Southern Inspired: More Than 100 Delicious Dishes from My American Table to Yours

BenBella. Nov. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781637741504. pap. $26.95. COOKING
Wells’s third cookbook (after Southern Modified) offers his take on Southern dishes, mixing in flavors from other cultures and emphasizing food made with love at the forefront. Meatloaf prepared with coconut milk and adobo sauce is just one example of his “take what you know,” combine it with “what you admire,” and create a dish that is a “familiar yet unique” approach. Wells was born in Chicago and raised on a farm in Mississippi; his family’s influence on his cooking style is evident, with frequent references to mom, dad, and his grandmother, Lil Momma, and their fare. An entire chapter, “Bringing It Home,” showcases these recipes, but the mentions of family continue throughout all 13 chapters. Among them are “The Main Event,” foods that “take center stage”; “Let It Go One Pot Meals,” cast iron preferred; and “Jernard’s Bangin Backyard BBQ,” barbecue as in grilling. Numerous eye-catching photographs enhance recipes, which are clear, easy to follow, and consist of accessible ingredients. Nothing is especially time-consuming, making this a book to grab on a weeknight or whenever.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries with sizeable cookbook collections or regional interest.
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