Thursday, July 21, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: July 21 to July 27

Menu A

spicy cantaloupe soup with crab and curry crème fraiche
Riesling, von Hövel, Oberemmeler Hütte Spätlese, Saar, Germany, 2007

sautéed squid with fresh corn, tomatoes, jalapeno, capers, garlic, currants, white wine, fresh herbs, and grilled bread
Sauvignon Blanc, La Chablisienne, Saint-Bris, Burgundy, 2010

lemon chess pie with whipped cream and blueberry compote

Menu B

beef carpaccio with tomatoes and horseradish cream
Rosé, Brumont, Cotes du Gascogne, France, 2010

grilled quails with tarragon jus, creamed corn, kale, and tomato confit
Beaujolais, Jean-Paul Brun, ‘L’Ancien’, France, 2009

SeaHive cheddar with house made baguette and accompaniments

$25 food
$15 booze

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Everything was so vibrant and colorful this week! (this picture is missing the potatoes and garlic that were also in the box, woops!)

Cherry Tomatoes
So wonderful! Some varieties include sun-golds, red and yellow plums and purples that are all unique in their own delicate sweet way. They are so good just halved, salted, and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic (or any good vinegar of your choice). 

Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a relative of Chinese cabbage and works well in most applications in which cabbage, one of the most under-rated vegetables, is used. Cabbage and bok choy are delicate enough to be shaved thin and served in slaws, but tough enough to withstand braising and even the fermented state of kimchi and sauerkraut. One difference between these two however is the deeper green color at the ends of the bok choy leaves. This is of notable importance when determining whether or not to leave the green leaves or to trim and save them for a method that requires less cooking and or less acidity exposure, which tends to make beautiful green go brown. The green tops are great quickly seared in a hot pan, or even torn or cut into a salad, drizzled with a nice vinaigrette.

These are so sweet naturally that they are great raw and all alone. However,  let's get a little creative with our melon this week and make a cooling granite! The lesson in this method is a subtle idea of sweetening the puree to just barely sweeter than your preferred taste. The reasoning behind this is that sweetness is less detectible in frozen granite. The method for this requires a blender and St-Germain, an elderflower liquor that is light and fruity.

Cantaloupe Granite with St-Germain
1 lb Cantaloupe (peeled and seeded)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (this is where you’ll need to trust your taste after everything is mixed)
¾ cup of water
2 tablespoons St-Germain
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and pour into a freezer-safe casserole dish, cover and freeze. After one hour, uncover and run a fork through the mixture to break apart the ice as it is starting to develop. Recover, freeze for 30 more minutes, and run the fork through it again. Eat it!

Woodland Gardens knows berries!  These blueberries are no exception.  Plump and juicy, these blueberries are always great served raw, but this week you could mix it up and throw them in a pancake mix! My kids love blueberry pancakes!

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Grilled Beefsteak Tomato Salad with Salsa Verde, Roasted Sweet Peppers and shaved Parmesan
Okay so we have served these awesome tomatoes raw with a little vinaigrette, now we’ll try a quick, hot grill lightly brushed with olive oil. We still need to salt these just before serving to keep the juices inside the tomatoes, so don’t jump the gun. These tomatoes are large so slice them at least a quarter of an inch thick just before grilling. The idea is to grill quickly on a hot grill to make sure the tomatoes charred but are not falling apart. Once the slices are nice and charred, pull them off and set them aside. The tomatoes and peppers should be cut into larger pieces for serving to give it a rustic feel.  Just before serving at room temperature mix the grilled tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, and peppers together and salt. Drizzle with a liberal amount of the salsa verde and shave the Parmesan (with a vegetable peeler) on top. The Summer Crisp Lettuce would be nice in this salad as well. This works well as a salad standing alone or next to grilled lamb.

