A recipe for a highly contentious tomato-based shrimp and grits.

Southern Cooking requires zero “hacks”

The timeless cuisine of the American South, in The Glory of Southern Cooking

Friends and fellow cooks, Easter is near and we have ham on our minds. Actually, lately we’ve been dreaming of pink ham, pillowy biscuits, red eye-gravy, crisp-tender fried chicken, pimento slathered toast points, and a berry cobbler. What can we say? Our sleep is very specific.

We blame our delirium on the latest book to debut on our service, The Glory of Southern Cooking. Written by James Villas, Southern cooking evangelist, buttermilk autodidact and chronicler of culinary side-roads; this book has 388 reasons to say I love you with food. And at least two ways to say pimento.

Consider these three recipes:

Country Ham Braised in Cider and Molasses

Real country ham shares many of the same qualities of excellent bourbon: a product of local regulations and flavor, a proper ham is something worth seeking out, and savoring. We’re enamoured with James Villas’s field guide to tracking down the perfect roast. Equally so with his recipe for what to do once you’ve found your prize. Road trip!

Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits

This recipe is 100% hack free and perfect for a reason. When James Villas says “this is the queen of biscuits,” we happily submit to his precise instructions. Stop using juice glasses as a cutter, for one, it impedes their rise. Use Southern flour for maximum tenderness. Check and check. Some things are worth doing right.

Seafood Gumbo

In a book with 10 recipes for grits and 3 for gumbo, there’s a certain feeling of “how-can-I-go-wrong but where-do-I-start?” How about this recipe for a classic seafood gumbo? With precise instructions, an etymology of the term “gumbo”, and a friendly discussion of the thickening properties of filé vs okra, you will get some … satisfaction.

Let Mick Jagger know. We hear he’s been looking for a while,
the alta editions team


Alta Editions is a subscription online cookbook service. We’re bringing the world’s great cookbooks online so you can spend less time searching for quality recipes and more time enjoying delicious meals. Join us today and get a 30 day free trial with unlimited access to our growing library of exceptional cookbooks.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.