Category Archives: Southern Kitchen

Modernist Kitchen – Pressure Cooker Garlic Confit

To kick off my challenge of cooking through the Modernist Cuisine at Home and also trying my hand at producing a cooking video I’ve decided to keep it simple.  The writers of Modernist Cuisine at Home developed some really great uses for the pressure cooker.  They realized that it was a kitchen device far too underutilized with home cooks, and chose to dedicate a lot of space in the book discussing different uses and techniques for the pressure cooker.  Besides saving cooks time when braising tough cuts of meat, the pressure cooker can be used to speed up browning vegetables and developing intense flavors in stocks and purees.  In this case the chef authors are using the advantages of the pressure cooker to quickly produce an intensely flavored confit of garlic in a relative short period of time.  The garlic produced in this video is very rich in flavor and spreadably soft in texture, almost like a butter.  The olive oil has wonderful garlic flavor and aromas, and can be reused on such things as salads, finishing dishes or to cook things with in hot pans. Take a look at our video and let us know what you think, as our foray into the writings of the Modernist Cuisine at Home begins. Stay Hungry Y’all!

-The Hungry Southerner

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Filed under Cooking, Cooking Tutorial, Food, Modernist Cuisine at Home, Southern Food, Southern Kitchen, Southern Recipes, Southern Video

Southern Kitchen – Modernist Cuisine at Home

MCAH with kitchen manual in slipcase

[Photo Credit:Chris Hoover/ Modernist Cuisine, LLC]

After a long vacation for the Hungry Southerner I felt the time was right to dip a toe back into writing and challenge myself to cook my way through an entire cookbook.  The Little Southerner often reminds me of the growing collection of cookbooks that continue to flow into our house and I figured it was time to put them to good use.  I often spend my evenings at home reading through several of my favorites Thomas Keller’s  The French Laundry & Ad Hoc, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, Grant Achatz’s Alinea and My New Orleans by John Besh. The collection I’ve had the greatest fascination with has been the epic 5 book tome The Modernest Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold.  Unfortunately The Modernist Cuisine collection, on a good day, weighs in at a whopping $450.00 so it has been financially out of reach. Until now….

Chicken wing variations

[Photo Credit:Chris Hoover/ Modernist Cuisine, LLC]

Realizing the general population had a desire to get into the Modernist Cuisine material without the need for combi ovens and centrifuges, Myhrvold and his team recently introduced The Modernist Cuisine at Home. It’s an epic book containing over 456 pages of technique, commentary and recipes utilizing modern approaches to common dishes.  It takes a sort of  procedural scientific approach to breaking down recipes and the techniques used to produce dishes in a whole new way.  It makes home cooks, like myself, reconsider all those gadgets  laying around and calls them all into action.  It also helps to change your whole perspective on how to approach the household kitchen.

Gelato Variations

[Photo Credit:Chris Hoover/ Modernist Cuisine, LLC]

Modernist Cuisine at Home is the perfect companion book to Alinea, Fat Duck and Eleven Madison Park.  It elegantly breaks down most, if not all, of the concepts used in those other books giving the reader a much clearer picture of the individual techniques required to work through procedures such as gellation, emulsions and sous vide cooking.  It also presents the material in a beautiful way; this book has the largest pages, beautiful images and layout of any book I own.  It is truly a great book to behold. Which brings me to the price.

Modernist Cuisine at Home is not a cheap book.  It is easily a $100.00 investment, which means for the price, you could own all 3 of  Fat Duck, Alinea and Eleven Madison Park. It’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but you get a lot for  your money.  The authors graciously include a separate manual just of the recipes and techniques, which is really great considering no one wants to spill spaghetti sauce on their $100.00 investment.  It’s also the heaviest cookbook I own, weighing in at 11 pounds if you include the secondary recipe book and special boxing sleeve. At about $9.00 a pound or about $4.30 a chapter (23 chapters in total) you get what you pay for.  It’s truly my favorite cookbook this year, and I can’t recommend it more to anyone who is looking to challenge themselves to expand the way they approach food.

