This cookbook could not have arrived at a better time for me! The summer is always at time when I find it easier to eat clean and healthy especially with all the fresh fruits and vegetables. I was excited to have the opportunity to review Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s newest cookbook, Pure Food: A Chef’s Handbook for Eating Clean with Healthy, Delicious Recipes. Kurt is the owner of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and is a chef, restaurateur and editor.
I was really intrigued by his book because it discusses how the additives in our food today has contributed to today’s health epidemic. It’s something I am becoming more and more aware of as I notice the effects of additives my children experience. I really enjoyed learning about the Beecher’s Pure Food Kids Foundation that was formed in 2004 to arm children with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices. This goes along with something I try to instill into my children daily.
The book guides readers on how to take charge of your health and create a pure and additive-free diet at home. I enjoyed the section of the book that focuses on cleaning out your pantry and what was recommendated to rebuild a pantry full of pure, nourishing foods. The book also features more than 80 recipes and I can’t wait to start cooking from it.
The first recipe I want to try is for Bennett’s Burgers. This is one of the staples at Bennett’s in Seattle. It’s a mixture of ground beef and pork and they top it with a slice of Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, quick pickled red onions and crispy prosciutto…all on a toasted brioche bun with a slather of a 50/50 blend of grainy mustard and mayo. YUM!
1 ½ pounds ground beef
½ pound ground pork
2 tablespoons The Butcher’s Table Seasoning Blend (see below)
In a large bowl, lightly mix the meats and seasoning until just combined. Divide into 4 portions. Gently shape each portion into loose, ¾-inch-thick patties with rough edges. Make the centers of the patties ½ inch thinner than the edges. Set aside until ready to cook, up to 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Grill (or cook indoors in a skillet) to desired doneness and serve.
The Butcher’s Table Seasoning Blend recipe
This seasoning blend is intended to have some texture to it, so be careful when pulsing the rosemary and seeds in the coffee grinder not to process them too finely.
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons anise seed
1 ½ teaspoons fennel seed
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons granulated lemon peel
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Lapsang Souchong tea (2 tea bags)
Using a coffee grinder, pulse the rosemary, anise, and fennel 3 to 6 times, until most of the seeds are cracked. In a small bowl, combine with the remaining ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.