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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Spunky Food Network matriarch Deen returns with yet another down-home Southern recipe compilation, including the input of family members this time around. Classic comfort food is what Deen and family do best, and in that respect this collection doesn't disappoint: dishes like Beefy French Onion Soup, Caesar salad, Michael's Navy Bean and Ham Hock Soup, Carrie's Bacon Creamed Spinach and a simple baked fish topped with a buttery mixture of lemon and green onion are surefire hits for cooks of all skill levels. Of course, it wouldn't be a Deen production if there weren't some serious bacon-, dairy- and mayonnaise-based dishes involved; artery cloggers include Candied Bourbon Bacon Bites, Croque Madame Casserole and indulgent Deluxe Twice-Baked Potatoes with Shrimp. Shockingly, Deen devotes a whole chapter to healthy food, including Red Pepper-Balsamic Dip, Easy Poached Salmon and a Spicy Chicken and Green Chile Chili that'll give hearts and waistlines a well-deserved break before Deen carts out the Coconut Cream Bread Pudding with Chocolate Velvet Sauce.
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For Paula Deen, it's all in the family
Paula Deen is known as the undisputed queen of Southern cookingand for good reason! After starting a small-scale catering company as a single mother with almost nothing to her name, she has built a culinary empire. Deen has written nine best-selling cookbooks and a best-selling memoir, hosts three of her own shows on the Food Network, started a cooking and lifestyle magazine, and owns two successful Savannah restaurants. It seems there isn't anything this gifted Southern belle can't do! But the best part, Deen says, is sharing her successand her cookingwith her family.
In Paula Deen's The Deen Family Cookbook, Deen invites us into her home to share some of her family and friends' all-time favorite recipes. We meet Deen's extended family, including husband Michael, a tugboat captain who makes mean Coffee-Braised Short Ribs; beloved niece, Corrie, who introduced Paula to her innovative Thai-Style Chicken and Veggies; and of course, Paula's beloved boysher little brother, Bubba, and her sons, Jamie and Bobby. We also get recipes from friends like Billy Joel's wife, Katie Lee Joel (Deen can't resist her Pumpkin Soufflé Pancakes) and Bea ArthurDorothy from Golden Girls and one of Deen's favorite actressesthe chef behind a classic recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes.
You'll feel like an honorary Deen as you page through more than 140 mouth-watering family recipes. From quick, delicious snacks, to sweet and savory breakfasts, to rich, sumptuous main courses, Paula Deenand her family and friendshave a snack or meal for every occasion. And, as always, the Deen recipes are simple, down-home Southern staples.
But the best part? Deen concedes that there are some dishesnot too many, of coursethat her family members can make even better than she can. And she graciously shares these special recipes with readerse. Take her husband Michael's Slow Cooker Chicken 'n' Dumplings, his son Anthony's Ultimate Doubly Cheesy Mac 'n' Cheese, and her son Bobby's Gumbo Rice Bake. We are used to Deen sharing recipes close to her heart, but it's great fun to have dishes from her extended family and friends too.
Be sure to pick up a copy of Deen's latest offering, The Deen Family Cookbook, but in the meantime, why not try one of her favorite recipes? Here's a simple one, from the kitchen of Deen's Aunt Peggy. Deen started making this meat loaf when she was first delivering sandwiches with her catering company. She says it was always popular, and she never changed a thing!
Aunt Peggy's Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound ground beef
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
1Ú2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1Ú2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1Ú2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1Ú4 teaspoon pepper
1Ú3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons packed light
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, tomato paste, onion, green pepper, oats, egg, salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Slather the glaze on top of the meat loaf and bake for 1 hour or until the meat loaf is firm and cooked all the way through. Serve hot.
Recipe from The Deen Family Cookbook reprinted with permission of Simon & Schuster.