B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style

Barbara Smith, Author . Scribner $30 (326p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5354-0

Southern cooking—both contemporary and traditional—may be having its moment, and it gets a friendly cookbook treatment from a celebrated African-American lifestyle restaurateur. While Smith has authored two books on entertaining and operated her iconic B. Smith restaurants in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Long Island for years, she actually considers this her cookbook debut, which she says, was inspired by her desire to share her love of Southern food while giving it an update. Chapters follow traditional categories such as brunch, appetizers, meat and so on. Interspersing recipes with facts about their historical or personal origin, Smith introduces readers to the nuances of the region's cuisine, from Carolina low country's shrimp and grits to the Cajun maque choux of Louisiana. (For any readers who ever wanted to attempt turducken at home, Smith has a multipage explication.) The contemporary spin comes in the form of eggplant fries with tomato truffle ketchup, sweet potato salad with orange-maple dressing, and chocolate chip dessert sliders. Where possible, she has substituted healthier renditions, eliminating fatty meats or reducing sugar. Smith tops it off with a chapter devoted to beverages, including a number of interesting cocktails (pistachio margarita-tini and strawberry sangria with rose geranium), which, in keeping with her home-entertaining pedigree, will get the party started. Throughout, Smith remains an affable host, keeping the proceedings accessible and fun. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/19/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-4516-7197-1
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4165-9543-4
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