In late September, I love green tomatoes. Tart and firm, they prove far more useful than simply slicing and frying (although, when made well, fried green tomatoes are fantastic). By the turn of the month, I can barely stand the sight of them, so the green tomatoes are for pickling at that point. My favorite method remains curry pickled tomatoes, but this year as I made them, I wondered about instead of making something that is vaguely Indian in style, I actually might make something Indian. Continue reading »
It is a fermented world, and we are just living in it.
Many people see kimchi, fermented “x” or house-made “y” and their eyes roll like slot machines. I understand it. You have limited your purview to the kinds of restaurants that do those things and many do them, to various levels of success. I am not a fan of places serving food which is below par, but I am big believer of trying it yourself. I am a big believer of if your restaurant scene’s biggest problem is there are too many people trying to ferment, cure and pickle, then you are in a pretty damned good spot. The alternative might be a group of people pushing the landscape of the new food frontier, but more likely, the alternative is the bleak landscape of Ruth’s Chris, Applebee’s and diners serving up frozen, prepackaged food off of the Sysco truck. Continue reading »
One of my obsessions in pickling over the past few years has been pickling vegetables which have been smoked or charred. I feel the additional textures and flavors that can be applied through dry heat and smoke can make some pickles more interesting and bring qualities that you would not expect. Continue reading »
Like home-grown celery, aged beef, and real yogurt, you think these things should taste like the veg, beef, and yogurt in the supermarket until you take the first bite. It is at that point when you realize that whatever you were eating your whole life has been complete and utter junk and you can never go back. In this case, I had gotten a care package that included a bags of rye flour and bran from Geechie Boy mill on Edisto Island in South Carolina – one of my favorite makers of cornmeal – and I am ruined for most other rye products for life. Continue reading »
In another case of inspiration, or just a reminder, by way of Twitter, last week Huge Galdones was photographing at Hogs & Hominy in Memphis and posted a photo of a sandwich with a sauce I had not seen in a long time – comeback sauce. At first blush, comeback sauce appears to be little more than a riff on Thousand Island dressing, but once you try the sauce, it stays in the rotation. Continue reading »
Last week, I was surprised after arriving home to a house smelling terribly of polyurethane. Without notice our upper level was sanded and sealed forcing me to the city. This temporary exile gave me a great excuse to head to Green City Market for the first time in a long time and on the visit, I found some great corn related items. First, a tub of huitlacoche and then these. This is what baby corn looks like in the husk. They are not what I had imagined. Long as regular corn, the husk was full of silk with only a small, cob of corn. Continue reading »
Three shots. Thirteen months. One massive failure. One middling attempt. One quart of delicious vinegar. And it was worth it.
Bourbon barrels have been a useful tool for me in smoking, but I wanted to try to impart that unique flavor into vinegar and a trip to Charleston inspired me. Visiting Husk and McCrady’s and seeing Sean Brock’s massive collection of vinegars pushed me past the traditional beer/cider/wine vinegar and took me to blackstrap. Continue reading »
I love rhubarb. I love rhubarb in a different way than you might think. I do not love it paired with sweet spring berries (although if Hoosier Mama, Floriole, or Allie Levitt put something like that in front of me, I’d have a bite. A very big bite). I much prefer rhubarb in savory applications. I find the tartness cuts through rich, meaty dishes in a way unlike other produce. After long winters of rich on rich or fatty rich, a tart blast of rhubarb is such a treat. Continue reading »
Being a suburban dad has given me a little heartburn, no lie. I try to keep up. Despite my best efforts, my cool quotient is going from low to none. When I try out some new lingo, some things seem to get lost in translation. After tweeting about a longtime favorite, asparagus and tarragon or as we call it at home “asparragon”, being “my jam”. Someone, reasonably, assumed that I made asparragon jam. Continue reading »
With weather finally turning around, it is so nice to finally begin eating fresh spring vegetables. While I am happy whenever a vegetable can gain the same fervor as bacon, the buzz around ramps has reached a fever pitch. They are delicious, but are they delicious enough to pay through the nose or to fight off throngs to get them? The hubbub around ramps pushed me to avoid them altogether, until while wasting 15 minutes in a local Whole Foods I found some massively mislabeled ramps. Continue reading »