cover image A Southerly Course: Recipes and Stories from Close to Home

A Southerly Course: Recipes and Stories from Close to Home

Martha Hall Foose, Clarkson Potter, $32.50 (256p) ISBN 978-0-307-46428-6

It takes a clever food writer to transcend the mythology and easy stereotypes of a place, and this collection of recipes and essays is a colorful, nuanced exploration of Mississippi eating. Following up her James Beard Award–winning Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, writer and chef Foose celebrates the "eccentricity, ingenuity, and creativity" of Southern cooking as she personally has experienced it. Yes, there are the usual suspects, like pimento cheese, crawfish, corn. and peaches. But there will be many quirky surprises for non-Southern readers—Rum Tum Tiddly, or tomato-and-cheese toasts, doe loin with winter biscuits, and mirliton or chayote squash stuffed with ham, shrimp, and breadcrumbs. Foose, who got her culinary degree in France, also dabbles in the international influences that have inspired her, with recipes for a Mississippi Masala-style peas and paneer and Korean grilled green onions. Finally, there are her own inventive concoctions like sweet and sour salsify and Delicata brown butter crepes. Offering meditations on subjects like congealed salads and family china, Foose has all the savvy of a local tour guide, leading the way through her native state with poetry and wit. Photos. (Apr.)