Pimiento. Pimiento. What-have-you. The only thing divisive about this delectable, classic Southern spread is the spelling of the little red peppers. I think of it a bit as the gumbo of the cheese world–everyone has their own, secret, ritualized way of making it, and rarely does that ceremonial mixing of the cheese involve a real recipe.
It’s that time of year again–tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, in case you’ve been living under a rock–and if you’re still looking for inspiration about what to make for your sweetheart (or something to make to spoil yourself!), this mini strawberry rustic cake is simple and chock-full of sweet berries. A hint of almond extract brings out the natural sweetness of the berries, which tend to be wonderful this time of year. With billowing stabilized strawberry whipped cream oozing out between the soft, moist layers and no frosting on the sides, it’s not only charming, but that much easier to make than a proper, has-to-be-perfect iced layer cake.
Whenever I’m feeling a little under the weather, this is what I crave. It’s light and yet hearty, rich and yet not overwhelming, healthy and yet feels indulgent; it’s a gorgeous combination of flavors and textures that I can slurp by the bowlful. It’s a simple soup that makes a huge quantity to have on hand in the freezer and fridge, that requires only a few
Once I moved to the South, a good chicken salad sandwich quickly turned into one of my favorite standbys for lunchtime. My first manager took me to lunch at one of his neighborhood favorite spots, Nashville’s “The Picnic Café,” where they make what I’d consider to be the quintessential chicken salad sandwich. This is my homage to that delicious recipe, perfect for a “picnic” of your own!
Okay, I know that Nashville isn’t considered Cajun or Creole country, but hey, country singers haven’t traditionally sung to digital drum loops either so what’re you gonna do? I, for one, can’t limit my jambalaya intake to time spent on the Gulf coast and the bayous (y’know, “True Blood” territory.) And once you try this stick-to-your-ribs, cures-what-ails-ya recipe, you won’t want to wait either. If you don’t already own a cast iron skillet, here’s your excuse to go get one. Seriously. I swear by them, as do most other cooks in the South and across this great land. I’m so passionate about my cast iron skillet that I wanted to stop at the Lodge cast iron factory here in Tennessee, en route from Chattanooga. (Alas for me and luckily for my driver on that journey, it was a Sunday so the factory was closed.) Whether you buy one pre-seasoned or inherit one that’s been seasoned with lard by the previous four generations of your family, this is one cooking implement that no kitchen–Southern or not–should be without.