I am excited to announce that my third cookbook will be released on September 10, 2018. Southern Snacks: 77 Recipes for Small Bites with Big Flavors is packed with recipes for classic Southern favorite appetizers, and some new twists that highlight the best Southern ingredients. It’s the perfect collection of recipes for tailgating, back to school, holiday entertaining and gift-giving. You’ll find chapters on Dips and Spreads, including the Creamy Collard Dip, Pimento Cheese Style recipe below. A chapter on Cheese, Please includes variations on classic cheese straws and one of my favorites, Country Ham Cheesecake. Look for Fried Grits with Tomato-Bacon Jam in the Deep Fried Love chapter, or Citrus Pickled Shrimp in Seafood and Eat It. Plan your holiday entertaining with Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Biscuits and Green Onions Butter from The Meat of the Matter chapter, or Party Tomato Pies from The Garden Path. Round it out with The Nuts for Snacks section, including Sweet Tea Pecans and Barbecue Peanuts.
I’ll be signing books throughout the fall and I would love to see you at any of the events listed below:
novel., Memphis, TN, September 12, 6 pm
Square Books, Oxford, MS, September 21, 5 pm
Turnrow Books, Greenwood, MS, September 22, 11 am
Page158 Books, Wake Forest, NC, October 4, 6 pm
McIntyre’s Books, Pittsoboro, NC, October 6, 2 pm
Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, TN, October 14, 1 pm
Me and Mrs. Jones, Memphis, TN, October 27
“A delightful addition to the pantheon of Southern cookbooks–an inspirational resource for home and professional cooks alike, brimming with ideas for bringing something different to the next get-together.”–Foreword Reviews
“Anyone from south or north involved in party planning or catering will find plenty of inspiration here for passed hors d’oeuvres to seriously enliven any party, plain or fancy”.–Booklist
Creamy Collard Dip, Pimento Cheese-Style
5 strips of bacon, chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
¼ cup water
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen chopped collard greens, thawed and well drained
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot sauce (such as Crystal), to taste (optional)
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy and move to paper towels with a slotted spoon to drain. Pour the bacon grease into a measuring cup and let cool briefly. Add 2 tablespoons of grease back to the skillet. Cook the onions over medium-high heat until they are soft and translucent and just beginning to brown, then add the water and cook until it has evaporated and the onions are a light toffee color, stirring frequently. Add the pimentos and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute further. Stir in the collard greens, separating them and distributing the onions and pimentos evenly. Cook until the collards are heated through and soft. Add the cream cheese, cut into cubes, and stir until melted. Add the grated cheddar and stir until melted. Stir in the sour cream and mayonnaise until the dip is smooth and creamy. Add the crumbled bacon and stir until all the ingredients are well distributed. Scrape the dip into a 2-quart baking dish.
The dip can be cooled, covered and refrigerated at this point for up to a day.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the dip until it is warm through and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with corn chips or toasted baguette pieces.
From “Southern Snacks,” used with permission by University of North Carolina Press, www.uncpress.org