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Southeastern Food Media

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Digest compiled by Gifted Gourmet

Atlanta Media

In this week's Creative Loafing for Atlanta, there is a lovely review of the new restaurant which has been widely discussed here in our Southeast Forum, Blais:

Blazing a new path in Atlanta

the link to our discussion on this place is:

eG thread

When you read the review, please keep in mind the fact that Atlanta is within easy driving distance of pretty much everywhere in the United States, with the possible exception of Hawaii!

Also in this week's Creative Loafing is a review of one of the newest additions to our local dining scene, Eugene:

More fine dining in Atlanta

This week's Atlanta Journal-Constitution Food section places its primary focus on ways in which to enliven the currently popular "bagged salads" ... and, as the writer correctly notes: "So go ahead. Play with your food. This is not your mother's iceberg wedge anymore." She includes a variety of items which can produce an interesting, healthful, and yes, even delightful, result:

Salads: new and different touches

Charlotte, N.C. Media

In the current issue of Charlotte's Creative Loafing, one can delight in the local dining scene and enjoy articles on a variety of topics, case in point this week: the newest Greek restaurant in town:

It's Greek to me

"For years we've been downtown listening to folks from out of town asking why there isn't a Greek restaurant in Charlotte," said George Photopoulos. In March the Photopoulos family opened Greek Isles, located in an old warehouse on Bland Street. But there is nothing bland about this restaurant.

Kathleen Purvis, the food editor of the Charlotte Observer has some marvelous weekly columns on different aspects of food in her community:

Kathleen Purvis

The past few weeks find her discussing napkin folding in fine restaurants:

article here

Watch it, Buster: I've got a finger bowl and I'm not afraid to use it.

All that, and I'm confused by a simple square of cloth?

When you sit down at a restaurant table, when do you put your napkin in your lap?

as well as the history of local barbecue:


They toured the state over pork plates. After the Southern Foodways Alliance discovered him, he agreed to take on the barbecue project, recording 40 oral histories in the Carolinas.

Nashville, Tennessee Media


Don't miss Mint Juleps

From frosted sterling cups to commemorative Kentucky Derby glasses, mint juleps herald the warmth of spring and the spectacle of large animals running around in circles.

and Barbecue redux... Nashville version

Wherefore art thou, barbecue?

The word ''barbecue'' has many meanings. Only in English could this sentence make sense: ''I think I'll barbecue some barbecue on the barbecue for the barbecue.'' Barbecue can mean the cooking technique, the resulting dish, the equipment or the event where the meal is served.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Thanks to Gifted Gourmet, who has graciously agreed to provide us with regular digests from media outlets across the Southeastern US. This thread will be for the digest posts only and not for discussion. If you want to discuss any of these articles, please look for an internal link to an existing eGullet discussion or start a new discussion in the Southeast Forum.

Dean McCord


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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states. For the latest digest go to the end.

Charlotte, North Carolina

The opening of a new Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte is greeted with much enthusiasm:

Bên Thành Vietnamese Restaurant

Traditional Vietnamese dishes are lighter and crisper than Chinese dishes and not as fiery as Thai. Clean herbaceous flavors are the hallmarks of Vietnamese cuisine and seem the perfect choice for spring and summer evenings. There is nothing suburban about the food at Bên Thành. Nguyen prepares traditional dishes that are a competent and delicious amalgam of classic Vietnamese cuisine.

Another article from Charlotte has the explosion of Latino foods as its focal point:

New foods a sensation

How will the food Charlotteans eat change as the Latino community expands? Hilda H. Gurdian, publisher of La Noticia, The Spanish-Language Newspaper, responded, "I think the food will have more flavor, more color, more variety. Latino food is spicier, but not necessarily hot. It has a richer flavor as we love to mix ingredients such as herbs, red or green peppers, onions, garlic, fresh tomatoes, wine, which used in the right amount and cooked at the right heat adds a gourmet style flavor to an otherwise simple meal.

Wine article

The French Connection

Gallic grape savvy makes great "American" wines

and from The Charlotte Observer

Kaffe Frappe

Here's a hip, cool, new place with a well-dressed clientele and snazzy contemporary design: Kaffe Frappe.

Tennessee Media

Nashville Scene

An interesting delight for the fudgey brownie enthusiast:

Simply Brownies

Simply Brownies, says Jervon Dailey, the keeper of the gates at the Nashville Scene, will make you want to slap your momma, and that's about as Southern a compliment as can be given.

From Memphis comes yet another excellent collection of food articles:

Memphis, Tennessee food article collection

one of which, I found most intriguing:

South African wines: the new Napa?

Charleston, South Carolina media

The Charleston Post and Courier runs a number of excellent columns:

Great articles on a variety of subjects

One of the best is about the Slow Food Movement:

Slow Food on the Rise

In the past few months, several local food activists started a regional chapter called the Slow Food Charleston Convivium. The brand-new chapter supports the principles of the entire slow food movement on a local scale. This will translate into efforts to increase interest in and education about organic foods, farming, local produce, food and wine, lifestyle and culinary tradition through a series of events from cheese tastings to a local shrimp theme dinner.

also a collection of marvelous new books for Mother's Day:

Celebration with books for Mom


Taking the low carb frozen treat test

Last but hardly least, is the Atlanta Journal Constitution which this week dissects the fine art of souffle preparation just in time for Mother's Day:

AJC food section

Impress your family and guests with a soufflé for Mother's Day and enjoy all those oohs and aahs.

But if the very thought makes you anxious because of the drama and timing, here's a little secret: Soufflés are not that difficult to make. In fact, they're quite straightforward, with just a few ingredients — but making a good soufflé takes patience, practice and precision.

from Atlanta Creative Loafing are a myriad of food articles:

Creative Loafing this week

a review of Bamboo Garden, a local favorite:

East meets East cuisine

A restaurant named Bamboo Garden, then, seems like an intriguing new addition to the Indian-dominated neighborhood. I mean, Bamboo Garden sure sounds like a straight-ahead Chinese joint, right? The name tips you off in the same way as, say, an eatery called Jade Dragon or Seven Lotus Treasures does. You walk in expecting Kung Pao Chicken Central.

Ah, but there's a catch here........

and, not to be forgotten, is the food section of The Birmingham News from Alabama:

Food section this week

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Birmingham NewsLovely article on tea time with suggestions of how to avail oneself of this tradition locally:

Enjoying the ritual of tea time is simply having a series of small savories or sweets, accompanied by tea. Today's tea may begin with a cup of soup and always ends with dainty sweets. The constant is that tea is always available.

Charleston Post and CourierAn article on how local diners might best "upgrade" their Krispy Kremes into more elaborate desserts had me in stitches:

To celebrate last week's opening of the new Krispy Kreme store on Market Street, five of Charleston's top restaurants took the doughnuts out of the box and gave them a taste of fine dining. Dressed to the nines in tony shades of cappuccino and chocolate and accessorized with trendy raspberry and tres chic cream, the doughnut desserts were the hit of the town.

Additionally, there is an article on how to prepare a quick version (yes, 20 minutes!!) of the beloved dish, Shrimp Etouffee:

If you use a few convenient time-savers (already-peeled shrimp, Cajun seasoning blend and fish-flavored bouillon), a restaurant-quality Shrimp Etouffee is indeed easy -- and it can be yours in just 20 minutes start to finish.

Charlotte ObserverKathleen Purvis has written a delightful article on leftover barbecue and how to best adapt it to ensuing meals:

"After a 25-year quest, I'm happy to announce I have finally found the perfect wine- barbecue match." The winner: Kunde Zinfandel. "It's designed in heaven to go with Carolina barbecue."

from Charlotte Creative Loafing:

Jacques Pepin's latest cookbookThe Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

When Pépin decided to drop out of school and become a chef, his parents helped secure a three-year apprenticeship with a well-known local chef at Le Grand Hotel de l'Europe in Lyon. Pépin was required to learn each task thoroughly before he was allowed to move on to the next station, and in some instances he had to stand and observe, like a page turner for a musician, anticipating what the master chef would need next.

