Harlem Really Cooks
by Sandra Lawrence
Paperback: 192 pages
With Harlem Really Cooks, author Sandra Lawrence offers a fresh take on traditional southern-style soul food. To reflect Harlem’s contemporary diverse community, she brings African, Latin, and Caribbean dishes to the table. Readers will find classic recipes such as Fried Catfish, Smothered Pork Chops, and Must-Have Macaroni and Cheese, while Senegalese Chicken Yassa, Escovitched King Fish, and a Thanksgiving Jerk Turkey offer something new.
Chapters are arranged by the season, with a menu for every occasion, from a Sunday pot roast dinner to a Kwanzaa celebration. Or the homecoming meal Sandra would prepare for her niece when she visited home during college breaks, featuring Chicken Dzifa, Jamaican Peas and Rice, Tossed Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Vinaigrette, and a Mango Upside-Down Cake.
More than simply a collection of recipes, Harlem Really Cooks is also a portrait of Harlem, seen through the eyes of a life-long resident. Of the ‘60s and ‘70s, she writes: “It was champagne and chitterlings and Red Rooster, followed by drinks at Jock’s next door, and then a little music at Count Basie’s.” Illustrations by renowned artist Benny Andrews further enliven the text, for a book that’s as visually interesting as it is appetizing.
About the Author
The late Sandra Lawrence was a proud, life-long resident of Harlem. Her passion for Harlem's food, arts, and architecture, including her own beloved brownstone on Convent Avenue, was legendary.