Tag Archives: bread

Husk…. Sean Brock’s Southern Food

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Bon Appetit hailed it as the Best New Restaurant in the US…. accolades have been streaming ever since. It is not all hype, the food is amazing, creative and interesting. Husk is the love child of James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s and the Neighborhood Dining Group. Since opening Husk in Charleston he opened another outpost of Southern ingredients in Nashville. He recently opened Minero, a taqueria in the high rent district of downtown Charleston. There is word that he is also taking that concept to Atlanta where the Neighborhood Dining Group is headquartered. He transforms the essence of Southern food over and over again. Solid… delicious… promising. Sean is dedicated to bringing back old Southern grains, beans, greens and other treasures that were all but lost. He is the champion of the old non-gmo crops that were grown 200 years ago in the south. His food reflects that without being obvious. It is just delicious food, and then you learn its history and all of the work that went into bringing it to the table.

Led by Brock and Chef de Cuisine Travis Grimes, a Lowcountry native, the kitchen reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in Charleston.

Starting with a larder of ingredients indigenous to the South, and set within a building complex dating to the late 19th century, Brock crafts menus throughout the day, responding to what local purveyors are supplying the kitchen at any given moment. The entrance beckons with a rustic wall of firewood to fuel the wood-fired oven and a large chalkboard listing artisanal products currently provisioning the kitchen, but like the décor that inhabits the historic building, the food is modern in style and interpretation.

At Husk there are some rules about what can go on the plate. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says Brock, who has even stricken olive oil from the kitchen. As he explains, the resulting cuisine “is not about rediscovering Southern cooking, but exploring the reality of Southern food.” This modern approach results in playful dishes such as Deviled Eggs with Pickled Okra and Trout Roe, and new classics like South Carolina Shrimp and Choppee Okra Stew with Carolina Gold Rice and Flowering Basil.

Seed-saving, heirloom husbandry, and in-house pickling and charcuterie efforts by the culinary team are the basis of the cuisine at Husk. The restaurant is as casual as it is chic, evoking a way of life centered on seasonality and the grand traditions of Charleston life—one lived at a slower pace, preferably with a cocktail and a wide porch in the late afternoon. It is a neighborhood gathering place for friends, and a destination dining spot for travelers, with a little bite of the South for everyone’s palates.

These photos are from my lunch there with Nathalie Dupree and Holly Herrick, two Charleston based friends of mine than rank in the upper echelons of Food Writers.  And so we were treated to many things that we did not order. On of the most amazing things that day was totally unexpected, the fried chicken skin with honey and hot sauce. It is a dish I have reconstructed at home a few times. I also reconstructed Husk’s Sweet Tea Brined Kentuckyaki Chicken Wings and you can get the recipe here.

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Pan De Yuca con Mantequilla de Guayaba y Chile: Yuca Bread with Cheese and Guava Chile Butter

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yuca bread close up

This gluten free recipe is an inspiration by Jose Garces from his fantastic book, The Latin Road Home. He is an Ecuadorian who was raised in Chicago. The book covers foods from Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Spain & Cuba. This bread is made all over South America, but the recipe varies greatly from country to country.

The Yuca flour is easy to find in most Hispanic Markets, it is often called Casava Flour or Tapioca. The brand I got was Brazilian and reading the label was a challenge. I do read Spanish, but Portuguese, not so much. The ratio of flour to cheese sounds kind of crazy, but it works. Serve the bread hot from the oven for a spongy texture or warm (for a denser interior with the dough settling more and forming air pockets).

yuca bread dough balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yucca flour
  • 1 pound queso fresco finely grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs whole milk
  • 1 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated raw sugar
  • Guava Chile Butter (recipe follows: optional)

Method:

yuca bread baked

Preheat oven to 375

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pulse a few times to combine.
  • Put the cheese in the processor, then mix all of the wet ingredients together and pour into the processor bowl while the blade is going. It will form a ball in about a minute, Take it out of the processor and lay it on a yucca floured surface.  Allow to rest a few minutes
  • Form into a log and cut into 10 equally sized pieces. Roll into balls, These will be slightly larger than a golf ball.
  • Place the balls onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or till golden brown

