The Story

The Rooted Cook is primarily my online manuscript cookbook — the place where I keep most of my own recipes as I develop them. I post them here to share them with friends. (You’re a friend, right?) I’ve written and designed them for ease of use and reference, not as entertainment or as basic cooking instruction — I’m assuming you already know your way around a kitchen. As I have time, I’ll post articles with more thorough background or instruction about ingredients or techniques. And because I’m also a food historian, I occasionally post articles about food traditions or the historical or cultural background of a dish.

You can read more about manuscript cookbooks and the design of this site in About the Rooted Cook.

—David Walbert

What’s New

Chestnut-apple stuffing

The recipe card for this stuffing has been in my box for at least twenty years, and I have made it enough times that I cannot recall the last time I actually followed the recipe. You should therefore take the quantities as rough suggestions, although you should probably do that with stuffing in any case. Stuffing ought to be a highly personal endeavor, and that’s not even considering it from the turkey’s perspective. (more…)

Sweet potato cornbread dressing

This was inspired several years ago by a trip to Sweet Potatoes restaurant in Winston-Salem, where I had catfish stuffed with sweet potato cornbread dressing. Making this is a multi-step process as you have to bake the cornbread first, but you can do that a day ahead. (more…)

Sweet potato cornbread

I use this primarily for sweet potato cornbread dressing. See Basic Southern Conrbread for more about cornbread. (more…)

Easy beef stock

Beef stock is really quite easy to make, but it takes hours of very gentle simmering to extract the flavor from the meat and bones. I use a slow cooker so I don’t have to tend it. I also use beef shank, which includes a good piece of bone but also a lot of flavorful meat, because the traditional French method of making stock from only bones has great body but not much flavor. If you want more gelatin in your stock, you can add some extra bones. (more…)

Chickpeas with sausage

Pretty much what the name says. I have been buying big packages of kielbasa lately and storing them in the freezer, and then looking for ways to use them up. This has been one of the better ideas. It’s a pantry dinner, made up entirely of things I’m likely to have around on any given day, and it could be made in a slow cooker as well. (more…)