Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Whatcha Got in Your Box

May 31, 2011

FEEL FREE TO GIVE COMMENTS, but be nice. This is not my paid job.

In your box:
swedish peanut fingerling potatoes
jade cucumber
green cabbage
italian pole beans
torpedo onions
cluster tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

Swedish Peanut Fingerling Potatoes

Swedish-Greek Fingerlings
            I love the generalized Greek flavor profile of garlic, lemon and oregano. This update on a classic uses fresh oregano rather than that jar of dried that’s been in your spice rack for two years. Make a pact with me, no blood letting needed: that herbs are fresh leafy things; that you will grow them; that you will use them in their exquisite greenness and you will throw away those desiccated jars of pale green stuff in that spice rack. Agreed?
            You know those 1/4 lengths of big potatoes that are crunchy and long cooked with garlic, lemon and oregano? They grace every piece of roasted lamb at every Greek restaurant from San Diego to Tarpon Springs. What if we took that idea and made it with great local stuff? Yum. Let’s roll:

Find a nice roasting pan and get the oven preheated to 400. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 fair bit of fresh oregano, eight whole peeled clove of garlic, eight thin slices of lemon, 1/2 cup of good chicken stock, a bit of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Arrange in the baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes. When they are nice and toasty you could finish them with some fresh mint and a scoop of yogurt if you want. Plain yogurt. Peach yogurt would be gross.

Jade Cucumber

            There is so much crappy smoked salmon in the world but I have found one that is worth every penny. The Charlie Trotter branded stuff at Earthfare. Really good stuff. Lunch today will be that arranged on a plate, drizzled with olive oil and lemons and some chopped capers and then topped with a simple cucumber salsa.

Cucumber salsa
1 cucumber, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 red jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped flatleaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lime 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.

Green Cabbage
These are stunning... Celia? What's the varietal again?
I actually grew a cabbage at home recently, or Beatrice (aged 8) and I did. It’s crazy how much space those thing need to grow.  For all that real estate they take up you’d think cabbages would be pricier! Later on when nappa cabbage comes in the box we’ll go through some kimchi recipes. For now if you’re feeling brazen you can make some sauerkraut.

Creole Braised Cabbage
I came across a great old recipe in Southern Sideboards: Recipes from the Junior League of Jackson Mississippi, for Hot Cabbage Creole. I love adopting old recipes and making them current. This would be a great side dish to bring to a friend’s front porch on a Sunday night. Love live out front porch lifestyle!

2 slices bacon
1/2 sweet onion, peeled and minced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and minced
3 cluster tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 head cabbage, cored and chopped to 1 inch dice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Finely dice the bacon and render it down to a light crisp in a large pot (one with a lid). Add the onion, poblano and the red pepper. Cook down over medium heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes to the pot and cook for five minutes. Add the cabbage, salt, cayenne, stock and vinegar. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 45 minutes or so. Finish with a touch of butter and the chiopped parsley.


Basic Vinaigrette for Lettuces

Ya’ll have a vinaigrette problem and I am here to fix it. You need that staple in a mason jar in your fridge. The go to salad dressing that works on pretty much anything. Let’s do this:

1 tbls Dijon
1 shallot, really finely minced
1 cups evoo
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 talespoon chopped fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

Place everything in a mason jar, screw on the cap and shake it up when you need it. Stays fresh in the fridge for ten days. Change the tarragon around if you want. It could be thyme or marjoram. Augment with different vinegars too!

Yellow and Green Pole Beans... a.k.a. my favorite bean
Pole Beans with mint, cream and shallot

String the beans.
Cook the beans in boiling water until tender. Cut into half inch lengths. Toss with a little melted butter, parmesan, salt, pepper and fresh mint.
Preheat broiler. Take a small cast iron skillet and place the beans in there.
Whip 1/4 cup whipping cream with a whisk until soft peaks form. Scoop this over the beans and then place in the broiled until the cream is toasted nicely. Serve immediately.


