By Brack Johnson
The gang will be fans of these fast breaks whether watching basketball games in your Carolina-blue cottage, State-red studio or Duke-blue den.
Pimento Cheese - The Cookbook
50 Recipes From Snacks to Main Dishes Inspired by the Classic Southern Favorite
Perre Coleman Magness
St. Martin's Griffin
Pimento Cheese Stuffed Eggs
1 dozen large eggs
2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 two-ounce jar diced pimentos, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for decoration
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the eggs in a single layer in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, start the timer and cook the eggs for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water and ice. When the 8 minutes are up, using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the ice water and leave the eggs to cool for at least 20 minutes, or up to 30.
As the eggs are cooling, grate the cheese on the fine holes of a box grater and let come to room temperature.
Roll the cooled eggs on the counter to crack the shells all over. Peel the eggs and rinse under cool water to remove any bits of shell. Pat the eggs dry, then cut in half lengthwise.
Gently remove the yolks and transfer to a bowl. Set the whites on a tray waiting to be stuffed.
Break the egg yolks up with a fork, add the grated cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle over the tops, then add the mayonnaise.
Mash everything together with the fork, then add the paprika, garlic powder and generous amounts of salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to mash the filling with the fork until smooth. Add the pimentos and stir to distribute them evenly throughout the filling.
Fill the egg white halves with the pimento cheese filling, distributing it evenly among the whites.
Refrigerate the eggs for at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours, to firm the filling. You may cover them loosely with plastic wrap.
Sprinkle with the reserved cheese and paprika.
Makes 24 stuffed eggs
Pimento Cheese Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken and cold, plus a little for brushing
1 large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp
1 four-ounce jar diced
drained and patted dry
Sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt, paprika and garlic powder in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir together with a fork. Cut the butter into small cubes and drop them in the flour.
Attach the bowl to the mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and blend the butter and flour on low speed until the butter is the size of small BBs. You want some butter blended in, but the visible small pieces of butter will make the biscuits fluffy.
Measure the buttermilk in a measuring cup, crack in the egg, add the Worcestershire sauce, and beat it with a fork until the mixture is well blended. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture all at once and blend just until everything is moistened.
Toss the cheese with a little flour, and do the same to the pimentos. This step keeps the cheese and pimentos from clumping together so they blend throughout the dough. Drop them both in the mixer and, still on low speed, beat until everything just starts to come together.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and gently bring it all together, kneading just a few times. Handle it with care and don't overwork the dough, or the biscuits will be tough. A few pimentos may stick to the board or fall out; just stick 'em back in.
Pat the dough into a rectangle about 6 x 10 inches, using the back of a large knife or bench scraper to square off the ends. Flour the knife or scraper and cut the dough into 8 squares.
Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, lightly brush the tops with a little buttermilk and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned and baked through.
Serve warm, or wrap tightly and store in an airtight container. Reheat gently before serving.
Makes 8 biscuits
"Sour Cream" & Onion Popcorn
6 cups freshly popped air-popped popcorn
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons powdered buttermilk
1-1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle the popcorn with the olive oil and toss it well to coat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dill, cheese, buttermilk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour it over the popcorn and toss the popcorn to evenly coat it in the mixture.
Taste the popcorn and season it additionally if needed.
Note: You should be able to find powdered buttermilk in the baking aisle of your local grocery store. If you can't find buttermilk, powdered milk can work in a pinch.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
BBQ Roasted Chickpeas
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, garlic salt, chili powder and pepper.
Pat the chickpeas completely dry with a towel and remove any of the skins that become loose. Add the chickpeas to a bowl and toss them with the olive oil and three-quarters of the spice mixture. Mix well to coat the chickpeas and spread them out on a nonstick baking sheet.
Bake the chickpeas for 20 minutes, toss them with a spatula, and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven and let the chickpeas cool on the baking sheet.
Taste the chickpeas and season them with the additional spice mix if needed. If you don't need it, simply place it in a sealed plastic bag and save it for the next batch.
Roasted chickpeas are best the day they are made - after a few hours they can start to lose their crunch. However, you can store them in a container with a sheet of plastic wrap lightly covering the top for 2 to 3 days.
