Around the Southern Table

Sarah Belk, Author Simon & Schuster $24.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-52833-1
The simple title of this volume belies its flair and high ambitions. While Belk , an editor of Bon Appetit , muses that ``purists may think that some of my combinations--goat cheese with Smithfield ham, for instance--are unnecessary, and perhaps even a little blasphemous,'' aficionados of American cuisine will applaud her bravado. Using Southern cooking, her own heritage, as a springboard, the author produces a thoroughly original cookbook as full of inventive, contemporary recipes as it is rich in the etymology of food terms, in food history and in well-chosen quotations from Southern literature (and even rock lyrics). Some of the most memorable results of her culinary juxtapositions include cornmeal pizza with bacon, tomatoes and peppers (and fontina cheese); steak with bourbon-ginger sauce; sauteed okra with garlic, red pepper, and herbs; and pineapple-lime sorbet with vodka. Also included is a novel twist to a Christmas tradition: pistachio apricot fruitcake. While most aptly targeted to the sophisticated cook, recipes are well organized, simple to follow and, to the author's credit, faithfully include substitutions for ingredients that are out of the ordinary. Listed as well are mail-order sources for Southern staples like dry-cured ham and black walnuts and for other uncommon ``quality'' ingredients such as goat cheese and dried cherries. Author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Hardcover - 528 pages - 978-0-88365-972-4
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