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B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 3, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

B. Smith is a former fashion model turned restaurateur, television host, author, entrepreneur and entertainer extraordinaire renowned for her casual yet elegant approach to living. In 1999, she hosted B Smith with Style which aired nationwide and in 40 countries.  A native of western Pennsylvania (where she was raised by a bunch of Southerners who went north), B started her career as a fashion model, gracing the covers of 15 magazines, before moving on to restaurants and televison.

She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York with her husband and partner, Dan Gasby, and their daughter.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416553541
  • ASIN: B0048ELCRE
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,669,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J VINE VOICE on December 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My family is from the South. I fondly remember my grandmother and aunt cooking good old fashioned family dinners that included the best of Southern cuisine when I was a child. As an adult, I thought those days were gone for good. I would find a recipe here and there, but nothing like they made in the past. I always longed for some good old fashioned Southern foods. I knew the basic (and a few not-so-basic) dishes, but nothing like what they used to whip up. I decided to give this book a try. Southern food has traditionally been high in fat and and rich ingredients. I can remember watching my grandmother nonchalantly toss an entire stick of butter or huge scoops of lard into her dishes. The author discusses this topic and reveals that she took traditional Southern dishes and attempted to modernize them by making them healthier and less fattening. She accomplishes this, for the most part. However, there are still plenty of rich dishes for those who want to go all out (cheese grits anyone?)

The dishes themselves offer a nice variety. There are the more exotic: (alligator, turtle soup, poached quail eggs), the less exotic: (chitterlings, chicken livers), and the normal: (grits, cornbread, okra, gumbo, hash, catfish, etc). Recipes are offered for brunch, appetizers, breads and dressings, soups and stews, salads, meats, poultry, seafood, side dishes, sauces and condiments, desserts, and beverages. There is a nice diverse mix of dishes to satisfy every palate. I admit, I haven't tried all of the dishes offered in this book (and doubt I will ever try some, such as the gator), but there are more than enough dishes available that remind me fondly of my roots.
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Format: Hardcover
My husband and I spent four months before Katrina in New Orleans. Fortunately we left months before the hurricane and fortunately we got introduced to Southern cooking in a big way. Let me tell you and I'm telling you true, they know how to eat down south. They really do. Sometimes you just have to forget about that diet and just enjoy.

And Barbara Smith has infused her book with recipes to die for. Most of them. I have to admit I passed on the Country-Style Alligator Sausage Patties. Something about eating something that wants to eat me. So no Alligator. However, I did make the recipe with Pork Roast and it was delicious.

Last Thanksgiving we decided to throw caution to the wind, fat and calorie wise and we did the Fall Holiday Turducken. Like Ms. Smith suggested, I started a week ahead of time and followed her directions. This was a bit of work for me, but oh it was good. Sinful, but good. So far we've had a dozen or so recipes from this book and every time we sit down to eat, we're reminded of the wonderful time we had in New Orleans. Ms. Smith may be from Pennsylvania, but she sure knows her Southern-Style Cooking.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book is fun to page through, and has a nice mix of recipes, some challenging, others easy to make. I made the root beer pulled pork, and it was really excellent. The cupcakes and cornbread were good accompaniement, with a simple salad. An easy Saturday night meal. I know that this food is southern, with greens, catfish, and easy comfort foods, but it is the kind of food that goes well with cold beer and comfortable friends, flavor with a certain style and charm. I buy about ten cook books per year and keep three of the ten, and this one stays.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'll say up front that if you know someone who is particularly keen on southern recipes then this book might make a nice gift; however, it has some drawbacks.

There are certain features that I appreciated in this cookbook, the greatest of which are the recipes themselves. About half of these dishes will likely see frequent preparation which is a pretty good average as cookbooks go. The other half are fine but not many folks will jump in to make the Lobster Grits (page 16), the Duck Jambalaya (page 79), or the Grouper with Persimmon Salsa (page 186) -- still a few self-motivated souls will endeavor to try these more unusual dishes and such recipes do present us with some new culinary ideas.

The book lies open fairly flat and is of a manageable size (9 1/2" x 8 1/4" x 1") -- there are 326 pages, including a coherent index. Just over 200 recipes are included in the work and most of the old southern standbys are in here. A number of the dishes are featured in color photographs (multiple dishes per photo) in a center section of the book. Finally, interest in Southern Cooking is clearly broad enough to justify yet another cookbook on the topic.

I wish the publisher (Scribner) had skimped more on the just jacket and had invested the savings in the actual book cover which, in this instance, seems little better than one found on a book club edition novel. And the idea of having most of the photos in the center of the book instead of appurtenant to their respective recipes is always cumbersome.

The author has included some useful tips (e.g., how to butterfly a Cornish hen, page 156) but these techniques are not illustrated, an initiative which seems pretty basic to me. A few recipe ingredients might not be all that easy to find at local grocery stores (e.g.
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