June 2022 Cookbook of the Month: EDWARD LEE MONTH

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.

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The mule is my favorite recipe from the book.

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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.

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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.

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BOURBON-AND-COKE MEATLOAF SANDWICH w/ FRIED EGG AND BLACK PEPPER GRAVY, Smoke and Pickles, pg. 64

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.

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

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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.

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My spouse can’t play pool very well, but he ATE UP that chili. :smiley:

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I like a few other meatloafs to eat straight. The good in this one is making all the things and eating it as an open-faced sandwich. The runny egg porn doesn’t hurt, either. lol

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Believe it or not, it’s time for July COTM nominations (but please carry on cooking from Edward Lee’s books).

I remember loving those cherries when S &P was a COTM on CH. Made them several times and then got enamored by some poached cherries in a Suzanne Goin cookbook and forgot about these. I definitely need to revisit.

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Find the July voting thread here:

RED CABBAGE - BACON KIMCHI - Smoke & Pickles, p. 166

While the spicy Napa kimchi in this book has been a staple in my house for years now, this is my first time with this recipe. A giant red cabbage in my CSA box was the needed prompt. I skipped the bacon, which the author says in the headnote is fine to do. But instead of just omitting it, I compensated by using smoked salt for part of the salt in the recipe. All of Mr. Lee’s kimchi recipes follow a similar pattern. There is a paste made of sweet rice flour, water, and sugar. The “guts” include all the non-cabbage ingredients. In this case, red onions, grated carrot, green apples, chile flakes, fish sauce, garlic cloves, ginger. Bacon, if used, is added at the end. For the fish sauce, I used a homemade vegan fish sauce. I noticed the amount of chile flakes called for in this recipe is significantly less than in the Napa kimchi. I used two different brands, one of which is mild, and the other hot, and blended them to get what I felt would be a nice amount of kick for the kimchi. Mr. Lee calls for keeping his kimchis at room temp for 24 hours, then refrigerating. I don’t do that. I like a more fermented flavor, so I leave them at room temp for 4 or 5 days, then let them cure in the fridge for another week or two before digging in. He suggests that the kimchi will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks. I suggest that it will keep indefinitely. I have let the Napa kimchi age for a year or more in the fridge. It only gets better.

So my kimchi was three weeks old as of last night, and it was time to crack a jar open. Mr. Lee suggests serving with bratwurst, so I cooked up some Beyond brats, and served on a mound of kimchi. The kimchi was excellent, mild enough that you can eat a pile of it, but still with some kick. The apple was a welcome sweet/sour note.

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Oooh, this sounds so good. I might make it for my meatloaf/coke/bourbon loving, southern raised husband for his birthday.

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You should. Make it all together. It’s like putting some south in your mouth. lol

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See the July COTM announcement:

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Join us for the September, 2022 nomination process: