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Bon Appetit Y'All by Virginia Willis: Part 2 ...The Thread

Now that Bon Appetit Y'All, The Thread is 300 posts long I thought I'd start the new month of May 2009 off with a new BAY'A thread... Part 2. This is the thread in which I shall be posting the recipes I make from the book as I continue my southern culinary adventure, I hope y'all will join me once again.

Here's a link to BAY'A ... The Thread: Part 1:

BTW: Any good sweet tea recipes in Your family? I know there was quite a lengthy discussion here a little while ago.

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  1. Not sure it qualifies as a recipe, but we always had sweet tea in the house when I was growing up. Just put a lot (maybe 3/4 cup?) of sugar in the bottom of what you're making the tea in, the tea bags or whatever vehicle you have for the tea, and then the hot water. The sugar disolves and the tea brews and then you refrigerate.

    I knew that my Canadian husband was finally feeling at home here in the south when he ordered "sweet tea" with his lunch one day.

    6 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      Thanks so much for your recipe LLM. I have one deep in my archives somewhere.... if I only knew where to look.

      1. re: Gio

        Been 9 months since I made sweet tea, but let's see if I can remember. My sweet tea is halfway between my Georgia partner's and my Boston taste, so not as sweet as real Southern tea. Adding more sugar is easy though.

        2 quarts water
        4 tea bags [Tetley or Red Rose]
        1/2 cup sugar
        1/2 lemon
        6-7 mint leaves

        Bring water to a soft boil. Turn off the heat and add the sugar and tea bags. Let steep 4-6 minutes [depending on your preference.] Stir once or twice until you don't feel the sugar. Scoop out the tea bags. Squeeze the lemon juice into the tea and drop in the rind and add the mint. Let steep for up to 6 more minutes and scoop out the mint and lemon. [Don't let this go too long or the lemon rind makes the tea bitter.]

        So, not a true Southern tea, but I love the mint, and mint is taking over my small garden and this is a great way to use it regularly.

        1. re: smtucker

          AhHa... SMT, that sounds very like a recipe I found ages ago on a site called something like Grandmother's cook book - or something like that. I'll have to try to find it.

          Anyway... Many thanks for your version of Sweet Tea! Much appreciated.

          1. re: smtucker

            I've been making mint simple syrup, for sweet and unsweet tea for differing tastes in the house
            great in hibiscus tea with lime
            (it's also 100 % awesome for cocktails)

            The idea of a recipe for tea is kinda funny to me, but I saw one in my Low Country Cookbook . . . 8 tea bags, 6 cups of boiling water - let it steep 5 minutes (or longer if you want stronger.) Remove tea bags. Add 1/4c fresh lemon juice, if you want lemon. Stir in 1/4 c sugar. Let cool. Pour over ice and serve. He cautions against chilling the tea in the fridge -- says it will go cloudy.

            Great idea to open up Pt2 Gio!

            1. re: pitu

              But you have to put the sugar in *before* you make it cold - the hot water has to melt it so that it gets very sweet.

              I totally agree on how great simple syrup can be in a cocktail!

              1. re: LulusMom

                Absolutely, LM, that's what makes sweet tea so delicious - no sugar granules.

      2. Finally got around to the mayo biscuits (so sorry - don't have the book in front of me for the page number). Mine are not close to as pretty as those in the book but they were really tasty. My maiden voyage making biscuits and I felt it was a big success. Could maybe use just a smidgen of salt, but otherwise loved them.

        1. Those look Great, LLM!! The proof of the pudding.... and all that. In this case biscuits. They're on my list....

          Did you know that we've already cooked more than 35 BAY'A recipes so far? Tonight in honor of the Kentucky Derby I'm finally making VA's Pimento Cheese... a few weeks after the fact of the Masters.. and a couple of other dishes. Tommorow I'll start with the current COTM and insert some southern dishes periodically. That should be an interesting juxtaposition.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            These biscuits are as easy as rolling off a log. Sometimes you want a nice, easy starch with dinner, and this definitely fit the bill. Might try them with chives and a little salt next time or some other fancy-up thing, but they are worth making.

            You'll be keeping your taste buds on their toes this month, huh?

            1. re: LulusMom

              Am I crazzzeeee or just inquisitive? I dunno. But as long TDB has the will to cook I'll keep on keeping on. Though, I think I have to shy away from the recipes with multiple procedures.

              1. re: Gio

                I'll be keeping on too, but like you, for the next month probably my labor intensive recipes will be from CoF. Heck, I bought this book because there was so much that appeals to me, so I *better* keep cooking from it!

          2. I make tea in the microwave...
            Fill a 1 qt Pyrex measuring cup with water (not all the way to the top).

            I use a couple of the family-size Luzianne teabags, plus 1 Constant Comment and 1 Plantation Mint (both those are Bigelow).

            Nuke on high for about 8 minutes. Let steep for 5 minutes or so after it finishes in the micro. Remove the teabags and stir in sugar to taste. We don't like it very sweet, so I only use 1/8-1/4 cup.

            This is very forgiving. If it's too strong, add a little water. Or if you need a larger quantity of tea, add more tea bags and make it very strong, then dilute with water.

            1 Reply
            1. re: onrushpam

              <"This is very forgiving. If it's too strong, add a little water. Or if you need a larger quantity of tea, add more tea bags and make it very strong, then dilute with water.">

              That's the direction I remember from the old recipe I was trying to remember. The strong tea is refrigerated then diluted when serving, adding ice cubes, of course. Also the use of the Luzianne and Constant Comment teas is familiar. I think you have the recipe I was looking for! Many thanks, Onrushpam.....

            2. Pimento Cheese in Cherry Tomatoes, Ch.1: Starters and Nibbles, Pg. 17

              Now I know what all the shoutin's about! A creamy, tasty spread that enhances any tidbit you'd care to put it on. Neither of us had ever had Pimento cheese so we were excited to try this recipe... we loved the flavor and will definitely make it to serve to guests. It works up quickly and is very easy to make. The recipe makes 4 cups but I halved it and have a small bowl left over.

              The recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 a grated Vidalia onion, some mayo, a small jar of drained and chopped pimentos, hot sauce, S & P. Although the recipe recommends stuffing small cherry tomatoes, I stuffed celery stalks, the alternative way of serving this delectable mix.
              Notice: No Cream Cheese.... ahem.

              3 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  Since it's no longer Vidalia season, what would you substitute?

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Hmmm.. Good one, CO. I think, right off the top, I'd sub Bermuda onion/red onion. Or, even a large white onion, since in my neck of the woods the white onions seem to be less harsh. But you know the drill - whatever you find most pleasing to your palate...even if you do want to be "authentic." You may not like taste the authentic recipe gives you, but still want to experience the process....

                2. Celeriac Slaw (p. 42)

                  Loved this - just a really nice, refreshing side dish. Unfortunately my grocery store didn't have any tarragon (sigh), so I had to use dried, and I'm sure it would be even more wonderful with fresh, but still, And I added just a smidgen more mayo than called for. I enjoyed this so much. Served it with fish baked with a mustard butter and topped with panko. A simple but tasty meal.

                  1. Mama's Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens, Ch. 8 Gospel Birds and Game Birds, Pg. 120

                    My oh my what a lucious meal this made! Orangey, buttery, savory, and Deeeelicious.
                    Two game hens are spatchcocked then rubbed with a wonderful composite butter made with fresh chopped thyme and parsley leaves, minced shallots, orange zest, unsalted butter, S & P... I added a teaspoon of Grand Marnier for good measure. A bit of the butter is put under the skin of each hen. The hens are then seasoned with S & P and the rest of the butter is smeared all over each. The hens are roasted, skin side up, in a 450F oven till they are golden. This takes a little over 30 minutes.

                    Remove the hens to a warm platter and tent to keep warm while the sauce is made. This is comprised of sherry, orange juice, and chicken stock which is set over medium, stirred and allowed to reduce and thicken a bit. A Very Nice dish, this. Once again, easy, fast and a wonderful way to serve these little birds. I made the Fingerling Potato Salad on pg.48 again to serve along with them.

                    1. Wonder if those moderators could/should lock off BAYA-Pt. 1 and add some back and forth links.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: yayadave

                        Well, I did reference it in this OP.... but ya know it probably isn't a priority for many folks. Thanks for thinking about it though!

                        BTW: I've been "out of commission" since Wednesday night when I fell and bruised my Coccyx. I'll be back when I can sit for more than 30 minutes.....