Countertop tools opener

[Photo Credit:Chris Hoover/ Modernist Cuisine, LLC]

All this said I figured it was time to kick start the Hungry Southerner with a new challenge going into 2013.  I’ve never cooked my way through an entire cookbook and I feel The Modernist Cuisine at Home is the book I’d like to attempt.  I won’t be cooking through the book sequentially, and each chapter often has several derivatives on the same concept so I probably won’t recreate 20 different versions of their BBQ sauces but I do plan to tackle each and every chapter’s concepts and initial recipes.  I’ve decided this isn’t a race to see how quick I can survive the entire book but rather an experience in mastering the material presented.  I’ll also be looking to see how these newer ideas can enhance the Southern cooking concepts that have been used for generations. Buckle up it’s going to be a fun ride.  Stay Hungry Y’all!

– The Hungry Southerner

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Filed under Cooking, Cooking Tutorial, Southern Kitchen, Uncategorized

Southern Kitchen – Lamb Roasted

lamb

With the rising popularity of the “Farm to Table” movement and along side it star chefs like Sean Brock, Kevin Gillespie, and John Besh all promoting the concept in different ways, their influences have started to change the way I utilize local ingredients at home.  Mostly it means considering a broader scope of fresh, seasonal, ingredients and trying to utilize as much of it as possible without waste.  Learning to cook seasonally and locally has Southerners really considering our roots and a return to a society based around knowing and understanding where our food comes from, and if possible meeting the person responsible for producing it. Thinking about all this and the holidays inspired me to explore a Roasted Leg of Lamb for a nice change of pace.

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Yankee Ingredients – Cranberries in a Blanket

roll

Cranberries are a staple at most American family’s Thanksgiving tables. The form in which the cranberries appear varies from family to family. For example, my Northern Yankee family eats their cranberries boiled in water until they are saucy and sweetened with sugar. My Southern in-laws eat their cranberries with oranges and pineapples set in gelatin. With that being said, I don’t know what made me throw Fontina cheese, candied walnuts, and a tube of crescent rolls into my grocery cart alongside the bag of cranberries. Perhaps it could be that I was craving cheese? Or maybe it was because the nuts and crescent rolls were on sale? Whatever the reason, I am very happy with the choice of ingredients that helped showcase my delectable little cranberries.

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Southern Kitchen – Bourbon Pecan Pie

pie

After getting this recipe correct I seriously considered renaming this website to Bourbon, Bacon & Butter : A Southerner’s Journey,  but I digress.  It’s recipes like these that Southerners should live and breath for.  The spirit of the South is alive in these ingredients, from the soil presence in the pecans, to the sweet Kentucky water in the Bourbon. There is nothing like the unique texture and flavor and sweet Southern reminders of a Pecan Pie.  A Thanksgiving tradition that we Southerners should all share a slice of. Here is our recipe for Bourbon Pecan Pie.

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Southern Cooking – Collard Greens

We had a really great opportunity this month to sit down with Executive Chef Chip Ulbrich of South City Kitchen. If your not familiar with South City Kitchen, it’s a great Southern style restaurant with two locations in and around the Atlanta,GA area known for dishes like their Fried Chicken and Fried Green Tomatoes.  Chef Chip spent some time showing us how to cook Collard Greens in less than 30 minutes that are flavorful, full of texture and easy to prepare. He gave us every instruction we needed to make this fool proof.  So if you’re looking for a modern way of cooking Southern Style Collard Greens Chef Chip’s recipe will point you in in the right culinary direction.  Stay Hungry Ya’ll !

-The Hungry Southerner

This is the first of a 2 part series with Chef Chip Ulbrich.  Check back soon for our interview with him in this month’s Local, Fresh, Sustainable Series where we talk about what South City Kitchen is doing with local farmers and ingredients and what they have coming for Thanksgiving.

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Southern Kitchen – Coffee Rubbed Southern Pulled Pork

pulled pork

I’ve been working on great pulled pork recipe that would be easy to do at home that doesn’t involve a crockpot.  Not that a crockpot can’t make pulled pork, but I wanted pulled pork that also had texture; a bark on the outside almost as if it had been smoked.  To get this Boston Butt right I needed to do it in the oven, and I needed the perfect dry rub.  Which got me thinking, why not try a Coffee Dry Rubbed Boston Butt for a little cool weather pulled pork action?

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