I am so so so excited for Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions cookbook to come out on October 15th. Callie’s is a staple at parties in Charleston from her amazing biscuits to the delicious pimento cheese- everything she makes is fantastic, and I am thrilled that she is putting out a cookbook! I am also thrilled that there is a Biscuits and Bourbon after party at Billy Reid which is just super fun. Make sure to pre-order yours today!
Walker spent four days out at Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island with his grade- 75 10 year olds. I don’t think you could have paid me to be a chaperone for that field trip. They had a ball playing in the mud pit and learning more about the lowcountry natural life. They had to keep a journal and when they got back, they had to right a paragraph on all of the senses- what they heard, saw, tasted, smelled, felt. I think if Walker could have written about the Mississippi Mud Pie they had for dessert one night for all of the senses he would have- instead he just used it for taste. Here is my favorite Mississippi Mud Pie recipe- enjoy!
Mississippi Mud Pie (from www.foodnetwork.com)
For the crust: 9 chocolate graham crackers (1 sleeve)
1/3 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
Chocolate sauce, for drizzling (optional)
Make the whipped cream: Beat the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla with a mixer until soft peaks form. Top the pie with the whipped cream, pecans and reserved chocolate crumb mixture. Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
We spent a glorious day on Saturday with friends on a dock. The light at the end of the day was so beautiful, and watching Walker and his friend jumping in the water and swimming, it really was a golden afternoon. It reminded me of a soup I had a while ago called Golden Cream Soup- delicious name and even more delicious soup. As we say goodbye to our last days of summer and welcome in the cooler days, I love having a good stockpile of yummy soup recipes, and this is a great one.
Golden Cream Soup
Place flour in a medium bowl. Gradually add milk, whisking until blended.
Add mixture to soup; cook and stir until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted.
It is one of the all time great debates- how to make the perfect Bloody Mary. Of course, this is all dependent on people’s tastes etc, but what I think makes the perfect Bloody Mary for me is what leads up to drinking it. This past weekend we went to visit my sister in New York. She and her family just got back from their year in Vietnam at the end of August. We arrived Friday afternoon and hung out in Central Park at the play ground after the girls got out of school. Corby and I then met up with some friends at Tao for dinner. It is a delicious Pan Asian place with a 30 foot tall Buddha and koi pond- pretty spectacular. My brother and his wife arrived Friday evening and we all met up at my sister’s for late night cocktails to celebrate all being together. Saturday was the perfect early Fall day with crisp weather in the morning turning into a glorious day in the park. Corby and I had a great run in Central Park around the reservoir and then went to meet up with everyone for brunch. We ate at Sarabeth’s on Central Park South. As anyone who has ever tried to eat brunch in New York City with 7 people, you can definitely expect a wait. We were hoping it wouldn’t be longer than half an hour. My sister went in to put our names on the list as we waited on the sidewalk and came back out with an incredulous look on her face. They could seat us immediately. It was nothing less than a miracle. We were ushered to a back table by the window and sat down still stunned that we were actually sitting down. This all leads us to what I think is the makings for a perfect Bloody Mary. And while, because of the circumstances, it didn’t even really matter what was in it, it was really something special- horseradish, worcestershire, tabasco, and practically a salad on top. It was a thing of beauty- see the picture. So my theory on the perfect Bloody Mary is not the ingredients but the lead up to the drink that makes it perfect. However, here is my favorite recipe.
5cm piece of fresh horseradish
1l good tomato juice
2 tsp tabasco
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp celery salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges
2 tbsp amontillado or cream sherry (cream is sweeter)
Celery, to serve (optional)
Cut the horseradish into chunks and stuff them into the vodka. Seal and leave to infuse for a day, then strain and discard the horseradish.
Mix together the tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and celery salt and briefly squeeze each lemon wedge into the jug, leaving some juice in each. Season well with black pepper, and check the spice level for your taste, adjusting if necessary. Drop the wedges into the jug and stir together well. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Pour the vodka and sherry into the jug and stir well with a celery stick. Seize the day and serve immediately.
