South of the Fork (G)


South of the Fork cookbooks showcases fresh, simple-to-prepare recipes from The Junior League of Dallas. Although brisket, barbecue and beer were once the staples of the Dallas palate, in recent years the gourmets of haute cuisine, amateur and professional alike, have stampeded this town like cattle. 

While those of us who were used to plain cooking discovered that sole was not soul or ratatouille just a fancy dance step, these pioneer chefs learned to speak in several "tongues," from Southern to Spanish, Texan to Tex-Mex, Anglo to Italian, to name a few. They may have messed with our mesquite and sometimes over≠dressed our salad, but they also deliciously spared our ribs and never spoiled our appetites. Nor has all this experimentation stuffed our shirts or waistlines, tangled our old-fashioned apron strings, or just cluttered the kitchen with dirty dishes. 

Now Dallas has a keener appreciation for its own regional cuisine that's as bold and individual as the entrepreneurs who live here. Dallas diners no longer simply extol the virtues of the Lone Star State without mentioning the number of restaurants with four and five star status. We no longer need to travel to New York and San Francisco for a sensational and memorable meal; we can go big and stay home. 

In South Of The Fork we've tried to show that greener pastures are, indeed, in our own backyard. We've covered the territory with a sampling of menus and recipes that reflect a lifestyle that's spicy and hot but often not, that's pick-up or porsche, banquet or one course. 

And although Southwestern cuisine does not have a reputation for complementing delicate wines, we invite you to dine on dishes that combine beautifully with Texas grapes. Our region now boasts many fine young vineyards and they are well worth a try and a toast. 

It's been said that "love should never interfere with one's appetite," but with this book we take exception to this advice. Volunteers of the Junior League of Dallas have lovingly tested and retested these recipes and recommend them heartily as fresh fare for the busy family. And just to add to your confidence and joy of cooking, we've included a few generations worth of tips and secrets. So, from deep in the heart of Texas, we'd like to welcome you to South Of The Fork.