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10 Southern Cookbooks for Gifting

We’ve been stockpiling cookbooks since the summer over here and wanted to highlight some that would make great gifts for the holidays. A cookbook truly does keep on giving all year long, and some of these are so plush you’ll be tempted to just display them on the coffee table.

Callies-Biscuits-and-Southern-Traditions-CookbookCallie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions by Carrie Morey

Charleston’s famous biscuit maker now has a cookbook, and it contains a lot more than just the breakfast staple. Morey’s modern approach to traditional Southern cooking is presented in 75 recipes that pair classic Lowcountry fare with surprising twists. There are skillet recipes passed down through generations, including Lemon Zest Cast Iron Fried Shrimp and Macaroni Pie, slow-cooked Roasted and Pimento Cheese Chicken and Mama’s Sour Cream Banana Pudding for dessert. And of course there are a few biscuit recipes too, like BBQ Chicken Salad Biscuits. $30 from calliesbiscuits.com


CollardsCarbonaraCollards & Carbonara by Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman

If the premise of this cookbook – “Southern Cooking, Italian Roots” – doesn’t get you, then the glossy photographs will. In their introduction, the authors, whose respective Memphis restaurants are Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy, explain their concept this way: “We have tried – and hopefully succeeded – to make a convincing argument about how the food of the South and the food of Italy can be mixed to make beautiful music together.” The result is dishes like Black-Eyed Pea Tortellini, Ham Hock Brodo & Collards, Okra Stufato and Ricotta Cake With Satsuma Marmalade. $35 from Weldon Owen


besh-bookCooking from the Heart by John Besh 

The latest from this New Orleans chef is being called the next best thing to an apprenticeship with John Besh. Straying from his native South Louisiana, Besh recalls the places, lessons and mentors that shaped his culinary journey, from Germany’s Black Forest to the South of France and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Each chapter features a lesson, memories and recipes for dishes like Country Pate, Tomato & Fresh Cheese Tartines, Duck Confit and Brown Butter Caramel Tart. $40 from chefjohnbesh.com 

Read our interview with Chef John Besh here


honeycookbookThe Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton

Beekeeper and cafe owner Laurey Masterton lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she runs Laurey’s Cafe. In her new cookbook, she celebrates the subtle flavors of honey with a seasonal calendar of 84 recipes that focus on what’s fresh each month. For winter, it’s Pork Tenderloin With Orange Blossom Honey Mustard, Coconut Macaroons With Dried Cherries and Mama’s Winter Vegetable Soup. $14.95 from Storey Publishing


freshtableThe Fresh Table: Cooking In Louisiana All Year Round by Helana Brigman

Locavore and native New Orleanian Helana Brigman shares over 100 recipes that take advantage of Louisiana’s year-round growing season in her new cookbook. Organized by season, recipes like those for Petite Crab Cakes with Cajun Dipping Sauce, Rosemary Pumpkin Soup, Fig Proscuitto Salad with Goat Cheese and Spinach, and Cajun Bouillabaisse are presented along with a produce availability chart and list of state farmers markets and roadside stands. $34.95 from LSU Press


the-hot-sauce-cookbook-by-robb-walsh-bf9a4a4b2619c82eThe Hot Sauce Cookbook by Robb Walsh 

A definitive guide to the world’s most beloved condiment, this little book comes from one of the foremost hot sauce – and barbecue – authorities in the country. With chapters on the history of hot sauce, tips and recipes for making your own at home and over 50 recipes, ranging from Homemade Buffalo Chicken Wings to a Backyard Oyster Bar, Homemade Sriracha Sauce and Fire and Ice Cream, The Hot Sauce Cookbook makes a great stocking stuffer for that heat lover on your list. $16.99 from Random House


smokeandpicklesSmoke & Pickles by Edward Lee 

Described as the future of traditional Southern cooking by Anthony Bourdain, Kentucky Chef Edward Lee’s first cookbook is filled with pickling, fermenting, frying, curing and smoking. Dishes like Chicken-Fried Pork Steak with Ramen Crust and Buttermilk Pepper Gravy, Collards and Kimchi, Braised Beef Kalbi with Soft Grits and Scallions and Miso-Smothered Chicken all share a place on his Korean-American table. And born with the storytelling gene of a true Southerner, Lee also fills his pages with with tales of the restaurant world and his time competing on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” $18.94 on Amazon


