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Publishers WeeklyFreelance food writer Elizabeth Wiegand (The Outer Banks Cookbook) turns her attention to North Carolina's famed Blue Ridge Mountains for this unique collection of old and new local specialties. After a short history of the region, Wiegand offers recipes for starting off the day with Sweet Potato Pancakes, homemade chicken sausage, or "Mountain Pie," a regional favorite from Blacksburg, Virginia that's a riff on traditional blueberry cobbler topped with fruit instead of streusel. Wild Mushroom Rugelach is a savory twist on a sweet favorite, and Green Goddess Chevre dressing, chicken soup with wild ramps, and Grilled Apple Ginger Trout Fillets are inspired. An amiable and enthusiastic host, Wiegand guides readers through the region, offering advice on berry picking ("remember that bears and field mice also like blueberries, and snakes like the mice"), a short history of moonshine, and getting the most out of a country ham. Though she occasionally gets a little too local, dishes such as a simple, yet pitch-perfect Chicken Fried Steak, Applejack and Cider-Brined Pork Chops, and the sophisticated Grilled New York Strip with Bourbon Onions, Swiss Chard and Confit Potatoes bring redemption. Photos.
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