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blue_dolphin

Cooking with Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

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I like the beet salad and the idea of fluffed up cream but think I would have to add horseradish ;)

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Today's lunch is the Charred Spring Vegetables with Creamy Scallion Dressing and Hushpuppy Croutons.  The vegetables are asparagus, scallions and radishes, charred in a cast iron skillet, then tossed with lemon juice and salt. The dressing has buttermilk, yogurt and mayo with Parmesan cheese, scallion tops, lemon zest, lemon juice, S&P.  

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The egg was not part of the recipe but I couldn't help myself.

The hushpuppy croutons are totally addictive, particularly when dipped in to the scallion dressing.  The recipe uses some club soda which makes them light.  Except when you eat ALL of them :shock:.

It's a good thing I don't fry things very often.

 

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@blue_dolphin  

 

Yikes !

 

I do like the  Window on the egg !

 

sorry  I can't get rid of the Bold

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Thanks, @rotuts!  The window wasn't really my intent but the egg sort of stuck to the knife.  It did allow me to pick up pieces of asparagus and dip them into the yolk inside.  Very handy!

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6 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Today's lunch is the Charred Spring Vegetables with Creamy Scallion Dressing and Hushpuppy Croutons.  The vegetables are asparagus, scallions and radishes, charred in a cast iron skillet, then tossed with lemon juice and salt. The dressing has buttermilk, yogurt and mayo with Parmesan cheese, scallion tops, lemon zest, lemon juice, S&P.  

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The egg was not part of the recipe but I couldn't help myself.

The hushpuppy croutons are totally addictive, particularly when dipped in to the scallion dressing.  The recipe uses some club soda which makes them light.  Except when you eat ALL of them :shock:.

It's a good thing I don't fry things very often.

 

 

That is one beautiful plate of food! The hushpuppies even look light, and I was going to ask you about their texture. I love hushpuppies, but not dense ones. Yours look perfect.

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12 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 

That is one beautiful plate of food! The hushpuppies even look light, and I was going to ask you about their texture. I love hushpuppies, but not dense ones. Yours look perfect.

Thank you!  I am a hushpuppy novice but the little croutons were very good.  The recipe said to drop 1/2 teaspoon rounds (or "annoyingly minuscule scoops") of batter into the oil.  

I used this little melon scoop and you can see how they puffed up.  They only took about a minute or so to cook.

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 In spite of my aversion to frying, I would certainly make them again. 

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Today I made Crab Hoecakes with Blueberry Corn Salsa. Vivian says this is a take on a fish taco with Southern flavors but points out that it's knife and fork food. 

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This is a 3-part recipe:  a blueberry corn salsa, a lemony crab salad and Grandma Hill's Hoecakes - little onion-flavored cornmeal pancakes.

The hoecakes can be made ahead and I would recommend that option as the re-heated cakes had a nicer crispness than the fresh off the frying pan one.  Without that crispness, it's just like stuff on a pancake.

In the salsa, I used Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn as I usually like it in applications like this and well, it's not corn season now, is it?   I also added a diced jalapeño because I thought it should be there. 

 

I enjoyed the flavors of this dish but I don't think I'll bother with the hoecakes again.  I think I'd prefer to pile the lemony crab salad into an avocado half, top with the salsa and serve more of it on the side with some crispy corn tortilla chips.

 

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This is the Crispy Ginger Rice with Leeks, Shiitakes and a Fried Egg.  I had it for breakfast but I'd be happy to eat this for any meal.

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I used brown rice (Massa Organics) and was a little concerned it might turn into tiny pebbles instead of getting crispy but it came out fine.  An excellent reason to make extra rice.

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@blue_dolphin

 

 Looks delicious. For anyone interested here's a video of Vivian cooking a similar dish:

Here

 

 I feel guilty that I am not cooking more from this book and I don't mean to whine but it is challenging when you can't just get to the grocery store when you feel like it.  But I am thoroughly enjoying your adventures with it.  


Edited by Anna N Edit to correct my assertion that it is this dish she is cooking. It is a similar dish. (log)
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Nice find on the rice video, @Anna N!  That is indeed very, very similar.  I understand where you're coming from on the grocery business.  I am having a lot of fun trying these dishes but do I feel like I am running to the store a lot and shopping for things I don't usually (like never) buy:  rutabagas, smoked pig hocks and finely ground cornmeal all made their way home with me recently, the cornmeal was chosen only after a careful survey of the cornmeal sections of all local stores.  

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On the upside, I've not run into any problems cutting the recipes down so I don't end up with massive amounts of leftovers.  It's also been a welcome diversion as I really needed to drag myself away from reading altogether too much political news and commentary 9_9.  I'm not sure that baked pimento cheese and sausage is good for my arteries but all that news wasn't doing me any good either!

