By Rebecca Lang, Andrews McMeel Publishing, $16.99, 178 pages
“Southern food doesn’t have to take hours in the kitchen. Most people think that the food of the South is a long process. I must admit that we do like to stand around and visit in the kitchen, but the time spent cooking can be short and sweet. With the same fresh food concept that my grandmothers lived by, I have mastered how to cook from scratch and still cook quickly.”
Rebecca Lang, a contributing editor for Southern Living, draws from her roots and proves that Southern cooking isn’t time consuming in her latest cookbook, Quick-Fix Southern: Homemade Hospitality in 30 Minutes or Less.
The opening chapter sets the tone. Lang shares basic staples and equipment every pantry and kitchen needs to prep these recipes. Nothing out of the ordinary here; just fundamentals that make cooking a snap.
Lang divides the cookbook into ten themes, with each grouping offering something for any and every occasion. Rise and shine with a bevy of breakfast items featuring fresh fruit drinks or veggie-stuffed quiches. Favorites, like classic pimento cheese, sweet tea, and blackened catfish remind cooking enthusiasts of old-fashioned culinary treats, while Texas caviar, shrimp and grits bake, and ambrosia and white chocolate trifle create a new wave of Southern delectables.
Lang creates a conversational cookbook, giving it a feeling that we’re sitting in my kitchen, chatting over a mint julep, swapping family stories associated with recipes. Each of the 115 entries begins with a bit of a history lesson about the food or an ingredient or commentary from Lang. Plus, cooking school tips at the end of each recipe offer practical advice for both novice and advanced cooks. This is one cookbook that I’d love to share with my family and use to build a new generation of culinary stories.
Reviewed by LuAnn Schindler