Knoxville News

Lead article has a recipe for making chocolate chip cupcakes in a cone:

For these cupcake cones, chocolate chip brownies are under-baked slightly. The cones become crisper but don't darken or change color.

Memphis Commercial AppealBarbecue pork shoulder is the main article in today's paper:

Bobbie Moore doesn't need a $3,000 smoker to barbecue a pork shoulder.

All she needs is a slow fire and time. A little love doesn't hurt, either. "You have to go through the stomach to get to the heart," she said. "Ain't you ever heard that before?" 

Yet another take on local barbecue is also available here:

Where there's smoke, there's barbecue. At least that's the scenario for the next few days in Tom Lee Park, when the Memphis in May International Festival's World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest officially lights the fire on this three-day oink-fest.

The Tennessean (Nashville)Great recipe for Spicy Lamb over Couscous which I will try myself this weekend:

It is compatible with a variety of seasonings. Borrowing from cuisines of northern Africa, the flavors of this lamb dish include tomatoes, cinnamon and other seasonings. It's easy to put together, can be made in a jiffy or ahead and reheated. You can freeze it, too.

Orlando SentinelFrom the Orlando Sentinel comes the perfect story for the week which finds us enjoying the final episode of Frasier:

Granted Kelsey Grammer's character could be pretentious and persnickety, but the writers slipped in a few lines that underscored the haute in haute cuisine.Thursday night, when Frasier signs off, it will be more about sipping vintage wine and fine cognac than bellying up to the bar. 

ah, the memories of that show will persist long after the last show this week ... great writing =longevity of a show, I honestly believe!

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is an article men will enjoy reading:

Cooking: the way to a woman's heart

The book organizes menus into chapters that guys can relate to: red meat, white meat, sea meat, no meat and desserts that require no cooking at all. Each menu is labeled two ways, "what it really is" (guy-speak, in other words) and "what you tell her it is" (flowery chef-speak).

the recipes

What it really is:

Steak and Potatoes With Spinach and Shrimp

What you tell her it is:

Garlic-and-Herb-Marinated Filet Mignon With Horseradish Cream Sauce, served with Baked Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach and Shrimp Cocktail

Drink This: Trapiche "Oak Cask" Malbec; or Weinert Merlot; or Chateau Lynch-Bages Pauillac.

and, from Atlanta Creative Loafing:

Fusion Profusion

I have avoided Roy's "Hawaiian fusion cuisine" the last three years. I did not want to recover kitschy memories of my suburban childhood. I well remember when the neighbor, Mr. Big Kahuna, buried a pig in the back yard for a luau replete with every cliche from "the islands," as Hawaii was always called by lei-wearing folks who returned from a week there to bore captives with two-hour slideshows.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution lead article: convenience foods

Is America too busy to cook? Maybe. According to the Parade survey, 24 percent of Americans bought more convenience foods in 2003 than they did just two years before. Most say they do so to save time, and a third say they're too tired to cook sometimes.

Or maybe there's another reason, industry observers say.

"A lot of people don't know how to cook," says Valerie Rivera of Tone Brothers, which makes Durkee and Spice Islands products. "Blended products are becoming a lot more popular."

and from Atlanta Creative Loafing comes a remarkable article by our local food writer supreme, Cliff Bostock, on the reopening of the exquisite sushi restaurant, Soto:

Watching Soto work is like watching theater. In a white jacket, his face overwhelmed by glasses, he is intensity incarnate. While he slices the fish with geometrical precision, creating wondrous combinations, he also barks orders now and then.

The Birmingham News

Barbecue Guru, Stephen Raichlen

Today features the Barbecue Guru himself, with an engaging look at his book and his Ten Commandments of Barbecue:

"Every day, I give thanks that I live in a country and time and history when a guy can actually make a living eating barbecue, cooking barbecue, and writing about barbecue."

. . . .

"American barbecue is all about smoke," he says. "Unlike many countries, we have a lot of forests," and the burning wood smokes meat well."

In this week's Charleston Post and Courier, you will undoubtedly enjoy the articles which feature

squash and egg dishes

Celeste Albers' 1,000 hens lay eggs all year long, but May is their biggest laying month. Albers, who runs Green Grocer farm with her husband, George, and daughter/helper Erin, says that's because of the increase in natural light during this time of year. Albers estimates that her hens produce about 50 to 54 dozen eggs per day.

That's a lot of eggs.

Need some pimento cheese recipes?

"This concoction is so addictive that the U.S. government should list it as a controlled substance."

These homages and dozens more were collected last year as part of a recipe contest sponsored by the Southern Foodways Alliance in conjunction with the Southeast Dairy Association and the Internet site www.ilovecheese.com.

The Charlotte Observer this week describes the various types of produce that are available by the month when they reach their peak.

article on why Pinot Grigio is no longer snubbed

On average, pinot grigio is reliably light, crisp and delicate, with mild citrus flavors. Not a wine to get serious over, but one to drink with picnic salads, sandwiches, antipasto or shellfish and get on with your life.

Call it wine's equivalent of light beer.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Charlotte Creative Loafing this week offers articles on Latino cuisine

Latino restaurants that feature dishes from a multiple of indigenous Latino cuisines have the advantage of broad appeal. These restaurants can feature paella from Spain, fruit and root dishes from the Caribbean islands, sauces from Central America, and items that are uniquely South American. Plus, a savvy restaurateur may throw in a Mexican taquito or two for good measure. 

The Knoxville News

Mixture of recipes for Golden Cauliflower, salad dressings, and strawberry ice cream ... nothing too heavy but nicely summery. :biggrin:

Memphis Commercial Appeal's lead article on dips of all varieties.

we asked you to send us your favorite dips and although you mostly stuck to the Mexican theme, you came up with new twists (and then there were the comedians who named certain relatives as their favorite dips).

One thing we found out is that corn is becoming popular.

The Tennessean from Nashville

has a review of Faith Ford's new cookbook (she was on Murphy Brown):

Candice Bergen remains one of Ford's biggest fans. In the forward of Ford's book, she describes the corn muffins, peach cobbler, jambalaya, coconut cake and — best of all — ''mini pecan pies that melted in your mouth. . . . The crust was so light . . . and buttery . . . and they were bite-sized so you could eat about 40 and not even feel full — just fat.''

The Orlando Sentinel's article on preparing for a hurricane (not the drink here!!)

If you hear the word "hurricane" and you immediately think of a tall, pink drink in a shapely glass at Pat O'Brien's at Universal CityWalk, you must be a newcomer to Central Florida.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

(Note to SE readers:If you live in a city which is not normally covered in this digest, please send me a PM to look into their media and the food articles there)

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has as its lead article a piece on rubs for the barbecue:

how much better those veggies (and steaks, and red snapper) when slathered with a flavor-evoking spice rub. Dry rubs and their culinary cousins, pastes (which are basically wet rubs), flavor the outside of the meat and provide texture and caramelization to the meat's surface. "

and, of course, there are interesting recipes for rubs including unusual Ginger-and-Cardamom Sweet Rub for Fruit, Latin-Style Wet Rub for Meats (which sounds distinctly erotic!), and Sesame-and-Ginger Asian Wet Rub for Chicken and Seafood ... hmmmm... sexy rubs? why not? :laugh:

Atlanta Creative Loafing

Two reviews on local ethnic cuisine: Indonesian and Nicaraguan, respectively:

Ethnic explorers will find lots of unfamiliar dishes to trounce on, though I observed many furrowed brows examining their menus, not certain where to jump in.

Birmingham News has an article on families and their relationship to cooking:

The "How America Cooks" study also showed that cooking can bolster children's self-esteem.

An overwhelming majority - nearly 90 percent - of children surveyed felt proud when they have cooked something, and most children (80 percent) say cooking is fun.

