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South the Beautiful Cookbook

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The southern region of the United States is a stunning landscape of smoky mountains, undulating hills, scrubby coastal plains, mysterious swamps, subtropical shorelines and alluvial flatlands. More than 60 million Americans call the South home; the result is an ethnic stewpot that has been simmering for centuries, rendering a population as spicy as anything a Cajun might conjure. The rich cuisine of the South has benefited from such a merging of cultural traditions: Louisiana Creole cooking alone owes its ...

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Overview

The southern region of the United States is a stunning landscape of smoky mountains, undulating hills, scrubby coastal plains, mysterious swamps, subtropical shorelines and alluvial flatlands. More than 60 million Americans call the South home; the result is an ethnic stewpot that has been simmering for centuries, rendering a population as spicy as anything a Cajun might conjure. The rich cuisine of the South has benefited from such a merging of cultural traditions: Louisiana Creole cooking alone owes its heritage to a blend of African, French, Spanish, Caribbean and native American ingredients and techniques.

The South the Beautiful Cookbook showcases the great diversity of Southern cooking and reveals that the food of the South is far more than fried chicken and mashed potatoes. With over 200 recipes by author Mara Reid Rogers and a star-studded list of contributing chefs and Southern food authorities, The South the Beautiful Cookbook provides the quintessential Southern food experience from the traditional to the cutting edge. Old favorites — Seafood Gumbo, aromatic Smoked Barbecue Ribs, spicy Jambalaya and Granny Lou's Coconut Cake — fill the Southern table alongside innovative creations like Cream of Shiitake Soup with Virginia Ham, Roasted Squab on Sweet Potato Spoon Bread, Cheese Grits Souffle, and Chocolate Pecan Pie. All these delicious recipes are illustrated in full-color photographs by Philip Salaverry.

Award-winning journalist Jim Auchmutey writes a lyrical and informative text about the cultural and culinary history of the South, which is brought to life in the full-color photography by two leading National Geographic photographers, Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson, who traveled from Virginia to Florida to document the South.

Together this team of contributors, with the expertise of Southern food writer and editor Susan Puckett, creates a portrait of Southern hospitality and charm. Southerners have expressed their distinctive culture in many ways, from their music to their stories, but no expression strikes closer to the heart than the great folk art of Southern cooking.

From the bayous of Louisiana to the coasts of the Carolinas, The South the Beautiful Cookbook offers a broad range of wonderful recipes which employ the vibrant flavors and distinctive culinary legacy of a new, health-conscious Southern kitchen. 250 color photos. 240 recipes. Glossary.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780002251969
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 14.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Mara Reid Rogers is a professional food and entertaining consultant, writer, recipe developer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is also the author of numerous cookbooks: Contemporary One Dish Meals, Creative Garnishing, The International Spud, and The Instant Ethnic Cook. Raised in New England, Ms. Rogers now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, photographer Mark Hill.

Jim Auchmutey is a nationally award-winning reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and has written widely on Southern food. A fifth-generation Georgian, he co-edited the book True South, and co-wrote The Ultimate Barbecue Cookbook. He lives in Atlanta,Georgia with his wife, Pam.

Susan Puckett, executive food editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has won numerous national awards for food writing and editing. She is the author of A Cook's Tour of Mississippi, A Cook's Tour of Iowa and Dips, and coauthor of The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce Cookbook. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, she currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim Smith.

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Read an Excerpt

Muddle

Serves 4

The word "muddle" is Southern for a mess of fish, otherwise known as fish stew. This version, which can use almost any white, firm, dry fish, such as grouper or red snapper, along with scallops and shrimp (prawns), was created by Carolina chef and cookbook author Bill Neal,

Ingredients:

