Kentucky has a rich culinary tradition with distinctive regional recipes that reflect the unique heritage of the commonwealth, and few know that tradition better than Linda Allison-Lewis. In the ten years since the publication of her celebrated first collection, Kentucky's Best: Fifty Years of Great Recipes, letters and e-mails have poured in from readers clamoring for a collection of the best recipes from her popular food column. Kentucky Cooks: Favorite Recipes from Kentucky Living presents the most popular recipes from the pages of Kentucky Living magazine. In Kentucky Cooks, traditional and contemporary flavors are united in the best recipes the state has to offer. Kentucky Cooks offers a diverse assortment of the magazine's most requested recipes. Featuring entrA(c)es, side dishes, sandwiches, snacks, breads, desserts, and more, there is something for every taste in this collection of delicious Kentucky favorites. Each section begins with an anecdote shared by a Kentucky Living staffer, a reader of the column, or related by Allison-Lewis herself. Ease into the day with morning specialties like Gingerbread Waffles, Caramel Apple--Filled Crepes, or Breakfast Tortilla Roll Ups. Cooks will be delighted to find savory selections for weeknights as well as special occasions, including new twists on old standbys such as Blackberry Vinaigrette Salad, Buttermilk Chive Biscuits, Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken, Coffee-Pecan-Glazed Ham, or Crouton and Walnut Catfish. Many entrA(c)es take a fresh look at regional favorites; Venison Italian, Pork Shoulder with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Plum Sauce, Southwest Slow-Cooker Burritos, and Grilled Chipotle Adobo Pork Tenderloin fuse unexpected ingredients for an international zing. Seasonal ingredients appear in innovative combinations in Vidalia Onion Finger Sandwiches, Shrimp Julep with Pear Salad, Honey-Baked Tomatoes, and Bison Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Stone-Ground Cheese Grits. Indulge your sweet tooth with decadent desserts like Quick-and-Easy Blackberry Cobbler, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding, Orange-Slice Cake, or Black Forest Fudge Trifle. Better yet, start with dessert and see if you have room left for dinner Whether enjoying a family meal, entertaining friends and neighbors, or hosting a holiday celebration, the recipes in Kentucky Cooks will inspire you to savor all the best the region has to offer.
A delightful mix of recipes that will inspire experienced cooks and encourage those who aspire to be accomplished in the kitchen. - SHARON THOMPSON, Lexington Herald-Leader food writer and author of Flavors of Kentucky