How about making a hot bacon vinagrette and then pouring the hot vinaigrette over some tatsoi and caramelized vidalias, then tossing to wilt the whole thing. Yum. I love wilted greens like tatsoi, stems and all.

Wilted Tatsoi with Caramelized Vidalias and Hot Bacon Vinaigrette

Caramelized Vidalias
Place a large cast iron pan on medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter. Place some sliced onion in the pan and cook for about twenty minutes until they develop a lot of color and the sugars have really started to pop. Season with salt and remove from heat. Lovely on a hot dog too.


½ pound Benton’s bacon, finely diced and cooked until just crisp, saving the rendered fat
1 T grain mustard
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
2 T lemon juice
2 T rendered bacon fat
2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley

Once the bacon is cooked, set it aside separated as cooked bacon and bacon drippings.
In a medium bowl start emulsifying the olive oil into the mustard, using a whisk.  As this starts to thicken you can then thin down with your acids (vinegar and lemon juice).  Once all of the olive oil has been whisked in you can whisk in the 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat, the parsley and the finely chopped bacon.

Season.  Reheat over medium heat to pour over the tatsoi. 

Place the tatsoi in a bowl, lightly chopped. Add the onions and then pour over some hot vinaigrette. Not too much… you don’t want it too wet. Toss and serve.

Cluster Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

Roast them in the oven with a bit of olive oil, season and serve them over a grilled steak! Or eat them like candy. I do.
Or a quick pasta. Just cut the tomatoes in half and cook them in olive oil in a pan with some garlic and then toss in some tagliatelle, some torn basil, tear in some arugula, a pat of butter and some freshly grated parmesan. Dinner in ten minutes!

Torpedo Onions

Things of beauty these onions. Blanche them and grill them and serve with as a side. Wonderful.


Okay, here is a recipe for collards. I know it ain’t your mother’s or your grandmother’s, it’s from a Canadian with one eyebrow. Enough said. They are great collards.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced
2 pounds cleaned collard greens, cleaned and pulled into edible sizes,
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons sorghum or maple syrup
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup water
1 small smoked ham hock or hunk of slab bacon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
            You need a large pot here, because the collards are going to be a huge quantity while raw and much less when cooked. Please make sure that the collards are well washed in about three changes of water and have no grit about them.
            Place your large pot over medium heat and onion until you have some color.
            Add the collards and saute until a bit limp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook down. Add the sorghum or maple syrup. Add the stock, water and ham hock or bacon. Cook, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the collards are tender. When the collards are tender add the butter and reserve warm until serving.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: May 26 to June 2

Menu A

Darby Farm chicken liver pate with pickles, grain mustard, and grilled sourdough
riesling, Dr. F. Weins-Prüm, Mosel, Germany, 2009 

grilled bistro steak with red wine jus, cornbread, arugula, and field pea salad
 Vacqueyras, Montirius, Rhone, France, 2008

Sweet Grass Green Hill with house-made baguette and accompaniments

Menu B

smoked trout and local lettuces with anchovy vinaigrette, tomatoes, radish, and crisp shallots
sauvignon blanc, Mount Nelson, Marlborough, NZ, 2009   

Bourride of redfish, mussels, clams, and rock shrimp in a saffron-orange broth with tomato, fennel, thyme, and crostini with rouille
Picpoul de Pinet, Hugues Beaulieu, Coteaux de Languedoc, France, 2010

Chocolate tart with coconut sorbet, cherries and apricot reduction

$25 food
$15 booze

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


One day late. My strange life had me in Los Angeles until late this evening...

Whatcha Got in your Box?
May 24th, 2011
Woodland Gardens CSA

Rainbow Carrots:
On a recent phone call as I was traveling, my youngest daughter Clementine told me she ate some of the CSA carrots, “The YELLOW ONES.” I was envious of eating those beauteous things straight from the box… candy from the earth. Made me miss my family and carrots.
            I love warm salads, unless its 95 degrees in May, which it has been as of late. But let’s pretend it’s a temperate early evening and you have the grill on and a bunch of carrots ready for the eating.

