What Do French and Southern Food Have in Common?

Jennifer Hill Booker, author of the cookbook Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow, joins the Clever Cookstr to talk about the surprising overlap between the two cuisines that have most influenced her.

Kara Rota
2-minute read
Episode #155

I love the concept of this unique cookbook: go shopping once and get two delicious meals, one Southern and one French. Jennifer Hill Booker talked with us about the culinary links between these cuisines. We covered:

  • how the same ingredients used in both cuisines—like offal or pig feet—are differently conceptualized and talked about
  • Jennifer's favorite preparations for in-season summer produce, drawn from both Southern and French cooking 
  • the ideal low-stress meals for entertaining: dishes that impress but aren’t stressful to make
  • and lots more!

Check out the bonus recipe below:

Pickled Shrimp & Onions

Serves 8

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cups apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 large lemon, sliced

½ cup flatleaf parsley leaves, firmly packed

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

½ cup Shrimp & Crab Pickling Spice

                (recipe pg 188)

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 dried cayenne peppers

12 dried bay leaves

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise

In a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, ½ cup water, sliced lemon, parsley leaves, salt, red pepper, and garlic together, and set aside. Add the Shrimp & Crab Pickling Spice and 2 quarts water to a large stock pot over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, until they are bright pink. Drain and set aside.

Layer the hot shrimp, dried cayenne peppers, bay leaves, and sliced onions in a 2-quart glass jar. Pour in the oil and vinegar mixture, making sure all of the shrimp and onions are covered. Cover the jar with a lid, or with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. The Pickled Shrimp & Onions taste better the longer they sit, and will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

From Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow by Jennifer Hill Booker, © 2017 Jennifer Hill Booker, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

To hear the full interview with Jennifer, listen in the top right hand player, or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.