Thursday, June 30, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: June 30th to July 6th

Menu A

steamed pei mussels in a spicy red curry broth
Gewurztraminer, Foris, Rogue Valley, Oregon, 2007

Georgia shrimp and grits in a tomato-herb broth with red onion, red peppers, basil, and thyme and grilled sourdough
THE RIESLING OF THE DAY (It’s The Summer of Riesling!  Love it!)

Almond frangipane tart with peach compote, vanilla bean diplomat and basil reduction.

Menu B

chopped salad with butter lettuce, smoked pork loin, WG cherry tomatoes, grilled corn, pickled peppers, ricotta salata, and house ranch dressing
Pinot Gris, Maysara, ‘Arsheen’, McMinnville, Oregon, 2010

grilled quails with ranch style beans, cabbage and cilantro slaw, and fresh tomato salsa
Pinot Noir, St. Innocent, ‘Villages Cuvee’, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2009

Greendale Farms Gruyere with house made baguette and accompaniments. 

$25 food
$15 booze

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Beefsteak Tomatoes

I was listening to a piece on NPR the other day and Barry Estabrook, the author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Has Ruined Our Most Alluring Fruit was on the program talking about farm labor practices and the murky world of how our products get to the table. Barry has a great blog called The Politics of the Plate which you should look at just for his piece on the passing of Georgia legislation to use probation laborers on farms in a response to the lack of migrant workers due to the new immigration bill which becomes law on July 1.
                  A lot can be learned from the book and the NPR piece, but one thing struck me: This has nothing, beautifully nothing, to do with our CSA box. This box of stunning vegetables was picked by skilled peeps whose names I know. And to boot books tomatoes are not these beauties that we are about to cut into. Those are fleshy, rubbery things which can never truly capture what a beautiful tomato truly is… the taste of summer.

Beefsteak red tomatoes are just best sliced and dressed with a simple vinaigrette, herbs, salt and pepper.

ANOTHER Simple Vinaigrette
¾ cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 lemon juiced
2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
¼ cup cider vinegar
Mix all of the ingredients together and stir well before using. This vinaigrette is a great because it is simple and neutral. The idea is to compliment the tomatoes without overpowering flavors.

Cherry Tomatoes

These are some of the sweetest tomatoes ever. I really love using these little tomatoes for tomato confit by peeling them and gently poaching them in olive oil. A few keys to making this technique work great for these tomatoes are blanching quickly (this will enable you to peel the skin), steep herbs and aromatic vegetables in the olive oil over low heat (120˚-160˚), and wait until just before serving to salt them.

Tomato Confit
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1&1/2 quarts olive oil
1 smallish sweet onion (cut in half)
1 very small sprig of tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch of thyme
¼ teaspoon whole toasted fennel seed
¼ teaspoon chili flake

Gently score the bottoms of the tomatoes, blanch in boiling salted water (30-45 seconds), and shock in an ice bath. Peel each tomato and set aside. Add all of the other ingredients into a pot and gently heat to about 160˚F. Add the peeled tomatoes and allow them to poach in the oil at a temperature range of 120-160˚F for at least an hour. When you are ready to serve them, use a slotted spoon to gently retrieve them and salt lightly. These are great served in a salad, as a hors d’oeuvres (with arugula, mozzarella and balsamic), or as an accompaniment to a main course.  


Still wonderful. Serve them with the blackberries!

These are no doubt the best blackberries I’ve ever had. Shae Rehmel, our pastry chef, was telling me about a technique for serving these berries that keeps their raw form but brings out the sweetness in a light way. Shea makes a small amount of simple syrup with the addition of a few of the blackberries, strains out the seeds, chills and then tosses the fresh blackberries in it to coat lightly. Serve that with cookies.

Prairie Blush Potato

These potatoes are very similar to Yukon Gold in color and texture with slightly rosy skin. These are going to be great for my go-to potato side, potatoes pommes anna. Pommes anna is thinly sliced potatoes layered in a cast iron pan with clarified butter that are lightly browned on medium-low heat (on a burner) and then finished in a 350˚F oven. This technique is great when you have really nice potatoes because it tastes great, looks pretty, and is pretty much just potato. The only thing to be mindful of when making this is to work quickly and toss the potato slices in clarified butter as you work to avoid brownage. A helpful tip Ben Barker gave me years ago was to incorporate onions into latkes and potatoes dishes of similar technique where oxidation is an issue as they help keep potatoes looking fresh after cutting.