Salsa Verde
1 cup flat leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
½ cup basil, leaves only, finely chopped
½ cup mint, leaves only, finely chopped
½ cup marjoram, leaves only, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ capers, rinsed well and minced
¼ cup anchovy filets, rinsed and minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup lemon juice
 ¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
extra virgin olive oil

Place herbs in a bowl and just cover with olive oil.  Add the garlic, capers and chopped anchovies, stir well.  Add the mustard and the lemon juice.  Season and thin with olive oil, if needed.

Summer Crisp Lettuce
Want to try something outside of the box? Try using this lettuce in Dan Barber and Michael Anthony’s Lettuce Soup recipe that showcases the delicate flavor of the lettuce in an amazing and innovative way (available on Food and Wine’s web site). Try gently braising or grilling this stuff but be sure to wash well before using it.  Of course, it’s really awesome in salads!

Sweet Peppers
Roasting peppers can be accomplished in a number of ways. Using the hot grill that we used to grill the tomatoes, lightly coat the peppers with olive oil and put them on a hot section of your grill. Allow the pepper’s skin to char and blister on every side. Once completely charred, set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled, the peppers can easily be peeled and de-seeded, leaving the tender red pepper flesh. This is a handy thing to have in your fridge for relishes, sauces like romesco, as an addition to salads, or as a pizza topping.

Here is a great recipes from Saveur for a unique Sweet Pepper Salad. 

Tri-Colored Filet Beans
De-stem, blanch and shock these beans (see older posts on Bean Blanching technique). Green beans of this variety definitely are made tender by wet heat (boiling, steaming. etc) and for this reason they are easier to utilize in the blanched form. These smaller varieties of wax beans are so delicate that they work well in bean salads but are also great in simple bean gratins. 

Red Potatoes
If you have any extra salsa verde left over from the Beefsteak Tomato recipes, toss it with some roasted potatoes. Simple and tasty! Or whip up a potato salad; summer is not complete without potato salad. Everyone has his or her favorite, what’s yours? If you need some help, check out this link from Southern Living for 13 different Potato Salad Recipes.  

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: July 14 to July 20

Menu A

1. Summer salad of corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado, bacon, and egg with pickled pepper vinaigrette
Gruner Veltliner, Ecker, Austria, 2009

2. Roasted salmon with lemon oregano jam, charred eggplant and garlic puree, green beans in yogurt dressing, and chopped olives
Moschofilero, Tselepos, Mantinia, Greece, 2010

3. Blackberry and lemon verbena crème brûleé with cookies

Menu B

1. fried okra salad with green goddess dressing, arugula, pickled okra, and shaved pecorino
Cava, Conde de Subirats, Spain, NV

2. Grilled skirt steak with basil salsa verde, red wine jus, panzanella, and grilled asparagus
Sangiovese/Merlot, Talenti, Tuscany, Italy, 1998

3.  Sweet Grass Green Hill with accompaniments  

$25 food
$15 booze

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I feel like chicken tonight

'Some Family Style, Some Not’ Dinner series

Local Chicken Dinner
Plowpoint Farm & Darby Farms
6:30 PM September 11th, 2011
$85 per person 
tax & gratuity not included

consommé: custard royale, chantrelles, chicken boudin, fine herbs
Sparkling Saumur rosé, Louis de Grenelle, Loire, NV 

chicken liver terrine, confit of neck and gizzards,
pickles, toasted bread, tarragon mustard
Riesling, Von Hövel, Oberemmeler Hütte Spatlese, Mosel, Germany, 2007

Vol-au-vent au vollaille: chicken oysters, sweet onion,
thyme, poached egg, crisp skin
Gaglioppo, Statti, Calabria, Italy, 2009

chicken roulade: fennel broth, braised leg,
ricotta dumpling, carrot, celery
Bourgogne, Thibeault Liger-Belair, France, 2005

farm egg-sorghum custard in a jar
Vouvray, La Craie, Loire, France, 2009 

Roasted peach, ile flottante
Moscato d’Asti, Vietti, Piedmont, Italy, 2010

Call 404-541-1105 for reservations. We plan on it being a fun family style meal next to the bocce court!

