- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Basic to Brilliant, Y'All: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Companyby Virginia Willis
Synopses & Reviews
Virginia Willis’s legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French dishes a down-home Southern feel and reimagining homey Southern favorites en Française. In Basic to Brilliant, Y’all Virginia builds on her signature style, offering 150 soul-satisfying recipes and accompanying each with a new preparation technique, fresh presentation style, or creative recipe variation that transforms an already wonderful dish into an all-out show stopper.
In Virginia’s hands, a cozy Kale Omelet becomes sophisticated brunch fare when it’s baked in a sourdough boule; rich Gruyere Flans elevate a rustic red wine-infused Roasted Tomato Soup; and Spiced Skirt Steak with Shallot Marmalade is enhanced with just a few simple changes into a gorgeous roulade. Peach Dijon-Crusted Pork Tenderloin goes from elegant continental entrée to the pride of Dixie when it’s cradled between Chive Cornmeal Griddle Cakes, and a country dessert like Sweet Biscuits with Stewed Blackberries is kicked up a notch when served topped with Blackberry Fool.
Throughout Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Virginia paints a vivid portrait of growing up in Louisiana and Georgia, spinning tales of close family and friends—and unforgettable food—interwoven with vignettes from her years living in and visiting France, drawing you in with vibrant accounts of cooking and eating at La Varenne in Burgundy.
Whether you choose the Basic or the Brilliant approach, this bounty of Southern flavors dressed up with time-honored French techniques delivers meals that will keep you and your kin coming back for more.
"As Willis demonstrates with this vibrant, informative guide to Southern cuisine, great cookbooks can offer a window into their author's life. As with her first book, Bon Appetite, Y'all, Willis uniquely applies her French culinary training to the down-home repertoire she inherited growing up in Georgia. Here, though, the emphasis is on elevating homey weeknight dishes into chef-inspired creations intended for company, and this collection does double duty. Her 'basic' Southern ratatouille, for instance, gets 'brilliant' when stuffed into crispy cornmeal cups for a vegetarian hors d'oeuvre. Mama's macaroni salad can go upscale with the potential addition of jumbo lump crabmeat, while Dede's burnt caramel cake might be dressed up with an optional apple hazelnut compote. A former kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television, Willis is well versed in the importance of presentation and the added flair of the unexpected, so even green beans with buttery peaches can be transformed with an almond toffee nougatine. For those without classic French training, Willis has helpfully supplied the basics, which include stocks, mayonnaise, and crÃ¨me fraÃ®che. In this deceptive slim volume, Willis also manages to weave in personal recollections of family time in the kitchen along with a cultural tour through the South, explaining the history of the African foodways preserved by the Gullah people, the influence of sugar cane production on the Southern sweet tooth, and the meaning of the term 'gospel bird.' By turns inspiring and appetizing, this work is a valuable resource for anyone interested in regional American cooking. Photos. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A follow-up to the author’s acclaimed Bon Appétit, Y’all, featuring 150 recipes that combine Southern flavors with time-honored French technique, and include a sophisticated variation that kicks each dish up a notch to make it brilliant.
Virginia Willis has a knack for giving French recipes a downhome Southern feel. In Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, she builds on her signature style by offering 150 dual recipes: a soul-satisfying basic recipe accompanied by a technique, garnish, additional step, or short recipe that transforms a wonderful dish into a show stopper. A weeknight classic like Mama’s Chicken Pot Pie becomes sophisticated dinner party fare when it’s baked in a winter squash, and Old Fashioned Stove Top Low-Country Broth can be transformed into a Bouillabaisse-style broth with just a few simple changes. Throughout the book, Virginia paints a vivid picture of her Southern upbringing, drawing readers in with her vibrant tales of food and friends.
About the Author
Virginia Willis is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all, which was nominated for the IACP Best American Cookbook award and voted the Comfort Food Book of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. She has been featured in Cooking with Paula Deen, House Beautiful, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, and San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. Willis has appeared on Real Simple Television, Martha Stewart Living, Paula Deen’s Best Dishes, and numerous local television shows across the country.
A graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, Willis has served as a television producer for Turner South and Shirley Corriher, was the kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television, and the executive producer of The Discovery Channel’s Epicurious. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at www.virginiawillis.com.
