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Six Southern cookbooks

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Quick Southern Fix: homemade hospitality in 30 minutes or less

By Rebecca Lang
(178 pp., $16.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC)

Quick Southern Fix is a simple how-to paperback cookbook if you are pressed for time but still yearning to make something from scratch with a boost of Southern flavors. It doesn't have the gloss of the other cookbooks mentioned in this round-up but for those not wanting to spend more than an hour in the kitchen Rebecca Lang, a contributing editor for Southern Living, is the guide for you. While some of her recipes border on too-simple, when you've got the hankering for okra fritters, sweet ice tea, or refrigerator pickles, you'll find just the quick hit you need.

Shrimp and Grits Bake
From "Quick Southern Fix"
"Shrimp and grits became a favorite of mine while I was living in Charleston, South Carolina, for culinary school. I like to order it when I see it on a menu because every chef makes it differently. Baking it all together in one dish is certainly easier and faster than the traditional recipes."

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup quick grits
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup preshredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 lb. medium shrimp
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly squeeze lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup preshredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a 7- by 11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the broth and grits in a large stockpot. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook for 20 minutes, stirring very often. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream cheese and Monterey Jack.

While the grits are cooking, peel and chop the shrimp. Set aside.

Finely chop the onion.

Heat the butter in a small skillet. Add the red onion and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir into the grits.

Add the shrimp, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the grits. Stir to combine. Spoon into the prepared dish. Top with the Cheddar cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes.

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