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Georgia Virginia Beach Tortas Take Hook + Cook Memphis in Alabama Peaches Revival THE LOCAL

PALATE FOOD CULTURE OF THE SOUTH

SUMMER! Seafood Salads

SHRIMP, OKRA, AND CHERRY TOMATO SALAD WITH A MINT CHIMICHURRI VINAIGRETTE RECIPE PAGE 45

40

RECIPES INCLUDING...

A NEW TAKE ON TOMATO PIE BOURBON CUCUMBER COOLER BLUEBERRY BUCKLE

JOIN US ON AN

EASTERN SHORE

Getaway

DISPLAY UNTIL JULY 31, 2016

JUNE.JULY 2016

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Here, you don’t have to catch a thing to create an incredible fish story. Just look at any menu.

Enjoy the freshest, most amazing Gulf seafood served any way you like at the many exceptional local restaurants dotting our Alabama coast. From beachfront casual to white tablecloth, you’ll find yourself

GulfShores.com

in a whole different state of meals you’ll never forget.

877-341-2400

Celebrity Chef Dinners • • • •

Alon Shaya - June 9 Isaac Toups - June 16 Frank Stitt - June 30 Adam Evans & Justin Devillier - July 14

Ryan Prewitt & Blackberry Farm Brewery - July 21

Bill Smith - August 11

Info and tickets: FishersOBM.com/SouthernGrace


PROTECTING THE SOUTH’S ENVIRONMENT through the POWER of the LAW


South Carolina sweet tea

The spirit of Southern tradition. Sip and see what’s brewing from the mountains to the sea, immerse yourself in the mythology of moonshine or explore the one and only tea plantation on the continent. Satisfy Your Thirst for adventure, and come to find there’s a story in every glass.

SatisfyYourThirstSC.com


Since South Carolina’s establishment in 1663, travelers have had a taste for our homegrown spirits, ciders, brews and beverages. Today, we’re still celebrating everything from sweet tea and farm-fresh milk to craft beer and ginger ale.

From sweet muscadine to pinot gris, South Carolina has a wine for every palate.

Enjoy a glass of farm-fresh milk for a taste of South Carolina’s state drink.

Sample a f light of craft beer from one of the many breweries across the Palmetto State.

South Carolina moonshine straight from the still

Start your journey on the Satisfy Your Thirst Tour at one of our many authentic distilleries, where you’ll discover the entrepreneurial spirit behind our small-batch vodkas, rich whiskies and of course, South Carolina moonshine.

Download the Satisfy Your Thirst Tour App to start your adventure.

Sip your way through our homegrown stouts, IPAs, ales and lagers at breweries across the state, and find out why beer lovers far and wide count South Carolina among their favorite places to kick back and enjoy a cold one. While year-round warm weather makes wine production challenging here, our dedicated winemakers consistently turn out award-winning red, white and rose varietals— ranging from pinot gris and merlot to the quintessential South Carolina sweet muscadine wines—available for tasting at wineries from the mountains to the sea. Along the way, stop by our many dairy farms for a taste of South Carolina’s state drink, or experience the refreshing flavor of bottled water that’s sourced straight from the Appalachian Mountains. And for a peek into the history of the South’s most iconic beverage, visit North America’s one and only tea plantation. From traditional recipes to modern mixology, we invite you to embark on the South Carolina Satisfy Your Thirst Tour—where you’ll discover a history of craftsmanship and passion behind every pour. Download the Satisfy Your Thirst Tour App in the Apple Store or on Google Play, and start planning your SC Made adventure! Please drink responsibly.

The Palmetto State is home to the only tea plantation in the country.


{ EDITOR’S

LETTER

H

ERE IN THE LOWCOUNTRY,

summer means local shrimp.

Sure, we could score fresh seafood anytime of year with a couple clicks of a mouse. But buying it from the folks who caught it roots us in our natural environment and connects us with our neighbors.

PHOTOS BY (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): JOHNNY AUTRY, TODD DOUGLAS, DANIELLE ATKINS

Take Kerry and Mark Marhefka, profiled on page 42. They offer a Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) program in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, which supplies customers with super fresh triggerfish, snapper, grouper, and more on a weekly basis. That spirit of community and place inspires this entire issue: from Chef Bill Briand’s “hook and cook” program at Fisher’s, his restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama, where anglers can pop in with their catch and have it cooked to order, to Memphis’ Las Tortugas where Pepe Magallanes and his son Jonathan have channeled their knack for entertaining and love of food into second careers as restaurateurs. Seafood on the table says special occasion, but we’ve got you covered for weeknights too. In our Chef vs. Cook feature, cookbook author Sheri Castle takes a handful of knockout summer salad recipes from Chef William Dissen of Asheville’s The Market Place, and reinterprets them for home cooks. Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella? Yes, please. In our Interview (page 65), writer Cathy Barrow talks preservation with fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz, who is on a mission to take back cultures— both the microbial kind and the customs that define a society. As he writes in his book, The Art of Fermentation, “Our cultivation of the land and its creatures— plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria—is essential to culture. Reclaming our food and our participation in cultivation is a means of cultural revivial.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Margaret Loftus Managing Editor

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THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


“Until you’ve had some meat, rice & vegetables, you haven’t had lunch.” -Merline Herbert, Créole Lunch House Lafayette, Louisiana

nd un a e j a lat ed C am ntric p n. f e e o or r m ravy-c a regi u o n g nd dia with tte e rice a ’s Aca e y fa na th e La ut it’s ouisia t a i soc of L e, b y as ry far eople a m a p You e culin els the l u o Cré that f h c lun

Discover the people and stories behind some of Lafayette’s oldest plate lunch houses at LafayetteTravel.com/PlateLunch


INSIDE

86

CHEF WILLIAM DISSEN’S AVOCADO TARTINE

FEATUR ES THE SECRET IS THE SALSA

Jonathan Magallanes and his father, Pepe, are keeping Memphians happy with their fresh takes on tacos and tortas. BY SUSAN PUCKETT / PHOTOS BY BRANDON DILL

74:

78 :

HOOKED ON FISHER’S

Beyond blackened, grilled, or fried: South Alabama anglers trust Chef Bill Briand and his “hook and cook” program at Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina to make their fresh catch great. BY MAGGIE WHITE / PHOTOS BY TODD DOUGLAS

WHOSE PEACH IS IT ANYWAY?

South Carolina and California both grow more peaches than Georgia, so how did the Peach State make the fuzzy fruit its own? An early tale of branding. BY TOM OKIE / ILLUSTRATIONS BY AVRAM DUMITRESCU

86:  

CHEF VS. COOK

Home cook champion Sheri Castle keeps it real with her spin on four salads from William Dissen, chef at The Market Place in Asheville, North Carolina. PHOTO BY JOHNNY AUTRY

68:

BY SHERI CASTLE & WILLIAM DISSEN / PHOTOS BY JOHNNY AUTRY

ON THE COVER: SHRIMP AND OKRA SALAD WITH MINT CHIMICHURRI. PHOTO BY HÉLÈNE DU JARDIN

JUNE.JULY 2016 THELOCALPALATE.COM 9


DEPARTMENTS

23: À LA CARTE

Tasteful samplings of the South

35: CONCIERGE Fresh Catch

36: EXPERT PICKS

Where to eat in Virginia Beach

40: THE ESSAY

Oyster judge: Someone’s got to do it

42: NOTES FROM A FARM

Charleston’s Abundant Seafood

45: RECIPE

Summer staples sing

49: KEY INGREDIENT Cucumbers break out

52: REDUX

The BLT, elevated

55: SEASON’S EATINGS A July 4th picnic

61: SETTINGS TOP PHOTO: JONATHAN BONCEK; LEFT: FORREST CONTS; RIGHT: MAC KILDUFF

Palm trees and crystals

65: THE INTERVIEW

98

CULINARY CLASS: WE SAY TOMATOES

Fermenting with Sandor Katz

97: TEST KITCHEN

Form + function = fish spatula

98: CULINARY CLASS Master tomato pie

101: EATYMOLOGY

The scoop on buckle

104: CALENDAR

What’s cooking around Southern towns

116: THE FRIDGE

Seaweed smoothies, anyone?

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THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


T H E L O C A L PA L AT E . C O M

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Visit us online for recipes, cocktail ideas, kitchen tips, and delicious events.

GET MORE OUT OF THIS ISSUE Got a bumper crop of tomatoes? We walk you through the steps of making a tomato pie in this month’s Culinary Class. If that’s not enough, check online for more tomato recipes from chefs Damon Wise and Brannon Florie.

#TLP2DAYTAKEOVER

MAKE A MENU JUST FOR YOU.

Want a look inside a chef’s kitchen? Tune in each month as we hand over our Instagram account to the South’s best chefs, mixologists, tastemakers, and more. From James Beard Awardnominated chefs to seasoned brewmasters, #TLP2DayTakeover brings the best of the culinary South right to your phone. Follow us today on Instagram @thelocalpalate.

Whether you’re a mixologist in the making or looking to whip up dinner with ingredients on hand, we’ve got the tools to help. Check out the recipes and beverages tabs on our website to mix and match ingredients.

@thelocalpalate

facebook.com/thelocalpalate

@thelocalpalate

@thelocalpalate

PHOTOS LEFT TO RIGHT: JULIE SOEFER; RINNE ALLEN

Follow us

Use thelocalpalate.com to create a personalized menu. Select dishes by region or search through our recipe archives to find one that features your favorite ingredients.


THE LOCAL

PALATE FOOD CULTURE OF THE SOUTH Publisher and CEO Joe Spector

Need More

Greens?

Art Director Jennifer Hitchcock Managing Editor Margaret Loftus Associate Art Director Laura Staiano Marketing Director Laurie Merrill Events Manager Sara Donahue Director of Operations Cara Musciano Assistant Editor Emily Storrow Copy Editor Keia Mastrianni Graphic Designers Rachel Harris, Georganna Moeri Recipe Development & Online Content Manager Christina Oxford Marketing & Social Media Manager Mary Pappas Style Editor Hayley Garrison Phillips Contributing Writers Cathy Barrow, Sheri Castle, Chris Chamberlain, Paula Disbrowe, Amy C. Evans, Weston Fennell, Rien Fertel, David Hagedorn, Rene Louapre, Allston McCrady, Alison Miller, Erin Byers Murray, Susan Puckett, Maggie White Contributing Photographers Danielle Atkins, Anna Routh Barzin, Johnny Autry, Andrea Behrends, Jonathan Boncek, Andrew Cebulka, Reema Desai, Hélène Dujardin, Chris Granger, Jenn Hair, Sara Hanna, Leslie Ryann McKellar Illustrators Avram Dumitrescu, Kristen Solecki, Daniel Velasco Finance Manager Sarah DaCosta Sales Executives Ashley Alderman ashley@thelocalpalate.com, Courtney Flanagan courtney@thelocalpalate.com, Jo Neese jneese@spiegelandneese.com, Matthew Nesbit matthew@thelocalpalate.com, Maggie Ponce mponce@thelocalpalate.com, Christy Spiegel cspiegel@spiegelandneese.com, Betty Ward betty@thelocalpalate.com Interns Samantha Connors, Barrett Federico, Elke Luria, Taylor Schuman, Jessica Spence, Erin Laray Stubbs

Published by Peninsula Publishing, LLC. 496 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403 | 843.793.4876 Subscription services: tlp@cambeywest.com. Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/thelocalpalate Twitter & Instagram: @thelocalpalate Comments: info@thelocalpalate.com. Advertising or editorial inquiries: advertise@thelocalpalate.com | editorial@thelocalpalate.com. The Local Palate KDV QRW LQGHSHQGHQWO\ WHVWHG DQ\ VHUYLFHV RU SURGXFWV DGYHUWLVHG KHUHLQ DQG KDV YHULÀHGno claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. TLP makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding such services or products. No reproduction of printed materials is permitted without the consent of the Publisher of The Local Palate magazine. Copyright 2015 by Peninsula Publishing, LLC Inc. All rights reserved. THE LOCAL PALATE is a registered trademark of Peninsula Publishing, LLC Inc.

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DIGITAL EDITION

Delivering deliciousness to all your devices!

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Greens?

IN EACH ISSUE: Seasonal Recipes Southern Cocktails Chef ProďŹ les Gourmet Getaways Culinary Classes

And so much more! Digital Edition is available on iTunes Newsstand and Google Play.

Visit thelocalpalate.com to subscribe. A subscription to the digital edition is sold separately from a print subscription. Apple, the Apple logo, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google and its logo are trademarks of Google, Inc.

GREENSBORO, NC

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{ C O N T R I B U TO R S SHERI CASTLE is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, and cooking teacher living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her newest cookbook, Rhubarb, debuted April 15 from Short Stack Editions. Castle is a frequent contributor to Our State and The Bitter Southerner. This month, she writes about preparing restaurant-quality summer salads at home (page 86). The key to making a recipe accessible to the home cook? “Clarity,” Castle says. “Whether a recipe has two ingredients or twenty, the cook should feel well informed on what to do and how to do it.” Florida-based photographer TODD DOUGLAS, who shot Hooked on Fisher’s (page 78), lives in Fort Walton Beach, where fresh Gulf seafood is easy to come by. This summer, he’s looking forward to surf fishing while his kids play in the sand. “We’ll play ’till something hits the line, then clean it and grill it up right there near the beach,” he says. “Some of our best seafood meals are those calm nights sitting with family, eating a fresh catch, and watching the sunset.” Douglas’ work has recently appeared in Mobile Bay Magazine, Business Alabama, Emerald Coast Magazine, and USAA Magazine.

Originally hailing from Northern Ireland, artist AVRAM DUMITRESCU (Whose Peach is it Anyway? page 74) now calls Alpine, Texas, home, where he teaches digital art, animation, and design at Sul Ross State University. He illustrated Joan Reardon’s book, M.F.K Fisher among the Pots and Pans, and his work has been featured in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, The Southern Review, and Ulster Tatler. While he’s a fan of the fresh catch, the landlocked illustrator says he doesn’t get to savor seafood as often as he’d like. “Back in Belfast, my dad fries monkfish in butter perfectly,” he says. “But as we live in the desert, I usually have to make do with Swedish Fish.”

Photography has taken Charleston, South Carolina-based LESLIE RYANN MCKELLAR across the world, including to Estonia last summer, “where I enjoyed my first (and probably last) bowl of elk soup,” she says. For this month’s Eatymology department (page 101), she trekked to picturesque Sapphire, North Carolina, to shoot Chef Adam Hayes’ blueberry buckle. “Canyon Kitchen is surrounded by seriously gorgeous nature—quiet and elegant,” she says. “And the first bite of the blueberry buckle made me want to kiss a grandma. Any grandma.” Her work has appeared in Garden & Gun, USA Today, and on Eater.com.

“My father was a peach breeder for the USDA, so I grew up eating pounds and pounds of peaches,” says TOM OKIE, who wrote this issue’s Whose Peach is it Anyway? (page 74). “My favorite way to enjoy a peach is fresh, preferably in the orchard, washed with water to douse the fuzz a little, and with cleaning supplies close at hand for the aftermath of peach consumption.” Okie is an assistant professor of history education at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, where he teaches American and food history. His book, The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and the Environment in the American South, will be published by Cambridge University Press this fall.

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THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


Soak up some history while making some of your own.

Listen closely. Somewhere between the lapping saltwater waves, the ringing bicycle bells and the joyful retelling of the day’s adventure, is the sound of everything that matters falling into place. Join us at Montage Palmetto Bluff, where charming accommodations, a vibrant village, marina, golf and restaurants bring to life the rich heritage of the South Carolina Lowcountry. (866) 706-6565

M O N TA G E HO T E L S . C O M

PA LM ET TO BLU FF | BEV ER LY H ILLS | DEER VA LLEY | K A PA LUA BAY | LAGU NA BEACH | LOS CA BOS (OPEN I NG LAT E 2017)

To preview residential opportunities and our other destinations, visit montagehotels.com.


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LIFE IN THE CULINARY NOW

[ PHOTO BY WHITNEY OTT ]

ON OUR PLATE THIS MONTH 24

UNDER THE RADAR TLP’ S FAVORITE SOUTHERN SPOTS

25

bevRAGE WHISKEY'S SUMMER SIDEKICK

28

WHAT TO READ TOOLS OF TOP CHEFS

29

POPCORN SALAD WITH PIQUILLO VINAIGRETTE AT ATLANTA’S EAT ME, SPEAK ME

WHAT TO BUY MOTHER SHUCKER STOUT

also: Birmingham’s Ovenbird / Eastern Shore Hideaway / Austin’s Kettle & Brine / Fig Liqueur

>>>


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LIFE IN THE CULINARY NOW

UNDER THE RADAR A FEW FAVORITE SOUTHERN SPOTS DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA Since the majority of bread available out there is nothing short of a travesty, those adept at baking our daily carbs deserve heaps of praise. None more so than the magical Loaf in Durham, where former scientist couple Ron and Jaimie Graff have deliciously perfected the chemistry of sourdough. Market loaves fly off the shelves and croissants are buttery edible heaven. 919.797.1254

MIAMI, FLORIDA Rev your palate with a glass of Sancerre or rum coconut cocktail as you prepare for your Alter experience. Chef Brad Kilgore moves about gleaming stainless steel surfaces in the open kitchen, plating visual stunners such as shaved cobia and grouper cheeks, each fi nessed with complementary flavors. In the middle of artsy Wynwood, you’ll be altered indeed…for the better. altermiami.com

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: ALTER, LOAF, OVENBIRD

With only four booths, seven bar stools, no reservations, and limited dinner-only hours Friday through Sunday, one might wonder if trying to finagle a seat at this “permanent pop-up” restaurant in Candler Park is even worth it. You’ll wonder no more when Chef Jarrett Stieber knocks your flip-flops off at Eat Me, Speak Me. Be prepared for no attitude, no big city prices, and no chance of getting the same thing twice. eatmespeakme.com

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA Sip on Ovenbird’s signature beer as you nibble on jamón serrano over grilled bread and smoked fish salad with charred lemon. Then select from its seasonal cocktail selection, all designed to go with the open-fire cuisine of Chef Chris Hastings (of Hot & Hot Fish Club fame). The beef fat candle and spit-roasted chicken shine, as do vegetables like charred broccoli with brown butter, avocado, and almond-cured duck. ovenbirdrestaurant.com

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THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: GOURMANDJ; GEOFF CALDWELL; COURTESY OF OVENBIRD

ATLANTA, GEORGIA


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DID YOU KNOW?

MARGERUM AMARO CAN HELP YOU RECOVER FROM A NIGHT OF DRINKING LARGE QUANTITIES OF WINE, AND COFFEE DRINKERS WILL LOVE THEIR FAVORITE ICED COFFEE WITH AN OUNCE OF RAMAZOTTI AMARO ADDED (SURREPTITIOUSLY) TO THE CUP.

LIFE IN THE CULINARY NOW

bevRAGE AMARO: ITALIAN FOR BITTER, BUT BOY CAN IT BE SWEET

BY TRAVIS BRAZIL

PHOTO BY DANIELLE ATKINS

The bar at 404 Kitchen in Nashville is known for its whiskey collection, and we’ve found one of the best gateways to whiskey is through a cocktail. Some people might conclude that an ideal whiskey companion is a good amaro, but I would switch that up: My favorite pairing for a quality amaro is whiskey. I absolutely love amaro; a good one is more diverse than any other single spirit. They also make the best option as a digestive, with flavors that are immediately approachable for most patrons. With summer grilling, I am often tricked into over-indulging on protein. As a digestive, I’ve found amaro to be a far better option than Tums. Another warm weather perk is that they make high-alcohol whiskies much more manageable for summer drinking, such as in the Mayor’s Lament I share here. Travis Brazil is the general manager and sommelier at 404 Kitchen

THE MAYOR’S LAMENT

ITALIAN SUMMER*

This drink pairs well with meat, and works wonderfully for those who don’t want to switch to wine at dinner. Shows how well amaro works with bitters too.