Charleston Post and Courier

has an article on Fusion cuisine and the upcoming Spoleto Festival by Natalie Dupree, a nationally recognized southern cook and author:

A six-part Chinese opera in Spoleto this year makes me think of Chinese and Italian food, and their most common food, pasta. The Marco Polo theory -- that he brought pasta to Italy -- has been discredited. The common understanding now is that both countries had pasta at the time of the Venetian explorer, in the late 1200s. I still wonder which came first, as in the chicken or the egg. When planning menus for Spoleto, what could be more fun than a mix of Chinese and Italian, with maybe a little Charleston thrown in.

as well as an article on mozzarella cheeses:

John Marshall's clear blue eyes dance as he gently massages chunks of a creamy white substance soaking in a bowl of hot water. His voice rises in animation as he describes how three months in Italy transformed his life, much like the way he is turning a block of cow's milk curd into heavenly cheese -- only in a fraction of the time."

The Charlotte Observer has a fine article on cognacs, the myths and facts:

Myth: Cognac is a separate category of spirits.


Myth: Cognac is best served in one of those bulbous brandy snifters with the stand and candle for warming it.

Charlotte Creative Loafing has this appealing piece on Wine In The Fast Lane .....NC growers include NASCAR success story

Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, is one of the great success stories in NASCAR racing with six Winston Cup Series championships, and whose stable once included the legendary Dale Earnhardt. . . . This October, he will celebrate the opening of Childress Vineyards in Lexington, NC, which will become one of the largest vineyards in the state.

The Knoxville News

has an article on eating "raw" by David "Avocado" Wolfe:

"Eating raw" doesn't mean eating cold food. Wolfe says it can be warmed to 120 degrees, but after that, "you break down enzymes."

Memphis Commercial Appeal has a brunch article of interest:

Bacon and sausage and eggs - oh my!

Salmon, shellfish and scones - oh my!

Muffins, waffles and fruit - oh my!

The Nashville Tennessean has an article on their local chefs and their favorite desserts, with the recipes:

Not all restaurants have their own pastry chefs, but those that do, or those that have their desserts made especially for them, know how to take care of us when we dine out.

one such chef is Amy Blevins:

What could be better for a summer dessert than a lemon curd tart topped with fresh fruits?

Savannah Now has an article on Gottlieb's, a local landmark culinarily:

When the family has been in the food business in Savannah since 1884, there's a lot of pressure on the younger generation when it strives to continue the tradition.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

(Note to SE readers:If you live in a city which is not normally covered in this digest, please send me a PM to look into their media and the food articles there)

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week has, as its main story, different aspects of preparing that all American favorite, grilled cheese sandwiches.

At its essence are two simple ingredients: a carb crunch followed by a liquid blanket of calcium. And now the humble grilled cheese sandwich is evolving from home-style to haute cuisine.

"I always think of [Venice's] Harry's Bar sandwiches: tiny little rectangles oozing a cheesy filling," says Marlena Spieler, whose "Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt" will be published by Chronicle Books in the fall."

There is discussion by both our own Marlena Spieler and Food Network's Rachael Ray on several different types of cheese sandwich fillings, including the Croque Monsieur with its creamy soft cheeses and ham, dipped in an egg batter.

Other recipes appear here as well: a wide variety of excellent grilled cheese sandwiches:

Panini Inglese: Rare Roast Beef With Blue Cheese and Watercress, Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Fig Jam Sandwiches, Peppers, Pepperoni, Provolone and Pecorino Pita, Bacon, Tomato and Avocado Quesadillas, Mango-Brie Quesadillas, Pacifica Pear Grilled Cheese, Croque Monsieurs, and many other variations.

In Atlanta Creative Loafing this week, writer Cliff Bostock takes on three local breakfast spots, while providing his readers with the rationale for his recently developed breakfast interest:

Breakfast is not a meal I usually crave. I'm mystified by people who describe pleasant memories of "flapjacks" and waffles cooked by mothers who got up early to send them off to school 

This week's Birmingham (Alabama) News has as its prime focus a new book by celebrated California chef, John Ash provides the next best thing with his latest book, "Cooking One on One" (Clarkson Potter, 2004, $37.50).

Ash gives 20 lessons on three broad subjects - flavor makers (salsas, vinaigrettes, pestos, sauces and marinades), techniques (on making soup, oven-drying, pot-roasting, grilling, making souffles and making pasta) and main ingredients (chicken, dried beans, mushrooms, salmon, shrimp, soy foods and desserts).

The Charleston Post and Courier is all about vegetarian grilling: vegetables, plain or fancy, taste great on the grill:

As a vegetarian, one of the pleasures Andrea Chesman missed most was the taste of grilled foods.

So Chesman set out to enlighten the masses. She wrote a cookbook, "The Vegetarian Grill -- 200 Recipes for Inspired Flame-Kissed Meals" (Harvard Common Press, 1998), that covers dishes from basic vegetables to pasta, pizzas and even fruit, all cooked over an open fire. "I thought it was the final frontier, one of the few subjects that hadn't been explored," she says.

more by Chesman:

Grilling vegetables, like roasting them, brings out a sweet, nutty flavor, Chesman says. Whether you are vegetarian or not, she says, "Grilled vegetables taste good and they make a wonderful complement to grilled meat, or they make a great meal in themselves. You can go either way."

From The Charlotte Observer one can read about a typically southern favorite: poke.

Making a mess of poke ...Versatile poke plant is good (free) eats

In late spring when Frances Meeks' body tells her it needs poke sallet, she does not lollygag.

She grabs a paper bag and heads to the woods to pick poke. Or more specifically, in the parlance of pokedom, "a mess of poke."

"People say it's a spring tonic, that it purifies your blood. I don't know about all that. I just know I feel better after I eat it and spring ain't officially here until I've had my first poke." But here is the most important paragraph for foodies:

Cooked poke tastes better than it looks.

Charlotte Creative Loafing is about West African cooking:

The term "West African" cuisine is not mentioned in most culinary source books. Whereas the term "French" has pages devoted to describing dishes and techniques named for the French, oddly enough you will find hardly a mention of thiebou djenne, yassa or plasas. But there is nothing unfamiliar about these West African dishes here in the South. .

The Knoxville News looks at using rhubarb in conjunction with the popular Atkin's Diet:

Most think of rhubarb as a summertime fruit that grows in Granny's back yard. While many home growers are proud of their plants, some of the sweetest, reddest rhubarb is sold in supermarkets.

Rhubarb — often called "pie plant" and traditionally used for pies, crisps and cobblers — adapts well to the Atkins diet, according to Cindy Moore of the Washington (state) Rhubarb Growers Association.

Memphis Commercial Appeal is about 'Home Plate' which shines cable spotlight on Memphis chefs ...

As executive chef for The Peabody, Andreas Kisler is used to challenging situations - from pulling off huge banquets for luminaries to juggling complex staff schedules. When these shows air the week of July 12, those guest chefs will put together intriguing dishes in their kitchens while trading breezy comments with Woods. "Home Plate" airs at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Orlando Sentinel is using an article on mangoes with Norm Aken's book highlighted:

There's nothing cooler on a sweltering day than a bowl of mango cubes or a refreshing mango sour.

For many newcomers, the fruit is most likely their first introduction to tropical fare.

The fruit has an intriguing aroma that is often described as a sweet-peach-and-tart-pineapple combination, according to the experts at the Florida Department of Agriculture.

and, last but not least, is this week's Savannah Now with an article on their local Pearl's Saltwater Grille, previously known as Pearl's Elegant Pelican:

Local diners are greeted with a bowl of hot hush puppies and a ramekin of sweetened butter.For starters, the Black and Blue Oysters ($7.95) are a good choice. Oysters tossed with blackening spices are topped with blue cheese before going under the broiler.
Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

Note to SE readers:If you live in a city which is not normally covered in this digest, please send me a PM to look into their media and the food articles there

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week offers readers an exceptionally enlightening article on avoiding the pitfalls of parenting, with meal times as the primary focus:

We talked with dietitians, pediatricians and parents about common traps that families fall into at dinner, and how to lay the groundwork for healthy, stress-free meals.

Catering to a picky eater

Forcing kids to join the clean-plate club

Making all the eating decisions for the child

Giving up too early when kids reject foods

Assuming you're too busy to cook

Had I read this years ago, while my child was still young, I would have had a much easier time of preparing the meals I ought to have made. Quite an interesting read!

