I’m a pretty by the book kind of person. Not prone to wild ideas about pairing seemingly unrelated ingredients or reinterpreting classic dishes with an out-of-left field addition. No, my rebellion is subtle. I will follow a recipe to the letter, but throw in my own spin — like adding a pretty normal extra ingredient or a slight fudge of the measurements. There’s always room for more garlic and more sauce, right? I can’t leave well enough alone, and I always make a recipe my own, somehow. Continue reading →
That’s what I call comfort food that either was or could have been made by a grandmother.
In the South, it’s chicken and dumplings or cheese grits or mac and cheese or any number of homemade cakes and pies. But it’s also slow-cooked Italian Sunday “gravy” over pasta, roasted beef and chicken, pierogies. Those foods that grandmothers of all cultures made with love and fed us in childhood. Ones that don’t have a place in our everyday diets, or we think take too much effort, but warm our souls when we do eat them. Continue reading →
Hi, all. I don’t know what happened. The Culinary Cousins accidentally took a little hiatus. But we’re back. Hopefully for good!
Now, let’s talk grits. They’re such a polarizing food.
Some people — mostly southern people, I’d say — are obsessed with them. Other people — usually not southern people, probably — absolutely despise them. If you’re southern, or remotely had a southern relative anywhere in your family, I think they’re just in your blood. Continue reading →
Here it is. Some real, traditional, down-home southern food. From scratch, yet so easy that you can do it.
I wish I could claim that this is my great-grandmother’s legacy recipe for chicken and dumplings, but it’s not. I think I found it in some cookbook claiming it’s a copycat of the Cracker Barrel dish. But I’ll take it.
The stock part of this recipe has become my go-to for basic chicken stock, which I make as often as I can. The stuff in the box is great and easy, but there’s nothing like the taste of homemade stock. Continue reading →
Macaroni and cheese just may be my favorite food. And I’m not alone. Mac and cheese consistently ranks as America’s top go-to comfort food, hands down, and we make it in countless iterations, with all manner of pasta shapes, types of cheeses, mix-ins and toppings.
I’m a traditionalist, though. I don’t like it fancy. And I especially don’t want bacon anywhere near it — not in it, not on it, no how.
No bacon, you say? I know. I’m a shame to my people, a traitor to my southern roots. But I just don’t love bacon. (Please don’t hurt me.) And when it’s added to mac and cheese, the flavor just takes over and permeates everything. Some of you are wondering what’s wrong with that.
On mac and cheese, I’ve found that there are two schools of thought. One submerges macaroni (or any manner of small pasta) in a creamy, cheesy white sauce with roots in a butter-flour roux. Then there’s the southern way — layering pasta with cheese and pouring over an egg and milk custard. I grew up eating this version, where the mac and cheese bakes into a solidified, though delicious, mass that you can cut and serve in a perfect square. To me, that was always true and traditional. Continue reading →