For this bánh mì adaptation in Southern Living's Little Jars, Big Flavors, the traditional mix of shredded pickled carrot and daikon is swapped out for pickled turnips with shiso. On the sandwich, the small pieces of spicy, lemony turnips contrast delightfully with the soy-slicked pork cutlets and rich liverwurst mayonnaise, adding brightness and a bit of crunch.
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Pickles are usually the easiest thing to put up, and the vinegar-ed recipes in Southern Living's Little Jars, Big Flavors, fall in line. Most of the pickles are simple, familiar choices like dills, bread and butters, and pickled green beans. This pickled turnip with shiso, however, stood out from the rest. Shiso is not ordinarily seen in American pickle recipes, especially from the dill- and mustard-focused South. Still, the lemony leaf makes plenty of sense in these Japanese-esque white wedges.
Perfectly ripe, raw peaches eaten over the sink, juice dripping down my arm—it's probably my favorite activity of summer. I prefer the fruit in this ideal state, but I'll eat peaches in just about any form throughout their glorious season. Once the summer is over, though, I usually stop with the peach frenzy for fear of encountering stringy, mushy, or bland fruit. Now that I've got my hands on Southern Living's Little Jars, Big Flavors—a book with plenty of recipes for peach preserves—I'll be able to enjoy peaches all the way through the colder months, too.
I am not usually one for "semi-homemade" anything, but I take exception for one of the best hors d'oeurves of all time: store-bought pepper jelly slathered atop a block of cream cheese. The spicy sweetness of the jelly is a perfect match for the cool and tangy cheese, and it spreads gracefully atop many a cracker. But I'm willing to class up my act with some homemade jelly, and this verdant jalapeño and green bell pepper recipe from Southern Living's Little Jars, Big Flavors works even better than my usual grocery store grab.
Rebecca Lang's Spicy Coleslaw in Around the Southern Table is not your typical styrofoam cup of mayonnaise with a side of cabbage. Yes, the salad contains a bit of mayo, but the dressing is punched up with a generous pour of buttermilk and intense bursts of horseradish, hot sauce, mustard, and jalapeños. Said dressing clings perfectly to each piece of chopped red and green cabbage, grated carrot, minced red onion, and sliced scallion.
To many cooks, gravy is a sauce best served over Thanksgiving turkey or maybe the occasional roast chicken. In the South, however, gravy is used to "smother" everything from fried chicken and pork chops to sweet Vidalia onions and the perennial favorite: buttery biscuits. In Around the Southern Table, Rebecca Lang takes this classic brunch dish and gives it a unique twist. Instead of building the gravy from sausage or coffee, she combines salty and rich bacon drippings with diced tomatoes and a slight pour of milk. The tomatoes serve to brighten the whole shebang, but the bacon drippings keep things from getting too virtuous. The biscuits? Lang's are ginormous "cat-heads," made with a dead-simple mixture of self-rising flour, bacon drippings, butter, and buttermilk.
It's always a treat when you can combine tart and sweet elements in one dessert. This rice pudding from Southern Living: Classic Southern Desserts does just that. Creamy rice pudding and sweet white chocolate blend well with a citrusy cherry sauce.
Velvety caramel envelops soft bread and sweet apples in this gem from Southern Living: Classic Southern Desserts.
With a name like Mississippi Mud Cake, there's no doubt that this dessert deserves to be included in Southern Living: Classic Southern Desserts.. It uses simple ingredients to create a densely chocolate sheet cake lightened by marshmallows.
Pour yourself a tall cup of coffee or tea and sit down to enjoy browned-butter pecan shortbread from Southern Living: Classic Southern Desserts. Minimal effort stands between you and crumbly, sweet, nutty delight.