In this week's access Atlanta (which is part of the AJC) one can read an article reviewing a local newcomer, Restaurant Eugene, which is given detailed comments by John Kessler, our local food critic:

There is no hot scene at this remarkably mature new establishment.Chef Linton, a native Atlantan and Emory grad, pipes whipped potatoes in neat swirls from a pastry bag and forms soft goat cheese into precise quenelles. Manager Gina's staff serves from the left, clears from the right, whisks away wine glasses without a tinkle. Sensitive. Respectful. So for now he has an important new restaurant on his hands. Down the road, he may have a local classic.

An excellent article this week in The Birmingham News about the civil rights movement and 1964:

Over the weekend, several hundred people met in Birmingham to talk about food and race and progress over the past 40 years.

The event was sponsored by the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization of people from all walks of life - educators, authors, home cooks, chefs, or more simply put, inquisitive eaters often born in the South. The goal of this Oxford, Miss.-based group is to preserve the history of food of the South.

The current Charleston Post & Courier has a seasonally appropriate piece on picnics which is tied in to their annual Spoleto Festival:

Piecing together the perfect picnic:

Charlestonians love to party in the great outdoors. A little bit of planning can make the party even merrier.

Another time, he and Randall Felkel set an "Out of Africa" theme for a picnic-party they hosted at the Charleston Cup horse races at Stono Ferry Plantation. "The guests had to dress in 'safari chic,' which resonated into incredible outfits," Crosby says. "

Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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The Southeast Forum Digest, Part Deux ....

This week's Charlotte Observer has a particularly summery article on beach house dining:

You know how that can go: You spend hours cooking -- missing the fun on the beach -- then have to holler three times to get everybody to the table. Your reward is pouting, whining, fussing ... and the kids can be a problem, too.Sorry.

Seriously, the experience can be manageable, even rewarding, with a little care and planning for equipment, cooking times, safety and, of course, convenience.

Our family has been vacationing together for three decades. First, there were lots of kids crawling about, then teens with friends coming and going, then college-age offspring dropping by. Now, another generation of little ones is coming along.

Beach house recipes include spaghetti salad with herbs, grilled snapper, fruit-stuffed chicken, baked zucchini, and a lovely peach cobbler.

This week in the Charlotte Creative Loafing there is a delightful article, Big Bites Out of Big Apple : A tour of new NYC eateries

New York is, and has been, the Number 1 food city in the US for quite some time. Nowhere else have so many talented chefs and restaurateurs come together in such a geographically small space and continuously set the bar ever higher for restaurants around the city and across the country.

The restaurants visited include Spice Market, Per Se, Craftbar, Cesca, Industry, Ilo, and RM, all of which pleased the reviewer, whereas she was less than enchanted with Aureole and DD Bistro Moderne. The article is a good read because it gives a somewhat different slant to these chef-driven restaurants.

In the Louisville Courier-Journal there is a particularly appealing article on using an herb cheese (like Alouette or Boursin) to make an ersatz alfredo sauce for pasta. Also in this edition is a recipe for a new type of Waldorf Salad, as well as a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Memphis Commercial Appeal offers a number of articles on different summer topics involving food:

a new local tapas restaurant digs in, an upcoming visit by Bobby Flay to promote his new book, Boy gets Grill, an article on soul food's newest reataurant, Alcenia, and a recipe for Dijon-glazed fish fillets.

"Barbecue is the most debated food subject there is," he said. "Everybody thinks they make the best ribs in the world. How you define barbecue depends on who you're talking to." And what does Flay define as Memphis barbecue?

"Wet ribs with a tomato-based sauce," he said. 

Blackberries get star treatment in The Nashville Tennessean

Yes, it's blackberry season, which in Middle Tennessee usually lasts from early June to early July. And like other fruits, blackberries come in a variety of forms. Those in your back yard or round by the roadside are likely to be small, wild berries with thorns. They will have a great flavor for making pies, cobblers and jam.

Some interesting recipes follow here:

Simple blackberry cobbler

• Blackberry crisp

• Grand Marnier crème with blackberry sauce

• Old-fashioned blackberry jam

• Blackberry rolls

• Blackberry dumplin's

Savannah Now has a charming article on a local restaurant which specializes in old fashioned southern cuisine, Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Although it appears even though Mrs. Wilkes is no longer living, the food remains consistent in all respects:

Mrs. Wilkes ran the restaurant and played host to the crowds for 55 years, so it seems odd not to have her saying the blessing over the first seating, or to be handling the cashier duties as patrons leave. But those heaping bowls and platters on the table are a testament to her watchful eye and talent for homestyle cooking.

The News Observer of the Triangle

Has an article on some good summer wine choices available locally:

There are two wines that I crave when the weather turns hot. Both are low-cost, each has a little surprise and, as they are both a bit off the trampled path, you may not have experience with either. The first is called "vinho verde" (sometimes spelled vino verde), a red or white wine from the northwest of Portugal.
Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

Note to SE readers:If you live in a city which is not normally covered in this digest, please send me a PM to look into their media and the food articles there

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a variety of good articles this week, all of which revolve around Father's Day types of food:

Baked beans of all varieties

Men just love those beans: Sweet, saucy baked classic, and variations

The reasons beans appeal to boys so much "are a mystery," Erath said. But she has a theory: "I think it has to do with the barbecue and the whole 'guy thing' that goes with that."

They've survived and evolved and taken on regional flairs, such as baked black beans with cumin in the Southwest. Truth is, every batch of home-cooked baked beans can be catered to the tastes of the cook. It's one of those dishes that accommodates personal preference perfectly.

and, whether or not, you buy into this particular thinking, there are some marvelously tasty recipes for such baked beans as Awesome Baked Beans, Steve's Beans which contain Jimmy Dean sausage, Calico Beans which contain ground beef among other things, Beans with different toppings with a definite southwestern appeal.

Column on beers Georgians eager to share a world of favorite brews

The response was incredible. Scores of beer lovers from Atlanta and around the state wrote in, displaying not only their passion for the art and craft of brewing, but also a breadth of knowledge of the best and most fascinating styles and traditions from around the world.

Grilling of pork chops article which explains how to marinate or brine the chops into something quite delicious:

Today's pork is leaner than Dad's — for starters. This is a good thing, they say, and I concur when it comes to health benefits. I recently tried a brine recommended by Alton Brown in his cookbook "I'm Just Here for the Food" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $32.50.)

Atlanta Creative Loafing has a variety of good articles: one is on a local Spanish tapas restaurant called Barcelona:

We begin with a feast of tapas. The batter-coated strips of calamari lean toward excessively salty, but the morsels of squid within possess a startlingly fondant tenderness. An accompanying ali-oli resembles runny bechamel with its milky texture and blandness, and the spicy tomato sauce occupying the other sauceboat is unremarkable but for its peppery bite.

Yet another masculine-oriented feature appears here: Big Daddy reds

Father's Day gifts for dads who dig a bold beverage .... By inspecting the big daddies, you'll find a wealth of gift information, and a stereotype might emerge.

The Cab Dad likes his wine from tres chic Napa Valley,

The Zin Dad knows that Zin doesn't strictly mean white Zin.

The Pinot Dad is an expensive dad.

The GSM Dad thinks outside the box. He knows the GSMs -- an acronym for Rhone Valley grapes Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

Definitely worth reading and laughing over .... :laugh:

Access Atlanta feature article this week is on a newcomer to Atlanta, Rays in the City (having nothing to do with Sex in the City, please understand) :rolleyes:

All the lights give an ethereal sealike aura — pierced globes droop like jellyfish above the bar; the tiny lights above the sushi bar are reminiscent of those glow-in-the-dark things that reside at the bottom of the ocean. In the main dining room, etched-glass, fish-shaped orbs hang from the ceiling like salmon swimming upstream to spawn.

Charleston Post and Courier has more very detailed articles on grilling, as well as one which I particularly enjoyed on boiled peanuts, a regional favorite:

Boiled peanuts are prepared from raw nuts. They are either green peanuts, meaning freshly dug, or peanuts that have been dried first. Green peanuts usually are available from mid-April into September, while dried peanuts can be had all year long.

