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The winner of five best cookbook awards (Tastemaker, James Beard, IACP) and a member of the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame, Jean Anderson writes for Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Cottage Living, Gourmet, More, and other national publications. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
A Love Affair with Southern Cooking (2007)
Food of Portugal (1994)
Process This (2005)
Quick Loaves (2005)
The New German Cookbook (1993)
A Love Affair with Southern Cooking
Snap Beans with Mustard and Country Ham
To many Southerners, green beans are "snap beans" because they "snap" when you break them. This recipe, my own, combines three southern favorites: green beans, mustard, and country ham. I like these beans best with roast turkey, grilled or roast chicken. But they're equally delicious with pork chops or roast pork. Some southern supermarkets sell biscuit slices, slim rounds of country ham ready to cook and slip into biscuits. Others sell country ham by the piece or the pound. If not available in your area, see Sources (page 401). Note: Because of the saltiness of the ham, the mustard, and the broth, these beans are unlikely to need additional salt. But taste before serving and adjust as needed.
1 tablespoon butter, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
3 ounces uncooked country ham, finely diced
6 medium scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped (include some green tops)
1 pound tender young green beans, tipped and snapped in two if large
1½ cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour blended with 2 tablespoons cold water (thickener)
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat, add the ham and scallions, and cook, stirring now and then, for 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add the beans and broth and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the broth bubbles gently, cover, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the beans are crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, combine the thickener and the mustard and set aside. As soon as the beans are done, whisk a little of the hot broth into the mustard mixture, stir back into the pan, add the pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until the broth thickens. Continue cooking uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce has the consistency of a glaze.
Taste the beans for salt and pepper, adjust as needed, and serve straightaway.
Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel's-Raisin Sauce
Serves 6 to 8
There's a popular Krispy Kreme bread pudding down south that contains both honey-glazed doughnuts and sweetened condensed milk, but as much as I love sweets, this one sets my teeth on edge. So I've come up with a version that's a tad less sinful. The only doughnuts to use are the original honey-glazed Krispy Kremes. And they should be at least two days old. Note: This pudding puffs majestically as it bakes, hence the need for a 2½-quart baking dish. Rush it to the table just as you would a soufflé. If you're not in the mood for the sauce, top the pudding with fresh berries or thinly sliced fresh peaches and a trickle of milk or cream.
2½ cups milk
3 large eggs
1⁄3 cup raw or granulated sugar
¼ cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey, dark rum, or brandy
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
6 dry honey-glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, broken into 1-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
Jack Daniel's-Raisin Sauce (page 284)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Thoroughly butter a 2½-quart soufflé dish or straight-sided casserole and set aside.
Whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, whiskey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add the doughnuts, toss lightly, and let stand for 10 minutes.
Scoop all into the soufflé dish, spreading to the edge and smoothing the top.
Slide the soufflé dish onto the middle oven shelf and bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed, lightly browned, and set like custard.
Serve at once with Jack Daniel's-Raisin Sauce.
The foregoing is excerpted from A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson. All rights reserved.