Sept 2009 COTM: SOUTHERN Vegetables and Beans
September 2009 Cookbooks of the Month:
SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook, by Martha Hall Foose (SDST)
BON APPETIT Y'ALL: Recipes and Tales from Three Generations of Southern Cooking, by Virginia Willis (BAYA)
Please post your full-length reviews of recipes for vegetables, beans, etc here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the book or author and page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe. This thread includes:
Chapter 8: Vegetables
Chapter 5: Field peas, Greens, Sides and the Like
A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.
Creamed Corn, BAYA p.176
Had some extra bacon fat and fresh corn, so I figured I'd try this one. Basically you heat 1 tbsp of bacon fat and then add in the cut kernels of 6 cobs, and finish it off with 1/2 stick of butter. I tasted it after the bacon fat, salt and pepper had been added and the corn was plenty rich, so I held off on the extra butter. This pretty much tasted like you think it would, whats not to love about corn and bacon, but there wasn't anything creamy about mine, and it didn't look like the picture, not sure why.
Crumb Cauliflower: Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, Pg. 142
This was a very simple recipe which produced a satisfying and tasty side dish. I had a beautiful white cauliflower with very tight florets and the quick cooking time was perfect for it. Less than 15 minutes in total.
After trimming and separating the florets they are cooked for 2 minutes in EVOO, the pan is covered and the cauliflower is cooked for 5 more minutes. Minced garlic and bread crumbs are then strewn over the veggie, annd it is cooked, uncovered for 5 minutes longer or till the cauliflower is tender and the crumbs are brown. Chopped parsley is sprinkled over, the cauliflower is turned out onto a platter, and after an extra drizzle of EVOO grated parmigiano is sprinkled on top. Season with S & P and serve. Very nice......
I served this as a side with baked Hake using a Diane Kochilas recipe and steamed asparagus.
Help!! Has anybody made Sara's Squash Casserole form BAYA? (pg 192)
I want to make this tonight but I think there might be a typo/error in the directions....it calls for 4 tablespoons butter to be added to the squash, along with eggs, cream and other stuff. BUT I'm sure one doesn't just add the half stick. I'm thinking one ought to cut the butter into small pieces, like "dotting" something with butter. Any thoughts anyone?
Here's my report from 7/11/09 when I made the casserole. I don't think it was too sweet...and I don't really have a "sweet tooth". I used light brown sugar. I cut up the butter too.
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.
Here's my report...
Sara's Squash Casserole BAYA pg. 192
Well Gio has already summarized the recipe quite well, so I will make this short. I used a heaping teaspoon of dark brown sugar instead of the 3-4 tablespoons called for. I didn't notice any overt "sweetness" with that reduced quantity. Also, I had two larger-than-supermarket sized yellow squashes that needed using up so I used those and skipped the zucchini. As advised I cut up the butter into about 1/4 inch cubes. Just before the casserole went into the oven I noticed I had forgotten to add the bread.....So I quickly tore that up and mixed it in. I think I should have torn it up into smaller pieces though.
This dish was very good. The chowpup was picking at the cheesy bits of bread as soon as it got out of the oven. She had two large servings which was amazing since yellow squash is something she usually tries to ignore on her plate....I really liked the nutty flavor the whole wheat bread added. Next time i would add a bit more cheese. I love cheese.
Here's my picture. The casserole is sitting next to the Southern fried chicken we had as the main event. (And no, I didn't burn that chicken, but I sure made a mess.)
I really think my issues with the sweetness were because I was using little, bitty (like 4 inches long) yellow squash and a spring Vidalia onion. So, both were sweet before I started. I got another bag of itsy-bitsy ones at the farmers market Saturday and will probably give this another go today or tomorrow.
Monday Red Beans and Rice: Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, Pg. 86
This is the third southern dish I experienced for the first time this year, the others being collard greens and dirty rice which I made from Bon Appetit Y'All. I liked it. Certainly is filling, isn't it? I think I won't be hungry till next week.. and I thought I had a reasonable single portion. A little rice, the beans, a few sausage rounds and some meat sliced from the ham hocks spooned over. And those ham hocks. The recipe calls for 2 but the ones DH brought home from a charcuterie specialty shop near us were enormous. One weighed almost 2 lbs., the other over 2 lbs. so I used only one and froze the other. The smoked sausage links were nice and spicy and added to the overall flavor of the dish.
So.... as an alternative to using dry red kidney beans I used 2 cans which is allowed. The other substitute I had to make was a large poblano (mild) for a green bell pepper. The sausages are cut in rounds then cooked for 5-ish minutes, and then set aside till needed later. A bay leaf, chopped onion, pepper, celery are added to the pot and cooked for 5 minutes then minced garlic is added and cooked for an additional minute. The ham hock and drained beans are added along with water to cover. This is brought to boil then reduced to a simmer till beans are tender. At that point you can mash some of the beans to create a creamy texture, but I forgot. Don't think it mattered too much but then I had nothing to compare it to. The sausages are added and simmered for 10 more minutes. Salt & pepper, remove bay leaf, serve over cooked rice, garnish with chopped parsley.
DH thought it was terrific, I'm still waddling around. LOL I'll probably make it again, but not anytime soon....