The Charlotte Observer has a number of interesting articles this week, including one on a woman who is redoing her grandmother's recipes and it contains a message for us all: cherish the past in order to hand it on to your children:

It took me months to do it, but I finally pulled out the box of my grandma's recipes and cookbooks The most important lesson -- far more valuable than finding the secret to her legendary chiffon cake with pink icing -- is: Don't wait. If you've got access to the aging keeper of family food secrets, make the most of your time.

an article on a local bakery and its owners:

Feasts for the eye and the palate

DuFault, along with her husband, David, and her mother, Jeck Warren, own Edible Art of Charlotte. Their cakes have been the celebratory centerpieces of weddings, birthdays and every occasion in between. And yes, some cost $1,200.

Charlotte Creative Loafing offers up a story on a new Mexican newcomer to the community, Linares:

Most importantly? The food at Linares is marvelous. Sure, you can have enchiladas, tamales, carnitas, or tacos, but why would you when Linares offers much to explore. After all, Mexican food is a blend of indigenous and European cultures and regional agriculture: corn, rice, limes, avocados, tomatoes, chocolate, beans, chilies and herbs in complex combinations.

this week's Memphis Commercial Appeal has an opening article on various cool salads for summer:

Borchardt owns A Thought for Food. She prepares meals for her clients in their homes and has created recipes of her own when using up stray ingredients after a day's work.

"Sometimes I'll find myself throwing things together because I'll come home with, say, a few scallions and a tomato or two," she said.

She recently created a potato salad that contains artichoke hearts and red onion. 

Terrific new salad recipes with this article

The Nashville Tennessean has a beautifully written article on a seasonal favorite in Tennessee, blackberries:

They will have a great flavor for making pies, cobblers and jam.If you plant your own or visit a local berry farm, you can get thornless berries that grow as big as the tip of your thumb.
Recipes with this article include:

• Simple blackberry cobbler

• Blackberry crisp

• Grand Marnier crème with blackberry sauce

• Old-fashioned blackberry jam

• Blackberry rolls

• Blackberry dumplin's

and a collection of champagne cocktails as well: the article

In the summer, though, why not have some fun with bubbles that don't break the bank. Enter ''champagne'' cocktails, with a small c.

This is the time to look for some of the less expensive sparkling wines, such as a sparkling Italian prosecco, according to Jeff Warzynski, wine manager at Frugal MacDoogal's Liquor Warehouse.

The Triangle.com brings a story on a wine dinner at Elaine's on Franklin and a cocktail called The Cannes:

The Triangle may not have racked up any Beard awards this year, but it hasn't been a complete shutout for the local team. Aubrey Zinaich, dining room manager and sommelier at Elaine's on Franklin, has created a cocktail called The Cannes that's a semifinalist in a national competition sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka. 
as well as other local restaurant offerings for Father's Day. Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

Note to SE readers: If you live in a city which is not normally covered in this digest, please send me a PM to look into their media and the food articles there.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a story which actually comes from the New York Daily News on caesar salads and the numerous changes which they have recently undergone:

The first change occurred recently, as concerns over salmonella grew and the coddled egg was removed from many dressings. Next, capitalizing on the salad's popularity as an entree, chefs started making Caesar salads with grilled shrimp or chicken.

Access Atlanta (AJC) this week is all about a chef who has struck out on his own to create a new restaurant named for him, Rathbun's:

Rathbun's modern American cuisine offers a melting pot of flavors — from Asia, the South (especially New Orleans) and the Southwest — that he has explored in kitchens for 30 years. It's really "good home cooking with an edge," he says. Eclectic dishes, many made with Georgia-grown produce, are offered in several tiers of food selections: "Small Plates" include lamb scaloppini with pancetta and goat cheese and smoked salmon tostadas with habanero and watercress. "Raw Plates" include salads and raw meats such as thin sirloin with crisp celery leaves.

New food critic Meredith Ford's take on Fandango

Inside, Fandango has the three things I always look for in a Mexican restaurant: the incredible, musky smell of corn, chilies and spices melding together, the blaring hum of a fan, and the even louder din of the Spanish channel blasting a favorite show — usually the soap opera "Por un Beso."

Atlanta Creative Loafing has a terrific variety of incredibly interesting articles:

Highway to heaven: A primer to the city's principal treasure trove of ethnic eats

It begins quietly enough. Its unassuming origin point on Lenox Road gives little away. A taqueria here, an adult entertainment spot there. Then, as you drive north, the outdoor malls start to crop up. An Ethiopian eatery shares a parking lot with a Peruvian counterpart. Farther up the road, you can browse through Marshall's after gorging on dim sum.

There follows a long detailed list of so many new ethnic eateries which have opened here, that my mind spins with delight!

Yet another article on the oldies of Atlanta's dining scene:

Classic! Eight ATL old-timers worth a visit, if just for the experience and reminiscences they evoke:

"Hotlanta" didn't just earn its nickname based on the temperature. My, oh my, how we do love our trendy ways: hot neighborhoods, hot clubs, hot cocktails ... and certainly, hot restaurants. We're ruthless about it, too. We migrate from place to place, lemongrass martini in hand, without an iota of loyalty.

Yet a faction of Atlanta's dining scene thrives outside all the rigamarole. These are restaurants many of us have heard about, though we've never actually eaten at them. They've been around forever -- which, in Atlanta time, means 20 years or more. 

In the same edition of Creative Loafing, an interesting, no, actually riveting, article on several Southern cookbooks:

Out of the frying pan: Four books that belly up to the Southern table .. well worth a look.

The Charleston Post and Courier has a marvelously invigorating article by noted cookbook author and celebrity, Natalie DuPree:

Working vacation Provence-style

I have a habit of signing up for silent auctions of foreign cooking schools, usually with a nominal bid. This year, at my culinary organization's annual meeting, I made a bid for several of the French cooking schools. I didn't read the information too carefully because usually the dates are negotiated and because I was sure I wouldn't win anything.

The Charlotte (NC) Observer has a piece on fruit salsas which are perfect for summer accompaniments to warm entrees:

Salsa sweet harmony

"Fruit goes well with so many things," especially grilled fish, pork and chicken, says Michael St. John, executive chef at the Desmond hotel in Albany, N.Y. "We are using a ton of them. I think everyone is."

Summertime salsas are simple to prepare. A little peeling, chopping and stirring is about all it takes to create this healthful condiment.

Charlotte Creative Loafing, like Atlanta's CL, has a number of great articles worth checking out:

The truth is, Charlotte has had an ever-growing group of talented chefs for the past 10 years. Chefs in Charlotte have trained under such star-powered and diverse chefs as Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer, and Alain Ducasse in New York; Todd English in Boston; Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans, Michael Mina at Aqua in San Francisco; Mark Miller at Coyote Cafe in Sante Fe; Jean LaFont in Dallas; and Ben Barker in Durham. 

and then this, wine myths:

Mything the Point   Debunking some of the snots' rot about wine

As much as writers try to cut through all the bullshit perpetuated by wine snobs, there's still a lot of misleading info out there. Myths about everything from wine storage to wine pairings abound, and people go on believing them because nobody tells them otherwise.

and do read on ....

Memphis Commercial Appeal has an edgy story this week:

50 ways to eat (or drink) a tomato

So, what are you going to do with all those tomatoes? With help from professional and nonprofessional chefs, the Shelby County Agricultural Extension Service and some vintage recipe pamphlets, we've got 50 old and new suggestions. We've included some recipes; others can be found in almost any cookbook. And we didn't dare come up with a definitive way of concocting a BLT.

The Nashville Tennessean is all about:

Men can learn art of entertaining from 'Esquire' food manual

When it comes to adult entertainment of the culinary kind, real men, with pulses and brains, fall somewhere between Neanderthals in beer commercials and celebrity chef du jour Bobby Flay. Thankfully, author Francine Maroukian knows that.

The Triangle.com

has articles of local interest, one of which is about:

Carmen's Cuban Cafe & Lounge (467-8080), which opened late last month. Unlike those other restaurants, Soler points out, Carmen's kitchen is run entirely by native Cubans. And Ali Sama, the restaurant's owner, is the son of a Cuban emigre.

and then there is the completely unexpected, but most welcome bonus, complete with great links:

USA Today article on Atlanta dining

Atlanta's dining scene just keeps getting better.