Grilled Carrots with queso fresco, lime, chile flake and cilantro

Cut the tops of the carrots but as you do this take some scissors and cut about a cup of small nice leaves from the greens… we’ll be adding them to the finished dish. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and blanche for about two minutes in boiling water. Remove and chill in an ice water bath. Pat dry and then brush them with a bit of olive oil. Season the carrots with a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and a little pinch of chile flake. Place on a hot grill and grill  for five minutes until they have some nice char and caramelization going on. Place them in a bowl or baking dish and then squeeze the juice of a lime on them, add some chopped cilantro (2 T) and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of small cubed queso fresco and the cut carrot tops and toss.  Serve warm.

Bright Lights Chard:
Chard, and this is a repetitive thought, like olive oil and some heavy heat. Cook the stems separately because they take twice as long. You can pickle the stems too if you want; they’re great that way. I just like a simple approach with the leaves though, one involving the biggest pot or pan in your house, a hot burner and some good salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon zest.
            Heat the pan over high heat and add the olive oil to the hot pan. Add the chard… it will sizzle dramatically but that’s a good thing. Add a pinch of salt and the pepper. Stir to fully, and quickly cook down the chard. Add the lemon zest. Total cooking time is about three minutes. You just want to cook it down enough to get rid of that tannic, bitter quality and bring out the chards natural sweetness. High heat is the answer.

Hakurei Turnips
            I adore these turnips. Remember the desiccated misshaped orbs that we used to abhor? These ain’t those. These are like the gobstoppers of great organic farms. More candy of the earth. Can’t…stop…eating…
            At Five & Ten we have long done a simple soy braise with them. Here it goes:
Remove the greens about 1/2 an inch above the turnip and reserve for turnips greens another time. Cut each turnip in half from pole to pole… Warm 1 T of unsalted butter over medium heat and add the turnips, cut side down. Cook for five minutes, until the turnips are nicely browned and beginning to get tender. Add two tablespoons of chicken stock and one tablespoon of good soy sauce to the pan. Cover and cook for five minutes. Finish with some chopped scallions.

Pink Beauty Radishes:
            Slice thinly. Buy great white bread. Slather with salted butter and finish with some sea salt. Sit on front porch and enjoy life. Heck, its May in Georgia, and its beautiful!

Sweet Cluster Tomatoes:
Let’s make some tomato soup!

pappa di pomodoro

3 cups of diced toasted sourdough boule ( cut into inch by inch cubes, tossed with olive oil and toasted until golden)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1 leek, cleaned and minced
1 rib celery, minced
1/4 of a large bulb fennel, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
bouquet of thyme, parsley and bay
5 # tomatoes, peeled and seeded and diced
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1/3 cup basil leaves, torn
freshly ground pepper

In soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and celery and cook until translucent, about ten minutes.  Add garlic.  Cook two minutes.  Don’t burn garlic.  Add tomatoes and cook for fifteen minutes.  Add stock and bouquet and cook for another 45 minutes. 

To finish add basil and toasted bread.  Season.  Cook out for five minutes and then cool.

Green and Red Butterhead Lettuces
I love the crunch of these heads. Cut them in sixths instead of leafing them. They taste crunchier that way. I would love these with a blonde miso and tarragon vinaigrette. Just think a 3:1 ratio oil to acid and then whisk in some miso and some chopped fresh tarragon from the garden.

Chandler Strawberries
Eat from pint. Or read other weeks notes.

Squash Mix: Goldy Zucchini, Yellow Crookneck, Baby Bush, Floridor, Eight Ball, Green Zucchini
Summer comes quickly around here. I remember when my Dad grew zucchini one year and they were about 800 of them, all inedibly about 2 feet long. That man is a great economist but not the greatest gardener. Love him dearly though.
            When I see little squash like this I really just want to revel in simplicity again. I want to slice them a little thinly, say 1/4 inch thick and sauté them melted butter with some cracked black pepper and fresh mint. There are hundreds of options to these though so grab those cookbooks!