Makes 1-1/2 cups
Fried & True
More Than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides
Lee Brian Schrager with Adeena Sussman
Son of A Gun's Fried Chicken Sandwich With Pickle Coleslaw and Red Rooster Aioli
For the brine
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
6 bay leaves
1/4 cup garlic cloves, unpeeled, smashed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
5 sprigs fresh thyme
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves (4 to 6 ounces each)
For the dredge
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, lightly toasted, cooled and cracked
1 tablespoon kosher salt
For the aoli
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon very finely minced garlic
4 teaspoons Red Rooster Hot Sauce, or other Louisiana-style hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For frying and assembly
Peanut oil, for frying
3 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the slaw
1/2 cup jarred pickle juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
4 cups cabbage (green or red), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup shaved red onion
1/3 cup store-bought bread-and-butter pickles, plus more for serving
4 pain de mie (French sandwich bread) or brioche buns
Softened unsalted butter, for the rolls
Brine the chicken
In a saucepan, combine all the brine ingredients with 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add 4 additional cups of water, and let chill completely. Transfer to a large bowl, add the chicken breasts, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Make the dredge and aioli
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, peppercorns and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, hot sauce and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Dredge the chicken
Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse, pat dry, and allow the chicken to come to room temperature for 30 minutes; discard the brine.
Fill a 6-quart pot no more than halfway with oil and heat to 350 degrees. Set a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Toss the chicken in the dredge, dip in the buttermilk, then toss in the reserved dredge again.
Fry the chicken
Fry the chicken until golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the rack, season liberally with salt and pepper, and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
Make the slaw
While the chicken is cooling, in a large bowl whisk together the pickle juice, vinegar and oil. Add the cabbage, parsley, jalapenos, onion and pickles, toss to incorporate, and allow to marinate for 5 minutes.
Split the buns, toast them for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly browned, and butter generously, then spread the aioli on both sides.
Arrange one chicken piece on the bottom half of each bun, top with a generous amount of slaw and a few pickles, then top with the top half of the bun.
Makes 4 servings
With Blue Cheese Dip
For the blue cheese dip
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon whole milk or buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the wings
Peanut oil for frying
30 chicken wings (about 3
pounds), wing tips removed,
cut into 2 parts and patted dry
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper sauce
Celery sticks, for serving
Make the dip
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, blue cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cover and chill while you make the wings.
Make the wings
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Fill a large pot halfway with oil and heat to 350 degrees. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
Working in 3 or 4 batches, fry the wings until golden and crispy, 12 to 13 minutes. Drain the wings on the rack, then cover them with foil and place in the oven to keep warm.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is fully melted, whisk in the hot sauce until warmed through, about 1 minute.
Remove the wings from the oven, add them to the sauce, and gently toss until fully coated. Serve with the blue cheese dip and celery sticks.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
The Southern Living Community Cookbook
Celebrating Food & Fellowship in the American SouthSheri Castle
Chiles Rellenos Squares
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (four-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purposed flour
Garnish: Pico de Gallo, sour cream, cilantro sprigs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
Stir together cheeses. Place half of the cheese in dish. Sprinkle chiles over cheese. Top with remaining cheese.
Whisk together eggs, milk and flour. Pour over cheese mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve warm.
Overnight Marinated Shrimp
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
2 small red onions, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Garnish: basil leaves
Bring 7-1/2 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat. Add shrimp, and let stand 2 to 3 minutes or only until shrimp turn pink, stirring once.
Drain and rinse with cold water. Peel shrimp and, if desired, devein. Layer shrimp, onion and bell pepper in an airtight container.
Whisk together vegetable oil, vinegar, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Dijon, salt and garlic; pour over shrimp. Cover and chill 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Stir in basil just before serving.
Makes 12 to 15 servings
Taste of Home Ultimate Comfort Food
Over 475 Delicious & Comforting Recipes From Dinners to Desserts!Taste of Home Books
Party Time Mini Cheeseburgers
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound ground beef
3 to 4 slices processed American cheese
10 dinner rolls, split
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 10 patties.
Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees and juices run clear.
Meanwhile, using a 1-inch pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 10 pumpkin shapes from cheese slices or cut slices into thirds.
Immediately place on burgers; serve on rolls.
Makes 10 servings
12 thick-sliced bacon strips (about 1 pound)
12 wooden skewers (12-inch)
6 ounces white candy coating, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
Optional toppings: chopped dried apple chips, apricots and crystallized ginger, finely chopped pecans and pistachios, toasted coconut, kosher salt, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and coarsely ground black pepper
Thread each bacon strip onto a wooden skewer. Place on a rack in a large baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely.
In a microwave, melt candy coating, stir until smooth. Combine chocolate chips and shortening; melt in a microwave and stir until smooth.
With pastry brushes, coat bacon on both sides with melted coatings. Top each strip as desired. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
Refrigerate until firm. Store in the refrigerator.
Makes 1 dozen skewers