This banana bread is my great grandmother’s recipe except for a single addition, a little trick I learned in Hawaii. It has Cocoa Nibs added. They are pure chocolate which does not have any sugar or butterfat added. They do not melt, but remain crunchy and full of chocolate flavor.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
- 2 cups self rising flour, plus more for pan
- 4-5 medium very ripe bananas peeled and mashed
- 1/2 cup full fat yogurt or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup cocoa nibs
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Mash bananas and stir in the yogurt/sour cream and vanilla
- Using a mixer beat the butter, add eggs one at a time, beating till fluffy.
- Blend remaining ingredients in a bowl and using the mixer beat in a little at a time till fully blended.
- Place in a buttered and floured bread pan.
- Bake for 70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool slightly, then serve with sweet butter!
I had a New Years Day dinner party and decided to have a Hispanic theme. I usually make my Chiles en Nogada for Christmas, but I was busy working on Christmas Eve and decided to postpone that tradition till New Years. I have done a lot of regional Mexican and South American cooking, spent a great deal of time in Latin America from a young age and went to cooking school in Mexico. Since moving to the Low Country, I have been interested in the spin that my friend Sandra A. Gutierrez has put on some of the traditional Latino recipes and ingredients in her book The New Southern-Latino Table. I decided to incorporate a few of her recipes into my menu for New Years and the first one was Collard Green Empanadas. In the south it is a tradition to eat two things on New Years, greens which represent folded money and black eyed peas which represent good luck. Sandra had recipes using both ingredients, so I made them her way with a few twists of my own.
Here is the recipe for the empanadas. She suggested frying store bought empanadas dough or and I wanted to bake, so I used store bought pie pastry & baked them because of the time and mess crunch with all of the other parts of the meal. But you can make them with your favorite pastry dough too. I have filling leftover and plan on doing that next weekend.
- 2 Tablespoons Bacon Drippings (or vegetable oil)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion or shallots
- 1 tablespoon Vik’s Garlic Fix (or 4 garlic cloves finely chopped + a teaspoon of salt)
- 1 bag of chopped frozen collard greens
- 1/2 cup cooked and chopped bacon (I bake my bacon with Sweet Onion Sugar on it)
- 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup cojita or fresco cheese (optional) these cheeses can be found at Hispanic markets or the Piggly Wiggly if you live in Charleston, KTA if you are on the Big Island of Hawaii
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 egg whisked
- Sweet Onion Sugar or Habanero Sugar
- 16 empanada disks or 1 package of Pillsbury pie dough.
- In a large skillet heat the oil/drippings and cook the onions till translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about 20 seconds, then add the drained collard greens. Saute for a few minutes and remove from the heat, cool for 20 minutes.
- On a floured surface roll out the pie dough to an increase of about 25%. Cut circles with a biscuit cutter or glass. *you can make them bigger if you have a larger cutter, using more filling.
- Put a teaspoon of filling on each disk and brush the egg wash around the edges. Close and seal, using a fork to crimp the edges. Use the remaining egg was on top of the empanadas. Sprinkle with the flavored sugar. Top with Habenero Sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with salsa.
During my trip to Charleston I spent a glorious lunch at Husk. One of the many delights that we were served were their signature Kentuckyaki Chicken Wings. They utilize a sauce made by Bourbon Barell Foods called Kentuckyaki Sauce. The sauce is basically a kicked up teriyaki sauce made with southern ingredients (except for maybe the ginger). Since I did not have the sauce on hand and I wanted to try these wings for Superbowl… I checked the ingredients for the sauce on their website and deduced that I have access to all of the ingredients to the sauce … so I did a dump and taste version of the sauce and here are the ending results:
2 Cups Soy Sauce (soybeans, wheat, salt, water, yeast)
1/2 cup Kentucky Sorghum
1/2 cup local honey
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
8 cloves Fresh Garlic very finely grated
a 2″ piece of Fresh Ginger very finely grated
1 cup of Kentucky Bourbon divided in 1/2 cup portions
Add all ingredients except the final 1/2 cup of bourbon and simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Add the second 1/2 cup of bourbon and simmer for five minutes. Allow to cool completely. This the basic sauce, which is quite thin and can be used if you want to make more of a glaze, you can add a cornstarch slurry of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Add to the sauce and simmer further till thickened.
Prepping the wings:
Make a gallon of sweet tea using mint just as you would for drinking (1 cup of sugar to 2 qts. water and 10 teabags). I add several sprigs of mint in mine too. I also added some juniper berries and about 1/3 cup of sea salt. Put the wings in a heavy duty ziplock bag or plastic container and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.
Remove the wings from the brine and dry off with paper towels. Put them in a smoker for 3 hours on very low heat. You only want a small amount of smoke and you want the wings to retain moisture.
Fry the wings in canola oil (350 degrees) and drain. It is best to do this in small batches so that the oil maintains temperature. It should not go below 225 degrees. Drain the wings on a rack and then keep warm in the oven as you are frying.
Toss the wings in the sauce and place on a platter. Scatter sesame seeds and chopped chives on the wings. Enjoy!
These go great with my coleslaw!
I made two coleslaw recipes for Superbowl… one was a red cabbage slaw and the other was this North Carolina Slaw… goes great with Eastern Carolina BBQ too!
- Delicous, healthy and VEGAN!
Here is the simple recipe:
- 1/2 cup of cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil (optional but I find it makes the salad smoother tasting)
- 4 tablespoons sugar or agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds (optional)
- 1 pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon of Tabasco sauce (optional)
- 1 head green cabbage
Mix all ingredients except the cabbage together and stir well till the sugar is dissolved.
Shred the cabbage. I use the slicing blade on my food processor, but you can slice by hand or with a grater that has a slicing blade. You do not want this to be grated in small pieces as with a creamy cole slaw.
20-30 minutes before serving toss the dressing with the cabbage and chill till serving time, toss again and add more black pepper.