Tyria or Jade Cucumber
Have you ever sautéed cucumbers like the squash? Its great. Or just chop them up and toss them with some rice vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt,  some chopped nori and chile. In an hour you’ll have a great side dish!

Santo Cilantro
See Carrots.

Parade Scallions
Grill them up with a steak! I love grilled scallions.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: May 19 to May 25

Menu A

butterbean hummus, southern feta, benne wafers, housemade pickles
rosé, Brumont, Cotes de Gascogne, France, 2010   

salmon baked in parchment with hen of the woods mushrooms, caramelized Vidalia onions, and sage, finished with arugula and roasted fingerling potato salad
Pinot Gris, St. Innocent, 'Vitae Springs Vineyard', Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2009

plum upside down cake with lemon cream and local strawberries

Menu B

spring onion tart with Sweet Grass chevre and arugula

grilled lamb loin with salsa verde, shaved pecorino, roasted fennel, tomato, and crisp potato
Sangiovese Grosso, Casanova di Neri, 'Rosso di Neri', Tuscany, Italy, 2008

classic carrot cake with caramel sauce, cocoa nibs and candied walnuts

$25 food
$15 booze

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Woodland Gardens CSA BOX 051711

Whatcha got in the box?

Let’s make a different tomato salad. I want you to peel the tomatoes by cutting a shallow (like 1/8 of an inch shallow) X on the bottom of the tomato, then carefully coring the top of the tomato, then plunging the tomatoes into boiling, salted water for one minute. Remove to a waiting pool of ice water, and then peel away the skins, leaving a beautiful specimen of peeled tomato before you. Cut into eighths, like a pie and arrange nicely in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and olive oil and a dash of cider vinegar. Let the cut tomatoes sit for about an hour. They will exude juice but that’s good.
            Go outside and pick some basil. If you are still buying basil from Kroger, you should be ashamed. Expensive and tasteless at grocery stores, basil is so easy to grow. Trust me. I have no green thumb but the herb selection outside on the back porch is pretty awesome.
            slather some nice sliced bread with olive oil and then toast it under the broiler. When toasted rub it with a cut piece of fresh garlic. Tear the bread up with your hands. If you are a wolverine, use your talons.
            Litter some torn basil over the cut tomatoes.  Dot with toasted bread chunks. Add some shaved parmesan and toss gently. Eat.

The wonderful berry season continues. Straw now, blue starting up and rasp to finish. I am still really addicted to the old standard of macerated strawberries with some black pepper and Cointreau over really good vanilla bean ice cream. Leave off the Cointreau for the children.

This is why I started this weekly report. I kept getting that timeless question, “What do I do with kohlrabi?”
Well, this little alien cousin of the cabbage likes to be pickled, shaved and eaten raw, cooked into a puree, sautéed as a side, made into a curry… countless ideas. The greens are great sauteed.
But today let’s make a quick pickle with it.
Peel the kohlrabi and cut in half from pole to pole. Then cut thin half moon shapes with a chef’s knife, about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a non-reactive bowl, sprinkle with a tablespoon of kosher salt and let sit for an hour. Rinse the kohlrabi slices well to get rid of salt, pat dry and then place them back in the cleaned non-reactive bowl.

Bring 1 cup rice vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 small dry hot chile, 1 teaspoon sugar and one teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour hot pickling liquid over them and let it sit in the fridge for two hours to a week.
Eat on salads, or on a pickle plate.  It’s kind of a sunumono style pickle.

Lacinato Kale:
Peter (the National) has this warm lacinato kale salad on the menu right now that rocks. Go and eat that at the National.
            For home use it would be wonderful in a very Italian white bean soup with pork sausage and a ton of chopped up kale to finish. A great drizzle of olive oil and a big slice of bread. Yum.

I grew up on liverwurst and sliced cucumber sandwiches. Wonderful to this day. Or pickle them like the kohlrabi.

