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Cookbook Release: New Classic Family Dinners by Mark Peel with Martha Rose Shulman

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Mark Peel has been hosting his famous Monday Night Dinners at Campanile for over ten years. Served family-style, everyone eats the same meal. Not only is the serving style homey, but the dishes are typical home-cooked comfort food, raised just one notch higher by Peel's deft hand. The co-author of New Classic Family Dinners, Martha Rose Shulman shadowed the chef in the kitchen, measuring the ingredients as he cooked. The recipes didn't need too much fussing with, as most of them originated in the home kitchen.

Monday night Campanile hosted the book release party. Both of the authors were on hand to meet and greet, provide photo ops and sign books. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres included Southern Fried Chicken Drumsticks, Campanile Beef, Pork and Chicken Meatballs, Clams Casino, Onion, Potato and Bacon Tart, and other "culinary delights" from "New Classic Family Dinners." The Tonnato Rolls were fascinating, with tuna wrapped around veal. But of all the standard crowd-pleasers my favorite dish of the night was the spectacular Minestrone. I can't wait until the weather cools down - it is the first recipe I will be making out of this book, and probably not the last.