I really struggled on if I wanted to post today, or even post a blog this week. Yesterday my grandma Margaret passed away and it’s left me with a lot of thoughts and emotions. I thought a lot about how delicious her cakes were, and how her macaroni and cheese pie was so phenomenal it set my brother on his own personal quest to make the perfect macaroni.
The more reality set in and I thought about it, the more I felt a need to cook the things she cooked. Maybe it was a way to honor her. Or maybe it was a way to feel close to her again after that privilege was taken from me.
Part of me even thought maybe it would be too hard to create something based in memories that come with a sepia-toned glow when all you’re facing in the present is a stark sense of grief. But as I spent the day making her rum cake recipe and doing my best to figure out hpw to make her macaroni pie I felt a sense of therapy.
Even though I never got the chance to know her exact macaroni recipe, as soon as I tasted the fruits of my guess work I had that moment in Ratatouille where the food critic immediately is warped to his childhood, and without realizing it, I smiled.
Continue reading “Macaroni for Margaret”
Growing up my dad would take my brother and me fishing during the summer. He always had these grand ideas of catching a huge catfish and us eating it for dinner. Every time he would bring a cooler with this goal in mind, and every single time we didn’t catch a catfish to cook. A couple of times someone downriver had more than enough and gave us some, but we as a family weren’t looking so hot.
I like to imagine these tacos are the dream scenario of what we would have cooked if our family fishing skills were worth a damn.
They consist of cornmeal crusted catfish, tartar sauce made with southern chow chow relish, and a honey mustard lemon pepper slaw on a yellow corn tortilla. All these flavors are so classic summer in the deep south, and the harmony between spicy and crispy fish, creamy and tangy tartar sauce, and the little bit of sweet from the crunchy slaw gets more R-rated noises out of me than any dish I know.
Continue reading “Southern Fish Fry Tacos”
A trip to Charleston, South Carolina had the power to turn anyone into a shrimp and grits eating fool. Most traditional shrimp and grits recipes use a kind of tomato-y peppery sauce on top of the shrimp. I wanted to take that idea and cheesy grits and kick it into overdrive.
Shrimp fra diavlo keeps the kind of spicy tomato goodness on a classic shrimp and grits, but amps up the garlic and herb content to make it sing. And the cacio e pepe grits? Ohhhhh those grits. Cacio e pepe is a Roman pasta dish that is essentially the real Italian version of an Alfredo. Cacio e pepe translates into cheese and pepper. So think parmesan cheesy grits with a huge black pepper punch. Even my friend Mike who lived in Charleston called them the best grits he’s ever had. Put simply, this shrimp and grits goes beyond classic Charleston into nirvana.
Continue reading “Shrimp Fra Diavlo with Cacio E Pepe Grits”
Brunch rules. It gives you an excuse to day drink, and it’s a time where people get creative in food combinations. Hi chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and biscuits and gravy. One by one I’m on a mission to provide the best brunch recipes, and this here is a special one.
My brother Sean, aka The Biscuit Queen, is the most incredible baker. He provided the extra fluffy, extremely layered, and above all; inordinately buttery recipe for the biscuits. I could wax poetic about how beautiful and artisinal these biscuits are with their subtle honey flavor and golden glow.
And to pair with them is my sausage gravy that’s packed with fresh sage and some crushed red pepper for your nerve. The salty gravy with attitude absorbs so beautifully into the sweet and buttery biscuits.
In short, this dish tastes like warmth and family because that’s where it comes from. You also get to read the recipe as my brother wrote it which is fun.
Continue reading “Honey Butter Biscuits and Sausage Gravy”
I feel like anyone who’s followed me for a while had to have known that a chicken and waffles recipe was coming eventually. How could it not? I consider chicken and waffles to be the ultimate not only brunch, but possibly southern dish as well. You have your salty, sweet, crispy, soft, and juicy all in one plate.
For my recipe I took inspiration from Michelin starred Dusek’s in Chicago
Continue reading “Togarashi Fried Chicken, Ginger Scallion Waffles, and Miso Butter”
Don’t be fooled, South Carolina actually produces more peaches than Georgia. Not only do we have plenty of peaches here, but they’re also obscenely good. Like juice dripping down your arm and off your chin onto your chest good. As we come to the end of summer I wanted to create a dish to celebrate the peach in all its glory.
Continue reading “Carolina Caprese”
When people think of southern food they normally think about super heavy, fatty, artery-clogging feasts. While in many cases that is extremely far from the truth there are dishes where that is exactly the case.
Continue reading “Sriracha Pimento Cheese”
Steak Diane, one of those old school steak house dishes that were once seen as the height of elegant dining, but has since become stale. Do not get me wrong, there’s nothing to dislike about steak topped with a sauce made out of mushrooms, booze, and cream. The
lies in the same recipe being used for years on end with no refresh button being hit.
Continue reading “Steak Dolly”
I think the best place to start talking about this dish is to describe the glory that is chicken cordon bleu. Imagine a hot ham and cheese sandwich. Got that image in your head? Good, now take away the bread and replace it with chicken. So this dish is already sounding insanely decadent and delicious.
Continue reading “Chicken Cordon Bleu with White Wine and Dijon Gravy”
Everyone who cooks for long enough, whether they are a home cook or a professional chef, has developed a signature dish. For my mother that dish is the most divine chicken parmesan, and for the elite chefs of Le Cirque in Manhattan it is potato wrapped sea bass. The signature dish is a universal truth of the culinary world. And now the time has come for me to share my signature dish with you.
Continue reading “My Signature Dish: Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Sherry Mushroom Gravy”