Pommes Anna
3-4 medium potatoes
1 sweet onion (sliced)
¼ cup warm clarified butter
salt and pepper

Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-hot. Thinly slice the potatoes (if you have a mandolin of the slicing kind this would be a good time to break it out) working in small batches tossing the slices in the warm clarified butter as you go. Add the sliced sweet onion and season with the salt and pepper. Drizzle a small amount of clarified butter into the hot skillet and begin layering the potatoes and onions in the pan. This feels a lot like dealing cards. Be mindful of the heat of the pan. You want the potatoes to sizzle but you don’t want smoke. Once you’ve layer a nice thickness of the potatoes and onions in the pan place in the oven. You want the potatoes to be golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan (this should take about 10 minutes). Drain all excess butter right as you pull it out of the oven and carefully invert onto a plate (you may want to run a spatula under to make sure it all comes out at once).

Pickling Cucumber

We will be staying true to form by making an easy bread and butter pickle that are great to have around for lots of uses.
B&B Pickles
 5 pickling cucumbers
1 sweet onion
¼ cup kosher salt
pinch of celery leaves
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
¾ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup real maple syrup
Wash the cucumbers under cold water and then slice into thin rounds. Slice the onion and mix in with the sliced cucumbers in a large bowl. Add the salt and toss well to coating evenly and let sit at room temperature for one hour. Rinse the onions and cucumbers under cold water and a colander to rinse away all of the salt. Add the pinch of celery leaves and set aside (back in the bowl). In a non-reactive pot (stainless steel) combine the crushed red pepper, turmeric, mustard seeds, vinegar, water, sugar and maple syrup. Bring this to a rapid boil and add pour it over the cucumbers, onions and celery leaves. Cool and let them soak for a day or two.

Summer Crisp Lettuce

This stuff is looks a lot like romaine and tastes a lot like butter lettuce. Wash it well and use it as a base for a summer vegetable salad (Simple Vinaigrette) or a great Caesar salad.

Sweet Onions

So many uses…Onion Jam next week.


These are the little patty-pan variety and are really nice grilled and served hot or grilled and cooled and used as an element in your summer vegetable salad. These are also really cool sliced and added into the B&B pickles. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: June 23rd to June 29th

Menu A

asparagus and morels with a poached egg and parmesan
Vernaccia di San Gimignano, San Quinco, Tuscany, Italy, 2009

crisp flounder with herb emulsion, a succotash of sea island red peas, corn, and okra, and citrus-parsley salad
Riesling, Gobelsburger, Kamptal, Austria, 2009

bourbon peach pie with brown sugar mascarpone cream and woodland Garden blackberries

Menu B

braised pork belly with watermelon and mint chimmichurri
Riesling, Biffar, Feinherb Kabinett, Pfalz, Germany, 2008

grilled pork shoulder steak with persillade, stewed black beans, lacinato kale, and tarragon jus
Riesling, Carl Loewen, Klostergarten Kabinett, Mosel, Germany, 2009

Chocolate plate: chocolate sorbet, ginger truffle and cherry-cashew bark

$25 food
$15 booze

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Watcha Got In Your Box Janue 21, 2011

Guest writer Dean Neff!
Dean is a wonderful chef with us at Five & Ten and he is subbing for me this week. Much going on this week with a 15th wedding anniversary, travel planning for July and regular worky work. Ya'll enjoy.

Natens Carrots

These beautiful carrots are delicate enough to serve raw but also hold up nicely to gently browning in a pan with a little olive oil. When browning in olive oil remove the pan from the heat just after browning and try finishing with a little sherry vinegar, maple or cane syrup, and a little bit of whole butter. A common variety that we’ve seen local farmers growing in abundance is the ‘Nantes’ (think French pronouciation) which is sought after for their sweeter flavor and more tender core. When these carrots are small enough you may find it totally acceptable to use them without even peeling. Roasting these carrots gives a wonderful addition to any main course you could imagine, but don’t forget about the raw applications of salads and slaws. Toasted cumin seed, lime, olive oil, and cilantro makes a wonderful slaw that can be used on anything from tacos, to bahn mi, to grilled steak or fish topper.   

