Sweet Onion, Cauliflower With Salsa Verde, White Pizza With Arugula and Prosciutto, Broccoli Rabe With Romesco Sauce, Chinese Broccoli With Ginger and Oyster Sauce, Roasted Cauliflower With Pickled Peppers and Mint, Smoky Kale Salad With Toasted Almonds and Egg, Rustic Vegetable Soup and Lemony Broccoli Chop.

Ellen Folkman's cookbook review column appears monthly in Taste.

>>Easy

Grilled Chicken and Fruit Summer Salad

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup honey

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 head romaine lettuce, torn

1 apple, cubed

¾ cup diced cantaloupe

¾ cup diced honeydew melon

½ cup raisins

½ cup pistachios

1 cup reduced-fat honey-Dijon salad dressing

Whisk together the soy sauce and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large zip-top freezer bag; pour soy sauce mixture over chicken, turning to coat. Seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat the grill to 350 to 400 degrees (medium-high). Remove chicken from the marinade, discarding marinade in the bag.

Grill chicken on lightly greased rack, covered with grill lid, 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165 degrees. Remove chicken from grill; let stand 10 minutes. Slice chicken diagonally; set aside.

Combine romaine and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Top with chicken and drizzle with salad dressing. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Country Music's Greatest Eats — Recipes and Riffs From Country's Biggest Stars with Tanner Latham, presented by CMT

>>Easy

Pimento Cheese a la Little Switzerland

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Duke's mayonnaise

½ cup finely diced roasted red bell peppers from a jar

¼ cup whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (oregano, sage, thyme, basil or whatever you like)

¾ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine cheeses, mayonnaise, roasted red bell peppers, Dijon mustard, herbs, dry mustard, lemon juice and black pepper, stirring until well blended. Serve with crackers or crostini. Or warm this up in the microwave or oven and serve it with some rustic, crusty bread. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 2 ½ cups.

Source: Tupelo Honey Cafe by Elizabeth Sims with chef Brian Sonoskus

>>Easy

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

With Parmesan Crust

1 ½ pounds (6 cups) Brussels sprouts, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly, then spread out in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes. Add ⅓ cup cheese to the Brussels sprouts and stir to combine. Continue to roast for about 10 minutes more, until the Brussels sprouts are tender and well browned.

Transfer to a serving bowl, add the vinegar and remaining 3 tablespoons cheese and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variation: Use balsamic vinegar in place of the white wine vinegar. Aged balsamic works especially well here.

Serves 4.

Source: Brassicas — Cooking The World's Healthiest Vegetables by Laura B. Russell

New cookbooks: Country stars' faves, vegetables, Southern recipes 06/16/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 16, 2014 8:00pm]

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