Maine: Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School

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brys_demo_main (1 of 1)Last week in Maine, I taught two days of cooking classes at Stonewall Kitchen’s Cooking School, alongside Warren Bobrow, author of Apothecary Cocktails, among other books. We had a blast. Warren shook up some beautiful cocktails with grilled fruits and a wide variety of interesting bitters, and, with lots of help from the Stonewall kitchen staff, I made a few dishes from my cookbook.

It was a lot of fun talking with New Englanders about deep Southern ingredients like okra, field peas, and collard greens. The first day, I made an heirloom tomato salad with field pea dressing and fried okra, a seafood gumbo filled with beautiful Maine seafood, and roasted figs with Grand Marnier, lemon, and mint. On the second day I made a peach, arugula, and goat cheese salad, a chicken, collard, and country ham saltimbocca, and buttermilk pecan ice cream. You can find the recipes in the book, but meanwhile here are a few shots from both days (click “read more,” below).

Fourth of July on the Gulf of Mexico

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gulf_shrimp (1 of 1)This week I’m down in Seagrove Beach, Florida for a book signing and for a Fourth of July vacation, after signings and cooking demonstrations in Asheville, NC, and Birmingham, AL.

I’ve been coming to the same house down here on the Panhandle (affectionately otherwise know as L.A., or Lower Alabama), since I was born. It has changed a lot (it’s no secret anymore), but I always love being back here for a feeling of nostalgia I get nowhere else.

Several of the recipes in The New Southern Table are inspired by summers here, like these Shrimp and Corn Fritters. They’re like hushpuppies laced with little bites of shrimp and vegetables, and take me back (in an updated way) to the dive seafood spots we relied on before the throngs of vacationers arrived.

Collard and Feta Pie

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collard_feta_pieFrom time to time throughout the summer, I’ll be posting recipes from the book, accompanied by images that aren’t in the book itself (as well as other outtakes), as a thanks for your ongoing interest in The New Southern Table.

This one is a Southern take on spanakopita, a Greek spinach and feta pie that I associate with Christmas day at my grandparents’ house. Birmingham has a vibrant Greek community, and many of the city’s Greek families started catering companies and would help us with get-togethers during the holidays, serving Southern-inspired Greek food. The collards are a natural substitute for spinach in this dish, their hearty texture standing up to the rich buttery flavor and crispy texture of the pie. It’s a hearty dish, but great served room temperature in warmer months.