One of the most thrilling aspects to Book ‘Em is when a writer reports they met a publisher at the event and as a result, their book is now in print. That’s precisely what happened at the Inaugural Book ‘Em North Carolina event this past February when writer, wine connoisseur and chef Ginger King literally ran into Mike Simpson, publisher at Second Wind Publishing.
By the time they parted, both knew it had been more than a chance encounter — King’s book was exactly what Mike had been searching for.
The cookbook, which reaches book stores this month, is called “Carolina Wine Country Cooking.” It includes recipes for favorite Carolina wines from Scuppernong to Cabernet. It’s also a kitchen journal for the reader to use in creating their own dishes.
“The book combines two things I am passionate about: creating great food and writing,” King said.
The majority of the recipes were inspired from her tasting journal, a compilation of notes gathered while traveling in North Carolina and some areas of South Carolina. After visiting a number of wine producers, she reviewed the journal and noticed a theme.
It wasn’t that she liked only big reds or only sweet wines. Each time she found that her notes from the tastings pertained as much to foods she would prepare or serve with the dish, as they did the individual wines’ characteristics.
The cookbook includes recipes for chicken tenders with a white wine, honey and black pepper glaze; sweet potato soup that lists two cups of Riesling as one of the surprising ingredients; cooked cucumbers with Waccamaw White Wine; applesauce with Green Apple Wine; and even watermelon with Sangria.
Wine is also used in her dessert recipes, such as a Chocolate Scuppernong Milkshake, a Blueberry Parfait with Bannerman Blueberry Wine, Chardonnay Praline Punch and Tiramisu made with Biltmore Chenin Blanc.
Ginger traveled extensively throughout the state, including Stephens Winery in Lumberton and Lu Mil in Duplin, sampling wines and creating recipes. She says that the Carolinas are one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the country, but it is undergoing a renaissance with new wineries opening almost every month. Some buy their grapes from Carolina farmers and others produce their own.
She will be signing her new cookbook at the next Book ‘Em North Carolina event and I hope you’ll come by and chat with her about her recipes and wine. In the meantime, you can read more about her at www.gingerkking.com and www.carolinawinecooks.com.
She has also started a blog at www.corkandforkblog.wordpress.com. She is in talks with her publisher about a series of cookbooks as well as fiction, another love.
And on Sept. 30, look for her at the county fair. Sshe’ll be at The Village Station booth all day and will return on Oct.1 and Oct. 2 starting at 5:30 p.m. each day.