Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Vroom! by Barbara McClintock

South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations

James Beard Award-winner Sean Brock's South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations is a follow-up to his critically acclaimed Heritage and continues his mission to help people "understand that Southern food should be considered among the most revered cuisines of the world... vibrant, diverse, seasonal and evolving." Brock shares favorite classic recipes and modern creations of food that is "both insanely good and nutritious."

What is more classic than that potluck staple, deviled eggs? Brock's get an extra tang by seasoning the yolks with pickle brine. Or fried chicken? He eschews dipping chicken in buttermilk--it creates steam, which blows off the breading. His breading is herb- and spice-heavy, and he finishes the fried pieces in flavorful rendered fats. Even something as seemingly simple and plain as fried catfish gets a lift with Green Tomato Tartar Sauce. Desserts, like Blackberry Cobbler, are given their due, along with pantry recipes like watermelon molasses. --Marilyn Dahl