I love cook books. We know this about me. And we also know that many of you out there share in my passion for the. Like me, you collect them. Read them like novels. Get lost in them. Well, today I'm going to introduce you to the latest one that's been added to my collection:
Around The Table
Recipes and Inspiration for Gatherings Throughout the Year
by Martina McBride
Yep, you read that correctly. One of country music's most beloved artists has just published her first book filled with her personal tips for entertaining and inventive party ideas. We are talking simplicity for parties in your home. From recipes to even music play lists, Martina gives you all the tools you need to throw an amazing, but still budget friendly, gathering your guests will love.
It was so hard to decide on a few recipes I wanted to share with all of you, but finally I narrowed it down to these three, because I think they are perfect for the upcoming holiday season.
Autumn chopped salad
The Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe follows) has a pleasant tanginess that is a
nice change of pace from the usual super sweet poppy seed dressings, plus it balances
the sweetness of the dried cherries and pears. I dress the salad very lightly and offer
more of the dressing for guests to add at the table if they wish.
3 romaine hearts, chopped (about 8 cups)
2 small Red Bartlett pears, chopped 3⁄4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
3⁄4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1⁄2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing
1. Combine the lettuce, pears, cherries, pecans, bacon, feta, and parsley on a large
platter or in a large bowl. Serve with the Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing.
Tip: Have you ever noticed that when you toss a salad all the good stuff (in this case the
fruit, nuts, cheese, and bacon) goes to the bottom of the bowl? I like to toss the
chopped lettuce with the dressing and then add the rest of the ingredients on top. It’ s
really pretty that way and it ensures that everyone gets a little of everything on their
salad plate. This salad is pretty enough to bring to the table to serve.
Balsamic–Poppy Seed Dressing
Makes 1 cup
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1⁄3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grated yellow onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine the poppy seeds, sugar, balsamic vinegar, onion, garlic, mustard powder,
salt, and pepper in a food processor, pulsing 3 times. With the food processor running,
gradually add the olive oil through the feed tube, blending until incorporated.
2. Pour the dressing into a screw-top jar and store in the refrigerator. When ready to use, shake to combine.
Garlic Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
3 pounds jumbo tail on shrimp (16 to 20 or 21 to 25 count), peeled and deveined
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
3⁄4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic, olive oil, salt, and the pepper. Spread the
shrimp in a single layer on a 17 × 13-inch rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment
3. Roast the shrimp for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until they are opaque and firm.
Transfer the shrimp to a shallow dish and refrigerate, partially covered, for at least 3
Serve with Spicy Cocktail Sauce with Red Onion (recipe follows).
Spicy Cocktail Sauce
1 cup ketchup
3⁄4 cup chili sauce
1⁄4 cup grated red onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno
1⁄3 cup prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash of Tabasco hot sauce
Combine the ketchup, chili sauce, onion, jalapeno, horseradish, lemon juice,
Worcestershire sauce, salt, and Tabasco in a medium bowl.
Chill, covered, until ready to use.
Serves 8 to 10
This is a savory, rustic, satisfying main course dish. Feel free to use all breast pieces if
that’s what your family prefers. Just make sure they are skin-on, bone-in breasts. If you
have a Dutch oven or roasting pan, you can prep this from start to finish all in the same
pan. Just place the roasting pan over two burners.
2 whole (4- to 5-pound) farm-raised chickens, cut into serving pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves
7 to 8 fresh sage leaves
1⁄2 bottle dry white wine, plus 3⁄4 cup flour for dusting
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), drained
1 cup whole pitted Kalamata or Taggiasca olives
2 cups fresh sliced baby Portobello mushrooms
2 cups chicken stock
1. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the
pieces in a large bowl. Smash and peel the garlic and add it to the bowl with the sage
leaves and the half bottle of wine, turning the pieces to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator,
turning the pieces occasionally, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade. Dust the chicken pieces lightly with the flour. Heat a Dutch oven or 16 x 13-inch roasting pan over
medium-high heat for 1 minute, then add the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the red
pepper flakes and stir about 1 minute.
3. Working in batches, brown 3 to 4 pieces of chicken at a time, skin side down, 5 minutes per side until the skin is golden brown, and set aside.
4. Add the remaining ¾ cup wine to the pan, stirring to loosen any browned bits, and boil
for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, and
chicken stock to blend. Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the tomato mixture over
the chicken. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil, or if using a Dutch oven,
cover with the lid.
5. Bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until the
juices run clear when the chicken is pierced between the leg and the thigh with the tip of a knife.
I told you every dish was more mouth watering than the last. If you love to entertain at home, this cookbook is going to be your new best friend. Or, maybe you have a foodie on your gift list this year! They would love this too. Either way, you can find Around The Family Table on Amazon. Happy entertaining!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of the cookbook in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.