Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking with Marcus Samuelsson's "The Rise"


Recommended Posts

Crispy Carolina Millet Salad with Cow Peas (p. 58)

 

I have no idea how close I came to replicating this recipe from New York chef Adrienne Cheatham -- you see, the recipe is called "millet salad," and the ingredients list calls for millet. But nowhere in the instructions do you ever actually use the millet! So I'll explain the recipe, and we can theorize about what was supposed to happen here...

 

First, it calls for a cup of cooked Carolina Gold rice, which you air-dry for four hours. That then gets fried until you have some crispy bits, then cooled again, and formed into a salad with collards, cowpeas, and quick-pickled yellow beets. This is tossed with a benne seed dressing, and topped with toasted benne seeds (they are very similar to sesame seeds, but maybe a little nuttier... or maybe that's my imagination). The ingredients list also calls for a cup of cooked millet. Which you do nothing at all with. What I can't tell is, was the original salad for rice, and it got converted to millet, but something got lost in production and the instructions for the rice version were included instead? Or is the millet supposed to be added to the rice and fried? Or just added at the end? Or something else entirely?

 

Well, I already had both the cooked rice and the cooked millet ready to go, so I decided to combine them together and fry the whole lot. It worked well and I was happy with the result, but I could easily imagine the salad with only the rice or only the millet, too.

 

DSC_7178.jpg

  • Like 4
  • Delicious 1

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chris Hennes you are an unflappable soul with a high level of tolerance. I can't tell you how sick I am of seeing cookbooks or even recipes on line that just don't get edited carefully. Maybe the publishers are short-staffed, try to rush the book into production or hire editors who are not qualified but work for a pittance (of course everyone in publishing works for a pittance.). Or maybe the poor frazzled editors are forced to work with entitled chefs who don't meet their deadlines. I hope you got the book from the library and didn't have to buy it. I suspect that librarians generally are pretty patient people; if I had to witness the thousands of dog-eared pages in returned books every day I would be a screaming lunatic.

 

With regards to that recipe, where do you buy benne seeds or for that matter cowpeas? I get that this book is full of regional recipes from various places, but it sounds like a lot of sourcing is involved for these meals. Does Norman OK have a population that supports that kind of shopping? Or do you mostly rely on mail ordering?

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

With regards to that recipe, where do you buy benne seeds or for that matter cowpeas? I get that this book is full of regional recipes from various places, but it sounds like a lot of sourcing is involved for these meals. Does Norman OK have a population that supports that kind of shopping? Or do you mostly rely on mail ordering?

Those particular ingredients are both from Ansen Mills. Especially in 2020, I use a lot of mail-order sources, but I live a couple of blocks from a pretty good grocery store, and my local farmer's market is pretty impressive for certain categories of food (greens and strange cuts of meat, mostly).

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

I hope you got the book from the library and didn't have to buy it.

I should also mention that I bought the book, and don't regret it -- it's exactly my favorite kind of cookbook, full of recipes that always go the extra mile. While there are some mistakes in it, none of them have prevented me from achieving an excellent end result from the recipe. I'm learning how to incorporate a new set of flavors into my cooking repertoire, which is a huge part of the reason I approach cookbooks the way I do.

  • Like 4

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Might I suggest contacting Osayi Endolyn on Instagram and asking via their message system? I have had success with this method. It feels rude the first time you do it but I've gotten quick responses when I've messaged cookbook authors (I usually go for the writer, not the Chef)

 

YMMV

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think benne seeds is another name for sesame seeds; apparently slaves and their descendants called them "benne seeds", so maybe "benne" is a derivative of the word from a west African language.  

 

And in my experience,  any field pea is an excellent substitute for cowpeas.  Or, pigeon peas, if you can take the funk.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, SLB said:

I think benne seeds is another name for sesame seeds; apparently slaves and their descendants called them "benne seeds", so maybe "benne" is a derivative of the word from a west African language.  

