Friday, March 26, 2010


This is great on roasted pork loin, fried chicken, cornmeal crusted trout, and a hot buttered biscuit. Hope you enjoy it.

6 pounds green (unripe) tomatoes, cut into small dice
2 cups small-diced red onions
3 tablespoons slivered garlic
3 tablespoons peeled and slivered fresh ginger
2 cups golden raisins
3 cups light brown sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground cloves

1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients and stew uncovered at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. If liquid remains, strain the solids, reduce the liquid to a syrupy consistency, and stir the liquid back into the chutney. Discard the cinnamon stick and pour the chutney into jars.
2. Reserve in the refrigerator for up to a month until ready to use.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My distractions are tickets. If they don't come, you have no business. When they do come, you got to stop cooking and start more cooking. You want them to stop but you really want the business. I'm now confused.
This is part of raw(e) check out her blog

Van's Food Shots

Monday, March 8, 2010

Road Trip to Louisville

I'm headed to the great Bluegrass state today. I'm going to tour and meet Master Distiller Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve in Versailles. Then I'm off to Great Buffalo Trace. I will have lots of information and pictures this week. Check back on Wednesday.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why I love Bacon Fat

From Southern Foodways Alliance Newsletter Gravy


by Gillian Clark

HealtH warnings have done plenty for our biomedical awareness, but little to improve the taste of our food. the army of finger-wagging plate snatchers is like a Un Peacekeeping Force, dedicated to making us eat healthy, whether we want to or not.

they came after palm oil, a staple in asian, african, and Caribbean cooking. the rust-colored fat—used for seasoning not frying—was labeled an artery-clogging extravagance. the Center for science in the Public interest said palm oil, which is high in saturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat, promotes heart disease. CsPi, the national Heart, lung and Blood institute, the world Health Organization (wHO), and other health authorities have urged reduced consumption of palm oil.

And then it was coconut oil, the high-smoke-point fat behind the great taste of movie theatre popcorn. according to CsPi, coconut oil is a highly saturated fat. after an intense campaign, the oil was banned from theater popcorn and denounced by the CsPi. Foods that contain coconut oil are disparaged in the CsPi newsletter alongside the likes of Domino’s Pasta Bread Bowl and Hardee’s thickburger.

i keep a greasy jar of palm oil in my cupboard, and i miss the way movie theatre popcorn used to smell and taste. But i grew up in a household that appreciated the flavor of fats.

That can of bacon fat was a symbol. It meant that my father, who did most of the cooking in our house, cared what our food tasted like.

when i was growing up, a Chock Full of nuts coffee can, into which my father tipped the bacon fat from the pan, sat on our Formica counter. the drippings from sunday morning’s bacon collected over the weeks. a cloudy, schmaltzy solid filled the can that stood ready by the stove. My father reheated leftover dumplings in this smoky “butter.” He added it soups. He used it to sauté green beans and to cook cabbage. it supplemented the wesson oil in which the fish burbled.

that can of bacon fat was a symbol. it meant that my father, who did most of the cooking in our house, cared what our food tasted like. we did not suffer on the nights bacon fat was absent from our meals. there were times when bacon fat was required. and there were times it was the lagniappe. no matter, when that aroma wafted through the house, day or night, it was sunday morning again.

But then came the fateful news: reserved bacon grease had been linked to gastro-intestinal cancers. My father, a two-time cancer survivor, did not hesitate to trash his coffee can, heavy with months of drippings. Bacon fat was reserved no longer in the Clark household.

i was the chubby kid in a household of seven. i cleaned my plate. i craved the fatty rim of the pork chop. i could not choke down brisket unless each bite was accompanied by that strip of fat. i pulled on chicken legs as if i were starving, delighting in the skin and the edible plastic that covered the bone at the joint.

as a chef, i feel bound to take liberties. i put taste over what the food police consider healthy.

Bacon fat is a precious commodity in my kitchen. i render it from applewood-smoked bacon and store it in canning jars. i save chicken fat, too. it takes two pounds of chicken fat and one pound of bacon fat to cook the collard greens. Butter is everywhere in my kitchen. i use it for mounting the sauce, binding the gravy.

when Passover comes around i need the chicken fat for my matzoh balls. How else do you hold them together? Chicken fat replaces butter when i cook kosher. and it sweetens the frying oil for the latkes.

as cooks and eaters interested in the culture and history of our larder, we put faith in the time-worn ways we’ve long prepared things. we understand that there is more to sustenance than a full belly. eating has to be more than the intake of calories.

we were meant to enjoy food. we could survive on baked sweet potato and water. nutritionally, both have all our bodies need to survive. when the first cook put heat to the kill over the first fire, it became apparent that there was more to satisfying hunger than stuffing a hole.

as an evolving species, it is our responsibility to do things just for the taste of it. it is our duty to resist the fat thieves as if their threat were the burning of books.

Gillian Clark, Washington D.C.-based chef and owner of the general store and Post Office tavern, is at work on a second book, the Colorado Kitchen Cookbook, and a collection of short pieces and recipes based upon her radio essays on NPR’s weekend edition.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pork Fried Catish

Pork Rinds + Vita Prep+ North Carolina Catfish =

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Soby’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi

4#                  Sweet Potatoes
2 Gallons         Salted Water
7-8 cups         Flour

Roast the Sweet Potatoes until they are fork tender. Place the salted water on high heat and bring to a rapid boil (the water should taste quite salty as the salt in the water is used to season the gnocchi as they cook). Peel the potatoes and pass them through a food mill.  Add flour gradually stirring to incorporate.  Once the dough starts to get tighter, throw down some bench flour and dump the dough onto the prep table and continue to knead the flour into the ball. Shape the gnocchi and test a few.  When they float to the top, remove them from the water immediately.  If they are too soft and mushy, add more flour to the dough mix and try again.  Try to use as little flour as possible to have a nice tender dumpling.  Once they are removed from the boiling water, plunge them into a bath of ice water.  Leave them in the ice water only as long as it takes to cool them, then drain them and lightly coat with olive oil to prevent sticking.  If they are left in the ice water too long, they salt will leach out into the water and leave them flavorless, and the dumplings will become tougher. 

Rodney Freidank, Corporate Chef, Table 301

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One of my 22 varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes

 Egg Yolk

The fruit are a lovely yellow color, being the shape, size and color of an egg yolk. These little yellow orbs are a tantalizing taste treat just bursting with rich, fruity flavor and all of summer's sweetness. Developed by Larry Pierce from a sport he found growing in his garden.