cover image Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from the Country Cat

Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from the Country Cat

Adam and Jackie Sappington, with Ashley Gartland. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30 (304p) ISBN 978-0-544-36377-9

Missouri heritage cooking meets the clean flavors of the Pacific Northwest in this improbably delicious mash-up. The Sappingtons, chef owners of the Country Cat in Portland, Ore., open their collection with a classic perfected—buttermilk biscuits—and then the homestyle hits keep coming: challah French toast with Maker’s Mark custard and clabber cream, the restaurant’s signature skillet-fried chicken, rhubarb cobbler with ruby caramel. Woven into each chapter are plenty of charming anecdotes from Adam Sappington’s Midwest childhood, with respect for the culinary wisdom of past generations in his ode to “glorified Gramma cuisine.” Hints of a more refined Portland palate make their way in too, with dishes such as the chanterelle, green bean, and freekeh salad with huckleberry vinaigrette, and crispy fried oysters with smoky bacon and green apple ragout. However, the recipes that shine the brightest are the ones written from the heart: a passionate homage to ranch dressing, a remembrance of the Friday night fish fry, and a potted cheese dip simply known as “Judy.” With generosity and a warm sense of humor, the Sappingtons invite everyone to pull up a chair at their family table—and with recipes like theirs, readers will be more than happy to dig in. Agent: Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. (Sept.)