Serve warm. To re-heat place in a 200 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, loosely covered with foil

Yuca bread guava chile butter

Guava Chile Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 21 ounce package or can of guava paste (find at Latin Markets or online)
  • ¼ cup Chinese Black Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Sriracha Sauce
  • 2 Tbs room temperature butter

Method:

  • In the bowl of a food processor, place the guava paste.
  • Pulse a few times to loosen it up.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and pulse till incorporated. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

I served this with green chile and chicken posole. It would go great with soup, stews, chili or as an appetizer course. I will be sharing the Posole recipe next.

posole

Goat.Sheep.Cow Charleston’s Cheese Nirvana

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I have been living in a cheese deprived state for the last four years, sequestered on the most isolated land mass in the world.  I am happy to say that there is a special little shop on Church Street in Charleston that is full of wonderful and interesting cheeses from all over the world. They have more than cheese too; wonderful wines, breads, olives, honeycomb, crackers, nuts, condiments and a collection of incredible charcuterie !  To me this could be called Nirvana… Cheese Heaven!

Of course I brought along Mr. Garlic and we parked on the quiet street as a carriage rode past. Inside was a wonderland of cheese. My Facebook friend Trudi is one of the owners of this fabulous shop and she had lots of treats in store for us. We sampled, clicked pictures and yes, bought some awesome cheese!

Trudi and Mr. Garlic

Three partners brought this lovely shop from the Jersey Shore where it was called The Wine Concierge to Charleston where it gained the catchy new name and a city look and feel. We in Charleston can count ourselves blessed!  Sommelier,  Dr. Michael Cohen (a retired orthopedic surgeon) and his wife Patricia (former owner of a custom bridal business) joined forces with Trudi Wagner who held a seat on the NYSE for Goldman Sachs. They each bring to the table a group of talents that make this shop something very special.

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You can find goat.cheese.cow on Facebook, on their website or by driving down Church Street and finding #106.  Don’t live in Charleston? No problem, they also offer online shopping and direct shipping. Of course their selection changes frequently, so if you want something special you can also give Trudy a call at 843.480.2526. They are open Monday-Saturday from 11:00-6:00. They do party platters, picnic baskets and more.

Honeycomb from Savannah Bee

 

Aloha Rolls

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These slightly sweet rolls are quick and easy to make. They freeze well and the dough can be saved in the refrigerator for up to a week so you can make them fresh for each meal. If you want a more traditional Hawaiian Sweet Bread Roll add another egg or two.

Ingredients:
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast or about 1 tablespoon 1 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115 F)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
3/4 cup raw sugar or honey
1 1/2 cups warm water (more if needed)
6 1/2-7 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Butter

Method:

  • Dissolve the yeast in a large mixing bowl with 1 cup of lukewarm water and let it stand for about 5 minutes
  • Add the oil, egg, sugar or honey, salt and the rest of the water and mix it with a whisk, let stand again for a few minutes
  • Add the flour and mix on medium with a dough hook until the dough forms a ball. It should be a moist dough, but not very sticky. Add a little more flour if needed. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes then knead  for 5 minutes
  • Put a small circle of olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl and put the ball of dough smooth side down into the bowl, then flip it over and cover with plastic wrap. And allow to rise for 90 minutes or until doubled
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and get a large sheet pan spray with cooking spray or line with partchment paper or silicone mat
  • Punch down the dough and pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into golf ball size for dinner rolls or “slider” buns, or tennis ball sizes for sandwich rolls. Arrange the dough on the pan about 1-2 inches apart then cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with olive oil or Pam. Allow to rise for 20 minutes. The rolls will not quite double in bulk on the second rising
  • Bake rolls for 18 to 30 (shorter time for small rolls) mintues or until golden brown. When they come out of the oven brush lightly with olive oil or take a stick of butter and rub on the tops. You can also add seeds to the tops immediately after buttering. These can also be made into hot dog buns by making 4″ X 1 1/2 inch torpedo shapes and allowing to rise in the same manner. They make AWESOME hamburger buns too!