The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great Southern Cooks by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock

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Notes about this book

  • Breadcrumbs on January 02, 2012

    I had the pleasure of dining at Watershed when Scott Peacock was the Chef and was so impressed by my meal, I had to have this cookbook. What an absolute gem it is. Truly delicious, authentic Southern recipes and, delightful stories. Ms. Lewis is an inspiration and this combined work with Scott Peacock is one of the treasures on my bookshelf. All recipes I've made thus far have been delicious and, exceeded my expectations in terms of the flavour they deliver. I've cooked from this pre-EYB but will add reviews of dishes from now on as I make them. I'd heartily recommend this book.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Spicy collards in tomato-onion sauce

    • Breadcrumbs on January 02, 2012

      p. 156 - First use of this recipe. This dish was a hit from start to finish. Ms Lewis has you boil the collards first and, reserve the water, some of which is used to finish the dish. I reserved the remainder as it was delicious. Some was added to Hoppin' John, also on the menu. The tomatoes and sweetness of the onion really balanced the somewhat bitter greens and the end result was a hearty, delicious stew-like dish. Absolutely wonderful. Eggs were poached in the leftovers for breakfast the following morning. If I didn't know better, I'd have sworn this was an Italian dish. We'll definitely make this again.

  • Grandmaw Peacock's chicken and rice

    • mirage on January 16, 2010

      Very tasty - homey.

    • cjxn on November 07, 2020

      Easy. Tasty. Decidely homey.

  • Simmered yellow squash

    • britt on September 24, 2010

      Just like my Grandma used to make. I loved it the first night, but this recipe yielded a lot, and the leftovers were less awesome. Somehow the squash tasted different - less buttery and sweet, more astringent.

  • Angel biscuits

    • okcook on June 18, 2015

      These are really good! We made ours much bigger than the recipe calls for. We got 12 biscuits instead of the 28.

  • Scalloped tomatoes

    • TrishaCP on August 20, 2020

      This was so tasty. Highly recommended!

    • billcranecos on August 15, 2020

      We cooked several new dishes tonight, and this was the best of the lot. The butter laden croutons were a star against the base of roasted tomatoes. We will definitely make this again.

  • Our favorite sour milk cornbread

    • TrishaCP on July 01, 2013

      This is indeed the best cornbread for those who like the Southern style (non-sweet).

  • Chicken baked with delicate herbs and breadcrumbs

    • TrishaCP on May 25, 2013

      This was a really delicious and fairly simple chicken dish. First, we did not use the stick of butter (!) the recipe called for- a few teaspoons of butter for flavor and olive oil was sufficient to keep the chicken tender. The dominant herb in the dish was the tarragon, which was fine for me as I love tarragon but be careful if you only enjoy that flavor in moderation.

  • Cornmeal muffins

    • TrishaCP on December 21, 2019

      I make these when I want cornbread and don't have any buttermilk on hand. They are richer tasting than normal cornbread, but I really prefer the tang of buttermilk. Glad to have this recipe in my back pocket though.

  • Coconut rice

    • TrishaCP on May 25, 2013

      A good accompaniment for the Country Captain recipe. I have never made coconut rice with tomato before and it was a revelation. The tomato cuts through the richness of the coconut milk (I used light coconut milk anyway), and by cooking it in the oven, the rice grains stay separate and fluffy. None of the gunk that occurs sometimes when making coconut rice on the stove.

  • Turnip greens with cornmeal dumplings

    • TrishaCP on January 21, 2015

      This was ok but not great. Having said that, I made a few tweaks out of necessity, so that may have been the problem. First, I used collards instead of turnip greens and cooked them until soft in pork stock I had on hand (a Paul Prudhomme recipe), rather than in the book's smoked pork stock recipe. Not a bad result, but probably not the mix of smokiness and pepperiness intended. Also, I cooked the greens the night before the dumplings. While I made the dumplings fresh, they came out hard and dry and not pillowy. I think that was partially a result of using (again, out of necessity) yellow, rather than white, cornmeal, and possibly also because my stock wasn't hot enough when added to the dough, thus not sufficiently softening the cornmeal. Bottom line, follow Ms. Lewis' instructions and don't deviate and all should be right!

  • Country captain and crispy thin onion rings

    • TrishaCP on May 25, 2013

      Tasty main course with the coconut rice from the same book. I made this using my own mild curry powder, not the book's, and it wasn't spicy at all. (If that is your thing, definitely plan to adjust.). It did require several steps to prepare, including brining chicken for several hours, so it is more of a weekend dish. If you don't brine, don't use chicken breasts because they will really be overcooked. Served with Major Grey's chutney, bacon, and spring onions, and that combination was great- the toppings really do add the flavor points a dish like this requires, so don't stint.

    • wcassity on May 25, 2020

      Delicious. Takes a long time to prepare - brining, chopping, reducing, baking. Served with the coconut rice, which was quick and fantastic. Toppings - crumbled bacon, crispy onions (store bought), coconut flakes, chopped peanuts, currants, scallions, Major Gray’s chutney.