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@blue_dolphin

 

I hear you on every level :D.  But at least I have some cooked rice sprinkled with oil quietly resting in the refrigerator. I believe I have enough ingredients to at least make this dish. 

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

@blue_dolphin

 

 Looks delicious. For anyone interested here's a video of Vivian cooking a similar dish:

Here

 

 I feel guilty that I am not cooking more from this book and I don't mean to whine but it is challenging when you can't just get to the grocery store when you feel like it.  But I am thoroughly enjoying your adventures with it.  

 

You're not alone, I feel guilty too.  I look through it literally every week, though, and every time blue_dolphin makes something I really really enjoy it.  I figure that when (if) the garden produces this summer, I'll have more stuff to work with.

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Collard Dolmades with Sweet Potato Yogurt

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Vivian says, "these dolmades are cute and taste like Thanksgiving wrapped up in a collard leaf."  They are stuffed with pork sausage and I've been holding off on making them until I actually made the sausage recipe that's in the book but last weekend, I picked up some breakfast sausage patties at the farmers market and decided to give this a try.  In addition to the sausage, the filling contains dried cranberries, plumped in apple cider, fresh ginger, a little brown sugar, black pepper and toasted pecans.  The sweet potato yogurt has roasted sweet potato, Greek yogurt, lemon zest and a bit of little honey and cayenne.  I had a pretty good idea what they would taste like but I can imagine them taking people by surprise if they were expecting typical dolmades - Thanksgiving indeed!

 

I believe my collards are smaller than the ones Vivian used as it appears she was able to cut 4 x 6 inch rectangles out of one side of a leaf.  I had to use most of a leaf for each roll with a little patch work to cover the space where the stem was removed.  I will certainly make these again.  I'd like to try making them a little smaller (these use 2 T of filling) to make something that could be a one or two bite appetizer.

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I won't sully Vivian's ingenuity and your wonderful posts with too much detail, but I will ask: do you think the collard greens would lend themselves well to dolmades with a more traditional profile but with her treatment of the leaves?  I ask because the dolmades recipe caught my eye but I don't have most of the ingredients as specified in this recipe.  Meanwhile, I have some aging collard greens (bought on unthinking impulse) that need to be used in the next few days.

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@Smithy, yes, I think the collards could work with other fillings. The combination of that particular sausage with the sweet potato yogurt is really, really good but I think it would be fun to play with other options.  Success likely depends on getting the right cooking time and trimming the leaves so you get enough to wrap securely but not rolls and rolls of leaf.  It's possible that younger leaves work better but I haven't done any comparisons.  In this post, @Wayne used them with a different filling, but found them a bit tough.  Mine were fine.  I blanched them just a little longer than she said (1 min vs 45 sec) and after chilling and removing the central stem, the leaves were tender enough to chew comfortably.  I think one could reasonably taste them at this point to see if they need a longer blanching/pre-cooking time before moving ahead and filling them.

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29 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I won't sully Vivian's ingenuity and your wonderful posts with too much detail, but I will ask: do you think the collard greens would lend themselves well to dolmades with a more traditional profile but with her treatment of the leaves?  I ask because the dolmades recipe caught my eye but I don't have most of the ingredients as specified in this recipe.  Meanwhile, I have some aging collard greens (bought on unthinking impulse) that need to be used in the next few days.

I've used the large leaves of  brussel sprout stalks to roll with  and it worked out great.  No reason a nice collard leave wouldn't  work as well.  And as much as I like braised collards this sounds like a winner 

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My iteration of the Crispy Rice dish.  For something that has so few ingredients and comes together so quickly this was surprisingly good.   I used a couple of small Portobello caps instead of the shiitakes but otherwise was able to follow the recipe.  It is not apparent in the photograph but I did manage to get some nice crunch into the rice.  Since I almost always have all the ingredients on hand, I expect this will appear fairly regularly on my menu.  

Thanks for the inspiration @blue_dolphin.

 

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Today's breakfast:  Avocado and Tomato with Broken-Egg Dressing

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Not life changing but not bad at all.  In fact, for something that comes together in a flash it's quite good. Boiled eggs, cut in a few pieces get mixed with a little lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon mustard to make a dressing that goes over tomato wedges and sliced avocado.

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Yeah!   I have all the ingredients once again except the basil.  Might have to wait a day or two for the avocado to ripen  but this seems like an excellent way for me to tolerate yet another avocado. 

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4 hours ago, Anna N said:

I have all the ingredients once again except the basil.

