I keep a record player in my kitchen and when editor Ryan sent me an e-mail about reviewing a cookbook called “Music in the Kitchen,”’ I had to jump at the opportunity to get me and kitchen record player in on the action. Needless to say, it was a nice, tasty idea.
“Music in the Kitchen” was compiled by makeup artist Glenda Pierce Facemire, a cool lady whose job is to make performers on PBS’s “Austin City Limits” concert show look and feel great. With her new cookbook, she’s managed to find yet another way to make them shine even brighter by sharing their favorite recipes with us.
Featured in the book are artists such as Willie Nelson and his tequila-mango salsa, Old Crow Medicine Show and their Corse country cottage fries and Loretta Lynn and her collard greens. To top it off, Facemire also included a list of each artist’s charity of choice, the hope being that if they inspired you via their music and their food, maybe they’ll inspire you to donate to these charities.
In honor of “Music in the Kitchen,” we decided to host a dinner party/record hop. We relocated the kitchen LP player to the kitchen table so that we could take advantage of all our counter space and so that our friends could spin their records of choice. We cooked and ate to the likes of Bill Monroe, The Pretenders, Supertramp, David Bowie – the list goes on and on.
Our dinner party/record hop menu went like this:
Appetizer: Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Baguette submitted by Cindy Cashdollar.
Dinner: Julia Child’s Pot Roast submitted by Robbie Fulks, accompanied by Babette’s Eggplant Gratin submitted by Kimmie Rhodes and Chela’s Rice submitted by Grupo Fantasma.
Dessert: My Favorite Key Lime Pie submitted by the author herself, Glenda Pierce Facemire.
Let’s cut to the chase. The roasted red pepper and goat cheese baguette was, in one word, AMAZING. It’s a simple dish to prepare – drizzle a baguette with olive oil and lightly toast in the oven, add goat cheese red peppers and basil, then top off with mozzarella and bake. Easy as pie, and tasty as all get out. Cheese with more cheese. You can’t go wrong with that. This baguette was No. 1 with a bullet.
The main course, which consisted of pot roast, rice and eggplant gratin, was also a hit. I take full responsibility for our pot roast not turning out as good as it should have. We gave it all the love it needed along with marinating it in two bottles of red wine (and some other stuff), but we messed up when it came to the cut of our roast. We went with a lean roast vs. the roast we should have opted for—the one with a whole lot of fatty goodness. It was OK only, but it wasn’t because of Julia Child or the super-witty and talented Robby Fulks. It came down to our poor choice in cut. One of our guests, an Englishman, referred to it as “cheeky.” Despite this, I now know why chefs get off on sauces, because let me tell you, this marinade boiled down to one of the best sauces I’ve ever tasted on anything.
The eggplant gratin was more like a version of eggplant parmesan that we make out of one of our favorite cookbooks. While it was delicious, we found it a bit misleading. When I think of a gratin, I think of cream and cheese; this gratin was more tomatoes and eggplant – less eggplant and cream. But what’s in a name? The end result was a square of toasty goodness topped with breadcrumbs and Gruyere that had one of our other guests, a self-proclaimed “anti-eggplantist,” to love and eat her entire portion. And I will tell you this: there’s nothing better than melted Gruyere cheese.
Chela’s rice wasn’t much news to me. As a gal who grew up in a Mexican household with Mexican fried rice, I knew this was going to be good. Chela told it like it is — you drop some Knorr in your rice if you know what’s good for you.
The crowning jewel of this meal came from a personal recommendation from Glenda herself — her favorite key lime pie. A) It made me look like a pro; and B) It’s hands down the best key lime pie I’ve ever tasted, period. Glenda knows the secret to good food, and that is to keep it simple. It was the lightest, fluffiest, just-get-down good piece of pie I’ve ever had. Our English guest had two slices and then took off with the remaining pie for breakfast. Yes, it is that good. “Music in the Kitchen” is a good addition to your cookbook collection based on this key lime pie recipe alone. “Music in the Kitchen,” University of Texas Press, $34.95 hardcover.
Marina Monsisvais is a former HERO-FM disc jockey, a former What’s Up’s music columnist and an eternal foodie.