recipes

It’s a good week for kitchen projects, and Ginger Beer is one of our favorites these days. Drinks are often overlooked in favor of food around Thanksgiving, but days by the oven should require a refreshing beverage in hand. 

 This spicy drink is as pure as it gets, taking all the natural heat from fresh ginger and very little sugar. It’s the perfect afternoon energy boost, or, as we like to do, mix it with Gosling’s Rum (or your favorite dark rum) and top it with a lime for a game-changing take on the classic Dark & Stormy.  

  How to Make Ginger Beer:   recipe makes one gallon  

 9.25 cups warm water 
10 oz. ginger juice, freshly juiced from 1 pound ginger 
16 oz. fresh lemon juice, strained 
28 oz. 1:1 simple syrup 
1 packet Champagne yeast 

 Combine the ginger juice, lemon juice and simple syrup in a large container and add 9.25 cups warm water. Mix very well. 

 Divide the yeast between each bottle you plan to use. Flip top glass bottles work well, or bottle as you would beer if you prefer.  

 Using a funnel, fill each bottle with the ginger beer mixture and top or cap it. Give a good shake, at least 10 seconds to ensure homogeneity and incorporation of the yeast.  

 Let the bottles sit for exactly 48 hours in a warm, dark space.  

 Stop the fermentation after this time period by putting the bottles in a cold refrigerator. Enjoy cold for up to one week.  

  Recipe from  The Bar Book

It’s a good week for kitchen projects, and Ginger Beer is one of our favorites these days. Drinks are often overlooked in favor of food around Thanksgiving, but days by the oven should require a refreshing beverage in hand.

This spicy drink is as pure as it gets, taking all the natural heat from fresh ginger and very little sugar. It’s the perfect afternoon energy boost, or, as we like to do, mix it with Gosling’s Rum (or your favorite dark rum) and top it with a lime for a game-changing take on the classic Dark & Stormy.

How to Make Ginger Beer:
recipe makes one gallon

9.25 cups warm water
10 oz. ginger juice, freshly juiced from 1 pound ginger
16 oz. fresh lemon juice, strained
28 oz. 1:1 simple syrup
1 packet Champagne yeast

Combine the ginger juice, lemon juice and simple syrup in a large container and add 9.25 cups warm water. Mix very well.

Divide the yeast between each bottle you plan to use. Flip top glass bottles work well, or bottle as you would beer if you prefer.

Using a funnel, fill each bottle with the ginger beer mixture and top or cap it. Give a good shake, at least 10 seconds to ensure homogeneity and incorporation of the yeast.

Let the bottles sit for exactly 48 hours in a warm, dark space.

Stop the fermentation after this time period by putting the bottles in a cold refrigerator. Enjoy cold for up to one week.

Recipe from The Bar Book

This week,  Eat Up, Drink Up  shared a fond recipe of ours on the blog. Thanks Juanina, I think you’re right, Athens is full of lucky dawgs. 

    “I discovered this dish on a trip the Middle East and instantly fell in love. I love the savory spice of the lamb with a touch of sweetness from the cherries. About 20 miles south of Athens, the Stewart’s of World Shepherd Lamb Project are raising beautiful lamb in pristine meadows. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful supplier of lamb on our doorstep.” - Chef Peter Dale   

   
Lamb Meatballs with a Dried Cherry Sauce   
4-6 servings  

  2 c dried sour cherries  
2 c warm water  
2 lbs marbled boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of sliver skin and gristle, meat and fat finely ground (or use ground lamb from your butcher)  
1 tsp cinnamon  
1 tsp ground cumin  
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste 
 ¼ c plus 1 T vegetable oil  
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped  
3 T fresh lemon juice  
2 T flat-leaf parsley leaves  
cinnamon to taste  
Aleppo pepper to taste (optional)  

 In a bowl, soak the dried cherries in the water until softened, about 30 minutes. In a large bowl, spread the lamb in an even layer. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, allspice, 2 ½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the lamb and knead them in. Form the lamb into ¾ -inch meatballs; you should have about 60. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over high heat, shaking the pan, until lightly browned outside and rare in the center, about 4 minutes. Drain well. 

 In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 12 minutes. Add the cherries and their soaking liquid and the lemon juice and simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and any accumulated juices and simmer over low heat until they are slightly pink inside and the sauce has reduced slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the parsley and serve with pita.

