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Feb 1, 2008 05:09 AM

Frank Stitt’s Southern Table: A Little Something to Start . . .

February 2008 Cookbook of the Month, Frank Stitt’s Southern Table.

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  1. Orange Thing. Delicious but potent.

    Spiced pecans, yummy

    There are several recipes i mean to get into this month from this chapter, especially the Fried Oysters with Spicy Remoulade.

    1. PICKLED SHRIMP p. 67

      We have a shrimp dish in my family we make that is similar but more spicier that I like more than these. That said, the one time I made these shrimp and brought them to a friend's house as an appetizer, four of us (all southerners, all shrimp lovers) polished off the entire batch; I had intended to leave a large portion with the host as a gift, but we devoured them. And it is quite fun with wine and/or cocktails to sit around and peel the shrimp and eat and talk.

      Ridiculously easy to prepare, if you put them in a large jar or two, they are beautiful to see and anyone would be thrilled to have you bring them to dinner, or serve them with cocktails or as a starter at a brunch anytime. My personal advice: don't deviate from the listed seasonings but don't be shy. Season away!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Tom P

        How effective do you think it would be to make a smaller amount of this - there are just the two of us, and I now have enough (wonderful) pimento spread to last for quite a while!

        1. re: MMRuth

          MMRuth - It will adapt easily to any amount. Keep in mind these will keep a week or so in the fridge, so if you are a big fan of shrimp, you could make the full amount, and have shrimp for cocktails, appetizers or to put on salads for the entire week (or more, depending on how long you feel ok about them being in the fridge).

          1. re: Tom P

            That's good to know - thank you - I'd not thought of the shrimp "keeping" that long - and my husband is always looking for something to nibble on when he gets home from work (since he doesn't eat all day, which is a topic best not discussed!).

        2. re: Tom P

          I made the pickled shrimp and thought they turned out a little weird. I couldn't taste the shrimp, just the seasonings. i would like to try them again and wondered if you have any advice. Or just share your similar but spicier recipe;-)

          1. re: WCchopper

            Do you think it may have been the shrimp? I know sometimes bland shrimp can be tasteless. It is a recipe that calls for really good shrimp, I think. As for making them spicier, I just add more of what is there in the recipe to the recipe.

        3. Spiced Pecans, p. 68

          I made these to go in a salad, and have been nibbling on them ever since - even while making my morning coffee. Nice flavors, not too sweet or spicey. I used light muscovado sugar, since I didn't have dark brown sugar, and it was darker than the light brown sugar. I made half a batch, and the pecans burned with 15 minutes in the oven. Fortunately, I had more pecans, and 10 minutes did the trick.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MMRuth

            I made a full batch of these and they, too, started to burn at 15 minutes. Luckily, I was able to salvage enough not to have to start over. I thought these were okay, but I have another recipe for roasted pecans that I much prefer. This other recipe, which has more bite and no sweet, calls for significantly more salt and pepper and omits the brown sugar and rosemary. Although my guests kept nibbling on these, I'll be sticking with my old recipe.

          2. Fried Oysters, p. 63

            Quick and easy to make - I used a dozen preshucked Blue Point oysters from the seafood market and had the buttermilk and cornmeal on hand from making cornbread last weekend. My preference is for kumamotos, but I wonder if they might have lost something in the breading in this instance - I usually fry those with just the lightest dusting of flour. My husband said he would have preferred less cornmeal. I didn't make the remoulade due to the pimento cheese overload and gribiche sauce the night before - just served with some lemon wedges.

            5 Replies
              1. re: MMRuth

                That's it. I'm throwing in my towel & oven mitts.
                You're amazing. I've been following your photos.... I won't even tell you how the Low Country Rice came out last Sunday. LOL

                1. re: Gio

                  My husband says to tell you "It's the camera."!

                  What went wrong with the rice? And I do keep meaning to post about my abysmal failure with a pork dish from the book, but I was so bummed out about it! But I will, tomorrow!

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Well the rice wasn't all that bad, actually - but - I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to swap out the shrimp ( which I had in the freezer) for smelts (also in the freezer). Never should have done it. The flavors clashed mightily. I pan fried the smelts before slicing them in half and adding them to the rice. All I can say is... "ugh." I suppose to be fair I should follow the recipe to the letter, which I usually do first time around. But I just cannot get the taste out of my head.

                    Tell your husband cameras don't lie.

                    1. re: Gio

                      Yes - I can see how those smelts would have been an issue. I also try to do a new recipe to the letter the first time - and that was my problem with the pork recipe as well. Do try it again though w/ the shrimp - or without as a side dish - v. tasty.

            1. Watermelon Margarita (page 44)

              Made this, along with the Pimiento Cheese and Spiced Pecans, to start a Southern/Cajun themed dinner party. I used Herradura Silver, as recommended, but my local liquor store was out of Cointreau and suggested an orange-flavored cognac, which I substituted with great success. You cut the watermelon into chunks and squeeze them to extract ¾ of a cup of juice. He says it “makes four powerful drinks,” and he’s not exaggerating. They did indeed pack a wallop, and one each was plenty for guests known to put away two (or more) before dinner. He also says “it may become your new favorite summer cocktail,” and he’s right about that as well. Very fresh tasting and seemingly light compared to many margarita recipes despite how strong they were. I’ll definitely be making these again. Sorry there were no photos, because they looked lovely—especially with a cube of watermelon as a garnish.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JoanN

                I made those over the summer and really enjoyed them. Last night I made, um, several batches of Orange Things - vodka, triple sec and freshly squeezed orange juice. Excellent - not too sweet, and like sunshine on a cold rainy night in front of the fire.

                1. re: JoanN

                  Watermelon Margarita p. 44

                  Although I do not have this book, this drink was on my "to try" list for a while. Today was the perfect opportunity to give it a go on this hot, sunny day. It is indeed a *very powerful* concoction. Once I got past the first intense sip, the drink grew on us and turned out to be a refreshing, summer cocktail (one definitely meant for sipping).