June 2022 Cookbook of the Month: EDWARD LEE MONTH

Welcome to the reporting thread for our June COTM, where we’ll cook from Edward Lee’s books Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti.

To report on a recipe, put the name of the recipe in ALL CAPS and include which book it’s in and the page number, if it’s available to you. If you are the first to post about a recipe, please reply to this post. If someone has already posted about the recipe, reply to their post so all the posts about each recipe are linked for easy reference.

To respect the author’s copyright, please don’t post photos or verbatim copies of recipes. Links to recipes online are welcome, and you may post ingredients and summarize instructions in your own words.

Find links to past months’ books in the COTM Archive, and feel free to keep adding to them.


MY VERSION OF A SLAW DOG, Buttermilk Graffiti, pg. 115

This is basically a chili dog with slaw. And Mr. Shark thought the chili was super delicious.

You make the chili by putting onions and ground beef into a pot and sautéing until beef is brown and the onions are wilted. Then you add in garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes or so on medium heat. Then you add in beer and water. I used a dark beer for some added depth. Simmer for an hour or so until most of the liquid has evaporated, leaving you with a thick meat chili. Let it rest and come to room temperature.

While the chili is cooking away, make the slaw. It’s a basic slaw recipe and I found it to be a little on the sweet side. It calls for 3 tablespoons of sugar and next time I am going to reduce that in half. I can add more if needed, but I couldn’t take it away once it was in the slaw dressing. Finely chopped cabbage is combined with sugar, mayonnaise, distilled white vinegar- I used white wine vinegar because that’s what I had- and salt. Stir well and let rest until needed.

He says to bring a pot of water to the boil to cook the hotdogs in. But since we were using beer for the chili, I just used more beer to boil the dogs. Cook for a few minutes until warmed through.

Open up the hot dog buns- mine are super small because we are low carbing and those buns are special low carb hot dog buns- butter them and cook butter side down until lightly toasted.

Assemble the slaw dog by reheating the chili- or not depending on if your chili is still hot, stirring the slaw well and draining if too moist. Brush the buns with mustard, add the dogs to the buns, and add a little more mustard. Top with chili and then the slaw. Viola, slaw dogs. I added in come diced onions, which he recommends. And some diced cornichons, which he didn’t. I think some shredded cheese would be right at home on these dogs as well.

I made several of these dogs and buns and Mr. Shark has been eating on it for a couple of days now. And he requested I make the chili again to be slathered on other foods!


They do make a chili cheese slaw dog at The Varsity in ATL.

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QUICK CARAWAY PICKLES - Smoke & Pickles, p. 173

I first made these in Sept, 2013, when this book was COTM over on CH. I’ll start by pasting my review from then:

This is a quick pickle, made with vinegar rather than fermented. Now, I’m a fermented pickle snob, so I was skeptical about this one, but I’d already made a bunch of fermented pickles from my CSA cukes, and then I got more, and just needed to get them processed and put up, somehow.

You heat a mixture of cider and rice vinegars, water, sugar, caraway seeds, red pepper flakes, and a cinnamon stick. You just pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, which have been sliced and packed into a jar (or jars). Then you put them in the refrigerator. The recipe says the pickles will be ready in four hours, and will keep for up to three days. I think they need at least 24 hours. I also know that they are good for far, far longer than three days. Just sayin’.

Mr. MM is nuts about these pickles. The caraway seeds are what makes them a bit different. They also have a kick from the chile flakes, but I always put chile in my pickles so that’s not anything new here. I’ve made three batches of these so far. The last batch, I made something like 8 pints, which we’ve been noshing on ever since. Definitely a repeat recipe in our household.

I made a batch last week and another batch yesterday, both from our CSA pickles. This recipe has remained Mr. MM’s #1 pickle, and I make them every year. I have 6 pints right now, but a friend wants to buy some. No problem, I’ll be getting cucumbers throughout the summer, so plenty of pickles for everyone. I highly recommend this recipe.


PICKLED ROSEMARY CHERRIES - Smoke & Pickles, p. 184

First time making this pickle. I just made these yesterday and haven’t tasted them yet, so I’ll post an update when I use them. Mr. Lee says these will be ready in four days, but I’ll probably let them go a little longer. I used slightly over 2 lbs of cherries, unpitted. I was using pint jars, and the recipe is supposed to make 2 quarts, so I set out four jars. After pitting, the cherries filled 3.5 jars. I ended up taking that last half jar and distributing most of the cherries among the other three jars, then just ate the remaining cherries that didn’t fit, so I got 3 pints out of this. I was very suspicious of the amount of brine based on the measurements in the recipe. It didn’t seem like enough. So I doubled the brine, and that was the right call. The doubled brine was just the right amount to fill my three pint jars. I’m looking forward to sampling these. I tend to like savory applications for fruits, and and herbs with fruits, so these are up my alley. Stay tuned.



I have had this cookbook for years but haven’t cooked much from it. I made this brisket for a large gathering a few years ago, though, and it was enough of a hit that I remembered it after all this time. It’s quite simple - just rub a brisket flat with a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika and cinnamon, then braise for 4.5 hours at 350 with onion, carrot, celery and tomatoes in a mixture of stout beer, bourbon, soy sauce, balsamic, sugar and beef stock. Strain the braising liquid, reserve the vegetables and return the liquid to the pan to reduce. The final step is to put the meat back in the reduced liquid, glaze the top (fat side) with a glaze of peach preserves mixed with some of the braising liquid, and broil until browned. Slice and serve with the reserved vegetables.

