Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Building My Dream Kitchen

I've had the incredible blessing to be able to build the kitchen I've always wanted. Like most people that cook, it was something I've thought of for years. InSinkErator, Southern Living, and I have documented this fun and tedious process to share. Watch how it all started and follow along as the kitchen comes together!
Our builder, Tyler Davis of Athens Building Company, on set with me as we start listing kitchen must-haves.

The biscuit counter with windows above at the very beginning.

The wall of the soon to be hood and range.

The workings behind the fabulous InSinkErator Instant Hot Water Dispenser

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cool Sweets for Hot Days

Watermelon Sherbet

8 cups chopped watermelon (about 3 lb.)
1 cup half-and-half
34 cup sugar
Garnish: mint sprigs

1. Process watermelon in a blender until pureed, stopping to scrape down
sides as needed. Transfer 412 cups puree to a large bowl. Reserve any
remaining watermelon puree for another use. (Or grab a straw for a cook’s
treat.) Whisk in half-and-half and sugar.

2. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 112-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze 4 to 5 hours. Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Makes: 112 qt.
Hands-on Time: 20 min. Total Time: 5 hr.
Note: The total time for this recipe may vary, depending on your ice-cream maker.

Raspberry-Lime Frozen Pops

12 cup sugar
6 cups fresh raspberries
14 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
14 tsp. vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh raspberries

1. Heat sugar and 12 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat until
sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes). Cool slightly (about 5 minutes).

2. Puree sugar syrup, raspberries, and next 2 ingredients in a blender until
smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

3. Pour mixture into 10 (4-oz.) plastic pop molds (about 13 cup mixture in
each). Top with lids of pop molds, and insert craft sticks, leaving 112 to 2
inches of each sticking out. Freeze 6 hours or until sticks are solidly anchored
and pops are completely frozen. Garnish, if desired.

Makes: 10 servings
Hands-on Time: 10 min. Total Time: 6 hr., 10 min.

Slicing a watermelon with ease
I'm always amazed at tools that make things in the kitchen much easier than before. The Grommet recently sent me i Genietti Watermelon Slicer and Server to try. I've been a believer that slicing watermelon is best done outside since juice tends to run in every direction possible. I can now slice and serve watermelon in the luxury of air conditioning! 

Recipes and recipe photo from Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang (c) 2012 Oxmoor House and Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Skirt Steak with Fennel Slaw

Skirt Steak with Fennel Slaw

Fennel brings a light and bright flavor to a grilled skirt steak. Skirt steak is packed with flavor and is super-tender after marinating. It’s a mainstay at our house.  Try adding corn tortillas on the grill for impromptu tacos.

Makes 4 servings    Hands-on 30 minutes    Total 1 hour

1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1⁄2 tsp. table salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 lb. skirt steak

Fennel Slaw
1 1⁄4 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb
1⁄4 cup sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced celery
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. diced jalapeƱo pepper
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1⁄8 tsp. table salt
1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare Steak: Preheat grill to 350° to 400°F (medium-high) heat. In a large zip-top plastic bag, combine the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake to combine. Add steak to the bag, seal bag, and marinate 30 minutes. Remove steak from marinade, discarding marinade.
2. Grill steak, turning once, 10 minutes for medium-rare. Let steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
3. Prepare Fennel Slaw: Combine all ingredients. Chill until  ready to serve.
4. Slice each strip of steak in half to make 2 shorter strips. Slice down the long side (across the grain) of each strip to create 1⁄2-inch-thick slices. Serve with slaw.

Excerpted from The Southern Vegetable Book: A Root-to-Stalk Guide to the South’s Favorite Produce by Rebecca Lang. Copyright © 2016 Time Inc. Books. Reprinted with permission from Oxmoor House, an imprint of Time Inc. Books. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

10 Things You Never Knew About Vegetables


Vegetables are coming into full swing! Buy the book and get cooking!

(c) 2016 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 
The Southern Vegetable Book by Rebecca Lang (Oxmoor House, 2016)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Countdown to The Southern Vegetable Book

There's only one week left until my new book is out! Pre-order now and make plans for some great book launch events coming soon.

April 7 Avid Bookshop
April 19 The Cook's Warehouse 

To kick off the countdown in sweetness, eat cake for the wait.

Layered Carrot Cake
Pineapple and freshly grated carrot sing of spring sweetness. Nothing is sacrificed in this lightened-up cream cheese frosting; it’s just as decadent  as you always remembered.
Makes 16 servings    Hands-on 30 minutes    Total 2 hours

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp.  granulated sugar
3 tsp. baking soda
11⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
11⁄2 tsp. table salt
11⁄2  (8-oz.) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
11⁄2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
41⁄2 cups grated carrots
Vegetable cooking spray

1 (8-oz.) package 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese
1⁄4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 tsp. fat-free milk (optional)

1. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first  5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together pineapple and next 4 ingredients; add pineapple mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients  are moistened. Fold in carrots. Pour batter into 2 greased  (with cooking spray) and floured (8-inch) round cake pans.
2. Bake at 350°F for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans to a wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).
3. Prepare Frosting: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. (Do not overbeat.) If desired, beat in up to 4 teaspoons milk to desired consistency. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 2⁄3 cup frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

Excerpted from The Southern Vegetable Book: A Root-to-Stalk Guide to the South’s Favorite Produce by Rebecca Lang. Copyright © 2016 Time Inc. Books. Reprinted with permission from Oxmoor House, an imprint of Time Inc. Books. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Day our Skillet Went Cold

Each year on January 27, I re-post my tribute to my grandmother Tom. She will be missed as long as I'm living.

It was on this day, 13 years ago, that our family lost my beloved grandmother Tom. I’ve never written about that day. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve spoken of it with more than a handful of people. There are three days in my life that each and every detail live on so vividly in my mind and this is one of them. I was with her on the exact moment she no longer was on this Earth. It is equally as precious as the minutes when my children were born. 
Tom was healthy her entire life, much more so than any other person I’ve known. She cooked daily until she was 100, never had a problem with arthritis, and often wore Nike running shoes the last few years of her life. Only weeks before her death, she was confined to a hospital bed, but still, uttered not one single complaint. Just like always, she never missed a moment to say, “I love you,” or to hold our hands. 
I have always felt that Tom and I were connected on an even deeper level than that of a grandchild and grandparent. Our pure love of the kitchen bound us like nothing else could. It was her cast iron skillet filled with fried chicken that first taught me how comfort and love could be tasted and shared without saying a word. 
For years, we cooked together, ate together, and talked for countless hours about recipes, cookbooks, and our loves of fat back, Coke in bottles, and Nathalie Dupree. One of her finest days was when Mama brought her to cook with Nathalie and me in the very kitchen she’d seen on television so many times. Simply by sharing a stove, she taught me how imperative the act of cooking can be to a state of real happiness. Being blessed with the gift of sharing the moment when her soul went Home seemed natural and was the ultimate last chapter in our long story together. 
My parents and I were with her all day, talking of everything we could think to say. We tried to fill the empty air with subjects that would keep all of our minds off the fact that her death was eminent. We talked about food, work, family, friends, and memories of days gone by. The nurses kept coming in and out, checking Tom’s pulse and blood pressure, which of course reminded us of why we were all there. 
A family friend, Jane Knowles, came in to visit Tom one last time. She held Tom’s hand, stroked her hair, and sang Holy Ground with a voice that was nothing short of an angel’s. It was during this magnificent song that Tom left us and went on to meet the Lord she so dearly loved. It’s as if she waited for Jane and her hymn to say goodbye to all of us. Recalling these few minutes of witnessing my Tom drift away leaves me short on words and overflowing with tears. 
In memory of Tom and her life so very well lived, I share her fried chicken recipe that has brought me comfort hundreds of times. It is with her skillet that I cook on and never forget.

Tom’s Fried Chicken

1 (3.5 pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour 

Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt and cover with cold water. Soak the chicken for 45 minutes.  
Remove the chicken from the salt water and drain on paper towels. 
Heat the shortening in an 8-inch cast iron skillet or a large deep skillet to about 360 degrees. 
Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Coat each piece completely with flour, shake off the excess and gently place the chicken in the hot shortening.  Fry 10 to 12 minutes per side or until golden brown, about 25 minutes total. Fry chicken in batches to prevent the skillet from becoming crowded.  
Check the temperature of the oil occasionally.  If the oil is too hot, the chicken will be too brown on the outside but not fully cooked through.
Drain fried chicken on a cooling rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet. 

Serves 4

Copyright 2012 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. All rights reserved. Visit for more information.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Favorite Christmas Cookie

Peppermint Wedding Cookies

This recipe tastes like a hybrid of a wedding cookie and a melt-away mint. The
peppermint candy crumbs give a burst of refreshing sweetness with each bite.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
12 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
12 tsp. salt
10 hard peppermint candies, crushed
12 cup powdered sugar
Parchment paper

1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 12 cup sifted powdered sugar and peppermint extract, beating well. Add flour and salt, beating until blended. Cover and chill dough 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Place crushed peppermints in a bowl. Place 12 cup
powdered sugar in a second bowl. Shape dough into 20 (114-inch) balls; place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

3. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until bottoms are golden (tops will be pale). Immediately roll each cookie in crushed peppermints and then in powdered sugar. Generously sprinkle peppermints on top of each cookie, mounding slightly. (Peppermints will stick to cookies as they cool.) Cool completely on wire racks (about 30 minutes).

Makes: 20 cookies

Hands-on Time: 20 min. Total Time: 1 hr., 40 min.

Recipe from Southern Living Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang. Copyright 2012 Oxmoor House