cover image The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings

The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings

Courtney Dial Whitmore with Phronsie Dial. Gibbs Smith, $30 (200p) ISBN 978-1-42365-310-3

Blogger Whitmore (Pizzazzerie) collects classic Southern recipes in this inspiring compendium of party-ready favorites. Nearly 100 recipes, numerous party menu ideas, and tips for table settings are packed with regional flavor celebrating the “rich heritage of Southern hospitality.” The “Appetizers and Party Bites” chapter features pimento cheese–laced nibbles alongside classic cucumber Tea Sandwiches. Fried green tomatoes adorn a Caprese Salad while Grand Marnier brightens a “very traditional” Ambrosia Salad. Star main dishes include buttermilk fried chicken and Cozy Chicken Pot Pie, while vegetables and sides hew close to the classic with treatments for succotash, fried okra, and cheesy grits. Also on offer are quick breads, biscuits, skillet corn bread, and hush puppies. Whitmore dedicates three chapters to desserts: “Cookies & Candies” has recipes for fudge, pralines, and bourbon balls; “Cakes & Desserts” boasts Hummingbird Cake and peach shortcakes; and “Pies & Cobblers” lays out regional favorites such as Buttermilk, Lemon Chess, and pecan-topped sweet potato pie. Cocktails such as a bourbon-based Grapefruit Shoo-Fly Punch complete the festive array. Many dishes have been miniaturized to bite-size for ease of serving a large group, and these company’s-coming recipes underscore the values of a culinary culture where the only rule is “never run out of food.” Cooks looking to please a crowd will find plenty of ways to do that. [em](Sept.) [/em]