Based on the 19th century American Chautauqua movement, LongHouse Food Revivals are a series of annual gatherings of thought leaders across the United States organized and led by food writer Molly O'Neill. Last week, 150 food lovers gathered in Austin for a very special LongHouse Food Revival. Three cabritos (baby goats) were roasted over a live fire, craft brews and fine tequila flowed, new ideas were sparked, new bonds formed, and serious fun was had by all.
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Sweet tea and fried chicken might just be the most Southern of all pairings. This recipe for Tea-Brined Batter Fried Picnic Chicken from One Big Table by Molly O'Neill comes from Blackberry Farm, an absolutely gorgeous resort in Tennessee. Blackberry Farm has two major draws—breathtaking grounds and an incredible kitchen. This chicken is meant to be cooled and packed for a picnic lunch the following day, preferably to be enjoyed while out exploring the resort's acres.
Desserts don't get more Southern than a towering coconut cake. Fluffy and white, dusted with shaved coconut and gobs of seven-minute icing, it's a gorgeous way to end a meal. This particular version from Molly O'Neill's One Big Table incorporates an extra layer of coconut flavor in the form of a sour cream-coconut filling. Mixed up a few days before baking, it's a dead ringer for chocolate Easter egg filling, i.e., super delicious and plenty coconutty.
Molly O'Neill's One Big Table is filled with all sorts of unexpected recipes, like these Tacos de Acelgas, Swiss chard tacos from a cattle ranch country in Texas. When thinking about dinner on a cattle ranch so close to the...
This recipe for fried pockets stuffed with spiced beef comes from Ilahn Omar, who makes over 100 sambusas each year for Ramadan so that her Muslim friends and relatives have something portable to snack on after sundown. Her trick to being able to put out so many at once? Chinese egg roll wrappers. According to Ms. Omar they taste even better than her homemade dough.
The stories that preface the recipes that Molly O'Neill collected for One Big Table are so engaging that, somehow, they make the recipes taste even better. This Southern classic of Creamy Grits and Chard is fantastic on its own—spicy, vinegary greens ladled over buttery grits—but it gets even better when you read about the South Carolina origins of the recipe.
This Shrimp and Avocado Salad from One Big Table by Molly O'Neill comes from the glory days of department store dining. Located in Houston, Texas, in the Sakowitz department store, the Sky Terrace restaurant catered to ladies of means, serving up delicate dishes like this remoulade-dressed shrimp salad over a fan of avocado.
For the past ten years, Molly O'Neill has travelled from coast to coast, cooking, eating, and chatting with home cooks, top chefs, street vendors and everyone in between, collecting recipes for One Big Table. Through her travels, O'Neill assembled a portrait of American cooking both accurate and intriguing. One Big Table is a survey of how food came to be in this country—immigrant cuisine, native foods, mom and pop diners, and all.