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Quick report on Frank Stitt's Southern Table

Carb Lover Jan 2, 2007 05:57 AM

I had been procrastinating in the worst way on planning my Christmas dinner for 9, so at the last minute decided to pick one cookbook to draw from to make it easier on me. I chose Southern Table since I've owned it for a while now, but haven't really cooked much from it.

I made the following recipes from the book:
curried pumpkin soup
pork loin stuffed w/ bacon, onions & rosemary
wilted greens
glazed autumn vegetables (parsnips, carrots, turnips, brussels sprouts)

Overall, I thought everything was good, although I found proportions and timing to be off so that I had to adjust as I went. My favorites were the pumpkin soup (I used butternut and kabocha) and spoonbread. Soup was very smooth, and the spoonbread was completely rich and decadent. Next time I'd reduce some of the butter and cream in the spoonbread though.

Photo of spoonbread:

The pork loin was good, but I found the stuffing to be greasy since the fat from the bacon wasn't drained per the recipe. I would fiddle w/ proportions to use more rosemary, more bread, and less bacon fat next time. The glazed veggies weren't really glazed and probably could have used a little more butter or oil.

I'm glad I finally delved into the book, but I did find myself wanting more details here and there since the recipes are written very concisely. I could def. see the French and Italian influences during the cooking process.

What have others been making recently from this book?

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  1. Candy RE: Carb Lover Jan 2, 2007 04:28 PM

    Hoppin' John...delicious
    Low Country Red Rice "
    Fried Okra...delicious
    Highlands Baked Grits with Country Ham....swoonable
    Cornbread.....good but I prefer my own
    Pimento Cheese, I did theirs once and love using the roasted red
    bell peppers but prefer no cream cheese in mine
    Orange Thing...good but dangerous
    Pickled Shrimp...yum
    Spring Lettuces with Sweet Peas, Chives, Dill and Mint. Delicate
    and lovely
    Tomato Salad with Cornbread, Bacon, and Buttermilk
    Autumn Salad with Spiced pecans, Pears, and Fourme D'Ambert...
    very good
    Oyster Pan roast with Crawfish and Buttery Croutons...V. Good
    Flounder with Clam Chowder Sauce, excellent
    Chicken with Watercress sauce, okay, not exciting
    Sirloin Strip with Grilled Red onions, Cornbread and Salsa
    Verde...got to make that again. That salsa verde is wonderful
    Pork Chop and Brochette with Creamy Grits and Makers Mark Sauce
    Had that at the restaurant. Wonderful. Got to get back
    there soon

    Bourbon Pana Cotta and Pecan Sandies.....oh make this!
    Lemon Buttermilk Chess Tart...great stuff

    On my list to make soon:

    Poached Egg Salad with Red Wine Sauce
    Fried Oysters with Spicy Remoulade
    Duck 2 Ways

    4 Replies
    1. re: Candy
      jen kalb RE: Candy Jan 2, 2007 06:58 PM

      Maybe this is a candidate for cookbook of the month?

      1. re: jen kalb
        Candy RE: jen kalb Jan 2, 2007 07:22 PM

        At sometime it should be. It has been my book of the month since it was published!

      2. re: Candy
        Carb Lover RE: Candy Jan 3, 2007 06:45 AM

        Wow, you've cooked alot from this book, Candy. I almost made the lemon buttermilk chess tart, but decided to go w/ something else. I find the recipes to be pretty rich, otherwise I think I'd cook from it more often.

        I've never made spoonbread before, so was surprised that his version was so rich w/ dairy. I don't consider myself lactose intolerant, but I only ate a little and it did a number on my tummy. Do you have a go-to spoonbread recipe that you really like just so that I can compare? Thanks.

        1. re: Carb Lover
          Candy RE: Carb Lover Jan 3, 2007 02:55 PM

          This is the spoonbread my mother always made. Definitely not as richm in dairy. You could get away with using 2% milk in it or a lactose free milk

          1 5. C. cornmeal
          1 tsp. salt
          1.5 C. boiling water
          4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
          5 eggs seperated, whites whipped until stiff but not dry
          2 C. milk
          1 Tbs. baking powder

          Mix the salt with the cornmeal in a lg. bowl. Scald with the boiling water then add the melted butter. Combine the egg yolks with the milk and then blend into the cornmeal. Add the baking powder and fold in the whites.

          We bake it in a souffle dish, something deeper than what you used, and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until puffed and golden.

          Hope that helps.

      3. Pei RE: Carb Lover Jan 2, 2007 06:11 PM

        I wish I could actually contribute to this conversation, but the only recipe I've tried is the oatmeal cookies. Unfortunately, I did one of those things where I planned to halve the recipe, forgot halfway through, and ended up with a mess that I had to fix by eyeballing measurements to compensate for having half of some ingredients and all of others.

        I'll say this; the flavor ended up tasting good enough that I'm pretty sure they would have been wonderful if I'd followed instructions. They're potentially crispy around the edges and soft in the middle.

        1. Bluehound RE: Carb Lover Jan 3, 2007 01:43 PM

          I had the same experience with timing, esp. with the baked grits which take about twice as long as the recipe. I like the cookbook (love the restaurant) but would not cook any of the more adventurous recipes for a crowd without testing first.

          Several recipes are now my staples - creamed corn, fried okra and all of his preparations for peas. The pimento cheese is killer. The asparagus gratin is also very good -as is the grilled asparagus with vinaigrette. I despise cheesecake, but loved the pumpkin cheesecake. The biscotti, however, did not work out very well - I suspect that it was a proportion issue with the chocolate. The hangar steak was good as well.

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