cowboy hats in a cowboy town

Greg Norton

Greg Norton was the bassist in Husker Du. Seminal punk band of my youth. He's now a chef. I think that's very very cool. Saveur has an awesome article about chefs who were musicians. Now I have to go listen go listen to Celebrated Summer.

and these are the phatty cakes

Yum. Cynthia Wong's great creations.

what food costs

I am on a trek, a teaching voyage to explain to my cooks how much things cost. They cook great food but many have no idea how much locally sourced food actually costs. So my new way is to photograph the core foods we use with prices attached to instill in them the economics of what they cook everyday. They will be more careful with the chanterelles, I promise you that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Whatha Got In Your Box? July 6th, 2011 edition

Whatcha got in your box?

cherry tomatoes

arugula, peach, and blueberry salad with La Quercia prosciutto
and mustard-cider vinegar vinaigrette

serves 6

This is a very old school French way of making a dressing. Lovely with the egg yolk. The interplay of the sweet of the fruits with the spice of the arugula and the dressing and then the velvety richness of the ham make for a pretty mean salad. Mean in the nice way…

Mustard-cider vinaigrette:

2 cooked egg yolks, cooked firm but not like rubber balls. 5 minute egg…
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
fresh tarragon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
pinch cayenne

Using a mortar and pestle mash up the egg yolks with the mustard. Add the vinegar and tarragon. Mash well and then slowly add the oil in a steady thin stream. You can use a small whisk at this point. Whisk in all the oil and finish with the salt and cayenne. If its too thick you can add some water, nature’s thinner.

1 quart arugula leaves
1 peach, fresh and ripe, pitted and thinly sliced
½ quart of blueberries
¼ pound or six beautiful slices of La Quercia prosciutto (earthfare has it, spendy but worth it)
1 batch dressing
pinch of kosher salt

Place arugula in a large bowl and add the sliced peaches and the blueberries. Add half of the dressing and gently toss with your clean hands.  Season with a pinch of salt and then evenly plate onto six plates. Drizzle a little more dressing around each plate and then tear a piece of prosciutto over each plate.  Yum.


Cantalope and fresh mint soup with picked crab and curry oil

1 tablespoon curry powder, fresh as you can find
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil

3 cups Cantalope, skin cut off, halved, seeded and diced into large dice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon minced jalapeno
3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped (not just sliced… that would be stringy)
4 tablespoons fresh blue crab meat

Puree the curry powder and grapeseed oil in a blender and then pour into a coffee filter perched over a small cup. Let slowly drip through as you make your soup.

Place cantaloupe, water, cider vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, salt and jalapeno in the blender and puree til smooth. Pass through china cap and then split into four bowls. Garnish with picked crab, chopped mint and then a drizzle of curry oil.


How about Baba Ganoush with grilled flatbread? Maybe next week though. Or you can google that and make it up as you go along.

Eat them with tomatoes. Tear them into freshly buttered orecchiette with some of the cherry tomatoes cut up finely, some capers and some freshly grated parmesan and a good shot of chile flake. Serve with good bread and dinner is done. 

Heirloom Tomatoes:

Pan Roasted Wild Salmon with Chickpea Panisses and a cucumber tomato salad

I love panisses. These little chickpea fritters are like the falafel of Marseilles. Easy to make and a joy to eat.

Serves 4

Chickpea Panisses

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup all-purpose flour

Warm a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and when it shimmers add the shallot. Cook for five minutes and then add the garlic. Cook until the garlic is translucent, about two minutes. Add the chicken stock and once the chicken stock reaches a boil whisk in the chickpea flour like you would to make polenta. Lower heat to medium and keep on stirring every minute or so and cook for about 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the tablespoon of butter. Whisk thoroughly. Remove pot from heat and set aside.

