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Foodie Friday: Comeback Sauce

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Unless you’ve spent some serious time in Mississippi, you’ve likely never heard of Comeback Sauce. There is this great restaurant in Jackson, the Mayflower (it was in The Help), that serves Comeback Sauce on their iceberg salad. After one of our initial visits there, my parents bought a container of the sauce. I spent an entire summer living off of blt’s slatered in that comeback sauce.

We moved out of Mississippi years ago and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I had comeback sauce again. Ever since then I’ve been looking at recipes planning on one day making it myself. This week it happened.

Comeback Sauce (also known as Kum-Back Sauce)
Recipe from Bayou Cuisine published by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Indianola, MS.

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup chili sauce (found on the condiment aisle near the ketchup)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Wesson oil
dash of tabasco
dash of paprika
juice of grated onion (or 1/4 onion very finely chopped)
2 tablespoon water
1 tsp prepared mustard

Mix all ingredients in a jar or bowl and store in the fridge. Great on a salad, on a sandwich, or as my dad eats it, spread over a saltine.

I still plan on trying the other recipes for Comeback Sauce that I’ve bookmarked, but this ensures that at least I’ve got a jar in the fridge until I find the recipe for me. Hope you enjoy!

Foodie Friday: Vodka Sauce

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Back in my single days, there were a few dishes that my then roommate and I used to make regularly because we loved them so much. One of them was penne with vodka sauce. We tried multiple recipes, and finally found…the one. The most magical one. Easy, creamy, a little sweet, with a good spicy twist.

When Josh and I started dating, I sort of filed that dish away mentally as “something I’ll make one day when he’s not around.” Then I forgot about it. I mean, it had a cup of heavy cream in it. Not something he could eat.

Over the last few months, I started craving it again. Then one day I realized, duh, coconut milk would work perfectly for the cream. So I started trying to hunt down the elusive recipe and couldn’t find any that looked right. Luckily, my old roommate has typed it into a Google doc and saved it at one point, so there was no need for tears (it was close).

We have no idea where we got this recipe, but it is, in my opinion, the best vodka sauce of all time. No biggie.

Josh’s response to this dish? “Why have you been holding out on me?!”

Note: To make it vegan, I switch out coconut milk for the heavy cream. Since the coconut milk is naturally sweeter, I omit the sugar from the recipe. Also, I always double the amount of red pepper flakes for a good kick.

Penna With Vodka Cream Sauce

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (double for extra kick)
  • 1/2 c vodka
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (about 8 leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 lb pasta

Cook pasta according to directions, making sure to reserve some of the pasta water.

Process garlic through garlic press into small bowl and stir in 1 tsp water. Heat olive oil and garlic and red pepper flakes in saute pan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add vodka and simmer 5 minutes longer. Stir in cream, ground black pepper to taste, basil, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. At this point you can transfer the sauce to food processor and pulse to a course puree. I actually prefer to leave it a little chunky so I don’t bother to do this. Return sauce to pan and simmer over medium heat to thicken for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add a small amount of pasta water to add flavor.

Serve over pasta and enjoy!

(We would usually drink our beloved lemon drops with this) 

 

 

Foodie Friday: Herb Aioli

Photo courtesy Martha Stewart('s team of photographers)

I had another recipe for today. A recipe that I made a massive amount of for this week’s lunches.

A recipe that turned out to be a complete diseaster. Seriously, it’s all thrown out, that’s how bad it was.

Apparently soba noodles and I don’t get along.

Probably doesn’t help that I was super high on Claritin D at the time.

Instead, I’m posting a really delicious sauce that I made this week that shows up pretty frequently in our home.

We put it on lamb chops mainly, but it would really be good on any meat, and is also delicious on vegetables.

Considering mixing it with orzo now too, since I do love some orzo salad.

We’ve changed an herb to suit our taste (since parsley is of the DEVIL, but the recipe actually call for it instead of cilantro) but that’s part of the beauty of the recipe. Change it to suit your taste. Sometimes we throw some hot chili oil in it to give it a little kick. Sometimes we mix in some lemon juice. Sometimes. we forget an herb.

It’s still delicious.

Recipe copied ( and slightly tweaked) from Martha Stewart

Herb Aioli

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Throw the egg, garlic, and herbs into the food processor and mix til finely chopped and well mixed. Then, with the food processor going, slowly add the oils in a steady stream until fully incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a covered container and chill until needed. The flavors really do come together more after an hour or so.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Foodie Friday: Bolognese

One of the things I love most about weekends (besides, oh, everything) is that I have time. Time to read, time to be a bum, and time to cook something and let its deliciousness develop while I’m reading and being a bum.