Playing with the “Italian ice” concept, this drink is such a refreshing summer sipper, going great with light fare like crudos or sushi. The Moro blood orange balances the sweetness.

1½ ounce Rittenhouse 100-proof rye 1 ounce Nardini amaro 6 (generous) dashes Regan’s orange bitters 6 (generous) dashes Woodford Reserve spiced cherry bitters 2-3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters Build drink over rocks and give a quick stir.

1½ ounces botanical gin, such as St. George 1½ ounces Montenegro amaro ½ ounce lemon juice ½ ounce simple syrup ¼ ounce Strega Moro blood orange wedge for garnish Build in glass and serve with plenty of shaved ice. Squeeze and drop in Moro blood orange wedge to finish. Note: You can make this in summer party batches too. Just keep the ratios the same.


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LIFE IN THE CULINARY NOW

THE GETAWAY

Maryland’s Eastern Shore Calls for Summer Celebration

BARTLETT’S BAR IS A COZY SPOT TO DRINK OR DINE

EAT-IN OPTIONS

YOU LOVE: the quirky, unique charm of a bed and breakfast, yet want elevated details, excellent food, and none of that forced guest-toguest interaction. YOU NEED: a sweet retreat in the heart of town, one where the bed envelops you, the restaurant beckons you, and breakfast comes with no specific wake-up call.

YOU STAY: BARTLETT PEAR INN Right on the main drag in Easton, Maryland, yet somehow feeling like a sumptuous secret, the Pear is a gem made for couples getaways, girls’ weekends, or anyone looking for an eclectically comfortable respite from the everyday. The Pear’s seven rooms each have their own character and colors—befitting the 1790s Victorian home—but are uniformly outfitted with comfortable furnishings, luscious robes, and Malin + Goetz bath products. It’s clear from the attention to detail in every nook and cranny that husband-and-wife owners Alice and Jordan Lloyd picked the right business to build together upon returning to their hometown in 2009.

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“THIS IS OUR HOMETOWN; OUR DIRT-TO-TABLE FOOD PHILOSOPHY IS ROOTED IN BEING SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY MEMBERS. FORTUNATELY, WHAT’S IN OUR BACKYARD IS USUALLY THE MOST DELICIOUS OPTION OUT THERE.” –Chef Jordan Lloyd What to Order To Drink The Bartlett Pear Martini is dry and delicious, with orange bitters offsetting sweet fruit.

+

For Bakery Breakfast The Parker House Sandwich, with egg, sausage, and Swiss on a homemade roll, is a no-brainer. Do the dunk with a homemade biscotti, too.

+

For Dinner Go with the chef ’s tasting menu, which is available in 3-, 5-, or 7-course options, with or without wine. If ordering à la carte, don’t miss the foie gras “jubilee” or the curry-dusted sea scallops.

TOMATOES AND PICKLED VEGETABLES AT THE INN’S RESTAURANT

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

PHOTOS BY JENNA WALCOTT

THE BOSC PEAR THREEROOM SUITE

was likely pulled from the garden on the inn’s Whether dining in the intimate bar or lovely, grounds that day. Breakfast is served at their perfectly lit dining room, Chef Jordan Lloyd bakery across the street—and available until will dazzle your ’buds with his largely 2pm, because lunchtime is also bluelocal fare. While global flavors berry waffle time. The Bartlett’s INSIDER’S and ingredients do appear on pickles and preserves are for sale TIP his menu (Dover sole and at the bakery, as are local dairy The Plein Air Art Festival is European truffles, for examitems (the bakery is open to the country’s largest juried art ple), he’s most jazzed about the public, so Easton resishow and infuses Easton with color what’s growing in his own dents regularly pop in for every year in July. Another must dirt. If you have any dish milk and butter). Before is First Weekend, when the first weekend of every month means with chicken or lamb, know you go, be sure to snag a extended hours for galleries that the animals were raised cupcake from the Cupcake and shops while live music by Lloyd’s farmer friends (a Queen in the bakery’s market plays in the street. couple he went to high school case because that PB&J cupwith), while your salad’s lettuce cake is totally TDF.


ECLECTIC, WELL-SEASONED & UNIQUE.

With over 100 different eateries, drinkeries and anytime meeteries, there are plenty of tasty ways to chow down in Hampton. Discover the fare of our fair city at VISITHAMPTON.COM/DINE

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LIFE IN THE CULINARY NOW

BEHINDTHESCENES

COOKBOOK FOLLY

“For his kitchen tool, Christopher Kimball [founder of Cook’s Illustrated] spoke at length about this double boiler he’d bought in New York City in the 70s. He’s still very excited about it, uses it all the time, and said he’d send along a great recipe. Well, the recipe was great—pot de crème—but guess what? No double boiler was used. It was too late in the game to substitute another dish and Chris was pretty firm about not making adaptions, so there’s the one recipe where the tool is nowhere to be found.” —Erin Byers Murray, author, A Colander, Cake Stand, and My Grandfather’s Iron Skillet

WHAT TO READ

Bury Your Nose, Whet Your Appetite skewer—for gauging the most accurate meat temperature. There’s also career inspiration, as seen in the case of the Kitchen Aid mixer that acted as catalyst for a scientific researcher to become a pastry chef. And then there are the recipes. Transplanted Southerner Rob Newton, of Wilma Jean in Brooklyn, shares a recipe called My Dad’s Fried Corn. With a skillet as a tool, this corn is fried in bacon fat; leave it to Dad to provide the perfect summer side.

A COLANDER, CAKE STAND, AND MY GRANDFATHER’S IRON SKILLET(2016) With thirty-seven of the nation’s top chefs included in her latest book, Nashville-based writer Erin Byers Murray had a grand time learning what tool was most indispensable to each culinary personality. Accompanying a beautiful blend of illustrations and photography, Murray shares the personal stories of chefs and their instruments, things that are “used as another appendage, basically.” Tales include helpful tips, such as one chef ’s conviction in his unusual method—using a metal

CANTALOUPE AND MINT YOGURT POPS (ADAPTED FROM SWEETER OFF THE VINE BY YOSSY AREFI) 1½ cups seeded and chopped cantaloupe 1 cup Greek yogurt (2 percent or full-fat) ¹/³ cup mild honey, plus more if desired 1 tablespoon packed mint leaves

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1 teaspoon orange flower water 1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 2. Taste and adjust sweetness level by adding more honey,

1 teaspoon at a time. 3. Pour into frozen pop molds and freeze until completely firm, 6-12 hours. Yield: 6 to 12 pops, depending on mold size

SUNDAY DINNER (2015) With her introduction to Sunday Dinner, Bridgette A. Lacy describes, in vivid and compelling language, how the tradition of a weekly meal throughout her childhood indelibly and positively informed her very being. Balancing her personal memories with inspiration for how to create (or re-create) a beautifully big Sunday meal with family and friends, the reader can almost taste her Papa’s Nilla Wafer Brown Pound Cake. In fact, that sweet treat can become your tradition too, as it is one of fifty recipes that Lacy includes in this recent addition to the “Savor the South” series. This slim volume tucks nicely into your bag as you head to the farmers market, where you’ll be inspired to gather the ingredients for Esther’s Summer Potato Salad or Mama’s Meaty Crab Cakes. Moreover, it will serve as constant reminder that “Sunday dinner, especially in the South, is more than a meal—it’s a state of mind.”

SWEETER OFF THE VINE (2016) While there is thoughtful attention given to recipes for each of the four seasons in Yossy Arefi’s ode to sweet produce, the balance tips considerably when it comes to her bountiful summer offerings. Of course she can’t help but go berry mad in the name of the season with things like Blueberry Skillet Cobbler with Whole Wheat Biscuits and Blackberry and Sage Cream Puffs, but she also gets our summer juices flowing for the less expected figs, stone fruits, and melons (see recipe). We might be toasting to a neverending summer over bites of her Chocolate Celebration Cake with Raspberry Buttercream, but come fall we can’t wait to tuck into her Lemon Verbena Olive Oil Cake. Pie crust, pastry cream, and other non-seasonal tips and tricks are included too.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


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LIFE IN THE CULINARY NOW

WHAT TO PLANT & PRESERVE By Weston Fennell // Illustration by Daniel Velasco

WHAT TO PLANT The first time I encountered shishito peppers, they were featured in a national culinary magazine as a trendy new bar snack: pan-roasted whole with olive oil and garnished with crusty sea salt. It was 2013 and the trend had not yet reached the Lowcountry, but the Japanese-rooted Capsicum annuum was sweeping the nation. There was something so inviting about the simplicity of this dish, a pepper so good on its own that little manipulation was necessary to vault it to national stardom. I ordered a case from Los Angeles on the next cross-country produce load bound for Charleston. When they arrived, I promptly tossed a handful directly into a smoking-hot castiron pan. Sea salt at the ready, they were blistered and hot in a matter of seconds. Smoky, sweet,

and slightly bitter, they were all the things a fireroasted pepper should be. But the real treat lay in the seeds—normally removed from larger peppers before cooking—that remained in the pepper’s cavity and were toasted to a nutty state reminiscent of popped corn. One in every five peppers can carry some heat, adding an element of surprise. Yes, the shishito pepper had won my heart. Since then, we have sold hundreds of cases at Limehouse Produce and shishitos remain a fixture at several restaurants in Charleston. Sadly, they are still not readily available to the average consumer. If you want to

try them at home, you may have to grow them yourself. They require warm weather, which makes them a perfect choice for summer planting. Shishitos are fairly prolific, so one or two plants potted in 10- to 15-gallon pots should suffice for family consumption. Seeds are available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

WHAT TO PRESERVE Fig trees in the South begin to bear fruit in early June and sometimes continue into July or August, depending on the variety, of which there are dozens. The most common strains are Brown Turkey and Black Mission, but


in the Lowcountry alone we have the indigenous Celeste, Marseilles, Green Ischia, Texas Everbearing, and others. Each has its own unique hue, texture, and flavor profile, ranging from sugary sweet to subtly savory, and their applications are equally varied. Grilled figs with fowl represent a significant departure from a more familiar place alongside cheese. Cooked down into sticky preserves, they find their way onto biscuits. And as anyone with a fig tree knows, once the fruit is ripe, the race is on to harvest and consume them before birds and other pests beat us to the punch. If you’re lucky enough to gather a bucket or two, the next trick is deciding what to do with them all before they rot. Only so many can be enjoyed as hand fruit, sliced on pizzas, diced in chutneys, and marinated in balsamic before enough is enough. But, one interesting application extends shelf life and makes use of the fig’s surprising nuance: fig liqueur. Steeping the flavor of your favorite fig into your favorite spirit can be as simple or complex a riddle as you choose. The purist in

me would suggest simply adding healthy chunks of ripe figs to your favorite vodka for a month or two before straining it and enjoying the delicate fruity notes over ice. For a more adventurous spirit, add fig chunks, crushed pecans, and star anise to brandy or even tequila for a few weeks to create a complex taste worthy of praise. The longer you leave fruit in the liqueur, the stronger the flavor will be. To make it a crowdpleaser, add sugar. Whatever the case, you now have the ability to enjoy figs in a manner you won���t soon forget.

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Retirement for Foodies Considering the plentiful selection of seafood found on the Lowcountry coastline, it’s no wonder that Franke at Seaside’s Executive Chefs Nick Hunter and Frankie Scavullo serve a bounty of southern inspired seafood specialties. While this southern classic has many renditions, Franke chefs take Shrimp and Grits up a notch with Charleston shrimp; aged cheddar Geechie Boy stone ground grits; bell peppers, onions and summer squash in chorizo gravy; roasted Husky Cherry tomatoes; micro arugula and charred lemon. Our residents love it, and you can too. At Franke we elevate expectations.

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Little Rock’s dining and craft food and beverage scene is on the rise. Whether enjoying a romantic dinner for two, using our Locally Labeled Passport program to sample our city’s everexpanding offerings of ales, wines and spirits, or savoring any of the amazing products our artisan food producers are making, there’s never been a better time to enjoy great food and drink in Little Rock.

IN GREATER LITTLE ROCK

• Little Rock named one of “Five Secret Foodie Cities” Forbes Travel Guide, 2014 • Loblolly Creamery’s ice cream named a “Superior Scoop,” Saveur, 2014 • One Eleven at the Capital Semifinalist, Best New Restaurant, James Beard Awards, 2015 • Rock Town Distillery “2015 U.S. Micro Whisky of the Year,” The Whisky Bible, 2015 Edition • Big Orange Midtown “Great American Beer Bars” CraftBeer.com, 2016

Lost Forty Brewing > To see more, visit LittleRock.com


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RAW MACKEREL OVER RICE AND DASHI CUSTARD AT XIAO BAO BISCUIT

SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

FRESH CATCH

PHOTO BY MAC KILDUFF

AH, SUMMER. Temperatures are climbing, days are long, and gardens

are overflowing with ripe produce. Come evening, the late sunset is met with the low humming of wildlife in a Southern symphony. At Charleston’s Xiao Bao Biscuit, Chef-owner Josh Walker captures a piece of that summertime magic, preparing an artful crudo with fresh mackerel sourced from Abundant Seafood, in nearby Mount Pleasant (profiled on page 42). “Mackerel is a fattier fish that’s great raw,” Walker says. He brightens the cold, raw fish with ginger, turmeric, and fermented chile, and contrasts it with short grain rice and an egg and dashi custard. So let’s dig in. Endless summer starts now.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

PLUS...

> VIRGINIA BEACH’S NEW WAVE > DREAM JOB: OYSTER JUDGE > SHRIMP AND OKRA SALAD

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EXPERT PICKS

BEACH BOUNTY The new Virginia Beach

This city’s perch, fronting the Atlantic at the southern tip of the Chesapeake Bay, has long lent it a well-deserved reputation for seafood. But beyond the waterfront, wide swaths of fertile farmland burst with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and sweet corn. It’s fine fuel for chefs in the city’s urban core, where a local food revolution is gaining momentum, swiftly turning this oft-overlooked Virginia city into a bonafide culinary hot spot.

THREE SHIPS ROASTERY Owners Brad and Amy Ewing specialize in Nordic-style (read: lighter) coffee roasts, which reveal more fruit nuances than their more toasted contemporaries. Find them at their new arts district digs, where you can try a pomegranate-limeespresso-tonic, or around town wielding cold brew-filled growlers from their 70s-era camper. coles735main.com THREE SHIPS ROASTERY

C O M M O N W E A LT H BREWING COMPANY Inspired by European bierhalls, Jeramy and Natalie Biggie transformed a Chic’s Beach fire station into a destination brewery. The beers, ranging from a coriander and peppertinged Belgian lager called Deliquesce to a West Coast IPA named COMMONWEALTH Supernaculum, are BREWING COMPANY guaranteed to boost both your vocabulary and your palate. commonwealthbrewingcompany.com

OLD BEACH FARMERS MARKET Pick up Virginia cheese from the Creative Wedge, chia berry jam from It Started with a Fig, and a loaf of rustic sourdough leavened with wild yeast at this robust market, held Saturdays from 8 am to noon in the parking lot of Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. It’s six blocks from the beach, where you should promptly tear into your picnic. oldbeachfarmersmarket.com

NEW EARTH FARM Guests of this sustainable working farm attend classes that span fermenting to foraging. Summer is prime time for the Farm Table program: You’ll spend the early evening harvesting ingredients and, under the tutelage of a top area chef, transform the cornucopia into a multicourse dinner. newearthfarm.org

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HEARTH Sit at the bar for a view of the kitchen, where chefs Brad Bonham and Clint Compton deftly turn out Neapolitan-style pizza from a woodfired oven. Whet your appetite with the woodfired double egg yolk: two eggs with oozy orange yolks on a pat of chipotle-tomato jam, hiding under a smattering of arugula and gruyere. hearthvb.com

TERRAPIN When Chef Rodney Einhorn opened this finedining spot ten years ago he went straight to the farms and boats, forging relationships with local purveyors at a time when doing so was unheard of. Terrapin remains the primo place to experience seasonal seafood in a low-lit, whitetablecloth environment. In season, try soft-shell blue crabs straight from the bay, flour-dusted and gently pan-fried in clarified butter. terrapinvb.com

NEW EARTH FARM

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: CHRIS CONWAY; COURTESY NEW EARTH FARM; COURTESY OF THREE SHIPS ROASTERY OPPOSITE TOP TO BOTTOM: ZOE GRANT; COURTESY OF AUTUMN OLIVE FARMS

By Alison Miller


MEET CHRIS LUDFORD FOUNDER, PLEASURE HOUSE OYSTERS

ESOTERIC

ESOTERIC Many ingredients on the locally minded menu come from an on site garden shared with Commune (below). With thirty taps pouring rare beers from all over the world, it’s also one of Virginia Beach’s best spots for craft beer. Local takes on pub grub like wings and poutine pair with Mediterranean mezes, a nod to co-owner Kristina Chastain’s Cypriot roots. (Those dolmades? Her ya-ya’s recipe.) esotericvb.com

COMMUNE In October last year, chef and farmer Kevin Jamison, director of education at New Earth Farm, opened this buzz-worthy breakfast and lunch café, where all ingredients are sourced from within a 100-mile radius. Commune got its start peddling crepes from a food truck, and they’re not to be missed. Opt for a buckwheat version topped with roasted veggies, crispy ham, fried egg salad, and kale pesto. It’s aptly named: The WDF (Whole Damn Farm). communevb.com THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

Between 24-hour shifts as a fireboat captain, this seventh-generation waterman builds reefs with recycled shells and harvests and delivers Lynnhaven oysters to restaurants around town. In the late nineteenth century, these brawny bivalves were slurped down by aristocrats in Paris and New York, but pollution and overfishing all but took them out by the 1960s. Now, they’re flourishing once again thanks in large part to the efforts of local conservation group, Lynnhaven River. For the ultimate ostreaphile excursion, join Ludford for a tasting tour: You’ll cruise the river at low tide, scoping out newly thriving reefs and taking in tales from the iconic oyster’s history. The experience culminates with a fresh oyster feast on the shore.

What’s your favorite way to eat oysters? Naked, straight out of the shell, on ice. It makes them a little more crisp. I like to sit down with four of five kinds from different regions and experience the true essence of the oyster, the merroir.

Can you describe the flavor of Lynnhaven oysters? They’re briny up front and then as you chew through them there’s a sweetness, almost like a seagrass or seaweed note. They’re not minerally, like a Prince Edward Island or a European Flat. Instead, you taste the marsh. The best thing about a Lynnhaven is that it’s well-rounded, very sweet, and light on the palate.

Where in Virginia Beach are your oysters served? We do same-day harvest and delivery to Terrapin, Commune, Zoës Steak and Seafood, and the Cellars at Church Point Manor.

If you could take anyone out on your boat, who would you take? Chef Mike Lata, of FIG in Charleston. I see what’s going on with the sustainability movement around the country and a lot of that comes from things that he’s done in Charleston—he’s made a big commitment to buying local and supporting the environment. I’d also take John Smith and George Percy. Smith was one of the first settlers of Jamestown in 1607, and Percy was a naturalist who gave the New World’s first flavor review of Lynnhaven oysters. I’d love to hear what they have to say about where we are now.