This week, Eat Up, Drink Up shared a fond recipe of ours on the blog. Thanks Juanina, I think you’re right, Athens is full of lucky dawgs.


“I discovered this dish on a trip the Middle East and instantly fell in love. I love the savory spice of the lamb with a touch of sweetness from the cherries. About 20 miles south of Athens, the Stewart’s of World Shepherd Lamb Project are raising beautiful lamb in pristine meadows. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful supplier of lamb on our doorstep.” - Chef Peter Dale


Lamb Meatballs with a Dried Cherry Sauce

4-6 servings

2 c dried sour cherries
2 c warm water
2 lbs marbled boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of sliver skin and gristle, meat and fat finely ground (or use ground lamb from your butcher)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ c plus 1 T vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T flat-leaf parsley leaves
cinnamon to taste
Aleppo pepper to taste (optional)

In a bowl, soak the dried cherries in the water until softened, about 30 minutes. In a large bowl, spread the lamb in an even layer. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, allspice, 2 ½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the lamb and knead them in. Form the lamb into ¾ -inch meatballs; you should have about 60. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over high heat, shaking the pan, until lightly browned outside and rare in the center, about 4 minutes. Drain well.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 12 minutes. Add the cherries and their soaking liquid and the lemon juice and simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and any accumulated juices and simmer over low heat until they are slightly pink inside and the sauce has reduced slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the parsley and serve with pita.

Our house-made, small batch tonic syrup is bottled and ready for your holiday gift needs! 

 This is the ultimate gift for the DIY bartender in the family. Just add gin and soda for a delicious craft cocktail take on the classic! 

  1.5 - 2 oz. your favorite gin (or vodka) 
¾ oz. - 1 oz. tonic syrup 
Ice 
Top with soda water 
Squeeze of lemon or lime    
Tonic is available for purchase at The National in 6 and 16 oz. bottles. For other gifts, we also offer gift certificates, restaurant t-shirts, Martina and Georgia olive oils, Maldon sea salt, and autographed copies of A New Turn in the South and Secrets of the Best Chefs.

Our house-made, small batch tonic syrup is bottled and ready for your holiday gift needs!

This is the ultimate gift for the DIY bartender in the family. Just add gin and soda for a delicious craft cocktail take on the classic!

1.5 - 2 oz. your favorite gin (or vodka)
¾ oz. - 1 oz. tonic syrup
Ice
Top with soda water
Squeeze of lemon or lime


Tonic is available for purchase at The National in 6 and 16 oz. bottles. For other gifts, we also offer gift certificates, restaurant t-shirts, Martina and Georgia olive oils, Maldon sea salt, and autographed copies of A New Turn in the South and Secrets of the Best Chefs.

Potato-Kale Soup Recipe   Winter seems to have finally arrived.  How about a warm pot of soup for a weeknight dinner?  

  Ingredients  
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
2 small to medium sized onions, chopped 
6 ounces Spanish or Portuguese-style chorizo, sliced ¼ inch thick (optional) 
 2 quarts chicken stock, vegetable stock or water 
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 
 salt and freshly ground pepper 
1 pound kale, stems removed and roughly chopped 

  Directions  
1.      Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or casserole. Add the garlic, onion and half of the chorizo and cook over low heat.  Stir occasionally for about 8 minutes, until the onion softens.  Add the stock or water, potatoes and a large pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, 
about 15 minutes. 
2.      Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.  Don’t over process, the puree should be course. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the kale and the remaining chorizo and simmer until the kale is wilted, about 3 minutes. 
3.      Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.  Drizzle with good quality extra-virgin olive oil, and serve with crusty bread.

Potato-Kale Soup Recipe
Winter seems to have finally arrived. How about a warm pot of soup for a weeknight dinner?

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small to medium sized onions, chopped
6 ounces Spanish or Portuguese-style chorizo, sliced ¼ inch thick (optional)
2 quarts chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound kale, stems removed and roughly chopped

Directions
1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or casserole. Add the garlic, onion and half of the chorizo and cook over low heat. Stir occasionally for about 8 minutes, until the onion softens. Add the stock or water, potatoes and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender,
about 15 minutes.
2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Don’t over process, the puree should be course. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the kale and the remaining chorizo and simmer until the kale is wilted, about 3 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Drizzle with good quality extra-virgin olive oil, and serve with crusty bread.

