A Southern Culinary Cure
Tuesday at 2:10 pm
The cover of restaurateur Mee McCormick’s newest cookbook, “My Pinewood Kitchen-A Southern Culinary Cure,” promises “130+ crazy delicious, gluten-free recipes to reduce inflammation & make your gut happy.” As it turns out, the book delivers a lot more.
McCormick, who runs Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile in Pinewood, Tennessee with her husband Lee and their daughters Bella and Lola, suffered from lifelong digestive problems serious enough to make a complete change in her dietary regimen a must. To make it happen, she developed a two-pronged game plan.
My Pinewood Kitchen
Research was the obvious first step, followed, in this case, by the development of easy-to-use recipes designed to implement the necessary changes. “My Kitchen Cure,” her first cookbook, features gut-friendly adaptations of the classic recipes she studied during her tenure at a professional culinary program. Her second book, “My Pinewood Kitchen,” also provides recipes, along with an overview of the current research on gut issues and the story of Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile, the restaurant she and her husband own in rural Tennessee. Located an hour’s drive from Nashville, the restaurant is adjacent to the family’s Pinewood Farm.
Since I’m neither a dietician nor a doctor, it’s hard for me to judge the accuracy of the information concerning food-related dietary issues. On the other hand, I do have a variety of digestive issues, and I found her information both interesting and helpful.
McCormick’s recipes incorporate a lot of the newish-or repositioned- ingredients popular with a substantial segment of consumers. Think gluten-free flour, cashew sour cream, hijiki seaweed, and coconut bacon, for example. While the jury is still out on some of the newbies, her recipes, along with the photos of the finished dishes, are compelling, whatever the verdict.
I used thin cut breasts to make the recipe, which eliminated the need to pound the meat to a uniform thickness. And since I don’t have a gluten issue, I used unbleached flour in lieu of a gluten-free option. Easy enough for even a novice cook, the finished dish was a thumbs-up, four star success,
3 tablespoons 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend (or almond flour)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if meat free, use grilled portobello mushrooms or roasted cauliflower florets and skip the directions for cooking the chicken)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vegan butter, grass-fed butter or ghee
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup organic chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon drained capers
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, sea salt, and black pepper. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture; set aside.
- Pound the chicken to 1/2-inch thickness between sheets of parchment paper with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture, shaking off excess.
- In. a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the chicken, cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the center. Transfer to a serving platter; cover loosely with foil.
- Add the garlic to the same skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the reserved tablespoon of the mixture; cook and stir for one minute. Add the broth and lemon juice; cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in the parsley and capers until blended. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.
Note: The book does contain recipes for both chicken and vegetable broth.
Mee McCormick, “My Pinewood Kitchen-A Southern Culinary Cure,” Health Communications Inc. $26.95. Photos courtesy of the author and publisher.