From two South Carolina-bred brothers comes the ground-breaking cookbook for new Southern cooking: The Lee Bros. Simple, Fresh, Southern. Matt and Ted Lee were raised on long-simmered greens, slow-smoked meats, and deep-fried everything. But after years of traveling as journalists and with farm fresh foods more available than ever, Matt and Ted have combined the old with the new, infusing family recipes with bright flavors. Using crisp produce, lighter cooking methods, and surprising combinations, these are recipes to make any night of the week.
From The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Ginger Lemonade
If we were musicians, we’d write a torch song about ginger and lemon, a match made in heaven. And though we’ve been drinking fresh lemonade as long as we can remember (Coca-Cola was taboo at 83 East Bay Street), we never thought to make a cold fresh-ginger lemonade until recently. Now we’re making up for lost time. This drink is easy to make, super-refreshing, and happens to be a kick-ass mixer with bourbon and tequila, so those of you who are of age should mix up the Lemon Gingerita variation that follows.--Matt Lee and Ted Lee
- 2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin disks (1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup honey, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 large lemons)
1. Put the ginger in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring 2 cups cold water to a boil, then pour it into the bowl and stir to agitate the ginger. Slowly pour in the honey, stirring until it’s dissolved in the concentrate. Add the salt, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
2. Strain the concentrate into a large pitcher (it will keep for 5 days, covered, in the refrigerator), reserving the ginger slices. Add 3 cups cold water and the lemon juice to the pitcher, and sweeten to taste with honey. Set the pitcher in the refrigerator to cool further; store the ginger slices in the refrigerator as well. (The lemonade and ginger slices will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.)
3. Fill each highball or pint glass two-thirds of the way to the rim with ice, and pour the ginger lemonade over it. Garnish with a slice of the steeped ginger.
Time: 10 minutes steeping, 5 minutes preparation
With a fine Microplane grater, zest one of the lemons you’ll squeeze to make the Ginger Lemonade onto a plate; from another lemon, cut as many thumbnail-size pieces of lemon peel as the number of margaritas you plan to make. Prepare the ginger lemonade, and when it’s ready to serve, for each margarita, take a piece of the lemon peel and rub it around the rim of the glass. Dip the rim in the grated lemon zest (it’s okay if the lemon-zest rim is patchy; lemon zest is intense), fill the glass with ice, and top with 3 ounces Ginger Lemonade and 1 ounce silver tequila. Stir, and garnish with a slice of lemon peel and a slice of the steeped ginger.
From Publishers Weekly
The Lee brothers' second cookbook builds on the success of The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
by applying the principles of the current fashion for simplicity and speed in the kitchen to the revered down-home flavors of the South, which normally require far more extended cooking times and special ingredients. Readers who are nostalgic for the food of the South or have acquired a taste for it, but lack the time to recreate old-fashioned dishes, will be eager to try the brothers' new takes on old classics like chicken and dumplings, shrimp cocktail and ambrosia, which cut down on some of the usual preparation time without sacrificing flavor. They manage this partly through their judicious use of less traditional ingredients, such as curry powder in potato salad or chorizo in collard greens and partly through their emphasis on using top-notch fresh, in-season ingredients. Though the brothers got their start with a catalogue selling Southern pantry staples that are unusual elsewhere, these recipes rarely call for items that are not available in any well-stocked supermarket. The recipes are easy to follow and engagingly written, dotted with amusing anecdotes and historical asides that make the book a breezy read. Detailed shopping, preparation and garnishing notes throughout help ensure cooks' success following the Lee brothers in bringing Southern cooking into the 21st century. (Nov.)
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