Deep South Staples: or How to Survive in a Southern Kitchen Without a Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

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9781401308384: Deep South Staples: or How to Survive in a Southern Kitchen Without a Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
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A lively cookbook for Southerners who wish to recapture the tastes, smells, and memories of their youth -- and for fans of Southern cooking everywhere

Food in the South is a religion. Yet the problem with a lot of Southern cooking is the ever-present can of cream of mushroom soup. In this lively, humorous cookbook, Robert St. John shows Southerners (and all fans of the cuisine) how to indulge in the ideas and tastes that inspired Southern cooking, without resorting to ingredients like that canned soup in the recipe. The classic dishes are all here; they just taste better! Sections include cocktail party fare, funeral food, breakfasts, salads and soups, summer suppers, cakes, vegetables, chitlins, desserts, sides, and much more. Recipes include Buttermilk Chicken, Pecan Crusted Redfish, Fried Catfish, Cajun Popcorn, Corn Fritters, and lots of other Southern classics.

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About the Author:

Robert St. John has been Executive Chef/Owner of the Purple Parrot Café and Mahogany Bar in Hattiesburg and Meridian, Mississippi. He writes a syndicated food column for several newspapers, and hosts a monthly television cooking show. He lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

From Publishers Weekly:

Southern author and restaurateur St. John (My South: A People, A Place, A World All Its Own) offers up his relatively faithful take on southern cuisine in this collection of traditional recipes. His approach is to take a traditional dish such as macaroni and cheese or deviled eggs and prepare it as a chef would, so deviled eggs benefit from a pinch of white pepper and white balsamic vinegar, while macaroni and cheese is jazzed up with white pepper, onions and a can of sweetened condensed milk. (St. John even offers up a béchamel version of cream of mushroom soup.) There are still plenty of recipes for purists: fried chicken, greens and chicken pot pie are all prepared with just a handful of ingredients, and there isn't a truffle or slice of foie gras to be found. Even the most complicated recipes are well within the range of the average cook, since the book's emphasis is on taste rather than technique or exotic ingredients. In addition to the recipes, the book is peppered with handy tips such as how to handle raw chicken to avoid contamination (use a metal colander) and preserve overripe bananas (freeze, then thaw when ready to use). St. John also includes meditations on such uniquely southern topics as sweet tea and chitlins. While there is little new culinary ground covered here, those looking for an overview of southern cooking could do worse.
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Robert St. John
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