Damon Lee Fowler

Food * History * Words

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In History's Kitchen

16 July 2014: Triple Comfort

July 16, 2014

Tags: Comfort Food, vintage tableware, Mama's china, Marcella Hazan, Ilda, Italian cooking, spaghetti alla carbonara

Triple comfort: my mother's china pattern, Ilda's pasta, and Marcella's voice in the background
My mother’s wedding china still stands as it did in my youth, in neat stacks in her dining room hutch. Rimmed in gold and sporting a pair of pink-tinged gardenia blossoms at its center, it was old-fashioned, feminine, and just plain “girly.” Yet it was the very essence of elegance and sophistication to my child’s mind. (more…)

14 July 2014: Watermelon Salad

July 14, 2014

Tags: Watermelon, Watermelon Salad, Greek Cooking, Greek-American Cooking, Southern Cooking, Beans Greens & Sweet Georgia Peaches

Watermelon Salad, a simple triad of melon, onion, and feta. Photograph by John Carrington Photography
One of the loveliest and most refreshing salads to be found on summer’s table is this simple triad of watermelon, sweet onions, and the bright, salty counterpoint of feta cheese. It should be no surprise, then, that over the last couple of decades, melon salads have become a trendy thing. However, back in the mid-nineties when I first developed this version for my second book, they were almost unheard of in the South, and weren’t much more familiar to the rest of our country. (more…)

8 July 2014: Sautéed Summer Squash with Onions

July 8, 2014

Tags: Yellow crookneck squash, Summer squash, Classic Southern Cooking, Beans Greens & Sweet Georgia Peaches

Sauteed yellow crookneck squash is the very essence of a Southern summer
When we were home a couple of weeks ago, the summer squash vines in my mother’s garden were bright with yellow blossoms and the most precocious vine was sporting a single fat, sun-yellow crookneck. By the time we got back to Savannah, a bumper crop of yellow crooknecks was already coming in from local farmers. The sunny color and graceful swan necks of this vegetable are, for me, the very essence of summer. (more…)

5 July 2014: Pan Broiled Hamburgers

July 5, 2014

Tags: All American Cooking, Pan-Broiling, Pan-Broiled Burgers, Oven-Roasted Sweet Corn

Independence Day Supper without a grill: pan-brioled hamburgers, oven-roasted sweet corn, sugar-snap peas, and French potato salad
Because we don’t have a grill and a huge pecan tree shades our back yard, making it an ideal nursery for mosquitoes, I don’t cook outdoors at home. So, grilled burgers and corn on the cob, the traditional offering for Independence Day, have to be cooked indoors. I pan-broil burgers and steaks, and it’s actually a lovely way to cook them. (more…)

20 June 2014 For the First Day of Summer—Buttermilk Fried Chicken

June 20, 2014

Tags: Southern Fried Chicken, Essentials of Southern Cooking, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Cream Gravy, How to Cut Up a Chicken for Frying, Classic Southern Cooking

Buttermilk Fried Chicken, photograph by John Carrington Photography
Since tomorrow (21 June) is the first day of summer, it seems like a good idea to visit one of the great icons of the Southern table—fried chicken. Surely no one would argue with that. But it has become so commonplace and universal that most of us, Southerners included, have completely forgotten that it was once a seasonal delicacy, something that could only be had in the spring and summer, the only time of year when very young, tender chickens could be found in the barnyard. (more…)

27 May 2014: The Art of Balance

May 27, 2014

Tags: Marcella Hazan, Culinary Balance, Classic French Cooking, Classic Creole Cooking, Butter Braising

Butter-Braised Spring Vegetables, an exercise in judicious balance
Marcella Hazan’s husband, Victor, recently reminded us that his late wife liked to say, “If I could persuade someone to cook for six months without a single herb or spice, I’d have a chance to make a cook out of her.” (more…)

23 April 2014: Easter Lamb Pasta

April 23, 2014

Tags: Feasting on Leftovers, Lamb, Roman Easter Lamb, Asparagus, Pasta

Penne with a Touch of Easter Lamb and Asparagus
One of the loveliest things about a feast day, I always think, is the leftovers. Bits of roast to eat cold with horseradish sauce or warmed in its gravy, cold ham and asparagus, potato gratin or baked macaroni, both of which warm-over so nicely. Soup that can be warmed or thinned with milk and served chilled, either as is, or with other things added to it. (more…)

19 April 2014: Easter VI—Chocolate

April 19, 2014

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

Dean’s Blender Pots De Crème are drop-dead easy and never fail to impress.
For many families, Easter dessert must be a fluffy coconut cake topped with seven minute frosting, lots of flaked coconut, and often jelly bean “Easter eggs.” Or it might be trimmed into shapes that are arranged on a platter and decorated to look like an Easter bunny. If that’s your tradition, then have at it. (more…)

19 April 2014: Easter V—Asparagus Hollandaise

April 19, 2014

Tags: Easter Dinner, Classic French Cooking, Hollandaise, Dutch Sauce, Asparagus, Asparagus Hollandaise

Classic Hollandaise begins as a Sabayon and should be fluffy and light
Over the last few years, there’s been a big fad for roasted asparagus. There’s nothing wrong with cooking this lovely vegetable in the oven, but it has become so commonplace that it’s in danger of being—no pun intended—overdone.

The preoccupation with one method has also made us forget that it’s not the only good way to cook asparagus. (more…)

18 April 2014 Easter IV—The Potatoes

April 18, 2014

Tags: Easter Dinner, Potatoes, Potato Gratin, Classic French Cooking

Classic French pommes de terre gratinée (potato gratin)
Regardless of whether you choose lamb or ham (or neither—or both) for your Easter feast, nothing will make the dinner seem quite as special as will this classic French gratin. The ingredients are simple and few, and the preparation requires almost no real skill on the part of the cook, but you will not finding anything more elegant and yet elementally satisfying to eat. (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.

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