Recipe Blog

Hot Little Suppers

Aunt Frances' Chocolate "Bonga" Cake

Posted by Callies Biscuits on

Cake making is an art in itself, one I haven’t yet mastered. But even I can make this cake without worrying about lopsided layers or the middle caving in. The frosting is a bit more challenging than the cake; its consistency should bring to mind spreadable fudge. John’s grandmother “Bonga” used to make this cake from her sister Frances’s recipe, so we lovingly call this moist chocolaty goodness “Bonga Cake” in her memory.

Aunt Frances's Chocolate "Bonga" Cake

Ingredients

    - 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus more for buttering the pan, at room temperature - 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped 11⁄2 cups white sugar - 3 large eggs, separated 1 cup buttermilk - 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups cake flour

Instructions

    1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9 × 13 inch baking pan. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering heat. Set aside to cool. 1. Beat the butter with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat 10 minutes, or until light in color and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the melted chocolate. Add the buttermilk and mix well. 1. Sift the baking soda with the flour. Add to the batter and mix well. 1. With clean beaters in a clean bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into the batter. 1. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. 1. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan on a cooling rack. Turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely. Remove the cake to a serving platter. 1. Make the frosting: Combine the water and brown sugar in a large saucepan on low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the chocolate. Raise the heat to medium and boil for 6 minutes. 1. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and salt. Whisk in the powdered sugar 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the frosting thickens. This may happen before all of the powdered sugar is added. 1. Spread the frosting over the cake. Allow the frosting to set, about 20 minutes.

Frosting

    - 1⁄2 cup water or coffee - 1 cup packed light brown sugar 3 tablespoons butter - 3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped - 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt - 11⁄2 to 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


    Hudson's Egg Salad

    Posted by Callies Biscuits on

    When I was newly married, my friends Allie and Jerrod had a baby boy, Hudson, who died shortly after birth. It was a terrible shock for them and for all of us. I called my mother and asked, “What do I do? What do I say?” And she said, “You go over there and get in that kitchen and do what you do.” So I fixed some egg salad and picked up a loaf of bread and went over to Allie’s. I really didn’t say much, but I made egg salad sandwiches, wrote down who brought what on a list so Allie could thank them later, kept track of people’s serving dishes, put out the food people brought over, picked up plates and glasses, and washed dishes. I simply tried to keep the kitchen going, food at the ready, and drinks flowing for the family and friends who gathered to mourn and comfort one another. Food is so much more than sustenance. It’s a way of caring, comforting, and supporting, holding up friends and family just a little when they’d rather crumble.

    Hudson's Egg Salad

    Ingredients

      - 12 eggs - 3⁄4 cup minced onion - 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup mayonnaise - 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice - 1⁄2 teaspoon hot sauce - 1⁄4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - Garnish for sandwiches (optional): Finely chopped fresh herbs

    Instructions

      1. Place the eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them. Cover with cold water by 1 to 2 inches. Place over medium heat and bring just to boil; you will see the bubbles rising around the pot, but the water is not at a roll. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. 1. Drain the eggs and place in a bowl of ice water until cold. 1. Drain the water and roll the eggs around to crack the whole surface. Begin peeling at the large end. It helps to peel them under cold running water. 1. Place the eggs in a large bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Adjust the salt, pepper, and mayonnaise to your taste. 1. Optional, if using for sandwiches: Spread the herbs on a plate. Press the sides of each sandwich into the herbs so that the herbs stick to the egg salad between the bread slices. Makes for a pretty presentation.

        "Food is an essential way that Southerners celebrate and connect with one another and it’s also a way we communicate the unspeakable to each other."

        Summer Crab Salad With Green "Princesses" Dressing

        Posted by Callies Biscuits on

        Carrie Morey's Summer Crab Salad

        Crabbing is one of our favorite summertime activities, and I put together this recipe after introducing crabbing to my friend Claire and her family, who live in London and come to Charleston twice a year. Claire has two girls, Isla and Maisie, very close in age to my three, and the five girls make quite the crabbing team. Our crab lines consist of string wrapped around whatever kind of stick we happen to have or find. We tie a raw chicken neck (the further past the sell-by date, the better!) to the end of the string as bait. We toss the necks off a dock (usually my mother’s) into a saltwater creek, holding on to the sticks or tying them off on a dock cleat. Then we check each line for the twitching and tugging of a crab biting on the chicken neck. (And that day a crab on the line was announced by Isla’s and Maisie’s beautiful accents exclaiming, “Brilliant! I’ve got one! I’ve got one!”) One person pulls in the line inch by inch, super slowly so the crab comes up with the chicken neck and doesn’t let go. Another person stands ready with the net to scoop up the crab from behind before the crab notices anything and lets go. When we have enough, we clean the crabs, steam them, put down plenty of newspaper on the table, and pick the crabs of all their meat, sneaking bites of fresh crab meat every now and then.

