In the course of my research for great summer recipes, I turned, as I often do,
to one of my favorites
- a jewel called “Glorious American Food”. I would have
bought the book just
for Tom Eckerle’s phenomenal photography and the
stunning prose, but was
find that it actually contains some pretty
darned good recipes
as well. So. Rather than trying to figure out a different
twist on barbecue,
or a picnic by the lake, I’ve decided on a menu I would
dearly love to play
around with myself this weekend…
Unless otherwise indicated, the source for all recipes
in this feature is
Glorious American Food
by Christopher Idone, 1985, Random House
Published in hardcover in 1985 and out of print for the
past several years,
this brilliant cookbook is being reissued in paperback for the first time.
Hailed as the first book to showcase regional American food, this volume
is indispensable for anyone who likes to cook.
275 recipes. 250 full-color photos.
Beaufort Soused Corn and Shrimp Lunch
Suggested Wine: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards Sauvignon
“Vichyssoise is one of the most refreshing soups in
warm weather, and it’s
certainly substantial. This soup, first served at the
Ritz in New York, really is
no different from potato soup, and seems elegant
just because it’s been puréed
and doused with cream. Waters off the Carolina
coast harvested some of the
best shrimp available, and Beaufort is a small
port that once was crowded with fishing boats. The shrimp industry has
dwindled to a handful of boats, but in
that area, shrimp dishes and pies are
still very popular. I took the shrimp and
the corn out of the pie shell, and
soused them with a vinaigrette; it’s lighter
than a doughy pie. Cobbler is
usually blanketed with biscuit dough; here a
rich buttery crust is rolled
out to fit the skillet, all baked into a lighter version
Serves 8 to 10
4 medium leeks
4 medium potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 quart chicken stock
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1 quart buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Discard the green tops of the leeks and split the leeks lengthwise. Wash
cold running water to remove all sand. Drain and finely chop.
Peel and slice the potatoes. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the leeks
and sauté over moderate heat, until wilted. Add the curry powder and
for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to
and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender.
Purée the mixture in a food processor [or use a hand-held immersion
blender]. Cover and chill.
When ready to serve, whisk in the buttermilk. Check the seasonings.
chilled bowls, with a sprinkling of the chopped chives and a
grind of black
Beaufort Soused Corn and
5 pounds medium shrimp, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns
1 lemon, halved
12 ears sweet corn, cut from the cob
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice [If you really
this dish to be
for a portion of the lemon
1/2 cup [best-quality] olive oil
[We cannot resist adding a clove or
minced, and a dash
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
[This salad is gorgeous garnished with
and red and/or
yellow bell pepper strips.]
In a large saucepan, place the shrimp in 2 quarts of cold water. Add the
leaf, peppercorns, and the halved and squeezed lemon. [For extra
toss in a bag of dry crab boil, such as Zatarain’s.] Bring to a
moderately high heat. Add the corn and remove from the heat.
into a serving bowl.
Remove and discard the halved lemon and bay leaf. Fold in the scallions
Make the vinaigrette and pour over the corn and shrimp, tossing to coat.
stand for 15 minutes.
To me, this menu absolutely cries out for potatoes of
some sort. If potato salad,
then a very simple one, please (such as
Pepin's French Potato Salad).
Or you may prefer to give one of
these a try!
If not potato salad, why not something simply wonderful
from Emeril Lagasse’s
Every Day's a Party:
Louisiana Recipes for
Celebrating with Family and Friends
by Emeril Lagasse with Marcelle Bienvenu and
Willett, 1999, William Morrow and Co.
Makes about 12 servings
[It’s always a good thing to have too many potatoes…]
24 new or small red potatoes
(about 2 1/2
washed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
[Obviously, you may feel free to kick these up a notch if you wish,
by adding garlic
and the minced fresh herbs of your choice plus a
dash of cayenne.]
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a
baking sheet with parchment
In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil [and garlic and
minced fresh herbs if you are using them]. In a small bowl, combine the
flour, salt, and black pepper and stir to mix. Sprinkle the potatoes evenly
with the mixture and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the potatoes on the
prepared pan and roast for 1 hour.
Fried Green Tomatoes
My apologies to Christopher Idone. Nothing personal,
sir. It’s just
I must use one of my all-time favorite Southern recipes,
by Craig Claiborne, 1987, Times Books
Yield: 4 servings [You may want to double this recipe!]
1 1/2 pounds green tomatoes
Tabasco sauce to taste
6 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons cornmeal
Coarse salt to taste, if desired
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper [or to taste]
3/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil, approximately
1. Cut the tomatoes in slices about 1/4
inch thick. Sprinkle the slices
2. Combine the flour and cornmeal with salt, black pepper, and
pepper. Put in a plastic bag. Add the tomato slices, a
few at a time,
toss to coat with the four mixture. Shake
off the excess.
3. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet and fry the tomatoes, adding
a few at a time, without overcrowding, until golden brown
on each side.
Drain on paper towels.
4. Serve immediately. If kept, the tomatoes will turn soggy.
[Skillet] Peach Cobbler
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound [2 sticks] unsalted butter,
cut into chips and chilled
3 tablespoons ice water
12 large ripe peaches
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar [or to taste, depending on
sweetness of peaches]
[Feel free to add a bit of spice, such
as cinnamon, if you wish.]
1 tablespoon sugar, for the top of the crust
Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream, for
Tools: 10-inch cast-iron skillet or
shallow baking dish
Prepare the dough: In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and work in
the butter with your fingertips or with an electric mixer until the mixture
a mealy consistency. A little at a time, add the ice water until the
sticks together. Do not over-mix. Shape into a ball, wrap in waxed
and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Prepare the filling: Mix the filling ingredients together and place the
peaches in an ovenproof skillet or shallow
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to fit the pan. Place the
dough over the peaches. Dust with the sugar. Bake for 45 minutes,
until golden brown.
Serve warm, with heavy cream or vanilla ice cream.
Featured Archive Recipes:
Lemon Zucchini Vichyssoise
Lunch Under the Trees
Shrimp and Corn Salad
Maque Choux Salad
The Tantalizing Tomato
Bourbon Peach Cobbler
Cherry and Peach Cobbler
Peach, Plum and Blackberry Cobbler
More Lagniappe Recipes!
Summer Holiday Recipes!
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