What are we eating?

Tonight we had dinner at home trying out some dishes we may feature at the restaurant. Red Beans with Chow-Chow and homebaked Sally Lunn. Chow-Chow is a relish much like my Grandma used to fill up her pantry with every season with her garden’s bounty. A little sweet, quite a bit sour, and kinda salty, chow-chow can really have just about any kind of vegetable in it; most traditional Southern recipes call for cabbage, sweet peppers, maybe onion, and spices, but the most interesting chow-chows are made with green tomatoes, watermelon rind, or mirlitons.

In the spirit of adventure, I used mirlitons in this batch of chow-chow, along with cabbage, carrots, sweet peppers, onions, and hot peppers. Mirlitons, aka chayote squash, add a sweet, slightly nutty flavor to the mix, and it’s totally refreshing. It makes the perfect foil for salty pork-and-bean type concoctions. In the Carolinas, you’d usually eat chow-chow with your pintos and rice. After tonight’s dinner, we know why.

Sally Lunn is a wonderful home-style pan bread that involves, of course, butter, eggs, milk, and sugar – usually molasses, honey, or cane syrup. Just to keep things real Southern, I used cane syrup in the recipe. This is the kind of stuff that would make your mouth water just by the smell when it’s baking, if you were fortunate enough to grow up around moms and grandmas who baked, as I was. Even if you weren’t so lucky, you will be soon because we’ll be happy to bake for you at Big Jones, not just Sally Lunn, but also cornbread, biscuits, no-excuse bread, teacakes, and whatever else the day calls for.

– Paul