Panisse Lettuce

Panisse Lettuce has a soft delicate texture, similar in flavor to butter lettuce, with lobed leaves. This lettuce is so delicate that it often makes the most sense left in larger pieces when serving; it’s just too pretty to cut into tiny pieces. This lettuce is fantastic used as the base of a chopped salad with summer Heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, feta and bacon with a simple bistro vinaigrette. If you are feeling like stepping outside of the “box” you can also gently braise this lettuce and serve it with almost anything. The only way I can think of messing this one up is by forgetting to wash it thoroughly. Sand and dirt commonly ends up down near the core of lettuces. Wash using cold water and gently pat it dry being careful not to bruise the delicate leaves.


Cilantro is arguably one of the most polarizing herbs in the world. I do believe however that when served in the right proportions with the right harmonious flavors almost everyone (with an open mind) can appreciate this lively herb. The cilantro leaf’s fresh green flavor is best expressed alongside clean acidic and often spicy and smoky flavors.

Summer Squash

Summer Squash come in so many varieties in the summer from local growers. The smaller varieties generally tend to have less seeds and do best lightly sautéed until golden brown or shaved very thin for a raw salad or carpaccio type use. For the raw application the key is to lightly salt and then lightly dress with olive oil and lemon or just a simple vinaigrette. The larger varieties work beautifully when shaved thin and layered into a cast-iron pan with sweet onions, Parmesan, fresh thyme homemade bread crumbs, and scallion crema and baked at 350˚F to create a quick squash casserole.

Scallion Crema
2 cups heavy cream
6 cleaned scallions chopped rough
2 teaspoons cold butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Lightly sauté the chopped scallions in a medium sized sauce-pot with the 2 teaspoons of whole butter. Once the scallions are becoming translucent, add the 2 cups of heavy cream and kosher salt. Simmer for three minutes and remove from the heat and puree in a blender until smooth. This crema can be used for quick gratins as well.


Thankfully the blueberries are still coming and just perfect with a light toasted sabayon or in lemon soufflé pancakes. Real maple syrup please…Try grade B in the bulk section of the grocery store for less expensive and just as flavorful as the grade A.

Heirloom Tomatoes

These tomatoes are one of the best parts of summer. Don’t refrigerate! Their flavor is so perfect raw that is almost seems like a crime to cook them in most instances. Slowly dehydrating evenly sliced Heirlooms in a low heat oven can be a very cool application and a good way to extend the shelf-life of these tomatoes though. As the tomatoes slowly dehydrate the flavor becomes super concentrated and sweetly intense. I would highly recommend letting the raw tomatoes speak for themselves by serving them beautifully sliced with fresh basil, Parmesan Reggiano, tiny croutons, balsamic, olive oil, and a favorite sea salt. For dehydrating the tomatoes it is helpful to have a silicone baking pad. Cut the tomatoes into ¼ inch slices and lay out in a single layer on the silicone mat on a sheet tray. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and place into a 200˚F oven and rotate the sheet tray as needed during the dehydration process. This will take anywhere from 2-3 hours depending on how hot your oven is. Once the tomatoes are dehydrated but still pliable remove from the oven and allow to cool. These dried Heirlooms are exceptional in all applications where the concentrated flavor is important to the use. Examples of good places for this would be in soups, dried tomato and thyme vinaigrette, oven roasted tomato-lobster salsa with grilled scallions, or lightly rehydrated for homemade ketchup.  

Dragon Langerie Beans

These are also known as Dragon tongue beans and are very similar to Romano beans by virtue of size and shape. These beans have a bright yellow color with purple splotches and are sweet and crisp. I love serving these beans blanched and frenched (cut long ways in strips) with caramelized onions and crisp bacon or poached in a beurre battu.

Italian Eggplant

Large eggplants benefit greatly by peeling, cubing, salting, rinsing and squeezing out excess moisture with a clean towel before sautéing in hot olive oil. Smaller varieties seem to be better off skipping this step for some reason.  Eggplant is a vegetable that often gets a bad rap due to its somewhat tricky characteristics with respect to cooking. What are these characteristics? First comes the thick skin issue, leave the skin on when you will be cooking the vegetable long enough to make it tender enough to eat. Freshness and size can also impact the ability of the skin to be cooked enough to be left on and become tender enough to eat enjoyably. You can also use the thick skin issue to your advantage by using it to insulate the interior flesh when grilling a whole eggplant and discarding the skin. This method leaves you with cooked flesh that can be chopped and fortified with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and herbs for a delicious and healthy condiment for toasts or even on top of fish. Second issue: The spongy properties. When sautéing eggplant it tends to soak up all of the oil in the pan and leave the pan bone dry. One way to counter act this is to use high heat, plenty of oil and to make sure that you are not overcrowding the pan (a common theme in cooking well). Taking into account this week’s produce box we should definitely consider making a summer ratatoullie.


