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Hot Sauce at Home: Fermented Pepper Sauce, Part 1

My first foray into making Lousiana pepper sauce started with a search for red chiles. Tabasco chiles were introduced to Louisiana in the 1800s and became the favorite chile for bottled pepper sauces. The recipe included the elaborate step of fermenting the ripe red peppers in oak barrels. Pepper pickers carried a stick painted with the shade of red that the peppers needed to reach. The ripeness was important because you need a decent level of sugar to get the fermentation process going.

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Eating Roses

My daughter Katie Walsh writes for a food blog called Whisked Foodie She called me the other day to ask where to get edible roses. (If you have a source, please share it under “comments.”) This question seems to come up once a year around this time. I used to grow organic roses so I could cook with them, but growing roses without chemicals proved too be to big a challenge for my modest gardening skills.

Still, the question brought back fond memories of Valentine’s Day cooking projects.

This article and the recipe for Quail in Rose Petal Sauce ran in column I used to write for Natural History Magazine “A Matter of Taste.” The story was published in May of 1999. (story and recipe after the jump)

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Advance Review of TEXAS EATS

From Ten Speed Press, release date March 6, 2012 Preorder from Amazon

Many thanks to’s Spring Cookbook Preview for the kind words about the new cookbook!

The Eater Spring 2012 Cookbook and Food Book Preview Monday, January 9, 2012, by Paula Forbes

American Regional: Texas Eats: The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook, […]

Edna's Fried Chicken

The reason I got a huge Lodge Chicken Fryer was to make Edna Lewis’s famous chicken recipe. It was over a year later that I actually got around to making it. The fryer didn’t gather dust. I fried a lot of chicken in it, I just never had the time for the elaborate preparations Edna’s recipe requires.

In that recipe, which was made famous by chef Scott Peacock, the cut up chicken gets 12 hours of brining followed by 12 hours of buttermilk marinating before you proceed with the seasoning and flouring. Then you hold the floured pieces of chicken on a rack for half an hour to get the crust to stick and finally you fry the chicken in a large cast iron skillet full of lard jazzed up with butter and country ham.

My wife got really tired of that raw chicken sloshing around in our refrigerator for two days. She was happy to help eat the chicken though. To tell the truth, I faithfully executed the marinating and flouring, but I substituted peanut oil for the lard. So I guess I still haven’t really made Edna Lewis’s fried chicken.

I want to say the flavor and the juiciness of the resulting chicken was worth the effort. It was awfully good. But the next time I make fried chicken, I am much more likely to use a quick recipe like the spicy Cajun fried chicken recipe below. I’ll save Edna Lewis’s famous fried chicken recipe for very special events.

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Texas Eats: The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook

From Ten Speed Press, release date March 6, 2012 Preorder from Amazon
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2012 Foodways Texas BBQ Summer Camp

Foodways Texas announces BBQ Summer Camp dates and details: From Foodways Texas: “Mark your calendars for June 8-10, 2012, for the Foodways Texas Barbecue Summer Camp held in partnership with the Texas A&M University Meat Science Center in College Station, Texas. Tickets for the camp will go on sale sometime in November and we […]

Peach Sauce "No Minors"

Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla with brandied Texas peaches is an amazingly tasty combination. Looks like it is going to be the house dessert at my place for quite a while. And pint jars of brandied peach sauce are probably going to be what we give out for Christmas presents this year too. I have 30 pints of the stuff. Funny thing is, I didn’t set out to make this much brandied peach sauce.
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Cooking Demo on "Great Day Houston"

Just in case you missed me this morning on Great Day Houston, here’s the segment.

Sauerkraut and Beans

Mom Marvels at Homemade Kraut

We used all my homemade sauerkraut–three heads of cabbage worth–in one holiday meal. The Ruthenian Christmas Eve feast features 12 meatless dishes. My mom used the kraut in a folded pizza dough creation known as pagachi in the Carpathian Mountains. I don’t know the name of the other […]

How to Make Sauerkraut

First chop some cabbage

As a sauerkraut fanatic, I always intended to make my own someday. My grandmother made sauerkraut in a barrel. There was wooden disk inside the barrel with a stone on top that kept the cabbage submerged. In my fantasy, I was going to get a big food-safe plastic container and make 20 pounds of the stuff. Then I read some recipes for making small amounts in a bowl. In these simple recipes, you chop up cabbage, salt it, put it in a bowl with a plate and weight on top.
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