I love living in the South. Sure, the heat index is enough to make you want to just sit in an ice bath all day, but the food?! Oh, the food MORE than makes up for it.
…your cooking is judged based on how good your gumbo is
…we embrace stale bread for bread pudding
…we have a love (the drink)/hate (the storm) relationship with hurricanes
…we don’t mind getting our hands dirty to dig out tiny pieces of seafood over newspaper
…a biggie–you know the difference between creole and cajun food
I know a lot of people frown upon Louisiana since there are some stigmas about living here, but I really am blessed to say that this is my home. I just love the little things that make Louisiana home, and even if I don’t live here the rest of my life, I know that Louisiana will always be a part of me. Cheesy, but seriously true.
When I was contacted about reviewing a cookbook called “The Southern Foodie“, I just couldn’t resist. The book, written by food/drink/travel writer Chris Chamberlain, features recipes from favorite restaurants in the South and it’s organized by state. Of course, when I got the cookbook, I frantically flipped through the pages and bookmarked numerous recipes.
I was very happy to see Louisiana well-represented in the book, too. There are some great staples in there, like red beans and rice, pralines and bread pudding, to name a few. Besides the classics, I found that there are some fun, out of the box recipes, like barbequed oysters and sweet potato-andouille soup. This book is great for someone trying to get a feel for Southern food, and even for Southerners, it’s impressive how many different recipes the author has in here that I’ve never heard of.
One of the hardest things for me when I find a good cookbook is to choose a first recipe. I actually have quite a few that I want to try, but I was really in the mood to bake, so I decided to make these white chocolate brownies. I love that brownies bake up so quickly and you don’t have to fork out the mixer to make them. It’s sort of dangerous how easy brownies are to throw together and these were no exception. This brownie is a white chocolate brownie base with white and bittersweet chocolate mixed in. Often times, I find white chocolate desserts to be a little too sweet, but I really think the bittersweet chocolate helped to balance things out a good bit. I ended up halving the recipe, since the original recipe makes two 13×9 inch pans worth of brownies (the halved recipe is below). I sent these to work with my husband, and found out that some people enjoyed 2-3 brownies on their own, so this recipe is definitely a winner. Based on this recipe, I can’t wait to give some others a try!
Now, you know I wouldn’t just dangle this cookbook in front of y’all without having a giveaway. The publisher sent me extra books to giveaway to two lucky readers!
To enter, just let me know What’s your favorite Southern dish or what Southern dish have you always wanted to try? For an extra entry, tweet “I entered to win a copy of “The Southern Foodie” from @niftyfoodie. Enter here: http://bit.ly/Um2ByC” (and also leave an additional comment letting me know that you tweeted). You have until Friday, October 5th at 11:59pm to comment. Just a note: Only continental US readers can enter this giveaway.
CONGRATS to Nichole (Commenter #6) and Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie (Commenter #14). I sent you an email…you have 48 hours to respond!
Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this cookbook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. They also provided the copies of the book to giveaway. All opinions are my own.
White Chocolate Brownies
Source: The Southern Foodie (I was given permission by the publisher to post this)
- 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into 4 tbsp. pieces
- 6 oz. finely chopped white chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 oz. coarsely chopped white chocolate
- 4 oz. coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the finely chopped white chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove the pan from heat, and allow it to cool.
- While the chocolate is cooling, add the eggs and salt to a large bowl and whisk well, until the eggs are light and frothy. Slowly add the sugar and butter/chocolate mixture while mixing, and then add the vanilla extract and flour. Mix the batter until everything is smooth and well-combined. Add the coarsely chopped white and bittersweet chocolate and mix them in well.
- Pour the batter into your greased pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut the brownies and enjoy!