Southern night in the house

-The past couple weeks I’ve been working on my story every chance I get, leaving much less time for food adventures and blogging.  Plus, I think I also needed to recover from the all-out pizza fest in New Haven.  Last week’s highlight was another roommate dinner, which featured Southern food.  Gumbo, cornbread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, a bulgogi-type beef dish (from the “South”…of Korea), and a chocolate bourbon pecan pie from Petsi.

Recipe for Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo from My New Orleans by John Besh.  I couldn’t find “smoked sausage” but chorizo made a fine substitution.  There wasn’t enough room for the amount of liquid called for, so the gumbo ended up twice as thick as I would have liked.  But taste-wise, it rocked!  We served it with some white rice.  Others who had actually had gumbo in New Orleans gave it the stamp of approval, and it was equally good the next day.

Sage and Honey Skillet Cornbread from Bon Appetit.  It infused the house with a very inviting smell.  This recipe makes the drier, more crumbly type of cornbread, even though the batter is quite runny.  I would consider adding 1/4 cup more milk next time.  But it’s simple and satisfying.  Cast iron skillets are wonderful creatures.

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The sage leaves wouldn’t cooperate by forming a nice flowery pattern on the bottom of the pan…they kind of just moved out toward the edges. The recipe called for arranging them in the pan before pouring the batter in, but I think you could also just stick them on the top instead before putting the skillet in the oven. That’s what I would suggest to ensure the aesthetic aspect.

Frying the chicken: it was a team effort.

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Finished products waiting to be devoured. We live down the street from a KFC, which was our back up.  But all things considered (not enough oil, no time to marinate chicken, using 3-foot long tongs to maneuver the chicken, etc.), the fried chicken was a success.

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Alas, I did not photograph the pie because I was too busy smacking my lips over it. It was like chocolate pudding on crack (richer, fudgier, more insane…you know, all the things crack can do), littered with nuts, with the pie crust serving as a delicious vehicle to shove it in one’s mouth. What can I say, my roommates rock.

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