                      2. Fingerling Potato Salad (p. 48)

                        Really enjoyed this. Needed to cut my potatoes a bit more than just in half, but aside from that followed the recipe exactly. I normally prefer mayo-free potato salads, but next time I want one with mayo, this will be my go to recipe. Served with a spicy oven-fried chicken and it was a great meal.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: LulusMom

                          So glad to hear you liked this Potato Salad LLM ! I have some roasted mixed fingerlings in the fridge that I made last night from a Jamie Oliver recipe which I intend to reconstruct using VA's dressing. I'll slice them differently, reheat them, then pour over the vinegar and go from there....

                          1. re: Gio

                            It can be done! On Wednesday I made the fingerling potato salad using Willis's dressing and leftover Jamie Oliver's roasted fingerlings. The potatoes are very basic, EVOO, S & P and rosemary. I nuked them for a few seconds, sliced them in half lengthwise, then poured apple cider vinegar over...mixed the dressing then poured it over the potatoes. Yum.

                        2. Blackberries were buy-one-get-one at Publix this week. So, today I made the blackberry cobbler.

                          This recipe is very close to what I grew up knowing as "Cuppa-cuppa-cuppa cobbler"... because it's a cuppa flour, a cuppa sugar and a cuppa milk. But, Virginia's method is different and an improvement over my old family recipe. My old recipe had you melt the butter in the pan, then add the fruit, then pour the batter over. Virgina has you pour the melted butted into the batter, then dump the batter back in the heated pan and spoon the fruit into it. Her method makes for a prettier cobbler and better taste!

                          I gilded the lilly a bit by sprinking Demera sugar over the top before putting it in the oven. It made for a nice little crunch to the top.

                          I'll be making my old recipe in this new way in the future!

                          16 Replies
                          1. re: onrushpam

                            OMGoodeness... that's wonderful to hear. I'm dying to try this recipe. Many thanks for reporting back!!!

                            1. re: Gio

                              This cobbler couldn't be easier. I made a half recipe in a casserole dish. Forgot the suger on top.

                              1. re: yayadave

                                Forgot the Sugar? How could you? How did it taste?
                                Just a minute, though..... you made the recipe and didn't report on it here???? How could you? (p_q)

                                1. re: Gio

                                  Forgetting the sugar was easy. That was onrushpam's invention. I read the post yesterday and made it this morning. Threw it together, dug up the hosta and three red bricks, planted the rose bush, and when I came in, the cobbler was done. Overcooked, maybe. But it is so easy and appears to be so adaptable, it should allow for a lot of practice through the summer as different fruits come in.

                                2. re: yayadave

                                  According to her recipe there's no sugar on top. Plenty in the batter though.

                              2. re: onrushpam

                                I had some blackberries I wanted to use up, but not enough for this recipes, so I added some cut-up peaches. It came out well, but there was an off, almost bitter taste to the cobbler. I am trying to figure out what it could be, and I am wondering if maybe the cast iron fry pan had something residual on it that could have affected the taste? My DH and a guest liked it, but it was too bitter for my son, who didn't finish his. It was super easy to make for a last minute guest, so I would really love to figure out what happened! I had tasted both the peaches and the blackberries before I made the cobbler, so it wasn't the fruit.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  did the blackberries have their seeds? that can add bitterness. leavener can also add a metallic taste.

                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                    Yes. The blackberries were to be lightly crushed, so they did have their seeds in them. I used baking powder, the same as I always use in all my baked goods with no ill effect...

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      So that might be the problem - if you have ever chewed on blackberry or blackrasberry seeds, you will agree that they are bitter. Your son may be more sensitive, too.

                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                        Well, maybe. I frequently use blackberries in my yogurt, and I don't seed them first. In fact, that was what these blackberries were left over from, so I somehow think that I would have noticed when I ate them with the yogurt. But, who knows? Maybe the bitterness intensifies the older they are? They had been in the fridge a while...

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          this is still nagging me - i did a websearch and it seems like there is sometimes a bitterness problem with blackberries that is unrelated to seeds (seeds are prob more a problem with black raspberries) either some kinds are more bitter and many are bitter if they are picked too soon. So you may have had a particularly bitter batch. Re your son, maybe he is just one of those people extra sensitive to bitter flavors.

                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                            I usually buy blackberries at a local farm when they are in season and I have found many incidents of bitter berries. I've read that blackberries have wonderful natural anti-oxidant properties so I persist in buying them. A *little* extra sugar can't hurt all that much.... can it?
                                            (BTW: We use organic sugar.)

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              Thanks Jen, for investigating this problem. I have to say that it's been really bugging me too. I am extremely sensitive to bitter tastes -- even a broccoli rabe that everyone says is mild tastes unbelievably bitter to me. My son eats it like it's going out of style. This is why I am perplexed -- I think I would have noticed that the berries were bitter since I eat them in yogurt. I definitely knew what my son meant when he said the cobbler was bitter since I could taste it too. He tried putting more sugar on it, but it didn't help. Per the recipe, I baked the dessert in a cast iron pan, and I'm thinking that there may have been some residual something in the pan that caused the bitter taste. Neither my husband, Mr. Broccoli Rabe himself, nor our dinner guest, was disturbed by the bitter taste, though they both noted it.

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                i think blackberries can be astringent-bitter. that was my first thought. also, did you add enough sugar to the fruits? usually it takes more than you think you'll need, because cooking diminishes the natural sweetness.

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  Yes, ankapl,I did add enough sugar, and remember -- half of the fruit were peaches. My son also tried sprinkling more sugar on the cobbler, but it didn't alleviate the very bitter taste. It wasn't that it wasn't sweet, but that it had an underlying bitterness. I can't say that I have baked a lot with blackberries, so perhaps they do change when they're cooked, but somehow I think that a southern cook's recipe might acknowledge that fact in the recipe. But thanks for the thoughts, alkapal.

                                  2. re: onrushpam

                                    Five plus years later and I KINDA made this today. "Kinda" cause I used peaches instead of blackberries :) And it's great.

                                    The back story is that Saturday we smoked about 30 Roma tomatoes and lesser amounts of tomatillos and jalapenos. When the smoking part was done (40 minutes) we put four big peaches in for the cooking part. They picked up just the faintest hint of smoke and were super sweet.

                                    I'm not a baker AT ALL but looked in Ms. Willis' book and thought, hey, it's a cobbler, why not sub? I didn't have enough for a full recipe so halved it and used a small CI skillet. After 50 minutes it was done. And, as you can see from the pic, we had to sample it. Right? I'll be doing this again and again this summer.

                                  3. I have to say, I'm starting to think I need this book. For some reason, it's currently not enough for me to be intrigued by (a) Elizabeth David and (b) British Cooking, but now I'm becoming fascinated by Southern cooking as well, which, actually, has interesting resemblances to (b).

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      I started flipping through my copy from the library and she seems to be a very knowledgeable cook, a lot of the recipes call to me, spurred on by the spirited enthusiasm on this board. I don't want to return! I re-requested.

                                      I considered purchasing for myself, but ended up purchasing for my friend who is in SW Virginia, so she can get White Lily flour and country ham in the local supermarket (I'm jealous; they were out of White Lily when I visited). I also purchased for her Oseland's book since she was asking how she would use the candlenuts we purchased together and split.
                                      (I also sent her Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking since she has a couple weeks off to read, and has a young child -- how to disguise vegetables and this book as a whole is a classic, IMHO)
                                      I have been trying to restrain my cookbook purchasing. But I think I'll order BYA from ecookbooks once I find another book I can't live without to get free shipping.

                                      1. re: NYchowcook

                                        I love Laurie Colwin's books - including her novels. I have about 8 pounds of White Lily flour in the freezer - just made biscuits, fried chicken and coleslaw for dinner last night. And a coconut cake.

                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                          Mmm Mmm MMRuth!
                                          I wish you were my friend and neighbor so I could ask for a dinner invite. You're quite an intrepid cook!

                                          What coconut cake did you make?
                                          I'd love to know more about your recipe source for your dinner!

                                          1. re: NYchowcook

                                            Thanks ... I consider my fellow Home Cooking CHs my friends - and, actually, my entire menu was based on recipes/cookbooks I've found on CH.

                                            I started with this thread for the Coconut Cake, but used the Charleston Receipts recipe for the cake and tinkered a bit, as I was using 7" pans. I'm going to post another thread to get some advice on the cake baking. Here's the thread, and if you scroll down, I posted some photos of both my husband cracking the coconut for me, and the cake itself.


                                            The Fried Chicken was from an Edna Lewis recipe, that Moh paraphrased for me here somewhere. We had a sparkling wine with the fried chicken, which was also a Moh suggestion on the boards. The biscuits are the Touch of Grace ones by Shirley Corriher:


                                            The coleslaw was from Suzanne Goin's book, and I made "Orange Things" as cocktails, from Frank Stitt's The Southern Table (Vodka, Orange Juice, Triple Sec).

