Chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls spikes his sticky-sweet pecan pie with just enough bourbon to add a kick of flavor that accents the sweet chunks of apple. Fuji apples are perfect for this pie; they bake up soft but retain their texture. Braeburn and Honeycrisp also work well.
Chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls builds rich flavor into this Lowcountry stew with a quick homemade stock using shrimp shells. Worcestershire adds an additional hit of umami, while fresh okra helps thicken the broth. Read more about Alexander Smalls and his epic Harlem dinner parties in “To Dine, with Love.”
At his dinner parties in Harlem, chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls pairs creamy, slightly spicy, fresh deviled crab with tender corn muffins, barely sweetened with brown sugar and studded with corn kernels, for a quick one-bite appetizer. Choose fresh crab over pasteurized for the best flavor.
A quick sauté renders baby kale leaves perfectly tender, allowing them to almost melt into the buttermilk-enriched béchamel in chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls' riff on mac and cheese. For a smooth sauce, make sure all of the dairy is at room temperature.
Cookbook author and chef Alexander Smalls toasts benne seeds, or white sesame seeds, before stirring them into the beans to add layers of toasty, nutty flavor that permeate the whole dish. Covering the pan for part of the cook time delivers tender green beans and perfectly cooked garlic.
With plenty of garlic and rubbed sage to brighten savory, gamey lamb, these roasted chops are bold and balanced. If the glaze begins to set before serving, gently warm it over low heat. Chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls serves these lamb chops at his epic dinner parties at his apartment in Harlem.
These two-bite wonders, from Johnson’s cookbook Between Harlem and Heaven, hail directly from the history in South Carolina and Gullah cuisine. As Johnson writes, “The Lowcountry Gullah islands (located on the coast of South Carolina) offer a legacy of Africa and the Caribbean on the doorstep of the American South, and their culinary and social richness can’t be captured in any one thing. Which is why instead of trying that, we take inspiration from their cuisine and fly off to Asia.”