Monday, June 8, 2015

Southern Living: A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen Cookbook Review

Just because I've now published my own cookbook doesn't mean I will stop bringing you new finds around the cookbook world, and here's one that is absolutely perfect for Father's Day!

You may know Matt Moore from his previous cookbook, Have Her Over For Dinner, or you may know him from his music. I first met Matt through Southern Living's Daily South blog and a video about his then upcoming book, A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen, Adventures in Cooking, Eating, and Living in the New South, after which we conversed over email over a literal "lost in the mail" review copy that showed up finally, more than a month later, and I have to tell y'all... I liked Matt from the start - even before I ever opened the cover of his book and discovered he also has a Mississippi connection.

I mean, doesn't that just make you want to grab a beer, hang out by the grill or in the kitchen with him and then gather around his table for good food and conversation?

I'm a southern woman and we gals have certain expectations of our fellas from the get-go and I could tell that Matt was a true southern gentleman. Over a bet in a Manhattan bar and to dispel the perception of a New Yorker that what defines a "southern gentleman" is a stuffy, bow-tied, seersucker clad snob, Matt came up with a definition based on what most women in a street poll agreed. A southern gentleman is hospitable, generous, adventurous, humble and self-sacrificing, respectful, chivalrous, worldly, intellectually curious and appreciative.

A Nashville, Tennessee-based musician, self-taught home cook, husband and now, just last month, a new daddy to a beautiful baby daughter (congratulations Matt!), Matt's personality shines through every page of this book. The son of a cattleman and the grandson of a butcher, it's not all that surprising that he found his way to the kitchen, and ladies, if you have a man in your life who loves to cook, get this book for them, although frankly, Matt cooks quite a bit like I do, so if you love my recipes, you'll love his too.

A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen is published by Southern Living, so it is loaded with beautiful mouth-watering color photography you've come to expect from Southern Living books. You'll find classics here, and some new twists on traditional favorites in this part cookbook, part scrapbook, and culinary travelogue, filled with childhood food memories and recipes from, or inspired by, friends and relatives. Along the way you'll find cook's notes in the form of a "Gent's Tip" and little sidebar tidbits about the people and places in the south that keep us humble while making our world much richer.

A hefty, hardback book containing 288 pages, y'all know I like to give you a peek inside the books I love, and here's a little preview of just some of the 150+ recipes that you'll find in A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen.

To Start + To Share

You'll find recipes for Black-eyed Pea Hummus, Creole Popcorn Crawfish, Boiled Peanuts, Deviled Eggs, Pimiento Cheese, Dixie Antipasto, Salt and Pepper Wings, Fried Bologna Sliders, Crab Cakes with Caper Remoulade and these fried pickles - just to name a few.

Fried Dill Pickle Chips with Cayenne Dipping Sauce

Greens + Soups + Gumbos

Watermelon and Arugula Salad, Georgia Peach Caprese Salad with a Balsamic Reduction, Mama's Chicken Salad, Vidalia Onion Soup, White Bean and Collard Greens Cure-All, Game Day Venison Chili, "Frog Moore" Stew and Venison Gumbo are some of the delicious goodies you'll find here.

Chopped Seafood Cobb Salad
Main Attractions

Entrees like Sitty's Fried Chicken, Old School Chicken and Dumplings, Give Thanks Fried Turkey, Chicken and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya, Baked Trout and Prosciutto with White Cheddar Grits, Creole Redfish and Crab Salad, Great Grandma Addie's Salmon Croquettes, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder and Peach Salsa, Grilled Flank Steak with Coca-Cola Marinade and Tuesday Night Hamburger Steak Slow Braised Beef with Parmesan Grits, will all have you drooling page by page.

Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Southern Fried Rice

Lowcountry Shrimp with Geechie Boy Grits

Cast-Iron Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Tried + True Sides

Side dishes you'll love, including Oven "Fried" Okra, Baked Cheese Grits, Collard Greens with Pepper Sauce, Fresh Picked Creamed Corn, Better Butter Beans, Kitchen Sink Baked Beans, Maque Choux, Sweet Peas with Bacon, Sweet Potato Smash, Tried-and-True Buttermilk Biscuits, and more!

