Southern Fusion: Hot Cracklin’ and Radish Sprout Kimchi Salad

Oh my goodness I created a simple Southern fusion salad today, tossing fresh hot cracklin’s with spicy radish-sprout kimchi and perching it atop of a bed of baby spinach leaves lightly dressed with sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. It’s a play on a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing, where instead of ketchup and…

Leftovers 3: Turkey Tagine with Tejotes and Dates

I traveled to Morocco (and Mexico!) for the ingredients for today’s turkey leftovers transformation, a sweet and spicy tagine recipe that incorporates thigh meat, eggplant, dates, nuts, onions, garlic, galangal, pomegranate molasses, warm spices, homemade turkey broth and a brand new-to-me ingredient: the tejote. My brother Alan and I were in the grocery store to…

Leftovers 2: Turkey Tom Kha Gai Recipe

A warm fragrant bath of coconut milk, lemongrass and galangal (ginger’s more interesting cousin) seemed like the perfect place to put leftover turkey cubes and jiggly and rich turkey broth.   I adapted and probably bastardized this recipe from Bon Appetit. with a few modifications. Turkey Leftovers Tom Kha Gai 6 cups of homemade turkey stock 1…

Turkey Nachos, and Thoughts on a Carcass

While many cooks are fixated on bronzing a photogenic holiday turkey, I’m hyper focused on how what we don’t eat is cut up and put away. That’s because I spend the week leading up to Thanksgiving plotting what to do with leftover turkey. Today’s turkey nachos have been buzzing around in my mind for a…

Persimmon, Fall’s Tomato

I can’t believe I’ve never eaten a ripe persimmon before this week. There was a persimmon tree behind one of the houses our family rented when I was growing up, but I must have always been too impatient with it. I’d only ever eaten them puckery. But then this week Alan, my brother, started agitating…

A Pie Tasting: Lea’s of Lecompte

Monroe, LA — The days leading up to Thanksgiving can be overwhelming for the pie-bakers at Lea’s of Lecompte (which is a confusing name for outsiders, who don’t know it references Lea’s Lunchroom, the original Lea’s, which IS in Lecompte, a small town almost 110 miles almost due south on State Highway 165.) Lea’s of…

Cubs Fans Still Dig Doug’s at Wrigley as the Hotdog Turns 125

Coming up on four years after he shuttered his “encased meat emporium,” Doug Sohn remains a Chicago treasure. That will come to no surprise to the three hundred people who patiently waited in lines, some as long as five hours, to get one of the final red-basketed sausages at his beloved Avondale institution, Hot Doug’s. Still,…

Beef Cheek and Mushroom Stew with Tasmanian Saffron Brown Rice

The comfort food continues with a stovetop-to-crockpot concoction made from beef cheeks and mushrooms, sweet potatoes and onions, red wine and tarragon mustard and a homemade beef stock. I served it with baked brown rice scented with Tasmanian saffron. I used to find brown rice fussy until I found Alton Brown’s technique/recipe for baking it,…

Travel: Foodie Tour of Hobart Curated by Cally Lyons of Rathmore House

Cally Lyons, who I am lucky to count as my second Tasmanian girlfriend, has a lot in common with Greg Ramsay, owner of Ratho Farm, who ‘hired’ me to come and cook pop-up dinners of American Southern Food at Australia’s oldest golf course in February and March. Beyond being charming, well-spoken, and delightfully cheeky, both of them are…

‘Me Oh My Oh’: Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy, Jambalaya Edition

Jambalaya is so quintessentially New Orleans that, when menu planning, I considered the rice-sausage-and-seafood casserole to be a no-brainer of a show-stopper main course for our Mardi Gras Dinner. As it turned out, both “no-brainer” and “show-stopper” were painfully apt descriptions, as recounted in this continuation of Part 1 and Part 2 of ‘Catering Lessons from Heather and…