When I saw this recipe last week, I knew I had my perfect Sunday afternoon project, and I’m so glad I did. this turned out to be, with a few tweaks to suit our tastes, one of the best sauces I’ve had. There’s something so cozy about spaghetti with meat sauce, and it’s even cozier when it has been simmering for about 4 hours, filling the house with it’s wonderful smell.

Make it this weekend, if you have the time.

Bolognese Sauce

from Merry Gourmet

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans (26- to 28-ounces each) tomato puree
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • A few dashes of worcestershire sauce (optional)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot, and cook vegetables until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more, or until garlic is fragrant. Add beef, pork, and a big pinch of salt; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and breaking up any clumps, until meat is browned and none of it is pink. Add milk and Italian seasoning, and cook, stirring often until the milk has evaporated almost completely, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add white wine; cook, stirring often, until the wine has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree; when the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat down to low. Simmer for at least 2 hours. At the two hour mark, I felt mine still needed a little somethin somethin and added the optional additions above. Do what you like. Cook for another two hours if you have the time. Please make the time. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over your favorite pasta, and pretend you’re in an Italian grandmother’s kitchen.

 

Foodie Friday: Pancho’s Dressing

In Memphis we have this restaurant called Pancho’s. Not sure if they exist outside the Memphis area or not, but if not I feel bad for you. Growing up we’d have family dinners there. We even had our favorite waitress. But we moved away and then many of the area restaurants closed and it became long forgotten. Except for their salad dressing. Between the ages of 8 – 16 the only thing I’d order out at restaurants were salads. Pancho’s had an amazing salad dressing. I can’t even describe it, its un-classifiable.

Recently I discovered there’s a Pancho’s Taco near my workplace. It’s sort of like Taco Bell only more delicious and poses a few less food poisoning threats.

Years ago my mom cut out a series of Pancho’s knock-off recipes from our local paper. The dressing recipe has been my recent favorite. Try it on a taco salad, regular salad, an impromptu pasta salad, whatever floats your boat. It would even be a delicious marinade.

PD Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp crushed oregano (or to taste)

Process everything except oregano in a blender until sugar is dissolved. Stir in oregano. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Foodie Fridays: Basil Chimichurri Sauce

Even though Josh and I have been running around like crazy, trying to get things ready for the wedding, we still need to eat. Weird, but true.

Money is tight because of wedding related shenanigans, so one night I was determined to make us a good meal using only what we had on hand. I threw some pasta in a pot, and cooked some frozen shrimp, chorizo, and bell peppers.

The beauty that tied it all together and made it a rather tasty meal?

Basil chimichurri sauce.

Traditionally chimichurri is parsley, not basil. I have a deep seated hatred for parsley however, as does Josh (so meant for each other), so when I saw a version made with basil instead, I might have clapped my hands in delight. We have a TON of basil growing right now, so this was a great way to use some of it.

Basil Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 cup finely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz thoroughly. Season to taste.

We just spooned some of this over the pasta and toppings, and settled in for some quality Harry Potter watching (yup, I’ve got Josh addicted to the movies now. I win!).

 

Foodie Friday: Crack

There is no point in lolling about if you aren’t eating good food. While I love the occasional loll with a bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos, that is not a good long-term decision. For one thing, you really need to go wash your hands well after eating a few of those. Orange fingers are not attractive.

Another problem with eating like that? You should really be working out, and everyone knows that nothing gets in the way of lolling like exercise. I do the occasional video workup, or random set of push ups, but I am not consistent in any way. Since I don’t want to wind up like Gilbert Grape’s mom, I try to eat pretty healthy. Not always, but often. It helps that I genuinely love fruits and vegetables.

Salads are the pretty much the easiest and healthiest meals I eat. I mean, seriously, when else can you throw a bunch of leftover bits and pieces into a bowl, top it with a dressing, and call it a fabulous meal?!

This is my favorite dressing. I tend to make it almost weekly in the summer, in large batches so I don’t have to keep remaking it. Sometimes I tweak the ingredients a little (lemon zest in place of garlic, etc…) if I feel a certain veggie combination needs it, but you really can’t go wrong with the classic version. This is the first thing my sister requested I make for her birthday dinner this year, so I think it catches on pretty fast.

Crack Dressing

1/2 c olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Shake it all together, and be prepared to get completely addicted.

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