What does it take to make a perfect pair? Generally, a great pair has a lot in common but enough differences to create more interest as a couple, each one’s strengths complementing the other. Great pairs are just better together.
Some foods are like that, too, served together across decades and cultures. The following recipes demonstrate that unbeatable blend of textures, flavors and seasonings that guarantee they’ll be together forever.
- 1 large whole chicken, cut into pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup bacon drippings
- 1 cup vegetable shortening or lard
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Place the chicken pieces in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the buttermilk, water and eggs. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
- In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat the drippings, shortening or lard, and butter to 350 degrees. Place the flour in a shallow dish and add the paprika. Roll the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
- Fry in batches, 10 to 15 minutes on each side or until the chicken is completely done. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Place the water and salt over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add the beans and cook 10 minutes or to the desired degree of tenderness and drain.
- Meanwhile, place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook 6 minutes or until the butter turns a dark amber color. Drizzle the hot beans with the butter. Serve warm.
- 2 cups canned chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (puree of chile peppers, herbs and vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and divided
- 4½ pounds pork shoulder
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 8 sandwich buns
- Place the tomatoes, sugar, chili powder, vinegar, adobo, honey and two garlic cloves in a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.
- Cut the pork in half and place in a 5-quart slow cooker. Pour the tomato mixture over the pork. Cook on high 8 hours.
- Meanwhile, mince the remaining garlic. Add the mayonnaise, rosemary, lemon juice and salt. Blend well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Shred the pork in the slow cooker. Smear the buns with the rosemary mayonnaise. Top with the warm pork and serve.
- 7 medium new red potatoes, peeled
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Italian dressing
- 1½ teaspoons mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
- Fill a Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook 30 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool. Cut the potatoes into cubes and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the eggs, onions and celery.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, dressing, mustard, salt and celery seeds. Gently toss over the potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
- 24 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups cornmeal
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons red pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Place the fillets in a large zip-top plastic bag and add the buttermilk. Seal well and let marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper, blending well.
- Pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches in a deep fryer over medium-high heat. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
- Drain the fillets from the buttermilk. Dredge in the cornmeal mixture, coating well. Carefully drop in the hot oil and fry until they float to the top and are golden brown, around 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining fillets. Serve hot.
- 6 ears sweet corn, silked but with husks still intact
- ¼ cup unsweetened brewed tea
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the corn in water and soak 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Pull the husks over the corn. Preheat the grill to medium (350 degrees). Place the corn on the grate and grill 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, place the tea, oil, vinegar, syrup, garlic, salt and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend. With tongs, carefully pull back the husks and remove from the corn. Place in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour the maple vinaigrette over the corn, turning to coat evenly. Serve warm with corn handles.
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Fresh raspberries
- Pear, pecan or maple syrup (or substitute cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar)
- Place a large 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl stir together the eggs, flour, milk, sugar and nutmeg. When the oven temperature reaches 375 degrees, remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter. Swirl to melt and evenly coat the bottom, then add the batter. Return to the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let bake 5 minutes longer. Cut in wedges and serve immediately with fresh raspberries and a drizzle of syrup.
Email your cooking questions to Tammy Algood:[email protected].
Dave writes: I love cooking whole artichokes to serve as fun appetizers, but lately the ones I have found practically have no flavor. Even though I serve them with melted butter, the taste is still forgettable. Can you please help?
Dave, start by adding ⅛ teaspoon each (just a tiny amount!) of dried fennel and sugar to your cooking water. Then enhance your butter with a shake of hot sauce to add interest without much heat. Another trick I use is to forego the butter and instead serve it with hollandaise sauce. If you want something lighter, make a vinaigrette with 3 parts good oil to 1 part vinegar as well as a bit of freshly chopped tarragon.
Jessica has a wok that is a favorite of hers in the kitchen, but it looks terrible. “I am borderline embarrassed to use it in front of guests because it is so stained on the inside. I’ve tried numerous commercial cleaners and am wondering if you have a suggestion for helping me.”
Jessica, I know you think it looks bad, but I love well-used cooking vessels! We all have them! Here’s what I do: Pour a small mound of regular salt in the wok and scrub it with a paper towel that has been well moistened with some cooking oil. I use rubber gloves. Then wipe it out with another paper towel before washing it in hot soapy water. You might have to do this several times since woks are used at such high cooking temperatures, causing those stains to “bake in,” as they say.
Nicole writes: I frequently purchase whole pineapple but have a really hard time holding this large fruit while I peel it. I can get it cored, but the peeling is difficult for me because of the size. Can you help with a tip to make it easier?
Nicole, I have had the same issue many times, and it’s a frustrating situation. Instead of trying to peel the whole pineapple, go ahead and slice it after it has been cored. Then you have much smaller pieces to handle when cutting away the outer peel. You don’t even have to core it first! Use a paring knife to remove the core after it is sliced.