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Supper at Richard's Place
Recipes from the New Southern Table

By Richard Jones
ISBN: 1589802993
Publisher: Pelican
Format: Hardcover
List price: $21
Type:Chef's; Regional/Ethnic: Southern; Comfort Food
Sample recipe: Barbecue Baby Back Ribs
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Tone: food police intense neutral supportive comforting
Result: guilt-inducing heavy-handed balanced encouraging inspiring
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none not good adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good great Ochef Top 100

Comments: Richard Jones grew up in the South, but opened his restaurant Richard's Place in the borough of Queens in New York, where he introduced Northern palates to a broad range of cooking styles, including soul food, Cajun and Creole cuisine, and traditional Southern comfort food. But he refers to his cooking as "New Southern," in that he has taken some steps to cut down on fat, to keep from cooking the vegetables to the pudding stage, etc.

Unfortunately, sloppy editing, or carelessness in translating these from restaurant recipes to home recipes create serious problems. A muffin recipe with 5 cups of flour serves 8? That should turn out about 60 full-size muffins, or 7-1/2 muffins each. Seems pretty generous to us. Jones' showcase recipe for fried chicken doesn't tell you to roll the marinated chicken in the flour mixture. The recipe for pound cake doesn't include sugar in the ingredients, and doesn't tell you when to add sugar in the instructions or when to combine the liquid and dry ingredients. The Chocolate Frosting makes 8 servings. What does that mean? It frosts a one-layer cake? A two-layer cake? It's a pretty small recipe, from the looks of it. There are also quite a few references to measuring ingredients by weight – two ounces of sour cream, for example – when most home cooks in this country use measuring spoons and cups. If those are errors that jumped out in a first reading, how many others are lurking within?

From the flavor Jones serves up, we rate his book pretty highly, but you should read the instructions carefully before beginning a recipe and be prepared to improvise here and there to compensate for possible errors that got past the editor.


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