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Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook's Corner and from Home Paperback – October 20, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Southern delicacies of Crook's Corner restaurant are well known to the students and residents of Chapel Hill, N.C. Now Smith, the chef there for 15 years, has assembled a quirky and compact selection of his favorite dishes for the rest of the world to ponder. Perhaps because Chapel Hill is a college town, the book is broken into four seasons starting with fall (though it's puzzling to find Scalloped Potatoes in autumn, Mashed Potatoes in spring and not a single spud in winter). Smith previously worked at another North Carolina spot, La Residence, and there exists an undercurrent of fine French cuisine that gives his recipes some sophistication. The cultural mix is readily apparent and exciting in his Two- (or Three-) Bird Pâté: in one of the few instances where liquor benefits a liver, duck and chicken organs are flavored with a jigger of Wild Turkey. The French influence is subtler in Turtle Soup, based on a dish from Babette's Feast and requiring two pounds of ground turtle meat. Of course, such pomp and circumstance can carry one only so far. Smith's summer ends with a blissfully redneck Really Good Banana Pudding, laden with half-and-half and vanilla wafers. (Oct. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Smith's Crook's Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has won raves from critics and the public alike. Smith champions a new version of southern cooking that owes a great deal to classic French cuisine. For example, Smith concocts a rich, savory chicken-liver pate, but he substitutes the customary cognac with some bourbon whiskey. Fried oysters pair with a cumin-spiked version of aioli, a garlic-scented mayonnaise. Fried green tomatoes are topped with lemon beurre blanc. Pork cutlets fry in cheese and breadcrumbs before being crowned with Madeira sauce. More specific use of indigenous southern ingredients shows up in honeysuckle and mayhaw sorbets. Smith's version of fried chicken follows the usual regimen of buttermilk soaking and peppered-flour coating, but he prefers it served cold. Both catfish and soft-shelled crabs contribute to the seafood offerings. An elaborate, elegant version of turtle soup calls for a profusion of spices and herbs to season hard-to-find turtle meat. In an audacious move, Smith stipulates decidedly Yankee maple syrup for his spectacular cashew cake with maple frosting. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (October 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565125509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565125506
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(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!
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Format: Hardcover
Sauteed Leeks with (Savoy) Cabbage was wonderful at the Thanksgiving table. We added a little spinach too. A few other tastes I've fallen for completely and often: Wild Mushroom Pasta and Mashed Rutabagas. The Persimmon Pudding. Fresh Tomato Pasta -- love the addition of a little butter to this quick dish. Fried Green Tomatoes ... great alongside a big breakfast of good bacon and eggs. The rest of the fall recipes I haven't tried (though will go-to masa for Fried Oysters this weekend and Aunt Hi's Osyter Stew very soon.) ...Looking forward to the Winter chapter and am most interested in the house-cured ham.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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By K. Putnam on February 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a good, readable cookbook about an unconventional style of cooking. It doesn't have Crooks' recipe for shrimp & grits, though, which I was hoping to find there.
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