While there are many excellent volumes devoted to Southern cookery, there seems to be no limit to our fascination with down-home eats—and thus, no limit to the market for chicken-fried anything. This omnibus is celebrity Deen's answer to The Joy of Cooking, covering the wide swath of regional favorites from Creole jambalaya to Memphis dry-rub ribs, from Charleston shrimp and grits to the grilled turkey sandwich known as the Kentucky Hot Brown. Written, with Clark, in her trademark colloqu-y'all style with plenty of personal anecdotes and helpful tips, Deen's recipes are approachable and unintimidating. Simplified illustrations throughout demonstrate techniques such as dropping cookies onto a baking sheet, arranging coals on a grill and scoring a ham. Sprinkled in and among the definitive, reliable classics like chicken-fried steaks with cream gravy, and burgoo are some contemporary updates like baked brie with fig jam, praline french toast casserole, and a tortilla-crusted tilapia. Then there are Deen's extra-homey signature specialties like cheeseburger meatloaf with cream of mushroom sauce; maple bacon and hominy; and butterscotch pretzel pie. Although it's not quite as comprehensive as it could be, this is certainly an honorable addition to the field. Photos. (Oct.)
"This omnibus is [Paula] Deen's answer to The Joy of Cooking . . . an honorable addition to the field." —Publishers Weekly
Few Southern favorites are missing from Deen's latest, which succeeds as a comprehensive guide to Southern home cooking and comfort food. Over 200 brand new, regionally diverse recipes appear alongside classics from Deen's The Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah. By now, readers should know that Deen doesn't skimp on full-fat dairy—be prepared to embrace butter, cream cheese, and sour cream as you work your way through recipes like Praline French Toast Casserole, Chicken-Fried Steaks with Cream Gravy, and Red Velvet Cake Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Icing. [See Prepub Alert, 4/25/11.]
An encyclopedic tour of Southern cuisine that leaves no doubt about Deen's (Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cooking, 2009, etc.) latest bountiful and delicious contributions to the contemporary American kitchen. Stuffed with more than 300 recipes for every occasion imaginable, Deen's cookbook sets out to prove that nothing beats home cooking. The Emmy-winning restaurateur and bestselling cookbook author has snowballed in popularity since beginning her TV career on the Food Network. Here, alongside New York Times food writer Clark, Deen aims to claim a well-deserved spot in the pantheon of engaging and enlightening culinary writers. The author divides her offerings into 16 easily navigable categories, with a large section of sauces, dressings and relishes to boot. Each recipe is written with exceptional attention to detail, yet the instructions are simple, rarely exceeding four steps. The author's inimitable voice enhances the introductions to each chapter, as well as sidebars and handy headnotes. As for critics of her penchant for high-caloric ingredients like butter and cream, let them eat Ooey Gooey Butter Layer Cake. Just make sure you don't miss out on the Low-Country Boil, a Southern tradition and one-pot wonder of which Deen writes, "Y'all, just one taste of Low-Country Boil is enough to remind you that down South even if you're poor in the pocket, you're rich in the belly." Preach it, Paula.