Rebecca Lang on Southern hospitality

 Southern Living – Around the Southern Table is author Rebecca Lang’s second cookbook. The Georgia native and Southern belle shares favourite recipes and family traditions for all occasions. The book also includes dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as tasty nibbles and sweets.
I love this deeply personal love letter to Southern cooking. Lang share recipes for classics such as Puffy Grits and Real Buttermilk Fried Chicken, but she also includes her own lighter daily fare.
Hostesses will appreciate her chapter on “Southern-style snacking” in “Little bits, sips & jars”. She tells you how to make Divine Pimiento Cheese with Vidalia onion, Bacon Deviled Eggs, and Fried Green Tomatoes with Red Bell Pepper Sauce – all which will be hits at your next gathering.
Lang is at her sparkling best in this book sharing cooking and entertaining tips as well as her own family anecdotes.
This is a beautifully illustrated book that will be cherished by any cook or hostess. It is the perfect cookbook to buy before the holidays as it is full of fabulous, low-stress recipes for entertaining as well as tips to make your party a hit.
Don’t miss a word of DolceDolce’s interview with Rebecca:
DD: How do you define Southern cuisine? How is it different than American cuisine?
RL: Southern food is so closely tied to our history and heritage and still reflects our close connection to the land. It’s comforting, wholesome, and generational.
There is no other regional cuisine in America that is so defined as Southern food. Southerners have an emotional relationship with family recipes and it keeps our food alive and thriving.
DD: What is your favourite dish for entertaining and why?
RL: I always make grits when I have a party. They’re easy to feed a crowd and are always a dose of comfort on everyone’s plate. I served my Peppered Pork Roast with Blue Cheese Grits for Christmas Eve last year and it was a huge hit. The roast can be made ahead and the grits are to-die-for.
DD: What are your favourite tips for entertaining?
RL: Plan a menu that almost all can be done ahead of time. Make a timeline of what to cook when for the three days leading up to the party. Start the party with an empty dishwasher. Wait until the very last guest leaves before cleaning up. Don’t let your guests clean up.
Relax and enjoy the guests. They’re at your house to spend time with you.
Serve family style. It creates more conversation and community at the table.
Offer a drink as the guests enter the door. Plan the flow of the guests to prevent a clog of people in one part of the house.
DD: Who was your greatest culinary influence and mentor?    
RL: Nathalie Dupree was the first professional cook I worked with and remains to this day the greatest influence on my work. She taught me so much about being in the business and held my hand on the journey from her apprentice all the way to a colleague.
DD: What recipe in this book do you make the most often?
RL: I make Divine Pimiento Cheese at least once a week. I could live on it and be completely happy.
DD: What is your favourite healthful Southern dish?
RL: Beets are packed with antioxidants and vitamins. I’ve never met one I didn’t like. I cook them all ways from pickled to roasted, but really love the Beets and Chevre Salad.