A famous Athenian recently confided in me that he was really into fennel. This made me feel less isolated, for I thought I was alone in treating fennel like a minor deity. I love the stuff.  All I need are tomatoes, leeks and fennel and my desert island supplies list is pretty much done. I will have to be stranded in the Mediterranean. Maybe Elba?
            Let’s pan braise! Cut the fennel top away, leaving the bulb. The tops can be feathered into salads or such uses. Cut the bulb in quarters, cut away the core, and then slice the fennel in wedges, each quarter yielding about three slices. Get a large pot on the stove and melt some butter with a touch of olive oil. Add the fennel in a large single layer and cook over medium heat until the house smells like an Absinthe bar, and you are quoting Rimbaud. Pour in a 1/2 cup of dry vermouth and cook until the vermouth goes away. Then add a cup of chicken stock and cook until its reduced by 3/4s, about ten minutes. Finish with some chopped fennel tops and eat with fish or chicken. Chicken and salmon love fennel.

Make a salad. These lettuces are stunning. Make a good vinaigrette. Make some croutons. We’ve been over this.

Rose Gold Potatoes:
Boil them until tender. Then drain and add 3 tablespoons of butter. Cover and cook for five minutes over low heat. Season well and add some buttermilk and then mash them coarsely with a fork. Yum.
            I also like to cook them on the grill in foil with some olive oil, lemon and oregano.

These are the most beautiful carrots around so if they make past your counter and into the fridge I would be surprised. My kids gobble them down. But you could shave them into a salad, roast them whole, puree them into baby food or use them to finish a nice roast chicken, which is how they will be eaten tonight chez Acheson. you can use the greens in salad. They are usually thrown out or composted but I like em!

Let’s make a six ingredient carrot soup. Water and salt don’t count as ingredients.
2 teaspoons butter
2 shallots, minced
3 cups diced carrot (1/2 inch dice)
1 cup peeled potato, cubed to 1/2 inch dice
1 tablespoon minced ginger
6 cups water
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

Melt butter, add shallot. Cook over medium heat for five minutes. Add carrot and potato. Cook for ten minutes over medium-low heat to release as much sugar from the carrots as possible. Add ginger and the water. Cook until carrots and potato are very tender. Remove from heat and puree. Add the yogurt as it’s pureeing. Season with salt and pass through a strainer to ensure a great texture.

Until next time,

Hugh Acheson

the National
Gosford Wine
Empire State South

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: May 12 to May 18

Menu A

local lettuces with buttermilk dressing, marinated GA shrimp, local tomatoes, pickled beets, shaved radish, and crisp capers
Pigato, Bruna, ‘Le Russeghine’, Liguria, Italy, 2008

panko dusted catfish, red mule grits, lemon emulsion, fennel slaw, spicy tomato chutney, and arugula
Sauvignon Blanc, Mt. Nelson, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2009

coconut panna cotta with Celia’s strawberries, lavender reduction and streusel 

Menu B

Darby Farms chicken wings with housemade hot sauce, carrots and celery, and blue cheese dressing
Rye Pale Ale, Terrapin

grilled Berkshire pork chop with anson mills hominy grits cake, house made chow chow, braised baby collard greens, and ham hock jus 
Bourgogne, Joseph Voillot, France, 2008

Greendale Farm gruyere with accompaniments

$25 food
$15 booze

Monday, May 9, 2011

Border Springs Lamb Dinner with the wines of Kermit Lynch

Sunday, May 15th, 6:30 PM
Empire State South 
9 courses (some family style, some not) with family style wines

This is not a mere meal, this is an epic supper.
Reserve your spot in advance and you’re invited to drop by ESS on Friday night (May 13th) at 10:30 PM to see Ryan break down the lamb in preparation for Sunday’s Lamb Dinner. We’ll talk about how the meal will progress and how each cut will be utilized. A nice cocktail will be served!


