'Well Shut My Mouth' recipes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

By Katie Scarvey
The recipes in “Well, Shut My Mouth!” looked so good we had to share some and try a few for ourselves.
The Sweet Potato Cornbread was a winner. The half cup of sweet potatoes adds something extra to the run-of-the-mill cornbread.
Sweet Potato Cornbread
(Makes 12 muffins or one 9-inch pan)
This cornbread can be the base of great stuffing, the authors say.
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C. yellow cornmeal
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. mashed sweet potatoes.
In a large bowl, loosely sift the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the lightly beaten eggs, oil and milk. Add the sweet potatoes and mix well. Add the sweet potato mixture to the dry ingredients and combine, being careful not to overmix. Pour into a greased 9-inch baking pan or spoon into a muffin tin. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden.
• • •
I tried the recipe for Callaloo, partly because I just like the name and partly because I was drawn to the interesting combination of ingredients. I used collard greens, since I did not have access to callaloo. I felt that the collard greens needed perhaps a little more cooking time than the recipe called for, although I think spinach would cook faster.
I loved the note in the book on this one: “If you serve this soup on Sunday, it would be ‘halleloo.’”
Serves 6
4 strips bacon
1 onion, diced
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
1 tsp. pepper flakes
1 pound callaloo (spinach or collard greens may be substituted)
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 pound okra, sliced, or 10-ounce package frozen okra
1 16-ounce container crabmeat, picked for shells
13.5 ounce can coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
In a pot, sauté the bacon until crisp; remove to the side and chop. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add the greens, stock and okra and cook for 15 minutes. Add the crabmeat and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped bacon.
• • •
What Southerner isn’t looking for a great pimento cheese recipe? Here’s the Sweet Potatoes Restaurant’s version.
Pimento Cheese
(Makes 4 cups)
2 C. mayonnaise
4-ounce package cream cheese
1 1/2 Tbs. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 1/4 tsp. paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 C. grated white cheddar cheese
2 C. grated yellow cheddar cheese
3/4 C. diced pimentos, rinsed
Combine the mayonnaise and cream cheese in a mixer until smooth. Add the onion powder, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, white pepper and sugar. Mix until combined, then fold in the cheeses until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the pimentos.
Serving suggestion: Use as an elegant dip in your most festive dish with crudites, or use in a sandwich on white toast with a piece of perfectly charred fried bologna.
• • •
In the South, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a dish of banana pudding. The problem is, a lot of it is mediocre at best, made with instant pudding mixes. You won’t find such blasphemy at the Sweet Potatoes Restaurant, where even the vanilla cookies are made from scratch.
This is banana pudding done right, y’all.
Banana Pudding
Serves 8-10
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 C. sugar
2 Tbs. flour
2 C. whole milk
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
approximately 1 pound ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
Vanilla Cookies (recipe below)
whipped cream
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs and yolks well and add the sugar and flour. Pour in the milk and place over a pan of boiling water. The pan should be just wide enough to hold the bowl without its being submerged in the water. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until pudding starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. In a 9-by-13-inch casserole (or your favorite bowl), layer sliced bananas. Top with vanilla cookies. Repeat for an additional two layers, ending in a layer of bananas. Pour the pudding over the bananas and wafers, then top with a final layer of cookies. Chill and top with whipped cream.
Vanilla Cookies
1/3 C. butter
1 C. sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 C. milk
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the beaten egg and milk. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts and the salt. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix until smooth. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Roll dough into small balls (1 teaspoon) and place about 2 inches apart on a greased sheet tray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool.
• • •
Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
Serves 8-10
1 C. diced onion
3 ounces tomato paste
2 Tbs. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
3 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, including liquid
3 C. chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. white pepper
finely shredded fresh basil for garnish
In a stockpot, saute the onions, tomato paste, basil and garlic in butter until a smooth paste is formed. Add the flour and cook 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and the stock. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or using a hand-held submersible mixer. Strain the soup into a separate container to remove solids. Return soup to pot. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. Add the sugar and white pepper. Garnish with a chiffonade of fresh basil, if desired.
• • •
Hot Collard Green, Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip
Makes 4 cups
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese
1/4 C. cream cheese
1/2 C. chopped cooked bacon
4 C. spicy greens or 2 14.5 ounce cans collard greens, rinsed
1/4 C. diced pimentos
Texas Pete
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, 1/2 C. parmesan cheese, blue cheese, cream cheese and bacon. Drain the greens. Add the greens and pimentos. Finish with about 2 shakes of Texas Pete.
Spray or oil the inside of a 2-quart casserole dish. Add the dip and sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes until the dip is hot and bubbling.