Country star McBride invites you to dine at ‘Martina’s Table’

‘Martina’s Table’ – McBride’s kitchen medley

Martina McBride in “Martina’s Table”

We all knows Martina McBride as a Grammy-nominated country artist with a laundry list of hit recordings to her name.

But the 52-year-old Kansas native is also a wife and mother who likes to grow her own vegetables and cook for her family when she can. And it’s that Midwestern sensibility she brings to a new series she hosts on Food Network beginning this week.

In “Martina’s Table,” premiering Sunday, Nov. 18, McBride gives a glimpse into how she entertains at home, sharing recipes and cooking tips as she prepares meals for her family and friends including Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill and Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman.

“My cooking is pretty simple and straightforward,” McBride explains, “no crazy, exotic ingredients or nothing too complicated. And so I cook things like pot roast and cheddar and bacon biscuits and hash brown casserole and we did a turkey because we had a Thanksgiving episode. So just kind of a variety of different meals and different kinds of food.”

In Sunday’s opener, McBride prepares a Thanksgiving dinner complete with a sausage, cherry and cornbread stuffing, roasted cinnamon “Harrisburgs,” romaine salad with pear, smoked blue cheese and candied pecans and, of course, a roasted turkey.

“I did a dry brine,” McBride says of how she prepares her bird, “so I did baking powder and salt and just let it brine in the refrigerator for 24 hours. And then I made an infused oil with garlic and spices and I just rubbed that all over the turkey and put it in the oven and blasted it for about 30 minutes at a higher heat and reduced the heat. And I stuffed it with citrus, orange and lemons and sage and rosemary and it was delicious. … The flavor gets down in the turkey, the salt flavor, and then it also makes the skin really crispy.”

In subsequent episodes, McBride does a Mexican spread of black bean enchiladas, confetti rice and avocado hummus, and a casual holiday brunch for friends.

Many of the recipes prepared on “Martina’s Table” can also be found in her new cookbook “Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life,” which she says is a reflection of how she and her family eat.

“I eat healthy about 90 percent of the time,” she explains, “but you just every once in a while have to have a decadent, cozy comfort-food dish. I think the book has a good balance of those recipes. We have some really healthy vegetarian (recipes) and things that are on the healthier end and then I have chocolate cheesecake.

“I think it’s the way people eat,” she continues. “I think most of us like to splurge now and then. So yeah, I’m really proud of the cookbook. I cook out of it all the time and I still make those recipes over and over again, so I think people will really (find it) enjoyable. It’s approachable.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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