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A P E R S O N A L E S SAY

My Stint as an Oyster Judge I PULLED A FRESHLY SHUCKED, SHIMMERING OYSTER from a tray of ice that was being passed around the table and immediately stuck my nose right near the meat. The scent of the ocean and drying seaweed filled my head. The shell had a nice deep cup that was brimming with oyster liquor—the bivalve’s salty juice. Slurping it back, I felt the taste of sea brine fill my mouth followed by the lingering notes of mossiness, dried porcini mushrooms, and whole cream. The occasion was a prelude to the 2015 Hangout Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend, which took place in Gulf Shores, Alabama, last November. Around me, a panel of fellow tasters, fifteen of us in all, was performing the same act: tasting, studying, examining, and contemplating. We were all there as guests of the festival, participating in a once-in-a-lifetime oyster tasting—our job was take notes on, and rank, twenty six oysters from around North America, with provenances spanning from Prince Edward Island, to the Gulf, and up to the Hood Canal. Split into two teams, we were each given thirteen oysters over the course of about two hours, and asked to rate them on appearance, smell, flavor, and finish; each oyster could receive up to 100 points in all. Having worked on an oyster farm in New England a few years back, I’d experienced my fair share of oyster tastings—but never surrounded by such exalted company. I sat among some of the country’s most knowledgeable oyster authorities, including chefs Bill Smith of Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Crook’s Corner;

oyster dishes, while folks enjoy craft beers and great bands. Basically, it’s a two-day oyster love fest. And last year, to amp up the experience, they added a North American Oyster Showcase, a raw bar where festivalgoers could taste freshly shucked bivalves from around the country side by side. I was asked to help curate the Showcase and serve on the panel. The tasting itself was conducted blind, so that we wouldn’t know which oysters we were tasting. We were told that the oysters were grown around the country—it was our job to rank them without judgment about their origin. (Not an easy task when you consider the regional biases that build up around any beloved ingredient. Meet a New Englander and you’ll get an earful about the superlative brine of Northern oysters; Gulf Coasters will just as quickly fawn over the size and texture of their Southern counterpart). As soon as the oysters were served, the room went quiet aside from the sounds of sniffing, slurping, and scribbling pens. A few minutes later, the chatter began. “I got a steak-like quality on that one. It almost tasted like red meat,” offered Bahr after the first oyster. “That one was too tin-y for me,” announced champion Toronto oyster shucker John Bil, who speculated that he’d tasted one from Virginia. SLURPING IT BACK, I FELT THE TASTE OF SEA Meanwhile, my own BRINE FILL MY MOUTH FOLLOWED BY THE notes were veering from LINGERING NOTES OF MOSSINESS, DRIED PORCINI “big and bold” to “is that feta?” to “smells yeasty, MUSHROOMS, AND WHOLE CREAM. like a bakery.” Cory Bahr of Restaurant Cotton in Monroe, A lover of Northern oysters, I could tell when Louisiana; Michael Serpa of Select Oyster Bar we were tasting Southern varieties, but found in Boston, and Alon Shaya of Shaya Restaurant myself thoroughly enjoying the guessing game. in New Orleans. The chefs around me, who were familiar with The annual Oyster Cook-Off showcases the oysters in their own regions, were clearly chefs from around the country who prepare feeling the same. At one point, Boston-based

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Serpa leaned over to admit: “This one is probably a Gulf oyster, but I actually kind of like it.” In between tastings, we received short seminars, including a state of the union on Southern oysters from Bill Walton of Auburn University’s Shellfi sh Lab. (Alabama alone has added thirteen oyster farms in the past several years, with three more on the way). As we reached our last round of oysters, I tasted the bright notes of melon and cucumber that highlight many West Coast oysters. One particular beauty sang with salt, brine, and a hint of watermelon. I gave it 100 points— a winner across the board. The following day, I made my way to the trailer that contained the Oyster Showcase raw bar. The scores were posted on a chalkboard and I realized that my favorite oyster of the night had been our overall winner with 93 points: a Hood Canal, Washington, variety called Blue Pool, grown by the Hama Hama Oyster Farm. Nearby, I bumped into Gulf Coast oyster grower Steve Crockett whose Point aux Pins, grown in Grand Bay, Alabama, had scored 84 points. He was beaming. All of the Alabama oysters had scored highly and he was particularly proud of his region’s success. “We’re coming along,” he said, noting that they’d scored higher than some better-known Northeastern varieties. “The Gulf oysters have held their own, that’s for sure.” Our panel had done its duty—enjoying every slurp along the way. COURTTHELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

YARD LINDEN ROW

ILLUSTRATIONS BY KRISTEN SOLECKI

BY ERIN BYERS MURRAY


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NOTES FROM THE DOCK

IT TAKES TWO BY MAGGIE WHITE

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a Community Supported Fisheries program (CSF). Meanwhile, Kerry is the one madly communicating with as many as thirty chefs around the Carolinas—in addition to Charleston, they also deliver their catch to Columbia, Greenville, and Asheville—reporting what Mark is bringing ashore (the couple communicate via satellite phone). Kerry is also currently the one serving on

MARK REGULARLY SETS OUT ON THE AMY-MARIE AND IS AT SEA FOR TEN TO TWENTY DAYS EACH MONTH, CATCHING BETWEEN 1,500 AND 4,000 POUNDS OF FISH. PHOTOS BY LESLIE RYANN MCKELLAR

en all over Charleston text Kerry Marhefka nightly, her slumber routinely interrupted by a string of pings, each signaling another request from an eager fella. As a mother and business owner, Kerry needs those hours of rest. But she can’t ignore the pleas. After all, if a guy is seeking something special—say, twenty pounds of mackerel, for example—he needs to know whether it’s coming his way. Kerry runs and owns Abundant Seafood, a direct-to-consumer commercial fishing operation based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with her husband Mark Marhefka. Because Mark’s face is often the one featured in the press and the name credited on the menus, it’s not immediately evident that this business is a fiftyfifty partnership. But it is. It’s Mark who regularly sets out on the Amy-Marie, at sea for ten to twenty days each month, catching between 1,500 and 4,000 pounds of fish that will make its way into the kitchens of the South’s most revered restaurants and into the hands of eager home cooks through

because a lot of my job is administrative. No one wants to interview me at work when they could be out fishing with Mark.” And Mark, with his bright smile and shoot-you-straight demeanor, makes for compelling press. He started fishing commercially in the late 1970s, following in his father’s footsteps. When he met Kerry in the late 90s—she was a fishery biologist at the time—he was on the ocean about 260 days a year, a number that reduced considerably after the two married in 2000. Abundant Seafood, which has become renowned for its personalized service and commitment to quality, sustainable product, came to life in 2006. Up to that point they had been using a fishhouse to sell their catch to the consumer. That traditional model had its advantages. “The fishhouse can be your bank at times. If you need your life raft repacked, which can be expensive, they’ll front you the money. They’ll give you bait money, fuel money…It’s really a safety net,” Kerry ex-

the advisory panel for the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (the people who make all the fishery decisions from North Carolina to Key West for federal waters, meaning anything from three to two hundred miles offshore). She submits Mark’s catch logbooks to the council, she runs the CSF, and, of course, she is on 24-hour chef text duty. “What I do is not as glamorous as what Mark does,” Kerry concedes. “I get no glory

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


plains. When Mark made the decision to cut out the middleman, he accidentally did so without consulting Kerry. “Had he discussed it with me, I would have said ‘no way!’” she laughs. “I am the fear person. But it was the best decision he could have made.” Aside from losing the safety net, the new business model also meant an increased workload. Between deliveries, communication, and relationship building, it became a nonstop enterprise. That meant the Marhefka’s two children became involved too. “If we are stressed about work, there’s nowhere to hide, it’s coming right into the house,” says Kerry. This summer their daughter, who is 12, will have a chance to see more of the inner workings of the business, while their son, 10, will go on his maiden voyage with Dad. “I think it’s important that they know and see that their privileged life comes with a lot of hard work and physical labor,” says Kerry. “We have to say to them, ‘You want to go on a vacation, and we can, but then Daddy has to be gone longer, to work harder to pay for that trip. Daddy doesn’t get paid vacation time.’” Their children also understand that no event is off-limits for Dad to miss—save for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Says Kerry, “Our daughter plays travel soccer, and Mark has only made it to one tournament. He’ll never be able to a be a coach.” She pauses. “It’s not that he’s not willing. He’s a total fifty-fifty partner when he’s home, but our default mode is I do it alone.” It’s not gone wholly unnoticed, especially among their most consistent clients, that Kerry is as much a part of Abundant as Mark. “Mike Lata is someone who’s always publicly acknowledging that this is a family business,

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and I thank him for that. He goes out of his way to make sure people know that this is both of us,” says Kerry of the award-winning chef of FIG and The Ordinary. Josh Walker, owner and chef of Xiao Bao Biscuit—and the guy who needed those twenty pounds of mackerel for a crudo dish—also recognizes Kerry’s role: “I hear from Kerry as much as I hear

LIVE MUSIC from Mark. They both work so hard, and I completely respect that.” The business model will continue to evolve, hopefully with Kerry’s role morphing into something more dynamic. But the end goal will remain. “What we strive to do is just make a comfortable living for our family. We’re not trying to take over the world, we just want to take care of four people and our employees.”

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RECIPE:

EASY SUMMER LIVIN’ SHRIMP, OKRA, AND CHERRY TOMATO SALAD WITH MINT CHIMICHURRI VINAIGRETTE 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, tail on 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 ears of corn 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved ½ small red onion, diced 8 pickled okra, halved 1-2 big handfuls of arugula Salt and pepper to taste

bowl and whisk in the oil. Set aside until ready to use. 4. In a large serving bowl, gently toss all the salad ingredients together, and serve with the chimichurri vinaigrette on the side. Extra vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and used on poultry or steak. Yield: 4 servings

Chimichurri Vinaigrette: 1 cup fresh mint (not packed) 1 cup parsley leaves (not packed) 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed ½ red onion, roughly chopped 1 lime, juiced ½ cup olive oil

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT AND PHOTO BY HÉLÈNE DUJARDIN

1. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Working in batches, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet set over mediumhigh heat. Once the oil is hot, place enough shrimp in one single layer in the skillet and sear on each side until pink, about 3 minutes total. Repeat with remaining shrimp and remaining tablespoon of oil. 2. Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool. Wipe the skillet clean and place it back over medium-high heat. Sear the corn on all sides until charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet, let cool, and cut corn off the cob. 3.Place all the vinaigrette ingredients except the oil in a food processor. Pulse a few times until finely chopped. Then, pour into a non-reactive Shrimp, okra, and tomatoes always play well together (we’re looking at you, gumbo). But tossed in a chimichurri vinaigrette—inspired by Argentina’s classic accompaniment for grilled beef—these summer staples sing.

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KEYINGREDIENT

Cool as a Cucumber

PHOTOS BY FORREST CLONTS

Chef Wesley Fulmer Revs the Fruit into High Gear WHEN THE SUN sits high in the

sky, approaching its summertime throne, one of its quintessential subjects emerges to make its prolific appearance. Cucumbers are one of the most refreshing fruits of the season, vining plants that climb toward the sky with the promise of making a salad sing. Cucumbers produce refreshing flavors in raw form and play well with acidic ingredients like vinegar. Pickles come to mind, but Chef Wesley Fulmer of Motor Supply Co. Bistro in Columbia, South Carolina, has other ideas. “I love the neutrality of a cucumber,” he says. As a native Southerner who returned to the Midlands after time abroad, Fulmer uses the fruit’s cooling qualities as a backdrop for bold flavors and herbaceous unions. He juices the cucumber for a Pernod-kissed broth paired with coriander and fennel-dusted tuna amplified by a cucumber salad tossed with vinegar and mint. He plates his own interpretation of the genteel tea sandwich with a cooling tzatziki sauce and smoked salmon, and offsets savory chile-rubbed steak and butterbean succotash with a punchy relish. A bourbon-cucumber cooler is on the menu too, for a proper start to this summer celebration. —Keia Mastrianni

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

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5. To assemble, place vinegar cucumbers in bowl. Ladle broth into same bowl about ½ inch up the sides. Slice tuna into ½ inch thick slices and fan over top. Garnish with smoked almonds and scallions. Yield: 4 servings

CRISPY ST. GERMAIN CUCUMBER AND SMOKED SALMON “TEA SANDWICHES” 12 slices white bread ½ cup olive oil 2 English cucumbers, peeled 3 ounces St. Germain liqueur 2 small radishes, shaved ultra thin 4 ounces smoked salmon ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 ounce American Hackleback caviar (found in specialty food stores and fish markets) Tzatziki Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Remove crust from bread. Using a rolling pin,

CORIANDER AND FENNEL-DUSTED TUNA WITH PERNOD CUCUMBER BROTH, VINEGAR AND MINT CUCUMBERS, SMOKED ALMONDS 2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons simple syrup 2 tablespoons Pernod liqueur or any anise-flavored liqueur 1 teaspoon high-quality fish sauce (preferably Red Boat‘s Bourbon Barrel Aged Fish Sauce) 3 medium slicing cucumbers, peeled 1 red onion 1cup apple cider vinegar ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 10 mint leaves, finely chopped 1½ teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon whole coriander 1 tablespoon whole fennel seed 2 pounds fresh tuna loin, cut into 4 equal portions 2 tablespoons olive oil ¼ cup smoked almonds, crushed for garnish 3 scallions, julienned for garnish

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1. To make cucumber broth, juice English cucumbers, sending pulp back through juicer until all juice is extracted. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cucumber juice, simple syrup, Pernod, and fish sauce until fully incorporated. Reserve in refrigerator until ready to serve. Reserve extra for Summer Bourbon Cucumber Cooler (on page 108). 2. Next, make the salad. Shave cucumbers and red onion using a mandoline. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Add cucumber, red onion, and mint, and toss to combine. Refrigerate. For best results, make 2 hours in advance. 3. In a small sauté pan, toast coriander and fennel on low heat until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, grind seeds in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Rub tuna with oil, salt, and ground coriander-fennel mixture. 4. Coat cast-iron skillet with enough oil to cover bottom of pan. Heat pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Place tuna in heated pan and sear on all sides, 1 minute per side, or until it gets a nice sear, and is rare to medium-rare. Remove from pan, and let rest in fridge.

roll each piece of bread until wafer thin. Coat bottom of large sauté pan with olive oil, and place over low heat. Lay bread wafers in pan, making sure they do not touch. Sear wafers until golden brown on both sides. They will crisp more as they cool. 2. Using a peeler, thinly shave one cucumber into wide strips the length of the cucumber, and let soak in St. Germain for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve cucumber ribbons. 3. Flake smoked salmon and place in mixing bowl with olive oil, radish, and drained cucumber ribbons. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 4. Slice second cucumber into ¼-inch-thick slices, enough for 2 per wafer. 5. To assemble, drizzle 1 tablespoon of Tzatziki on each wafer, then place 2 cucumber slices on top, side by side. Carefully put smoked salmon and cucumber ribbon mixture on top. Finish with a scoop of caviar, and garnish with sprig of dill. Tzatziki Sauce 1 slicing cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped 1 lemon, juiced 1 clove garlic, chopped ½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream 6 sprigs fresh dill ½ cup aioli or mayonnaise Salt and black pepper to taste

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


1. In a food processor, purée cucumber, lemon juice, and garlic until almost smooth. Add crème fraîche and dill, and process together. 2. Fold in aioli and season with salt and pepper. Tzatziki should be smooth, but not quite as thick as ranch dressing. If you need to balance the acidity, add more lemon juice. Yield: 4 servings

CHILE-RUBBED STRIP STEAK WITH BUTTERBEAN AND BOILED PEANUT SUCCOTASH, GRILLED AVOCADO, AND CUCUMBER RELISH 1¼ cups olive oil 2 tablespoons sambal oelek chile paste 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon fish sauce ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped 4 sprigs thyme, chopped 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 4 8-ounce sirloin strip steaks 1 ounce vegetable or canola oil 1 red onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 red bell pepper, diced 4 cups butterbeans, shelled and blanched (buy frozen or at your local roadside produce stand) 1 pound boiled peanuts, shelled 1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped 1 cup vegetable stock 1 ounce butter Salt and black pepper to taste 3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar 2 firm avocados, pitted and sliced with skin on 1 large English cucumber, peeled, and seeded 1 lime, zested and juiced 2 shallots, diced ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped with stems

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 cup olive oil,

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chile paste, garlic, fish sauce, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper and whisk vigorously. Add strip steaks to bowl, and marinate 45 minutes to an hour. Remove steaks from marinade, and season with salt and pepper. 2. In a dry cast-iron skillet over high heat, add steaks and sear on all sides, and cook to desired temperature. As a rule of thumb when cooking red meat, take steaks off the heat 1 temperature under desired temperature. (If medium is desired, then take off at medium rare.) When done, let steaks rest for 15 minutes. 3. In a medium sauté pan on medium-low heat, coat pan with vegetable oil and sweat red onion, garlic, and red pepper until onions are soft and translucent. Turn heat up to medium-high, and add butterbeans, boiled peanuts, and thyme. Add stock and simmer

for about 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. To finish, slowly mix in butter until it comes together and no standing broth is present. Take off heat and set aside. 4. Preheat grill to medium. In a small mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and avocado, and gently toss to coat avocado. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Place avocado on grill (a cast-iron skillet works in a pinch too), and grill avocado slices on both sides to get a little color or grill marks. Set aside to cool. 6. Quarter English cucumber and slice into ¼-inch pieces. Place in mixing bowl. When avocado has cooled, remove from skin and rough chop into ½-inch chunks, and add to bowl with cucumber. Add lime zest and juice, shallot, cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste. 7. Place succotash in center of a large plate. Slice steaks and place 6 to 8 pieces on top of succotash. Spoon relish over top and drizzle with olive oil. Yield: 4 servings CONTINUED ON PAGE 108


RE DUX

The BLT Two Chefs Dish on Their Takes

PHOTO LEFT BY ANDREW CEBULKA RIGHT BY JONATHAN BONCEK

The BLT Gets Even Better When the warmth of the June sun ripens tomatoes to peak perfection, it’s high time to incorporate them into one of the season’s most beloved sandwiches. The BLT, or bacon, lettuce, and tomato, sandwich is your moment of summer zen, harmonizing ripe tomato with the crunch of lettuce, unctous bacon, and a heavyhanded slathering of your favorite mayonnaise. At Spero, Executive Chef RJ Moody credits his grandmother, Betty Moody, for making the best BLT. Her secret? Cucumber. Moody pays homage to Betty with his own version. Over in Oxford, Mississippi, Chef Mitch McCamey of the Neon Pig takes a detour toward the funky, with his revision. He begins with “obnoxiously thick slices of tomato” and pairs them with a load of Benton’s bacon, fresh farm greens, and a sweet and savory “corner to corner” application of hoisin and house-made harissa. —Keia Mastrianni

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BENTON’S BACON BLT FROM MITCH MCCAMEY OF THE NEON PIG IN OXFORD AND TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI

2 slices crusty wheat bread Hoisin sauce, thinned with a little water Harissa (recipe on page 108) 6 slices Benton’s bacon, cooked 1 ripe heirloom tomato, sliced into ½-inch rounds Salt and pepper 1 handful seasonal greens, such as arugula, romaine, butter leaf, or mustard greens

1. Toast bread. 2. Spread hoisin and harissa on both slices of bread, being sure to cover each slice corner to corner. Top one slice of bread with 6 slices of Benton’s bacon and two slices of tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper. 3. Finish with handful of greens and place other slice of bread on top. Yield: 1 sandwich

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


BLT FOR BETTY MOODY FROM RJ MOODY OF SPERO, IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

2 slices sourdough bread Equal parts Duke’s mayonnaise and Kewpie mayo (which can be found at most Asian grocery stores) 1 ripe tomato, preferably Cherokee Purple Iceberg lettuce 3 slices thick-cut black pepper bacon, cooked 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced

1. Toast bread. 2. With toasted side down spread 1 slice of bread with Kewpie mayonnaise and the other slice with Duke’s mayonnaise. On the Kewpie slice, layer tomato, iceberg lettuce, bacon, and cucumber. Top with remaining slice of bread. 3. Cut sandwich in half and serve. Yield: 1 sandwich

