Recipes and Stories

26 February 2018: In Defense of Southern Cooking III

February 27, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, In Defense of Southern Cooking, Historical Virginia Cooking, Historical Lowcountry Cooking, Historical Creole Cooking, Historical Cajun Cooking, Historical Appalachian Cooking

Buttermilk Biscuits are as Southern as it gets, and yet historically, they weren't a part of all the old cuisines of the South
The Historical Cuisines

The loose regions into which the South has historically been divided, for the most part, follow the patterns of European colonization. They are: the Old South, the Atlantic coast from Maryland to North Florida; the Deep South, incorporating the Gulf states from West Georgia and the Florida panhandle to Eastern Texas; the Mountain South of Appalachia, including the Western portions of Virginia, the Carolinas, and northern edges of piedmont Georgia and Alabama as well as the interior states of West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky; and the Central South, which includes parts of the “border states” of Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia as well as Arkansas, Eastern Oklahoma and North-east Texas.

You must understand that those loose regional boundaries are very loose indeed. (more…)

16 February 2018: Hot, or Baked, Chicken Salad

February 16, 2018

Tags: Classic Southern Cooking, Classic American Cooking, Chicken, Chicken Casserole, Hot Chicken Salad, Baked Chicken Salad, Historical Southern Cooking

Hot, or Baked Chicken Salad, a relatively new Southern classic
Tradition has often been defined as “how they did it when we were children” and it’s not a bad description of the way we all too often look at the elusive thing that we call Southern Cooking. So much of the “traditional” cooking that sparks debate among Southerners today has actually not been around all that long.

For example, one of the easiest ways to start the biggest fight you ever saw is to pronounce before a group of Southerners that there is only one true way to make pimiento cheese and then proceed to describe said way. Every single person present will argue that you don’t know what you’re talking about, because that’s not how their grandmother made it. (more…)

3 February 2018: Classic Chicken Divan

February 3, 2018

Tags: Classic American Cooking, Chicken Divan, Chicken, Broccoli, Casseroles

My Chicken Divan

One of the great dishes of mid-to-late twentieth century American cooking is Chicken Divan, a layered gratin of broccoli, chicken breast and a velouté sauce enriched with cheese. Believed to have been name for its place of origin, the Divan Parisien Restaurant in New York City’s old Hotel Chatham (which stood at Vanderbilt Avenue between East 48th and 49th Streets), it was probably created sometime in the 1940s and is credited to Chef Anthony Lagasi.* (more…)