The Oscars of Cookbooks

12 Jul

Our country’s most coveted food honor is probably a James Beard Foundation Award. There are several categories of awards, but in the American Cooking category there should be no surprise that many of the cookbook nominees are from the South. Today we are highlighting the 2009 winner, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea (641.597 F686.7s). Its author, Martha Hall Foose, is a Mississippi Delta girl. Trained in France, she has found her way back home.  Her book is a wonderful combination of unmistakably Southern recipes and personal stories (or wisecracks, as the case may be).

Sweet Potato Biscuits

1 cup mashed baked sweet potato (about 2 medium)

2/3 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 ½ teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix the sweet potato, milk, and butter. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Add to the potato mixture.   Gently mix the dry ingredients into the sweet potato mixture to form a soft dough.  Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a deep golden orange tinged with brown.   Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack.

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