Table of Contents
Foreword • ix
Introduction • 1
1. Fundamental Recipes
Chicken Stock • Beef Stock • Vegetable Stock • Seafood Stock • Shallot Vinaigrette • Garlic Confit • Mayonnaise • Crème Fraîche • French Pie Crust • La Varenne Sweet Pie Pastry • All-American Pie Crust • Quick Puff Pastry • Basic Crème Anglaise • Pastry Cream • Caramel Sauce
2. Starters and Nibbles
Southern Ratatouille • Butter Bean Croustades • Anne’s Roasted Pepper and Cheese Gratin • Pickled Vegetables • Shrimp Rillettes • Curried Chicken Wings with Peach Dipping Sauce • Sautéed Spiced Chicken Livers • Pork Terrine • Pigs in a Blanket Bites • Mini Country Ham Cheddar Biscuits • Apple Roquefort Turnovers • Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread
3. Salads and Slaws
Summer Squash Slaw • Southern Salad Macédoine • Summer Tomato Salad • Chilled Haricots Verts with Crème Fraîche • Celery Ribbons with Tarragon Vinaigrette • Arugula with Country Ham and Pecans • Mama’s Macaroni Salad • Endive and Roquefort Slaw • Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato and Green Bean Salad • Alabama “West Indies” Crab Salad • Warm Summer Shrimp Salad • Lentil Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
4. Eggs and Dairy
Skillet-Baked Eggs with Mushrooms and Spinach • Perfectly Soft Scrambled Eggs with Grilled Buttered Toast • Tarragon Egg Salad • Poached Eggs in Red Wine Sauce • Kale Omelet • Vidalia Onion and Sweet Pepper Strata • Omelet with Herbs • Marinated Feta • Oven-Roasted Camembert with Garlic Toasts
5. Fish and Shellfish
Pan-Seared Georgia Trout • Poached Salmon with Herb Mustard Sauce • Whole Roasted Fish with Herbs • Oven-Roasted Crusted Fish Fillets • Fried Benne Shrimp • Grilled Shrimp “Gumbo” • N’awlins-Style BBQ Shrimp • Panfried Shrimp Po-Boy • Steamed Herbed Mussels • Seafood Jambalaya • Creole Country Bouillabaisse • Grilled Soft-Shell Crabs with Lemon Gremolata
6. Gospel Birds and Game Birds
Chicken Breasts with Tarragon Velouté • Ruby’s Peanut-Crusted Chicken Fingers • Oven-Fried Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach • Grandmother’s Chicken • Deviled Chicken Thighs • Stewed Chicken in Peanut Gravy • Mama’s BBQ Chicken • Brined Roast Turkey Breast with Herb Pan Gravy • Roasted Lemon Cornish Hens with Thyme Jus • Crisp Roasted Duck with Peach Barbecue Sauce • Roasted Quail with Muscadines • Mama’s Fried Quail with Cream Gravy
7. Beef, Pork, and Lamb
Spiced Skirt Steak with Shallot Marmalade • NY Strip Steaks with Sautéed Mushrooms • Mama’s Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy • Mama’s Spaghetti Bolognese with Venison • Grilled Entrecôte with Red Wine Compound Butter • Garlic-Stuffed Prime Rib Roast with Crispy Potatoes • Beef Daube Provençal • Sweet Tea–Brined Pork Blade Steaks • Pork Belly with French Market Red-Eye Gravy • Garlic-Studded Pork Roast in Milk • Spicy Carolina Pork Shoulder • Peach Dijon–Crusted Pork Tenderloin • Grilled Spiced Butterflied Leg of Lamb
8. Rice, Grits, and Potatoes
Low Country Risotto • Savory Rice Gratin • Wild Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Nuts • Nathalie’s Cheese Grits Soufflé • Sweet Potato Grits • Spiced Sweet Potato Mash • Yukon Gold Mash with Coarse-Grain Mustard • Parmesan Potatoes • Southern-Style Home Fries • Gnocchi à la Parisienne • Pasta Gratin with Sauce Mornay
Asparagus with Blender Hollandaise • Glazed Spring Vegetables • Meme’s Yellow Squash Casserole • Grilled Okra Skewers • Okra Cornmeal Cakes • Green Beans with Buttery Peaches • Meme’s Green Beans with Potatoes and Ham • Jona’s Tomato Pie • Broiled Tomatoes Stuffed with Cornbread • Mustard Greens with Smoked Turkey Neck • Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin • Summer Vegetable Galette • Mushroom Ragout • Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon • Pinto Beans with Side Meat
10. Soups and Stews
Tomato Consommé • Roasted Tomato Soup • Melita’s Sweet Potato Soup • Wild Mushroom Soup • Provençal Vegetable Soup • Split Pea Soup • High Cotton Brunswick Stew • Louisiana Duck Gumbo • Charleston She-Crab Soup • Meme’s Chicken and Rice • Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables
11. Daily Bread
Sweet Peach Pancakes • Sweet Potato Biscuits • Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes • Mama’s Dutch Baby Pancake • Classic Crêpes • Nathalie’s Sally Lunn Bread • Savory Monkey Bread • Mama’s Sausage Swirls • Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins • Walnut Soda Bread
Sweet Biscuits with Stewed Blackberries • Château du Fëy Cherry Clafoutis • Meringue Pillows with Strawberries and Cream • Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Mint-Blueberry Compote • French Beignets • Brown Butter–Pecan Tea Cakes • Wedding Cookies • Mama’s Pecan Tassies • Skillet Blondie • Claire’s Dark Chocolate Cake • Bittersweet Chocolate Bread Pudding • Anne’s Cornmeal Cake • Dede’s Burnt Caramel Cake • Coca-Cola Cake • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake • Old-Fashioned Lemon Meringue Pie • Country Apple Tart • Michele’s Quick and Easy Fudge • Nut Brittle
Acknowledgments • 265
Index • 267
Conversion Chart • 277
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Children's » General