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The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners Hardcover – October 17, 2006
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From Matt Lee and Ted Lee, the New York Times food writers who defended lard and demystified gumbo comes a collection of exceptional southern recipes for everyday cooks. The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook tells the story of the brothers' culinary coming-of-age in Charleston--how they triumphed over their northern roots and learned to cook southern without a southern grandmother. Here are recipes for classics like Fried Chicken, Crab Cakes, and Pecan Pie, as well as little-known preparations such as St. Cecilia Punch, Pickled Peaches, and Shrimp Burgers. Others bear the hallmark of the brothers' resourceful cooking style—simple, sophisticated dishes like Blackened Potato Salad, Saigon Hoppin' John, and Buttermilk-Sweet Potato Pie that usher southern cooking into the twenty-first century without losing sight of its roots. With helpful sourcing and substitution tips, this is a practical and personal guide that will have readers cooking southern tonight, wherever they live.
Amazon.com Exclusive: "A Night in Louisville" by Matt Lee and Ted Lee
On a clear, brisk February afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, in the asphalt parking lot of Lynn's Paradise Cafe, we started a fire. All it took to get going was some wadded-up newspaper, a small pyramid of charcoal, and a match. To keep the flame alive, we put our cheeks to the chilly pavement and blew on the bottom layer of coals. Diners leaving the cafe from early dinners glanced at us, chuckled nervously, and hurried along to their cars. When the pile was glowing, we added some split logs and the plume of smoke rising from the pavement became woodsy and fragrant. By the time the sun went down, the flames were hotter and brighter, so we added more oak. Once the fire was roaring, customers in the restaurant became concerned, and the chef, Sarah, in clogs and a kerchief, shuffled out with the buttoned-up manager, Lori, to check on us.
Recipe Excerpts from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
Texas Red-Braised Beef Short Ribs
Red Velvet Cake
Praise for The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
"The Lee Bros. have written the classic Southern cookbook. They write with flair, brilliance, and hilarious commentary on the recipes, customs, and eccentricities of the South they celebrate with such passion. Their recipes are so good that I believe cookbook writers like the Lee Bros. may turn Southern cooking into an actual cuisine." --Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
"I'm a bag fan of that particular brand of Southern poetry and smarts that make up the Lee Bros.' contributions--the best food pieces I read in the Wednesday New York Times each week--so I attacked Matt and Ted's new book like a hungry wolf. I found the same genius and eye for a good story, as well as simple-to-make recipes of the new exotic cooking of the American South. These recipes make my mouth water, and the prose makes my eyes well up for its beauty, simplicity, and truth." --Mario Batali, chef/owner, Babbo restaurant
"These guys can cook! Just reading the recipes makes me ravenous for scintillating Southern dishes. Sign me up for Tuesday Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie!" --Bobby Flay, chef/owner, Mesa Grill, BOLO, and Bar Americain
"The brothers Lee chronicle a South unbound by geography. They celebrate a people loosed from the burden of history but still mindful of the ties that bind. In the Lee South, boiled peanuts and edamame play well together. So do black and white, young and old, native and outlander. You'll feel welcome here." --John T. Edge, author of Southern Belly: the Ultimate Food Lover's Companion to the South
"The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook makes me daydream of a long ago summer on a Pawleys Island back porch, the aroma of the marsh and the dinner table mingling with laughter of many generations of families and a few too many glasses of wine. Oh to the magic of being at table together in the South." --Frank Stitt, author of Frank Stitt's Southern Table
"The wit and enthusiasm of the Lee Bros. is irresistible, as are the recipes--a mix of traditional Southern classics and unique, highly individual creations--which will have you reaching for your cast- iron (or stainless steel) skillet." --Scott Peacock, author of The Gift of Southern Cooking
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. With respect for the past and an enlightened, modern sensibility, the Lee brothers roll up their sleeves and get elbow-deep in Southern cooking in all its sugary, fried goodness. The authors grew up in Charleston, S.C., where they developed a love for boiled peanuts, shrimp and grits, and she-crab soup. Now New Yorkers (and co-proprietors of a mail-order source for Southern pantry staples), the brothers are aware that certain Southern foods have quite a reputation elsewhere in the country ("grits run a close second to lard as the longest-running joke about southern food, perceived by the uninitiated to be a curiosity rather than what they are: a pillar of southern cooking"). As a result, their approach to the cuisine is steeped in research and never snobby. Many recipes are coded "quick knockout," meaning they use just a few ingredients and can be prepared relatively quickly (Fried Oysters, Shrimp Burgers). More involved recipes (Lady Baltimore Cake; Kentucky Burgoo, a meat stew) come with fascinating asides on their origins. Classy, matter-of-fact and welcoming, this volume deserves a permanent place on cooks' shelves by day and on bedside tables by night, as a browsable primer on a world and its food. Photos, line drawings. (Oct.)
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Top customer reviews
And something else that is great about this book--and really rare in a cookbook--is that it is a pleasure to read (don't worry--there are also plenty of lovely pictures). I found myself curling up in bed with it in the evening to read all the text. The stories in the book are both historical--contextualizing the amazing variety of Southern food and the origins of regional favorites--as well as personal, quirky recollections about the connections between place, food, people and memory. This book has lots of unabashed red-hot food-love and heaps of heart and soul.