Morr_Southern_Slow_CookerThe Southern Slow Cooker by Kendra Bailey Morris

Including over 60 recipes for Southern favorites, Bailey Morris presents regional classics with little active cooking time. There’s Blue Crab and Corn Chowder for a fresh weeknight dinner, Dr. Pepper Sorghum Roasted Ham for Sunday supper, Carolina-Style Pork BBQ Sandwiches perfect for a picnic, Butter Beans With Ham Hocks as a side and Buttermilk Chocolate Spice Cake for dessert. Most of the recipes also include Southern wine and beer pairings, with a few Southern-inspired cocktails thrown in the mix. $19.99 from Random House


SummerlandSummerland by Anne Stiles Quatrano

Easily doubling as a coffee table book, this beauty from the owner of some of Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurants (Bacchanalia, Abbatoir) is a first for the chef and long awaited. Drawing on her 28 years of experience, Quatrano pulls together over 100 of her best recipes and entertaining ideas. Beginning with September, chapters are devoted to to the bounty of each month of the year. A peek at December reveals Broccoli Soup With Sabayon and Shaved Perigord Truffle, Slow-Roasted Sweet Onions and Dessert Eggnog. $26.86 from Amazon


wildchefThe Wild Chef by Jonathan Miles

Compiled along with the editors of Field & Stream magazine, this hefty book is divided by season and includes 100 meals for wild game and fish, expert butchering and cooking tips and stories from the field and kitchen. From the opening fall recipe for Venison Tenderloin With Sage, Pumpkin & Prunes to Christmas (Beer-Can) Goose and Wild Turkey Pot Pie, this cookbook will have you wanting to both kill and cook your own food. And for the non-game lovers, there are also plenty of fish recipes and tips. $24.14 on Amazon



Literary Friday, Edi
Searching for the Ho
  • Carl / December 7, 2013

    For our family the whole holiday season is about enjoying each others company while cooking and eating delicious food. Some of our favorites are traditional turkeys, hams with savory vegetable side dishes followed by delicious pies. At other times we let loose with seafood appetizer parties and make-your-own pizza nights. It’s all good and sometimes it’s downright great. That lineup of books is certainly impressive. I’d be thrilled to win any of them, particularly those by John Besh, Jonathan Miles, Anne Stiles Quatrano, and Helana Brigman. Thanks for this tremendously generous giveaway. Wishing a safe and happy holiday season to all.

  • Bea / December 7, 2013

    We have a big fancy dinner on Christmas and everyone loves it but the meal I look forward to the most is New Year’s. Old fashioned cornbread and a black-eyed pea soup recipe from an old Mississippi Junior League cookbook. Homey, with family all around and great hope for a new year – can’t be beat.
    Great cookbook list – already have the Besh cookbook (per your rec) and the slow cooker book – I look forward to checking out the rest of the list.

  • Jennie / December 7, 2013

    We have a big family breakfast now that the kids are grown. The big meal is later and full of traditional southern dishes. We have fun and good food! I would like to win any of these great books.

  • Britney Adams / December 8, 2013

    We enjoy chicken and dressing every year and that is the dish I look forward to making the most. It is the staple of our traditional Christmas fare. All of these cookbooks sound scrumptious! I would especially love to get my hands on a copy of THE SOUTHERN SLOW COOKER!

  • Cee / December 9, 2013

    Definitely corn pudding. We didn’t do it for Thanksgiving, but totally need to do it over Christmas. The slow cooker title looks AMAZING.

  • Rebekah Faulk / December 10, 2013

    I’m a big fan of Deep South Magazine, and am very happy to be Twitter friends with y’all! I write the Southern food blog Some Kinda Good, and love reading cookbooks like these with a good cocktail or cup of coffee. I’m most looking forward to baking a showstopper for my family’s annual holiday gathering. In year’s past it’s been festive cheesecakes, reindeer cookies, savory tarts and homemade pies. I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll bring to the table this year, but no matter the recipe, it’s always Southern and Some Kinda Good!

    Thank you for the opportunity to win these great cookbooks! I am particularly interested in The Wild Chef title or Cooking from the Heart. Merry Christmas!

  • Kim Holloway / December 10, 2013

    Over the last few years, I’ve picked up half a dozen cookie presses: from ancient estate sale finds to a brand-spanking new OXO good grips. I’m looking forward to making a big batch of Spritz butter cookies and decorating them with buttercream frosting and all manner of sprinkles and edible glitter. I love sharing these with friends and relations during the holidays.

  • Brittany Ricciardi / December 11, 2013

    I am looking toward making chicken cacciatore this holiday season. It is not a traditional holiday meal however it is an Italian staple. Collards and Carbonara seems like a book I would enjoy!

  • Cheré / December 11, 2013

    Black-eyed peas and corn beef and cabbage for New Year’s. Always with some cornbread cooked in a cast iron skillet in the oven.

  • Mary Gallagher / December 12, 2013

    I m a big fan of duck and would try any duck recipe from John Besh.