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SEASON’SEATINGS

SPROUTED MUNG BEAN CIABATTA SMOKED PORK SHOULDER WITH CHILE SAUCE, CRISP LETTUCE AND CHARRED CORN

EMBER-COOKED TROUT STUFFED WITH SUMAC AND THYME

Fired Up for the Fourth Chef Nate Allen Celebrates Independence Day with a Picnic

PHOTOS BY CHERYL ZIBISKY

SEVEN YEARS AGO,

Chef Nate Allen celebrated a very special Fourth of July holiday in his new hometown of Spruce Pine, North Carolina. On the cusp of opening Knife & Fork, his agrarian-inspired dream of a restaurant, the chef took the THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

holiday to absorb and reflect on the imminent opening of the restaurant just two weeks away. “It was so magical,” says Allen. “We were in the throes of creation, with all these hopes and dreams. We allowed ourselves that day, to barbecue, to hang out, and continue to dream.” Today, the chef has just as much, if not more, to celebrate. Allen was recently nominated as a 2016 semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation. In April, he joined four other chefs to cook a dinner at the Beard House and recently invested in a build-out, which moved his street-side restaurant into the same building that houses his second-floor bar and snack concept, Spoon. Allen is adamant about closing his restaurant on the Fourth every year to indulge in what he calls “totally inconvenient and luscious feasting” with family and loved ones. This summer feast uses the best ingredients of the season, from a refreshing cucumber melon salad to ciabatta baked on the grill and ember-roasted stuffed trout and slow-smoked pork. If you’re not fired up for the Fourth by now, this menu is sure to stoke your appetite. Cue the fireworks.—Keia Mastrianni

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5 pounds bone-in pork shoulder, cut in 4-by-2-inch chunks (ask butcher to do this) 2 quarts beer or cider, plus more for maintaining liquid in roasting pan 6 ears corn, with husks 2 sweet onions, whole and in their skins 2-3 heads crunchy butter lettuce, torn 1 lemon, juiced

1. To prepare chile sauce, combine chiles,

EMBER-COOKED TROUT STUFFED WITH SUMAC AND THYME 4 whole trout, cleaned and deboned Kosher salt Freshly ground pepper 4 tablespoons ground sumac 24 sprigs thyme Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling Lemon, for finishing 1 handful arugula

1. Season trout with salt and pepper, inside and out. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sumac inside each fish and stuff with 6 sprigs of thyme. 2. Drizzle fish with olive oil until shining, and place directly on hot coals. Look for bright red and white coals. Allow skin to char before carefully flipping over, about 5 minutes. Flip each fish over and char other side. Don’t worry about coals sticking to the skin—the idea is to remove the skin when eating the fish. 3. To assemble, place fish on a big platter. Drizzle with more olive oil and a squeeze of lemon then top with few sprigs of thyme and arugula. Yield: 4 servings

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SMOKED PORK SHOULDER WITH CHILE SAUCE, LETTUCE, AND CHARRED CORN 1 pound chiles of your choice 10 cloves garlic 1 cup sliced white onions 2 cups apple cider vinegar 1 cup sugar Salt and pepper

garlic, onions, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer until ingredients are soft and translucent (they should look almost candied), about 20 minutes. Remove sauce from heat, and let cool completely then purée in a blender. 2. In a non-reactive dish, season pork with salt and pepper and then cover with chile sauce, reserving 1/3 cup. Cover and marinate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. 3. The next day, prepare your fire. When the flames no longer lap at the grates, push coals to one side. Fill an aluminum roasting pan with beer, and place in vacant spot where the coals were. 4. Place pork onto grates over roasting pan, and roast meat, turning occasionally until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees, about 4 hours. Remove pork from grill. 5. Place ears of corn and onions directly onto coals, turning to char evenly, until exteriors are completely blackened. Remove from coals and cool. Shuck corn and remove outer layer of onion. Discard husks and onion skins by tossing into fire. 6. Cut corn into 2-inch pieces and pull onion apart into leaves. In a large bowl, toss corn and onions with lettuce. Add pork, lemon juice, and reserved 1/3 cup chile sauce. Toss well. 7. Transfer onto large platter. Garnish with edible flowers from the garden or the wild, like nasturtium flowers, bee balm, honeysuckle flowers, and borage. Set pork drippings in a bowl and let guests dip bread into drippings.


SPROUTED MUNG BEAN CIABATTA Chef’s note: I have a Big Green Egg that I love to use, but this recipe can be done on any grill or even in the oven. 8 cups bread flour 3½ cups warm water 2 cups sprouted mung beans 2 tablespoons salt 2 teaspoons active dry yeast Pinch of pepper

1. Mix to combine all ingredients in a large

2. Cream lard and sugar together in stand mixer, until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add eggs 1 at a time, incorporating fully before adding next egg. 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Add flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches to the stand mixer, beginning and ending with dry flour mix. 4. Spoon cake batter into half-pint Mason jelly jars and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 5. While cake is baking, prepare the strawberries.

Toss with olive oil and place over a grill on high heat. Turn strawberries frequently until they are softened and lightly charred on all sides, about 3 minutes. 6. Put cream and honey into stand mixer and cream together until soft peaks form. 7. When cakes are done and cool, spoon the cream over top and divide strawberries among the jars. Yield: 8 servings RECIPES CONTINUED ON PAGE 108

non-reactive bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight, about 14 hours. 2. When ready, flour countertop and use wet fingers to pull spongy dough from bowl. On floured surface, take rough circle of dough and fold 4 times, as if using compass points, toward center to form a square. Flip dough over and cut into 8 pieces. Transfer dough pieces onto an oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with flour, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes near grill. 3. In the meantime, bring grill up to 350 degrees. When ready to bake, place baking stone onto grates. If you don’t have a baking stone, place piece of foil on grates, and drizzle with olive oil. Working 2 at a time, stretch dough into long, skinny baguette shapes and gently place on preheated baking stone or on foil. Close lid and bake until exterior becomes crispy and golden, about 10 minutes. Repeat process for remaining six pieces of dough. Yield: 8 loaves

LARD CAKE WITH GRILLED STRAWBERRIES AND BASSWOOD HONEY CREAM 1 cup lard 1 cup sugar 1 pinch salt 2 large eggs 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ cup buttermilk 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups heavy cream ¼ cup basswood honey, or local honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Furniture. Accessories. One-of-a-kinds.

www.celadonathome.com 1015 JOHNNIE DODDS Blvd. Mt Pleasant, SC 29464


SETTINGS

Beachside Banquet A Gathering in Orange Beach, Alabama, Draws Inspiration from the Gulf Coast

PHOTOS BY ROBERT RAUSCH

FOR LILLY ZISLIN, design sensi-

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

bility came at an early age. Her mother was an interior designer and Zislin spent much of her youth tottering around her grandmother’s antique shop, Trifles and Treasures, arranging elaborate parties for whoever could attend—be it relatives or just the family felines. Fast forward several years (and a restaurant opening) later and you’ll find Zislin carries much the same spirit: She finds pleasure in orchestrating a scene and watching as her guests uncover its subtler design elements on their own, whether she is collecting the surf-and-sea inspired décor of her oceanfront restaurant, The Gulf, or taking on even larger projects like the popular Hangout Music Festival that she founded in 2010. “I love elements of surprise and wonder, natural elements,” says Zislin, whose twilight soirée combines a relaxed beach backdrop with more dramatic accents, like amethyst crystals and baroque wingback chairs. “Design is about setting the stage,” she adds. “Invite a cast of characters.” –Hayley Garrison Phillips 61


COASTAL COOL BRINGS NATURAL APPEAL Clockwise from right: 1. A centerpiece of vibrant amethyst crystals and quartz laced with field flowers plays off the light of the setting sun. 2. Stick to a theme. “Most of the furniture pieces at The Gulf are seaworthy, even the tables are made from old boats.” 3. “The lavender crystals bring out the soft undertones of purple in oyster shells.” 4. Let nature do the work for you. “In some cases it’s best to let the colors on the table remain neutral, as the natural environment can be magnificently colorful. Here, I love how the grass pops off of the white sand and the palm trees.” Opposite: Keep it simple. “Great design does not depend on a huge budget. Less is more.”

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2.

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“Crystals have an energy all their own. I like centerpieces that are organically made—not too perfect and never all the same.” –Lilly Zislin


THEINTERVIEW

King of Kraut TLP Talks Fermentation with Sandor Katz BY CATHY BARROW

PHOTOS BY DANIELLE ATKINS

IT WAS A CHANCE encounter.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

A crock in the back of a Tennessee barn and an overabundant garden. With salt and cabbage, Sandor Katz made sauerkraut and it changed his life. He wrote an award-winning book about it called Wild Fermentation and became known affectionately as Sandor Kraut, the fermentation revivalist. He continues to explore fermentation as a healthy practice, backed up by science, cultural relevance, and historical significance. He sees it as a prism for expanding the context we use to think about food, from biological to economic to cultural implications. His knowledge is grand, wide-ranging, and deeply informed. These days, Katz is on the road a lot. He’s looking forward to programs in Vermont and at home in Tennessee. We caught up with him in Oregon, where he spoke at an environmental law conference about the “complex environment we have within ourselves,” as well as those that exist in a pail of milk or a cabbage. Katz says fermentation highlights this. “We have to think about the environment as not only something that is out there, but is inside us, in every living thing.” 65


SK: I just planted radishes and onions before I left last week and I will do more when I get back. I love gardening, but I don’t garden on a big scale. The same limitations that my itinerant lifestyle places on my fermentation practice are placed on my ability to garden on a large scale. I’m not trying to be hugely ambitious. One of the things I love about having a garden is just the parade through the year of different things at different times. I’ve really gotten into eating the vegetable plants at different stages of their lives. One of my favorite delicacies are the fresh radish pods, after the radishes go to seed. So completely delicious.

The Local Palate (TLP): Since Wild Fermentation was published (2003) you’ve been on the road teaching fermentation. What happens in your workshops? Sandor Katz (SK): Generally, I teach about fermenting vegetables. Call it sauerkraut, whatever. I just did one last weekend in Eugene, Oregon, for 100 people and everyone brought their own vegetables from their garden—asparagus just pulled out of the ground, one person had carrots, even okra. I try to teach generic processes rather than exacting recipes. Chopping, salting, seasoning, pounding, squeezing, stuffing into jars. I teach many other things, but if I’m going to teach people one thing, that’s what I want them to learn. In terms of introducing people to fermentation concepts, that’s just straightforward, easy, fast, with no special cultures or special equipment. TLP: Fermentation, like canning, seems to be everywhere. Is it a trend? Or is it here to stay? SK: This heightened interest in fermentation is part of the broader interest in how food is produced. It’s not a fad that just developed. It’s hard to think of bread or cheese or cured meats or wine or even sauerkraut or kimchi as fads. I’m glad that there is more interest in eating live-culture, fermented vegetables and this has given rise to small, regional business enterprises, but it’s not like any of them invented sauerkraut. There are a lot of people who grew up in German, Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian families and their grandparents were making sauerkraut. Then, in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, as convenience foods became dominant and came to be seen as liberation from the kitchen, a lot of these family traditions fell apart. It’s great that they’re coming back, but I don’t think it’s a fad. If anything, these foods have enduring popularity.

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TLP: Food preservation fills people with fear. How do you answer the “will I kill my family” question? SK: In terms of any anxiety people project on the process, which they do, there’s no case history of food poisoning from fermented foods. It’s just incredibly safe. TLP: What’s a typical dinner at your house? SK: It varies so much. I’ll always pull out a jar of kimchi or kraut, but it’s not like most of what I consume is fermented. Fermented foods are powerfully nutritious. But it only takes a little bit to get that probiotic stimulation. The nutritional principle that I hold very close is variation, eating a lot of different kinds of things. I think you’d be missing out on something if you didn’t eat fermented vegetables at all, but it’s not like I eat primarily fermented foods. I like a varied diet. TLP: Your books speak lovingly of your garden and the act of gardening. Being on the road so much, do you try to block out time for harvest?

TLP: Pickled fruit is showing up on menus everywhere. Are you fermenting fruit? SK: Usually, when I ferment fruit, I’m not pickling it. I’m making what’s called country wine. Throughout the southeastern U.S., there are robust traditions of country wines—elderberry, blackberry, strawberry, dandelion, plum. I’ll do a few of these every year. I love, love, love plum wine. Later in the season, apples and pears come and I have a friend with a press and I’ll go use the press and then ferment that. Country wines are great. I’ve made them with flowers, vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs. Once you figure out the method, you can really be very experimental. TLP: Michael Pollan called you inspirational. Who inspires you? SK: My father has been a huge inspiration. He loves to garden. Loves vegetables. Contrary to many people in my generation who hardly ever had fresh vegetables, kohlrabi and celeriac and other more obscure vegetables were on our plate growing up. My father, in his 80s now, is still gardening and cooking. And instead of conceptualizing in some abstract way what to cook, he looks around at what he has and organizes a meal around that. TLP: What’s next for you? SK: I have an investigative trip ahead of me with an eye toward learning about vegetable fermentation in China. All the historical accounts say that sauerkraut comes from China. There’s not a lot of information about Chinese fermentation and I’m so interested to understand it. I’m really excited to be going on an adventure like that.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


the the

Secret is

Salsa pepe magallanes and his son jonathan bring fresh mex to memphis

by

Susan Puckett

photos by

brandon dill


1999, JOSE “PEPE” MAGALLANES AND his two sons, Christian and Jonathan, gathered at an airfield outside of Memphis for an afternoon of skydiving. Pepe had gotten hooked on the sport in his younger days, and when he retired, he convinced his offspring to make it a family affair. After everyone in their group had jumped from the plane and floated safely to earth, they unstrapped their parachutes to prepare for the next thrill: diving into elaborate platters of chile-spiced fresh seafood salad and other authentic Mexican dishes Pepe had prepared for the outing. “They were blown away,” Jonathan remembers. “One of the other skydivers asked Dad, ‘If you had a restaurant, is this what you’d serve?’ Until then, cooking had just been a hobby for him. But that got

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him to thinking, why not?” As time wore on, and the senior Magallanes grew increasingly restless in retirement, he continued to ponder the possibility. Then he spotted an empty storefront in a strip shopping center in the Memphis suburb of Germantown, Tennessee, and in 2003— despite having never worked in a restaurant— he took a leap of faith and opened Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana. “My only experience was watching the help in the house where I grew up,” says Pepe. “When I was little, I used to get kicked out of the kitchen for being in the way. After I left Mexico and could no longer get those foods, I taught myself how to make them. It became my passion project to share what I had been missing with my new friends here in Memphis.” He knew he would need a business partner. So he

called his son, who was then working in sales for a paint company in Florida, and made a pitch. “I said to Jonathan, why don’t you come back to Memphis and help me do the best food in the world,” Pepe recalls. “We had no business plan. Zero. But Jonathan had restaurant experience, a world-class education, and such a great love for food and people. We could learn.” ver the years, the simple menu of homecooked favorites they started with has expanded, along with the swarms of customers who line up regularly at the counter to order tacos filled with grilled red snapper and avocado slices, fresh ears of corn rolled in spicy lime-spiked mayonnaise and Cotija cheese, and icy drinks or “aguas” made with puréed melon and tropical fruits. Tortas, the other specialty, are

O

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY NOVEMBER 2016 2014


“Mexican cuisine is one of the world’s greatest culinary treasures, the breadth is inexhaustible.” sandwiches made on crispy, freshly baked bread loaves called tortugas, which means “turtles,” referring to their dome-topped shape. Among their signature tortas is the De Oreja de Elefante (“elephant ear”), filled with thinly sliced, griddled sirloin and onions, roasted tomato, and roasted poblanos. he Magallaneses’ efforts have won high critical praise and national press, and respect from the city’s top chefs. In 2014, Jonathan was part of a culinary team that traveled to New York to prepare a Memphisthemed feast at the James Beard House. Pepe attributes their success to “the ingredients and the hands that make it.” Rather than rely on industrial food distributors for their provisions, Jonathan picks them himself by hand, from local farmers, international markets, and even the neighborhood Wal-Mart. “We love having the freedom and flexibility to choose what looks good to us,” says Jonathan, who was born in Memphis but has spent ample time south of the border. His mother, Nancy, a Memphis native, had earned her degree in Spanish and was doing post-graduate work in Mexico when she met and fell for Pepe, a fun-loving businessman with an appetite for big adventure who ran a large mining operation with his brother. For years after they married, the couple lived in Mexico City until Nancy developed health problems due to the heavy pollution. They relocated to her hometown, and Pepe continued to travel back and forth to Mexico City to help run the family business, while making time for other interests like skydiving and motorcycle-racing. Jonathan—an extreme sports enthusiast himself, having competed in Enduro mountain bike races—spent summers and holidays at his grandmother’s home in Mexico City, where he cultivated a taste for the flavors his dad would try to recreate at home when he couldn’t find them elsewhere. “I was very blessed in that I got the best of both worlds,” Jonathan says. “My mother and (maternal) grandmother are both fantastic traditional Southern cooks, and for our day-to-day meals fed us things like pork chops and gravy, casseroles, homemade biscuits, and chess pie. Dad has always loved to entertain, and would cook on the weekends and for special events. He is such a master of seafood. For more than one birthday, he made a veritable feast of indulgence for me and my friends—with shelled lobster, king crab, and jumbo Gulf shrimp, served over blocks of ice, and spicy guacamole, vegetables, and lots of limes on the side.” ike his father, Jonathan is self-trained in the culinary arts. But while pursuing a business degree at Kenyon College in Columbus, Ohio, and at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, he worked as a server in high-

T

CHICKEN TINGA TOSTADAS RECIPE PAGE 73

the chicken tinga tostadas is a vibrant, multi-layered dish great for summertime entertaining. Jonathan Magallanes suggests sautéing boneless chicken breasts in a spicy rub as a quicker alternative. Don’t slice the avocado until right before you assemble it to avoid browning.

L

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

end restaurants where he “developed an appreciation for relishing the whole dining experience.” He expanded his Spanish vocabulary—and deepened his palate—while attending classes for a few semesters at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and then backpacking with his cousins through Europe before returning to the U.S. to embark in a sales career. “I think all these experiences dovetailed together to make me a very curious chef,” says Jonathan, an enthusiastic home cook who shares his father’s love of entertaining with friends. The father-son duo’s gregarious personalities undoubtedly contribute to the tiny restaurant’s almost cult-like following. Several years ago, Jonathan bought the business from his father and he can typically be found at the counter taking orders and patiently explaining menu items to customers more familiar with the ground beef-stuffed burritos and hard-shell tacos that characterize Mexican chains. On most days, Pepe, now 72, still zooms up on his prized shiny red Viper motorcycle painted with gold

flames, ready to pitch in as needed, helping to expedite orders on the kitchen line one minute and chatting up customers the next. n recent months, he and Jonathan have been preparing for the summer opening of a second Las Tortugas, with a simplified menu focused primarily on tacos. “The menu at the deli has grown into such a beast, it would be hard to recreate it in another location,” Jonathan says. The idea of extending their footprint beyond Memphis excites him, he admits. Yet much as Jonathan enjoys other cuisines, he’s never had the desire to stray from his own roots as a chef. “Mexican cuisine is one of the world’s greatest culinary treasures,” he says. “The breadth is inexhaustible.” Even as they look to the future for other ventures, one thing his dad can guarantee: “We will always refuse to Americanize our food. We don’t put cheese or sour cream on our tacos even if you ask.”

