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Want to know more about Southern cooking?

Southern Cookbooks

OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) -- The Southern Foodways Symposium is like a magnet for writers and chefs who have different ideas about what Southern cuisine is all about and how to cook it. For those interested in knowing more about Southern cuisine, here is roundup of cookbooks that represent a variety of approaches:

"Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken," by Ronni Lundy, Atlantic Monthly Press, $16.50.

Lundy is as interested in music as food, and this volume draws not only from her experience but also from those of artists like Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, and Chet Atkins. This book presents a wide range of traditional recipes from the Appalachian south as well as a few modern twists on old themes.

Recipe: Apple Stack Cake

"The Welcome Table, African-American Heritage Cooking," by Jessica Harris, Fireside, $16.

Harris says her mother taught her "to cook with my mouth, so that what was prepared would taste wonderful no matter how humble the ingredients." This collection shows off the variety of the African-American table with recipes that range from pig's feet to a salad of Wilted Dandelion Greens with Hot Bacon Dressing.

Recipe: Wilted Dandelion Greens with Hot Bacon Dressing

"The Blues Highways Cookbook," by Jason Girard, Blue Chef Publishing, $15.95.

Girard is chef at Buddy Guy's Legends, one of the top blues clubs in Chicago. He says his approach to Cajun, Creole, and soul food was inspired by the blues artists who migrated from the South to Chicago. His book features traditional recipes ranging from jambalaya to new approaches such as crawfish quesadillas.

Recipe: Legendary Jambalaya also available on the Blue Chef Web site

"The Dooky Chase Cookbook," by Leah Chase, Pelican, $21.

If you want authentic Creole recipes from New Orleans, this is your book. Leah Chase, the matriarch of Dooky Chase's, creates such traditional dishes as red beans and rice and seafood gumbo.

"Southern Belly," by John T. Edge, Hill Street Press, $24.95.

John T. Edge -- whose anthology "A Gracious Plenty" serves up the cream of community cookbooks -- travels around the South to the best of the local eateries.

You can travel with this one, but this is not a guidebook in the classic sense.

"Guidebooks tell you where and how, 'Southern Belly' tells you why and who and what tastes best," Edge explains.

Edge is the director of Southern Foodways Alliance.

"Food for the Soul,", by Monique Y. Wells, Elton-Wolf Publishing.

This book was originally published in French by a Houston native living in Paris. But it's really her family's cookbook with Louisiana and Texas specialties she ate while growing up.

Recipes: Miss Grace's Chicken and Onions
Creole Okra

"Smokestack Lightning," by Lolis Eric Elie and Frank Stewart (photographer), North Point Press, $20.

A great barbecue travelogue of the South from Kreutz's Market in Texas to the Big "S" Grill in Memphis for a superb "shoulder sandwich." To Elie, barbecue is a metaphor for life in the South.

"You don't hear anybody talking about Mississippi fried chicken," he says, "but you do hear about North Carolina barbecue versus Memphis barbecue. Barbecue just says so much about what's going on."

"The Great American Barbecue & Grilling Manual," by Smoky Hale, Abacus Publishing, $19.95.

It's all here -- from a crown roast to barbecuing a goat to how to slow-smoke a pork shoulder. Smoky will even tell you how to cure your own bacon if you are crazy enough to want to know.

Recipe: Smoky's Pretty Good Basting Sauce (for pork shoulders)

"Southern Living Annual Recipes 1999," from the editors of Southern Living Magazine, Oxmoor House, $31.46.

Southern Living is a "reader-based" magazine and this is a collection of recipes from around the South, published in 1999. All tested by the magazine's test kitchen, the recipes range from lighter versions of traditional Southern dishes to family favorites.

Southern Living and Oxmoor House are divisions of Time-Warner, the parent company of CNN and

"Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking," By Joe Dabney, Cumberland, $19.95.

A must-have for anyone interested in Appalachian cooking. Hundreds of recipes and lots of folklore about the people of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. A James Beard Award winner.

"New Southern Cooking," by Nathalie Dupree.

This book has just gone out of print after 14 editions, but it is still available from used bookstores and autographed copies are available from Nathalie herself.

More than 350 recipes offer what Dupree calls Southern home cooking -- from blackeyed peas and fried chicken to country ham and peach cobbler.

Review: "Food for the Soul," by Monique Y. Wells
October 11, 2000
Review: "Barbecue! Bible -- Sauces, Rubs and Marinades," by Steven Raichlen
August 25, 2000
"A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections from the American South," By John T. Edge
March 29, 2000
Review: "Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook: From Hemingway, South Carolina, to Harlem," by Sylvia Woods and Family

Southern Foodways Alliance
The Barbecue Store -- The Great American Barbecue & Grilling Manual
Nathalie Dupree's Web Kitchen
Nathalie Dupree's books
Upscale Online
The Cookbook Collectors' Exchange -- An interview with Ronni Lundy

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