Pimiento Mac 'n' Cheese

Grilled Corn with Tequila-Lime Butter

Cast Iron Skillet Jalapeno Cornbread
Sweet + Simple

Matt's got your sweet tooth covered too, with recipes like Sweet Cornbread and Fresh Fruit Trifle, Fresh Peach and Blueberry Cobbler, Grilled Georgia Peach Crumble, Sweet Potato Cupcakes and Aunt Jeanne's Traditional Southern Pound Cake, among others.

Goo Goo Cluster Brownies a la Mode
Cocktails + Curiosities

And last, we end with recipes for beverages and pantry goodies, like a Hand Squeezed Lemonade, NOLA Sazerac, Classic Mint Julep, Gent's Sweet Tea, Pickled Okra, Icebox Dill Pickles, Spicy Sweet Pickled Carrots and others.

Dutch Oven Apple Butter
In the back, The S.G.K. Guide, including a glossary of basic terms every home cook needs to know, a pantry list, kitchen gear, tools and accessories you may want to build, as well as a list of resources for some of Matt's favorite products and a chart for metric conversions. This is a book you will want in your collection.

Matt has generously agreed to offer up his Sitty's Fried Chicken recipe from the cookbook for you to try and enjoy in your own kitchen. "My grandmother Sitty’s secret recipe for fried chicken is all about the dredge, which uses basic seasoning, flour, and water. Simplicity is the key—after all, the star of the show is the chicken," Matt says. "Preparing the chicken in the following manner will yield a very thin, crisp coating and juicy, tender chicken beneath. Sitty’s secret is finally out."

Sitty’s Fried Chicken
  • 1 (3-lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Peanut oil

1.  Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry. Place chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Sprinkle flour and ½ cup water over chicken and then toss the chicken to coat it with the flour mixture, using your fingers to rub flour paste into skin until thoroughly coated. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 1-24 hours.

2.  Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.

3.  Fry the drumsticks and thighs in hot oil, bone sides down, 8 minutes. (Increase the heat for first few minutes, if necessary, to maintain an oil temperature at 350 degrees F.) Carefully turn the chicken, rotating the pieces away from your body, and fry 8 more minutes or until browned and cooked to the desired degree of doneness. Remove the chicken from the oil, and transfer it to a wire rack set over paper towels. Repeat the procedure with the remaining chicken pieces (breasts and wings), reducing the frying time to 7 minutes on each side.

Note: This recipe was tested with White Lily Enriched Bleached All-Purpose Flour.

Sounds perfect, doesn't it? Well, as if that weren't enough...

UPDATE: Congratulations to Vicki L. who said...
"My husband and daughter love to cook and these recipes are amazing! A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen would be the best Father's Day gift for the two of them...and believe me the daughter is teaching her father many kitchen skills and it makes me so happy to see the two of them together in the kitchen!"
Please contact me at and let me know your full name and address as well as whether you would like the book personalized by Matt. Congratulations!


Matt has also generously offered to give away one free copy of A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen, Adventures in Cooking, Eating, and Living in the New South to a lucky Deep South Dish reader.

To enter, scroll to the bottom of this post below and leave a comment on this post (It may take a moment for your comment to post, so please comment only once!). Use your Google account, or select "Anonymous" or "URL/Name" to enter your comment, but if you post anonymous, please leave a first name and last initial to identify yourself.

This giveaway closes on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at noon CST. One winner will be selected at random from the comments and will be announced within 1 to 3 days on the site at this same post. Winner will have 48 hours to check back and respond to claim the book. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only please.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen and the offer of another book, one to review and one to offer as a giveaway.

Don't want to wait? Hop over to Amazon and purchase your copy today!

Visit Matt's website at, follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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