Trisha Yearwood is a collar greens kind of gal, but her husband, Garth Brooks, is definitely not a Collard greens kind of guy. So when it came time to perfect her collar-stuffed wontons, she had to be a little cunning.
When the country star and her companion and sister, Beth, were first spotted at her Nashville home, Brooks and two of his friends came to the kitchen after working on their farm and didn’t say anything.
“I said, ‘You try this.’ He didn’t tell them what it was. And they ate it all. They said, ‘These are great!’ “Recalls Yearwood. “And then I told him he would eat his gourd day.”
The quirky South-Meets-Asia wontons are the feature of Yearwood’s fourth cookbook, “Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family,” It features 125 recipes that blend its knowledge of soulful Southern cuisine with influences from China, Italy and Mexico.
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Earwood says he has been hosting his Emmy-winning Food Network series for the past five years “Trisha South Kitchen” She has helped increase her culinary skills and expand her recipe development.
“I really got into the cold phase and I really blame the show for giving me the confidence to try new things. And now they are family favorites and they feel like things that are forever in the family,” she said.
Yearwood is open to imagination, asking how chefs in restaurants make dishes. She walked out of a sushi restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the origin of Garth’s Teriyaki Bowl, which uses marinated chicken and steak.
The same restaurant inspired her steak and avocado rolls, which use soy wraps to mimic sushi rolls. Earwood or Brooks are not fans of raw fish— “we roll-it-in-the-floor-and-fry-it people,” she admits — but their girls, so the recipe is compromised.
Yearwood favors a number of family recipes in the new book, including some of her father’s books. Her grandmother was a dessert specialist, but none of her recipes survived until the family recently found a little book with handwritten recipes, including a hundred dollar cupcakes. Trisha and Beth recreated a dish never written, Jacks Fried Pies, Named after her father.
The jerky had a special place in her kitchen, and she learned that she didn’t need fancy equipment or a dehumidifier to make her a BBQ or a teriyaki jerky. She turned on her oven.
“It’s really low and slow in the oven, at 200 degrees. It’s not expensive to do. You can cut really cheap meat, or you can cut it yourself, or you can put it on your lists and then you marinate it and then you cook it slowly. Then you cook it as you like. Can be tender or tough, ”he says.
Other nifty recipes include a camo cake made for her nephew’s birthday that uses food coloring to mimic a camouflage look, and the chicken potpie burger, which combines classic chicken potpie with buns.
“Everything in the book is the way she really is and the way she cooks, and it’s a reflection of her life and her personality,” says Deb Brady, vice president and publisher of adult business at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “Celebrities aren’t just putting her name on a cookbook. She’s really cooking like this.”
While there are plenty of vegan options at Yearwood, bacon plays an important role in “Trisha’s Kitchen”, including the development of snack technology called bacon straws: twisted bacon strips brushed with maple syrup and red pepper flakes and sprinkled with cheddar cheese.
“When I’m cooking, there’s a bacon burger or something going on, someone in my house walks in and they take a piece of bacon. We all want bacon, like, it doesn’t need to be on anything,” he says. “So it was an idea of making it its own thing, making it appetizing and it was crisp and crisp. You just walk in and grab one – or 10.”
The epidemic accelerated the book’s creation, the Yearwood tour schedule was halted, and the lockdown forced her into her kitchen. Easy comfort food is a natural way for her to quit quarantine.
“I was sitting on the couch, drinking coffee and landing in a depressing rabbit hole. But then – I think it was getting closer to a few months – I was like, ‘This is the right time to write a new book,'” he says.
“It was knocking on the door when you had to make a new album. In a way, it was really therapeutic and cathartic for me because I could focus on something like that, because the food really brings us together.”