                                          2. re: MMRuth

                                            Huh! Funny, I just picked up copies of Colwin's Home Cooking and More Home Cooking! I've had the latter for a couple of months, but didn't feel right reading it first! HA!


                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                              Where did you get the White Lily? I did an internet search recently, and I could not find a place to get it. What I found was combo packs of other types of flour. Is it available in NYC?

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                I bought it in Virginia last year. Haven't seen it in NYC, but will keep my eyes open.

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  Here are some internet sources:

                                                  (You might want to try those boiled peanuts -- I bought some when I was in Virginia -- they're great!



                                                  1. re: NYchowcook

                                                    Thanks! Those definitely were not there when I googled last time. I will bookmark them. MMRuth, the Balduccis here in Westchester used to have White Lily, but stopped carrying it, and since then I have been unable to find a local source.

                                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                                      They sell those peanuts here and I keep them on hand for when I can't find green peanuts to boil myself. I really like them.

                                                2. re: NYchowcook

                                                  Oh - and I bought some very nice Virginia Ham at Citarella to flavour the shortening/lard in which I fried the chicken.

                                                3. re: MMRuth

                                                  MM I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how tasty and homey the finished dishes from these recipes are. It's food that satisfies on many levels. Ingredients are readily available. Preparation is not stressful. Ms Willis seems to have taken the essential elements of southern cooking and refined them using her French training. It reminds me of lazy days down south... perfect for lazy summer days up north.

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    Gio, that was my sense in reading through the book -- Southern cooking elevated to (semi-refined) French standards -- but non-fussy.
                                                    The book seems to work as a whole too -- I want to try everything!

                                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                                      I'm one who took it from the library and then decided I had to buy it. I think the only other book that has happened with was during Vietnamese month (I bought both!). That said, a lot of the books I've just gone ahead and bought because I wanted them anyway, before we even cooked from them. But this one is a winner.

                                                  2. re: MMRuth

                                                    thats not irrational. The south is a much more solidly traditional part of america, and the traditions (except for creole, african-influenced etc) carried forward are mostly from the British Isles. The simple fruit desserts, for example are essentially british in origin.

                                                  3. I made New Southern Chicken and Herb Dumplings, p. 236, last night - we all liked it quite a bit.

                                                    I used one pound of boneless breast and one pound of boneless thighs, because I rarely have boneless breasts in the freezer. I did buy a Vidalia onion for the recipe, but I used regular spinach, rather than the way more expensive baby spinach.

                                                    My dumplings were probably golf ball size (if I can remember what size a golf ball is!) - next time I'll make them ping pong ball sized. I wasn't thinking about all the baking powder when I grabbed the cookie scoop I used. Next time it'll be a smaller one. Regardless - they absorbed the delicious broth nicely and were a lovely mouthful.

                                                    This went together quickly and almost thoughtlessly and, as I said, we all really enjoyed it. I'll certainly be making this recipe again.

                                                    1. Coca-Cola-Glazed Baby Back Ribs (p. 79)

                                                      This *seemed* like a good idea for indoor baked ribs -- make a marinade by heating up and reducing coca-cola, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and a hot pepper (I used a firey hot fresh red pepper subbing for the Scotch bonnet). I subbed a natural cherry cola since I had it left over from a party w/ kids. That wasn't the problem, IMO. (her chicken wings w/ similar marinade earned her an award -- see p. 24)

                                                      I took out the ribs to warm up, added S&P to let them sit and come to room temp. Bake at 325 degrees, basting w/ marinade occasionally. They were supposed to start to pull off the bone, which they did not. I cooked longer. Maybe that was my mistake. Stuck under broiler as directed, but the time directed was too long, and I burned those previously lovely ribs. I ended up with little tender succulent meat. Surface burnt, meat mostly tough.

                                                      I wonder if it would be a better technique to cover the ribs in foil for the early part so they can steam and prevent the drying out I experienced.

                                                      The flavors of the marinade were surprisingly good (and fortunately no cherry flavor came through from my natural cherry cola, as I had feared!). The technique was the problem.

                                                      I'm not giving up on these, and hope Gio or others will give it a go and help me with the technique.

                                                      Oh! and I served with Rob's famous coleslaw from Goin summer per MMRuth's inspired & inspiring meal posting. That was part was great -- I posted on the Goin board.

                                                      11 Replies
                                                      1. re: NYchowcook

                                                        Good Morning NYC...

                                                        Sorry the ribs had the unfortunate finish you described. I am indeed going to make these ribs... this Friday night, in fact. The recipe is on the menu along with her Smoky Collard Greens,,,and one other dish from the book. I'm way behind in my cooking due to the ten days after my accident when I took time off to recuperate. Still not 100% but I'm looking forward to making the meal as I have never had collard greens.....Will report back!

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Never Had Collard Greens. Now, that is a sad tale, indeed -- but soon to be remedied! I love collards.

                                                          I looked up her recipe and see she calls for smoked salt. Good idea. Do you have that? I don't (yet) and generally chop up some bacon and cook first before throwing in the collards. She gets fancy with the chiffonade (must be her French cooking training!) ; in the past I just tear or cut roughly, removing stems.

                                                          Good luck with the ribs. I might suggest you try covering with foil for the first half at least so you don't repeat my disappointment at their being dry. And watch them under the broiler! The marinade has a lot of sugar which burns quickly! Next time I think I would broil further from the flame, and watch like a hawk so they don't burn.

                                                          Hope you're soon 100% -- both feeling well and spending lots of time back in the kitchen!

                                                          1. re: NYchowcook

                                                            I don't have the smoked salt but plan to use smoked pancetta. That should do it, I think. Can't wait to make the collards! The bunch I have in the fridge look so fresh. I love to chiffonade, and actually slice leafy veggies that way any chance I get especially when I make slaws and some salads.

                                                            As for the ribs, we don't drink sodas of any kind so buying coke for the dish is going to be strange but I'll do it for the cause. I'll definitely take your advice about using the foil...sounds like a good idea to me.

                                                        2. re: NYchowcook

                                                          Coca-Cola-Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Pg. 79

                                                          Made these last night but... used country style ribs some with bone and some boneless. They were in the freezer and really needed to be used up. Thawed them over the previous night in the fridge. The basting sauce was made by reducing classic coke, 5 chopped serrano chiles, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. DH was in charge of basting and really paid attention. After the required 30 minute bake the ribs looked roasted and the aroma in the kitchen was sweetly pungent. We did not use foil nor did we broil for the finish. They were absolutely delicious! Loved the sauce and I can see using it with other meat. Especially chicken on the Weber. Served with the Mayonnaise Biscuits, pg. 206 and the Heart Healthy Cole Slaw, pg. 42. What a wonderful dinner! Very flavorful and satisfying on many levels.

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            Do you think you could grill these ribs Gio? It's lovely weather in the UK right now and so we're planning on breaking out the Weber.

                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                              Honestly, greedygirl, I don't know. The basting sauce has that coke in it and I'd be afraid of charing the ribs. But I'll tell you that sometimes I roast a chicken or turkey on a rack in a roasting pan in the Weber. So perhaps if you treated the Weber as an oven and roasted them with indirect heat, then yes. Also, you could take a few out and then grill them on the grill rack to mimic the finish done under the oven broiler.

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                The trick is the indirect heat with the coals on the sides. You don't need a roasting pan. With ribs or chicken parts, I've just piled them in the center of the rack and moved them around a few times.

                                                                1. re: yayadave

                                                                  Thanks Dave... I must be too cautious a griller.

                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                  Gio, I am so very pleased your ribs came out well for you (well, okay, also envious!)
                                                                  Perhaps one difference between your success and my disaster (leaving aside incompetence on my part) could be I used baby backs and t'ain't much meat on 'em.

                                                                  I would not attempt this recipe on the grill -- there's too much sugar in the marinade to burn -- as mine did under the broiler. I'm still scrubbing my pan and roasting rack days later! If anything, I would use Weber as an oven in effect by placing ribs in an aluminum pan over indirect heat. Not directly on the grill, or you'll be singing my sad tale of woe of burnt ribs!

                                                            2. re: NYchowcook

                                                              Hi there - Hope this finds you well. Please do try these ribs again - they are fantastic, really.
                                                              I actually don't like them falling off the bone and prefer a little something to gnaw on! But just cook them longer and foil is a great idea. The trouble with broilers is that they can vary so much with intensity. I promise you'll like them if you give them another shot. Let me know what you think!