Use the remaining olive oil to oil a 9 x 13 sheet pan. Pour the chickpea batter into the sheet pan and then place in the refrigerator for two hours to set up.

When the chickpea batter is firm cut into two inch squares and then dust them with the flour.  Fry off in remaining olive oil for two minutes per side over medium high heat, but do this right after the salmon is cooked.

Cucumber Tomato salad

1 cucumber, finely diced
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1/2 cup chopped flatleaf parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all in a bowl and let sit at room temperature for an hour for the flavors to really come through.  You can serve this on just about anything and it will keep in the fridge for about three to four days.

Pan roasted salmon
Preheat oven to 400F
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4  six ounce portions of wild salmon, skin off
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Season the salmon with the salt. When the oil is hot add the salmon, presentation side down (presentation side is the side that will be up on the plate). Sear for three minutes and then add one tablespoon of butter. Baste with a spoon and then over and cook on the other side for two minutes. Then place in the oven for three minutes. TOTAL COOKING TIME SHOULD BE ABOUT 8-10 minutes for every inch of thickness. Remove from pan and place cooked salmon on a sheet pan to hold until plating.

Place two panisses on each plate and then nestle a portion of salmon next to the panisses. Top with a liberal amount of cucumber salad, spooning some of the oil and vinegar around each plate. Eat.

These are true Southern style beans. Some would think that that’s not my thing
Go to Bell’s. You haven’t been there in years and you should go. It’s actually not a shabby grocery store and they are really nice people. Buy some fatback. I mean real fatback. Pour a touch of lard in a big pot, add a chopped-up onion, a bay leaf and the fatback and let it cook out for about fifteen minutes over medium heat. Add the beans, topped and bottomed and then cut into two-inch lengths. Add some chicken stock just to come up half way up the beans and then cover and reduce the heat low. Cook them for an hour, until really cooked down.

And though Celia does not give us peaches, here’s a Fried Peach Pie recipe from the wonderful Cynthia Wong, pastry chef at Empire State South in Atlanta… next week a peach ice cream recipe from Shae Rehmel, the star of the pastry program at Five & Ten! In unrelated news Cynthia is rocking out Phatty Cakes at the coffee shop at ESS... If you haven't had one they rock. they are a really phenomenal ginger cookie pair with marscapone cream center. Wonderful.

Fried Peach Pies
Cynthia Wong, Empire State South
Serves about 4 to 6

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces cold unsalted butter
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water

3 large or 4 medium-sized ripe but still firm peaches, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons instant tapioca
½ teaspoon lemon juice

4 cups vegetable oil for frying

Slice the peaches ¼ inches thick. In a medium bowl, combined the peaches with the sugar, instant tapioca and lemon juice. Set the peaches aside at room temperature for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently and frequently until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool completely.
            Cube the butter into small pieces. In the work bowl of a food processor, or using your hands, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter cubes and pulse. Cut in with a pastry cutter or pinch together using your hands until the mixture resembles course crumbs and there are no big chunks of butter.
            Put the mixture in a large bowl and sprinkle the egg-water mixture over. Using a large spatula, toss the mixture together until the egg is absorbed. Then, using your hands, gently pat the mixture together until it forms a dough.
            Flatten the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
            Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until a little less than 1/4” thick. Cut the dough into 4 large or 6 medium rounds.
            Fill a large, deep pot with the oil and heat to 375°F degrees.
            Moisten the edges of each dough circle with water. Put a tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle, then fold the circle in half. Pinch the edges to seal.
            Fry the pies two at a time, turning over to get both sides nice and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a rack or plate with paper towels on it to drain.

Vanilla and Mint Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream (40%)
½ vanilla bean, scrapped and pod reserved for another use
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Whip the cream in a large, dry metal bowl with a whisk. If you feel lazy you can do this with a electric hand mixer. Whip until soft peaks form, cream should never look like its breaking… add the vanilla, sugar and mint. Serve off to the side of each fried pie.

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