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Preface: A Passion for Pig. Introduction. A Southern Pig Primer: From Head to Tail. A Southern Pig Glossary. Smithfield: King of Southern Hams. Southern Country Hams. The Gospel of Southern Barbecue. Southern Bulk Pork Sausage. Appetizers and Salads. Soups, Chowders, and Gumbos. Stews, Casseroles, and Stratas. Chops, Cutlets, and Steaks. Pies, Loaves, Hashes, and Burgers. Roasts. Ham. Sausage and Bacon. Barbecue and Ribs. Variety and Specialty Meats. Vegetables and Rice. Breads. Acknowledgments. Index.
James Villas was the food and wine editor of Town & Country magazine for 27 years, and his work has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, and many other publications. He has written 15 cookbooks and books on food, including two that were nominated for James Beard Awards and featured in Food & Wine's annual "Best of the Best." He has won two James Beard Journalism Awards, most recently for an article in Saveur, and was named Bon Appetit's Food Writer of the Year for 2003. He is also the author of The Glory of Southern Cooking and The Bacon Cookbook, both from Wiley.
[STARRED REVIEW] If pig is indeed king, then there is trouble at the castle, for Villas (Dancing in the Lowcountry) has stormed the gates and had at him, leaving no sweetbread, shoulder, or chop untasted. So let the commoners rejoice: here are 300 recipes from Southern hog heaven that are juicy, flirtatious, and, at times, scary. Brave hearts will want to immediately dive into the Variety and Special Meats chapter for some deviled pork liver; hog's head stew; and brains and eggs. The upper crust might prefer a pork pie. Choices include spicy Tennessee sausage; Pork, Apple and Raisin; or Bacon and Corn. A section on barbecue and ribs includes both North and South Carolina styles of BBQ and half a dozen sparerib options. And where lesser authors might stray off-topic when moving to side dishes, Villas, with 13 cookbooks and two James Beard awards under his belt, knows better. All 39 vegetable and rice dishes are chock full of oink, from the mushy turnips with bacon and pork to the slab bacon hoppin' John. Similarly, there are 20 breads that are decidedly not fat-free. That other Southern king, Elvis, would surely have appreciated the bacon-peanut butter muffins, perhaps chased down with a lard hoecake or some bacon-grease hush puppies. (May) (PublishersWeekly.com, February 16, 2010)