Culinary expert Kerry Dunnington shares eco-friendly classics with a healthy modern American twist
Natural foods and cooking expert Kerry Dunnington has just released her new book, This Book Cooks – Farm-Fresh Traditional Recipes for Healthy Contemporary Eating.
Dunnington is a Baltimore food columnist, culinary consultant and caterer who specializes in making eco-friendly and healthy food that is fun to prepare, enjoyable to eat, and entertaining to share.
This Book Cooks contains classic recipes with a decidedly healthy modern American twist. The book is the state-of-the-art in the preparation and delivery of the healthiest and most delicious eco-friendly meals, with a focus on using fresh, locally grown and readily available foods.
This Book Cooks contains a rich time-tested collection of classic, irresistible recipes for everyday eating and entertaining. Each and every one of the nearly 200 superbly seasoned, beautifully presented eco-friendly, delicious meals was selected to serve as the center of any occasion, from an intimate family dinner to a large holiday celebration. Get ready to have your taste buds rewarded with remarkable style and grace.
In addition to savory and comforting soups, salads, entrees, and crowd-pleasing appetizers and desserts, this award winning cookbook is rich with holiday recipes. Here’s a sample:
CHEDDAR AND PECAN PÂTÉ WITH CURRIED CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE
Serve this crowd-pleasing appetizer with thin, crispy ginger snaps.
CHEDDAR AND PECAN PÂTÉ
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cooking sherry
CURRIED CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup finely chopped fresh ripe pineapple
¼ cup orange marmalade
Snipped fresh chives (garnish)
1. To prepare the pâté, combine cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, pecans, and sherry in a medium bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
2. Transfer mixture to a platter and, using a spatula, form pâté into a round shape. Using a soup ladle, press the scoop part of the ladle into the center of the pâté making an indentation (this is where the Curried Caramelized Pineapple goes). Cover pâté and refrigerate until about 1 hour prior to serving.
3. In a medium sauté pan over moderate heat, melt butter. Add curry powder and cook for about 1 minute. Add chopped pineapple, increase heat and cook until pineapple blackens slightly. Remove from heat. When pineapple has cooled slightly, add orange marmalade and stir until well combined. Keep at room temperature until serving time.
4. Just before serving, fill center and top of pâté with caramelized pineapple and top with chives. Serve immediately.
About 12 servings
GREEK SHRIMP SALAD WITH LEMON DRESSING
Our friend Jane Durkee prepared this for my husband and me one glorious summer Sunday. It tasted as wonderful as the day was beautiful. Delicious companions to this impressive meal are Moist and Rich Chili Cornbread (see page 126), or if you want a lighter accompaniment, serve with slices of ciabatta bread.
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup olive oil
½ cup minced fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
Several grindings of fresh black pepper
2 pounds large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon neutral oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
⅔ cup pecan halves
½ cup thinly sliced scallions (green onions)
¾ cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
6 servings of assorted lettuce leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
2-3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 ripe avocados, cut into bite-sized pieces
1. To make the lemon dressing, combine the lemon juice, oregano, basil, garlic, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, then process until blended. Transfer dressing to a large bowl.
2. Add the shrimp and marinate it in the dressing for about 4 hours.
3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over moderate heat and sauté oregano and pecans until pecans are lightly browned. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, toss scallions, olives, and lettuce leaves with enough marinade to coat the leaves. Divide lettuce leaves among 6 serving plates and distribute shrimp evenly over salad.
5. Arrange tomato wedges and avocado on top of salad. Top salad with seasoned pecans. Serve immediately.
SUMMER CORN PANCAKES
When fresh corn is abundant during the summer months, it seems I am always gratefully decobbing and making these tasty pancakes. I chop half of the corn kernels because they are a great contrast to the whole corn kernels. Bacon and fried green tomatoes are delicious accompaniments.
2 tablespoons neutral oil
1 cup milk
½ cup yellow corn flour
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh corn kernels
Butter and syrup
1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and oil. Add milk and whisk until blended. Add corn flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Roughly chop 1 cup of the corn. Add chopped corn kernels and whole corn kernels to the flour mixture and combine until well blended.