                                                              Want to say thanks again to everyone for cooking my book. It's such an honor you have no idea. I call it my carrot!

                                                              Actually procrastinating by writing here now and NOT working on the proposal for my second book. Sigh.

                                                              Thanks again - Best VA


                                                              1. re: virginia willis

                                                                Nice to "see" you here again Ms Willis. A Second Book??? I can hardly wait.
                                                                Many thanks for your comments. They are much appreciated and help us be to better home cooks. Curiously, today I spent an hour or two reading through several chapters in your book because I had bookmarked some recipes to make during the Summer when certain vegetables here in the north are at their prime from now until September.

                                                                Thank you for popping in again!

                                                            3. Smoky Collard Greens, Pg. 197

                                                              This was the first time I ate collard greens and I loved them. Sweet, a little salty and smoky from the pancetta I used instead of the smoked salt called for. I have found an online source for the smoked salt, though, so I'll be making this delicious recipe again.

                                                              In a bit of canola oil a chopped Vidalia onion is sauteed for about 5 minutes, then a finely chopped clove of garlic is added and cooked for a minute. A medium bunch of collard greens which have been washed and sliced into a very thin chiffonade is added to the pot along with smoked salt, apple cider vinegar and 4 cups of water... the mixture is seasoned with FGBpepper. The pan is covered and the greens are cooked for 25 minutes.

                                                              Note: I added the chopped smoked pancetta after the onion and before the garlic. I thought it turned out well but I'm interested to see how the smoked salt will change the flavor of the dish. Absolutely a lovely introduction to this very southern dish.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                I made these last night and had a few problems with the recipe, probably down to the substitutions I had to make. Firstly, collard greens don't exist in the UK, so I used spring greens, which I believe are closely related. Secondly, I couldn't find any smoked salt in my neighbourhood, and was feeling too lazy to go to Borough Market to search for some, so I improvised and used a couple of thin slices of lardo which I placed in a hot pan to render the fat. I figured that would give the greens the requisite smoky flavour (it didn't). I also thought four cups of water was way too much liquid and there was no chance of all the water boiling off. So I removed a bit of the water and let the greens cook with the lid off rather than covered.

                                                                In retrospect, I think I should have trusted the recipe a bit more and perhaps it would have turned out better. The greens were fine, but took ages to cook and they were nothing special. They needed a lot of seasoning and I added a bit of crushed red pepper to make them a bit more exciting.

                                                                I love spring greens and get a lot of them at this time of year, so I'm going to locate some smoked salt and try again. Does anyone know if spring greens are a good sub for collard greens? They certainly look similar.

                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                  Can you get swiss chard there? I think that'd be a good substitute. My father's side is from the south and no one I know there ever used smoked salt. They only used bacon, ham or smoked ham hock. Be sure to cut and discard that hard core in the middle of the chard leaf.

                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                    From the name "spring greens" it seems they are not really a substitute for collards. Collards are hearty and kind of tough, and need to be cooked some time and show their glory cooked with pork products.
                                                                    What I know as spring greens or mixed braising greens are mustard, chard, baby kale, etc. They are tender and take to a short saute with only a bit of garlic and maybe a squeeze of lemon. Mature kale might work, but I think you're swimming upstream with substitutions for collards in this recipe. My two cents.

                                                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                      Agreed. Spring greens sound much too tender. Collards are thick and relatively tough and stand up to a long period of cooking.

                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                        Spring greens are a specific type of green - they're not tender as the name suggests but quite robust, a bit like cabbage leaves. Certainly nothing like baby greens.

                                                                        Wikipedia says spring greens are extremely similar genetically to both collard greens and kale, so I guess they're not a bad substitution. Apparently they're called spring greens because their tolerance of cold winters means they yield a plentiful crop in the Spring. Who knew?

                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                          Ah, another translation from the other side of the pond!
                                                                          (with apologies for being so US-centric!)

                                                                    2. re: greedygirl

                                                                      if you don't use the bacon salt, try streaky bacon, and don't forget to add salt. collards (or spring greens -- which are like kale) need quite a bit of salt.

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        I did notice that - kept adding and adding salt!

                                                                  2. Louisiana Dirty Rice, Pg. 159

                                                                    The second of two firsts for me last night was this wonderful dish. I always wanted to make this but just never got around to it... I'm certainly glad I finally did!

                                                                    We had a considerable amount of leftover Jasmine rice from 2 nights ago so used that. Into a large skillet go some canola oil, chopped red onion, chopped poblano, and chopped celery stalk. This is sprinkled with Creole Seasoning (pg. 287) and sauteed for about 7-ish minutes.. " till the vegetables start to color." I had made the seasoning last month for another dish and still have a good amount left. It adds a wonderful spicy element to many dishes.

                                                                    1 cup coarsely chopped chicken livers are then added and cooked for 8 minutes then 2 minced garlic cloves are added and all is cooked for a minute. Cooked rice, chicken stock, and bay leaf are now added and cooked till rice is tender for about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add if necessary. Chopped green onion is added and mixed into the rice.

                                                                    This was wonderful. Full of flavor and a great accompaniment to the Smoky Collard Greens. Tonight it's the Baby Back Ribs NYChowhound made a few nights ago. Looking forward to that!

                                                                    1. Mama's Mayonnaise Biscuits, Pg. 206

                                                                      I haven't baked in such a long time....did make a fruit cobbler last year when Deborah Madison was COTM, but that's not nearly what I used to do. And, these biscuits are so easy, quick, simple and delicious there's no reason not to make them regularly. 2 cups of self-rising flour are needed and Ms Willis gives a recipe for that which I used instead of store bought SRF. The mayo used is only 3 T and I used TJ's organic. 1 cup of whole milk (I used 2% milk) and a bit of sugar completes the ingredient list. All is combined and either scooped by the spoonful into an oiled muffin tin or dropped onto a baking sheet. I used the muffin tin. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Let them cool slightly then serve..... with butter...MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        I really enjoyed these too, although mine didn't look anywhere near as pretty as the ones in the book. Did yours turn out looking like the ones in the photo?

                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                          HAH.... absolutely not. ( I Thought you had made them but I just couldn't find your post.) I didn't care though. They were delicious. The muffin tin I used must be at least 50 years old by now. Time to buy a new one, I guess, though that probably doesn't have anything to do with the looks of the finished biscuit. G said a few stuck "a little" but none were burnt. I'll just have to practice. LOL. I hope I'm not wasting away to a ton.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            Made these yesterday. It works with Gold Medal self-rising flour. I couldn't find the muffin tins, so I used the old cookie maker's two tablespoons method of "shaping." I can't get over how good they were. Wait'll I practice.

                                                                            1. re: yayadave

                                                                              So.... were yours picture perfect? I really don't think it matters, tho. They're delicious!

                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                Kinda small and flat. But they were just fine with butter and jelly with eggs for breakfast. Next time, I'll just make bigger lumps on my pizza pan.

                                                                                You didn't mention that the first Vermont Kitchens was hand-written!!

                                                                                1. re: yayadave

                                                                                  I forgot that the first VK was hand written..... did you buy the book ? I used it last week to make a baked halibut recipe that's my easy-peasy-don't-feel-like-cookin' dish.

                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                    I found/bot both books and now need new book shelves. And BAY, too. Nice book, but I can't get any co-operation for eating what I cook around here. The recipe for Grits with Corn and Vidalia Onion on page 156 looks promising. I thought it could use the addition of some crab meat and Tabasco. Or leave out the Tabasco and add it to the biscuits. But in my planning, I scaled back to adding poached chicken left from the broccoli salad. But it disappeared from the 'fridge. Maybe I'll jest have to revise that to using the rest of the bacon and adding some spinach leaves. Phew!

                                                                                    Speaking of dressing things up, do you suppose there is a Penzey Island off the coast of Georgia where Penzey's Traditional Old South Seasonings come from?

                                                                                    1. re: yayadave

                                                                                      Not island off the coast of Georgia - but there may be one in the middle of Milwaukee Wisconson, which is where Penzey's founded in 1957.

                                                                                      And, what do you mean you get no co-operation regarding the food you cook? Doesn't your family realize all the time and effort you spend cooking great food fo them??

                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                        I donno, we're both adding Penzey's spices to our southern recipes, so they must be authentic southern cooking.

                                                                                        I know there's a mis-placed word somewhere in your last sentence. I'm workin' on it.

                                                                                        1. re: yayadave

                                                                                          You do cook "fo" your family, don't you? Hmmmmmmmmm?

