on October 16, 2005
For those who don't know, Crook's Corner is a well-known eatery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It has received much national attention and praise for the fabulous food and its chef of more than ten years, Bill Smith.
If you've read my cookbook reviews you know that cooking is not one of my talents or interests. Consequently I enjoy cookbooks that are simple, use ingredients that everyone tends to have in their kitchen and make me look really, really good (like I actually know what I'm doing and I do it well.) Oh, and the food must taste wonderful when it's served.
Bill Smith's Seasoned in the South: Recipes From Crook's Corner And From Home is not only all that, it is truly country cooking for everyone! And the very best thing is that if you don't like to cook or just don't want to, you'll have a wonderful and mouth-watering time reading it like a novel. Smith has included bits and pieces of personal stories about himself, friends, family members and even former President Jimmy Carter. This cookbook is lip-smacking scrumptious and you'll be saying, "Ah, that's how it's done!"
My favorite recipes: Baked Winter Squash Soup (I can't wait for autumn!); it makes me think of crisp fall days with leaves gently falling from the trees. Pork Roast with Sauerkraut; I have everything but the pork roast in my kitchen and it reminds me of Saturday night supper. Ah memories! Now meat loaf is one of my specialties. But Smith's meat loaf with mushroom gravy is a winner! Sorry Mr. Smith, I still like mine better, but this one is fantastic! My Mashed Potatoes are grand and I can picture my grandmother at the sink chatting and mashing them by hand. The Quick Jambalaya is easy and mighty tasty. The pineapple upside-down cake is a must make and the Persimmon Pudding From Crook's Corner sounds scrumptious. I haven't made this one yet, but I will! Thank you, Bill Smith, Armchair Interviews says your cookbook is a keeper, and I will continue to use it.
on February 21, 2015
(Bill Neal and I both call New Bern home, but I don't know him personally.) As a long-time serious home cook, I know good southern food. Bill's is the best, and his experience growing into his heritage parallels mine. These are all fantastic, delicious recipes, well-written, and easy to follow. I'd say ten starts, not five!
on January 8, 2006
Seasoned In The South isn't just another cookbook compendium your usual Southern fare, but a representation of the 'new bistro' cuisine of the South: light, airy, and gourmet. Crook's Corner has been a Southern restaurant since 1982 and author Bill Smith is one of its cornerstones; so he's in the perfect position to present this new bistro food to a wider audience than the South. Traditional melds with classic Southern dishes in a gathering of unique recipes from Catfish Amandine to Corned Ham.
on March 5, 2009
Most cookbooks are just lists of recipes organized by food type (meats, breads, etc.). Even when they have great pictures I often find myself wondering, "What's the point? I could just look this up on Food Network."
Bill Smith's "Seasoned in the South" changed my mind about cookbooks. Every recipe is prefaced by Smith's account of how he learned the recipe, someone who loved the dish, or other personal details. You get the sense that he is sharing his dearest treasures with you. That being said, these recipes really ARE treasures. I've made a half dozen of dishes from it already and every one is more wonderful than the next. These are the kind of goodies that make your eyes roll back in your head when you take that first bite. Everything I've tried has been a masterpiece - composed of often humble ingredients, but elevated to an art form by Smith's many years of experience and love. The recipe for Fried Oysters with Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise alone is worth buying the book. I'd recommend buying two or three copies so you can give some as gifts. Out of all the other cookbooks I own, THIS is the once I keep on the kitchen counter because it's an essential.
on October 6, 2005
An intriguing selection of marvelously simple recipes -- organized by season -- from famed Chapel Hill restaurant "Crook's Corner" and creative chef Bill Smith. The varied influences of Southern, fusion, Latin and French country-esque styles are apparent in a range of dishes from Fried Green Tomatoes with Sweet Corn and Lemon Beurre Blanc, Figs with Ham and Sauce Bellevue to Soup Dakar, a mulligatawny-like chicken soup. The Green Tabasco Chicken is deceptively simple and tasty. Next spring I plan on trying the Honeysuckle Sorbet....