Good Eats

Five Things We Learned at the SFA Symposium

By Jessica MischnerGood EatsOctober 24, 2014

The 17th Southern Foodways Symposium kicked off last night in Oxford, Mississippi, with a Latin-Southern Nuevo North Carolina Supper spearheaded by Bill Smith of Chapel Hill's Crook's Corner. The theme of the meal reflects the event's larger focus on diversity. Halfway through the first full day's events, here is what I've learned:

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Two Ways to Use Your Leftover Game-Day Barbecue

By Jed PortmanGood EatsOctober 19, 2014

Real, wood-smoked barbecue requires serious quantity in order to make any sense. When prescribed cooking times range from several hours to overnight, you aren’t going to play around with a few chops—no. The twelve or thirteen active hours required to tenderize a whole hog with hot smoke pay off with enough delicious pork to feed the parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and their friends, or a bunch of hungry tailgaters, with meat left over.

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Eat Wild: Pine-Roasted Potatoes

By Jed PortmanGood EatsOctober 10, 2014

The South is not lacking in native pines. From the longleaf to the slash pine, evergreens line byways from Florida to Kentucky. Given such abundance, you may not be surprised to learn that Southerners have eaten pine in various forms for generations. In the Myrtle Beach area, cooks in turpentine camps once boiled sweet potatoes in murky pine sap. The region’s pine bark stew may take its name from the bygone tradition of simmering it over a smoldering bed of aromatic pine bark, or even a nearly forgotten secret ingredient: pine root. And to the south, at McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, adventurous diners can now snack on pine-roasted potatoes, a seasonal addition to the bar menu.

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Chef to Know: The Catbird Seat's Trevor Moran

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 30, 2014

American chefs of a certain caliber like to brag about time spent in the kitchen at Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant often ranked at or near the top of world’s-best-restaurant lists. The kitchen hosts apprentices from all over the world who spend a few busy weeks, or maybe a few months, working with the staff, mark the experience on their resumes, and return home. Less common, however, is the career path of chef Trevor Moran. As a sous chef at Noma, the thirty-something native of Dublin, Ireland, spent four years helping to direct the menu. Now, he is putting skills learned in Denmark to use in Nashville as the head chef at the Catbird Seat, a daring and intimate restaurant previously known for chefs Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger’s artful interpretations of American flavors: hot chicken skin with white bread purée, charred oak ice cream. Moran is making his own name with madcap dishes such as the dessert he served at last week’s Music City Food + Wine Festival, a potato-infused—and potato-shaped—cream puff buried in chocolate “dirt.”

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Send Us Your Tailgating Recipes

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 19, 2014

Filbert, South Carolina, peach farmers and lifelong Clemson Tiger fans Ben and Merwyn Smith have been tailgating in the shadow of Death Valley for more than fifty years. 

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The South in a Jar

By CJ LotzGood EatsSeptember 17, 2014

You’ve likely heard of Tupelo honey, the South’s most prized single-flower honey, produced in and around the Florida panhandle when tupelo trees burst into bloom each spring. And you might know a little something about Sourwood honey, that deep and spicy nectar of Appalachia. But what about the dark, molasses-like honey gathered from Florida’s black mangrove, avocado, and loquat blossoms? Or the bright and grassy honey gathered from Eastern Shore butterbean plants? Honey is deeply nuanced. Like fine wine or whiskey, it’s layered in flavor, aroma, and history. The editors at G&G sampled varieties bursting with the essence of the South. The result of our sticky taste-test? Five honeys that will leave a taste of sweet Southern sunshine even when summer is long gone.

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Corn Meets Corn Liquor

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 16, 2014

Bourbon wouldn’t be bourbon without corn. Literally. American law requires that any whiskey perched alongside the bottles of Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace at the liquor store come from a mash that is at least fifty-one percent corn, with a remainder of barley, wheat, or rye. So infusing the flavor of fresh corn into brown liquor made a sort of intuitive sense for Chris Spear, the Frederick, Maryland–based chef and culinary instructor who writes the blog Perfect Little Bites. “At first, I thought I’d just throw some corn into some bourbon and see if I could get the flavor I wanted,” he says. After some trial and error, he added a second step to the process: dosing the whiskey with a little melted butter, which leaves behind a tinge of flavor and a rich, silky texture

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Field Guide: Pawpaw

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 11, 2014

In foraging literature, the pawpaw, a soft, pale-green fruit indigenous to the temperate forests of the eastern United States, is allotted a produce aisle’s worth of flavors, among them mango, banana, pineapple, and melon. “I think it tastes like if you were to make mango and banana cupcakes, and then eat the batter,” says Richard Neal, the chef de cuisine at the Capitol Grille in Nashville. “It’s sweet, and tropical, and super soft.”

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Southern Food Group: Cornbread

By Sara Camp ArnoldGood EatsSeptember 2, 2014

The Southern Foodways Alliance and Garden & Gun decided to rewrite the food pyramid in 2014 by introducing the twelve Southern food groups. Thus far, we’ve covered oysters, gumbo, boudin, fried chicken, barbecue, hot tamales, and greens. This month, sop it all up with a big square of cornbread.

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Better Burger Toppers

By Jed PortmanGood EatsAugust 28, 2014

In his professional life, chef Tim Byres spends an awful lot of time standing over hot embers. Smoke, his five-year-old restaurant in Dallas, takes its name from the smoldering arsenal of cookers out back: a smokehouse, a smoker, and a wood-fueled grill. Even when he’s not on the clock he mans the tongs at home and on family camping trips. This is a man who knows how to grill a burger. And the secret to a great one, he says, isn’t the cuts of beef involved, or how they’re ground. It’s a solid roster of quality homemade condiments. Upgrading to a garden-fresh ketchup or a smoky chile mustard is that extra bit of effort that can take a Labor Day spread from run-of-the-mill to something you’ll still be remembering when the long holiday weekend is long gone.

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