March 4, 2014
Baked Fish with Potatoes and Onions, an old Southern dish that bears striking resemblance to the cooking of Liguria, is just the thing to begin a Lenten discipline in your kitchen. Photograph by John Carrington Photography
Mae West, the sultry comic who made a career of poking fun at the straight-laced mores of her day, once approached a priest with her signature line, “So, Father, why don’cha come up sometime—and see me?” Thinking to get the better of her, he quipped, “Miss West, I’d love to, but it’s Lent.” Giving him a sidewise glance, she murmured, “oh, yeah? Well, when ya get it back, come on up!” (more…)
February 26, 2014
Skillet Cornbread the way God meant it to be: naturally sugar-free.
I don’t know what you’re doing on this late February day, but it cannot be better than what I’ve been doing: sipping piping hot double-concentrated homemade beef broth while laughing and crying my way through Julia Reed’s new masterpiece, But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!
This morning dawned cold, wet, and gray in Savannah and I’ve been taking advantage of a rare day on my own to put a batch of said beef broth through one last simmer while reading Julia’s delicious prose as background for a newspaper story. (more…)
December 24, 2013
Buttery oyster stew is not particularly photogenic, but it's awfully good to eat. Don't neglect to use plenty of butter: this is celebration food, for goodness sakes!
Nostalgia is a funny thing. Nothing stirs memories of the Christmases of my childhood more lucidly than Doris Day singing “Silver Bells.” Yet the memories conjured have nothing to do with city sidewalks, but of the rolling, red-clay fields and pastures of Grassy Pond, the farm community where we lived until I was ten.
There wasn’t one single silver bell, red and green blinking street light, or rushing shopper for miles. (more…)
November 5, 2013
Sautéed Chanterelles with Country Ham and Cream, spooned over old-fashioned sautéed grits cakes
Mushrooms in cream are surely one of the world’s great gastronomical inventions. And when a little dry-aged country ham and bit of fresh thyme is added to the mix, they lend a lovely autumnal fragrance and depth of flavor that enhances even the mildest of fungi. The combination is the perfect way to bid farewell to the all-too-brief season for chanterelles. (more…)
September 26, 2013
A Free-Form Apple Tart is a simple pastry to master, but it never fails to impress.
For those on my Facebook author’s page who asked for the recipe, here’s the free-form apple tart that’s pictured there. This was the first apple pie I ever made after I was grown and had my own kitchen. It’s from the first Julia Child cookbook I owned, From Julia Child’s Kitchen (1975), and it has been my standard apple pie ever since. (more…)
September 21, 2013
Curried Rice Salad with Raisins, Pecans, and Green Onions
As summer slips into autumn, it would not do to let it pass without visiting a warm weather standard that straddles the bridge between the seasons: curried rice salad.
Unlike pasta, leftover rice is perfect for recycling in a salad: while pasta often turns gummy and flabby when cold, rice holds its shape, remains firm and yet tender, and because its surface starches “set,” the grains don’t clump together but remain distinct and separate. (more…)
August 24, 2013
Deviled Crab, a Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry Classic
Crab cakes have become standard fare on Southern restaurant menus from Maryland to Louisiana, and one of the signature dishes of modern Southern cooking. They’re so popular that it seems petty to quibble over them. But as delectable as it can be (when well made), molding cooked crabmeat into a regular, round cake presents a delicate balancing act for the cook: keeping the binding breading to a minimum without having the cake fall apart in the frying pan. (more…)
August 4, 2013
Pasta alla Norma
This past weekend The Savannah Voice Festival debuted, and for the next two weeks, the steamy Lowcountry air will seem a little less heavy as it is filled with the glorious sounds of Fifty-three promising young performers who have gathered in our little town to study with more than two dozen seasoned singers, coaches, and accompanists. (more…)
July 30, 2013
Bourbon Cherry Pie, from Essentials of Southern Cooking (fall 2013)
Cherries have been at their peak over the last couple of weeks and, this year, have been unusually sweet and juicy. Luckily, when they’re seasonal and at their best, their cost per pound is correspondingly at its lowest. And since they’re a favorite summer fruit in our house, there has almost always been a bowl of them on our kitchen table, ready for grabbing by the handful. (more…)
July 17, 2013
Classic Succotash with fresh butterbeans, corn, tomatoes, and herbs
Succotash is a true American classic and arguably one of the greatest vegetable dishes in all of American cookery. Though what we know by the name today mostly likely bears very little resemblance to the original, this mélange of corn and beans originated in Pre-Colombian America, and still carries its Native American name.