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The Magallanes family loves to entertain, and while they don’t serve mixed drinks at the restaurant, they’ll often shake up fanciful margaritas at home. Here’s one of their favorites, made with the pulpy edible fruit of a flowering cactus, found in international markets. PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITA 3 red prickly pears ¼ cup fresh lime juice 1/3 cup silver tequila 2 tablespoons triple sec 2 teaspoons agave Lime wedge for garnish Kosher salt for rim, optional

1. Peel and place 2 pears in blender with the lime juice. Blend and strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds from pear. Reserve pear-lime juice. 2. Combine tequila, triple sec, agave, and pear-lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and pour over ice. Peel third prickly pear and slice. 3. Garnish glass with a lime wedge and slice of pear.

cumin, and garlic.

4. Return pot with the meat and onions to the stove over medium heat. Add tomato mixture, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Stir to combine, then simmer 2 to 3 minutes. 5. Add corn, zucchini, and remaining sliced onions to the pot. Add 1 cup of water; cook on medium-low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until onions and zucchini are softened. Season to taste with salt. Add more cumin, if desired. 6. Slowly add more water, if needed, to thin to desired consistency. (Remember water dilutes the flavor, so add slowly.) If soup is too thin, stir in another tablespoon of tomato paste and cook a few minutes longer. 7. Ladle into individual soup bowls. Add a squeeze of lime juice and Tabasco to taste to each serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Yield: 2 cocktails

PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITA

PEPE AND JONATHAN ARE HANDS-ON RESTAURANTEURS

CARNE DE PUERCO CON CALABAZA (PORK TENDERLOIN SOUP WITH SUMMER CORN AND SQUASH) 1 small pork tenderloin, up to 1 pound 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 small onion, very thinly sliced Salt to taste 3 large, ripe tomatoes, quartered 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder 1/8 teaspoon cumin (or more, to taste) 1 clove garlic, minced (or dash garlic salt) 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste Kernels from 3 large ears fresh corn 3 medium zucchinis, sliced ¼ to ½-inch thick 1 cup water (or more, as needed) 2 to 3 limes, quartered Tabasco, to taste 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped

1. Slice tenderloin into small medallions, then

KING CRAB AND GULF SHRIMP COCKTAIL 3 Alaskan king crab legs, cooked and shelled 24 Gulf shrimp, cooked and peeled 1 head romaine lettuce ½ cup finely shredded cabbage Juice of 1 lime Salt 3 radishes, sliced Ritz crackers Chipotle Cocktail Sauce 2 cups ketchup 3 limes, juiced 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons chipotle purée 2 tablespoons Tabasco ½ small onion, finely chopped 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped

2. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over me-

1. Chill crabmeat and shrimp. 2. Wash and dry lettuce, then finely shred ½

dium-high heat. Add pork and 1 quarter sliced onion, season lightly with salt, and sauté until meat is browned on all sides. Remove pan from heat, and set aside. 3. In a blender, purée tomatoes with bouillon,

cup and combine in a small bowl with shredded cabbage. Chill shredded lettuce mixture and remaining leaves until ready to use. 3. To make Chipotle Cocktail Sauce, combine ketchup, lime juice, vinegar, chipotle purée,

slice each medallion in half.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


½ teaspoon crushed chile de arbol or dried red pepper flakes 1 sprig thyme, leaves removed and minced Big pinch of salt Big pinch of black pepper Big pinch of oregano 2 tablespoons canola oil 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 1 white onion, finely sliced 10-12 (5-inch) whole corn tortillas, fried until crisp Garnishes: fresh sliced avocado, Cotija cheese, pico de gallo salsa, shredded iceberg lettuce, crema fresca, lime slices

1. Prepare salsa and Pico De Gallo. 2. In a large bowl, combine garlic, shallot, chile flakes, thyme, salt, pepper, and oregano.

3. Add chicken breasts to bowl, and rub with mixture.

Pepe Magallanes was famous among family and friends for this extravagant, chipotle-laced seafood salad long before he and his son went into the restaurant business.

and Tabasco in a medium glass bowl. Stir in onion, avocado, and cilantro. 4. To assemble, place shredded lettuce mixture in the bottom of a large glass dish. Season to taste with lime and salt. Pour cocktail sauce evenly over lettuce mixture; top with shrimp and then crab. Cover and chill if not serving immediately. 5. Cover bottom of 6 martini or cocktail glasses, or salad bowls, with a few leaves of chilled romaine. Spoon salad mixture over lettuce leaves, and garnish with sliced radishes. 6. Serve with crackers on the side.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. (May be seasoned and refrigerated the day before.) 4. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil over mediumhigh heat. Add chicken breast halves a few at a time in batches (don’t crowd the pan). When cooked, finely shred meat. 5. Combine salsa and pulled chicken meat in skillet and stir. Add onion, and simmer 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through, taking care that sauce doesn’t get too thick. 6. Spoon the chicken mixture over fried corn tortillas. Garnish each tostada with avocado slices, crumbled Cotija cheese, Pico De Gallo, shredded iceberg lettuce, crema fresca, and a squeeze of lime. Yield: 10 to 12 tostadas

CARNE DE PUERCO CON CALABAZA (PORK TENDERLOIN SOUP WITH SUMMER CORN AND SQUASH)

Yield: 6 servings

CHICKEN TINGA TOSTADAS WITH SALSA AND CREMA Charred Tomato and Chipotle Salsa (recipe on page 110) Pico De Gallo (recipe page 110) 3 large garlic cloves, minced 1 large shallot, minced

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY NOVEMBER 2014 2016

This light, fragrant soup is full of summery flavors, and typical of the home cooking Pepe was reared on in Mexico City.


WHoSE PEĦp…ɀī°ȿŠ· ȜÉÂkĻÔ The Story of How Georgia Claimed the Peach By

Ğ ™ɀ;ĵˆy

Illustrations by Č¼­j› ¹š‹ĺ¬y²sķ

A

s a Georgian writing about

peaches for a Charleston-based magazine, I should start by acknowledging the obvious: The Peach State doesn’t have all that many peaches. As of the last agricultural census in 2012, Georgia had 12,318 acres of peach trees; South Carolina had 16,274, not quite 10 and 13 percent, respectively, of the nation’s total acreage, and well below California’s 51,948 acres, about 40 percent of U.S. total acreage. Last year, Georgia’s 39,000 tons paled next to South Carolina’s 69,000, both of which were dwarfed by California’s 559,000 tons. (Even if you fo-

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cus only on California’s fresh-market production, the state produced 253,000 tons, well over twice the combined production of South Carolina and Georgia.) Comedian (and South Carolinian) Stephen Colbert describes National Peach Month as “thirty days of simmering resentment because of the fraud perpetrated by the state of Georgia.” I’m not here to set the record straight, nor to defend Georgia as the true Peach State. I may be a Georgian, but I’m also a historian, which means my job is to complicate, to contextualize, to shade the bright glaring myths of the American past with the subtler tones of nuance. What explains the Georgia peach is history, though perhaps not the sort of history you’d expect. It’s not just that Georgians used to grow a lot of peaches, like Maryland used to export a lot of terrapins, or like Colorado used to be home to lots of bison. It’s that peaches emerged as a commercial crop at a particular historical moment. It’s a story, in other words, about timing.


From China to Georgia Peaches are not native to Georgia. Nor, despite the scientific name Prunus persica, do they come from Persia. Though, to be fair to the Europeans who gave the fruit its Latin moniker, peaches did come to Europe via Persia. Still, the “Chinese peach” is the world’s oldest and most dominant. There are ancient peach trees in China, perhaps as many as 1,000 years old (the average American tree is less than thirty years old), and the Chinese currently grow about three million acres of the fruit, almost two-thirds of the world’s total production. Peaches didn’t arrive in North America until the sixteenth century, when Spanish friars planted pits around their New World missions. It took only a few decades, however, for the fruit to be thoroughly naturalized. Jamestown settlers found them thriving on the Atlantic coast in the early 1600s. A century later, Englishman John Lawson praised the ease with which English settlers in Carolina could grow what he called “Indian peaches.” Though the Native Americans were not technically correct in claiming these peaches as their own, they may as well have been. During Lawson’s stay in Carolina from 1708 to 1709, he saw peaches fed to hogs, dried and pressed into cakes, baked into loaves, squeezed into a “quiddony,” or paste, barbecued over a fire, stewed in a pot, and fermented into vinegar. In addition to eating the fruit in all these ways, Native Americans used the bark and leaves and pits to treat skin diseases, fever, nausea, and parasites. At the same moment, on the other side of the continent, the Hopi taught the Navajo to cultivate the fruit, and Navajo peach orchards were still in cultivation as late as the 1970s in the Canyon de Chelly region of New Mexico. So we could, perhaps, speak of “the Carolina peach,” “the Chinese peach,” or the “Indian peach.” Instead, we have “the Georgia peach.” Why? To make a very long story absurdly short and ridiculously simple, the Georgia peach emerged in the half century between the Civil War and World War I for three reasons.

For a region long associated with a crop that was in turn associated with slavery, poverty, economic vulnerability, and environmental degradation, the new association with a sophisticated, beautiful orchard crop seemed like a godsend. THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

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T

MID -NINETEENTH century was a golden era of agricultural experimentation, yielding a staggering cornucopia of biological and culinary diversity. Horticulture—a capacious profession that included fruit growers, viticulturists, truck farmers, landscape designers, nurserymen, and garden clubbers—was at the forefront of these experiments, bringing together ancient landraces with striking novelties, studying both the native flora and importing plant material from all parts of the known world. They believed that the greatness of America—and, indeed, of human civilization itself—depended on their ability to fi nd, breed and ameliorate, and cultivate the right sort of plants. And for the sake of this “great cause,” they built an international correspondence network of societies, botanical gardens, plant explorations, nurseries, and farms. Thanks to this network, the plant explorer Robert Fortune discovered a large, yellow-fleshed peach from the region around Shanghai and sent it to Charles Downing of New York, who sent a seedling to an amateur horticulturist in Columbia, South Carolina, who in turn shared it with a Macon, Georgia, banker. This “Chinese Cling” peach, as they called it, became the genetic foundation of the modern commercial peach industry. Plant scientists today call it the “second wave of peach introduction.” In the 1870s, a few miles south of Macon in Marshallville, Georgia, a young man named Samuel Henry Rumph planted some Chinese Cling in his experimental orchard along with a number of other varieties. A few years later, Rumph discovered a chance seedling that produced large, fi rm, yellow freestone fruit. He christened the variety “Elberta,” after his wife, and it went on to become one of the most dominant fruit varieties of all time, thanks in part to this international network of horticulturists who quickly disseminated (and praised) the cultivar. More Elberta trees grew in the U.S. in the early twentieth century than any other fruit variety; forty percent of Georgia’s production during the peach boom years of 1910 to 1930 were Elberta peaches; by 1925, it was the most widely grown peach in every state but California. To this day, though few commercial operations grow it any longer (its skin is fuzzier and its flesh stringier than most HE

76

contemporary cultivars), it’s one of the few varieties that consumers know by name. The horticulturists’ dream was a South of exquisite gardens, lush orchards, and picturesque vineyards. With the Elberta, they achieved a small part of that dream. Orchards went in all over Georgia in the late nineteenth century; by 1925 there were five times as many trees as there had been in 1890, and nearly 93,000 farms reported orchards. “Peach is now queen in Georgia,” the newspaperman John T. Boifeuillet wrote in the Atlanta Constitution in 1896. “With her coming, burdens of adversity vanish like mists before the rising sun.”

Sweet Spot of Commerce If horticulturists like Rumph made the commercial peach possible, it was in the context of the cotton South that the fruit became meaningful. With the advent of successful peach cultivation, Georgia seemed to be the fi rst state in the Cotton Belt to break with cotton monoculture, which had expanded rapidly in the wake of the Civil War. The South grew close to three times as much cotton in 1900 as it had in 1860, and grew much less of its own food (corn and hog production in 1880 was half what it was in 1860). And cotton production was not producing the dramatic wealth it had in the antebellum period. By the early twentieth century, to many observers, the South seemed a singularly ugly and uncivilized place. Georgia was “crass, gross, vulgar and obnoxious,” Baltimore journalist H.L. Mencken wrote in 1917; the South as a whole exhibited a “unanimous torpor and doltishness” and a “curious and almost pathological estrangement from everything that makes for a civilized culture.”

I

n this context, to call Prunus persica “Queen Peach” was not just a clever personification but a throne-usurping challenge to “King Cotton.” And for a region long associated with a crop that was in turn associated with slavery, poverty, economic vulnerability, and environmental degradation, the new association with a sophisticated, beautiful orchard crop seemed like a godsend. But of course these beautiful sophisticated orchards, oases in the midst of aesthetic and civilizational deserts, also needed to be profitable. Peaches boomed in Georgia thanks to the

Peaches boomed in Georgia thanks to the state’s newfound connection, via refrigerated railroad cars, to the great produce markets of the Eastern Seaboard, especially New York City

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


state’s newfound connection, via refrigerated railroad cars, to the great produce markets of the eastern seaboard, especially New York City. And it was a Connecticut Yankee rather than a Georgia boy who set a new standard for marketing success. John Howard Hale, of South Glastonbury, Connecticut, had earned his horticultural stripes raising strawberries and peaches on the hilly land outside of Hartford. In 1890, while working for the USDA’s Agricultural Census, in a special survey of the nation’s horticultural resources, he had a firsthand look at some of the most famous “garden spots” in American history: California oranges and roses, Washington apples, Idaho potatoes. But little Fort Valley, Georgia, really got him worked up: “I just lost my head when I got in that section of Georgia,” he said later. He pulled together financing to buy up a thousand acres, then another thousand, creating a peach farm that was one of the largest in the world.

W

hat Hale grasped when he arrived in Fort Valley is that these Georgia peaches enjoyed the “natural” advantage of being the first summer fruit in the northern markets. Imagine being stuck in New York eating sauerkraut and turnips and brown bread all winter, and you can see what a relief the summer fruit season must have been–especially if it could start a month earlier–and why the first fruit of the season typically commanded the highest prices. At the time, you couldn’t grow peaches commercially much further south due to the fruit’s need for cold winter temperatures, so middle Georgia peach growers would always be the first on the market, and could easily supersede New Jersey and Maryland in the northern markets, especially as those mid-Atlantic orchards were in the midst of a debilitating viral infection called “the yellows.” But Hale and other fruit growers also recognized that it was not just the natural resources of the South that made profitable fruit cultivation a possibility, but the human resources as

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY2016 FEBRUARY 2016

Orchards went in all over Georgia in the late nineteenth century; by 1925 there were five times as many trees as there had been in 1890, and nearly 93,000 farms reported orchards. “Peach is now queen in Georgia,” the newspaperman John T. Boifeuillet wrote in the Atlanta Constitution in 1896. “With her coming, burdens of adversity vanish like mists before the rising sun.” well. He gave talks to northern audiences illustrated by lantern slides of his massive orchards and packing sheds, his “peach hotels,” his outdoor cafeterias, and, above all, his workers.

Peaches Paid This brings me to my last point. Perishable fruit like peaches are a uniquely labor-intensive crop. Even today, in an age of labor-saving (or labordiscarding) innovation, the peach harvest is completely dependent on human hands. And the fact that peaches rot within days of harvest means that growers need an enormous quantity of manual labor for a very short period of time—a few months at most. In California, where a range of perishable crops thrived, migrant workers had almost year-round employment, moving from crop to crop: lettuce, celery, strawberries, avocados, peaches, citrus, hops, grapes, almonds. In Georgia, where only peaches had broad staying power, the harvest depended on a rural population with few other options. As it happened, peach season meshed serendipitously with cotton season: prune peaches,

plant cotton, thin peaches, chop cotton, harvest peaches, harvest cotton. In a region where relatively little cash changed hands, even at “settling up” time when the cotton was ginned, peach work could be enormously attractive: paid in cash, at the time of the work, in a moment of acute poverty. A Wall Street Journal reporter found in 1912 that the peach industry (along with watermelon and asparagus) contributed close to five million dollars to the middle Georgia economy in just six weeks. For Nick Strickland, whose father owned a hardware store in Fort Valley, it seemed that the peach harvest sustained the dry-goods economy of the entire town: “During peach season, when those people came into town, they had money in their pockets…they spent every damn cent of it,” Strickland remembered in 2009. “Someone been smokin’ a pack of cigarettes,” Strickland explained, “peach season get here, he smokes two packs.”

A

s long as Southern cotton production was labor intensive—and in most places, workers continued to harvest cotton by hand into the 1950s—peach growers had a reliable source of workers. When that labor source began to dry up in the latter half of the twentieth century, either because workers had better opportunities in cities or because they were no longer willing to do field labor for white overseers, growers began to cast about for other sources of cheap labor: schoolchildren, German and Italian POWs during World War II, West Indian migrants, and most recently, Mexican guestworkers under the federal H2A program. A lot of the rhetoric surrounding the peach suggests that Prunus persica just naturally grows in the South. That’s true, to an extent. But the fruit is not really more suited to the South than anywhere else in the temperate world. Talk peaches with folks from other places, and you’ll find those who defend Palisade peaches from Colorado, or Great Lakes peaches from Michigan, or honey nectar peaches from Shanghai. No, the Georgia peach was made—by the horticulturists who studied and bred it, by the marketers who sought and sold it, by the workers who plucked and packed it. It was a creation, in short, of history. And this history is worth remembering the next time someone calls the Georgia peach a fraud, or defends the Georgia peach as the only genuine article. Peaches belong to Georgia only because peaches belong to time.

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HOOKED ON

FISHER’S

In South Alabama, Chef Bill Briand Can’t Get Enough of the Gulf’s Bounty

BY MAGGIE WHITE PHOTOS BY TODD DOUGL AS


CHEF BILL BRIAND AND THE HOOK-AND-COOK OF THE DAY


W

E DO IT A BIT BETTER THAN MOST

people,” says Chef Bill Briand about the “hook-and-cook” program he runs through his Alabama waterside restaurant, Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina. This seemingly risky restaurant offering, where customers can hop off of chartered fishing boats that have docked at the marina and march right into Fisher’s— no matter how busy the kitchen may be at the

moment—to have their freshly caught prizes prepped and served, is exemplary of the chefsas-adrenaline-junkies stereotype. “It’s almost

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always when we are busy as all hell that a ton of people come in with their fish. But my guys and I love it. We do it all summer. It’s nuts…and really fun.” Though many people just want their catches blackened, grilled, or fried, Bill and his team are happiest when diners hand over their sea booty accompanied by those three magical words: “Whatever you want.” For Briand, who cut his teeth in New Orleans, working first for Emeril Lagasse and then for the well-reputed Link Restaurant Group (Donald Link’s restaurants include Pêche, Herbsaint, and Cochon), moving to the big fishing town that is Orange Beach came by way of family. Through his brother’s wife’s brother, Briand was introduced to Johnny Fisher, a Mobile, Alabama, native known for opening New Orleans’ House of Blues. In late 2012, Fisher invited him to the Oyster Cook-off event at the Hangout, an annual Gulf Shore festival illustrative of how well the sea and her bounty are celebrated in these parts. While in town, Johnny showed him the shell of the space that would be-

come Fisher’s. It was a quick decision. Briand and Fisher immediately got to work on articulating what they both wanted in a restaurant. “We decided to create a ‘beautiful beach house’ kind of feel, to juxtapose with the fried seafood places that are all over the place down here,” says Briand. Also of utmost importance to the pair was that they worked as much as possible with local fishmongers and purveyors. To their delight, that seemed to be a priority of their customers too. “People here want to eat seafood, and they want to eat a lot of it. More and more, our diners want to know where things come from, so we bring in local fishermen and oystermen and have them talk to our staff who can then tell our diners about what they are eating.” In the summer high season, the two restaurants under Fisher’s (Upstairs and Dockside) draw about 2,000 diners daily, most of whom are eager to try whatever delicious dishes Briand has happened to work up—whether his inspiration came from a backyard grilling session with buddies, arose from local tradition, or developed from a passing request made by a local. “You’ve got your old-school diners who will always want a filet mignon and you can’t change that. But most people will try anything. We can even get them to eat raw fish,” he says, clearly pleased. And of course, Bri-

“It’s almost always when we are busy as all hell that a ton of people come in with their fish. But my guys and I love it. We do it all summer. It’s nuts… and really fun.” and can get them to eat what they caught themselves too, provided their fisherman’s confidence doesn’t fly into high gear before the fish finds its way into the chefs hands. “The only problems we have with the hook-and-cook program are when inexperienced people attempt to clean and fillet their fish themselves and it comes in all chopped up, just a mess,” he says, almost ruefully. Then that chef adrenaline kicks in. “But we always figure it out. We always make it great.”

