Welcome to the Sunday Salon! It's that one day of the week we talk BOOKS! And today I want to share a wonderful cookbook! Way back when I was growing up, Sunday's use to be family and food. A big Sunday dinner with family and friends to share the hours with. Things are a bit different now, but I still think of Sunday as a day for cooking, and what better way to spend it virtually then with our heads in a cookbook! Not only am I sharing the cookbook, BUT a great recipe the publisher gave me permission to share. A recipe I tried out to see just how good these recipes were. At the very bottom of today's post, you can see some of the photos from the "cooking journey"...
OMG, talk about gorgeous covers and that's not where it stops! Absolutely beautiful food photography all throughout the book AND mouth watering, easy to follow recipes to boot!
When I first picked up Down South by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowne, it was love at first sight. The cover was gorgeous, the book itself had a nice heft to it and of course, the recipes were something my Southern boy at home was going to enjoy- " a collection of remembrances and recipes meant to make you hungry, make you laugh, and convey what it's like to be both a chef and an eater in today's South."
Down South starts out with "Drinks", such as a Chuck Berry made with fresh blueberries and Prosecco, or an Antiguan Julep made with rum and Simple Syrup (also included as a recipe). Then we move on to "Cocktail Parties", with appetizers that are tempting just reading about them. There's Parmesan Bacon Gougeres, Crab Louis with Toast Points, and Shrimp Remoulade, which can be either an appetizer or a light meal (this is the recipe we made to give this cookbook a tryout and did it pass with flying colors!! psst… I'm going to share this recipe with Ya'll!) And we cannot forget about the Spicy Roasted Peanuts! It's a take on the spicy boiled peanuts you'll find everywhere down South, and if you've never had them, you need to drive there to have some!
Then we move to the main courses… "Cook it Outside", grilling and some smoking, with recipes such as Chicken Chivito Sandwich with Ham and Olive Spread, made with boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, and smoked ham or Grilled Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce. "Roast, Braise, Simmer and Fry" with recipes including Smothered Chicken, Tupelo Honey-Glazed Ham and Guinea Hen Gumbo. "Heads, Feet, Necks and Bones" with recipes for how to make your own Breakfast Sausage, Pork Rillons, and Beef Short Rib Sugo. "Seafood from the Gulf and South Atlantic", including recipes for New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp, and Crisp Fried Frog Legs.
We wrap up the cookbook tour with… "Fresh, Seasonal Southern Sides", including Smoked Ham and Rice Salad, Ham Hocks and Crowder Peas, and Cajun Macaroni Salad. And of course desserts, or "Southern-Style Sweets" including Salted Caramel Peanut Brittle Ice Cream, Spiced Apple Pecan Bread and Banana Pudding with Moonshine Whipped Cream.
Each chapter has an introduction to the particular types of recipes and the foods involved, and the story behind them. There's a little tidbit or "introduction" to each recipe too, talking about its origins, a cooking tip on preparation or buying, or how it's related to Southern cooking. It's another reason why this is so much more than your average cookbook. Down South is packed with Southern Charm. It's good food, a good story and rooted in great tradition. It's an oversized cookbook with large enough print to read the recipes with ease. AND the recipes are easy to follow with fully explained directions. Nothing too hard here, with ingredients that should be easy to find too. Want to see for yourself?! Follow this link to read the FIRST CHAPTER!
Now, I like to try out a recipe before making my "final judgement" on a cookbook I'm reviewing, and for that purpose I chose Shrimp Remoulade. I love shrimp and I love trying new sauces and this recipe filled both bills. Shrimp Remoulade is a cold dish. It's in the "Cocktail Parties" section, but it also states in the recipe it can be a light meal as well. How many times have you just eaten shrimp for dinner?! I was game and so was my Southern boy. Courtesy of the Publisher, Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, I have permission to share the recipe with YOU! Here it is (with my photo)…
(serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer or light meal) 1 Cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon cayenne
10 bay leaves
2 lemons sliced
2 pounds medium-large shrimp in the shell
1 cup Sauce Remoulade (recipe follows)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce thinly sliced
Combine the salt, cayenne, bay leaves and lemon slices in a large pot with 1 gallon of water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are bright pink and just cooked through, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Immediately pour 2 gallons of ice into the pot and allow the shrimp to cool completely in the poaching liquid. (this should take 5 to 10 minutes) Peel.
Toss the peeled shrimp with the sauce and serve over the lettuce.
(makes 1 1/2 cups)
You'll need only a portion of this recipe for 2 pounds of shrimp. The remainder will keep in the fridge for two to three days, and will make a quick mean when tossed with more shrimp or crab, or slathered on a fried fish sandwich.
1/2 cup grated yellow onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or chervil
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Use a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
*Recipe Reprinted from Down South. Copyright (c) 2014 by Donald Link. Photographs copyright (c) 2014 by Chris Granger. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Since we were making this just for the 2 of us, I tweaked the recipe a little. I made it with only 1 pound of shrimp, and we halved the recipe for the sauce, and had plenty left to enjoy on other food. We also used super hot "fresh" cayenne pepper from the natural foods store, which may or may not have added extra heat to this dish.
Now let me tell you about the flavor… It was delicious! The shrimp absorbed all this wonderful flavor from the poach, and even as you bit into the shrimp, which were cooked perfectly at 3 minutes, and had the wonderful "hot flavored" creamy remoulade sauce on top, you could tell the shrimp had a heat all their own.
My final verdict… A+! If you enjoy cooking, like Southern food, or want to try some Southern cooking, this would be a great cookbook to have. Easy flavorful dishes that will satisfy all your tastebuds! There's something for everyone here. A Big Thank you to Blogging for Books for sending along this cookbook for me to review!
Here are some random photos from our cooking journey with Shrimp Remoulade...
|The Final Dish…And it was YUMMY!|
*FTC disclaimer… I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.