September 03, 2014

Mississippi Comeback Sauce

3/4 cup cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce (like Heinz)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours prior to serving.

My thoughts:
This sauce is a classic from, you guessed it, Mississippi. It is said to have been the invention of a Greek restaurant in Jackson called The Rotisserie but I've found versions of it all over the South.

It is sort of like tomato-y remoulade which makes it great for dipping fried seafood (especially catfish!) in, but it is also great with fries. I've heard you can also use it like salad dressing a la Thousand Island but I personally haven't tried that.

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September 01, 2014

Watermelonade (now on

Just in case you missed it, I posted a new recipe for Watermelonade over on Check it out here!
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August 25, 2014

Grilled Habanero Peach Sauce

2 cups halved fresh habaneros
2 fresh anaheim or poblano peppers, halved
2 1/2 lb peaches, peeled and quartered
8 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon powdered roasted ginger
salt and pepper

Toss the peppers with a bit of olive oil. Prepare grill. Grill until blackened. Simmer the remaining ingredients in a large pot for 10 minutes. Add the peppers and cook an additional 10 minutes. Pour into a blender and puree until very smooth. Pour into jars. Refrigerate and use within 6 weeks.

Yield: about 4 quarts

Note: do the use of low-acid foods I do not recommend water bath canning.

My thoughts: asked me to be a Canbassador this year and sent me what seemed like a literal ton of peaches. We've wanted to make a spicy peach sauce for a while now so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. We had the grill going so we grilled the peppers and loved the smoky flavor they gave the final product. Think of the sauce as sort of a cross between hot sauce and barbecue sauce. So far we marinated then grilled chicken using it and I plan to make a killer pulled pork with it tomorrow.

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August 18, 2014

Dill Pickled Mexican Sour Gherkins

1 lb Mexican Sour Gherkins
1/2 Anaheim chile, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon dill seed
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3/4 cup water
3/4 apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt or sea salt


Whisk together the water, vinegar and salt until the salt is dissolved. (If you simmer the mixture as you whisk, the salt may dissolve more quickly but this isn't necessary) Allow to cool to room temperature. Evenly divide all of the dill, spices, gherkins and peppers between 2 pint jars.

Pour in the vinegar mixture. Close the jars. Refrigerate. Allow to sit 1 week before eating. Refrigerate and keep up to 6 weeks.

Yield: 2 pints

My thoughts:
I had read about Mexican Sour Gherkins, also known as sandita, several times before but I could never find them. Then my friend Olga told me about her produce delivery boxes that she loved. She is based near DC and tweeted them how jealous I was that they didn't deliver to Baltimore. Well, they tweeted back and it turns out they do! I signed up for a box and noticed that you could add items on to you delivery beyond what comes in the box. Imagine my delight when I found they had Mexican Gherkins! I, of course, ordered a pound. They look like little baby watermelons (mine were about 1/2-3/4 inch long) but taste similarly a tart cucumber and have a cucumber-like interior. They are a bit crunchy so I thought they'd be perfect as bite-sized pickles. I made them into refrigerator pickles (although they are safe to water bath can) to make sure they kept that crunch. They are perfect as it, on a salad and I'd bet as a cocktail (or mocktail!) garnish.

Want to know more about this vegetable? Check out this article in Modern Farmer.

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August 15, 2014

Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant Farro Salad

2 yellow zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch half moons
3 Japanese eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch half moons
1 cup semi-pearled (semi-perlato) farro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 small red onion, sliced very thinly
3/4 (loose) cup roughly chopped parsley
3 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons capote capers
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400. Arrange the zucchini and eggplant on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside.

Bring 2 cups water to boil. Add farro and reduce to simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until desired chewiness is reached. Allow to cool slightly.

Pour the farrow into a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Stir. Serve warm or cold.

My thoughts:
We've been lucky to get such pretty eggplants and zucchini from our favorite farm stand this year. I think I've had them nearly every day for weeks! We haven't had much luck growing them ourselves so this year we just decided to leave it to the experts. Why torture ourselves? This salad makes the most of the the zucchini and eggplant and is super simple. I served it as a side dish for dinner but then had it the next day for lunch. If you are having it as a meal, might I suggest putting an egg on it? You won't regreat it although it does make this vegan dish non-vegan. If you haven't tried farro, you should! It is chewy and I think tastier than some of the other grain salad options. I used pearled farro for this because it is a little lighter but regular farro would work as well. You may have to lengthen the cooking time for regular farro.

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August 13, 2014

Lemon-Jalapeño Steamed Shrimp

2 jalapenos, sliced into rings
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 lb fresh shrimp
sea salt


Add everything but the shrimp to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp. Cover and boil until fully cooked.

My thoughts:
Quick and easy recipe for you today! I love steamed shrimp and normally have it Baltimore-style with lots of Old Bay but occasionally I mix it up. This one used up ingredients I just had around and of course, shrimp. If serving this as peel-it-yourself, I suggest getting the "easy peel" shrimp that has the back already prepped. I learned how to eat peel-on, head-on shrimp with a knife and fork (removing the shell) in Portugal where no one ate with their hands but for a casual summer dinner, take the easy way out.

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August 08, 2014

Cincinnati Chili Dogs

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lbs lean ground beef
16 oz canned tomato sauce*
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

to serve:
8 cooked hot dogs
8 hot dog buns

chopped raw onions
shredded extra sharp cheddar
dark red kidney beans (heated through)

In a large skillet saute onion, garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fully cooked and the mixture is thick. Take care to break the meat into small bits. Serve over hot dogs in buns. Top with desired toppings. Serve immediately.

*Not chunky pasta sauce. Look for it in the canned tomato aisle.

Pro tip: Make this one day before you want to serve it. The flavor will be deeper and all you have to is warm it up while you cook the hot dogs. Bonus: if you are grilling your hot dogs you won't have to run back and forth from the grill to the stove.

My thoughts:
I can't believe it has been over four years since I last posted a chili dog recipe. It was probably the last time I had a chili dog! Obviously I needed to fix that! Cinicinnati chili is one of my favorites so I thought why not try it on a hot dog? I'm glad I did. I don't have room on my bun for beans but if you do, it would make an authenic addition.

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