At the Table

Big batch energy

By: The Local Palate

We know that manning a kitchen in the time of COVID isn’t all étouffée and coconut cake.  Facing down a fridge full of random ingredients after these long days can be downright daunting. That’s when big-batch cooking—a sauce, casserole, beans, or braise at the ready in fridge or freezer—is your friend. (Quarantined with a crew? Double the recipe and sock half away for later.) Here are some of our favorite recipes that reward us when we’re in the mood to find solace at the stove, and again when we’re not.

Shrimp Spaghetti

The Cajun version of Sunday sauce, Melissa Martin’s shrimp spaghetti draws on the Creole cooking technique of smothering tomatoes low and slow. With the exception of fresh shrimp, the ingredients are staples. Freeze the sauce after step 2 and you’re halfway to dinner some night in the near future. It comes from Martin’s terrific new cookbook and ode to her Bayou upbringing Mosquito Supper Club, out this week.

Chef Deborah VanTrece based this super-rich and creamy macaroni and cheese on the version she grew up eating on Sundays and holidays. The secret? American cheese, eggs, and VanTrece’s special spice blend.

Spend a day smoking or roasting a boston butt for pulled pork and you’ll reap the rewards for many meals to come, from tacos to cubans.

Ladle up a bowl of borracho beans, serve with a wedge of Moss family cornbread, and call it dinner.

A Southern community cookbook darling, the warming chicken stew Lowcountry denizens call country captain is always better the next day.

Peggy Loftus


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