Oh, sweet Southern comfort! This is not my everyday food of choice, but every time I eat hearty cornbread, smoked and flavored meats, or a great soul stew, there is a satisfaction that is unbeatable and can’t be compared to other types of food. Miss Quad knows how to entertain, and she knows how to get people hooked on good cookin’! With her cookbook, you’ll get a fresh take on Memphis soul cooking - from comfort food, to sensational salads, and fried goodness. You’ll get a bit of everything that will surely get the crowd going!
Miss Quad’s passion for bonding in the kitchen has led her to believe that cooking is a refuge, never a chore. When #CookingwithQuad, she hopes that you’ll have a rewarding experience when making one of her dishes.
The photos and different dishes you can make throughout Quad Web’s book can fit all types of lifestyles: whether you want a quick meal, or something that takes lots of love and care to make, you can find it in her recipe book. Cooking is about being comfortable with being free to create. So, don’t be afraid to taste, see, smell, and feel what’s going on in the kitchen. Of course, cooking with Miss Quad means that you’ll never have a boring dish - she combines unique flavors, textures, and temperatures to bring you mouth tingles! In my experience, I’ve been able to make 2-3 dishes from her cookbook at once for family dinners, and they never broke my budget nor felt like a long time to make. Not to mention, she has a whole recipe of cocktails that beg to be paired with her beloved dishes. It’s a win-win!
Memphis Soul Stew
For this recipe, I tried the soul stew. I made this recipe in the summer time to bring on delicious flavors, and when the colder weather starts kicking in, I know this will be a dish I need to recreate. Sneak in some hearty veggies with your meats, and you've got a balanced and well-loved dish! I love steak AND chicken, so this stew is made to feel like a “stick to your bones” Cajun chili. It reminds me a lot of Mechado, a Filipino dish that combines potatoes and tomatoes. Each bite packs in flavor and gets more exciting with each bite!
Miss Quad also describes this dish as a gumbo made with sirloin rather than seafood. It’s so unique to eat, because you can make it as thick or thin as you like with the amount of water you add. I want to mention that this dish will take some time - your food will be simmering and it it is well worth it!
For this recipe, you’ll need a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. I cut the recipe in half since there were only 4 of us eating. The original recipe uses 2 pounds of chicken leg quarters (what even are those, and where can you buy them?), but I used chicken legs and thighs. You’ll be pan frying that chicken and setting the crispy skin aside. I chopped all that meat on the bone and remove the skin and save it for later. What did I do with that extra skin? I put it on top of my stew for garnish and extra flavor!
Once you cook through the sirloin, here comes the fun part!! With the cut up onions, bell peppers, carrots, and garlic, you’ll cook them until they’re soft. Of course, to make a delicious stew, tomato paste is a must have ingredient! With the sirloin and vegetables in the pot, I then added the flour, beef stock, and water - boiling everything and adding my chopped chicken, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Here’s my oops-turned-success moment: I cut the entire recipe in half -- but added the original amount of water. The result? Not as thick, and still packed with mouth-watering flavors!! Miss Quad did mention if the stew is too thick for your liking, you can add more water. It wasn’t too soupy, it was good balance between a thick chili and something similar to a cream-based soup!
Once that bad baby creation has been simmering for 30-40 minutes, the aroma filled the kitchen. For plating, I paired it on top of cooked white rice. Superb! Scrumptious!! This dish is something I can eat once every blue moon, knowing it is satisfying and filling.
I made 4 plates total, served alongside additional Miss Quad's side dishes - each recipe has recommended pairings that will feed you from breakfast, lunch, and dinner!