                                                                      2. Heart Healthy Cole Slaw, Pg. 42

                                                                        Considering the ribs and muffins I had planned for dinner last night, I thought something with the word healthy in the title would be most appropriate. This is very nice slaw with green cabbage, green bell pepper, Vidalia onion (yay! they're in the market now) and the dressing made with a little sugar, S & P, dry mustard and celery seed, canola oil and white vinegar. A really light and tasty accompaniment for the ribs and muffins.

                                                                        1. Oven Fried Chicken Breasts with Pecan Crust

                                                                          This is the first recipe I've made from the book that I didn't care for. OTOH, DH loved it! So, I don't think there's anything wrong with the recipe. I think it's just individual taste.

                                                                          I made the Vidalia Onion Dressing and didn't much care for it. But, I'd already drizzled a fair bit of it on my chicken. Bleh. DH liked it.

                                                                          I took half a left-over chicken beast for lunch today and sliced up over a salad. It was really good! So, I think I like the chicken recipe, just don't care for the dressing/sauce.

                                                                          1. Broccoli and Grape Tomato Salad, Pg. 54

                                                                            Absolutely Loved this salad! It was a side dish for baked tilapia but easily could be a main dish salad, especially during the summer.

                                                                            Four slices of thick cut bacon cut into lardons are fried for about 6-ish minutes then transfered to a paper lined plate. Broccoli is cut into florets and boiled till not quite tender.. (I steamed it) Broccoli is then drained and plunged into an ice bath to stop the cooking, drain again and tranfser to a paper lined plate to cool. In the meantime, wash and halve 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes and very thinly slice 1/2 red onion. As I worked with these vegetables I put them into a salad bowl, seasoned with a bit of sea salt and tossed to combine. When the broccoli has cooled down add to the salad bowl, sprinkle with S & P and toss together gently.

                                                                            For the dressing: whisk 2 T sherry vinegar and 1 very finely minced clove of garlic together. (I pressed 2 cloves) Then add 1/4 cup EVOO in a slow thin stream whisking all the while. Continue whisking till the dressing is creamy and emulsified. Taste before serving and correct if necessary.

                                                                            Just before serving drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss, taste and reseason if necessary and add the lardons. This was delicious. I think it would be wonderful with cauliflower as well. I'm tempted to use a couple of anchovies next time... there will certainly be many next times in the next few months.

                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              When I do broccoli or cauliflower for a salad like this, I put it in a colander and pour boiling water from my teakettle over it, pausing a couple of times to stir/shake the veg around. Then, just let it cool on its own. It always comes out perfect and no need for the ice bath step.

                                                                              1. re: onrushpam

                                                                                Now THAT is a great little time saving tip. Thank you.

                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                I have abandoned the par-boiling for broccoli salad, and think it's better just cut up. Mayonnaise, bacon or raisins, mayo, vinegar, S&P. The liquid seems to soften up the broccoli just fine and it doesn't get mushy like it does with boiling (even briefly).

                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                  I'm not admittin' nuthin, but ...

                                                                                  This works with frozen mixed vegetables (only not as good as fresh, I'm sure)
                                                                                  This works with slices of poached chicken breast added
                                                                                  Balsamic vinegar does not work
                                                                                  Diced cheddar adds nothing
                                                                                  It seems a shame to not use some of that good bacon grease in the dressing (Is VA being PC and Health Conscious?)
                                                                                  If you were to add the chicken, you may as well add some Herbes de Provence. (That's traditional in the South, right?)

                                                                                  1. re: yayadave

                                                                                    Wellllll..... I made the salad again tonight but made a slight right turn. Used cauliflower instead of broccoli. Used 1/2 huge white onion. Used an aggressive amount of Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle plus Kosher salt & FGBpepper. Used red wine vinegar + EVOO..

                                                                                    Just let me tell you...........It was fantastic and will be a very good addition to Summer cook-outs whichever veggie combo one uses.

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      The frozen vegetables I had were mostly broccoli and cauliflower. But at this time of year, if I wanted both, I could get fresh. Some yellow squash of zucchini would not be a bad addition.

                                                                                      I used half bacon drippins and half olive oil for the dressing. I'm sure red wine vinegar would have been much better than balsamic vinegar. If I had found a bottle of wine that had been opened a couple of weeks ago, it probably would have been better. TeeHee

                                                                                      The biscuits go well with this salad.

                                                                                      1. re: yayadave

                                                                                        Forgot to add that I included the tiniest, sweetest grape tomatoes and once again used pancetta instead of bacon. Simply delicious. I'm making a fish dish tomnght from the COTM but I think the Mayonnaise Biscuits will go well with the dish.....

                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          Think about a dash of Tabasco in the biscuits with fish. No wonder I'm a lousy cook; I can't leave a recipe alone.

                                                                                          1. re: yayadave

                                                                                            "Dash of Tabasco." Check. I love tobasco.

                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              Made those again last night and added Penzey's Parisien Bonnes Herbes (salt free). About the amount that fills the gully in the middle of a cupped hand; might have been 1 1/2 t. The herbes didn't smack you in the eye; the biscuits just tasted good. I know that's authentic, y'all.

                                                                                              1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                Ooooh, I like this idea. These bisquits are so easy to make, and adding the herbs sounds like it would shake things up a bit.

                                                                                    2. re: yayadave

                                                                                      yayadave, you're too funny when you write: "you may as well add some Herbes de Provence. (That's traditional in the South, right?)"

                                                                                  2. Okay y'all can just prepare to turn green with envy (unless you live in my part of the world)...

                                                                                    Classic Coleslaw is in the fridge (cabbage from the farmers market), waiting to accompany a couple of little soft-shell crabbies and some red grouper. I'm gonna fry 'em because I'm just not in the mood for health food! :-) Oh, and the farmers market also yeided some pole beans and little bitty new potatoes. I may do those tonight.

                                                                                    I got a little basket of the first peaches from an organic farm up the road. We'll have Virginia's version of the cuppa-cuppa-cuppa cobbler tomorrow, when our unofficially-adopted daughter will be visiting.

                                                                                    Waiting in the wings for later in the week... a quart of the year's first fresh baby butter beans! They were $7 the quart, but I couldn't resist their little green goodness! They'll be dinner, along with a teensy cast iron skillet of buttermilk cornbread. My long-time favorite recipe for it is pretty much the same as what's in the book. There are some Southern recipes that just don't vary much from one kitchen to another. I just make a half recipe to fit my tiny skillet and it's just right for the two of us.

                                                                                    I was going to make the Shrimp and Grits recipe last night, but found my grits were full of nasty weevils. EEEW! So, I subbed a shrimp and orzo recipe I found on epicurious. It was excellent, quick and easy! New grits were purchased today and that one is on the list for real soon!

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: onrushpam

                                                                                      Well - ya got me. I'm impressed. Could not get to the market today because my computer is doomed (it is 6 years old after all) so spent the day with my techy and finally relented and ordered a new one. Due in the next 2-ish weeks. That's my story....

                                                                                      Love that you have all those wonderful fresh ingredients at the ready. DH & I decided that this cookbook is one of the best family friendly books we have ever cooked from.

                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                        Well, those little crabbies were just Heaven on a plate! Their shells were so soft they nearly disentegrated in the cooking. I made the Country Remoulade, and we really enjoyed it. We found it just a bit too tart, so I stirred in just a pinch of sugar.

                                                                                        I used the Huspuppy recipe from the book, instead of my old stand-by. I did use the leftover fishfry breading, instead of straight cornmeal It was not the brand I usually buy and had a fair bit of cayenne in it. So, those pups had some bite! I really liked the lightness the beer gave them. My usual recipe calls for buttermilk.

                                                                                        So far, I haven't found a single loser amid the pages of this book.

                                                                                      2. re: onrushpam

                                                                                        pole beans and little bitty new potatoes

                                                                                        i'd be happy with those for a dinner sometime! pole beans cooked with some rendered bacon, and the new potatoes simply boiled, then buttered with salt. oh. my. goodness.

                                                                                      3. Got some frozen crayfish today at WFs. So, the ettouffe is in my future. Very excited.

                                                                                        1. Meme's Cornmeal Griddle Cakes pg 216

                                                                                          Did my precious butterbeans for dinner tonight, but did not follow BAY'A for those... did 'em in my good homemade chicken stock with a few leftover pieces of ham I had in the freezer. They were AWESOME!

                                                                                          I showed DH the recipe for the griddle cakes and he said to try 'em in place of our usual cornbread. The last ones I cooked were good. The first ones suffered because I didn't interpret "soupy but not watery" correctly.

