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Kentucky's Best

Kentucky's Best: Fifty Years of Great Recipes

Linda Allison-Lewis
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Kentucky's Best
    Book Description:

    To many, Kentucky means the greatest thoroughbreds in the world. To others, it is the home of the finest bourbon. But the obvious success of burgoo, Owensboro barbeque, and Harlan Sanders's Kentucky Fried Chicken carries the state's reputation for excellence to a wider audience. From the perfect mint julep to benedictine, from a classic hot brown to cheese chutney,Kentucky's Bestcaptures the full range of the state's culinary delights. Linda Allison-Lewis combines traditional and gourmet dishes, offering recipes from all parts of the state and from beloved restaurants and inns.

    Start with a mouth-watering soup from Amelia's Field Country Inn or experience the wonderful smell of the Seelbach Hotel's Sourmash Bourbon Bread as it bakes in the oven. And be sure to save room for peanut butter pie from Gambill Mansion Bed and Breakfast or a slice of Kentucky Whiskey Cake! For special meals, check out sections such as "Lunch and Teatime Favorites" and "Derby Favorites." A delight to read as well as to use,Kentucky's Bestalso reveals the stories behind the favorites. Whether it's the story of Old Talbott Tavern, the oldest stage-coach stop in America, or the tale of young Alma Harbin's mistaking gladiola bulbs for onions when she first prepared potato salad for her husband-to-be, Allison-Lewis reveals a flair for storytelling.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5973-7
    Subjects: Sociology, American Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-2)

    I grew up knowing that there was something very special about my home state and the tradition in cooking that my family enjoyed and encouraged. Several of my family members were entrepreneurs in the food business in Kentucky; they had been taught by old-world bakers. My grandparents owned a successful catering business during World War II and also operated many bakeries throughout the years. My uncle Vincent has served as pastry chef at such world-famous places as Boca Raton’s five-star, five-diamond hotel, the Grand in Mackinaw Island, the French Lick Sheraton, and operations that serve Walt Disney World in Orlando....

  5. Appetizers
    (pp. 3-16)

    I know of no other category of food that I enjoy preparing more than appetizers. I can be as creative as I choose in preparing for parties at home as well as in making beautiful silver platters filled with delectable finger foods for my catering business. It is when I prepare appetizers that I most accomplish what the name of my small business—Impress the Guest—implies. I love watching my guests’ eyes as they look over a table filled with spreads, fresh vegetables, dips, and surprise creations I always come up with at the last minute.

    Every year on...

  6. Breads and Rolls
    (pp. 17-36)

    This chapter is exciting for me because it contains bread recipes that my uncle Vincent and I created using home breadmakers. These machines are quite popular today and are becoming more and more affordable. I chose several of the best recipes we tested and included them in this section for those of you fortunate enough to have a breadmaker. I use mine quite frequently in colder months and enjoy the convenience of homemade bread without the work. And nothing on earth compares to the smell of bread baking in the oven. My daughter, Noélle, and I often enjoy a meal...

  7. Side Dishes
    (pp. 37-64)

    Side dishes are quite an opportunity to be creative with food. A side dish, while meant to complement and not compete with an entrée, can take the form of casserole, sautéed vegetables, potatoes, or pasta.

    The most exciting time for me to prepare side dishes is when my favorite vegetables are in season. A platter of ripe tomatoes sliced fresh from the garden can complement a meal as well as candied carrots or a fancy eggplant dish.

    I feature several vegetable recipes from myKentucky Livingcolumn given to me by Fred and Jenny Wiche. Fred Wiche is Kentucky’s best-known...

  8. Main Dishes
    (pp. 65-112)

    Main dishes are as diversified as Kentucky cooking itself. They are also reflective of a cook’s own talent and preference. I am as likely to serve a plate of fried chicken with buttermilk biscuits and cream gravy as I am to painstakingly create a beef Wellington fit for the most distinguished connoisseur. The beauty of my appreciation of Kentucky cooking is that, to me, these two dishes are equally fun to prepare and equally delicious. This is key in what I have discovered of main dishes here in the bluegrass state.

    In addition to my own collection of main dish...

  9. Lunch and Teatime Favorites
    (pp. 113-136)

    As I grow older, I appreciate more and more the occasion of a lunch shared with special friends in my home. I find myself putting as much energy and emphasis on preparing lunch as I do more lavish meals. To me, it is a time to laugh and talk in a light atmosphere, and I want the meal to reflect the pleasure of this chance to spend much-needed time with friends. I enjoy preparing a good mushroom soup and a loaf of crusty bread as much as I love to prepare fajitas on the grill and set out small dishes...

  10. Soups and Salads
    (pp. 137-158)

    Nothing warms the heart and the kitchen as much as a bowl of hot soup. I admit that I am a soup connoisseur and love to begin cooking on a cold rainy day with a rich stock, some wine, and no idea what delicious concoction will result in the pot that evening. I have offered you my favorites from a collection of soup recipes created over the years and recipes sent to me by readers. A soup can be the ultimate comfort food. I have learned over the years that the aroma of a good soup simmering will surely bring...

  11. Desserts
    (pp. 159-198)

    I could write all day on the history of desserts in my family. I grew up believing that it was no special trick for any mom to whip up cream puffs, butter danish, and French crullers, as my own mother did it on a regular basis. We never knew what would be waiting as an after-school treat, but we always knew it would be homemade and it would be delicious.

    My uncle Vincent has served in many renowned places as executive pastry chef, and he is responsible for many good recipes in this cookbook. When I visit him in Florida...

  12. Derby Favorites
    (pp. 199-226)

    Horses are part of my soul, and memories of the Kentucky Derby are among my favorites. Derby foods are always a part of those memories. I grew up in a family where horses and the Kentucky Derby were quite the traditions. My father, Harold Allison, broke wild horses with his brother, Raymond, in their native Montana. He astounded my mother on their honeymoon in Great Falls by leading her horse out of quicksand. As a child, I loved the stories of these true bronco busters.

    I remember my grandparents often having out-of-town guests for the Kentucky Derby and the fuss...

  13. Holiday Favorites
    (pp. 227-252)

    I’ve lived in many states across the country and have enjoyed the holidays immensely in one or two of them. But nothing compares with Christmastime in Kentucky. I’m sure most of my fellow Kentuckians would agree. Much of what makes our holidays so special is the food we prepare. Kentucky cooks love to bake or prepare their favorite dishes for a holiday potluck dinner at church or a progressive dinner served in several friends’ homes.

    For years I marveled at the way my mother-in-law, Flossie Fulkerson Lewis, would prepare divinity on one special day in December. It never failed to...

  14. Bluegrass Bounty
    (pp. 253-264)

    We are blessed to live in a state where fruits and vegetables abound during warm months. I prefer Kentucky tomatoes over any other, and I make full use of a garden whenever I can. I have canned for years, but still get excited over new jam recipes or how beautiful green beans look when I put the jars on the shelves. When Christian and Andrea (my son and beautiful daughter-in-law) visit from Cincinnati we love to enjoy a jar of homemade strawberry or blackberry preserves with breakfast.

    I will never forget how amazed I was the first time I made...

  15. Index
    (pp. 265-270)