The Gourmet Touch: Southern Living livens up classic cookbook fare
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Mar 13, 2013 | 2655 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Once again I am reminded of the importance of an eye-catching cover on a cookbook.

When I first saw a new cookbook published by Southern Living, I was immediately drawn to it. On the cover of Southern Living’s “Feel Good Food” is a photo of a peach pie that makes my mouth water. It certainly made me “feel good.”

Now that this cookbook has been added to my collection, I can hardly wait to try many of the recipes. As I read through the book, I noticed another recipe using peaches that sounds wonderful. The peach muffins with a pecan streusel look good enough to make even sleepyheads look forward to getting up in the morning. I must just be hungry for peaches because there is much more to this cookbook than just peach recipes.

I like the chapter titled “Nostalgic” because it brings back so many memories from my youth. In this chapter, some of the recipes are a new twist on an old favorite. Who doesn’t like mac and cheese? In addition to Cheddar cheese, their recipe calls for cream cheese and smoked Gouda. I’ve got to try this one because I really like Gouda.

I mentioned Gouda at a recent cooking class and one of the ladies wanted to know more about it and how to use it. The following recipe would be a great use for Gouda. This chapter also has a few old-time favorites such as double crust chicken potpie, Southern-style collards and fried green tomatoes. In another chapter, there’s a recipe for peanut butter-banana-sandwich bread pudding with dark caramel sauce. The title says a lot, but until you actually taste this delicious dessert, there are no words that can truly describe its incredible flavor.

This is just a sampling of the great kitchen-tested recipes in this new cookbook. Also, many helpful suggestions are given along with the recipes. I could go on and on but space and time doesn’t allow it. This is a cookbook that you will want to add to your collection and use often.

Baked Smokin' Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound uncooked cellentani (corkscrew) pasta
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
1 (8 ounce) package chopped smoked ham
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 ½ cups cornflake cereal, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in Gouda, Cheddar, cream cheese, salt and ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in ham and pasta.

Pour pasta mixture into a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir together crushed cereal, 1 tablespoon melted butter and remaining ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper and sprinkle over pasta mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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The Gourmet Touch: Southern Living livens up classic cookbook fare by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star

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