Vivian Howard, star of PBS's A Chef's Life, celebrates the flavors of North Carolina's coastal plain in more than 200 recipes and stories.
This new classic of American country cooking proves that the food of Deep Run, North Carolina -- Vivian's home -- is as rich as any culinary tradition in the world. Organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level, from beginners to confident cooks, Deep Run Roots features time-honored simple preparations alongside extraordinary meals from her acclaimed restaurant Chef and the Farmer. Home cooks will find photographs for every single recipe.
Ten years ago, Vivian opened Chef and the Farmer and put the nearby town of Kinston on the culinary map. But in a town paralyzed by recession, she couldn't hop on every new culinary trend. Instead, she focused on rural development: If you grew it, she'd buy it. Inundated by local sweet potatoes, blueberries, shrimp, pork, and beans, Vivian learned to cook the way generations of Southerners before her had, relying on resourcefulness, creativity, and the traditional ways of preserving food.
Deep Run Roots is the result of years of effort to discover the riches of Eastern North Carolina. Like The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, and The Taste of Country Cooking before it, this is landmark work of American food writing.
Recipes include: Family favorites like Blueberry BBQ Chicken Creamed Collard-Stuffed Potatoes Fried Yams with Five-Spice Maple Bacon Candy Chicken and Rice Country-Style Pork Ribs in Red Curry-Braised Watermelon Show-stopping desserts like Warm Banana Pudding, Peaches and Cream Cake, Spreadable Cheesecake, and Pecan-Chewy Pie.
You'll also find 200 more quick breakfasts, weeknight dinners, holiday centerpieces, seasonal preserves, and traditional preparations for all kinds of cooks.
On the heels of her Peabody award winning PBS show, A Chef's Life, restaurateur Howard (Chef and The Farmer) shares personal stories and 240 recipes inspired by fare from her hometown of Deep Run, N.C., in this outstanding debut. Returning home following a Manhattan culinary career, Howard reacquaints herself with regional dishes and ingredients of her youth, discovering a vibrant, multi-generational farm-to-table world. In odes to 25 local ingredients such as dried corn, watermelon, pecans, peanuts, beans and peas, sausage, and collards, recipes combine Howard's food memories with "modern sensibilities" and wisdom gained in professional kitchens. Fans of Southern cooking will find plenty of catfish, corn cakes, cast-iron skillet dishes, and cooking-with-Grandma stories but it's not all biscuits and gravy. Recipes elevate fried green tomatoes with curried peach preserves and buttermilk whipped feta; okra gets tempura batter and tangy ranch dressing ice cream; oysters are transformed into a citrusy apple and scallion ceviche; and marinated turnips are dressed with orange, pumpkin seeds, and ginger-orange vinaigrette. Going beyond the glories of grits, Howard's text is storytelling at its best, rich in mouthwatering detail and reminiscences, though at times her lively anecdotes obscure the recipe directions. This tribute to her family roots is destined to become an enduring classic.
If you were a fan of her PBS show, this is icing on the cake. Feels like a treasure!
This book is a very interesting read, but that's not all. The food is fabulous!
This was the monthly selection of a cookbook club I recently joined. The group consists of people from all over the world, all preparing recipes & sharing results in a closed facebook group. This week I have made:
Avocado & Tomato with Broken Egg Dressing,
Blueberry-Rosemary Breakfast Pudding,
Sweet Potato & Turkey Shepherd's Pie, &
Grilled Lamb Kabobs
Each & every recipe was delicious. Can't wait for the spring/summer produce to come into season so I can have fresh tomatoes, peaches & cucumbers at their fresh-picked best!
My iPhone just ate my review. So briefly, if you like memoirs, cultural history, traditional food, new food, cooking, eating, painting, photography, teaching, and/or just reading good writing, get this book.