With Mardi Gras close at hand, we’ve got Southern cooking on our minds. What better way to gear up for next week’s King Cakes and etoufees than with a dinner inspired by the finest comfort food the American South has to offer? Anchored on Country Captain, a savory, spicy curry native to the port cities of the Southeast (its name is a reference to the spices that ships’ captains would bring back from their exotic travels), set the table for crab cakes, collard greens, creamy grits — and of course, a dessert of layered Hummingbird Cake, whose nutty, pineapple-studded flavor was a favorite of Edna Lewis, grand dame of Southern cooking.
These dressed-up Mardi Gras crab cakes are a favorite in Mobile, Alabama.
This curried chicken casserole is a Southern Lowcountry classic whose name harks back to the days when ships’ captains in port cities like Charleston, South Carolina, traded in spices acquired during their travels abroad.
A favorite side dish to many Southern meals. Collard greens soak up the flavors they are cooked in and respond well to a low and slow method of preparation.
Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis, authors of The Gift of Southern Cooking, take a dim view of fancy ingredients added to grits. “People should really leave grits alone,” says Lewis.
Honoring the legacy of the Southern cook Edna Lewis, this luscious, fruit-and-nut-studded layer cake is served in Atlanta’s Watershed restaurant.