 

Linguistically yes, but taste wise benne wafers sold in the South have a stronger nuttier flavor in my limited experience, Anson Mills that @Chris Hennes sourced from says https://ansonmills.com/products/54

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, SLB said:

I think benne seeds is another name for sesame seeds;

Yes -- I have been thinking of them as a sort of "heirloom" sesame seed, but even that is probably not really accurate. For reference, here's a side-by-side of the Anson Mills "Benne Seeds" and my normal store-brand hulled white sesame seeds:

20201214-DSC_7182.jpg

(You should be able to click to get the absurd resolution version.)

 

Unfortunately I don't have any unhulled sesame seeds to give a fair comparison: my bet is that a good quality unhulled sesame seed is essentially the same product as the Anson Mills "benne seeds."

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

As another data point, I got the Southern Exposure seed catalog in the mail today, and they have Benne this year, saying

Quote

An oldfashioned sesame, common in 19th century Southern cooking, traditionally processed into flour and oil. Richly flavored brown seeds with lower oil content than modern sesames. 7-ft. plants.

And no, I did not order any. Seven foot plants!

  • Like 1

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/14/2020 at 6:18 PM, Chris Hennes said:

Yes -- I have been thinking of them as a sort of "heirloom" sesame seed, but even that is probably not really accurate. For reference, here's a side-by-side of the Anson Mills "Benne Seeds" and my normal store-brand hulled white sesame seeds:

20201214-DSC_7182.jpg

(You should be able to click to get the absurd resolution version.)

 

Unfortunately I don't have any unhulled sesame seeds to give a fair comparison: my bet is that a good quality unhulled sesame seed is essentially the same product as the Anson Mills "benne seeds."

So.....are the Anson Mills benne seeds essentially an heirloom variety of sesame seeds but with hulls still on them? I did a quick little search and there a lot of contradictory information about them. The most complete explanation I could find implies that the benne plants that came from Africa were used in all stages of growth and that benne seeds refers to a younger stage with hulls still on them. These were then toasted and used, hulls and all. My understanding is that sesame seeds were the kernels of older plants that were typically (like now) sold hulled, dried and toasted. That's the best I could come up with.

 

I'll be amazed if I got this right, frankly, but apparentlyy it's a confusing topic. @Chris Hennesare you toasting them before using? I checked out a few recipes for the traditional wafers and most of them say to toast the seeds, implying that if you buy true benne seeds they do not come toasted the way sesame seeds do. I'm so hoping you will make some wafers with your Anson Mills seeds and provide an assessment!  Otherwise I might have to do it myself, but right now I can't get myself to mail order one single thing more. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

@Chris Hennesare you toasting them before using? I checked out a few recipes for the traditional wafers and most of them say to toast the seeds, implying that if you buy true benne seeds they do not come toasted the way sesame seeds do.

Yes, I am toasting the benne seeds, but I buy my sesame seeds untoasted and to that myself as well.

 

6 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

So.....are the Anson Mills benne seeds essentially an heirloom variety of sesame seeds but with hulls still on them?

That seems to be what they are saying, and is consistent with the Southern Exposure nomenclature. The do definitely still have their hulls, as you can see in the photo.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bird and Toast (p. 194)

 

From Harlem chef Melba Wilson comes this riff on Nashville hot chicken: chicken thighs brined, then seasoned with a combination of cayenne, berbere spice, paprika, garlic, and brown sugar. Deep fried and then glazed with a honey/soy sauce/fish sauce mixture (including a little of the spice mix). Served on toasted brioche that has been buttered and topped with a little of the chicken liver mousse I posted about up-topic, and finally garnished with a pickled peach. This took all day to make: obviously I made the brioche from scratch, and the pickled peaches, but the mousse was left over. The end result was delicious. I wish it was spicier, though. I think a lot of the flavor of Nashville hot chicken comes from the oil having been used for countless previous batches of spicy chicken: using fresh oil just isn't the same. I thought it was going to be insane, there is a lot of cayenne in there, but in the end it needed even more heat, IMO.

