Cook the Book: 'Simple Fresh Southern'

20091116simplefreshsouthern.jpgGrowing up in Charleston, South Carolina, left Matt and Ted Lee with a passion for Southern food that refused to be tamed. They have been spreading the gospel of Southern cooking since 1994, the year they started The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail order source for foods that are hard to find above the Mason-Dixon Line.

With the success of the catalog came offers from magazines for the brothers to write about the subject that was so near and dear to them, Matt and Ted Lee quickly became the go-to guys for all things related to Southern foodways. The next logical step was a cookbook, and The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook was born. This comprehensive book of classic Southern recipes interwoven with warm personal tales of the Lee brothers' childhood won the 2007 James Beard Cookbook of the Year award and became a cookbook shelf staple for anyone interested in Southern food.

Matt and Ted Lee are back with a new book of modern takes on Southern ingredients, Simple Fresh Southern. The dishes are simple to prepare, and a little lighter—maybe even a bit healthier—than before, but they certainly don't skimp on bold, fresh Southern flavors. There are plenty of butter beans, buttermilk, collards, shrimp, and oysters to make any Charleston grandma proud.

This week we are going to put a uniquely Southern spin on your Thanksgiving meal with recipes from Simple Fresh Southern. We'll start out with a stuffing inspired cocktail, the Celery Julep, move on to some quick Pickled Grapes with Rosemary and Chiles that are prefect for cocktail hour, and round out the week with some holiday ready sides, Squash Half Moons with Butter, Sesame, and Salt, and Braised Carrots with Tarragon and Lime.

Win 'Simple Fresh Southern'

Thanks to the generosity of the folks over at Clarkson Potter, we are giving away five (5) copies of Simple Fresh Southern this week. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite Thanksgiving side in the comments section below.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. We're sorry, but entry is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Comments will close Monday, November 23 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.