It is nice to see several new kosher cookbooks that are fun and interesting appearing on the market today. I discovered this one on Amazon while looking for something else. Simply Southern is a community cookbook from a Hebrew Day School in Memphis, Tennessee. Not exactly the first place I think of when I think about Jewish communities but the cookbook is a testament to a rich, vibrant community. The cookbook is set up in standard chapters for appetizers, meats, fish, sides, and desserts. Some but not all the recipes have short introductions but each chapter begins by telling the story of an influential person from the community. Not all the recipes have photographs of the completed dish which is a pet peeve of mine but since it is a community cookbook, I am willing to overlook that.
The fun part about this book is that many Southern specialties are off limits to cooks keeping to the laws of Kashrut (kosher). Finally a good recipe for Southern Fried Chicken that doesn’t include buttermilk! I can’t wait to try it out. Other Southern specialties include Sweet Potato-Peanut Soup, Cheese Grits Casserole and Fried Green Tomatoes. The marriage of Southern Cooking and traditional Jewish cooking is apparent in many recipes but probably none so clearly as Mini Matzo Ball Gumbo Soup. That will be on a Shabbat dinner menu here soon!
All in all, a fun addition to my growing collection of Kosher Cookbooks that don’t scream KOSHER cookbook.