Throughout the metro area, diners hungering for adventure will find excellent offerings of Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Ethiopian, Persian, Greek, Central, South American and many, many other flavors.

Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution involves some all-American patriotically focussed food stories.... nothing unexpected given the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

Primary story for this week involves a look back at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, which was a showcase for all-American classics :

Many Web sites credit St. Louis as the birthplace of not only the ice cream cone, but a host of other quintessentially American foods, including the hamburger, the hot dog, iced tea, peanut butter, Dr Pepper and Jell-O.

The fair earned a reputation as a crucible for new foods partly because of fervent St. Louis boosters but mostly because the fair itself had such a big impact on America's collective memory.

Food historian Pam Vaccaro discovered that though myth may outweigh fact, the fair certainly deserves credit for turning some local treats into enduring icons of Americana. Today, Americans strolling through summer with a soft drink in one hand and a grilled sandwich in the other can thank the entrepreneurs who built a fantasyland in the midst of the St. Louis woods and introduced the art of hand-held food.

Additionally, the AJC has its own patriotic recipe for Red, White and Blue Potato Salad:

Consider this: Potatoes, America's favorite vegetable, come in red, white and blue — call it serendipity or, perhaps, patriotic planters.
the recipe follows ...here

Access Atlanta (AJC) has a biting article on a new restaurant which, like so many other local places is trying to make a name for itself in this city, NuVo:

THERE IS AN ABUNDANCE of restaurants like NuVo Bistro (formerly Meritage) in Atlanta. Bordering on hip, convivial, pleasant — there's really nothing wrong with them. There's really nothing right with them, either. The truth is that in these days of the celebrity chef as superpower and in a town like Atlanta, where dining out is a recreational sport, a restaurant has to extend itself to the nth degree to get noticed.

Then, the author begins the countdown of local restaurant history, the good, the bad, and the out of business:

So in all the wanting to get noticed, the important things that make a restaurant really get noticed — a focused, well-executed menu; prompt, well-informed service; and a wine list that serves something other than merlot and chardonnay —get lost. That's what has happened to NuVo Bistro.

Atlanta Creative Loafing offers some insight into two new up and coming dining stars in the restaurant firmament:

Fusion collusion Silk's urbane design outshines its uneven, Asian-inspired fare

"Can you tell me the flavors of these sauces?"

A server at Silk has set down at our table two Asian-infused tapas . . . They look pretty, these precisely painted smears. But, um, what exactly are they made of and what point do they serve?

Welcome to another round of fusion confusion and fun here in Atlanta.

and then a review on the new Rathbun's:

The day's soup, Vidalia onion with gouda and sour cream, was a very adult smoothie. Wayne's entree, pan-roasted George's Bank cod, beat the hell out of my scallops -- and I'm not very fond of cod. It was served with a ragout of shrimp and Louisians' beloved mirliton (chayote squash).

The Charleston Post and Courier has an article on berries of the summer:

The berries, both black and blue, gleamed like crown jewels on his stand at the Charleston Farmers Market (Aichele also attends the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market) on a recent Saturday, all but demanding that summer shoppers buy a pint or two. Both set my mind to thinking about their luscious versatility in sweet and savory dishes where their mellow backdrop, offset by a bit of sweetness and acidity, can work wonders.

The Charlotte Observer

this week generously serves up the delights of frying catfish:

Kirkpatrick learned to cook fish while growing up in Winnsboro, S.C. Along the way, he's fine-tuned his finesse for frying fish. He's reduced his formula to the basics [which includes] use a thermometer to keep the oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees. Turn your head for a pretty gal and you could be left with oily, sodden seafood. Focus on your fish.
an article entitled,
Time is right for plucking fresh peaches

Tips for picking, peeling, cooking and freezing this regional treat

with recipes, and a piece on summer wines made with red grapes:
White zinfandel, white merlot, white cabernet sauvignon. How can this be, since these are all red grapes? Easy; even red grapes have white juice. Simply remove the red skins right after crushing, before they have time to color the wine.

Charlotte Creative Loafing has yet another July Fourth piece:

When I was growing up, the Fourth of July was the day my dad made his family-famous barbecue sauce and spent the day alternately basting the pork shoulder on the grill's rotisserie and shooting off fireworks. We kids, meanwhile, took turns hand-cranking the peach ice cream while vigorously complaining that he should invest in an electric ice cream maker. "Nonsense," my dad would say. "This is a family tradition." Dad, I guess, didn't know that food for the Fourth can be traditional without being arduous.
followed by local places for good holiday meals.

Memphis Commercial Appeal is all about baked beans (from the Atlanta papers), hot dogs, slaw, and Elvis ... worth a look for any of you who find these things a "turn on".

The Nashville Tennessean has an article this week on organic sugar. Interested? Read on:

A major national brand of sugar has gone organic — well, a little. Domino is introducing an organic sugar to the market along with its regular sweeteners.

Grown without using pesticides in Paraguay, the organic sugar is processed within 48 hours of harvest in certified refineries. It's then shipped to the United States where it's stored in a special warehouse.

and this is all news to me ... :rolleyes:

The Raleigh News & Observer is focussed on coleslaws:

This Fourth of July, let us celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of the perfect coleslaws to match the foods we love.

Coleslaw is not a salad, so please don't bring me a bowl before the meal. Neither is it simply a plate filler, a bland side dish scooped on as an afterthought to the entree.

No, coleslaw is an integral part of just about any Independence Day meal.

and watermelons:

Good as they are, those big melons will not fit in most home refrigerators. For picnic-size groups, they are great, but refrigerators and smaller households need other options and they are getting them.
some very original recipes are also included.

That is what is happening in the Southeastern media this week .. all very holiday-based and festive!

Have a happy, delicious July Fourth, my fellow eGulleteers! :biggrin:

Gifted Gourmet

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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This is a collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum includes the media from the major cities in the region, alphabetically:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an article which is not without considerable interest, at least to me personally, on iced coffees:

"I started my first coffee kiosk in 1993, when you'd be hard-pressed to find a cappuccino in Atlanta," she says, whipping up her favorite personal drink, a peanut butter/protein powder/banana/cold coffee seriously delirious shake. "How I had to break in customers was to make them a special latte of the day and add a flavored syrup. It made the coffee more palatable.

Access Atlanta has a review of a new local restaurant, Silk:

Cultural clashes take up prime real estate space on the menu, too. Fusion is apparently so out that it's in again, and Silk's offerings, created in part by James Beard Award winner Jim Lock (formerly of Wild Ginger in Seattle) as consultant, are proof.
Atlanta Creative Loafing has a review:
Of rice and men

Norcross' Santo Domingo a masculine bastion for true Dominican delights

This isn't typical, gussied-up restaurant fare. It's the meaty, starchy, maternal foods of home.

as well as this review:

Sweet Lime (1128 Euclid Ave., 404-589-9696), which bills its menu as Asian fusion.

Well, at least we appear to have finished off the Father's Day and Fourth of July brouhaha and are back to the routine reviews ...

Charleston Post and Courier has articles on a variety of different lemonades, summer trifles, and sauteing:

Typically, when sauteing vegetables, the goal is to lock in fresh flavor and color with the quick, fast method. Sometimes, a little browning is desirable, depending on what you're cooking (potatoes, yes, green beans, no, for example). Frequently, more dense vegetables such as carrots or green beans are blanched before sauteing to give them a jump-start so they won't have to spend too much time in the saute pan.
Nothing terrifically new here but a nice mix of articles, some of which are locally generated, some from other sources.

Charleston Daily Mail has an in-depth article with recipes for spinach from The Food Guy, local writer, Steven Keith:

Once much-maligned -- many of you may still be haunted by childhood threats of "eat your spinach!" -- this trendy ingredient has now fought its way onto the Top 10 list of vegetables served in restaurants nationwide. The United States Department of Agriculture says fresh spinach consumption has jumped 66 percent in the last 10 years, a whopping increase it attributes to the food's publicized nutritional benefits, along with the convenience of bagged spinach and the popularity of salad bars and healthier lifestyles.