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


Since freshness of the fish is so important when it comes to ceviche, make ceviche when YOU caught the fish. I use grouper because it’s what I have access to right now, but you could do pretty much any white fish here— use flounder, red snapper, halibut.

ALABAMA SHRIMP AND GROUPER CEVICHE (RECIPE PAGE 83)


As for the pasta, I still recommend using egg noodles, even if you don’t want to make your own. The yellow color looks really bright and beautiful, but it also tastes great with this dish.


Alabama Shrimp and Grouper Ceviche

lemon juice, salt and, pepper. Set aside to cool completely. 5. Prepare broiler on low. 6. Place 1/2 tablespoon of cold butter mixture on each oyster. 7. Broil until oysters begin to curl (can also grill if preferred) and serve immediately.

Ceviche 3/4 pound grouper, diced 3/4

cup red wine vinegar 3 lemons, juiced 10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 cup diced watermelon 1 cup diced cucumber 1/4 cup diced red onion 1 jalapeño, minced 1/4 cup chiffonade cilantro 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika 1 tablespoon cumin 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon kosher salt Cumin Crackers, for serving (recipe page 109)

Yield: 4 servings

Cedar Key Clams Pancetta Pasta

Shrimp Poaching Liquid 1/2 gallon water

6 lemons, halved 2 oranges, halved 2 onions quartered 1 head garlic, halved 6 bay leaves 3 tablespoons salt 1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce 1 teaspoon cayenne 1/4 cup seafood boil seasoning, such as Zatarain’s or Old Bay 1. Combine grouper with vinegar and lemon juice in shallow bowl. Cover, refrigerate, and allow acids to “cook” grouper for about 30 minutes. 2. While grouper is in refrigerator, poach shrimp by bringing all poaching liquid ingredients to simmer in stockpot. Add shrimp, and simmer, uncovered, until pink and tails curl (2 to 5 minutes, depending on size of shrimp). Cool immediately. 3. Chop cooled poached shrimp. Add to large mixing bowl. Mix in grouper, all remaining ceviche ingredients, and serve immediately with Cumin Crackers. Yield: 8 servings

Oysters Earle 1 packed cup garlic cloves, peeled 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil 1 bunch leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped 2 pounds unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

ALABAMA WEST INDIES CRAB SALAD (RECIPE PAGE 109)

3 dozen oysters on half shell 1 lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon pepper 1. Confit garlic cloves by covering in oil in saucepan and simmering on low until soft, about 1 hour. You do not want to brown garlic. Strain, reserving both oil and garlic cloves. 2. In same saucepan, cover leeks with garlic oil and simmer until soft. 3. In food processor, purée leeks and garlic cloves until smooth. Cool slightly. 4. Mix garlic and leeks with butter. Add

Any littleneck clams will do for this recipe. We just want to source as locally as we can and Cedar Key grows clams here in Florida. It’s always better to know where all your fish is coming from. 3 pounds clams, washed 2 bulbs fennel, sliced 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 1 cup diced pancetta 1/2 cup white wine 2 cups English peas 1 batch Pappardelle Pasta (recipe page 109) 3 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Toss fennel with 1 tablespoon oil, season, and lay on sheet pan. Roast for about 7 minutes or until golden brown. 3. Render pancetta in sauté pan set over medium heat until crispy. Remove from fat, and leave to drain on paper towel. 4. In large sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add clams and rendered pancetta, then deglaze with wine. Cover and steam until clams open. 5. Remove lid, add fennel, peas, and prepared Pappardelle. Once pasta is hot, add butter and stir. Finish with salt and pepper. Yield: 4 servings

83


As for the pasta, I still recommend using egg noodles, even if you don’t want to make your own. The yellow color looks really bright and beautiful, but it also tastes great with this dish.

CEDAR KEY CLAMS PANCETTA PASTA (RECIPE PAGE 83)


Salsa verde is probably my favorite sauce in the world; it’s super garlicky and herbaceous. I would like to put it on everything, but it goes especially well with this snapper.

GRILLED WHOLE GULF SNAPPER WITH SALSA VERDE (RECIPE PAGE 110)


chef William Dissen and cookbook author Sheri Castle Take on a Salad challenge with the best of this summer's ingredients by SH ERI CASTLE AN D WI LLIAM DISSEN

chef vs. cook

DISSEN’S AVOCADO TARTINE (RECIPE PAGE 88)

photographs by JOH N NY AUTRY


‘‘

he said... n sweltering summer evenings, cooks in the South welcome ways to conquer dinner without overheating the kitchen. Chef William Dissen of The Market Place restaurant in Asheville and food writer Sheri Castle of Chapel Hill teamed up to take on that challenge by creating four summer salads that make a satisfying meal. Dissen is known for his seasonal-driven menu: think wild nettle cavatelli, roasted morel mushrooms, Benton's bacon lardons, and beurre monte. Castle has a knack for transforming and translating chef recipes into streamlined versions suited for busy home cooks of any skill level. As the author of several cookbooks, including a hefty 2011 tome titled The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Farm Boxes, Castle also enjoys helping her readers make the most of fresh produce. Their approach was for Dissen to create four recipes in his restaurant, and then Castle would tackle them solo in her home kitchen. Perhaps the most notable difference between chef-driven cooking for a whitetablecloth restaurant and home cooking intended for the family table is hands: the ingredients kept at hand and the number of hands involved in the preparation. Restaurants have enviable ingredients with even more enviable contributions from sous chefs, prep staffs, DQGGLVKZDVKHUV+RPHFRRNVFDQDOVRƓQGH[FHOOHQW ingredients, but they are often on their own for cooking and cleaning up, so each component, step, and dirty dish counts. In deciding how to streamline and simplify a chef recipe, Castle stresses the importance of determining which components are inviolable. If an ingredient or a technique forms the heart and soul of the dish, you can’t omit or change it to the point it is are no longer effective or recognizable. There’s a difference between taking a shortcut and running a recipe off into the ditch.

What’s a tartine? Really, it’s just a fancy word for ‘toast,’ but for me it’s a quick lunch‌because who doesn’t like a little runny egg yolk on their toast?â€?

CASTLE’S AVOCADO TOAST (RECIPE PAGE 111)

Both Dissen and Castle agree that no matter the ingredient, quality matters much. Choose items in the best form available at the time, which doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necesVDULO\ PHDQ WKH PRVW H[SHQVLYH :KHWKHU FRRNLQJ IRU HOHJDQFHDQGLQGXOJHQFHRUHFRQRP\DQGH[SHGLHQF\ itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nearly impossible to cook your way out of the slough RI EDG JURFHULHV <RX FDQ WXUQ D SLJĹ?V HDU LQWR D Ć&#x201C;QH sandwich, but a sowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ear will never be a silk purse.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;

she said...

Instead of frying impossibly cute (and nearly impossible to ďŹ nd) quail eggs, I prepared familiar sunnyside-up eggs.

87


‘‘

Toast and tartine preparations are all the rage these days. At The Market Place, we make an “everything” spice seeded bread

we crisp up in a cast iron pan and slather with a fresh he that avocado spread. We top it off with sunnyside-up quail eggs from Farms. We then layer pickled red onions to cut said... Manchester through the richness of the avocado and eggs, a peppery

AVOCADO TARTINE (Pictured page 86) 12 quail eggs 2 tablespoons blended oil* Kosher salt to taste Cracked black pepper to taste Everything Ciabatta (recipe follows) Avocado (recipe follows) For Garnish: 3 radishes, shaved thin Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows) 1 cup pea greens ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1. Heat oil in a large non stick pan over medium heat. 2. Gently crack quail eggs into preheated pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook sunnyside-up until eggs are coagulated, but yolks are still soft. Reserve. 3. To assemble, preheat oven to 500 degrees. 4. Slice Everything Ciabatta on the bias and brush with olive oil. Place into oven, and toast until lightly golden on cut side. 5. Place bread onto a plate and smear avocado mixture evenly across ciabatta. Place 3 quail eggs across top of avocado. 6. Toss sliced radish in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 7. Place sliced radish, pickled red onion rings, and pea shoots across top of quail eggs. 8. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil across the top of each tartine and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Serve immediately. * Dissen uses a blend of olive and vegetable oils

bite of shaved radish, for crunch, and pea greens to finish.”

Everything Ciabatta 1¼ teaspoons dry yeast 4 ¾ tablespoons cold milk 2 cups cold water 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil 1.6 pounds high-gluten flour* 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt 2½ tablespoons black and white sesame seeds (50/50) 2½ tablespoons poppy seeds 2½ tablespoons sunflower seeds ½ cup egg wash ¼ cup Everything Spice (see recipe)

Pickled Red Onions 1 red onion, sliced thin ½ cup sugar 1 /3 cup salt ½ cup white wine vinegar ½ cup water ½ teaspoon pickling spice

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl of an electric mixer with dough hook attachment, and mix on low speed to dissolve yeast. 2. Add flour and salt, and continue to mix on low speed until ingredients are combined. 3. Increase speed to medium, and mix until dough separates from bowl, and begins to climb dough hook. 4. Immediately place dough into a large, oiled container. Cover dough with parchment paper and place a lid over container. Keep overnight in refrigerator. 5. The next day, place dough out at room temperature to double in volume. 6. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. 7. Cut dough into 5½-ounce portions and place on a parchment-lined sheet tray. 8. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle with Everything Spice. 9. Place in oven and bake until bread begins to brown, and sounds hollow when tapped.

Avocado 2 avocados 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt to taste Cracked black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons chopped basil

1. Slice red onions and place into a container with lid. 2. Place remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. 3. Immediately pour pickling solution over red onions, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Reserve.

1. Cut avocado in half, remove seed, and scoop out flesh into a small bowl. 2. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and lemon juice, and stir until chunky, but all ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Reserve. Yield: 4 servings

*King Arthur makes high-gluten flour. Source at kingarthur.com

I kept the pickled onions and fresh sugar snaps and radishes,

she said...

taking advantage of the pert, tasty greens that come attached to fresh radishes, especially the fancier types. William’s homemade Everything Ciabatta bread is delicious, but it requires both time and bread baking prowess, so I bought a loaf of high-quality ciabatta and mimicked the flavor and crunch of his seasoning by sprinkling the seed mixture over the top of the salad.


I like to balance the dish with some tang so we use

pickled rhubarb to add some zing...

asparagus

ROASTED ASPARAGUS, WITH GREEN GODDESS DRESSING AND PICKLED RHUBARB (RECIPE PAGE 112)


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;

rhubarb I was thrilled when

William decided to add tangy rhubarb to the mix. His decision to pickle the rhubarb is wise; it keeps the

she said... rhubarb crisp and also balances

the richness of prosciutto and egg. Rather than blend the Green Goddess dressing in a small appliance, I stirred together the ingredients. I cooked the prosciutto and bread together in a skillet to make croutons, and then used the same skillet to roast the

asparagus in a screaming hot oven until sizzling, to approximate grilling.

With every bite, the runny yolk blends with the ham fat, the earthy herbs, and

vinegary tang of the rhubarb brine to taste like a fancy French sauce. 90

ROASTED ASPARAGUS AND RHUBARB RELISH WITH A CREAMY HERB DRESSING (RECIPE PAGE 112)

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


HEIRLOOM TOMATO PANZANELLA (RECIPE PAGE 113)

the English pea

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;

he said...

Around the same time tomatoes are coming in, a variety of fresh peas are abundant. Adding English peas to a simple basil pesto transforms it to another level. My friend Dave Bauer, from Farm & Sparrow bakery and mill, has been sourcing and milling a variety of great heirloom corn that we use for cornbread. We transform the cornbread into croutons for a nice crisp texture and use hand-pulled fresh mozzarella to add a layer of richness, and charred shallots for a smoky addition.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

91


panzanella ‘‘ she said...

Panzanella is traditionally made with leftover Italian yeast bread, but it’s delightfully Southern to use cornbread instead. This is my favorite cornbread recipe: skillet-born, sugar-free, and bacon-blessed, made with freshly stone-ground cornmeal.

HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND CORNBREAD PANZANELLA

1 pound miniature heirloom tomatoes, halved Aged Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe follows) 1 pound marinated celigene mozzarella balls 4 cups cornbread cubes (recipe follows) 1 cup fresh or thawed baby green peas 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced ½ cup (1 ounce) lightly packed whole basil leaves Salt and pepper to taste 1 ounce shaved Parmesan

1. Add miniature tomatoes to vinaigrette and let stand 5 minutes, stirring gently from time to time. 2. Drain and reserve remaining oil from mozzarella, and add cheese to tomatoes. 3. Add cornbread cubes and toss to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. The outside of the cornbread cubes should be moist, but not soggy. If mixture seems dry, add a little more oil from mozzarella. 4. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook only until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and set their color. Drain and pat dry. 5. Divide tomato slices among serving plates. Tuck basil leaves among slices. 6. Stir peas into miniature tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve. Cornbread 4 tablespoons bacon fat 1½ cups coarse stone-ground cornmeal ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 large egg 1½ cups buttermilk, well-shaken

1. Put fat in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven as it preheats to 450 degrees. 2. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the cornmeal mixture and pour in egg mixture. Stir only until blended. 4. Remove skillet from the oven. Pour batter into hot skillet, and bake until cornbread is firm in the middle and golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. 5. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. 6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 7. Cut enough cornbread into 1-inch cubes to measure four cups. Save remaining for another use. 8. Spread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cubes are dry and lightly browned along the edges. Let cool. Aged Sherry Vinaigrette ½ cup oil drained from the marinated celigene mozzarella or olive oil 3 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar 2 tablespoons minced shallot 1 garlic clove, minced 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon honey Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Whisk together all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Yield: 4 servings

If the tomatoes are not delicious, a panzanella will not be either,

no matter what else goes into the bowl.


peaches

Peaches epitomize summer. How can we make them any better?

Wrap them in Benton’s country ham and roast them in a cast-iron pan. TENNESSEE HAM-WRAPPED PEACHES (RECIPE PAGE 113)

‘‘

he said... 94

For good measure we’ll put some of Matt Jamie’s Bourbon Barrel maple syrup over the top of the peaches and serve it with creamy stracciatella (the creamy filling in burrata). This is a meal in itself, but I like to add a lemony bite of red ribbon sorrel greens, and some candied and crumbled hazelnuts for crunch. Round it out with some Georgia Olive Farms olive oil and you’ve got yourself

one hell of a summer salad. THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


she said...

‘‘

Sweet, juicy peach slices wrapped in a cummerbund of ham and cooked until crisp is one the finest flavor combinations found in summer, so I saw no reason to mess with it. William uses a delicious but persnickety technique of boiling, stretching, and shredding fresh mozzarella curds to create a creamy product known as stracciatella. Its consistency

is similar to fresh ricotta, so that’s what I used. To lend the bright flavor found in his Red Ribbon sorrel,

I added plenty of fruity Meyer lemon zest to the ricotta and added the lemon pulp to the salad. If you cannot find Bourbon Barrel maple syrup, look for Grade B maple syrup. It has a deeper, richer flavor than other grades. My favorite part of my salad is the candied maple hazelnuts. They are lightning quick to make, and fully addictive. I suggest making at least three times more than needed so that you can succumb to snacking and still have some left for the salad.

PEACHES IN PROSCIUTTO OVER LEMONY RICOTA AND HERB SALAD (RECIPE PAGE 114)


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Flip this Fish TO TRULY SAVOR A GREAT CATCH, STOCK YOUR KITCHEN WITH A FISH SPATULA Even the savviest of cooks are familiar with the distinct frustration of a crackled and burnt fish skin sticking to the pan (yes, even those “nonstick” ones), the dismay of a delicate fillet separating into loose pieces as it comes off of the pan. As simple as it seems, the fish spatula, also known as the fish turner or fish slice, can change the tide when it comes to a successful stovetop session. These seemingly basic devices are prized for their usefulness not only for turning fish while avoiding disheartening destruction, but for myriad other tasks: the blade is longer and more flexible than other spatulas and the characteristic slots make it easier to slide under food and drain grease.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: BED BATH & BEYOND; MTC KITCHEN; WILLIAMS-SONOMA

ACCESSORIES DE-BONING LIKE A PRO: Remove tiny bones from fish with these specially designed tweezers. jbprince.com

UNIQUELY USEFUL

Due to its length and flexibility, the fish spatula has proven useful for more than just turning piscine palatables. Its design makes it extremely versatile in the kitchen.

1 2

No more scales. Use the long edge of the fish spatula to cleanly separate fish from skin and enjoy perfectly presentable perch. Burgers and more. It may be called a fish spatula, but that doesn’t mean its usefulness is exclusive: this tool is perfect for flipping any meat you can think of, as well as grilled vegetables.

3 4

Go for breakfast. The fish spatula is more effective than any other tool for handling delicate foodstuffs like pancakes and eggs. Lasagna-lifting. The longer, sturdier build of the fish spatula means you can lift out portions of casseroles and baked pastas without the worry of it sliding off onto the floor.

TAKE NOTE: MAKE A CLEAN CUT: Process your fresh catch with the precision of a chef. A filleting knife allows for re flexibility and control. wusthof.com

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

SPECIALTY SPATULAS ARE MADE FOR LEFTY COOKS. 97


the culinary class

Sirens of Summer You Say Tomatoes, We Say Pie

PHOTOS BY JONATHAN BONCEK

A

TASTE OF SUMMER, TOMATO PIE

is a Southern staple that celebrates “the sun-ripened sirens of summer,” as the late food writer John Egerton once described the succulent fruit. From whimsically named heirlooms like Brandywine, Mr. Stripey, and Green Zebra, to smaller varieties—call them cherry tomatoes or tommy toes—by this

98

time of year, tomatoes are growing like crazy in gardens across the South. A traditional tomato pie is prepared by layering vine-ripened tomatoes with a mayonnaise and cheese mixture in a pre-baked pie shell. Fresh herbs, typically basil, brighten each layer and cut through the rich filling. Pile the pie with the tomatoes of your choosing. Red tomatoes have a higher acidity, while yellow tomatoes have more sugar. Pink are a blend of acid and sweet, and purple are sweet with an earthy flavor. Green tomatoes are firm and sour. A few tips: For easy peeling, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, then plunge into an ice bath. This helps the skins peel off in a flash. After slicing, drain tomatoes on a wire rack lined with paper towels, so even the juiciest of Cherokee Purples won’t leave your pie crust soggy. To elevate the presentation, opt for a tart-style dish, as we’ve done here. Want to amp up the flavor? Consider adding pancetta, smoked Gruyère, or goat cheese. And take your pick of fresh herbs—basil, chives, rosemary, and thyme are all good choices.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


TLP’s Tomato Pie Filling

4-5 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced 1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 /2 cup chopped onions, sautéed

2 teaspoons granulated garlic, sautéed with onions 3 eggs 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese Salt and pepper to taste

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1

2 SCORE AND CORE Remove tomato cores with a sharp paring knife. On opposite end, score an “X” in tomato skin.

4

3 TAKE THE PLUNGE Using a slotted spoon, plunge tomatoes into a pot of boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds, until skins are just loosened. Transfer blanched tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

6

5 HIGH AND DRY Place tomato slices onto a wire rack lined with paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let drain for 30 minutes. This technique removes excess liquid while keeping tomatoes flavorful.

