Matt and Ted Lee got their claim to fame after they moved from their hometown of Charleston, S.C. up north for college and started their own mail order catalogue for boiled peanuts and other southern staples.
Their new cookbook features an array of stories about how southern food and growing up in Charleston has shaped their culinary minds.
The Lee Brothers were kind enough to give us one copy of their new book to giveaway. Please comment below telling us your favorite your favorite southern food with peanuts (i.e. peanuts, peanut brittle, boiled peanuts, peanut butter pie). A winner will be selected on March 5, 2013.
1.We are excited to read your newly released cookbook. Can you tell us more about it? What inspired you to write it?
A great part of our motivation in writing The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen was to give the current mania for food in Charleston some context—to shine a spotlight on people who have played important roles in making Charleston a great food destination, but who may not receive as much attention because they’re not part of the contemporary restaurant scene. By the barometer of restaurant culture, Charleston’s certainly come a long way in the past decade or so, but if you’re talking home-cooking, the city has always been a world-class destination for food. The success of early cookbooks of the region, like Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife, Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking, Charleston Receipts, and the fact that these books continue to inspire chefs and home cooks alike, shows how influential home cooking in the Low country has always been.
2.What makes this cookbook different from your previous ones?
In our first book, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, we wanted to highlight the diversity of southern cooking—how differently people eat from place to place as you travel around the South. Our second book, The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern, shared our favorite family recipes for easy weeknight meals with loads of southern flavor. In our new book—The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen—we return to the place we know best to tell stories about the people who cultivate, catch and cook food in Charleston. This is our most personal book yet. With these stories and recipes, we show you what it was like to grow up here and how the food life of Charleston helped make us the cookbook authors we are today. We introduce you to our friends who make living in the Lowcountry so delicious, as well as important figures from the city’s culinary past whose memory inspires us to have fun in the kitchen.
4.How has growing up in the south influenced who you all are today?
Charleston made us who we are today; it’s a unique food culture that envelops you, provides drama, sport, history and a kaleidoscope of flavors from land and sea. It is endlessly inspiring.
5.We know you are a fan of boiled peanuts; can you tell us your favorite way to make them?
We are purists: water and salt and great peanuts (we prefer the flavor of Valencia’s) are all we need.
6.Are there any peanut recipes in your cookbook?
There are THREE actually! Boiled Peanuts, page 44. Peanut and Oyster Stew, page 85; and Groundnut Cakes, page 211! An appetizer, entree and dessert!
7.What do you love about peanuts and peanut butter? Do you have a favorite dish?
Peanuts bring nutty-sweet flavors that work well in both savory and sweet preparations, and yet the peanut is more vegetable than nut–it’s the most overachieving legume out there! We love a good salad or soup that includes a scattering of chopped peanuts.