Sweet potatoes

How to make ‘Sweet Potato Queen’ casserole like a true Southerner

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

Some years ago, Mississippi’s Jill Conner Browne wrote a series of hilarious books based on her “Sweet Potato Queen” stories and philosophies of Southern culture. Fortunately, she also offered a recipe for said-named casserole, which I’ve expropriated and adapted through the years because my daughter likes it so much.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

It’s now a staple of our Thanksgiving feast and equally delicious leftovers. That’s why I usually make two casseroles – one for the midday meal and another for later.

You will love it, and it couldn’t be much easier. It’s a nice, fluffy, modern “company” side dish that I think is far superior to grandma’s marshmallow-topped version. You will appreciate it even more, if you read Jill’s books.

Header image via louisianasweetpotatoes.wordpress.com and used in accordance with the Creative Commons user agreement.

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We’re planning our Thanksgiving menu. Are you?

Holiday alert! The Southfacin’ Cook will begin soon with some fabulous ideas and tips for your holiday table. This week, please go out and buy your sweet potatoes in anticipation of my “Sweet Potato Queens Casserole” recipe.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Sweet potatoes need to chill in the refrigerator a couple of weeks before you cook them so they increase in sugar content. I’ve already got mine there.

As for how many to buy, figure one large tater for every two servings. I mean “large,” too. I look for potatoes about the same size so that they will bake across the same time. Baking is the best way to go because it also maximizes the sugar content.

Watch for my cooking lesson and recipe in a couple of weeks. We’ll cover the sweet potato casserole, the turkey, gravy, cornbread dressing and more.

Header image via flickr user Nick Bastian.

How to make sour cream pound cake like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

My father didn’t do much cooking. Chiefly, he’s remembered for accidentally setting fire to the kitchen while trying to cook bacon and watch the World Series simultaneously. We’ve never been much for multi-tasking.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

But the man could make a really good pound cake – dense, crusty, delicious. Where he got his recipe is unknown to me, but lately I found one very much like it in my mother’s recipe box. It was an old, brown newspaper clipping taped to a file card.

It is beyond delicious! It’s tall and just the right density, and so buttery. You will love it, and your guests will think you are the greatest baker ever.

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Free dinner party Nov. 2 in New Orleans

The fabulous folks at Chaos Cooking are back in New Orleans and are hosting another dinner party. We’re excited. Chaos Cooking had a New Orleans event earlier this year (pix) and we met all sorts of new people and ate so much good food.

Joe and Margaret started Chaos Cooking in Brooklyn. They made Vietnamese shrimp rolls at the #NOLAmash event in March. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

Joe and Margaret started Chaos Cooking in Brooklyn. They made Vietnamese shrimp rolls at the #NOLAmash event in March. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

The concept:

Our staple event is where everyone brings the ingredients for one dish and then cooks together in one space. All recipes must be finished and space returned to original condition by the end of the event, while everyone is socializing, enjoying drinks and eating tasty dishes.

The New Orleans event is Saturday (Nov. 2) from 6 to 10 p.m. More info:

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How to make garlic cheese grits like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

My mother, Betty, wasn’t the world’s greatest cook but she did a few things very well. One was garlic-cheese grits, which is a great side substitute for potatoes or rice or all by itself.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

My daughter, Margaret, once had the flu more than 10 hours away from home and only had the strength to make one thing to sustain her. You got it – these garlic-cheese grits. She forever sings their praises and asked me to make them for this blog.

Garlic-cheese grits is perfect for a couple of folks or for a buffet brunch/dinner for company. You also can make the dish ahead of time, then pop it into the oven for baking later.

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Where to eat in New Orleans 10/14/2013

We’re eating & drinking our way through New Orleans with the #NewinNOLA crew. For the week of Oct. 7 to Oct. 14, we filled up our bellies at:

crawfish bread at the Louisiana Seafood Festival (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

crawfish bread at the Louisiana Seafood Festival (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

  • the Louisiana Seafood Festival
  • Baie Rouge
  • Rouses

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Where to eat in New Orleans 10/7/2013

We’re eating & drinking our way through New Orleans with the #NewinNOLA crew. Venues from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7:

This is the vegetarian grape leaf plate from Mona's on Magazine. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

This is the vegetarian grape leaf plate from Mona’s on Magazine. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

  • Hansen’s in Uptown
  • Hollygrove Market & Farm
  • Taj Mahal in Old Metairie
  • Mona’s on Magazine Street
  • McClure’s Barbecue on Magazine Street
  • Cafe du Monde in the quarter
  • Mister Apple in the quarter

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How to make a muffuletta like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

So, you’re saying, if I’m in New Orleans, what’s the point of making myself a muffuletta when I can just go down to Central Grocery in the Quarter and get the best?

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

True, but some of us don’t have that luxury. Kind of like when somebody asked the other day why I used “foreign” raised crawfish in crawfish pie. (Because I’m in extreme north Mississippi.)

The muffuletta came to New Orleans from Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Lupo, who reportedly watched lunchtime juggling of Sicilian immigrant farmers trying to eat bread, salami, cheeses and olive salad at mid-day. Soon after, he was offering the sandwich at Central Market.

This recipe is another from “Louisiana Kitchen & Culture” magazine and comes from Nor-Joe’s in Metairie. Now, I can make it myself.

So can you. Enjoy.

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How to make tamale pie like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

New in NOLA’s Carlie collects Louisiana cooking info to pass along to me for this column. This week, she hit the jackpot with the September/October edition of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine. The magazine is for sale at Whole Foods.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

From muffulettas to grilled oysters on the half-shell, it is jammed packed with sensational recipes.

I’m going to make a few for this column, so get ready for some exciting, tasty eating.

This week, I’ll start with tamale pie because I am too lazy to make tamales. The town of Zwolle hosts an annual tamale fiesta the second weekend in October. That’s next weekend, y’all. Wish I could be there. FYI – it’s about a 4.5 hour drive from New Orleans.

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Oct. 1 – today – is last day of the 2013 season for a Hansen’s snoball

Today is the last day of 2013 for Hansen’s Snobliz. The iconic New Orleans snoball stand is open today from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. before closing up shop until spring 2014. Sad face.

The NewinNOLA crew & our friends are big fans of Hansen's. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com)

The NewinNOLA crew & our friends are big fans of Hansen’s. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com)

Remember, this place is cash only, with a single flavor, small snoball starting at $1.50. We plan on lining up early for our creambeaux. What are you going to get?

Some of our favorites:

  • Creambeaux – a trio of the cream flavors
  • Satsuma – a tart, clear citrus flavor
  • Coconut cream
  • Nectar
  • Wild cherry
  • Vanilla bean
  • Peach cream