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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review of Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table by Whitney Miller

Season One winner of MasterChef, Whitney Miller, is a Southern gal just full of personality coupled with the sweetness of the girl next door. She has been inspired by her great-grandmother’s Southern hospitality and the creativity of her mother and began cooking at a young age. She has shared her love of Southern cooking around the world from cooking demonstrations, speaking engagements, to recipe development for products and magazines. In her second cookbook, Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table, Whitney takes her family’s traditional recipes, adds her special touches, lowers the calories, and incorporates modern cooking methods and techniques for these New Southern Table dishes.

I’d like to give a big thank you to Melissa’s culinary team and Whitney who prepared the following dishes with the utmost care and expertise.

In the “Socials and Snacks” chapter, Sparkling Lemon-Limeade is a refreshing version of her family’s lemonade. It is made with lemon juice, lime juice, sugar, and sparkling water. It is light with a refreshing natural citrus flavor and a great alternative to soda as it is not overly sweet. This would be great served at a bridal or baby shower but is even casual enough for the backyard family barbeque. Rating: 5/5

In the “Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches” chapter, Creole Succotash Salad is inspired by farm fresh ingredients that Whitney grew up on at her grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ farm and her dad’s home garden. It is made with lima beans, corn, green onions, grape tomatoes, pickled okra, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt, black pepper, feta cheese, and bacon. The vegetable medley is refreshing and the juicy grape tomatoes burst with sweetness. The bacon and feta add smoky, salty flavors to the mix. This would be great served at a potluck or as a side for a family dinner. Rating 5/5

Mississippi Banh Mi is inspired by Whitney’s first encounter with the Kogi BBQ Food Truck while visiting Los Angeles with her mom. She made a version of a banh mi and put her Southern twist on it while using vegetables more widely available in the South. This is made with rice vinegar, sugar, sea salt, carrots, and broccoli, French bread, Sriracha Spread (recipe is in the “Essentials and Enhancers” chapter), Seared Beef Tips (recipe is in the “Family Suppers” chapter), jalapeno pepper, and cilantro. You’ll taste some familiar flavors of a banh mi from the pickled veggies and fresh cilantro. The beef flavor of the beef tips has a Southern flavor and different mouthfeel than the typical meat found in a traditional banh mi. The spicy flavor is just right from the sriracha spread and fresh jalapenos. This is a great dish to make for a game day party and cutting the sandwiches into quarters for slider-size bites. Rating: 4/5

In the “Sides to Share” chapter, Chopped Green Beans and Mushroom Sauté is inspired by the green bean casserole found on her family’s Thanksgiving table. She took the traditional dish and made it healthier yet still delicious. It is made with EVOO, green beans, baby bella mushrooms, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, almonds, and goat cheese. Unlike the traditional dish, the green beans are crisp and the fresh mushrooms add an earthy flavor. The goat cheese adds creaminess without the heavy calories of cream of mushroom soup. This is a great dish to serve at Thanksgiving but also great for other family gatherings or potluck. Rating: 4.3/5

In the “Something Sweet” chapter, Baked Apple Hand Pies are inspired by her great-grandmother McCarter’s tiny fried apple pies which Whitney’s mom made when she was growing up. Whitney’s version is baked instead of fried and uses a pie dough instead of biscuit dough. It is made with butter, light brown sugar, Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, Olive Oil Pie Dough (recipe is in the “Essentials and Enhancers” chapter), egg, and sugar. These hand pies are petite and a great size for passing or grab-and-go. The apples are caramelized inside with a bright and sweet flavor. Since these hand pies travel well, they are great for a potluck or picnic. I would also add powdered sugar or icing before serving. Rating: 5/5

Brownie Cookies are inspired by Whitney’s love of the brownie. Like most people, everyone fights over who gets the crispy edge slices. With this recipe, everyone wins! This dessert is like a brownie and a cookie had a baby. The crackled exterior is beautiful like stained glass with crispy texture. Once you bite it, the interior is soft and dense like a brownie with intense rich, chocolate flavor. Rating: 5/5

Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table will change your perspective of Southern cuisine!

For more information:
Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table by Whitney Miller
Available on Amazon

On the search for an ingredient that you can’t find in the store, check out Melissa’s Produce.

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