By Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing
Ten Speed Press, $35
Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing met (and fell in love) while they were cooks at Gerard’s Downtown in New Orleans. Soon after, they headed to New York City where they quickly won acclaim, awards (including Allison’s 2004 James Beard Rising Star), and media attention as chefs at Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar. But, homesick, the couple hightailed it back to Louisiana, where they find life is sweeter and food tastes better. In their excellent debut cookbook, the chef duo, who now happily run the kitchen at MiLa restaurant in New Orleans, bring their distinctive and delicious take on southern cooking to a wider audience. The book’s 100 recipes, divided into straightforward chapters (Salads, Meat, Dessert, etc.), present their refined interpretations of southern classics in recipes like Coconut Shrimp Beignets, Black True Grits, and Pecan Praline Semifreddo with Bourbon Sauce. Cover to cover, the chefs’ gift for balancing expert techniques with down-home goodness is on full display.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken (page 188) I served this crunchy fried chicken at a party, and everyone clamored for the recipe. I loved how juicy and deeply seasoned the meat was, thanks to the 24-hour brining.
Fregola with Collard Greens and Lemon (page 124) This brighter take on collard greens is quick to make and nourishing. Plus, it pairs deliciously with the fried chicken. Can’t find fregola? Use toasted orzo instead.
|Banana-Rum Crepes with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream||Spring Vegetable Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette|
Bonus recipe: Deep-Fried Turkey
Photos by Ed Anderson