Cooking with compassion

Blog Thai Chili Cilantro Glaze

The first thing that you think about during the holidays? Food. Parties, family gathering and baking together are integral to the festive season. A new book shows us how to approach our food with kindness, respect and dignity. If you are inclined to eat well and give back not only this month, but throughout the year, incorporate these tips in your kitchen.

Published in October 2022, “The Humane Table – Cooking With Compassion” is a cookbook that acts as a guide to sourcing and cooking with high quality products that nourish our bodies as well as the planet. The book includes delicious recipes using dairy, meat, poultry, seafood and egg ingredients sourced from producers and chefs. A sampling includes delicate ricotta sweet potato beignets, beef satay with peanut butter dip, Fire Island blueberry duck with port wine, crisp zucchini corn fritters and refreshing key lime pie.

The author, Robin Ganzert, is the president and CEO of American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization founded in 1877. Its iconic programs include Humane Hollywood (you may recognize the “No Animals Were Harmed®” end credit on the movies you watch), Pups4Patriots™ (which trains dogs to be lifesaving service dogs for veterans with PTSD or brain injuries), American Humane Certification in agriculture, as well as global conservation for animals in zoos and aquariums.

Proceeds from Ganzert’s book benefit the nonprofit organization to further its work to protect animals around the world, including saving, sheltering and improving the lives of some 1 million animals in 2020-2021.

Georgia-based Springer Mountain Farms, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Baldwin, was the first major poultry producer in the country to become American Humane-certified. The family-run farm offers well-treated and better-tasting chickens that are guaranteed to elevate your Southern fried chicken. Just ask chef Robert Butts of Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours restaurant in Atlanta – or better yet, try his recipe for fried chicken with Thai chili cilantro glaze, one of the humane recipes he developed for Springer Mountain that’s included in Ganzert’s cookbook. Butts builds relationships with local producers to deliver the highest quality farm-to-table ingredients on his menu and also hosted the book launch event. “The food tastes more clean and delicious. When cooking with beef, you can see the natural red color and marbling and the chicken doesn’t taste tough,” says Butts.

Or check out nearly 100-year-old Rose Acre Farms in Canon which uses an efficient and sustainable egg production model, The Good Egg Coop, to produce humane and high-quality eggs, perfect for a hearty country picnic potato salad.

Get humane for the holidays by consuming healthier, happier and drug-free animal products. And, if you are looking to set up a humane table year-round, get to know where your food comes from. Butts advises shopping for ingredients from farmers markets, local butchers (like Midtown Butcher Shoppe on Monroe Drive) and accessible organic grocery stores (Sprouts, Whole Foods). Avoid freezing meats as they lose nutrition and can get freezer burn.

Glossary of producers can be found in the back of the book.

Photo courtesy The Humane Table. Shown is Robert Butts’ fried chicken with Thai chili cilantro glaze.

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Categories: Blog, Peach Plate (blog)