                                                                                          I was using some great, fairly coarse, stone ground cornmeal. Methinks the recipe is based on typical store-bought cornmeal. I needed quite a bit more liquid than the 1 C water called for in the recipe. Once I got the batter thinned enough, the last few cakes I made were great. The others were too thick and didn't crisp enough. It's one of those recipes that takes a little practice to get right.

                                                                                          All-in-all it was a good, quick after work dinner... fresh butterbeans, tomatoes from a friend's garden and the griddle cakes!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: onrushpam

                                                                                            griddlecakes? i think you need a finer cornmeal.

                                                                                            and pam, i so envy you those beau-ti-ful fresh veggies you're getting.

                                                                                          2. Country Captain Chicken (p. 103)

                                                                                            I've had my eye on this recipe for a while, and finally got around to making it. It calls for curry powder (madras), cumin, cayenne, paprika, tumeric, and a little cinnamon. Chicken is cooked with chopped red and green peppers (I subbed a yellow for the green since I had it), vidalia onion and garlic. Add can of whole tomatoes and a cup of yellow raisins. We all liked this a lot. It reminded my husband of butter chicken and it reminded me slightly of sweet and sour chicken. My only change next time would be to cut way back on the raisins - a little goes a long way with the sweet for me, but this was still delicious, a nice blend of spicy and sweet. She recommends serving it with rice, but I served it over grits. Another very easy and tasty recipe from this book. Garnished with sliced toasted almonds (I was out of the parsley so skipped that).

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              I've always enjoyed country captain chicken, though the recipes I'm familiar with all include chopped tart apple. One of my favorite chicken soups is based on the flavors of this dish: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                            2. I've just spent a while browsing through this "...Y'All" thread--sounds like y'all are havin' a very good time! Two questions for any of you-- Is "smothered" a Southern cooking term particularly? And are any of you familiar with Lee Bailey? http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/17/nyr...

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                Wouldn't begin to try to discuss the origins of "smothered," but I was there when Lee Bailey was the Martha Stewart of the day. His "Country Weekends" was the must-have book for anyone hoping to entertain in the Hamptons with any panache. And for you who have never heard of him, I don't use the Martha Stewart analogy lightly. He cooked, he decorated, he did things with class. At least, what passed for class in the day (and among those who aspired to it). I think he even sold sheets and tablecloths. Someone might want to check me on that.

                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                  JoanN, I wasn't "there" in his heyday (almost, not quite!) But somehow I acquired one of his books-- "Good Parties"-- and was hooked. Just one of many menus--"Make-Ahead Dinner": Veal Shanks, Onion Bread Pudding, Green Pea Salad, Date Tart with Cream. Every one a keeper! That particular menu favors cooler weather-- he covers the whole year -- 8 pages of knock-out raspberry recipes & lots more. Now I have all his books, he's really why I began cooking as a primary interest, not just a necessity. I'd like to nominate him for COTM, but I'm afraid he'd be considered too lightweight?
                                                                                                  BTW, according to his obit, he had a store and design company, but it doesn't seem that his name was actually on products.

                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                    I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of him before, but it doesn't *sound* like he'd be too lightweight. Sounds like something I could get behind.
                                                                                                    Edit: it does look like his books are no longer in print, which might be a problem as a COTM.

                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                      Jessica's Biscuit has his books:

                                                                                                      I might be interested in his books too.... and.... I have heard of him.

                                                                                              2. I made the Pound Cake and it's the closest I've come to my mother's. And the first time I've made a non all-butter pound cake -- hmmm.... Very moist, great texture, with a sugary crust.

                                                                                                1. ASAP: hey y'all, greedy girl over in england needs your advice on the BAY brownies: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/633650#

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                    I made them and they were fantastic - some of the best brownies I've ever made. I used 70% dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate (which we don't have in England anyway) and they were just perfect - dense and fudgy with an intense chocolatey hit. The recipe says to bake for 25-35 mins - I took mine out after 25 mins and they were exactly the right texture - any longer and I think they would have been dry and crumbly.

                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                      greedy girl, congratulations on your fantastic feast!

                                                                                                      ps, here's a head start on your carnitas. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/285263


                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                        GG, I'm sorry I wasn't "there" to help you...
                                                                                                        'course I wouldn't have been much help since I know next to nothing about chocolate. But, I would have first commiserated then head straight to Google. Alkapal was Alka on the Spot, thank heavens.

                                                                                                    2. The pork tenderloin "pulled pork" is excellent and dead easy (salt and pepper the tenderloin, sear it, put it on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, roll it in 1 cup barbecue sauce, wrap it up and bake at 350 for 45 mins appx - unwrap, discard the cooking juices - or not, I didn't - shred with 2 forks - I would cut it across the middle first to decrease the length of the shreds and add more barbecue sauce. Serve on rolls with coleslaw (I winged one with cabbage, green onions, sliced radishes, and a mustardy olive oil vinaigrette). Heap tasty and a lot less fatty than pork shoulder. Based on this first go, love this book.

                                                                                                      1. Black-eyed pea salad, p34

                                                                                                        We loved this simple and healthy salad - so much so that I'm going to make it again today for a picnic!

                                                                                                        I used leftover sweetcorn that had been part barbecued and finished off in the oven, but she calls for three ears of freshly boiled corn, cooked for 2-3 minutes then refreshed in icy water. I cut the corn off the cob and combined it with a large tin of black-eyed peas (we call them beans here - and fresh aren't available), two chopped, seeded tomatoes (I subbed cherry toms, cut in half), a chopped onion, finely chopped celery, garlic and basil. The dressing is 2T of cider vinegar, 1t dijon and 1/4 cup of canola oil. Season to taste.

                                                                                                        I think the secret to this is using fresh corn - it's a faff, but the flavour of the corn really stood out. Yummy. Mr GG loved it so much he ate nearly all the leftovers - much to my chagrin!

                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                          By a large tin, do you mean one around 15oz?

                                                                                                          1. re: ChrisKC

                                                                                                            Probably - one that's double the size of a regular can.

                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              I guess your cans are probably different. 15 oz would be a regular size can. Thanks, that helps a lot!

                                                                                                              1. re: ChrisKC

                                                                                                                You're right, sorry. Just bought another can to make this salad again and it's 28 oz (undrained).

                                                                                                          2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                            I seem to run a year late on these threads. I kinda-sorta made this last night. I had corn tomatoes, Vidalias and basil. The only b-e peas I had were dried so it wasn't b-e-p salad, but still. So made it omitting the celery and garlic. Didn't add garlic cause I just thought with all that vegetable freshness, that's all I wanted to taste. And I went with the mayo as Virginia sometimes does cause tomatoes DO seem to cry out for mayo, don't they? This was fantastic. I have about a cup left which will probably make a mid-afternoon snack.

                                                                                                            ETA: just had a bite of the leftover salad. It might even be better! I know that cooking corn for that short time is the way to go. I read years ago that corn doesn't really need cooking, just warming.

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              Good for you, CO. I find that most dishes taste way better the next day.

                                                                                                              The corn cooking time is get the water boiling, husk the corn, plunge corn in boiling salted water. Turn off heat. Remove corn from water. Eat. (Season if you must.)

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                My daddy used to say that if I died before him (I didn't),he was going to bury me; he was going to have me stuffed with black-eyed peas. So I WILL be cooking the magilla soon.

                                                                                                                Yeah, I think people make a huge mistake when they "cook" corn.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  This book is really the perfect cookbook for the Summertime. All the vegetables from farmer's markets and farm stands are available in abundance. The weather ihas been perfect for the farmers in my area. Most. if not all of them. have their own irrigation ponds so a week or two without rain doesn't seem to matter. We pick up our CSA share this morning and I can't wait to see what we'll have. It's supposed to be very HHH here for the next few days so I think this week-end will be a Bon Appetit Y'All weekend, even though I did plan for some of current COTM recipes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    does HHH stand for "hades-hellish hot?" (aka hazy, hot & humid)

                                                                                                                    it does here in d.c. yesterday, while driving, my car's outside thermometer registered 103º at 1 pm.

                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                      good old DC summers. Believe it or not, I think back fondly on them. Of course I now live further south ... still, never as humid here as it gets in DC.

                                                                                                                      More on topic, I really should get back into this book. As Gio says, it really is perfect for summer. And despite my problems with the dumplings, the chicken and dumplings was a huge hit with the rest of the family.

                                                                                                          3. Tipsy watermelon salad, p51

                                                                                                            Tipsy by name, tipsy by nature! This was a wonderfully refreshing, if alcholic, end to a BBQ party.