I followed the recipe more or less exactly except that I reduced the sugar in the braising liquid by half and added some pickled jalapenos to half of the glaze for those who wanted a bit of spice. I also used a low-sugar preserve for the glaze because I feared it would be too sweet otherwise. Both spicy and mild versions were popular, but I preferred the spicy. Also, the recipe makes WAY more glaze than you need - it calls for a full 10oz jar of preserves when you only end up using a few tablespoons. A third or even a quarter of the recipe is plenty. There’s also too much braising liquid - for a regular 7-8 lb brisket flat you can easily cut the braising liquid ingredients in half (original is two bottles of beer, 1.5 cups of bourbon and 8 cups of beef stock!). Except for onions, I don’t care for vegetables that have been braised to this extent, so if I made it again I would add the vegetables later or simply discard them. Serve with buttery egg noodles or something else that can absorb all the sauce - Israeli couscous might be nice too!


I think it’s a southern thing. This was in the section where he is discussing his trip through Appalachia. I am kinda enchanted by his stories.


Do you think the bourbon added significant flavor ? I don’t like it but if it made it better and I couldn’t taste it in the end product I might try it.

I wouldn’t say the final sauce tasted strongly of bourbon but it certainly added something. However, you could sub a different barreled spirit or even some dry sherry or similar.


I remember loving the stories, too. My plan is to read the book again when I take a staycation later this month. Can’t wait!



I made these for our Memorial Day cookout this weekend and completely failed to take pictures. We didn’t have the crushed ice called for in the juleps, so they came out quite strong - tasty, but very bourbon forward. That, plus the mint (which I don’t love) meant that while I liked the drink, I don’t need to make it again.

That said, I LOVED the jalapeño syrup that is the other main ingredient (made with just water, sugar, and jalapeños) - so good and so spicy. My cousin Steff, who really likes spicy drinks, loved it. Because she doesn’t love bourbon or mint, I made her a spicy margarita with it. It was fantastic - I definitely preferred her margarita to my julep, despite being a major bourbon lover myself. I’m excited to try the ginger syrup next.


I love ginger, ergo I love the Kentucky Mile, with either soda water or ginger beer (a spicy, not-too-sweet one). I’m not a whiskey lover, but this drink won me over to bourbon cocktails back when Smoke & Pickles was COTM on CH.


The mule is my favorite recipe from the book.


I’ve read the story. He’s talking about West Virginia, specifically, but slaw dogs are a thing throughout the south. The Varsity in Atlanta is probably the most famous slaw dog place anywhere. So just pointing out that your hunch that cheese would also go well is probably accurate, since The Varsity sells a version like that.


That’s cool to learn. I had no idea slaw dogs were a whole thing.

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OK, folks, I tried the pickled cherries! Mr. Lee recommends serving them with a chicken or game (bird) dish, which obviously was not happening around here. So I had to think about how to use them. I started thinking about meatballs, and that meatballs with sour cherries exist. An EYB search pointed me to Syria, and I pulled out a couple books and looked at the spicing. Then went my own way, as I am wont to do. The Syrian recipes involve a sour cherry sauce. I didn’t want to make a sauce, I wanted the pickled cherries on the side. But I took some hints from the seasoning to make a Syrian-ish meatball. Served with pickled cherries on the side, and also a yogurt sauce (dill/mint/preserved lemon) as an alternate dipping option. The cherries were great with the meatballs, and great on their own. Loved by both of us here at Casa de Mel. I would agree with Mr. Lee that these end up being more savory that sweet. They are sweet, but the salt, vinegar, and rosemary skews them to the savory side. Will make again.



So, this is on repeat at my house. And Mr. Shark- who has bad childhood memories of eating too much meatloaf growing up, LOVES this meatloaf and will eat it out of the pan if I let him. If the meatloaf is a great melody, the full sandwich is a whole symphony in your mouth.

First, you saute onions, celery, and garlic in butter until soft. Then you add bacon and button mushrooms until they are soft. Take the mixture off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Throw it into a bowl.

Next, you add ground beef, bread crumbs- which I subbed out for low carb friendly stuff which doesn’t bind as well as bread crumbs sadly, egg, egg yolk, ketchup, coke, bourbon, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper into the bowl with the aromatics and bacon/mushrooms. Mix until evenly blended. Stuff into a loaf pan. He recommends a 9X5. But I think this will also fit into an 8in. one as well.

Prepare the glaze by mixing ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar together. Slather it on top of the loaf.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Carefully tip the loaf pan and get any drippings out. I had 90% beef so I didn’t have a full cup of pan drippings. You could use more chicken stock or even beef stock as well, I think. That’s what I did. I just added in more stock. So, to make the gravy, you melt more butter and whisk in some flour to make a roux-ish base. He has you add in the drippings/stock right away, but I like to cook off the flour for a few minutes. Not to get color but mostly to cook out the raw flour taste. Bring it all to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. Add salt, black pepper, and a little lemon juice. Turn off heat and keep gravy warm until ready to use.

Unmold the loaf. And slice into about 1/4 slices. I like mine thicker so I do 1/2 or so.

Fry a egg. Toast some bread. Cut up some tomatoes.

Smear some mayo on the toast, top with meatloaf, and then tomato. Lay your fried egg on top of the tomato. And then drizzle the gravy over it all. Add some chopped parsley. Eat immediately.

This was so good and I was so hungry that I took a really bad photo of the meatloaf. When I went back to make another sammie… the spouse had EATEN ALL THE MEATLOAF. So sorry for the crap photo.


It is. I am from Kentucky originally and it is what we call pool hall chili! delicious


I made this meatloaf once but I made so many changes to keep it low carb that I didn’t think it made sense for me to review it. It was good, although a bit on the sweet side for my taste, so not a repeat. We ate it straight up, but I can see how it would be better in sandwich form.