To round out the Akin Family Christmas trilogy, we now have the quintessentially Southern giblet gravy. I know words like “gizzard” and “turkey neck” turn some people off, but for real Southerners, they just mean flavor.
This is my Aunt Sylvia’s gravy recipe, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to turkey or oyster dressing. And it’s actually pretty darn good over everything, but people look at you funny if you cover your whole plate in it, so consider yourself warned.
turkey neck, liver, and gizzard
1 boiled egg, chopped
1 large spoonful of dressing
- Boil turkey neck, liver and gizzard in chicken stock. Chop.
- Add one large spoonful of dressing and the egg and stir until mixed.
- Thicken with cornstarch to desired consistency.
The Chef sent me this recipe months ago, and it stalled out in my Inbox because black beans – or beans of any kind, really – often bore the crap out of me.
But the more I started looking at it, the more intrigued I became. The Mexican seasonings, the chorizo, and the suggestion that you serve it alongside quail – arguably the most adorable and delectable of tiny game birds – finally changed my mind.
The Chef also mentioned this is one of his favorite recipes from the CIA Cookbook, and whether that means “Central Intelligence Agency” or “Culinary Institute of America” to you, it’s pretty badass either way.
1 lb dried black beans
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chorizo sausage
2/3 cup yellow onion, diced medium
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cornmeal
- Soak bean overnight in enough cold water to cover them by 3 inches.
- Drain beans, place in a pot, and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain.
- Cook the chorizo over medium heat in a saute pan until the fat is rendered and the chorizo is slightly crispy. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno, and saute until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the cumin and chili powder and saute until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.
- Combine beans, chorizo mixture, egg, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Mix well, mashing some of the beans to help keep the cake together.
- Form the mixture into 16 cakes, about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Dust the cakes lightly with cornmeal.
- Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat. Cook the cakes until heat through, about 4 to 6 minutes. The Chef says you’re gonna have to work in batches here, so be prepared to move quickly.
Serve these immediately (because these suckers are best hot), preferably with grilled quail and Coffee BBQ Sauce.
This recipe comes from good friend and fellow chef, Nathaniel. It looks INSANE and I cannot wait to try it out! -ts
Chef Nathaniel says: This cookie caught my eye while waiting in the checkout line at Citarella. The ingredients were simple and basic. I thought to myself I could replicate this cookie and make it better. The key to a chocolate chip cookie is CHOCOLATE. Quality ingredients will create a quality outcome. Enjoy!
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt Sea Salt
2 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2.5 teaspoon vanilla
3.5oz very dark chocolate bar (chopped)
3.5oz dark chocolate bar with sea salt (chopped)
11 1/2 bag semi sweet chocolate
- Preheat oven 375
- Mixed flour, baking soda, sea salt in a bowl put aside.
- Mix butter, sugars together. Add vanilla, eggs one at a time. Slowly mix dry flour mixture in mixer. Then add chocolate.
- Bake at 375 for 9 minutes and sprinkle sea salt on top.
As I spent my Easter Sunday watching 12 hours of deliciously ridiculous docudrama programming about William & Kate (thanks Lifetime!), I started thinking that we needed a recipe for some dainty finger food for those of you who are planning Royal Wedding Watch Parties.
So I started discussing options with Carol, the resident guru of all things Will-and-Kate, and guess what? I hate English food. Or what I think is English food. Cucumber sandwiches, scones, crumpets, that nasty banana flan People magazine is pushing as Wills’ favorite dessert. All of it sounds like a big gray pile of Yick to me.
So we’re going rogue here. Or we’re going Big D, rather, with a recipe from the brunch mistress herself, Dot Akin. These are perfect little packets of fat-and-happy, and I can think of nothing better to snack on while you try to cope with the fact that you’re not becoming a princess and this is not the most special day of your life. Cinnamon and sugar do quite a bit to take the sting out of being a commoner. Cheerio!
1 loaf of Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Bread
8 oz cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
few tbsp cinnamon
1 stick butter
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cut crust off bread and roll out with rolling pin until very thin.
- Mix cream cheese, egg yolk and sugar.
- Spread mixture on bread. Roll up and cut in half.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon (however much you fancy) together.
- Melt butter. Dip each bite in melted butter and then into cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
These can be made a few days in advance or frozen. You know, in case you’re going to have some dignitaries in town to entertain. Whatevs.
Time to celebrate! Yesterday I became an AUNT! In honor of these little bundles (my sis had twins- not identical), it is only appropriate to post my favorite breakfast that luckily Chef John makes for me. This recipe is really just exciting to eat. Needless to say this can also be filed under “Sealing the Deal.” -ts
Chef John says: This is “The Test.” If you are in a blossoming friendship or relationship and want to know if this person is worth your time, simply make them this. If they fall in love with it you’ve got yourself someone special and if not, show them the door, erase their contact info and never speak of them again. The dish comes from my favorite brunch spot in NYC, Ino Cafe. It has TRUFFLE OIL in it. I don’t think I need to elaborate anymore.
Brioche or Pullman bread
2 Egg yolks
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly spray baking sheet with olive oil.
- Take a 1.5 inch thick piece of brioche and toast for about 3 minutes right on the rack so it is nice and crispy. Remove from oven (keep the oven on), and cut a rectangle shaped outline in the slice enough to fit two yolks, do not remove this section. Press the section down with the handle (butt) of the knife to create a trough for the eggs.
- Separate 2 eggs (tip: use your hands when separating and let the egg whites slip through your fingers), and place the two yolks inside indention. Cover remaining area of bread with fontina cheese slices; do not cover the yolks with cheese- fence in the yolk with the cheese.
- Place bread in oven on baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted, but yolks are still runny about 2-3 minutes.
- Surround plate with grilled slices of asparagus spears. Salt and pepper everything and then lightly drizzle with truffle oil before serving.