Recipes and Stories

21 April 2012: Fava alla Randolph Revisited

April 25, 2012

Tags: Fava Beans, Windsor Beans, Classical Southern Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, Mary Randolph, The Virginia House-Wife, Classic Italian Cooking, Fava alla Romana, Fava alla Guanciale

fava not quite alla Randolph or Romana
Last year, a cache of fresh fava beans inspired a dip into Mary Randolph’s lucid recipe for these ancient legumes in her iconic book, The Virginia House-wife (see 10 May 2011: Fava alla Randolph):

“Mazagan Beans.

This is the smallest and most delicate species of the Windsor bean. Gather them in the morning, when they are full-grown, but quite young, and do not shell them till you are going to dress them. Put them into boiling water, have a small bit of middling, (flitch,) of bacon, well boiled, take the skin off, cover it with bread crumbs, and toast it; lay this in the middle of the dish, drain all the water from the beans, put a little butter on them, and pour them round the bacon.” (more…)

2 April 2012: Poke Sallet

April 2, 2012

Tags: Poke Sallet, Pokeweed, Poke, Historical Southern Cooking, Historical Cooking, Lettice Bryan, Emma Holmes, Early American Cooking, Spring Cooking, Spring Greens

Poke Sallet sauteed with Spring Onions and Bacon Lardons, served here as Mrs. Bryan would have done, with poached eggs
Under the deep-green shade of the old camellias in my back yard, one of the quiet miracles of spring is unfolding: a thick, luxurious stand of new-green poke shoots. This lovely wild green, once a defining element of spring’s table for country folk all across the South, is a real piece of Southern lore, and has been turned by popular culture into an object of derision, a symbol of ignorance and raw poverty.

It is none of those things to me. (more…)

31 March 2012: Mulligatawny

April 1, 2012

Tags: Shannon Hayes, Eliza Acton, William Kitchiner, Mulligatawny, Historical Cooking

Mulligatawny, as interpreted by Shannon Hayes in her forthcoming cookbook
One never knows what will catch the imagination and send one down the rabbit hole of history. Over the last few months, it has been my privilege to edit a lovely little cookbook called A Long Way on a Little, written by friend and colleague Shannon Hayes, a farming food writer from upstate New York whose family farm specializes in all natural, pasture-raised animals. (more…)