You’ll find no better cookbook gift for Southern-food lovers this year than The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern, but first buy yourself a copy to serve the smashing pimento-cheese potato gratin with Thanksgiving dinner. Matt Lee and Ted Lee earned heaps of accolades for The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, their 600-page tome published in 2006 that brought the conversation about our regional cuisine into the present tense with more assurance and imagination—their “Saigon Hoppin’ John” with lemongrass and coconut milk is a new classic—than any other work of its generation.
Simple Fresh Southern streamlines the Lees’ approach into a thinner volume meant to inspire everyday cooking. They keep it sensible with dishes such as “easy ambrosia” (no mini marshmallows!), shrimp and deviled-egg salad rolls (“the Lowcountry cousin to lobster rolls”), pork tenderloin with Madeira and fig gravy, and muffin-size buttermilk pudding cakes. Beyond Turkey Day, I’ll happily make a weekday meal of that potato gratin alongside their salad of cucumber, tomato, and “skillet-toasted” okra.
For more information, visit mattleeandtedlee.com.
The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern
By Matt Lee and Ted Lee