It’s a typical winter day in South Carolina – mildly chilly and rainy. Just the kind of day that lends itself to nesting.
I’ve been parked in the kitchen, doing some foundation cooking to help keep us fed. The colder weather makes me want comfort food, so I’m straying from my efforts to lower my cholesterol.
E requested some pimento cheese, and I’ve found the best recipe in the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. It's an excellent reference guide to Southern cooking.
For lunch, we heated up some leftover barbecue (the noun, as opposed to the verb). Here's one of my 'cue recipes. Barbecue sandwiches require coleslaw, so I knocked out a batch of that as well.
We use a fair amount of pulled chicken, so I spiced a couple of bone-in breasts and popped them in the oven early today, along with the red bell pepper I needed for the pimento cheese. The hot oven warms up a chilly house nicely.
I’m really trying to diversify my wine selections, so I opened Chono Riesling Reserva Bio Bio Valley 2006 with lunch. Riesling from Chile? Oh, yes.
It makes a perfect match to ‘cue and slaw (which addresses another thing on the ’09 list). The Chono is dry and juicy, with melon, peach and petrol wrapped up in tight little mouthful of wine.
Tonight, E takes over the kitchen to make potato soup, in an effort to further increase said cholesterol.
No worries, though. I’ll be drinking some red wine to counterbalance things.
Pimento Cheese from Lee Bros. Southern Cooking
1 red bell pepper
8 ounces finely grated very sharp cheddar cheese
2 ounces cream cheese, softened in small pieces
3 tablespoons Duke’s or high-quality mayonnaise
1 teaspoon or more red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast red pepper and reserve any juices. Chop roasted pepper, and mix with juices and other ingredients. Enjoy.
Feel free to experiment with cheeses. I’ve had all sorts of variations; it’s all good.
The Tao of Coleslaw
Coleslaw isn’t about a recipe; it’s about harmony.
The heart of coleslaw is chopped cabbage. I like the purple, but use what works for you. Chop it rough or fine. Use a food processor, grater or big knife.
To add variety, I might use any or all of the following: red bell pepper, onion, carrot, and apple. Improvise as desired.
The zing is what brings it to life. Start with a healthy splash of your favorite vinegar and some citrus. Today I used Vinagre de Jerez and the juice of half a lime. Any vinegar works fine and ditto with lemon or orange juice, etc. I added a splash of soy sauce for some additional complexity. A dash of hot sauce is always an option.
This is the soul of your slaw. You can make it richer or thinner, depending on how you like it. I use Duke’s mayonnaise and good prepared mustard. Yogurt and sour cream also work.
Add spices last. Celery seed is a must. I’ve used all sorts of things, so feel free to experiment. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to add a bit of dill relish as well.
Toss the veggies. Make your sauce by combining zing, creaminess and spices until it tastes the way you want it. Mix well. Enjoy it quickly.