Grilled Pineapple, Peaches and Plums

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Pineapple
Light brown sugar
Peaches
Vegetable oil
Plums
3 pounds good-quality lump charcoal

Cut the pineapple into wedges or spears. Press the cut sides into the brown sugar. Cut the peaches in half, remove the pits, and lightly oil the peach halves. Lightly brush oil onto the plums.

Set up the cooker for direct cooking: Open the top and bottom vents. Pile 2 pounds of the charcoal in the bottom. Load a charcoal chimney one-quarter full of charcoal and light it. When the coals in the chimney are glowing, dump them on top of the pile already in the cooker and close the lid. Adjust the vents as necessary to establish a steady temperature between 350to 375 degrees for direct grilling.

Open the cooker and spread the fruits evenly over the charcoal, cut side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they soften and are nicely marked. Pull the fruits off the cooker and arrange on a large serving tray.

Serve immediately or at room temperature.

“New South” Sweet Sriracha Pecans

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4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce
2 cups pecan halves
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the honey and Sriracha in a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until thinned and well mixed.

Remove from the heat and add the pecans. Stir well until the pecans are lightly coated.

Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes.

Add the sugar and salt in a bowl. When the pecans are done, add them to the bowl with the sugar/salt mixture. Stir until the pecans are completely coated.

Spread out pecans and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, not that they will last that long.

Warning these pecans are highly addictive.

 

 

Conch Fritters

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1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped conch meat
½ onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 cup water

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, Dutch oven, or deep fryer to 365 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix in the conch meat, onion, bell pepper, celery, tomato paste, and water.

In batches, drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fritters to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

 

Quintessential Boiled Peanuts

South Louisianans boil peanuts with Tabasco mash, others throw in crab boil. Some fans prefer them warm, others demand that they be chilled.  People eating boiled peanuts are usually engaged in other tasks—driving, chatting, fishing, watching a ball game.

Peanuts came to North America from Africa and the Caribbean with the slave trade, sometime before the American Revolution. African Americans grew and popularized the peanut both boiled and roasted.

For many the quintessential experience is purchasing them by the side of the road or in a gas station, in soggy brown kraft-paper bags.

Here is the simplest recipe from which a thousand variations can be made:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 pounds (8 cups) freshly dug green peanuts in shell
  • 3 tablespoons salt

Bring the water and salt to a low boil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the peanuts and cook to taste, usually 1 to 2 hours. Some like the shell to become soft enough almost to be edible. Let the peanuts sit in the water off the heat until the desired degree of saltiness is reached.

Kuromame (Sweet Black Soybeans)

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  • 3½ ounces kuromame (black soybean)
  • 3 ounces raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon  Japanese soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Rinse kuromame and discard any that have spoiled.  Soak it in  water for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Discard the water.

Boil kuromame with water in a pot and add sugar, soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer under low heat for about 3 hours or until soft. Remove any white foam and impurities that form during simmering.

Remove from heat and let it cool. Refrigerate overnight so that the beans will absorb more flavor.

 

Fancy Crab Hush Puppies

3 cups White Lily buttermilk cornmeal mix
1 cup White Lily self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped scallions
2½ cups buttermilk
1 pound lump crab-meat
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Tartar sauce for dipping

Fill a deep-sided cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven with 1 inch of oil. Place over medium-high heat, and bring the oil to 375 degrees. Monitor and keep the temperature between 350 and 375 degrees while you are frying.

In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Working in batches, drop a tablespoons into the oil and fry until golden and crisp, usually 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve with a bowl of tartar sauce for dipping

Bindaetteok (Korean Mung Bean Pancakes)

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2 cups dried mung beans, rinsed a few times
¼ cup sweet rice, rinsed a few times
½ cup kimchi liquid
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Pinch of coarse salt
1 generous cup finely diced kimchi
Vegetable oil, for frying
Korean Scallion Dipping Sauce

Add the mung beans and rice in a medium bowl. Add cold water to cover by 1 inch and soak for at least 6 hours and up to 24.

Drain the soaked mung beans and rice and place in a blender along with ½ cup fresh water, the kimchi liquid, fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt. Blend being careful not to over mix as it should be coarsely pureed.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the kimchi.

Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Using a ¼-cup measure, ladle in the pancake batter to form pancakes and cook until crisp and browned on the first side, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until crisp and browned on the other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a paper towel-lined plate and continue with the remaining batter and more oil as necessary.

Serve hot with Scallion Dipping Sauce.