7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a good overall book, for those who want to cook Magnolia's, Barickman's restaurant's Lowcountry inspired Southern-style foods. It's ideally for those who want to have a selection of Donald Barickman's "Southern style" recipes, that are generally easy to cook, at hand. This is not a text for "really" authentic Southern recipes, overall-that's just a fact, not a plus or a minus for the book.
Start with crab cakes with panko crust, cleverly formed in long tubes within plastic wrap, then cut to create a more compact crab cake. The recipe is basic, not "messed up" with superfluous ingredients that mask the sweetness of blue crab, which is lightly skillet sauteed.
There's plenty of "common" recipes, such as macaroni and cheddar cheese, creamed corn, collard greens, okra, Hoppin' John, black beans and rice, and creamy grits- slow cooked in water and heavy cream. To dress things up, there's Pimiento cheese grits with seared scallops shrimp, tasso and grits, or salmon over grits, and even lobster and grits. Grits galore! Things get an Asian/Latin twist with Coriander-seared tuna with jalapeno and mango vinaigrette and sauteed escarole. Barickman also offers squash blossosms stuffed with scallop and lobster moussse, or a steak topped with pimiento cheese and madeira sauce.
I was mildly disappoined that this lacked the "kick" in its selection of recipes to get it up to a 5 star rating, however with it's simple to moderately complex Southern recipes, good color photos, and almost too brief instructions, it will be more than sufficient for a lover of Charleston's Magnolias Restaurant to duplicate many of the older recipes. I do favor "chattier" cookbooks that give a local flavor in the side notes; this is "just the facts, ma'am" on its recipes. Other Southern cookbook authors- John Martin Taylor, Edna Lewis, James Villas, the Lee Bros., and Frank Stitts -have classic cookbooks books that clearly rate "5"'s in my opinion. Check these out first, and see what you prefer to buy.
This version is said to be the original 1995 book, Magnolia's Southern Cuisine, from over 10 years ago, it was updated in 2006 with 50 or so new recipes. Now, why he subtitled this as "Authentic Southern Cuisine" and then put a photo of a clearly non-Southern Chinese style sliced eggroll on the cover, is beyond me. A warning? Too much sake, perhaps? Let's just say that while he has a good number of definitely non-Southern recipes, he balances it in the quality of the Southern style ones he shares.
Visit Charleston, and try this and several dozen excellent restaurants, to sample many variations of classics such shrimp and grits, fluffy biscuits, and all around great food!