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Her third cookbook, Southern My Way: Food & Family, is a celebration of Knox's own tastes and family favorite recipes. As you would expect, most of the recipes have a traditional Southern feel, but the surprise is that many have been given a twenty-first-century twist. For example, Knox transforms the common fresh-corn hush puppy into a slightly spicy crab-meat treat.
Busy cooks will appreciate Knox's easy approach. No recipe is more than three steps away from your table, and her "From My Kitchen" hints offer tips, time-saving suggestions, and how-tos. Furthermore, all the recipes (except the few game dishes) call for common ingredients, and the fanciest equipment you'll need is a food processor. You'll also love the beautiful full-page photos and Knox's preparation and cooking time estimates, which are a great help to novice cooks.
It's clear by reading the personal recipe introductions, that this collection is close to Knox's heart. She shares many family recipes and is quick to mention which ones are her children's or husband's favorites. Although the focus is on Southern flavors, Knox has also included several dishes with either a Mediterranean feel, such as her grandmother's spaghetti, or a Mexican slant, such as the white bean chicken chili.
I've marked several recipes to try this winter, such as the glazed acorn squash salad, bourbon-spiked bananas, spicy roasted cabbage, and carrot ginger soup. Oh and did I mention the gingerbread with warm lemon sauce? For the summer, I'm looking forward to such dishes as chilled vegetable soup, peach and tomato salad, and lime-grilled chicken. I love Knox's flavor combinations and simple directions.
From shrimp and grits to fresh peach pie, the recipes in Southern Food My Way: Food & Family will appeal not only to readers from Knox's Georgia but also to those from California, Maine, Nebraska, and beyond. If you're looking for new ideas for family meals, give Gena Knox's easy, flavorful recipes a try.
Here's a nibble I plan to serve this holiday season. Note: the photo was scanned from the cookbook; all rights, including the copyright, remain with photographer Brian Woodcock.
White Cheddar-Wrapped Pecans
Prep time: 20 minutes; cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: about 45
- 1 (10-ounce) block sharp white Cheddar, room temperature
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- About 45 pecan halves
NEXT: Using hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Place 1 pecan half in center of each ball and press gently so that pecan is embedded in dough.
LAST: Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool before serving.
Gina Knox Media, 2013
Source: Review (see review policy)
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