We are taking a house party up to Linville in about a month, and I am so excited for it that I have already started planning the menu. I was going to the traditional spaghetti sauce, homemade bread and salad for dinner one night because it is what we always have for house parties in Linville, but I came across a recipe yesterday that looked so intriguing and delicious, that I might have to put aside the spaghetti for once. The recipe is for BBQ chicken over grits, and what really stopped me was that it called to put a can of pumpkin in the grits as well as pepper jack cheese. Wow! I can not wait to try this!! (the photo is from www.tasteofhome.com)
BBQ Chicken and Grits
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp pepper
14.5 oz can reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
1 cup hickory smoke-flavored bbq sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbsp ground ancho chilie pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup quick-cooking grits
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/5 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
6 tbsp sour cream
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsb minced cilanto
Sprinkle the chicken with pepper and place in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the broth, bbq sauce, molasses, chile pepper and cinnamon and pour over chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the chicken reads 170 degrees. Shred the meat with two forks and return to skillet.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the water and remaining broth to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits and pumpkin. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheese until melted.
Divide the grits among 6 serving bowls and top each with 1/2 cup chicken mixture. Serve with tomatoes, sour cream, green onions and cilantro.
On Sunday, Corby and I walked up to the Starbucks to get an iced-coffee and my weirdo son Walker a hot chocolate. I say weirdo affectionately and only because it was 90 degrees outside and who wants a hot chocolate when it is 90 degrees? Corby also got a croissant. I love a croissant. They are buttery and flaky and make me want to live in France. The great thing about croissants is that they can be used for so many things. They are exceptional for breakfast with jam or butter. They make a sandwich extra special when used as the bread. And they add something extra to dinner when they are served as the dinner roll. Also, when you dip them in coffee or hot chocolate- it is sublime. Here is a great croissant recipe from allrecipes.com. Hope you enjoy as much as I do.
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 tablespoon water
Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy and frothy.
Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk. Blend into flour along with yeast and oil. Mix well; knead until smooth. Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume. Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate and chill 20 minutes.
Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily. Pat dough into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Smear butter over top two thirds, leaving 1/4 inch margin all around. Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that. Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. Roll out to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold in three again. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours. Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle, and fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours.
To shape, roll dough out to a 20 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut in half crosswise, and chill half while shaping the other half. Roll out to a 15 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut into three 5 x 5 inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally. Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 7 inches long. Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking sheet, curving slightly. Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash.
Bake in a preheated 475 degrees F (245 degrees C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
I feel like we had our last real summer weekend this past weekend. My brother and his wife invited us out to a beach house they had rented on Folly Beach for Friday night. We went to Taco Boy for dinner and then sat around talking and listening to the ocean. Saturday morning I got up early and took Nemo for a walk. As we watched the surfers and the ocean, I thought back on our summer and how wonderful it was, and for some reason I remembered the cannoli ice cream that we had up in the Catskills. It is one of those flavors of ice cream that you don’t find very often, and the memory of it comes back at random times and just makes you happy that you were lucky enough to have tried it when you had the chance. It is also one of those things that I will leave to the professionals. Cannoli however, I can do. Here is a great recipe that I love.
Divide the cannoli dough into thirds, and flatten each one just enough to get through the pasta machine. Roll the dough through successively thinner settings until you have reached the thinnest setting. Dust lightly with flour if necessary. Place the sheet of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a form or large glass or bowl, cut out 4 to 5 inch circles. Dust the circles with a light coating of flour. This will help you later in removing the shells from the tubes. Roll dough around cannoli tubes, sealing the edge with a bit of egg white.
Heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) in a deep-fryer or deep heavy skillet. Fry shells on the tubes a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Use tongs to turn as needed. Carefully remove using the tongs, and place on a cooling rack set over paper towels. Cool just long enough that you can handle the tubes, then carefully twist the tube to remove the shell. Using a tea towel may help you get a better grip. Wash or wipe off the tubes, and use them for more shells. Cooled shells can be placed in an airtight container and kept for up to 2 months. You should only fill them immediately or up to 1 hours before serving.