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

PEEL OUT Once tomatoes are cool, peel them by sliding a paring knife under skin and lifting, starting at the “X.” Be careful not to cut tomato flesh. After peeling, slice tomatoes into ¼-inch slices.

FILL’ER UP To make filling: Fold together all ingredients except for tomatoes, and spoon into a pre-baked pie crust or tart shell.

MAKE YOUR ARRANGEMENTS Arrange tomatoes on top, and bake in a 350-degree oven until filling has set, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with herbs.

99


EATYMOLOGY

Blueberry Buckle PHOTOS BY LESLIE RYANN MCKELLAR

[blü-ber-ē bə-kəl] n: a baked dessert distinguished by its cakey texture and streusel topping BLUEBERRY BUCKLE likely arrived in America as a glint in the colonists’ eyes. Hankering for a taste of home—steamed puddings, mince pies, fools, flummeries, lardy cake—the new arrivals made do with what was THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016 NOVEMBER 2015

at hand. And come summertime in New England, that meant a bumper crop of wild blueberries, native to North America. Originally served as a main course, buckles evolved into dessert during the nineteenth century. While other summer fruit desserts like crumbles, crisps, and cobblers involve oats, breadcrumbs, or biscuits, buckles take a hard turn toward cake (James Beard maintained that buckles and grunts are one and the same). But just like their crunchier cousins, they can be made in a snap by tossing fruit into a simple cake batter and topping it with streusel, not unlike a coffee cake. Here, Chef Adam Hayes from Lonesome Valley’s Canyon Kitchen in Sapphire, North Carolina, takes the classic a step further by folding goat cheese into the batter, adding a tangy note to foil the sweetness of the berries and brushing it with a lemon-honey glaze. We’ll take that over lardy cake any day. —Samantha Connors

101


BLUEBERRY AND GOAT CHEESE BUCKLE WITH HONEY GLAZE FROM EXECUTIVE CHEF ADAM HAYES OF CANYON KITCHEN IN SAPPHIRE, NORTH CAROLINA ½ cup unsalted butter ¾ cup granulated sugar 1 egg 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ cup milk ½ cups fresh blueberries ¼ cup goat cheese Crumb topping (recipe follows) Glaze (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 2. Using stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. 3. Add egg to bowl with butter and sugar, and mix until incorporated. 4. Sift baking powder, salt, and flour together in medium bowl. 5. Add half of dry ingredients to butter and sugar, and mix until combined. 6. Slowly add milk to butter mixture while mixing. Once milk is incorporated, add remaining dry ingredients, and mix until thoroughly combined. 7. Crumble goat cheese into blueberries, and fold into buckle batter. 8. Spread batter into greased 8-inch square pan. 9. Sprinkle crumb topping over batter, and bake until toothpick comes out clean, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. 10. Gently brush warm glaze over hot buckle. Let cool. Crumb Topping ½ cup unsalted butter 1 cup light brown sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup oats 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Cut butter into small cubes and bring to room temperature. 2. Combine all ingredients, and mix using a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Do not overmix. Glaze ¼ cup honey 2 teaspoons lemon juice Pour ingredients into small pot over low heat. Bring mixture to a boil, and remove from heat.

102

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


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EVENTS CALENDAR

J U N E + J U LY

Travel, Eat, Repeat A Taste of Southern Culinary Events

2-5

ATLANTA FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL Atlanta, GA Enjoy a weekend full of tasting tents, special events, and classes. Embark on the ultimate food and spirits road trip Thursday night at Destination Delicious sponsored by TLP, where guests wander through chef creations, libations, and iconic Southern destinations. atlfoodandwinefestival.com

GEORGIA BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL Alma, GA Bacon County is the heart of Georgia’s blueberry crop, so it’s a fitting site for the annual Georgia Blueberry Festival. Events include pie-eating contests, blueberry recipe cook-offs, a blueberry pancake breakfast, and a Miss Blueberry Pageant. What’s better than blueberries in Bacon in June? georgiablueberryfestival.org

3-4

SAVOR Washington, DC A must-attend for American craft beer aficionados, SAVOR taps the beer and food pairing expertise of Brewers Association Executive Chef Adam Dulye for its menu, which features 55 plates and more than 100 beers from 76 diverse breweries. Set in the Romanesque-style National Building Museum. savorcraftbeer.com

3-5

FARM TO FORK Durham, NC A weekend farm celebration with education. Highlights include performances by Grammy-nominated musicians and a five-course dinner co-hosted by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing and former White House chef Sam Kass. farmtoforknc.com

4

NOT TO BE MISSED KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR

14-19

LOUISVILLE, KY The only bourbon event hosted by the bourbon distilleries themselves, which makes for a unique and specialized affair that appeals to amateurs and connoisseurs alike. Celebrating its third year, the Kentucky Bourbon Affair has joined with Whiskey Live to offer samples of the best international whiskies. The schedule of events includes tastings, serious workshops, and fun exhibitions like Anatomy Academy: Men, Women, and Bourbon, which explore palates and preferences by gender. kybourbonaffair.com

104

TASTE OF THREE CITIES Baltimore, MD The Taste of Three Cities Festival highlights the talents of the region’s street chefs and showcases the food truck revolution’s effect on urban renewal and sustainability. The event is held in Patterson Park and features fare from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, Red Hook Lobster, Baron Von Schwein, GrrChe, Midnite Confection’s Cupcakery, and more. tasteof3cities.com

4-5

VINTAGE VIRGINIA Centreville, VA Now in its 35th year, Vintage Virginia annually offers a chance to sample from some of Virginia’s favorite vineyards, including Rosemont, Rockbridge, and Jefferson. Food provided by local restaurants and DC food trucks. Plus, Cooking Kitchen offers handson demonstrations and pairing recommendations. vintagevirginia.com

SAVOR

8

CARNEVALE DI CHARLESTON Charleston, SC Embrace the colorful spirit of Carnevale and salute 40 years of Sploleto at one of the best festive culinary parties. A must-do for lovers of vibrant music, global flavors, and social merriment. thelocalpalate.com/ events/carnevale-di-charleston

9-12

SOUTHERN GROWN Sea Island, GA / St. Simons Island, GA Grammy-award winning artists Jason Isbell and Tedeschi Trucks Band join New Orleans ensemble Dumpstaphunk for a weekend of culinary showcasing by celebrated chefs Kenny Gilbert, Tom Gray, and more. southerngrown.com

invited to join professionals from the industry in this educational and networking event. Highlights include workshops from Drink Innovations Labs and exhibitions on everything from using an espresso machine to understanding matcha. Campfire Café sessions provide fast tips for industry professionals. S’mores optional. coffeefest.com

10-11

BLUE RIDGE BBQ & MUSIC FESTIVAL Tryon, NC If delicious pulled pork and smoked brisket aren’t enough to whet your appetite, entertainment and activities abound at one of the most popular barbecue events in the country. The festival features headlining musicians, offers crafts and artwork from local vendors, and plays host to the North Carolina State Barbecue Championship. blueridgebbqfestival.com

10-12

COFFEE FEST Dallas, TX Coffee and tea enthusiasts are

BLUE RIDGE BBQ & MUSIC FESTIVAL

11

BEER CHEESE FESTIVAL Winchester, KY Now in its eighth year, the Beer Cheese Festival invites visitors to sample and vote on their favorite version of this spreadable Kentucky product that, of course, pairs well with good ale. The event also features arts and crafts from selected local vendors and boasts more than 12,000 attendees each year. beercheesefestival.com

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

PHOTOS LEFT TO RIGHT: COURTESY OF KENTUCKY DISTILLERS' ASSOCIATION; BREWERS ASSOCIATION; BLUE RIDGE BBQ FESTIVAL

3-4

J UNE


11

UNTAPPED Fort Worth, TX Stake your spot at Panther Island Pavilion to sample more than 300 beers from 70 Texas breweries and catch performances by David Ramirez, Rayland Baxter, and Grupo Fantasmo among others. Pair Lone Star State brews with food from local eateries. untapped-festival.com

18

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: COURTESY OF KENTUCKY DISTILLERS' ASSOCIATION; TASTE OF MUSIC CITY

LAVENDER FESTIVAL Oak Ridge, TN The annual Lavender Festival set in historic Jackson Square invites visitors to celebrate herbs, healthful food, and art. Live music provides the backdrop for the event where local farmers and artisans offer everything from handpicked herbs (including lavender, of course) to homemade jams, handcrafted furniture, and original paintings. jacksonsquarelavenderfestival.org

18

TASTE OF MUSIC CITY Nashville, TN Dig into Nashville at its biggest food and drink festival, Taste of Music City, held in Public Square Park. The event features the culinary talents of local chefs and the musical stylings of vocalist Kayla Woodson, Ben Sturgell, and DJ KO. An all-inclusive ticket provides unlimited food and beverage tastings. tasteofmusiccity.com

KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR

love our veggies. Live music, demonstrations, workshops, and food offerings make for a genuinely enjoyable celebration of healthy eating. veggiefest.org

JU LY

5-10

FLEUR DELICIOUS WEEKEND Eureka Springs, AR Nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs hosts a French-themed street fair that is a feast for all senses. Indulge your appetite with local restaurant and bar offerings, and satisfy your musical cravings with a variety of performances. fleurdeliciousweekend.com TASTE OF MUSIC CITY

18

RIDGE PEACH FESTIVAL Trenton, SC This annual gathering for lovers of the fuzzy-skinned Prunus persica offers a country store stocked with jams, jellies, and preserves, live music, and hands-on demonstrations. ridgepeachfestival.com

25

RICHMOND VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL Richmond, VA Held in the Azalea Garden at Bryan Park, the festival brings together vegans, vegetarians, and those of us who just

happening set atop Snowshoe Mountain includes live music, local art and craft vendors, and village games. snowshoemtn.com

17

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATO FESTIVAL Atlanta, GA This year’s event is held at Park Tavern in Midtown Atlanta. Sharing its name with an ’80s cult classic, the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival celebrates its namesake vegetable-fruit by welcoming farmers, chefs, and mixologists to craft creative concoctions for charity. killertomatofest.com

22-24

LOUISVILLE BLUES, BREWS & BBQ FESTIVAL Louisville, KY Get fired up with smoked pit barbecue at the Louisville Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival held in Water Tower Park. On tap are dozens of craft beers from microbreweries across the state, and blues that will have you rocking all night. louisvillebluesandbbqfestival.com

28-30 9

FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN CHILI COOK-OFF Snowshoe Mountain, WV Prime your tongue for the 25th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Cook-Off featuring competitions for red chili, green chili, and salsa. The two-day

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

THE 37 TH ANNUAL L’ETE DU VIN: GENERATIONS OF GREATNESS Nashville, TN Wine enthusiasts bid on rare vintages and everyday favorites at this annual auction. The weekend includes dinners, tastings, and a black-tie event. Funds are raised in support of the fight against cancer benefiting the American Cancer Society and local cancer-related nonprofit organizations. nashvillewineauction.com


PROMOTION

FESTIVAL FOCUS

CARNEVALE DI CHARLESTON

June 8, 2016 Charleston, South Carolina Each spring, Charleston, the embodiment of Southern hospitality, gentility, and elegance, invites visitors to discover its artistry and beauty anew during its annual Spoleto Festival USA, where renowned and emerging artists perform throughout the city at its churches, theaters, and outdoor venues. The Local Palate sends up a bountiful salute this June to Spoleto Festival’s 40th year at Carnevale di Charleston, on Wednesday, June 8th. The evening event showcases the culinary art of the most celebrated Carnevale dishes created by acclaimed Southern chefs. SPOLETO

SPOLETO

with sausage, smoked meats, and farofa and one of Brazil’s most popular dishes, presented by Lamas. Vedrinski will create a distinctive handmade fresh pasta, sfoglia with porcini mushrooms and goat’s milk ricotta. An unparalleled experience awaits culinary travelers at thelocalpalate.com/events/carnevaledi-charleston.

August 19-20, 2016 Asheville, North Carolina Asheville visitors come to the city nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy its scenic vistas, bluegrass street performances, and vibrant art scene. If all that and its Set on the grand grounds of a historic innovative culinary offerings haven’t lured you Charleston home, the evening melds savory there, the Asheville Wine & Food Festival is the and sweet tastings, performances, music, and final straw. In its eighth year, the festival kicked off the mingling. This year features the talents of Chef Jacques Larson of Wild Olive and the Obsti- festivities in May with Cocktail Week, featurnate Daughter (Charleston, South Carolina), ing specially curated pairing dinners leading up to a weeklong celebration of spirits along with chefs Anthony and mixology. Lamas of Seviche (Louisville, Festivalgoers revel in the sumKentucky), Cheetie Kumar of Garland (Raleigh, North mer main events: Sweet, an eveCarolina), Kelly Chu of Cirning of desserts, wines, and spirits and the Grand Tasting, where sea Ice Cream (Charleston, more than 100 farm-to-table South Carolina), Nico Romo eateries, artisan food producers, of Fish (Charleston, South pastry chefs, chocolatiers, craft Carolina), Ken Vedrinski of brewers, distilleries, and winemakTrattoria Lucca and Coda del Pesce (Charleston, South Carers serve up innovative tastings. Attendees can become culinary olina), and Michael Toscano ASHEVILLE W&F explorers using the festival app and of Le Farfalle (Charleston, program to chart their own advenSouth Carolina). Among the inventive dishes offered will be a ture through each level of this savory wilderness. ashevillewineandfood.com magnificent feijoada, a flavorful black bean stew

PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: MAC KILDUFF; COURTESY OF ASHVILLE WINE & FOOD

ASHEVILLE WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL


presents

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2016 7:00 - 10:00 PM

Join The Local Palate in a delicious salute to Spoleto’s 40th season at the Carnevale di Charleston. Carnevale di Charleston honors Spoleto’s four decades of the culinary arts with savory and sweet tastings of the most celebrated Carnevale dishes, brought to you by some of the South’s top chefs. Set on the grand grounds of a historic Charleston home, the evening will beautifully blend food, performance, music, and mingling.

FEATURING FLAVORS FROM Jacques Larson Wild Olive & The Obstinate Daughter Charleston, SC Ken Vedrinski Trattoria Lucca & Coda del Pesce Charleston, SC

Kelly Chu Cirsea Ice Cream Charleston, SC

Anthony Lamas Seviche Louisville, KY

Nico Romo Fish Charleston, SC

Cheetie Kumar Garland Raleigh, NC

Michael Toscano Le Farfalle Charleston, SC

To purchase tickets visit thelocalpalate.com/events $SRUWLRQRIWKHWLFNHWSURFHHGVEHQHƓW6SROHWR)HVWLYDO86$


recipes peppers. We’re always looking for the perfect balance between fat and acid. This harissa offers a bright, savory counterpoint to the sweet hoisin sauce and rich bacon. 2 red bell peppers* 1 lime, juiced ½ tablespoon ground coriander ½ tablespoon ground cumin 2 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt to taste 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roast the peppers about 25 minutes, or until blistered and blackened, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove peppers from oven, place in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap until cool. 3. Once peppers have cooled, remove skin from peppers. Once peeled, remove the stem, seeds, and gills of the peppers. 4. Add peppers, lime juice, spices, and garlic to food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Once mixture is uniform, add olive oil and process again. Add salt to taste. *For a spicier sauce, substitute a chile pepper of your preference. Yield: approximately 2 cups

(FROM SEASON'S EATINGS, PAGE 55)

CUCUMBER AND MELON SALAD PHOTO BY FORREST CLONTS

4 cucumbers, washed and sliced into ¼-inch rounds Juice of ½ lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil Fresh basil, torn Salt and pepper 1 large Charentais melon (or cantaloupe), sliced into half-moons

(FROM KEY INGREDIENT, PAGE 49)

SUMMER BOURBON CUCUMBER COOLER From Motor Supply’s head barman, Josh Streetman 2 ounces Basil Hayden’s Bourbon 2 ounces St. Germain Liqueur 3 ounces Pernod cucumber broth, recipe page 50 1 ounce Pernod 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 ounces honey

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1. Put all ingredients in a shaker with a few ice cubes and shake well. Fill rocks glass with ice and pour mix over top. Garnish with a thinly cut cucumber ribbon.

1. Place cucumbers in medium bowl and squeeze lemon juice over top along add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add melons and toss all ingredients until coated. Yield: 4 servings

Yield: 1 serving

(FROM REDUX, PAGE 52)

Neon Pig Harissa Chef’s note: Typically, harissa is a spicy condiment, but we like to make a milder version with red bell

(FROM HOOKED ON FISHER'S, PAGE 78) Pappardelle Pasta 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon kosher salt

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


recipes 15 egg yolks 1. Run stand mixer fitted with hook attachment on low speed, and add flour, oil, and salt. Slowly add yolks, 1 or 2 at a time. 2. When dough comes together and starts to pull from the sides of mixer, turn mixer off and form dough ball. Wrap dough well in plastic and let rest for 1 hour. 3. After resting, divide dough into 4 equal parts. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to ¼-inch thick. Continue process with pasta machine, beginning at highest thickness and rolling until 3 or 4 on pasta machine thickness dial. Cut to 1-inch width and keep length of pasta sheet. 4. Bring salted water to boil in large pot. Prepare an ice bath. 5. Blanch noodles until tender (1 to 2 minutes) then plunge in ice bath immediately and drain. Yield: 4 servings

Cumin Crackers 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling surface ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon paprika 1 /8 teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled 2 /3 cup whole milk 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. 2. In medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients until combined. 3. With pastry cutter or two forks, cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in milk, just to combine. 4. Knead cracker dough until tacky and smooth. Divide into 2 round balls and let rest 10 minutes. 5. On lightly floured surface, roll each dough ball to about 1/8-inch thickness. Place on greased sheet pan, prick all over with fork, lightly sprinkle salt, and bake for about 10 minutes—rotating after 5 minutes— until evenly golden brown. Cool and break into rustic triangles.

THE ONLY SLAVE TOURS IN CHARLESTON, SC Take a remarable jorney back in time of the “Gullah” people and glimpse into a hidden history.

Godfrey Jefferson K Hill, a historian, licensed tour guide, and a descendant of the Thomas Jefferson Plantation. He is the only Gullah/ Geechee historian to teach the Gullah practices.

Yield: 8 servings

ALABAMA WEST INDIES SALAD 1 medium sweet onion, diced fine 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat (picked for shells) Salt and pepper 6 tablespoons soybean oil 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 6 tablespoons ice water 5 mint leaves, chopped Zest of 1 lemon

PHOTO BY TODD DOUGLAS

1. Mix onion, crab, salt, and pepper in mixing bowl. 2. Add oil, vinegar, and ice water. Marinate for 2 to 10 hours. 3. Before serving, toss with lemon zest and mint. Serve over mixed greens with citrus segments as a lunch salad or with crackers for an appetizer. Yield: 2 servings

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recipes Mix well. Combine with extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cumin. Salt to taste. 2. To prepare fish, clean, scale, gut, and wash snapper (or have fishmonger do this for you). Pat dry. Stuff stomach cavity with thyme and lemon. 3. Heat grill and rub snapper all over with salt and pepper. Grill 8 to 10 minutes on each side. 4. Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and add to grill until crispy and golden brown. 5. In mixing bowl, toss red potatoes, ¼ of prepared Salsa Verde, and arugula. Cover snapper with remaining Salsa Verde, top with potatoes and arugula, and serve. Yield: 2 servings

(FROM THE SECRET IS THE SALSA, PAGE 68)

Charred Tomato and Chipotle Salsa

PHOTO BY TODD DOUGLAS

3 large tomatoes 1 small white onion 1 jalapeño pepper 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ½ cup of chicken stock infused with bay and avocado leaves (if available), strained 1 tablespoon canola oil Dash of salt

GRILLED WHOLE GULF SNAPPER WITH SALSA VERDE

GRILLED WHOLE GULF SNAPPER WITH SALSA VERDE Chef’s note: Because we are located in a marina, we offer a “hook-and-cook” program. After fishing, people can bring their catch right into the restaurant and we cook it up. A guy came in with snapper, wanting to serve it family-style. We came up with this.

in the world; it’s super garlicky and herbaceous. I would like to put it on everything, but it goes especially well with this snapper.