The Charlotte Observer has a lovely article by our own eGulleteer, kpurvis, about what has changed while she was away ... a good read!! And an article on the local tomatoes:

The resurgence of heirloom tomatoes -- varieties that came close to disappearing as hybridization became the norm -- is one of the clearest indicators of our desire to return to our taste memories.

Charlotte Creative Loafing has a bagel story worth a look:

These are trying times for lovers of real bagels. And it's not going to get better anytime soon. The two primary forces that are driving America to culinary ruin -- homogenized corporate control and the Atkins diet -- are about to rain yet another undeserved indignity down on the poor, beleaguered bagel: the low-carb bagel.

Memphis Commercial Appeal is running a story this week on a South African, Leon Styne, learning about Memphis barbecue:

When Leon Steyn first arrived in this country, he learned there was a huge difference.  "We grill meat at least three times a week and that's what I've always thought of as barbecue," said Steyn, 20.  That was before he started his six-month apprenticeship with Ernie Mellor at Hog Wild, a barbecue catering company in Memphis.

The Nashville Tennessean has an article on organic sugar hitting the local shelves for the first time:

A major national brand of sugar has gone organic — well, a little. Domino is introducing an organic sugar to the market along with its regular sweeteners.

Grown without using pesticides in Paraguay, the organic sugar is processed within 48 hours of harvest in certified refineries. It's then shipped to the United States where it's stored in a special warehouse, according to Domino spokeswoman Nancy Barbee.

as well as a piece on a cookbook by the owner of a local favorite, The Puffy Muffin:

Owner Lynda Stone puts together 'Memories in the Making' cookbook

''Hospitality encompasses many things, but primarily it's the ability to provide a place of comfort and pleasure for your guests.'' Lynda Stone wrote in the introduction of her new cookbook, Memories in the Making.

The Orlando Sentinel has a variety of articles covering such topics as the Florida low carb potato:

This spud's for you. Up in Spud (yes, newcomers, you live near the land of taters), there's a lot of carb counting going on. To keep up with the demands of legions of Atkins and South Beach diet devotees, Florida growers hope to be hawking the next hot potato in early 2005.
and an article on orange cauliflower, which was the topic of an eG thread only recently:
It brings a new source of carotene, an antioxidant that research has shown may protect against cancer. Add that to the vegetable's other possible cancer-protection attributes, and it's like shooting doubles at the health bar.

Triangle.com has as its lead this week an very nice piece on vegetarian local restaurants:

Let's face it. The Triangle has never been a fertile dining landscape for vegetarians. And in recent years it has gone from bad to worse, as two local vegetarian-focused institutions -- Pyewacket in Chapel Hill and the Rathskeller in Raleigh -- closed. . .  But recently signs of green promise are beginning to dot the landscape.

The Raleigh News & Observer has a piece on a local author's Low Country cookbook:

The youngest of 11 children on a farm in Williamston, S.C., near Greenville on the other side of the state from Charleston. Hamby learned to prepare meals on her mother's wood-fired kitchen stove.

This is an overview of these southeastern media for this week... I will be adding additional articles if the interest is sufficient ...

Have a great week, ya'll! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has as its main story the ubiquitous fried green tomatoes, which is why the movie with the same name, was such a success. The southern fried green tomato is something of a symbol of true southern cooking. And, while they may appear on northern menus, it just ain't the same, shuggah!

The secret?

These are just a few of the variations creative cooks have found for the deliciously tart fried disks that seem to present themselves so willingly as a foundation for flavor. We offer the simple down-home technique today, along with a few of the uptown recipes.The essential element for all: tomatoes that "are green and hard like a Granny Smith apple," said Green. "You don't want one bit of red, because that means the sugars have set in and it will just turn to mush."

Recipes from local restaurants accompany this deliciously appealing article:

South City Kitchen's Fried Green Tomatoes With Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Coulis

Ritter's Fried Green Tomatoes With Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette Salad

Fried Green Tomatoes With Shrimp Remoulade

Cargo Portside Grill's Fried Green Tomatoes With Herbed Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Coulis Over Jalapeño Cheese Grits (fancy but lovely!)

and, if you plan to do this thing exactly right, do read Fried Green Tomato cooking techniques...right here

and now for a little dessert to wash those fried green tomatoes down!

Reagan Walker's tribute to the 100 th anniversary of the banana split

In fact, I'm thinking a banana split party is in order, in honor of the 100th birthday. Here's what you need: wide bowls or long banana boats and spoons, three kinds of ice cream and scoops, at least three sauces (chocolate, caramel, strawberry, pineapple, hot fudge, etc.), chopped or whole nuts, whipped cream and cherries. Set the whole thing up like a serve-yourself bar and let guests create their own.

Carbs galore! :biggrin:

This week's Access Atlanta from the AJC has a review of a local restaurant, the Cabin Room, which is known for serving great steaks and boar ... yes, boar:

Wild boar chops are as much an amusement as they are a menu item, since the animal is hardly "wild." But how much fun would "tame" or "domesticated" boar sound? The chops have a gamy flavor, nodding more toward pork than lamb, and are well-paired with creamy mashed potatoes and that aforementioned pinot noir sauce. I was expecting fava beans — and got them — exactly three.
Worth a look if you are within driving distance of Atlanta.
Setting: A mountain lodge on steroids, with every animal that sports horns, fur or fins hanging from the dark walls. The bar downstairs is like an insider's secret hideaway.

Atlanta Creative Loafing has a review of the Cabin Room as well .. from another local food reviewer ... but it received the same two stars as the previous review above ... a review of a new place for Southwestern cuisine, Asada, which shows promise... and then there is this:

Bubblicious: Phoenix Noodle Cafe takes flight with fruity teas, nifty noodles

Clean, fruity fun: Bubble teas -- a focal point of Phoenix's menu -- are offered in 50 varieties, from noxious durian and pasty red bean for the most hardcore of Asians to sno-cone flavors like blueberry and green apple.

Nowadays, saying "bubblicious" in Atlanta, makes one realize that it is rapidly becoming an oriental market for all types of teas .. whereas before, saying "bubbalicious" referred to barbecue ... :shock:

The Charleston Post and Courier has a number of articles, one of which is about a restaurant and its owners, Philip Bardin and David Gressette, and their love of low country cuisine:

Being 40-some miles from the area's restaurant epicenter hasn't stopped Philip Bardin and David Gressette from being a powerful force in the Lowcountry's dining scene. In fact, being off the beaten path has been a bonus for the co-owners of The Old Post Office Restaurant on Edisto Island. The restaurant draws customers from nearby Edisto Beach, as well as Charleston and Hilton Head and points in between.

There are some terrific recipes from the cookbook written with Jane and Michael Stern as well:

Honest, well-prepared food found in an unexpected place also offers the magic of discovery. That kind of experience was the perfect treasure hunt for Jane and Michael Stern, authors who are nationally known experts on regional foods. They found their way to Edisto and the Post Office two years ago, which resulted in a just-published book, "Cooking in the Lowcountry From The Old Post Office Restaurant" (Rutledge Hill Press, $19.99). It's the eighth installment in the couple's Roadfood Series, and the cookbook contains more than 150 of Bardin's recipes mixed with some interesting history and local color.

Other articles here this week include a tart-sweet take on Key limes and their uses with some delicious-looking recipes.

The Charlotte Observer has an article with links on the way in which Dunkin' Donuts is coming to the area to challenge the supremacy of Krispy Kreme (none of these spellings are mine, please note!).

No offense to the well-meaning, if overly ambitious, folks at Dunkin' Donuts. But there can only be one Doughnut King here in the land of NASCAR, Billy Graham and big-bellied bankers. And if you take a look at the vintage Krispy Kreme logos, you'll see who's wearing the crown. But just for the sake of argument, let's compare the glazed variety of Krispy Kreme with Dunkin' Donuts, shall we? Krispy Kreme's -- so light it melts on your tongue, a sweet glaze so creamy you wonder if it's got milk in it.

Dunkin's -- well, not bad, in a pound cakey sort of way. And like pound cake, it's often too dry.

See for yourself .. read on ...