Local summer scallions from Woodland Gardens are a versatile ingredient which can be used in both raw and cooked applications. The green tops are wonderful raw for adding a fresh green bite to soups, salads and sauces. The white ends closest to the root have an intense and deeper flavor that does well braised, poached, or in a simple gratin (use crema, Parmesan, and bread crumbs). Leave the onions whole and lightly coat in olive oil and grill to get an amazingly deep charred scallion flavor that works great with lobster, steak, burgers, or in a compound butter.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Knives Out!

People ask me questions… I try to answer.
Q; I need some knives. What should I buy?
A: Well that depends on what you need them for, how much you’re willing to spend, and how good you are at sharpening the resulting purchase.
I am a big fan of Masahiro knives from Japan. That’s the chef’s knife that I have. Carbon steel tends to be sharper than stainless style knives but they are finicky to take care of because they rust easily and transpose flavor. So unless you have the time to raise a knife like a member of your family then you should get a stain resistant version made from something like Molybdenum Vanadium Steel
Masahiro 9.5 inch chef's knife. from JB Prince

 I also like a really great paring knife, a cheap paring knife and a really sharp bread knife.
For the bread knife, the one pictured is a Victorinox with a molded handle. You can learn how to sharpen a bread knife but I tend to just buy a new one every six months or so but then again I cut a lot more bread than the average home cook. 
Victorinox bread knife. The knife that cuts through anything.
So for a great paring knife I have a handmade Misono. This knife works wonders for small butchery to vegetable work to whittling, should you have a twig and time on your hands.  Expensive but this one will last a lifetime. I use it all the time. 
Masahiro Paring Knife 
Then we have a number of Nogent paring knives at home. They rock. Thin blade, wood handle, very well balanced for about $18 bucks. So they aren't cheap cheap, let's just call them inexpensive for what they are. I love them and they look pretty.
Nogent Paring Knife... easy to sharpen little French beauty
Alas the most important thing is to have a really sharp knife, because at the end of the day I would much rather cut myself with a sharp knife than a dull knife. I know that seems counter intuitive but think about it. So get a nice flat water stone, like 1000 grit or so and then have a steel handy for simple honing. Be that cook who always has a sharp knife handy and you will be more prepared than most for the cooking.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 & 10 Prix Fixe: June 16 to June 22

Menu A

zucchini and anchovy tart with a cornmeal crust, leek crema, arugula, and shaved pecorino
Sauvignon Blanc, Jean-Francois Merieau, Loire, France, 2009

veal scallopini with spaghetti, tomatoes, olives, chile flake, oregano, basil, and shaved pecorino
Gaglioppo, Statti, Calabria, Italy, 2009

Pecan pie with sorghum whipped cream and Thomas orchard’s peaches

Menu B

chopped salad of romaine hearts, tomato, cucumber, mixed beans, hard-boiled egg, avocado, bacon, ricotta salata and green goddess dressing
Pinot Grigio, Borgo M, Veneto, Italy, 2009

seared scallops with lemon brown butter, anson mills hominy grits, braised spring onions, roasted tomatoes, feta, toasted pecans, and fried capers
Bourgogne, Matrot, Burgundy, France, 2009

Sweet Grass Dairy’s Thomasville Tomme with house made baguette and accompaniments

$25 food
$15 booze

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Atlanta Farmers' Market

Here is a list of Atlanta Farmers' Markets that the ESS staff compiled! Check out my weekly WHATCHA GOT IN YOUR BOX?! posts for ideas on what to do with local Georgia produce.

       Decatur Farmers Market
Summer (March-October)
Wednesday  4:00p-7:00p
Saturday 9:00a-1:00p
Winter  (November-February)
Wednesday 3:00p-6:00p
Saturday 10:00a-1:00p
Wednesday location is on the corner of Commerce Dr. and Church St. in the Bank of America parking lot for the drive-through ATM 
Saturday location is across the street from the DeKalb County Courthouse

East Atlanta Village Farmers Market
Thursday  4:00p-8:00p
561 Flat Shoals Ave., across from the Midway Pub

East Lake Farmers Market
Saturday 9:00a-1:00p
Corner of Second Ave. and Hosea L. Williams Dr.