The National’s Butternut Squash Soup with Curry   This recipe also works well with pumpkin, various types of winter squash and even sweet potato (depending on what you use, you may need to add more or less stock).  We keep this recipe vegetarian at the restaurant, but would be very good with chicken stock and a touch of cream.  

 2 butternut squash (about 4 lbs), halved lengthwise and seeded 
2 T evoo (extra virgin olive oil) 
2 cups thinly sliced onions 
1 T light brown sugar 
2 t minced peeled fresh ginger 
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 
½ cinnamon stick 
6 cups vegetable stock  (use more stock if soup is too think) 
2 t curry powder 
Salt and pepper to taste 

 Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.   Place the squash, cut side down, on the sheet tray.  Bake for about 50 minutes until the squash is very soft.  Remove the peel from the squash and cube the squash flesh into 2-inch pieces. 

 In a large pot over medium-low heat, warm the evoo.  Add the onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon stick.  Cover and cook until the onion is softened, about 15 minutes.   Add the squash and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.  Puree the soup in a blender.  Pass through a fine mesh strainer.  Add curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. 

 At the restaurant, we garnish with candied pecans and a dollop of creme fraiche with curry powder folded in. Enjoy on a chilly, winter evening.

The National’s Butternut Squash Soup with Curry
This recipe also works well with pumpkin, various types of winter squash and even sweet potato (depending on what you use, you may need to add more or less stock). We keep this recipe vegetarian at the restaurant, but would be very good with chicken stock and a touch of cream.

2 butternut squash (about 4 lbs), halved lengthwise and seeded
2 T evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 T light brown sugar
2 t minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
½ cinnamon stick
6 cups vegetable stock (use more stock if soup is too think)
2 t curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the squash, cut side down, on the sheet tray. Bake for about 50 minutes until the squash is very soft. Remove the peel from the squash and cube the squash flesh into 2-inch pieces.

In a large pot over medium-low heat, warm the evoo. Add the onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook until the onion is softened, about 15 minutes. Add the squash and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Puree the soup in a blender. Pass through a fine mesh strainer. Add curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.

At the restaurant, we garnish with candied pecans and a dollop of creme fraiche with curry powder folded in. Enjoy on a chilly, winter evening.

How to: Summer Salad   
This is the perfect light salad when it’s way too hot  
to even think about cooking  

 Slice fresh GA peaches and local tomatoes. Cube watermelons. 
Assemble according to above image, including torn basil, arugula and a slice of mozzarella on top. 
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle tomatoes with coarse salt. 
Serve and enjoy.

How to: Summer Salad
This is the perfect light salad when it’s way too hot
to even think about cooking

Slice fresh GA peaches and local tomatoes. Cube watermelons.
Assemble according to above image, including torn basil, arugula and a slice of mozzarella on top.
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle tomatoes with coarse salt.
Serve and enjoy.

Chilled Tomato-Watermelon Soup

I am constantly in search of refreshment when the dog days of summer settle into Athens (and trust us, they’ll be here any second). This tomato-watermelon soup fills the bill perfectly! It’s light, a little tart, a little sweet, and best served as cold as possible. Start your meal with a cup of this to awaken and delight your senses. You might want a bit more for dessert, or perhaps mix up a little adult beverage for porch sipping.


2 qts cubed watermelon
2 lbs tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 T lemon juice
1 cup diced celery
½ cup olive oil
pinch of cayenne
salt & pepper to taste

Puree all ingredients in a blender until very smooth, then chill in refrigerator. Serve very cold.

“Jeweled” Quinoa Salad    Serves four  

 The dried fruits, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios are the “jewels” in this Persian-inspired salad, perfect as an appetizer or side dish. When pomegranates are out of season, simply use red quinoa instead of regular quinoa (as pictured) to compensate for the loss of color. This salad is a great way to introduce some color and a touch of sweetness into a winter meal. 

  Ingredients  
1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
2½ cups water 
¼ cup dried currants, plumped in warm water 
¼ cup golden raisins, plumped in warm water 
¼ cup dried apricots, diced 
¼ cup pomegranate seeds 
¼ cup pistachios 
½ cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped 
2 scallions, diced 
Juice of one lemon 
3 T olive oil 
3 oz crumbled feta 
Salt and ground black pepper to taste 

  Directions  
In a saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 20 minutes. Let cool. 

 Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl, set aside.  

 In a large toss bowl combine the quinoa, fruits, pistachios, parsley, scallions and feta. Toss the quinoa mixture with the lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.     