I didn't have basil either so I used a little cilantro.  My avocado was ripe and I felt I needed to make a move :D

 

This next recipe represented a number of firsts for me.  It's the Pimento Cheese Grits with Salsa and Chips, one of the dishes from the "Pimp My Grits" menu section at Vivian's restaurant.  This is some seriously tasty stuff.

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It's another 3-part recipe.  

Part 1 was the Pimento Cheese, something I've never made. The recipe in the book is a little different from many I've read as it uses 2 sharp cheddar cheeses (sharp yellow cheddar and aged white cheddar) and no softer cheeses like Velveeta or cream cheese.  I used what I had on hand, an 18-month old sharp NY yellow cheddar and a 2-year old Canadian white cheddar.  Not a lot of mayo either, just 1/4 cup for 20 ounces of grated cheddar.  It makes a nice sharp spread.  I made that yesterday and performed some quality control testing involving Triscuits which cleared the pimento cheese to advance.

Today, I moved on to part 2 and made Vivian's Foolproof Grits which she cooks in milk, in a double boiler.  I wanted to make them in the Instant Pot but I figured I'd go by the book since this was another first for me - I've never cooked grits before either.  They took around 40 minutes to cook but required very little attention, just an occasional stir.  My previous grits experience was with something closely resembling paste but I bought some fancy heirloom stone-ground grits and thought they came out really well.  They taste rich and have a nice texture. 

Part 3 was the salsa. I followed Vivian's instructions to cut the onion and jalapeño in paper-thin slices and the tomatoes into fine dice.  I veered off by adding some avocado. Entirely unnecessary but I had some leftover from breakfast.

To assemble the dish, the cooked grits are placed into a cast iron skillet and topped with a layer of pimento cheese.  This is done by pressing the cheese into a disk between 2 sheets of waxed paper.  I chose a shorter baking time since I used a small skillet but I should have watched more closely as the top is a little darker than I intended.   

Those pimento cheese grits are really good. I like the way the top of the grits is infused with the sharp pimento cheese in contrast with the plain, creamy grits on the bottom of the pan. The cool, tart, spicy salsa is a great contrast to the warm, melty grits.  I bought unsalted chips by mistake but they were perfect to add some crunch.

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My attempt at the Avocado and Tomato with Broken-Egg Dressing. image.jpeg.d7149b4a7a97793a34a06e97ac5f1e73.jpeg

 

 I went with my own proportions of ingredients and did not pre-soak the onions as I do enjoy the bite against the richness of the avocado.  

 

 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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Today, I made the Sage Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Bacon-Roasted Rutabagas.  Served with Foolproof Grits (also from Deep Run Roots) and some charred Brussels Sprouts because I thought something green was in order.

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I did the pork sous vide with a quick sear as there's nothing special about how it's cooked in the book. The sage honey sauce is just added at serving.  It's nice: sage, honey, cider vinegar, smashed garlic cloves, mustard seeds and chili flakes get simmered and reduced into a nice glaze. I inadvertently over-reduced it so I added the bag juices to thin it out and add a little more flavor.  

The bacon-roasted rutabagas are pretty amazing and perfect with the pork.  The recipe calls for slab bacon, which I could not find so I cut some thick sliced bacon into cubes.  They fanned out a bit but didn't come apart.  If anyone asks, I'm calling them Hasselback bacon croutons :D.

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I'm pretty sure I should not be eating this "artery cement" but some things, ya just gotta try. Like this Baked Pimento Cheese and Sausage. I made about 1/8 the recipe, perfect for one of my littlest cast iron skillets.

It's very good but I'm still pretty sure I should not be eating it :D

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Edited to add that this is cooked sausage mixed with pimento cheese, pressed into a pan, topped with panko and baked. Vivian says serve with saltines, Ritz or toast.  I always like toast :D


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Today, I substituted seared scallops into the recipe for Miso Flounder with Cucumber Noodles and Gingered Collards.  Another great combination of flavors and textures.

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I dug out the spiralizer for the cucumber noodles. They are delightfully fresh and crunchy, marinated in a mix of salt, sugar, scallions, sherry vinegar, chopped mint, lime juice and hot sauce.  I see that sesame seeds should have been added at the end but they remain on the counter.  Oops. These cucumbers are really good and I would use them as a bed for any sort of grilled seafood or shellfish.

The gingered collards seemed a bit chewy to me at first bite but were a good contrast in flavor and texture to the rest of the plate.  They are sautéed first with ginger, garlic, red chili flakes and salt and finished off with orange juice and a pinch of brown sugar.  The miso butter sauce has a bit of red onion, sake, miso, mirin, honey and hot sauce. And butter!  

White rice is recommended but after much searching, it appears the only white rice in my cupboard is arborio so I cooked up some brown basmati rice instead.  

 

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