Gifted chef and storyteller Martha Hall Foose invites you into her kitchen to share recipes that bring alive the landscape, people, and traditions that make Southern cuisine an American favorite.
Born and raised in Mississippi, Foose cooks Southern food with a contemporary flair: Sweet Potato Soup is enhanced with coconut milk and curry powder; Blackberry Limeade gets a lift from a secret ingredient–cardamom; and her much-ballyhooed Sweet Tea Pie combines two great Southern staples–sweet tea and pie, of course–to make one phenomenal signature dessert. The more than 150 original recipes are not only full of flavor, but also rich with local color and characters.
As the executive chef of the Viking Cooking School, teaching thousands of home cooks each year, Foose crafts recipes that are the perfect combination of delicious, creative, and accessible. Filled with humorous and touching tales as well as useful information on ingredients, techniques, storage, shortcuts, variations, and substitutions, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea is a must-have for the American home cook–and a must-read for anyone who craves a return to what cooking is all about: comfort, company, and good eating.
The warm, languid air of the South filters through this engaging book, in which Foose shares the traditional recipes that she ate while growing up on the Mississippi Delta and has returned to after training as a pastry chef in France and traveling the world. Gently humorous stories about family and friends form a seamless part of her instructions for community recipes like Strawberry Missionary Society Salad, as well as pleasant surprises like Tabbouleh, Curried Sweet Potato Soup, and Chinese Grocery Roast Pork that take Southern food beyond stereotypes. Fried chicken and grits do appear, but for such classics Foose emphasizes relatively simple, wholesome preparations that are rich without loading on more butter and oil than necessary. Although recipes for Gumbo Z'Herbs, Chile Lime Skirt Steak, and creamy succotash are mouthwatering enough just to read about, many cooks will be tempted to flip straight to the last chapters, where her enticing breads and pastries provide the book with a winning flourish. The cook may be Southern, but the appeal of the dishes she presents should reach well beyond people who grew up in the land of four-hour lunches and sweet tea savored on a porch swing.