   Recipe originally published in  B'Nai B'Rith Magazine    
Photo courtesy of Emily Hall.

“Jeweled” Quinoa Salad
Serves four

The dried fruits, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios are the “jewels” in this Persian-inspired salad, perfect as an appetizer or side dish. When pomegranates are out of season, simply use red quinoa instead of regular quinoa (as pictured) to compensate for the loss of color. This salad is a great way to introduce some color and a touch of sweetness into a winter meal.

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2½ cups water
¼ cup dried currants, plumped in warm water
¼ cup golden raisins, plumped in warm water
¼ cup dried apricots, diced
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup pistachios
½ cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, diced
Juice of one lemon
3 T olive oil
3 oz crumbled feta
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a saucepan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 20 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl, set aside.

In a large toss bowl combine the quinoa, fruits, pistachios, parsley, scallions and feta. Toss the quinoa mixture with the lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Recipe originally published in B'Nai B'Rith Magazine
Photo courtesy of Emily Hall.

Fall Chopped Salad Recipe

This simple, yet exquisite chopped salad is a great way to showcase the wealth of hearty vegetables we are so fortunate to enjoy in the autumn to winter months.


Ingredients

Pita Croutons…

2 6-inch pitas
olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fall Vegetables…

1 cup ½ -inch cubed beets
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ½ -inch cubed sweet potato
½ pound Lacinato kale, chopped into 1-inch strips
1 cup ½ -inch cubed hakurai turnips
1 cup ½ - inch cubed radishes
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar

Finishing…
½ cup goat’s milk labneh (cow’s milk labneh or Greek yogurt is a good substitute)
1 teaspoon ground sumac
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation


For the Pita Croutons…

Heat the oven to 350°F. Tear pita into bite sized pieces and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toast pitas in the oven until golden brown and crunchy. Cool.

For the Fall Vegetables…
Heat the oven to 350°F. Toss beets with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool.

Toss sweet potatoes with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray and roast in the oven 30 minutes or until tender. Cool.

Heat a large sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add the kale and sauté until just slightly wilted, working in batches. Cool.

Combine the remaining ½ cup olive oil with the Sherry vinegar and reserve. Roughly chop or tear mint leaves; reserve. In a large bowl, combine beets, sweet potato, kale, turnips, radishes, mint, pomegranate seeds, and olive oil-Sherry vinegar mixture. Season to taste.

To Assemble and Serve…

Place vegetables on individual salad plates or in a serving bowl. Place a dollop of labneh in the center of the vegetables. Spread croutons, sumac, and sesame over the salad.


{This recipe was originally published on StarChefs.com}

Beets. What can we say, some people love them, others won’t even venture a taste. We think they’re a versatile vegetable that deserves a place on dishes summer through winter. Boasting such a lengthy growing season, beets transition seamlessly from cold to hot, always lending vibrant colors and a natural earthy sweetness. We love to include beets in our power lunch and on the vegetable plate. 

  Beet-Pecan-Pomegranate Salad   Serves 6 as a side dish.  

 4 cups cooked beet, cubed 
¼ cup pecans, toasted, chopped 
¼ pomegranate seeds 
2 scallions, finely diced 
2 T pomegranate molasses 
2 T olive oil 
salt and pepper to taste 

 Combine ingredients in a bowl.  Season to taste.

Beets. What can we say, some people love them, others won’t even venture a taste. We think they’re a versatile vegetable that deserves a place on dishes summer through winter. Boasting such a lengthy growing season, beets transition seamlessly from cold to hot, always lending vibrant colors and a natural earthy sweetness. We love to include beets in our power lunch and on the vegetable plate.

Beet-Pecan-Pomegranate Salad
Serves 6 as a side dish.

4 cups cooked beet, cubed
¼ cup pecans, toasted, chopped
¼ pomegranate seeds
2 scallions, finely diced
2 T pomegranate molasses
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.

Favorite Ingredient: Greek Yogurt

At The National, I love that we are able to boast a frequently changing menu featuring ingredients that reflect local seasonality. That said, Greek Yogurt remains a go-to ingredient for me all year long.

Greek yogurt is rich and creamy, sometimes the consistency of sour cream. It’s full of protein and probiotics, and happily versatile in sweet or savory dishes.

