Best of the Best has published another winner in "Deep South Dish" by Mary Foreman. The cover photo alone is enough to make you homesick for the south and all the summer veggies that many southerners plant in their summer gardens -- peas, corn, butter beans, turnip greens, a chunk of buttered cornbread, sweet tea in a mason jar and sliced tomatoes with dollops of sour cream dusted with black pepper! Did I say, "heaven on a blue plate"?
I first saw this cookbook on QVC, but it was in sold-out status within minutes of it coming on air and it would be a while before they could get more. One of the recipes QVC's Kitchen King, David Venable, sampled that day was Chicken and Dumpling Casserole. It sounded delicious, easy, and simple that I knew I wanted to try it. David did the "Happy dance, happy dance!" when Mary Foreman gave him a taste of chicken and dumplings. I could only imagine what it tasted like, until a few days ago when I found a copy of "Deep South Dish" in my mailbox! Now I was the one doing the happy dance, happy dance!
The first recipe I tried was that Chicken and Dumpling Casserole and while my mother-in-law never used a can of soup in her version of the recipe, the taste of Mary Foreman's recipe came close to the same taste of my mother-in-law's. It was delicious and we all loved it here.
The second recipe I tried was the Wedge Salad with Comeback Dressing. For a long time now I've wanted to try a Comeback sauce recipe, so this was the logical recipe to try next. I had the Wedge Salad 'down pat' as we sometimes say here in the south, but I've always bought salad dressings ready-made. Never again will I buy a salad dressing when this one tastes so much better. We have used it up as dressing on that lettuce wedge, sandwich spread, and dip for corn chips and it just got better and better as the days passed by. I made a second batch today and will probably keep some in the fridge at all times. It's that good!
There is something southern for everyone in this cookbook. There are only four beverage recipes but they are for southern tastes such as sweet tea, watermelon margaritas, hurricanes, and lemonade.
Southern breads include buttermilk biscuits, ham and cheese biscuits, hushpuppies, cornbread, pecan pie muffins, just to name a few. Garlic cheese grits and sausage gravy are covered also. There are soups, stews, gumbos, and chili recipes.
Every southern dinner table has a version of Fire 'n Ice Summer Salad on it, or seven layer salad or coleslaw. This cookbook delivers on salads and dressings! It also delivers on side dishes like Maque Choux, Creamed Corn, Fresh Corn Casserole and countless recipes for fried okra, collard greens, fried cabbage, and squash casserole.
There are even recipes for Cajun Dirty Rice and yellow rice, bacon and egg fried rice and many pasta recipes. There is a whole chapter of chicken recipes -- again, something for everyone. Many recipes for seafood, beef and pork are also included.
I've saved the desserts for last, even though there is a southern saying that says to "Eat dessert first, life is short". Pies, cakes, cookies, galore! Red Velvet, Caramel, 1-2-3-4 Yellow Birthday Cake, Mississippi Mud Cake, Snickerdoodles, Sugar Cookies, Bourbon Balls, Hello Dollies, Southern Bread Pudding, Baked Custard, Banana Pudding -- where do I even start in picking out one or two to try? Heck, I'm going to try them all. I need new favorites anyway!
I don't believe I've ever looked forward to a trying out a new cookbook as much as this one. I just need to decide which recipes I want to try next and get my inner southern girl into the kitchen.
Mary Foreman has a wonderful food blog at www.DeepSouthDish.com Go check it out and make friends with a style of cooking that you may have been missing out on. No more excuses that you can't cook that way because you aren't from the south. Once you open Deep South Dish, there is no turning back!
Quail Ridge Press publishes the Best of the Best series of cookbooks and have graciously offered to let me host a "giveaway" of Deep South Dish on my cookbook website. I'm offering it here and all you have to do to be in the drawing is leave a comment about why you’d like to have it at my website www.knitncook.com. With my retirement looming in the near future, it's time I got that blog going again!