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A Seasonal Food Journey

For many cooks, the Joy of Cooking was and is the basic go-to guide for the best basic brownie, pancakes, beef tenderloin, or mashed potatoes recipe. It was named by the New York Public Library as one of the 150 most influential books of the 20th century. From 2004 to 2006, it was up to Fort Wright resident Maggie Green to shepherd the revision for the 75th anniversary of the iconic classic for the Joy of Cooking Trust.

It’s a hard act to follow. But Green, a registered dietitian, graduate of both the University of Kentucky’s food and nutrition program and Sullivan University’s culinary arts program, has lots of tools at her fingertips, not the least of which is a keyboard. She is a food and nutrition consultant and writes prolifically.

Recently released from the University Press of Kentucky, Green’s The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook is a tribute to Kentucky, its changing seasons, and the ways that cooks naturally acknowledge those seasons through the dishes they choose to prepare each day.

Though Green’s recipes are designed to be supermarket-friendly, she admits to a penchant for local, sometimes harder-to-find ingredients. “Cooking seasonally and buying local Kentucky ingredients and food form the foundation of my philosophy of cooking and eating seasonally,” she writes. “It’s not always possible, I know, but something to strive for.”

Cooking seasonally means eating butternut squash and dried beans in February, cooking stews in the winter, and grilling outdoors in the summer. But it also means celebrating the holidays and special days, which provide a rhythm to our lives. Conveniently, Green organizes her book by months and menus. In honor of February’s famous football game, Green suggests a robust white chili.

Find out more about Green online at www.greenapron.com.

WHITE BEAN AND CHICKEN CHILI
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1⁄4 tsp ground cloves
1 C chopped green chilies (two 4-oz cans)
4 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 C cooked (two 15-oz cans) Great Northern beans
4 C diced, cooked chicken
Grated Monterey Jack cheese for garnish (Kenny’s Farmhouse cheese is delicious)
Salsa verde, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano, and cloves, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the green chilies, chicken broth, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook about 10 minutes more. Serve topped with cheese, salsa, and sour cream, if desired. Serves 6-8.


READER RECIPE

MOM’S CHOCOLATE PIE
2 single piecrusts
2 C sugar
6 Tbsp self-rising flour (see note)
3⁄4 C cocoa
1⁄2 C butter
3 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
6 egg yolks

Cook piecrust shells according to directions. Mix sugar, flour, and cocoa together; stir to blend. Melt butter in a medium pan over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks to break them up. Add milk, vanilla, and egg yolks to melted butter. Add dry ingredients and stir continuously until it boils. Continue boiling on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until very thick. Pour into pie shells. Makes 2 pies or 16 pie slices.

Don’t have self-rising flour? Substitute all-purpose flour and add 1⁄2 tsp salt.

Submitted by Jessica Groom of Gracey, Pennyrile Electric cooperative, who writes, “This recipe comes from my mom. She always made these when we were growing up and they never last long! They are delicious. I suppose that’s why the recipe makes two rather than one.”

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