Emory Farmers Market
Year round except summer and school breaks
Tuesday 12:00p-5:00p
Emory University Main Campus, Cox Hall Bridge

Grant Park Farmers Market
Sunday 9:30a-1:30p
600 Cherokee Ave., at the historic Milledge Fountain in Grant Park

Green Market at Piedmont Park
May-December 10
Saturday 9:00a-1:00p
Piedmont Park, 12th St. entrance

Midtown Market
Thursdays 4:00p-7:00p
Corner of Peachtree St. and 10th St., 999 Peachtree Plaza

Morningside Farmers Market
Open year round
Saturday 8:00a-11:30a
1393 N. Highland Ave, across the street from Alon’s Bakery

Peachtree Road Farmers Market
Saturday 8:30a-12:00p

Saturday 9:00a-12:00p
2744 Peachtree Rd., Cathedral of St. Philip

Athens Farmers Market  (not in Atlanta, but this is my hometown Farmers Market and it is a good one!)

April – December

Tuesdays, 4:00pm-7:00pm at Little Kings

Saturdays, 8am-Noon at Bishop Park


Savoy Cabbage

I love savoy cabbage. Think slaw, or braises, or stuffed leaves. Let’s focus on the latter though. How about quinoa, feta and shiitake stuffed cabbage leaves?

Savoy Cabbage Bundles stuffed with Quinoa, shiitakes and feta

8 large outer leaves of savoy cabbage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups julienned shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cubed feta
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt.
Blanche the cabbage leaves for about two minutes until flexible/ pliable.  Cool by plunging into a big bowl of ice water.

Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the shiitakes and cook until lightly browned, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add the vinegar and the butter. Cook for three minutes. Remove from pan and place in a mixing bowl.

To the shitakes add the quinoa, feta, mint and oregano. Stir to combine.  Season with remaining salt.

Place each leaf of cabbage on a cutting board and cut the thick core center of each leaf away with a thin V cut. Scoop about ¾ cup of filling into the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold over bottom upwards, left side inwards and right side inwards. Roll up like a burrito. Place on a steamer insert (like those bamboo ones sold at Fook’s Foods on Baxter: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHOPS. That said if you pulled some Peking Duck meat from a pre-ordered Peking Duck from Fook’s that would rule in this preparation. ).

Steam the bundles until warmed through. Serve over some romesco sauce. Yum. And healthy. Quinoa rules when it comes to protein without meat.

Oh, here’s a quick Romesco recipe:

4 cloves roasted garlic
 ¼ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 roasted roma tomatoes
pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
pinch salt

Combine all in food processor and puree until just smooth, leaving a little texture still in the sauce. This will keep for a week or so.


Combine arugula with some caramelized shallots, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and some shaved goat cheese, something like Pecan Chevre from Sweetgrass Dairy. Dress with some simple vinaigrette


Blueberries are one of those treats that most people devour by the handful long before any inclination of pickling but it will be nice to use them past the season in a different form other than frozen. Pickled Blueberries are awesome served with goat cheese, brie or poured over grilled duck. Also great with desserts like crème brulee or ice cream but can also be an interesting salad element.

Pickled Blueberries
1 Quart washed and patted dry blue berries
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup real maple syrup
Zest of ½ lemon
1 small star anise (removed immediately after boiling)

Bring the vinegar, maple syrup, lemon zest, and star anise solution up to a light simmer. Remove the star anise and pour the solution over the clean and dried blueberries. Allow to sit and cool for at least two days before using.

Tricolored Filet Beans

Also known as wax beans, they always seem to baffle us when we blanch and shock them in the restaurant. The three colors are yellow, purple, and green when raw, and after we blanch them quickly the purple ones have mysteriously gone green, strange but delicious and versatile none the less.

Blanching these beans is a key first step. So here are some things to keep in mind when blanching. First, use a large pot that can fit a gallon or more of water with room at the top to spare. Next, salt the water generously and bring it to a rolling boil. Third, have a mesh spider strainer and an icy water bath very close. Lastly, never put so many beans into the salty boiling water that it stops the boil. Submerge the beans in the boiling water in small batches for only a minute. Immediately pull them out of the boiling water and shock them in the icy water bath. This gently softens the beans, stops the cooking, and brings out the bright color of these beans. From this point gently pat them dry and store them sealed in the refrigerator.

Great uses for these beans include simple bean gratin with Parmesan and bread crumbs, bean salad with olives and simple vinaigrette, or poached off lightly in a beurre monte butter bath.