5 slices lean bacon, cut into 1/4-in (6-mm) cubes
4 yellow onions, quartered and sliced
3/4cup (4 oz/125 g) finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2teaspoon finely grated orange zest (see glossary)
28 oz (875 g) canned tomatoes, drained and ±L,4 sliced
1 lb (500 g) red waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into V2-in (12-mm) cubes
5 cups (40 fl oz/1.25 1) fish stock or shrimp stock (see glossary)
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 dried red chili pepper, about 3 in (7.5 cm) long
salt to taste
6 oz (185 g) skinless, boneless, white, non-oily fish, such as red snapper or
grouper, cut into3/4-in (2-cm) pieces
6 oz (185 g) shrimp (prawns), peeled and deveined (see glossary)
6 oz (185 g) bay scallops, whole, or sea scallops, quartered
1/2 cup (1/2oz/45 g) finely chopped green (spring) onions, including tender green tops
1-1/2tablespoons, finely chopped fresh basil
1-1/2tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring often, until crisp and rendered of fat. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels and set aside.

Add the onions, celery, garlic and orange zest to the bacon fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes. Add thetomatoes and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the potatoes, fish stock or shrimp stock, thyme, dried chili pepper and. salt and stir well. Cover pot and simmer until the potatoes are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Add the fish and shrimp and simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Add the scallops, stir and cook 1 minute longer. Add more salt to taste and remove from the heat. Remove and discard the dried chili pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the cooked bacon, green onions, basil and parsley.To serve, ladle the stew into individual bowls and garnish with the bacon mixture. Serve hot.


Fried Green Tomatoes

Serves 4

Ever since their starring role in the feature film of the same name, the popularity of fried green tomatoes has grown, It is no longer necessary to grow your own tomatoes or drive to a roadside stand-they can be found at many farmers' markets and even some supermarkets. Crunchy on the outside and lemony-tart on the inside, Fried Green Tomatoes are easy to make and a great way to use up the last of the season's harvest, those that just won't ripen. If you want an extra boost of flavor, heat the oil with a few strips of bacon and when the oil is ready, remove and discard the bacon. Serve with grilled meats or Pan-fried Soft-s hell Crabs (recipe on page 103) or for breakfast with eggs.

Ingredients:

1 egg 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) sifted all-purpose (plain) flour
3/4 cup (4 oz/125 g) yellow cornmeal vegetable oil for frying
3 firm green (unripe) tomatoes, cored and cut into 12 slices salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish (optional)

Preheat an oven to 200'F (93'C).

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, the 1/2 teaspoon salt and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper and beat until well blended. In another medium bowl, combine the flour and cornmeal.

In a heavy, deep skillet over medium-high heat, pour the oil to a depth of 1/2 in (12 mm) and heat to 350'F (1 80'C) on a deep-fry thermometer. Dip the tomato slices in the egg mixture to coat evenly. Then dip in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess and wiping your hands to avoid build-up. Fry the tomatoes in 3 batches, turning once, until the coating is crisp and fight golden brown on both sides, a total of 3-5 minutes per batch.

Working quickly with a slotted spatula, transfer the tomatoes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Then transfer the tomatoes to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place in the warm oven until all the batches are ready to serve. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve warm. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2001

    I laughed, I cried, I salivated...

    It's excellent. I am a culinary arts student in Philadelphia and I found it at my school library - confiscated it. Have to buy my own, so I can replace it. I am not a native Southerner, but a second generation one. My family is from North Carolina, and I travel South to New Orleans with my best friend every year. My mother is in Virginia. My brother is in Florida and my sister is in Georgia. Reading this cookbook conjured up all kinds of childhood memories and more recent, young adult pure fun ones as well. Also makes me want to travel all the Southern towns I've skipped. Something about the Southern way of hospitality and cuisine equates comfort to me and reading this book took me to that place, where I could just cuddle up on a couch, front door open and lazy Southern sun stroking me to sleep. Hope you enjoy it as well!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2000

    AUTHENTIC SOUTHERN

    An excellent reference for those who cannot get enough Good Southern Cooking. Many historically accurate American recipes are originally from the South and this book shows step by step methods for recreating the best of Southern cooking, and yes the pictures are beautiful and inspiring. A must have for any lover of American Southern cookery. Monticello Salad, Southern Grits, Southern Biscuits, and seafoood extraordinaire!

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