 

20201219-DSC_7197.jpg

  • Like 7

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fried Chicken and Waffles with Piri Piri Glaze (p. 196)

 

On the next page is another fried chicken recipe from Melba Wilson, and it's another winner. It's actually the only recipe so far that apologizes for its complexity, which is sort of funny since it's not actually significantly more complex than anything else I've made from this book. Here's the breakdown:

 

The boneless, skinless(!) chicken thighs are marinated in buttermilk and Frank's Red Hot for six hours. They are breaded in a flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, garlic and paprika mixture. The recipe calls for shallow-frying, but since I still had the setup from last night on the stove I deep fried. I was skeptical of the skin-off chicken for a fried chicken dish, but on the plate I didn't really notice the absence of skin, the breading worked well and had plenty of texture. And you can actually buy boneless, skinless thighs... unlike last night's boneless skin-on thighs, which required more work to prep since they don't come boneless.

 

The waffles are whole wheat and sweet potato with a tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg: they are a little bit sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. They don't end up crispy, which normally I'd object to, but in this particular application that isn't a detriment. The chicken has plenty of crunch, the waffle didn't need it.

 

The piri piri glaze is the piri piri marinade from p. 287 (shallots, garlic, ginger, habanero, paprika, and lemon juice) with some added honey and olive oil. It's got a good amount of heat, but also a well balanced sweetness. It made an excellent (if unconventional!) "syrup" for this dish.

 

Finally, this is all topped off with a good dose of the "pikliz" quick-pickled vegetables, for an added crunch and balancing acidity.

 

So, not trivial, but not any more difficult to make than last night's bird and toast, or the croissants and liver mousse, etc.

 

20201220-DSC_7211.jpg

  • Like 7

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Corn and Crab Beignets with Yaji Aioli (p. 205)

 

This may be the simplest recipe so far. They are basic beignets with corn and crab. The Aioli is pretty normal, too, just incorporating some Yaji (a spice blend based on peanuts) into it. My only qualm is that the recipe says it makes 24 beignets, so I cut it in half. And ended up with about 24 beignets. I made them basically exactly the size the recipe calls for, so I think they just have the quantity wrong.

 

DSC_7231.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Delicious 2

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Couscous (p. 188)

 

The chicken is roasted with plentiful herbs and Berbere spice brown butter under the skin. The couscous has olives, red onion, chickpeas, tomatoes, red wine, cumin, turmeric, and is finished with lemon juice, lemon zest, and sauteed chicken livers. The "herbs crammed under the skin" technique is not my favorite way of roasting chicken, but it turned out reasonably well. Overall the dish was good, but a little "homey" compared to the rest of the book.

 

DSC_7239.jpg

  • Like 4
  • Delicious 1

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you not like the herbs under the skin method so much as it interferes with browning, is a pain, ultimate texture or? Wondering as I do rough paste in cavity and dryer on skin but under skin always made me tear it. I am a klutz.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it adds that much flavor to the chicken, and it makes the skin adhere even less (well, not at all!). If you want your chicken to taste like something other than chicken, you need to give the flavor time to penetrate. An hour in the oven isn't going to do the trick, you should have just made a sauce. Then again, I might just be judging the book against itself: the last two fried chicken dishes were spectacular, and this one was just so... pedestrian.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

Next Day Grits (p. 175)

 

This recipe comes from Dr. Fred Opie, Professor of History and Foodways at Babson College. It calls for "leftover grits"... this is not a thing in my life. So I arranged to have some leftover grits. Which is to say, at lunchtime I made some grits and tossed them in the fridge. Voila! Leftover grits. To make the dish, the first step is that the grits are then rinsed to separate the grains. It says to avoid pressing on the grits, but those grains were not going to separate themselves (did I mention my "leftover grits" had butter in them?). So I sort of gently prodded them apart with my fingers. Then you make a sort of soup/porridge thing with chicken stock, coconut milk, and those grits. It's flavored with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and vinegar, and finished by adding some leftover dark chicken meat (this time I really did have leftovers, but only because I knew I wanted to make this dish!), mustard greens, a poached egg, and a little cheddar cheese.

 

Overall the dish was OK, but it lacked the finesse of many of the other recipes in the book. It needed one more flavor and/or texture pop. Liberally doused in Frank's hot sauce, however, it was definitely edible :).

 

(NB: those are the Geechie Boy blue corn grits, which is why the color is a little odd.)

 

DSC_7258.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Delicious 2

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...