B. Smith Cooks Southern Style – Barbara Smith

Title: B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style
Author: Barbara Smith
ISBN: 9781416553540
Pages: 336
Release Date: November 3, 2009
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Cookbook
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I was excited when I received model Barbara Smith’s cookbook in the mail for review, though I was a bit hesitant.  I’ve made recipes from a model’s cookbook before (Padma Lakshmi’s Easy Exotic) and to put it mildly, the recipes were not very good.

However, I shouldn’t have worried – Barbara Smith really knows her stuff!  She clearly knows her way around the kitchen and is cognizant of what makes up great Southern food.  I’ve been wanting to find a good new Southern cookbook, so I was eager to give this a try.

I tried a few recipes out of this book, and they were pretty good.  I made 4 of her recipes before writing this review, and while they were all solid, only the Cajun Veal Stew was 5 star quality.  The cornbread tasted too oily, unfortunately, and the sauce for the filet recipe was very tasty, but just too salty (despite the fact that I used low sodium chicken broth when the recipe didn’t specifically call for it). 

There are a lot of recipes in this book, which is great, but my main problem with it is the sheer number of dishes with obscure ingredients.  I’m not planning on cooking with quail eggs, turtle, or chicken livers, and I’m not sure it’s even possible to find frog legs or alligator meat within 100 miles of where I live. I only cook for two, so I focus on main dishes, rather than sides/appetizers/desserts, so having so many dishes with obscure ingredients was a bit of a disappointment for me.  Still, there are plenty of other recipes to choose from.

I have to admit, though this is a solid cookbook, I’m not sure it’s going to be a staple in my kitchen.  The one recipe I loved, the Cajun Veal Stew, took a lot of work.  Still, the side dishes look incredible, so when I want to make cheese grits or sweet potato salad, I’ll definitely pull this one out!

Comments

  1. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up because I don’t cook like this very often. Your review might make me check it out at the library first to see how many recipes are feasible for us!

  2. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up because I don’t cook like this very often. Your review might make me check it out at the library first to see how many recipes are feasible for us!

  3. I don’t cook much Southern food, but Carl would probably love it if I did! I doubt I’d get much use out of this cookbook.

  4. I don’t cook much Southern food, but Carl would probably love it if I did! I doubt I’d get much use out of this cookbook.

  5. Cajun Veal Stew sounds so delicious. I’m rather surprised that it is so difficult to prepare since stews are usually pretty easy and very forgiving of the cook.

  6. Cajun Veal Stew sounds so delicious. I’m rather surprised that it is so difficult to prepare since stews are usually pretty easy and very forgiving of the cook.

  7. When a book is filled with too many regional ingredients, it generally becomes something I enjoy reading but not a book a turn to for cooking. I am curious about how one cooks alligator!

  8. When a book is filled with too many regional ingredients, it generally becomes something I enjoy reading but not a book a turn to for cooking. I am curious about how one cooks alligator!

  9. I love to cook Southern food, but will drive myself nuts trying to find those crazy odd ingredients. Like Food and Wine, they should have offered acceptable substitutes.

  10. I love to cook Southern food, but will drive myself nuts trying to find those crazy odd ingredients. Like Food and Wine, they should have offered acceptable substitutes.

  11. We do get frog legs and chicken livers here in Singapore and it would be helpful to know how to cook them 🙂

  12. We do get frog legs and chicken livers here in Singapore and it would be helpful to know how to cook them 🙂

  13. This sounds like it would be a good coffe table book, but not a chance of finding some of those ingredients here. except for the quail eggs,as a friend of mine keeps quails specially for selling the eggs.

  14. This sounds like it would be a good coffe table book, but not a chance of finding some of those ingredients here. except for the quail eggs,as a friend of mine keeps quails specially for selling the eggs.

  15. Obscure ingredients is where I begin to write off a cookbook. I am trying to cook healthy and cheaply with the tight budget we have-and obscure usually = expensive!
    Nice review though….
    *smiles*

  16. Obscure ingredients is where I begin to write off a cookbook. I am trying to cook healthy and cheaply with the tight budget we have-and obscure usually = expensive!
    Nice review though….
    *smiles*

  17. yes, this sounds like one I might enjoy reading more than actually making most of the recipes. I don’t think I can get alligator in NJ. 😉

  18. yes, this sounds like one I might enjoy reading more than actually making most of the recipes. I don’t think I can get alligator in NJ. 😉

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