terrine with inlay of heart confit, two mustards, pickled greens

liverwurst, cucumber, toasted pullman loaf and pickled shallot

confit of shoulder ravioli, spring onions, brown butter, ricotta

braised shank, ramp gnocchi, simple sugo

braised bacon, crisp sweetbreads, pearl onions and morels

saddle: short loin & tenderloin, ramp kimchi, English pea rice grits

roasted rack, favas, rosemary, green garlic

strawberry, cream, black pepper, sweet biscuit


Rosé, Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue, Languedoc, France, 2010
Vouvray Sec, Champalou, Loire, France, 2009
Coteaux de Languedoc, Chateau St. Martin, ‘Bronzinelle’, France, 2008
Gigondas, Domaine Pallieres, Rhone, 2006
Bugey-Cerdon, Patrick Bottex, Ain, France, NV

$150 per person for food & wine (plus tax and tip)

Friday, May 6, 2011

ESS Pre-Fixe Early Dinner

5:00pm – 6:30PM
$26.00 per person

Option A:

Georgia White Shrimp
tasso, fiddlehead ferns, field peas &pickled turnip salad

Steelhead Trout
confit onion, swiss chard, baby celery &honey preserved rhubarb

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar
croquant & strawberry puree

Option B:

Strawberry Gazpacho
butterbeans, upland cress & pickled green tomato

Duck Confit
braised spring onion, Red Russian kale, burgundy chow chow & natural jus

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
balsamic strawberries, candied pistachio

wines tasted

Tasted through some wines at 5&10 yesterday with young Steven Grubbs, our valued wine director. Over the last ten years it has been so much fun watching Steve become completely immersed in the topic and become a force in his field. Steve was just awarded the Food&Wine Top 7 Sommelier award and is really at the top of his game.

Moulin a Vent, Henry Fessy, 2009
Love these wines. From the 10 possible cru Beaujolais regions Henri Fessy produces some gems. The Moulin a Vent from 09 is a beautiful silken, yet still firmly earthy wine. Gamay stars. This will keep for a while, like three years or so, longer than it will sit around my house.
 Cotes du Rhone, Delas, "Saint-Esprit", 2009 
Simple Rhone wine but great value. Pretty seamless for the bucks and drinks above its price point. A good summer grilling wine. Delas is a large Rhone negotiant but they have never steered us wrong.

Bordeaux, Lalande de Pomerol, Chateau Haut Sarget, 2008
A compact, weighty Right Banker. Good richness for the sub $25 price point. Not to totally get into the packaging but I like the classic Bordeaux style. I have a dream label that is very similar but has a line-drawing of a Tulsa one story bungalow with a rusty swingset in the yard... on a Bordeaux wine. No rhyme or reason, just my thoughts. I really like this wine. Great value again. Lalande de Pomerol is for those of us who can't even think about affording their more expensive neighbor, Pomerol.

 Haut Medoc, Chateau Bernadotte, 2004 
A definitive Left Banker. Classic and broad with time to give. It will be a beauty in a couple of years. I think it should retail for about $40 and its worth every penny, depending on your budget. Remember there are wines at all price points and should enjoy well in relation to your budget. That Parker guy said it would be ready by now... he's about three years off but close. Throw it into a decanter and enjoy with some grilled lamb!

 Priorat, Ferrer Bobet, 2006
I fell in love with Priorat years ago. Then we broke up. She got all needy and expensive. But that steep, stony landscape can produce some good personalities and this is a keeper. I am smitten again. Carignan-Grenache blend. Badass. Tempered and balanced. Those overwrought ways have been honed and the wild qualities of the region seem focused, in a really good way. I think the retail on this would be about $42.
I really liked this wine.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe : May 5th to May11th

Menu A

1.  rabbit saltimbocca with crisp benton’s country ham, fried sage, and brown butter
Pinot Grigio, Borgo M, Veneto, Italy, 2008

2.  roasted duck breast, crisp cracklins, leek panade, French horn mushrooms, truffle jus
Coteaux du Languedoc, Chateau de Lascaux, France, 2008