                                                                                                            Take one 6lb watermelon and remove the flesh using an ice cream scoop. This was a pain and I'd probably just chop it into chunks next time. Easier to remove the seeds that way too. The dressing is made from a cup of lemon juice, whisked with 2/3 cup of sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, add 1/2 cup of vodka, 1/3 cup of creme de cassis and a pinch of salt. Chill for at least an hour and sprinkle with fresh mint when ready to serve.

                                                                                                            She says the creme de cassis elevates this dish to the "extraordinary" and I'd agree with that. Next time I'll try creme de mure, or maybe rose syrup for a less alcoholic twist. Recommended - but strictly for grown-ups!

                                                                                                            25 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              Tipsy Watermelon Salad, Pg. 51

                                                                                                              Great recipe using everyone's favorite Summer fruit. Gorgeous sweet watermelon plus a little bit of vodka and creme de cassis. My first time with the cassis and I have to say I loved the flavor and I usually don't like anything too sweet. It's made with black currents and dates back to the 16th century. It was first produced by French monks as a cure for snakebites, jaundice, and wretchedness.

                                                                                                              There was certainly no wretchedness at Casa G & G last night after imbibing - I mean eating - this delightfully refreshing salad. I halved the recipe and chopped the melon in chunks. Greedygirl described the recipe above. The salad is supposed to be served in a bowl made from the ring, as my mother used to do in fact, but our melon was a quarter of a whole one and wouldn't have held it. A bowl worked just fine. We didn't find the salad too sweet at all. Just lovely flavors of melon, cassis, and mint.

                                                                                                              Now that I have the creme de cassis in the liquor cabinet i'll have to find other recipes, or drinks, to use it. My brother liked a Kir Royale which is cassis and champagne. I had never tasted it. I didn't know what I was missing.

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                We drink a lot of kir in our house as an aperitif, either with sparking wine or white wine. My favourite is actually creme de mure (blackberries). I'm actually making some right now using a Diana Henry recipe. There's a lovely gin-based cocktail called a Bramble that uses it.

                                                                                                                Definitely cures wretchedness ime!

                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                  I love the bittersweet aperitif Punt e Mes over ice with a twist of lemon. I can see where the creme de cassis might just take it's placed. Thanks for the creme de mure reference, GG..

                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                    Love creme de cassis, in a kir or drizzled over a bowl of berries or on vanilla ice cream. I am also a big fan of creme de peche, which makes a lovely aperitif in a glass of dry rosé. I also like it in desserts with peaches, nectarines, or apricots.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                      I've also got Creme de violette and Creme de framboise, both of which I've yet to try. We clearly need to drink more!

                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                        I've only ever had creme de violette in a classic Aviation cocktail (gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and the c-d-v), which is a good thing.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                          Curious if anyone has any idea why this is called an Aviation.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                            Here you go:

                                                                                                                            "The Aviation first appeared in print in a book by New York barman Hugo Ensslin in 1916. The drink called for London Dry Gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and a Crème de Violette as there were a few at that time. The drinks name, The Aviation, was an honor to the burgeoning era of flight that was, literally, taking off at that time. The Wright Brothers first flight was only a handful of years before and it was a time of flight races, barnstormers and air shows. Men had their feet on the ground but their heads in the clouds. Aviation was very much the next big thing. Ensslin’s addition of the mere 1/4 ounce of the dark purple creme de violette gave the drink a sky blue hue which only added to the romance of the idea."

                                                                                                                            From: http://www.mixpoursip.com/aviation-co...

                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                              Fantastic Caitlin. Thanks!

                                                                                                                              Are you suddenly my bartending guru?

                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                Ha. Well, I'll finish my part in this sidetrack by saying that while I find an Aviation a good thing, I like a Pegu Club even better.


                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                  Ah, finally. One for which all ingredients are on hand. Thanks, Caitlin.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                    Get rid of the bitters and change the lime to lemon and you have a White Lady, one of my very favorite summer cocktails. Equal parts of each - gin, cointreau (or triple sec or whatever orange liqueur you have on hand) and lemon, chilled, shaken, poured, drunk. Happy.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                      You ladies are killing me. Might have to get out the cocktail shaker tonight - on a Monday!

                                                                                                                    2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      Gio, there's a Brazilian dessert creme de papaya. Put chunks/slices of papaya (we use the Mexican kind) in a blender. And blend :) Add vanilla ice cream and blend. Pour into oversized wine glasses (or the container of your choice). Drizzle with creme de papaya. Eat. They consider is a digestivo and surprisingly it's not heavy. And has a little wow factor.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        CO, that sound delicious! I love mango! So, an ounce of creme de cassis gets poured over top? I understand that blackberry syrup can also be used instead of the cassis. In that case the creme de mure would be wonderful...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          I'm sure mango would be wonderful also. Never measured. Just a "drizzle" although I believe it was you who posted about food words and that "drizzle" is actually incorrect. Whatever :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            I still drizzle. Dribble sounds ridiculous when talking about food. You know, I misquoted the mango for papaya. Now that I see it both would probably be OK. I absolutely dislike green papaya but fresh papaya is fine. My mother used to buy all kinds of different fruit so I grew up eating a lot of those fruits, quince, figs, dates, prickly pear, etc.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                              At our Latino market, I get the deepest orange they have and then it can ripen even more.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                Now I much prefer green papaya to the ripe version, which always tastes vaguely metallic to me. OTOH Som tam is one of my all time favourite Thai dishes.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          The bowl is made from the rinD, not ring. I hate when that happens...

                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                            I was wondering what that meant. Feel a bit the dunce that I didn't figure it out, so thanks for clarifying.

                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                              It sort of makes sense - it's ring-shaped after all!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                  All those carved watermelons reminded me of this photo I took last year in Guatemala. During Semana Santa (Holy Week) people make carpets in the streets for the processions to pass over. Most of the carpets are made of colored sawdust and fresh flowers and petals, but some include fresh fruit and vegetables, both whole and carved. Some of the carvings are quite amateurish; some borderline professional. But all are done with heart.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                    Ah... The Madonna of the Watermelon. I've never tried it but carving those big heavy melons must be difficult.

                                                                                                                      2. We did a tweaked version of the pulled pork tenderloin tonight and it was awesome!

                                                                                                                        We seared it on the gas grill, then used Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce and wrapped in foil, finished on the grill with indirect heat. We shredded the meat along with the cooking juices... no need to add more sauce. We also used the Classic Cole Slaw recipe, but used a bag of broccoli slaw. Added some grilled corn on the cob, some baked beans and had a feast!

                                                                                                                        I never thought about trying the make "pulled pork" with a tenderloin, but it worked a charm. We'll be doing this again!

                                                                                                                        1. Chicken Paillard with Sautéed Mushrooms, Pg. 114

                                                                                                                          This is a straightforward recipe that produces a delicious plate of satisfying, luscious chicken smothered with mushrooms in a flavorful wine sauce. Again, a quick and easy prep for any weekday night or indeed anytime.

                                                                                                                          To start, 1/2 cup of AP flour is seasoned with salt and pepper. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are pounded thinly, seasoned with salt & pepper, lightly dredged in the flour then sautéed in a combination of canola oil and butter. They are tented and set aside while the sauce is made.

                                                                                                                          The skillet is reheated and 1/4 cup of dry white wine is added to blend the tasty bits of the chicken that were left behind. A pound of mixed mushrooms are sliced and sautéed in the wine along with some thyme and chopped flat leaf parsley. The mushrooms are seasoned with S & P and cooked till tender. To serve plate the chicken and spoon mushrooms over. An optional ingredient was rehydrated cepes, but I didn't include them.

                                                                                                                          The side was Sara's Squash Casserole, another winner!
                                                                                                                          We liked this very much and will be making it again.

                                                                                                                          1. Sara's Squash Casserole, Pg. 192

                                                                                                                            Loved this! I've been waiting to make this since I got the book. And it was worth the wait to get some nice summer squash and zucchini.

                                                                                                                            A Videlia onion is chopped, 3 yellow squash and 3 zucchini are thinly sliced in rounds. The onion and yellow squash are steamed over boiling salted water till "just tender" then placed in a large bowl. The zucchini is steamed over the same water. Brown sugar, 2 slightly beaten eggs, butter, 1/2 & 1/2, 4 slices of whole wheat bread ( torn into pieces) a cup of grated cheddar cheese are added to the vegetables. Season with S & P and stir well to combine. This is poured into a buttered casserole and baked in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes till "firm and brown on top." I find that these squashes must be seasoned "aggressively," as Mario says, to bring out their full flavor. This dish was a delight and a really nice way to use the bounty that summer squashes usually provide us. It was a good side for Ms Willis's Chicken Paillard with Sautéed Mushrooms.