To make the filling, stir together the ricotta cheese and confectioners’ sugar using a spoon. Fold in the chopped citron and chocolate. Use a pastry bag to pipe into shells, filling from the center to one end, then doing the same from the other side. Dust with additional confectioners’ sugar and grated chocolate for garnish when serving.
A new Italian restaurant opened in Charleston a couple of months ago, and I had dinner there yet again last night, and again, it was fabulous! I was there with some girhttp://thesouthwillrise.com/wp-admin/post-new.phplfriends, and we started out with the butter bean puree, Castelvetrano olives and the 24-month aged American Iberico prosciutto. All of it was amazing- especially the prosciutto. We also had the pork trotters which is one of my favorites on the menu, and all I can say about them is they are ridiculous. We were talking with one of the owners who came over to say hello (did I mention how amazing the service is??) and he was saying that it used to be a restaurant needed to specify if it was a Northern Italian or Southern Italian restaurant, but that Indaco didn’t do that. They just put really good food on the menu. I really love that sentiment. Instead of trying to cater to a certain theme, its just really good food. I mean really good! We then had several of the pizzas and the eggplant lasagnette. The pizzas are to die for, and while I did not think that I enjoyed eggplant, it turns out I do- amazing. One of the pizzas we had was and eggplant pizza with tomato, ricotta, buffalo mozzerella and grana padano. It was truly delicious. So, here is a recipe I found for easy eggplant pizza, and while it won’t be as good as Indaco (only because I don’t have a wood fire pizza oven- ha) it will tide me over til the next time I find a reason to go to my new favorite place! (The picture is from the Indaco website www.indacocharleston.com of one of the pizzas.)
1 eggplant, sliced
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tsp olive oil for brushing
toppings as needed
Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with some salt on each side. Set aside for thirty minutes, then rinse and pat dry. This will take some of the bitterness out of the eggplant, especially if you’re using a larger/older fruit.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil, then sprinkle both sides 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Place the eggplants on a cooling rack that’s on a baking sheet, and bake until they are softened and a little brown, about six minutes.
Spoon the tomato sauce on the eggplant slices, then add the cheese and toppings.
Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another five minutes, until the cheese is melted. Go ahead and broil it for a minute if you’d like some extra crispy toppings.
It is Friday of Labor Day weekend which to me officially is the end of summer. One last weekend at the beach before we hope the weather turns a bit cooler. However, as sad as I am about summer being over, it also means that college football has started again. South Carolina kicked off the season last night against the Tarheels, and yesterday, the whole atmosphere in Charleston was all about college football. Clearly, tailgates are my favorite part of the whole football season- I am starting to enjoy watching the games a lot more, especially since I recognize some of the names of the players. But really, it is all about the food. I was looking on-line today for some great tailgate recipes, and I found it very amusing that the breakfast burrito showed up in a lot of lists- as this is for the serious tailgater who is there in time for breakfast. So, here is my favorite breakfast burrito recipe in honor of those tailgaters who can last all day.
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound bulk pork sausage
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 red onion, diced
20 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 package taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can diced jalapenos (optional)
Whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt in a large bowl. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the egg mixture; cook and stir until eggs are completely set, about 5 minutes. Chop the cooked eggs and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the sausage and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, then add the onion. Continue cooking and stirring until the sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Combine the sausage with the eggs, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, and taco seasoning. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, then stir in the Cheddar cheese.
Place a tortilla onto your work surface, then spoon some of the filling halfway between the bottom edge and the center of the tortilla. Flatten the filling into rectangle shape with the back of a spoon. Fold the bottom of the tortilla snugly over the filling, then fold in the left and right edges. Roll the burrito up to the top edge, forming a tight cylinder. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Tightly wrap individual burritos with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve. Heat in the microwave until hot, 3 to 4 minutes, before serving.