3. Sequatchie Cove Cumberland with fresh pear, spiced pecans and baguette

Menu B

1.  fried oysters with jalapeno-cabbage slaw
Champagne, Heidsieck-Monopole, France, NV

2.  crisp flounder, crushed spring peas, braised fennel, spring onions, and ginger emulsion
Chardonnay, Domaine de la Fruitiere, Loire, France, 2009

3. Strawberry Cobbler with Pineapple champagne sorbet and whipped cream

$25 food
$15 booze

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Woodland Gardens CSA box May 4th, 2011

Romaine lettuce
Peter Dale has solidified the grilling of romaine as a veritable method for this classic lettuce.  It’s a magical salad he makes over there at the National. You can create a similarly wonderful version with Italian overtones in about five minutes if the grill is hot already. Just quarter the lettuce lengthwise and brush with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then grill for about 1 1/2 minutes per side (there are three sides to a romaine quarter… think it over…) and then place on a large platter. Drizzle with some great olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chopped capers, basil, chile flake and anchovies over the top.  My six year old will eat this stuff for months on end.

Don’t peel. They are good to go. Pickle them with ginger or shave them into salads. Or eat them from the crisper drawer as a snack. If you feel like cooking them, here’s a sorghum and cider vinegar pan roast!
Preheat the oven to 400
            Slice the carrots in half lengthwise. Melt one tablespoon of  unsalted butter in a large skillet and add the carrots. Cook on medium high heat until lightly caramelized (about five minutes), meaning they should get a little color on the carrots.  Add a tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of sorghum. Toss to coat and then place in the oven for three minutes.  I like my carrots to still have a bite to them, so don’t overcook them. Remove from pan, season with salt and finish with some chopped mint or parsley.

Hakurei turnips
Golf ball sized candy. DO NOT PEEL. That would be a waste of time and effort. The skin on these beauties is a thin veil as opposed to a waxed pelt. Here’s a simple recipe for turnips with their greens…
            Take the greens off and clean the greens and the turnips in cold water. Spin the greens in you salad spinner. Quarter the turnips and chope the greens. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pot (one that has a lid) and add the turnips , one bay leaf and some fresh thyme, one sprig will suffice.  Cook over medium heat for five minutes and then add the greens, 1/2 cup of chicken stock and a pinch of salt. Cover and let cook for three minutes. Remove lid and stir well. Finish with a little squeeze of lemon, a grind of black pepper and a splash of cider vinegar.

Broccoli raab
They love high heat in a big cast iron pan. Great with olive oil and lemon zest and maybe some bacon.

Mustard greens
These are the most tender mustards ever. They love butter and a little chicken stock  but don’t cook them very long. These are not the leathery mustards of yore.

Pair with some of those tomatoes to make a quick salsa fresca for a nice poached salmon or halibut! Tis the season for both of those fish.

It’s one of those weeks for me in interviews. The question that they always ask is the macabre, “What would you eat for your last supper?” I am always confused by this question. Do I sleep afterwards? If I don’t have to wake up, it would probably be three courses of bourbon, but if sustenance is needed then I am perplexed… What season is it?
            The most recent interview took place in Charleston at a chef’s round table for Garden & Gun magazine. I stumbled through the question with a long answer about strawberry pie but the last two chefs had answers that were perfect, astute and beautifully simple. They answered that they wanted simple white bread with amazingly ripe thinly sliced tomatoes with salt and Duke’s mayo. I quickly changed my answer I my head, because that got me pretty darned hungry.
            When it comes to tomatoes, Celia grows the best. The very best. I know its early in the season still but these little beauties have nothing to be ashamed of. They shine with sweetness and are redolent with the hallmarks of the upcoming summer.
So slice them thin, buy some good bread from a local baker, salt a couple of minutes before you stack them high and then slather with some mayo, Duke’s will work wonders. 

Eat from pint container until finished. Or make some ice cream or a pie!

Related Posts with Thumbnails