        I was craving something cool and creamy that day to put on the salad, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for a traditional green goddess dressing, so I improvised and found I liked the outcome better than the original. I usually end up using whatever herbs I happen to have on hand— in fact, this dressing is probably a little different every time I make it. Since it’s not exactly a classic green goddess, I call it green “princesses” after my girls, who love it!

        Shown here served with biscuit bread crumbs and hot buttermilk biscuits

        Summer Crab Salad With Green "Princesses" Dressing

        Ingredients

          - 1 pound freshly caught and picked crabmeat, or 1 (16-ounce) container fresh lump crabmeat - 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice - 2 large avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced - 2 tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced - 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts) - 1⁄3 cup fresh chives snipped with kitchen shears - 1⁄3 cup fresh dill snipped with kitchen shears - Green “Princesses” dressing (recipe follows) - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

        Instructions

          1. Gently go through the crab meat with your fingers, feeling for and removing any hard shell or cartilage pieces. 1. Place the crabmeat in a chilled bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Add the avocados, tomatoes, green onions, chives, and dill and toss gently to combine. 1. Fold in the dressing to taste and season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill before serving.

        Optional Green "Princesses" Dressing

          - 1 cup mayonnaise - 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped (I prefer the seedless english variety, but any variety is fine) - 2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts) - 2 cups coarsely chopped mixed fresh herbs (chives, dill, flat-leaf parsley, cilantro) - 3 or 4 small cloves garlic, coarsely chopped - 2 tablespoons olive oil - 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 3⁄4 to 1 teaspoon anchovy paste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - Place the ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and puree. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Any leftover dress- ing can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3 days.

          And if you catch your own crab, you know nothing tastes better than the fruit of your own “labor.”

          Smoked Sausage with Spicy Mustard Mayo

          Posted by Callies Biscuits on

          A biscuit bar is a great idea for a party— guests love to pick and choose their own toppings. I use this same guest participation tactic for soup parties and Bloody Mary bars as well. Set up a biscuit bar for a brunch or any daytime get-together. Or think of the topping ideas as even more ways to enjoy your biscuits any day, such as this smoked sausage and spicy mustard mayo combo! When you include meat on your biscuit bar, be sure to cut it into small enough bits to fit the biscuit properly.

          Smoked Sausage with Spicy Mustard Mayo

          Spicy Mustard Mayo Ingredients

            - 1 cup mayonnaise - 1/3 cup sour cream - 1/4 cup Dijon mustard - 1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 2 onions, white and green parts) - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley - 4 to 6 dashes hot sauce - Freshly ground black pepper

          Instructions

            1. Make the spicy mustard mayo: Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, green onions, and parsley. 1. Let the flavors marry for about 30 minutes. 1. Add the hot sauce and black pepper. 1. Prepare the sausage: Slice the sausage into 24 rounds. 1. Heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet. Cook the sausage rounds until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cook in two batches to avoid overcrowding. 1. Drain the rounds on a paper bag. To serve, slice the biscuits, spread the spicy mustard mayo on the inside of the tops and bottoms, put the sausage rounds on the bottoms, and add the tops (sandwich style).

          Sausage Ingredients

            - 1 (13 ounce) link high quality kielbasa or other smoked sausage - 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

            "I always have smoked sausage in my freezer or refrigerator as a last minute entertaining item to tuck inside biscuits or to fold into pasta with peppers!"

            Chimichurri

            Posted by Callies Biscuits on

            The first time I made this dish was the night we moved into our new house. I absolutely love living in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant. My girls have numerous friends in the neighborhood and we are biking and walking distance from school and Shem Creek.

            For our first supper, we rode our bikes to pick up local shrimp from the dock and then over to Mount Pleasant Seafood for some freshly caught snapper. I top the dish with chimichurri sauce and microgreens. Enjoy!

            Chimichurri

            Ingredients

              - 2 loosely packed cups chopped fresh cilantro - 1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley - 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped - 3 green onions, coarsely chopped (white and green parts) - 1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and coarsely chopped - Juice of 1/2 lime - 1/2 cup red wine vinegar - 1 cup olive oil - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

            Instructions

              1. Place the cilantro, parsley, garlic, green onions, and jalapeños into a food processor. Pulse a few times. 1. Add the lime juice and vinegar and pulse to combine. 1. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil while pulsing until the mixture is combined and is sauce like. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

                "Chimichurri sauce is a great topping to pair with a variety of meats!"