Kosher-keeping eaters can easily steer clear of barbecue, bacon and fatback, even in the nation's most southernmost states. But what's to be done about buttermilk-fried chicken, a clear violation of the prohibition on mixing milk and meat, or a jambalaya featuring forbidden shellfish?
Memphis' Margolin Hebrew Academy lays out some answers in its new cookbook, Simply Southern, With a Dash of Kosher Soul, a recipe collection its editors are calling the first comprehensive how-to guide to kosher Southern cuisine.
"There's nothing on the market like it," co-editor Dena Wruble says of the book, which debuts this week.
According to Wruble, the families who've sent their children to the school since 1949 are accustomed to cooking at home. "Here in Memphis, we do not have kosher restaurants, so we entertain a lot," she explains.
Wruble and co-editor Tracy Rapp collected more than 500 recipes for favorite dishes from community members, honing in on those preparations with distinctly Southern elements. "There's not a lot of kugel in the book," Wruble says. But noodles do show up in a recipe for macaroni and cheese.