SMORGASBORD: Southern Sides ... Sipper with sass ... Lower prices, pleaseRaleigh, N.C., food writer Fred Thompson’s latest cookbook is devoted not to the stars of the Southern plate, such as barbecue or fried chicken, but to the humble side dish.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Raleigh, N.C., food writer Fred Thompson’s latest cookbook is devoted not to the stars of the Southern plate, such as barbecue or fried chicken, but to the humble side dish.
“Fred Thompson’s Southern Sides” (available from amazon.com and Barnes and Noble), which just came out in September from the University of North Carolina Press, explores the dishes that are often overlooked: greens, field peas, congealed salads and more.
One of the first misconceptions that Thompson wants to clear up about Southern sides is this: “Not everything has to be cooked in pork fat.”
Sure, his mother’s collard greens cooked in bacon fat is among the book’s 250 recipes, but so are his Umbrian spinach sauteed in olive oil, a broccoli and ricotta cornbread and a Mediterranean-influenced potato salad.
Writing the book, Thompson said, “became more of a personal journey for me.”
Thompson grew up in Greensboro, N.C. After graduating from North Carolina State University, Thompson studied at the Culinary Institute of America and worked as a food stylist in New York. Beyond writing cookbooks, Thompson, who lives in North Raleigh, is publisher of Edible Piedmont magazine and writes the monthly “Weekend Gourmet” column in The News & Observer.
The recipes in Thompson’s 11th cookbook reflect where life has taken him — the down-home classics he learned from his grandmothers, mother and aunts to modern dishes influenced by well-respected Southern chefs. Thompson says chefs Ben Barker of the former Durham, N.C., landmark restaurant, Magnolia Grill, and Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Ala., “enabled me to look at Southern ingredients in a different way.”
Sipper with sass
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Lower prices, please
The three United Nations food agencies have issued a joint appeal calling for a swift global response to curb the rising prices of corn, wheat and soybeans to avoid a major crisis.
The heads of the World Food Program, Food and Agriculture Organization and International Fund for Agriculture Development warned in a statement issued last week that the sharp rise in food prices over recent months threatens to make life even more difficult for tens of millions of people.
A major drought in the U.S. — the No. 1 exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat — has helped drive up food prices in recent months.
The three agencies called for poorer countries to expand assistance to small-scale farmers and food aid to mothers and children, promote sustainable food production through better investment and adjust biofuel production requirements.