Filet Bean and Olive Salad
1 Quart blanched filet beans (cut in half long ways)
¼ cup sliced olives (whatever type you like)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white or Champagne vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Reserve the filet beans and olives in a bowl until just before serving. In a separate bowl, mix the Dijon, thyme, paprika, shallot lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and salt together creating a vinaigrette. Just before serving toss the beans and olives with the vinaigrette to coat evenly. Serve cool or room temperature.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes are a nice midway point between the starchy and waxy potato extremes. They make exceptionally smooth and delicious pureed potatoes but are starchy enough to turn nice and golden brown when roasted with olive oil. The skin is tasty left on in the roasting application but would be best removed in the puree for the sake of being nice and smooth.  For these potatoes, you can follow the roasted potato recipe from last week, (click here) just make sure to chop them up nicely. Or if you want to take it to the next level, try pureeing them! Click HERE for a pureed potato recipe adapted from Joël Robuchon’s, he is the master of the potato puree.  

Lacinato Kale

This kale is really beautiful stuff. As a child my first exposure to kale was the ruffled raw garnish application which has thankfully gone out of style. This kale has deep green flat leaves which taste nutty when quickly seared. The low moisture content of the leaves requires a quick but vigilant cooking to ensure that the leaves don’t burn. These greens are best seared off in a hot skillet with a little olive oil in small batches stirred continuously to prevent burning. At the restaurant we often finish kale (right after pulling it off of the heat) with a small pat of butter and a splash of sherry vinegar to balance the rich nutty flavor or the seared greens.


Basil is one of the most versatile herbs. The one rule of thumb when dealing with leafy herbs like basil is to not cook it too much if at all. Basil tends to lose a lot of its delicate flavor characteristics when cooked too much. Celia’s basil is an ingredient that has limitless uses. The leaves are exceptionally delicate which makes them great mixed in raw to any salad. This basil can be used in a summer tomato confit salad, toasted pecan pesto, pasta dishes, infused in olive oil, or even ice cream or sorbets.   


Peel some tomatoes, chop them up and combine them in a sauté pan with some shrimp, bay leaves, olive oil and minced garlic. Cook until the shrimp are done and then add some butter and smoked paprika. Season with salt. Serve over grits…. Cooked ones. Served over raw grits would be weird. It’s a ten minute dinner. Accompany with a nice arugula salad.

Sweet Onion and sage tart

Make a savory tart with eggs, caramelized onions and fresh sage. Maybe a little chopped anchovies and flat leaf parsley. The thing about a tart like this is it can be a starter at dinner with a little salad on top, and a room temp lunch the following day.  Lovely.  Just make a simple savory pie crust, rest well, and combine a touch of cream with beaten eggs, caramelized onions and fresh sage in the shell. Bake at 375 until the egg is just set. Let cool before cutting. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Midtown: Street Food Thursdays

I will be cooking with the ESS crew out of the Midtown Pop-Up Truck this Thursday on the corner of Peachtree & 10th. Come on by between 11am and 2pm!

Here is what we are serving.

Pork Belly Banh Mi
Lee’s Bakery French roll, ginger glazed Eden Farms pork belly, sorghum aioli, carrot kimchi, crisp cucumber, pickled daikon and cilantro   8.

GA Shrimp Roll
Poached Brunswick GA Royal Red shrimp, buttered brioche roll, preserved citrus and tarragon mayo  8.

Boiled P-nuts
Fresh boiled Hardy green p-nuts  2.

Aqua Fresca 
Jalapeno/watermelon  2.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Five and Ten Prix Fixe: June 9th to June 15th

Menu A

smoky ham and parsley terrine with housemade kosher dill pickles
Cava, Conde de Subirats, Spain, NV

roasted pork tenderloin with grain mustard jus, warm sauerkraut, pole beans, and fingerling potato chips
Carignan blend, Lioco, ‘Indica’, Mendocino County, CA, 2008

Watermelon and mint granite with fresh fruit and cookies

Menu B

roasted beets with horseradish cream, walnuts, and sea beans
Gruner Veltliner, Ecker, Austria, 2009

grilled mahi with vermouth emulsion, green olive tapenade, cherry tomato confit, and farro salad
Greco di Tufo, Terredora di Paolo, Campania, Italy, 2008

Blueberry peach galette with lemon verbena diplomat cream

$25 food
$15 booze
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