3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat and spoon batter (about ¼ cup per pancake). Lower heat slightly and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Serve immediately and pass the butter and syrup to your guests.
14 to 16 pancakes
SUMMERTIME TOMATO PIE
Once summer rounds the corner, thoughts of eating juicy, garden-fresh tomatoes begin to enter my mind. Nothing compares to a ripe summer tomato. I can hardly wait (never buying the flavorless version from the grocery store) until they come into season when Nick and I go on a tomato-eating binge. Prepare Homemade Pie Crust (see page 132) or if crunched for time, buy a good-quality, frozen 9-inch pie shell.
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons white wine
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 (9-inch) baked pie crust
3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced (enough to fill the pie ¾ full)
15-20 fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise with ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, white wine, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Set mixture aside.
3. Arrange half of the tomatoes in the baked pie shell. Top the tomatoes with fresh basil leaves and top the basil leaves with remaining tomato slices.
4. Dollop the Parmesan/mayonnaise mixture over tomatoes. (Don’t worry about perfection as the mixture will even out while baking.)
5. Top the pie with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until lightly brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.
4 to 6 servings
CHOCOLATE MERINGUE PIE
After one bite, this melt-in-your-mouth pie always gets an ooh-la-la. For cream to properly whip, place mixing bowl and/or beaters in the freezer for about 2 hours prior to preparing whipped cream.
2 egg whites, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds)
CHOCOLATE PIE FILLING
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons hot water
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 275°F.
2. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
3. To prepare the meringue, place egg whites in a large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer, while gradually adding sugar. Increase speed, add cream of tartar, and beat until whites are glossy and stiff peaks have formed. Transfer meringue to the prepared pie plate. Spread meringue evenly across the bottom and sides of pie plate. Sprinkle nuts over top of meringue and bake for 1 hour.
4. While the meringue is baking, prepare part of the chocolate filling. (The chocolate filling has to cool before it can be added to the whipped cream.) In a medium pan over moderate heat, combine chocolate chips and hot water, then stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Set mixture aside.
5. Once the meringue has cooled, prepare the whipped cream. Pour whipping cream into medium bowl and beat on medium speed. When the cream thickens, increase the speed and continue to beat until cream falls in large globs and has soft peaks. Add cooled chocolate mixture to whipped cream and combine until well blended. Spread chocolate filling over cooled meringue shell.
6. Cover and chill pie for 2-3 hours before serving.
In This Book Cooks Kerry Dunnington has dipped into her own family’s deep culinary files and shares a wide variety of dishes that focus on making use of fresh, locally available fruits, vegetables, beef, seafood, pasta, grains. Kerry is known for her unique food combinations. Her book is filled with carefully selected, crowd-pleasing, mouth-watering recipes. The soups are to die for and the selections--from seafood lasagna with fire-roasted tomatoes, hearts of palm, mango, and cashew salad with salty lime dressing and apricot meatballs, and more – all emphasize that it is fun to make dishes quick, all natural, and delicious.
This Book Cooks
Farm-Fresh Traditional Recipes for Healthy Contemporary Eating
248 pages, 7 x 10, trade paperback original, nearly 200 recipes
Official Publication Date: June, 2015
Index, Eco Shopping Tips, Eco Your Kitchen – Product and Food Guide, Seasonal Cooking – The Farmers Market Du Jour, Online Eco-Culinary Resources– 365 Days a Year Ecological Food Challenge
Distributed by Partners Publishers Group, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Partners West
Available nationwide US and Canada in bookstores, libraries and online.
About the Author
Kerry Dunnington has operated a Baltimore catering business for more than 30 years.
Kerry’s keenness for following food seasons, ethical Tasting the Seasons food practices and wholesome food consumption encompasses all that she’s done for three decades as a food columnist, culinary consultant, caterer, food judge, recipe developer, and award-winning cookbook author. She is the author of the award winning cookbook,.
For more information visit www.KerryDunnington.com
She lives in Baltimore, Maryland