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ChrisTaylor

"Collards & Carbonara" / "Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey" – New Southern books

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Picked up these two new Southern books in the past couple weeks: Michael Hudman's Collards & Carbonara, which is exactly what it sounds like, and John Currence's Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey. The title of the latter was almost enough to sell me on the book. Both I initially heard about after purchasing Edward Lee's Smoke & Pickles, which I liked a lot. Both of these books are perhaps slightly more refined than Lee's. Not as authentic as Donald Link's, perhaps (or, at least, more willing to play fast and loose with tradition), but similar in style (a few multi-element recipes, numerous recipes for homemade versions of commercial products such as Duke's [altho' he doesn't frown up the store-bought stuff], occasionally very precise instructions, an assumption that you're familiar with most of the ingredients he is using, etc). Lee's book had a home cooking feel to it. These books have some home style dishes but also a few that are clearly restaurant-style dishes.

I've yet to cook anything from either book but like the look of almost everything on every page. Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey has a slightly unusual layout: it's set out by technique (kind of) rather than ingredient. So pork or chicken, for instance, is spread through the entire book rather than put into one chapter.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Pickles Pigs and Whiskey really exceeded my expectations. Its a really good book, far better than smoke and pickles in my opinion.

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Along similar lines, you should check out the recently released Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality by Anne Quatrano. Quatrano and her husband are chef-owners of several highly-regarded restaurants in Atlanta (Bacchanalia, Abbatoir, Floataway Cafe) as well as the book's namesake, Summerland Farm.

The book is organized into twelve chapters each comprised of a seasonal menu for each month. While that sounds limited, the book covers a broad swath of recipes and styles, from traditional homestyle fare to refined restaurant style dishes. The book is admittedly quirky in its breadth, but it definitely hits a sweet spot for me -- i.e. the kind of person who doesn't mind having a Monkey Bread recipe sharing cookbook space with wood roasted whole foie gras

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Just made my first dish from Collards & Carbonara: the pork ragu. The sauce is very good but the recipe was a little vague/had a couple of printing errors. I do hope the entire book isn't like this.

EDIT

Er, detail-wise, for the recipe and all, it's a ragu that's challenged my ideas of what a ragu should be. I mean, I usually put some kind of cured meat into a ragu but mostly the meat is fresh meat. So a pork ragu would have shredded or minced pork. All of the meat in this, though, is cured. It uses a mix of pancetta, bacon, prosciutto, salami and soppressa. It's blended to a point that it attains a texture similar to a jarred pasta sauce.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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John Currence is in Oxford, Mississippi. But Memphis is probably the closest airport, so good plan!

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Holy shit. John Currence's cola-brined fried chicken. Am now packing backs for Memphis. So fucking good.

I am always on the look-out for good cookbooks for my mom for Christmas. So, I ordered both of the cookbooks you reference. I couldn't help myself this morning and perused both of them (I know, they are gifts...but...don't tell on me and she'll never know ;) ) Anyway, LOVE Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey. I started jotting down recipes and when I got to the fourth one or so that I liked, I decided I better just order another one for myself. The cola-brined chicken caught my eye too. Can't wait to try it. I just started the Collards & Carbonara. So far, I am not liking it near as much as the other.

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The chicken cacciatore recipe in Collards & Carbonara is probably their least restauranty dish, although it does exclude a couple of things commonly found in cacciatore recipes (olives, for example). I liked it. Would make again.


Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Just bought the Kindle edition of Pigs et al. Just excellent

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Well, thank you. Just when I thought I'd cured my cook book habit - I waited and followed the thread, eventually succumbed to the Kindle edition, then decided it had to be the book.

A lot of people are getting pickled grapes this Christmas - just going to start on the apples before they are completely past it.


Mick Hartley

The PArtisan Baker

bethesdabakers

"I can give you more pep than that store bought yeast" - Evolution Mama (don't you make a monkey out of me)

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