                                                                                                                            1. Just an interesting aside. On Father's day my two daughters came up to visit (300 mile trip)
                                                                                                                              They both spent most of the day emailing themselves recipes from Bon Appitit Y'All and Screen Doors & Sweet Tea.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                                                So you have 2 converts to BAY'A. How nice! And, how sweet they were to make such a long trip to spend the day with you.

                                                                                                                                1. re: billieboy

                                                                                                                                  I liked Screen Doors and Sweet Tea a lot too, was especially intrigued by the frozen cucumber salad but haven't made it due to lack of freezer space. Maybe on my next visit to my MIL, sounds upt he family's alley.

                                                                                                                                2. Fried Catfish Fingers with Country Remoulade: Fish and Shellfish, Pg. 129

                                                                                                                                  Finally got around to making this dish and I wonder why it took me so long. It was delicious. Plain and simple. The treat was wonderful fresh catfish from our local supermarket, of all places. This market has a terrific seafood department.

                                                                                                                                  The fish has to marinate so I got that underway first:
                                                                                                                                  Dijon mustard, egg white and hot sauce, I used Tabasco, are stirred together in a large bowl. Slice the fish into strips and add to bowl. Coat well with the marinade, cover bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
                                                                                                                                  In the meantime I made the Remoulade (pg. 286) so the flavors would meld. That also was set in the fridge tail needed.

                                                                                                                                  Yellow cornmeal, AP flour, salt and pepper are combined in a shallow dish. Remove the fish from the marinade, season with S & P, dredge the fish in the flour mixture and fry. Ms Willis' directions say to deep fry the fish but we pan fried the strips to the necessary doneness..."golden brown and crispy."
                                                                                                                                  Each piece was laid on a paper towel when removed from the pan.

                                                                                                                                  I served the catfish with the remoulade, Mama's Baked Pecan and Acorn Squash, pg. 182, and Green Beans Provençal, pg. 190. What a really nice dinner it was!

                                                                                                                                  Here's a link to my report of the Country Remoulade in the BAY'A thread Part 1:

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                    er... Re the Remoulade: that was suppsed to be, Till needed....LOL

                                                                                                                                  2. Green Beans Provençal: Vegetables, Pg. 190

                                                                                                                                    We had some lovely fresh green beans from "The Farm" and I wanted a green vegetable to go with baked buttercup squash and Catfish fingers. Thus: this fine dish from BAY'A.

                                                                                                                                    We steamed the trimmed beans for about 5 minuted, poured icy water over them in a colander and let them sit while we prepared the rest of then recipe. A clove of minced garlic is fried, in the same saucepan the beans were cooked in, for a minute in EVOO then the drained beans are added. Two cored, seeded, chopped tomatoes are added; pitted, halved Kalamata go in the pan next along with 3-ish tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs. I used basil and parsley. Everything is tossed to combine with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar then seasoned with salt and pepper. Yummmmmm! Perfect with the fish & squash!

                                                                                                                                    1. Mama's Baked Pecan and Acorn Squash: Vegetables, Pg. 182

                                                                                                                                      Note: I used unsalted cashews and buttercup squash.
                                                                                                                                      I love all winter squashes. I love the density, the flavor, the color, everything. Because I have to avoid nuts I usually overlook recipes which contain them or simply ignore them and proceed with the recipe. (It's not an allergy but Dr.'s orders) But this recipe called out to me and although the nuts are supposed to be "chopped" I processed them much longer. Not to a powder, but passed chopped. So far so good this morning. The final dish is absolutely delicious and I'm glad I made it.

                                                                                                                                      The squash is halved, the inside and edges are brushed with melted butter. and baked,upside down, for 30 - 45 minutes in a preheated 375F oven. While the squash is baking combine the chopped nuts with a syrup such as sorghum, cane or maple...I used Grade B maple syrup from Vermont, and a teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme. Turn the squash right side up on the baking pan, divide the nut mixture in half and spread into each squash half. Return the pan to the oven and bake the squash for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, or till the squash is "very tender and the syrup is bubbly." I can't tell you how tasty this was. The crunchy texture against the soft squash meat, with the mapley flavor. Heaven on a plate.

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                        You're an evil person :) This dinner and esp. the squash is probably forcing me to buy this dang book. Don't you understand I have no ROOM for any more books???????

                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                          Oh, but you NEED this one! Any owner of an adorable Lakeland terrier owes it to herself to get it. (It really is excellent.)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            Okay, I ordered the "ding dang" book as Ms. Willis would say. Hopefully it arrives in the coming week. We're doing two house exchanges from 12/19 to 1/2 so it would be fun to take with me.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                            If I have been able to acquire and make room for 100+ food-related books in the last year, I'm sure you can too!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                              Holy cow, 100+? [I'm going to relate your post to my husband so he can stop feeling sorry for himself and our sagging bookshelves. :) ]

                                                                                                                                              I've increased my collection quite a bit in the past year, too (I'm afraid to count and figure out how many), but I can't begin to imagine where I'd put 100 more books. In my case, fortunately, I've also been brutally honest with myself and purging books I know I don't need (most of them not cookbooks, though) to make room for the books I have added.

                                                                                                                                              Coincidentally, Bon Appetit Y'all was one of the books I both acquired and purged in 2009. I bought it after all of Gio's excited posting in this thread and its predecessor thread, realizing it would eventually be a COTM, so I might as well get my hands on it sooner rather than later. But, after its month as COTM had ended (as part of "Southern Month" along with Screen Doors and Sweet Tea), I traded it away to a (good, chowhoundly--not to worry) friend. I realized I wasn't likely to cook from it much in the immediate future, since it just doesn't fit my dietary constraints without a lot of modification, and there wasn't a good match in seasons between the South and Upper Midwest. Since the book was brand new, it seemed a shame to let it sit unused on my shelves. I did flag many, many recipes in BAY'A thinking they would be good for Thanksgiving, and I did kind of wish this past November that I hadn't traded it away. Still, not enough to pick up another copy, check it out of the library, or even borrow it back.

                                                                                                                                        2. (I skimmed both threads and don't believe anyone else has reported on this that I can tag onto.)

                                                                                                                                          Creamy Stone-Ground Grits with Mushrooms and Country Ham; Grits, Rice, Pasta and Potatoes, page 155

                                                                                                                                          Actually I didn't do the mushrooms and ham part. I served large grilled shrimp over this and a Batali roast asparagus dish. I loved that half the water was replaced with milk and that you whisk in rather than pour. You simmer for about 45 minutes and then add Parm-Reg, parsley and butter. I increased the butter simply cause that's the way I like grits. I had drizzled olive oil over the shrimp and seasoned with cajun seasoning, s&p and some red pepper flakes. After the asparagus came off the grill, the shrimp went on for about four minutes total. My Westerner husband was even moaning over this :) I threw some over to the side of a skillet this morning with some bacon drippings and a couple of sausage patties. After the sausage was done, I removed those and fry a couple of eggs in that skillet. Put the eggs over the grits and we had a great breakfast. SO good.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                            Whoooooeeeee.... that sounds fantastic. Both the dinner And breakfast. That's one recipe I haven't got to... yet. Thanks for your report, CO !

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                              Since you're the reason I bought this book, I'll thank you, Joe.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                              c oliver, you might consider posting a link to your report (or just copying it) in the thread from last September's COTM for that chapter, as I'm sure folks who are looking those over in the future would be encouraged by how delicious it sounds! That thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/648976

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                Thanks, Caitlin. I missed that. I've copied it over there.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for posting that, meatn3. Here's a link to the announcement, on her blog:


                                                                                                                                              2. Virginia Willis is on Chopped right now! The episode is called Bird in the Pan. I missed the first couple of minutes of the show, so I missed the introduction. Presumably they talked about her books, beloved of many hounds? (Probably not that last part...)


                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                  I DVR'ed this episode. Will watch it tomorrow. I think Gio posted that she had done the filming a few months back.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                    SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                      I love how she worked "ding dang" into that post! :)


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                        Y'know... she was grace and skill under pressure during that program, yes, and dignity too.. We enjoyed watching her. She's a real winner in our book.

                                                                                                                                                        Here's the winner's side of the event...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                          I totally agree. I was rooting for her and found her to be quite charming.


                                                                                                                                                2. Just curious...I think this is the pre-COTM thread. Is that correct? This is pre my CH experience but a wealth of info that I had yet to discover. Big thanks to Gio et al for reviving this!

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. Grateful for linking to this, Gio. The other thread was one of those old ones that showed as unread all the things I'd read, and as read all the things I'd written. Fairly frustrating. I like the idea of this book getting more steam going again.