New Southern Recipes

Monday Night Pasta

‘Madea’ is a Southern term. It’s short for ‘mother dear.’ So there are a lot of Madeas out there.

Tyler Perry

Tagliarelle with Lemon, Herbs, and Cheese

So I pretty much finished planting fresh herbs in pots and along the pathway and when I can find the remaining few plants I will be done for the spring and summer. An easy dinner is the plan for tonight and of course I head to the pasta pantry for last-minute dinner ideas, featured tonight is the last Meyer lemon in the fridge, a handful of fresh basil,  a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano and two wonderful fresh eggs.  Like an herby creamy carbonara without pancetta or bacon… a quick whisk of egg yolks, grated cheese, a little EVOO and fresh cracked pepper in a big bowl, tossed with thin Cipriani tagliarelle, fresh chopped basil,  a little thyme and lemon zest…lemon juice optional if using lemon pasta.

Tuesday my morning was shot when I had to watch The Wolf of Wall Street before it timed out of the 24 hour rental, but I did get about 3 hours of knitting in on one of the two most boring projects that I have going during the movie plus a couple of loads of laundry.   Not a total loss of a day the way I see it…

Lee Brothers Crabcakes

I prepared dinner ahead of timer and as it was ready to go so I felt like I could slack off a bit… Earlier in the morning I made a few crab cakes, a “new ambrosia” salad by the Lee brothers and the corn pudding was the ready to mix up and bake around dinner time. I’ve been trying to make the NY Times recipe, Corn Pudding with Roasted Garlic and Sage and with plenty of fresh sage just planted along the pathway it was perfect timing and the last of the fresh packed frozen corn from last year was just the right amount called for with a little left for a fresh gazpacho for lunch tomorrow.

NY Times Corn Pudding

The crab cake recipe didn’t stray too far from the one that I usually make, I just like that touch of Phillips seafood seasoning added in and while the green onion is not one of my additions I had a few that really were headed south, they were trimmed and added to the recipe.

Now the salad was unusual for me at least as my first thought of “ambrosia” kind of made me make an ugly face as so many resembled decadent desserts.  This version has a nice tangy dressing, but I’m not a huge fan…

Ambrosia – Salad


Serves 4

1 large grapefruit, supremed
1 large navel orange, supremed
3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
1-1/4 cups finely diced Haas avocado (about 1 avocado)
1-1/2 cups seeded and chopped cucumber (about 1 large cucumber)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

For the dressing:

2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, mashed to a puree
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (if unsweetened is unavailable, use 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweetened shredded coconut)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.

In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, lime juice, and olive oil until blended. Whisk in the garlic puree, tarragon, coconut, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.

If you wish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 hour to cool the salad and allow the flavors to meld. Toss again before serving, and serve with a slotted spoon.

Lee Brothers Crab Cakes

3/4 pound picked jumbo lump or lump back fin crabmeat
3 tablespoons high-quality store-bought mayonnaise (e.g., Duke’s or Hellman’s
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh bread crumbs (or panko crumbs) use more if needed
2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil, plus more if needed
1 lemon, cut into wedges; for garnish  


  •  Serve with Your favorite Tartar Sauce
    Place the crab meat in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, green onion, salt, and pepper and gently fold the ingredients together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until they’re thoroughly incorporated. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Add the egg and fold it into the mixture.Using a 2 1/4-inch cookie cutter (I used a ¼ cup measuring cup and gently patted into shape), mold the crab mixture into 8 cakes. Wrap them in plastic wrap, 2 at a time. Apply gentle pressure to flatten the cakes slightly, and let them rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 350°.Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, transfer 4 of the cakes to the skillet, taking care not to crowd them in the pan. Sauté until gently browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and repeat with the remaining 4 cakes, adding more oil to the pan if it is too dry. Place all the crab cakes in a medium baking pan and bake until warmed through, about 5 minutes.