Damon Lee Fowler

Food * History * Words

Tags

In History's Kitchen

26 March 2015: Asparagus with Lemon-Pecan Brown Butter

March 26, 2015

Tags: Asparagus, Pecans, Lemons, Lemon-Pecan Brown Butter, Classic Southern Cooking, Essentials of Southern Cooking

The text you type here will appear directly below the image
Fresh-cut asparagus is spring’s best compensations for hay fever.

Flowers are lovely and all very well, but they satisfy only two of our senses. Asparagus gets all five—even sound, if it’s not overcooked. And when it’s freshly cut (that is, only minutes from the bed), it needs absolutely nothing, not even butter. Strong flavors like ham, leeks, garlic, and even lemon can be paired with it only with care and restraint. (more…)

19 March 2015: Strawberry Soup

March 19, 2015

Tags: Strawberries, Strawberry Soup, Classic American Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Fruit Soup

Chilled Strawberry Soup with Orange and just a touch of whipped cream for garnish
Now that strawberries are in season again, we’re constantly making use of them in the dessert bowl at the end the meal. But while they turn up all through the season in our cereal, salad, and snack bowls, we don’t often think of beginning the meal with them.

And yet, a cool, refreshing strawberry soup is a lovely and novel way to tease palates at the beginning of dinner, luncheon, or even brunch. (more…)

24 February 2015: Pineapple Charlotte

February 24, 2015

Tags: Pineapples, Pineapple Charlotte, Harriet Ross Colquitt, Historical Southern Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking

A Savannah Pineapple Charlotte, photographed by John Carrington for The Savannah Cookbook
My mother got a pineapple for Christmas. Even though canned pineapple and refrigerated shipping have made this fruit fairly commonplace these days, for Mama—and for us—that pineapple, with its prickly, tufted skin and vibrant crown of sword-like leaves still had an air of the exotic about it.

There was a time in my mother’s living memory when a fresh pineapple was a special treat and she has never let us take them for granted. (more…)

20 February 2015: Broccoli in the Cold Season

February 20, 2015

Tags: Broccoli, Classical Southern Cooking, Beans Greens & Sweet Georgia Peaches, Classic Southern Cooking, Camille Glenn

Broccoli Gratin, broccoli casserole as it was meant to be.
When I began working on my first book, Classical Southern Cooking, broccoli wasn’t thought of as an especially Southern vegetable. But what I found as I delved into the kitchens of our past was a different story. Broccoli had been growing in the South at least since the eighteenth century, and was included in all the old Southern cookbooks, beginning as early as Mary Randolph’s iconic Virginia House-wife in 1824 right through to Mrs. Dull in the twentieth century. (more…)

14 February 2015: An Historical Romance

February 14, 2015

Tags: Blanc Manger, Blancmange, Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, Romance in the Dining Room, Historical Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking

Blanc Manger (or blancmange) for two makes a lovely end for an amorous dinner for two
Why we set aside just one day to commemorate romance (and inadvertently bludgeon those who don’t have any in their lives), I do not know. But since we do, and many a lover will be trying to win (or at least please) the heart they crave by way of the stomach, here are a few thoughts on romance at the table on the Feast of St. Valentine. (more…)

10 February 2015: The Universal Cutlet

February 10, 2015

Tags: Cutlets, Breaded Cutlets, Classic Southern Cooking, Classic Italian Cooking, Pork Tenderloin Cutlets

Breaded Cutlets made with Pork Tenderloin. Photography by John Carrington Photography
One of the great universal concepts in Western cookery is the breaded cutlet: a thin slice of meat, beaten thin both to make it uniform and to tenderize it, coated with dry bread crumbs, and fried to a delicate brown. Crackling crisp on the outside, tender and juicy inside, it’s arguably one of the most satisfying ways of giving flavor and panache to cheap and bland cuts of meat or poultry. (more…)

30 January 2015: Simplicity in the Cold Season

January 30, 2015

Tags: Penne with Broccoli and Scallions, Broccoli, Braised Broccoli, Classic Southern Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Marcella Hazan, Simplicity in Cooking

Penne with Broccoli and Scallions
30 January 2015: Simplicity in the Cold Season

A few days ago, I reflected on how the simple act of peeling and eating a perfectly ripe Clementine orange recalled the fact that the principles of good cooking and satisfying eating are founded less on creativity than on the virtues of balance, simplicity, and restraint.

That wasn’t to suggest that there’s no room for creativity in the kitchen; (more…)

26 January 2015: The Undervalued Virtue of Restraint

January 26, 2015

Tags: Principles of good cooking, Restraint in the kitchen, Marcella Hazan, Clementine oranges

A good cook meets an ingredient in peak condition, such as this perfectly ripened Clementine, with a sense of balance and restraint.
What we don’t add to the pot, Marcella Hazan frequently reminded us, is equally as important as what we do. While under-seasoning can make a dish fall short of its potential, it’s a failing that can still be corrected; there’s rarely any hope for a dish that has been over-seasoned or buried under a confusion of other flavors. (more…)

17 January 2015: Mama’s Sunday Pot Roast with Onions

January 17, 2015

Tags: Pot Roast, Braising, Sunday Pot Roast, Southern Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Mama's Pot Roast

My Mother's Sunday Pot Roast with Onions
Nothing recalls the Sunday mornings of my childhood quite like the aroma of onions and beef baking slowly in a pot roast. (more…)

20 December 2015: Sour Cream Cheddar Drop Biscuits

December 20, 2014

Tags: Biscuits, Drop Biscuits, Sour Cream Cheddar Drop Biscuits, Classic Southern Cooking, Southern Baking, Classic American Baking

Sour Cream Cheddar Drop Biscuits. Photography by Richard Burkhart
A simple way to dress up and stretch a family meal for unexpected company during the holidays, or just make it seem a little more special for the home folks, is a bread basket filled with piping hot, freshly baked biscuits. They never fail to impress, and make everyone think you’ve gone to a lot more trouble than you really have. (more…)

Selected Works

Cookbooks
A collection of more than twenty-five years of writing about and teaching the history and techniques of the cooking of my native American South, the collection of cuisines that we loosely call Southern Cooking.
A portrait of Savannah's growing restaurant scene in recipes and stories.
A Celebration of the Cuisine of the Old South, hailed as a modern classic and Bible of Southern Foodways.
A loving portrait of a proud old port city in recipes
Classical Southern Cooking in today's kitchen
Traditional Southern Baking for modern cooks
A sampling of the South's Cookery for the hundreds of regional fruits and vegetables.
Seventy five recipes that were documented to have been used at Mr. Jefferson's Monticello during his lifetime, translated for use in a modern kitchen, with essays by the Foundation's curatorial staff.

Quick Links

Find Authors