  • Sliced cucumbers dressed with vinegar and sugar

    • TrishaCP on May 25, 2013

      I grew up eating a variation of this during the summer when cucumbers were abundant. My mom always dressed the cucumbers in white vinegar, with sliced sweet onion, and ice cubes and no sugar. This version with sugar and cider vinegar is tasty- but I found the cider vinegar a bit overpowering and would stick to white vinegar next time. I also used less sugar than the recipe instructed and added red onion to the mix since I had extra on hand.

  • Pimento cheese

    • southerncooker on April 13, 2021

      Thiis is a simple but good version of pimento cheese. I made it to go on a Grilled Pimento Cheese, Collard Greens and Fried Chicken sandwich from Garden and Gun magazine.

  • Chanterelles on toast

    • clkandel on December 16, 2020

      One of my favorite chanterelle recipes. So fast to make and the flavor is incredible.

  • Chicken hash

    • Barb_N on December 27, 2020

      I used leftover duck meat for this. I should have cut the potato pieces larger, by the time the liquid was almost absorbed they were mushy. I added a bit of shredded cabbage that needed using. Not pretty but frugal and tasty.

  • Macaroni and cheese

    • Ledlund on June 10, 2018

      I was looking for the perfect loose, creamy, cheesy mac & cheese. I didn't realize this one had eggs in it until I got the book out. I haven't had good luck adding eggs in the past so I decided to make it without the egg. It was fantastic. Exactly what I was looking for. The other changes I made were using cubed Velveeta instead of cheddar mixed into the pasta, excluding the grated onion, and topping it with 8 ounces of extra sharp cheddar. I'm making this my go-to mac & cheese from now on.

    • billcranecos on May 12, 2020

      I've made this using the ingredients as listed, and this makes for a very distinctive mac and cheese. The grated onion enforces the sharpness of the cheddar. This is a family favorite.

  • Roasted okra

    • verlaj54 on August 19, 2021

      Very good. Agree that the okra I used was not tender after 10 minutes; maybe really small okra would be. Next time, I would probably use the CI method (cut side down, tightly covered with foil, roast at 425F 12-15 minutes) first with only the okra, then add the onions and garlic and roast 12-15 minutes more at somewhere between 375 and 425F.

    • billcranecos on August 15, 2020

      Good flavor profile, but the okra did not get tender in the brief cooking time. If I were to repeat, I might give the okra a head start in a hot skillet with some oil.

  • Trout roe with scrambled eggs

    • billcranecos on November 16, 2020

      This was both educational (I had no idea what would happen when trout roe was cooked) and delicious. Worthwhile to make if you find yourself with some good quality trout roe.

  • Scalloped green tomatoes

    • Jardimc on November 13, 2020

      Excellent recipe and absolutely delicious. the nutmeg is subtle and adds a welcome complexity to the flavour. Also good as a stew cooked on the stovetop without the croutons, for a gluten free option. The butter adds a critical flavour note to the dish, so I wanted to retain it: in the end I compromised and used a half olive oil and half butter for the full quantity of butter, which achieved that goal, while keeping it a bit lighter. A very welcome way to use the end of growing season green tomatoes.

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Reviews about this book

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Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Fresh apple cake with caramel glaze

    • Serious Eats

      It’s bursting with fresh apple flavor and spices, while the crunch of pecan, which places the cake unmistakably in Southern territory, adds just the right bite.

      Full review
    • I Made That!

      It has so many apples in it I was concerned that it might not even turn into a cake once baked. But it turned out just fine. Better than fine.

      Full review
  • Angel biscuits

    • I Made That!

      And oh boy, they were yummy. Pretty much the perfect biscuit. So good that it almost seemed like a waste to pour gravy all over them. Not that that stopped me.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0375400354
  • ISBN 13 9780375400353
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Apr 15 2003
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 352
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Knopf (Borzoi)

Publishers Text

2004 James Beard Award Nominee for Cooking of the Americas


2004 IACP Award Nominee for American Category


On May 5th, 2003 Edna Lewis was inducted into the KitchenAid Cookbook Hall of Fame for her lifetime of achievements in the culinary industry.


Edna Lewis--whose The Taste of Country Cooking has become an American classic--and Alabama-born chef Scott Peacock join forces in this remarkable collections of 225 recipes and reflections on Southern food. What makes this book unique is that it represents the blending of different styles of Southern cooking--Miss Lewis's Virginia country cooking and Scott's Alabama foods liberally seasoned with Native American, Caribbean, and African influences, as well as neglected traditional recipes that the two cooks, in their years of research together, unearthed and made their own.

And interwoven throughout the book are wonderful stories about the people and the traditions that shaped these pure-tasting, genuinely American recipes. A joyful coming together of two extraordinary cooks, sharing their gifts.



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