New cookbook teaches Southern one night, French the next

Dinner Deja Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow, by Jennifer Hill Booker

Read this cookbook: “Dinner Déjà vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow” by Jennifer Hill Booker (Pelican Publishing, $28.95)

By Wendell Brock

Atlanta chef Jennifer Hill Booker follows up her 2014 book, “Field Peas to Foie Gras: French Recipes With a Southern Accent” (Pelican Publishing, $26.95), with this savvy little volume that tells you how to get two dinners from the same grocery list.

By alternating between Southern and French dishes (gumbo and bouillabaisse, for example, or chicken pot pie and roasted rosemary and lemon chicken), you can help your diners stave off their ennui. As a single mother of two, Booker often finds herself short of time and energy, so it helps to have a two-in-one game plan like this.

As she writes in her introduction: “People are sometimes surprised with how the same ingredients for the Southern dishes we know and love can also be used to create a little bite of France.”

For Southern recipes, look for the pages with the red star in the corner; for their French counterparts, look for the blue fleur de lis. On the American side, Booker suggests a traditional pot of collard greens, then gilds the lily by marinating collards in champagne vinaigrette to make a salad.

When it comes time for dessert, you might say you can have your gateau and eat it, too. There’s Lemon Meringue Pie and Tarte au Citron, or Old Fashioned Banana Pudding and Classic Bananas Foster.

This clever cook even suggests cocktails: From 5 ounces of rye, you can make an Old Fashioned, followed by a Sazerac. Or a Brandy Crusta and a Sidecar (both mixed from cognac). Ooh la la! I’ll drink to that.

MEET THE AUTHOR: 6-8 p.m. March 15. Booker will have a book-release party for her new cookbook. Cook’s Warehouse at Ansley Mall, 1544 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-815-4993, cookswarehouse.com

Wendell Brock is an Atlanta food and culture writer, frequent AJC contributor and winner of a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for journalism. Follow him on Twitter (@MrBrock) and Instagram (@WendellDavidBrock).

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