1 3-pound snapper (could substitute redfish) 1 bunch thyme 2 whole lemons, sliced Olive oil as needed Salt and pepper to taste ½ pound red creamer potatoes cut in wedges (4 to 6 wedges per potato) Heaping handful arugula

5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped 2 tablespoons capers, drained and finely chopped 1 cup chopped parsley ½ cup chopped basil ¼ cup chopped mint 2 tablespoons minced garlic 3 tablespoons finely diced shallots 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon ground cumin Salt to taste

Salsa Verde Chef’s note: Salsa verde is probably my favorite sauce

1. Make Salsa Verde by combining chopped anchovies, capers, herbs, garlic, and shallot.

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1. In an ungreased heavy skillet over medium-high heat, char tomatoes, garlic, onion, and pepper until nicely browned. Remove and discard some of the large charred pieces of skin. 2. Transfer charred vegetable mixture to blender along with chicken stock and blend until smooth. 3. Transfer sauce from blender to skillet. Add canola oil and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Yield: approximately 2 cups Pico de Gallo 5 ripe Roma tomatoes ½ large white onion, roughly chopped 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and roughly chopped 2 limes, juiced Salt to taste Combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño peppers. Add salt and lime juice.

HORCHATA Chef’s note: Horchata is a refreshing rice-based drink infused with vanilla and cinnamon, and served over ice. It’s a staple throughout Mexico and a regular

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


menu item at Las Tortugas. For a grown-up version, Jonathan Magallanes suggests spiking it with bourbon, much like the classic milk punch still served at boozy brunches throughout the South. 12 cups water 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice 1¼ cups 2-percent milk 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 small 4-inch piece of whole-bark Mexican cinnamon* 1¼ cup granulated sugar 1. Combine water and rice in a Vitamix or similar blender. Blend for 30 to 45 seconds. Chill and let soak overnight in the refrigerator. 2. Strain rice water into a large jug or pitcher. Reserve ground rice. 3. Toast cinnamon in a dry skillet until fragrant. There might be a few charred or dark spots, but that's okay. 4. Grind cinnamon using a mortar and pestle until finely ground, or place in a food processor or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. 5. Add milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to rice milk. Stir vigorously and chill. 6. Return ground rice to rice milk mixture, and let settle completely. Chill again for at least 1 hour. 7. Pour gently into glasses, making sure to pour only liquid and not settled rice. Yield: 12 to 16 servings *This large whole-bark cinnamon can be found in Latin markets.

CASHEW AND COCONUT FLAN

PHOTO BY BRANDON DILL

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 6 5-inch aluminum pie tins 18 ounces sweetened condensed milk (La Lechera) ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut 7 large eggs 2¼ cup whole milk 1 tablespoon vanilla extract ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut ½ cup toasted, crushed cashews 1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. 2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt sugar until it caramelizes. Evenly distribute sugar syrup between pie tins. 3. Blend condensed milk, sweetened coconut, eggs, and vanilla in a blender and pour into pie tins. 4. Set pie tins on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven, and carefully pour hot water into baking sheet to come THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

halfway up the sides of the pie tins, about 1½ inches deep. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until set. 5. Remove from oven, and allow to cool, and then place in refrigerator to chill. 6. Run a knife around edge of pie tin and turn over to release flan. 7. Garnish with unsweetened coconut and cashews.

Yield: 6 flans

(FROM CHEF VS. COOK, PAGE 86)

AVOCADO TOAST From Sheri Castle

Avocado Toast 4 thick slices ciabatta or other rustic white bread 6 tablespoons butter, divided 2 avocados Salad (recipe follows) 4 large eggs Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon sesame seeds 1 teaspoon poppy seeds 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds 1. Spread 2 tablespoons of butter on both sides of bread. Cook in a large skillet until toasted on both sides. 2. Place a slice of toast on 4 serving plates. Keep skillet handy for the eggs. 3. Cut avocados in half, discard pits, and use a large spoon to scoop out flesh. Place half an avocado on each piece of toast and mash gently with a fork. Divide the salad mixture among the plates. 4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the large skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until whites are set but yolks are still soft. Place an egg on each serving dish. 5. Quickly melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and cook, gently swirling the pan, until it browns, and then drizzle over avocado toasts and salad. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the seeds. Serve immediately. Salad 1 small bunch radishes with greens attached* 1 cup (4 ounces) sugar snap peas

2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows) 1. Remove greens from radishes. Discard stems, and place leaves in a large bowl. 2. Thinly slice radishes and add them to bowl with leaves. 3. Cut peas in half on the diagonal and add to bowl. Add basil. 4. Drain red onions, add to bowl, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. *If radishes with tasty greens are not available, replace the greens with a large handful of baby spinach, arugula, or watercress. Pickled Red Onions ½ medium red onion, cut into very thin wedges ¼ cup rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon mixed pickling spice (optional) 1. Place onions in a small bowl. 2. Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pickling spice (if using) to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. 3. Pour over onions, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. Yield: 4 servings

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recipes ROASTED ASPARAGUS, GREEN GODDESS DRESSING, PICKLED RHUBARB From Chef William Dissen Chef’s note: We add a green goddess dressing made with lots of fresh herbs and white anchovies for an herbal blast to accompany the earthy, roasted flavors of the asparagus. I like to balance the dish with some tang so we use pickled rhubarb to add some zing, herb croutons, and thinly shaved Tennessee country ham. 20 stalks asparagus, stems trimmed 3 tablespoons blended oil* Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste Green Goddess Dressing (recipe follows) Herb Croutons (recipe follows) Local Farm Egg (recipe follows) Pickled Rhubarb (recipe follows)

1. Using a blender, combine all ingredients except mayonnaise. Puree until smooth. 2. Place mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl, and stir in herb/anchovy purée. 3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and reserve. Herb Croutons 1 cup diced ciabatta, crust removed 1 cup butter Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons chopped herbs, (equal parts parsley, thyme, basil) 1. Heat butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat and add ciabatta. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the croutons begin to turn golden brown. 2. Remove croutons from pan with a slotted spoon, and place onto a paper towel to drain. 3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and chopped herbs. Reserve.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH RHUBARB RELISH AND CREAMY HERB DRESSING From Sheri Castle Rhubarb Relish ¼ cup rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon coriander or yellow mustard seed 2 slender rhubarb stalks (about 2 ounces), small dice 1 small shallot, cut crosswise into thin rings 1. Stir together vinegar, sugar, salt, and coriander seed in a medium glass bowl. 2. Microwave until bubbling, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan.) 3. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Stir in rhubarb and shallot. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

*Dissen uses a blend of olive and vegetable oils. For Garnish: 12 slices prosciutto (preferably Allan Benton’s 24-month) 1 cup fennel fronds ¼ cup garlic chive flowers ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1. Preheat grill (we use a hardwood grill) to high heat. 2. Oil asparagus and season with the salt and pepper. 3. Grill asparagus until lightly charred and tender, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. 4. Remove from the grill and reserve. 5. To assemble, place a “smear” of Green Goddess Dressing across each plate. 6. Lay 5 spears of asparagus across and over Green Goddess Dressing. 7. Sprinkle croutons over asparagus, and place a poached egg in center of asparagus. 8. In 3 points around asparagus, place 2 pieces of pickled rhubarb, 1 slice of prosciutto, and 1 fennel frond. Sprinkle garlic chive flowers over each dish, and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately. Green Goddess Dressing 3 cloves garlic, roasted 2 tablespoons blended oil 6 white anchovies, in oil 1½ tablespoons chopped basil 1½ tablespoons chopped chives 1½ tablespoons chopped parsley 1½ teaspoons white vinegar 1¾ cups mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s Salt and pepper to taste

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Local Farm Eggs 4 local farm eggs Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste 1. Preheat an immersion circulator in a water bath to 145.4 degrees (63 degrees celsius). 2. Place eggs directly into water bath and cook for 50 minutes. 3. Remove from water bath, crack shell, and strain through a sieve or julep bar spoon. 4. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Creamy Herb Dressing 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard 1½ tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley 1½ tablespoons minced chives 1½ tablespoons minced basil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pickled Rhubarb ½ pound rhubarb stalks (approximately 2-3 stalks) ½ cup apple cider vinegar ½ cup water ½ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon mustard seeds ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns ¼ teaspoon cloves 1 bay leaf 1 star anise

1. Whisk together mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and mustard in a small bowl. 2. Fold in the parsley, chives, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

1. Trim rhubarb and place in a container (or in Mason jars, if canning) with mustard seeds, cloves, peppercorns, star anise, and bay leaf. 2. In a saucepan, combine cider vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. 3. Pour hot brine over rhubarb and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover and keep under refrigeration for 1 month. If canning, process immediately.

1. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add prosciutto and cook until rendered and crisp, about 3 minutes. 2. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crunchy, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Pour onto a plate, and set aside until needed. Keep skillet handy.

Yield: 4 servings

Croutons 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 slices prosciutto, preferably Benton’s 1½ cups (½-inch) cubed country-style white bread with crust removed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Asparagus 1 small bunch asparagus (about 16 stalks)

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


recipes 1 tablespoon olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2. Place asparagus in skillet. Drizzle with oil, and roll to coat. Spread into a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3. Place in oven and toast until stems are tender and browned in spots, and tips are sizzling, approximately 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size of stalks. Meanwhile, cook eggs. Eggs 4 large eggs 1. Place eggs in medium saucepan and cover with water to a depth of 2 inches. 2. Bring to a boil over high heat then remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, assemble salads. 1. To assemble, divide creamy dressing among 4 serving plates. Top with warm asparagus spears, and then croutons. Drain rhubarb relish and spoon it around edges of the salad. 2. Drain eggs and rinse under cold running water only until cool enough to handle. Do not let eggs get cold. Quickly peel warm eggs and place one atop each salad. Split each egg with a fork to reveal the warm interior, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

HEIRLOOM TOMATO PANZANELLA From Chef William Dissen 4 cups heirloom tomatoes (mix of cherry and slicer varieties) ¾ cup shallots, sliced into ¼-inch rings and charred ¼ tablespoon chopped basil 1 cup baby arugula 1 cup diced mozzarella Cornbread Croutons (recipe follows) Aged Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe follows) ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 12 flowering basil tops Green Pea Pesto (recipe follows) 1. Slice heirloom tomatoes into different shapes and sizes. 2. In a large bowl, gently toss together the heirloom tomatoes, charred shallots, basil, arugula, mozzarella,

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016

and cornbread croutons. 3. Season to taste with vinaigrette, salt, and pepper. 4. Smear Green Pea Pesto onto each plate. Spoon panzanella salad across pesto. Garnish with flowering basil tops and a drizzle of the extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately. Cornbread ½ cup butter, melted 1½ cups yellow cornmeal 1½ cups flour ¼ cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons salt 3 large eggs 2½ cups buttermilk 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 2. Brush pan with 2 tablespoons butter. 3. In a medium bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. 4. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in remaining butter. 5. Stir cornmeal mixture into buttermilk mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix. 6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Test doneness with a toothpick. 7. Allow to cool completely, and cut into large dice. Place onto a sheet tray and allow to sit out overnight to dry. 8. Heat blended oil in a cast-iron pan over mediumhigh heat and toast cornbread croutons in oil until golden on top and bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve. Green Pea Pesto 1 cup green peas, blanched to tender 1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon lemon juice ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste 1. Place green peas, basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, and lemon juice into a food processor. 2. Pulse until almost smooth, until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. 3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Reserve. Aged Sherry Vinaigrette ½ cup blended olive oil 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoons minced shallots 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1½ teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon honey Salt and pepper to taste 1. In a blender, purée all ingredients except oil. 2. While blender is running, slowly add oil to emulsify vinaigrette. 3. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Reserve. Yield: 4 servings

TENNESSEE HAM-WRAPPED PEACHES From Chef William Dissen Tennessee Ham-Wrapped Peaches 5 ripe peaches, quartered with pits removed 20 slices Tennessee country ham (preferably Allan Benton’s), thinly sliced 2 tablespoons blended oil Cracked black pepper to taste Stracciatella (recipe follows) For garnish: 5 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably from Bourbon Barrel Foods) Red ribbon sorrel, as needed Pea shoots as needed 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Toasted Hazelnuts (recipe follows) 1. Wrap each peach quarter with one slice of country ham and reserve on a parchment lined plate. 2. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat with blended oil. 3. Place slices into the pan. Sprinkle with black pepper and cook until ham is golden and crispy on one side, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. 4. Turn peaches, crispy side up, and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Reserve. 5. To assemble, place a large spoonful of stracciatella across the plate. Arrange roasted ham-wrapped peaches over stracciatella. 6. Place 1 teaspoon of the maple syrup directly over each peach. Garnish with pea shoots, red ribbon sorrel, and extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle hazelnuts around each peach and serve immediately. Stracciatella 1 gallon water 1 cup kosher salt 2 cups mozzarella curd, large dice 1 cup heavy cream

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recipes 1. Place water and salt into a medium pot and bring to a rapid boil. 2. Place diced mozzarella curd into pot. Using a long metal slotted spoon, stir curd until it just starts to melt on the sides. 3. Quickly remove curd from the pot and transfer to a large bowl, draining away as much water as possible. Allow to cool for 3 to 4 minutes. 4. Working with your hands, shred mozzarella curd into fine threads. 5. Stir in heavy cream and black pepper. Stracciatella should have the consistency of ricotta cheese. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. Reserve.

1. In a small pot bring sugar and water to a simmer over high heat, stirring to dissolve, until sugar mixture is amber in color, about 4 to 5 minutes. 2. Remove pan from heat, and stir in smoked paprika, sea salt, and hazelnuts. Stir to evenly coat. 3. Place candied hazelnuts onto a sheet tray lined with a nonstick mat, and quickly separate using a spatula or a fork. Allow to cool. 4. Once cool, place hazelnuts into a food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times to lightly crumble hazelnuts into chunks. Reserve. Yield: 4 servings

PEACHES IN PROSCIUTTO OVER LEMONY RICOTTA AND HERB SALAD From Sheri Castle Peaches and Prosciutto 2 ripe peaches 8 prosciutto slices 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon Grade B pure maple syrup Freshly ground black pepper to taste Lemony Ricotta (recipe follows) Candied Maple Hazelnuts (recipe follows) 1. Quarter and pit peaches. Fold a slice of prosciutto in half lengthwise and wrap around a peach wedge. Repeat with remaining prosciutto and peach wedges. 2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add wrapped peaches and cook until prosciutto is browned and a little crisp on all sides, turning with tongs as needed, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

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PHOTO BY JOHNNY AUTRY

Toasted Hazelnuts 1 cup hazelnuts, blanched ¾ cup sugar 3 tablespoons water ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon sea salt

Remove pan from heat. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with pepper. 3. To assemble, divide ricotta mixture among 4 serving plates. Top with salad and warm peach wedges. Sprinkle with candied hazelnuts, and serve at once.

small supreme sections and drop them into a large bowl. 2. Squeeze juice from the membranes into bowl. Add arugula and mint, drizzle with oil, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Lemony Ricotta 1 cup fresh ricotta 2 tablespoons cream Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon (save lemon for salad)

Candied Maple Hazelnuts 1 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup 1 tablespoon sugar ¼ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika ½ cup (2 ounces) chopped hazelnuts 1 tablespoon butter

Stir together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until needed. Herb Salad 2 Meyer lemons 2 tablespoons olive oil 5 ounces baby arugula ½ cup lightly packed mint leaves Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1. Cut peel and pith from Meyer lemons, including the one reserved from ricotta mixture. Cut flesh into

1. Stir together maple syrup, sugar, salt, and paprika in a small bowl. 2. Cook hazelnuts and butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. 3. Add maple syrup mixture to pan and stir vigorously for 15 seconds or until mixture bubbles, thickens, and coats nuts. Pour onto a plate and let cool. Yield: 4 servings

THELOCALPALATE.COM / JUNE.JULY 2016


recipes BEVERAGES Horchata 110 Italian Summer 25 Prickly Pear Margarita 72 Summer Bourbon Cucumber Cooler 108 The Mayor’s Lament 25 APPETIZERS Alabama Shrimp and Grouper Ceviche 83 Crispy St. Germain Cucumber and Smoked Salmon “Tea Sandwiches” 50 King Crab and Gulf Shrimp Cocktail 72 Oysters Earle 83 Sprouted Mung Bean Ciabatta 57 SALADS AND SIDES Alabama West Indies Salad 109 Avocado Tartine 88 Avocado Toast 111 Cucumber and Melon Salad with Fennel Sorbet 108 Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella 93 Heirloom Tomato Panzanella 113 Shrimp, Okra, and Cherry Tomato Salad 45 Peaches in Prosciutto over Lemony Ricotta and Herb Salad 114 Roasted Asparagus, Green Goddess Dressing,

Pickled Rhubarb 111 Roasted Asparagus with Rhubarb Relish and Creamy Herb Dressing 112 Tennessee Ham Wrapped Peaches 113 TLP’s Tomato Pie 99

CONTRIBUTORS INDEX CULINARY CLASS 98 Le Creuset: site of photo shoot, lecreuset.com

ENTREES Benton’s Bacon BLT 52 BLT for Betty Moody 53 Carne De Puerco Con Calabaza (Pork Tenderloin Soup with Summer Corn and Squash) 72 Cedar Key Clams Pancetta Pasta 83 Chicken Tinga Tostadas with Salsa and Crema 73 Coriander and Fennel-Dusted Tuna 50 Ember-Cooked Trout Stuffed with Sumac and Thyme 56 Chile-Rubbed Strip Steak with Butterbean and Boiled Peanut Succotash, Grilled Avocado, and Cucumber Relish 51 Grilled Whole Gulf Snapper with Salsa Verde 110 Smoked Pork Shoulder with Chile Sauce and Charred Corn 56

PHOTO BY JONATHAN BONCEK

RECIPE INDEX

DESSERTS Blueberry and Goat Cheese Buckle with Honey Glaze 102 Cantaloupe and Mint Yogurt Pops 28 Cashew and Coconut Flan 111 Lard Cake with Grilled Strawberries and Honey Cream 57

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THE FRIDGE IT’S NOT ALL TORTAS AND MARGARITAS IN THE MAGALLANES HOUSEHOLD: LAS TORTUGAS OWNER JONATHAN AND HIS NEW WIFE, LAUREN, ARE SERIOUS HEALTH NUTS WHO START THE DAY WITH A SEAWEED SMOOTHIE.

The couple makes daily smoothies with whatever vegetables they have on hand, seaweed, lots of basil, ginger, and a little bit of fruit.

A crisp, easy-drinking IPA from friends at Wiseacre Brewing in Memphis.

With its slight salinity and hypercarbonation, Topo Chico mineral water is a household favorite.

Dates and figs to sweeten smoothies. Pickled carrots, sweet peppers, and olives are snacking staples.

The house-made horchata (recipe page 110) from Las Tortugas is habit-forming.

“My wife makes the best sweet tea ever,” says Jonathan.

Salty, nutty queso Cotija is grated on everything from salads to eggs.

His morning ritual: a tablespoon of cod liver oil and a couple slugs of kombucha.

PHOTO BY BRANDON DILL

learn more

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