As the groundbreaking cookbook Appalachian Appetite celebrates its one-year anniversary, author and chef Susi Gott Séguret shares her favorite recipes to bring traditional flavor into your home this holiday season.
Appalachian Appetite features over 100 recipes that represent an innovative take on tradition, with contributions and stories from the mountain region’s most iconic chefs, restaurants, and citizens from Mississippi to Maine.
Chestnut Sweet Potato Salad
1 gallon sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice
2 red onions, diced
3 green peppers, diced
3 red peppers, diced
1 cup stone ground mustard
¾ cup chives, (chopped fine)
1 cup cider vinegar
1½ -2 cups olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare all the vegetables. Toss the sweet potatoes in a little of the olive oil and oven roast until cooked. Toss the peppers and onion in a little olive oil as well and oven wilt them. While still warm, toss the peppers, onion, sweet potatoes, and mustard together, add cider vinegar. Season to taste and finish with the chives.
Susi’s Southern Cornbread
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
(or 1 cup fresh-ground cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon baking powder; you can experiment with more cornmeal and less flour, to your liking)
1¼ cup milk or buttermilk, or yogurt or sour cream mixed with milk
¼ cup oil or melted butter or bacon drippings
1 teaspoon large grain salt (a bit less if using self-rising cornmeal)
1 large fresh egg
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Heat a cast iron skillet and pour in enough oil to coat bottom and sides well. Mix up your batter with rapid strokes, and pour in hot skillet. Bake for a scant 20 minutes, and eat hot out of the oven with plenty of fresh butter.
Tiller’s Molassie Cake
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
For the Sorghum Mixture
1 cup “molassie” (sweet sorghum syrup)
½ cup melted butter (the original recipe calls for Crisco)
½ cup sugar
For the Butterscotch Sauce
1½ cups brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the sorghum mixture and stir. Then, at the last minute, stir in 1 cup boiling water. The batter will be very thin. Pour it into the greased and floured cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Use a cake tester to determine doneness. Do not overbake. (Or if you do, make the butterscotch sauce and no one will ever know!) For the butterscotch sauce, bring sugar, syrup, and butter to a boil, then let cool. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over the top of the warm cake. Much of the sauce will sink in, but you will get a beautiful shiny glaze over the top.
Susi Gott Séguret hails from the very depths of Appalachia in Madison County, North Carolina and honed her culinary skills in France, where she resided for over 20 years, earning a diploma in Gastronomy and Taste from the Cordon Bleu and the Université de Reims. As director of the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts, she is passionate about taste and style, and how they extend from our palate into our daily lives. Editor of a dozen cookbooks, and contributor to several compilations, Susi has written extensively on a variety of culinary ventures for diverse publications
PRAISE FOR APPALACHIAN APPETITE
“Appalachian Appetite will indeed whet your appetite for the flavor of the mountains you can taste in the recipes found within, and for the cadence of the ballads which lead you into each chapter.”
—Nathalie Dupree, PBS and Food Network Host, Grand Dame of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, James Beard Award-winning and best-selling cookbook author
“I couldn’t put it down! It’s amazing how much ground this book covers; yes, it’s a cookbook, but it’s a historical, geographic, and cultural guide also… With deep and rich photography, and quality presentation, it’s an extravagant gift.”
—Pat Flynn, Nashville recording artist, songwriter, producer
“Bringing together the region’s music, food, stories, and its great chefs and home cooks from among her vast circle of friends, Chef Séguret reveals the glories of Appalachian food.”
—Dr. Jean Haskell, Appalachian Highlands Consulting and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Appalachia
“The most beautiful cookbook ever published—it’s really a work of art.”
—Betsy Janeway, President Emeritus of the Audubon Society
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Written by Susi Gott Séguret
Foreword by Nathalie Dupree
978-1-57826-657-9, $20.00 paperback
978-1-57826-705-7, $12.99 eBook
Published by Hatherleigh Press.
Distributed through Penguin Random House.
Available wherever books are sold.