By Jennifer Chandler
Mark your calendar for October 14. Memphis cookbook author, Jennifer Chandler, releases her fourth cookbook The Southern Pantry Cookbook: 105 Recipes Already Hiding in Your Kitchen. Destined to join the page-spattered, well-used ranks of her previous books — Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling — The Southern Pantry is bound to save you trips to the grocery store.
Start with stocking your pantry. Jennifer details pastas and grains, spices, baking ingredients, and condiments that add up to a go-to source. My own pantry ends up being a burial ground for weird stuff I bought without thinking. I’m not sure why I thought I needed Cream of Celery soup, but I must not require it often. It’s been sitting in there for years.
The Southern Pantry has me inspired to clean out the shelves and stock up with what I know I can create a great dish with. From the Tex-Mex corn dip that’s always a hit a parties, to the creamy Vidalia onion soup that’s going to taste great when the weather gets cold, the recipes elevate the pantry to the importance of your refrigerator and freezer. The pantry should house good food.
For those who still say they don’t have time to cook, Jennifer has included more than 30 recipes that can be put together for a great dinner in about 30 minutes and nearly 20 that double easily to freeze for later. Braised chicken with mushrooms and grits, pan-seared pork chops with drunken peach compote, creamy tomato soup, pesto pasta salad, tamale pie, chicken divan — is your mouth watering yet?
Knowing Jennifer has a bit of a sweet tooth, I count the Sweet Endings section as invaluable. Cobbler, tart, pie, cookie, and bar recipes will ensure you always have the perfect finish to a meal or to bring to a gathering. I’d like to steer you toward the bourbon-chocolate pecan pie recipe. It’s a personal favorite.
If you haven’t cooked with Jennifer yet, now is the time!
Reviewed By Melissa Petersen
Published By Thomas Nelson and available at Booksellers at Laurelwood