On the sweet side, I love it over fresh peaches or figs with a generous drizzle of honey on top. Yet it’s also a perfect topping for salmon, especially with grated cucumber, lemon zest and mint stirred in. Now that eggplants are plentiful at the farmer’s market, try adding Greek yogurt to babbaganoush. It makes a richer dip that’s perfect for warm flatbread. In the morning, I eat Greek yogurt with granola. Top this with pomegranate seeds when they’re in season for a nutritious start to your day.

Nothing against the regular stuff, but when it comes to yogurt, I’m hooked on Greek.

How to Cure Lamb Belly

It’s finally fig season in Georgia! Starting tonight, we’ll have local figs wrapped with house cured lamb bacon, broiled with balsamic and arugula {6}. So come taste this special treat, then make cured bacon in your own home with the following simple recipe.

Cured Lamb Bacon

3 lamb bellies (aka boneless breasts, approximately 1-2 lbs each)

Curing mixture:
½ lb kosher salt
4 ¼ t DC curing salt #1
2 T course black peppercorn, freshly ground
1 T cumin, freshly ground
1 T coriander seed, freshly ground
25 bay leaves, crushed
10 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cinnamon stick, crushed

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients to make the curing mixture. On a large, flat surface, lay the lamb bellies flat. Rub with the curing mixture. Place each belly in a gallon-size plastic sealable bag, removing excess air. Refrigerate the bellies for 24 hours. Remove the bellies, rinse the curing mixture completely off, pat dry. Wrap the bellies tightly in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for an additional 24 hours. The bacon is now ready to use, or freeze for future use.

Greek Salad Dressing Recipe

Stop by the Athens Farmers Market at Little Kings today between 4 and 7pm or make your order on Athens Locally Grown by 8pm tonight, and you’ll be eating local Greek Salad all week. What a great way to Taste Your Place right at home!

Serve this dressing with lettuce, feta, olives and chopped fresh vegetables from the Athens Farmers Market such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions. Feta cheese is produced locally by Greendale Farm and Split Creek Farm, both available from Athens Locally Grown.

And did you know olives have a history of growing in Georgia? They were grown primarily on the coast, first brought by the Spanish and then by English planters. It’s believed that olive trees growing on St. Simons Island and Cumberland Island were gifts from Thomas Jefferson.


1 cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 t dijon mustard
2 T fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 t garlic powder
1 ½ t onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Alternatively, place ingredients in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until well combined.

Local Chicken Salad with Yogurt-Herb Dressing

In the summer, we love simply grilling Darby Farms chicken with a bit of spicy marinade. Nothing says summer like a backyard cookout, and when you host a crowd, you’re bound to have a pile of leftovers. This recipe for yogurt-herb dressing is a great way to make a light and summery chicken salad with your extra grilled chicken. If you’re not having a cookout, it also works well with poached chicken and is a fresh alternative to ranch for dipping veggies.

Yogurt-Herb Dressing for Chicken Salad

1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup packed basil leaves, finely chopped
2 T capers, chopped
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
¼ cup celery, finely diced
½ T lemon juice
½ t ground cumin
½ t dried thyme
pinch of chili flake
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and stir to combine. Toss with sliced, cooked chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Rote Kohl Recipe

Our recent German wine dinner was a big success, thanks mainly to The National’s sous chef, Patrick Stubbers. His family’s recipes provided the core of the menu. One of my favorite dishes was rote kohl, a deeply satisfying cabbage dish perfect for the holidays.

Rote Kohl (Holiday Red Cabbage)
Family Recipe of Patrick Stubbers, Sous Chef, The National

Ingredients:
1 head red cabbage, chopped
2 red apples, cored, peeled, diced
½ stick butter
½ t ground cloves*
½ t ground nutmeg*
¼ t ground cinnamon*
¾ C red wine vinegar
½ C red wine
¾ C dark brown sugar
salt and pepper

* I like to use more, add recommended amount, cook awhile, then taste, add more if desired)

Melt butter in large pot; add cabbage, apples, spices. Stir to mix. Add vinegar, wine and brown sugar.

