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Author Susan Puckett

  • Susan Puckett

    Contributing Writer

    Susan Puckett is the former food editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and has written or edited seven cookbooks. She recently completed work on a book about the foodways of the Mississippi Delta and is currently collaborating on several other food-related books. She is a longtime member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and her forte throughout her career has been finding and telling food stories with a sense of place. While at the AJC, she won numerous awards for writing and editing through the Association of Food Journalists and James Beard Foundation. She was also featured in Saveur magazine’s 2008 Saveur 100 List, where she was cited for the AJC’s ongoing Southern Recipe Restoration Project, in which top Atlanta chefs helped breathe new life into readers’ recipes. Each month for Atlanta magazine, she gathers heirloom Southern recipes for our Home Plates column. Puckett has a journalism degree from Ole Miss and also studied nutrition at Iowa State University. She has been published in numerous national publications including Saveur, Country Home, Woman’s Day, and Restaurants and Institutions. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Puckett lives in Decatur with her husband and rescued greyhound.

 

David Roberts' gingered peach cobbler with Mom's streusel topping

Long before Roberts learned how to toy with foie gras under Guenter Seeger, another mentor showed him moves in the kitchen: his mom, Jean Roberts. Today, some of her best creations—like her creamy macaroni and cheese—are signatures at Community Q. Read More

Farro Salad With Roasted Vegetables, Feta, and Herbs

Farro, the chewy, nutty-flavored grain that dates back to ancient Rome, has been turning up on upscale restaurant menus all over the city. It’s also great to have on hand in your pantry for a switch from pasta or rice. I recently used it as the base of this satisfying main-dish salad of roasted vegetables, herbs, and crumbled feta that’s destined to become a summer staple. I used the semi-pearled variety, which takes considerably less time to cook than whole farro, but is more nutritious than the even quicker-cooking pearled. To round out the meal, I served it with a simple salad of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions tossed in a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings.  Read More

Marie Nygren's chicken paillards with tomatoes, peach, Vidalia onion, and mint

Nygren entered the kitchen almost as soon as she was born. Her mother, Margaret Lupo, became pregnant with her in 1959, three years after Lupo opened her first restaurant, Margaret’s Tray Shop, in downtown Atlanta. In 1962 Lupo became the proprietress of Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and over the next couple of decades she turned the meat-and-three restaurant into an Atlanta icon. Read More

Cheese Pennies

These savory snacks comes from the beautiful new Mississippi Current Cookbook: A Culinary Journey Down America’s Greatest River  (Lyons Press) by Regina Charboneau. The Paris-trained chef is the culinary director of the American Queen, the luxury paddlewheel boat that travels the Mississippi. She also hosts guests at Twin Oaks Bed and Breakfast, her antebellum home in her native Natchez, Miss. She likes to serve these during afternoon tea with cocktails. I recently made them for a shower and they were a hit. They also freeze well, and are great to have on hand for just about any friendly occasion. – Susan Puckett Read More

Alisa Barry's handkerchief pasta with pork and fennel polpetinni

Barry’s take on spaghetti and meatballs (she calls them by their Italian name, polpettini) reinterprets her mother’s workaday staple. She freshens up a simple marinara with roasted cherry tomatoes and replaces noodles with wide rectangles of fresh pasta (available at Buckhead’s Storico Fresco). Read More

Joseph Ward's Modernist applesauce cake

Among the kitchen crew at Kevin Gillespie’s Glenwood Park restaurant, Ward is the modernist—the one who likes to take recipes that are part of American pop culture (beef Wellington, ranch dressing, cheeseburgers) and reimagine them. Read More

Strawberry Buttermilk Ice With Citrus-Cornmeal Shortbread

These two easy recipes join forces for a refreshingly light dessert that tastes of springtime. Use the sweetest and ripest strawberries you can get for the ice, which goes together in minutes and can be made without an ice cream maker. I can’t wait to try this with peaches and other fruits! While any good prepared shortbread would make a lovely accompaniment, I really love this version with its delicate cornmeal crunch and hints of citrus and vanilla. You roll the dough into logs and chill them, and when ready to bake, you roll them in cornmeal, giving the edges of the cookies a pleasantly sandy texture. – Susan Puckett Read More

Fresh Lime Pie with Gingersnap-Pecan Crust

Purists insist there is no substitute for the distinctively acidic flavor of the ping pong ball-sized, yellow-skinned Key lime, but since I rarely see them at the supermarket I routinely use the more commonplace Persian limes instead for making the classic custard pie. I prefer the fresh taste to that of bottled, especially with a  good dose of grated zest mixed in. To crank up the flavor even more,  I bake it in a crust made of gingersnaps and pecans instead of graham crackers. It’s so easy and refreshing and everyone loves it, whichever lime variety you use. – Susan Puckett Read More

Cathy Conway's collards with smoked tomatoes

The Baltimore native’s love for vegetables began on summer vacations to her grandparents’ tiny farmhouse deep in North Carolina tobacco country. On the linen-covered dinner table, collards typically shared space with just-picked corn, tomatoes, and the beans and peas she and her siblings had shelled and snapped that morning. Meat, other than as seasoning, was often absent, and rarely missed. Read More

Cathy Conway's cornmeal dumplings

If you enjoyed the Avalon Catering chef's collards with smoked tomatoes, try adding these dumplings for extra flair. Read More
 

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