Cook on low heat, covered, until desired tenderness. It generally takes 2 to 3 hours. Check and stir frequently. Adjust heat as needed, it should cook slowly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

tumblr_kw09h5pe6s1qaur4po2_1280.jpg
tumblr_kw09h5pe6s1qaur4po1_250.jpg
tumblr_kw09h5pe6s1qaur4po5_r1_500.png

Once in awhile I’m lucky enough to experience a transformative meal changing the way I think about food, cooking, everything.  One of those for me was lunch at St. John in London, back in 2003.  In addition to the bone marrow and lamb sweetbreads, I fantasize about the eccles cake.  A simple pastry really, it’s buttery flakey pastry with a dense dried currant filling.  Clearly a trip to London would be required to ever have another eccles cake…  until the day I got to work and TWO eccles cakes were waiting for me!  My dear friend Richard smuggled them in on his way home for Christmas.  Just as good as I remember!  Recipe follows:

To see this story with its related links on the guardian.co.uk site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/27/recipes.foodanddrink


St John’s eccles cake

In the second of our week-long series of exclusive baking recipes, Fergus Henderson reveals the secrets behind the delicious eccles cakes served at the St John restaurants in London

Fergus Henderson
Tuesday November 27 2007
The Guardian


http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/27/recipes.foodanddrink


Makes at least 12 (leftover pastry freezes well)

Pastry
125g unsalted butter (butter A), cold from the fridge
500g strong white flour
Pinch of sea salt
250ml water
375g unsalted butter (butter B), cold from the fridge
Filling
50g unsalted butter
110g dark brown sugar
220g currants
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Glaze
3 egg whites, beaten with a fork
Shallow bowl of caster sugar

I stress the St John in our eccles cake, as I am sure that bakers in Eccles will not recognise them as the eccles cake they know. Oddly enough, for a restaurant with a carnivorous reputation, we serve a vegetarian eccles cake, omitting the traditional lard; we use puff pastry. This recipe’s results are delicious and particularly fine when consumed with Lancashire cheese.

To make the puff pastry, mix butter A with the flour and salt using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then cautiously add the water and mix until you have a firm paste. Pat into a square and wrap in clingfilm. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once the pastry is rested, roll the paste into a rectangle about 8mm thick, then beat butter B between greaseproof paper into a rectangle a wee bit smaller than half the paste rectangle. Lay the butter on the paste, leaving a space at the end. Fold the unbuttered half over the butter and fold the edges over, so you now have butter in a paste package. Pat square, wrap in clingfilm, and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Roll the pastry square out into a rectangle in the opposite direction to your initial major fold. (Each time you roll out the pastry to fold, turn your pastry and roll across the previous direction you rolled. You will have to sprinkle flour on the surface of your rolling pin; and it is very important to dust the flour off the paste before folding it at every turn in the process.)

Once the pastry is approximately 1cm to 1.5cm thick, fold it like a traditional letter, with one end of the rectangle to the halfway mark, and the other end over this. Pat square and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to rest again. Repeat this process two more times, but no more! This is essential for successful puff. Return it to the fridge and rest for an hour or more. Do not be deterred - it seems like a more complicated process than it is in practice.

Now, to the filling. Melt the butter and sugar together, then add them to the dry ingredients, mix well, and then leave to cool before using.

We’re now ready to make the cakes. Roll the puff pastry out to 8mm thick and cut circles about 9cm in diameter. Spoon a blob of your cake mix into the centre of the disc and pull up the sides of the pastry to cover the filling, Seal it with your fingers, then turn it over and slash the top three times (for the Holy Trinity). Paint the top with the egg white, then dip it in the sugar. They are now ready to bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a hot to medium oven; keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. They can be eaten hot or cold.

A version of this recipe appeared in the book Nose to Tail Eating, by Fergus Henderson, published by Bloomsbury.

Winter is tropical fruit season, reminding me of an amazing yet simple dessert I had at Inopia (iconic tapas bar from the brother of super-chef Ferran Adria) in Barcelona.  We use ¼ of a super ripe pineapple, sprinkle lime-sugar and pomegranate seeds, and drizzle cane syrup over the top.  At Inopia they use a cane syrup from the Canary Islands, we go a little more regional with Steen’s Cane Syrup from Abbeville, Louisiana.  It’s a delicious and refreshing way to end a meal.

Winter is tropical fruit season, reminding me of an amazing yet simple dessert I had at Inopia (iconic tapas bar from the brother of super-chef Ferran Adria) in Barcelona.  We use ¼ of a super ripe pineapple, sprinkle lime-sugar and pomegranate seeds, and drizzle cane syrup over the top.  At Inopia they use a cane syrup from the Canary Islands, we go a little more regional with Steen’s Cane Syrup from Abbeville, Louisiana.  It’s a delicious and refreshing way to end a meal.