Charlotte Creative Loafing has a very sharp article entitled "Keep Wokking" on the local oriental bounty of new delights for the Charlotte dining public... Tomi:

Tomi presents exceptional Chinese dishes that are finely composed, precisely cooked, and taste exactly as they should. Your tastebuds will get what they came for. This is not all-you-can eat, crank it out on the buffet line Chinese food. The food is exquisitely prepared and includes many of the favorites from KoKo's, such as shrimp battered with wine and honey. If you know little of Taiwanese cuisine, an island with a 50,000-year history, the Cheng brothers can show you how 21th Century their cuisine is.

Yet another article from this week's CCL is about summer wines to try:

White Chick      She'd rather be dead than drink red (in the summer)

It's time to get serious about summer wines. This frickin' 100 percent humidity and scorching heat make me want to flee as far away as possible from red wine, no matter what the occasion. Give me something white and cold, and give it to me now, baby. To conquer your sweat, slide out to the deck/pool/patio, roll the chilled, wet bottle across your forehead, and pop open the cork or unscrew the top. It'll provide relief for a little while, at least.

Memphis Commercial Appeal has a refeshingly cool article on homemade icecreams ....

A lick and a promise   This ice cream's made the old-fashioned way - kinda ...

Homemade ice cream is a summer tradition, evoking nostalgic visions of kids taking turns on the old-fashioned, hand-crank machine. Those days have gone the way of the manual typewriter and 60-cent-a-gallon gas. High-tech appliances have turned homemade ice cream into a staple of many homes and several upscale restaurants in Memphis.

so get out your Swiss made Pacojets and let the party begin! July is, after all, National Ice Cream Month ! :biggrin:

The Tennessean from Nashville spotlights Thai cooking with an article about local chef, Thai cooking teacher Susan Hudgens:

Also, to get a better understanding of Thai ingredients, I spent a morning shopping in an ethnic market with Bobby Kornsuwan, chef/owner of the Jasmine restaurant in Cool Springs. Hudgens, who grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, has been teaching cooking classes since long before she arrived in Nashville in 1994.

''It's not hard,'' she said in her quiet, gently accented voice, ''and you don't need a lot of special pans.'' A skillet and a saucepan or two worked fine. We didn't even pull out the wok to make her version of a lemon-grass-scented soup, a masaman curry and a green curry.

Of course, recipes are linked to this article.

The Orlando Sentinel has a piece on Gloria Spitzer, who has managed, with no small effort, to recreate recipes which are kept secret by their commercial originators:

For three decades, Pitzer has toiled in the kitchen to develop taste-alike versions of menu items. Trademark and copyright laws prevent her using the restaurant names, so she is very creative in her recipe titles:

KFC Original Recipe chicken becomes Big Bucket in the Sky Fried Chicken, Wendy's Chili is Wednesday's Chili and Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits are Glad Lobster Cheese Biscuits.

Apparently Colonel Harlan Sanders once called Pitzer "the Recipe Detective." Her new book, The Recipe Detective Gloria Pitzer's Recipe Journal will publish Sept. 1.

The Triangle.com has a lead article on ethnic local dining:

If folks used to complain about the lack of restaurant variety in Research Triangle Park, they're sure not complaining any more. One shopping center alone -- Triangle Square, at the southeast corner of N.C. 54 and N.C. 55 -- looks like the food court at the United Nations, with options ranging from Venezuelan (Gran Sabana) to Caribbean (Jamaica Jamaica) to Japanese and Chinese (Ming Kee). Now you can add Spice & Curry (544-7555), which opened just a couple of weeks ago in the same shopping center, to RTP's ethnic options. Part Indian grocery and part restaurant, the newcomer aims to spice up your culinary options, whether you plan on dining out or cooking at home.

The News Observer which serves the cities of Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill has a variety of interesting reading including the usual french fry manifesto:

It used to be the sight of a cigarette dangling from a person's mouth that would send the health police into a frenzy. Now it's just as likely to be a french fry.

America's favorite vegetable delivery system has lately become the villain in the battle against obesity. The anti-fat crowd cringes at the thought of anything deep-fried, while the Atkins folks shudder at consuming all those carbohydrates.

and while it doesn't feature any radical surprises, it is worth reading. I particularly enjoyed the tomato article and recipe for Tomatoes Stuffed with Toasted Hazelnuts and Parmesan .

That about winds up our whirlwind tour of the media in the southeast ... will add more during the week if something incredibly compelling appears! Have a great week and come back to see what surprises are in store for you here next week. Stay cool, relax, and enjoy your summer, ya'll! :biggrin:

Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is running an article for its lead on fruit, which is predictable, yet welcome in the final days of July, some of our hottest.

in these warm months, no one wants to shortchange the end of a good meal. Luckily, this time of year lends itself to quick, easy and healthful fruit desserts.

These desserts make an ideal coda to any cookout or barbecue or weekday evening meal — and they adhere to the five-ingredients, 30-minute-preparation criteria perfectly.

Recipes which accompany this refreshing article include:

Sugar and Spice-Grilled Bananas

Fruit Gratin

Roasted Honey-Rum Pineapple

Oven-Roasted Fruit

Cinnamon-Sugar Spiced Fruit Kebab

Raspberries and Cream

Fresh Fruit With Mint

all of which appear simple and quick to prepare, and something I would be more than willing to hunt down the appropriate fruits to make!

The recipe of the week at the AJC is Chicken With Fresh Apricots, Ginger and Cracked Almonds:

This distinctive recipe for chicken lavished with a balanced range of seasonings from fruity to peppery comes from the 2004 "Food & Wine: An Entire Year of Recipes" annual cookbook (Food & Wine, $29.95).  Bonus points for the chicken dish: Cooking it takes only about half an hour.

Atlanta Creative Loafing explores two local Mexican restaurants, each of which has great appeal for those who enjoy Oaxacan cuisine:

Taqueria La Oaxaqueña serves my favorite. Ruiz has mastered the proportions of toppings. The tortilla is cooked firm but still pliant, and the spread of pureed pinto beans is just thick enough to provide a satiny foundation without becoming heavy. My preferred choice of meat is cecina, tender bits of pork simmered in a spunky red sauce.  And I love the contrast of the two cheeses: the sharp bite of the feta-like queso anejo mixed with the languid, milky strands of quesillo, Oaxacan string cheese.
Apparently one of the outstanding things to enjoy here is the salsa bar ... The second restaurant, Fandango is equally interesting, but for different reasons:
Start your journey with the most famous, chocolate-infused creation: mole negro. The worlds of flavor discernable in its brown-black depths are almost daunting. You can perceive a hint of clove, the sweet musk of almonds, the gentle snap of poblano pepper, the unmistakable cocoa perfume of chocolate, a base note of chicken stock. The taste is ancient, a romantic mingling of the intuitive and the intellectual. The chicken in this dish? It becomes merely a vehicle for the beguiling sauce.

Oaxacan cuisine is both intriguing and highly sophisticated, offering a new taste of Mexico few can enjoy away from the source itself!

The Birmingham News from Alabama has a special section on the way in which the city has become more and more cosmopolitan in its dining. In one section of this multilayered article there is this:

Stitt cites an article in The New York Times by R.W. Apple Jr., who covered the civil rights struggles in Alabama during the 1960s. Apple wrote about how a 2002 meal amid a mixed crowd at Highlands symbolized the new, more sophisticated and racially harmonious Birmingham.

"Articles like that come from the position of almost ridiculing Birmingham," Stitt said. "Brett Anderson, dining critic for the Times-Picayune newspaper in restaurant-rich New Orleans, said Highlands and Hot and Hot rank with restaurants in any city.

The Charleston Post and Courier has a remarkably deep article on heirloom tomatoes, including their flaws and all .. delightful read if you enjoy these rosy fruits of the summer:

So if heirlooms are ugly, and generally pricier, what's all the fuss? "They really have such a intense tomato flavor that it makes you remember what a tomato really tastes like," Andrea Limehouse says.

"We have them and people love them," says Sidi Limehouse, one of the few local growers. "Some of them have a basic, real tart tomato taste and others are sweeter. Basically, they have more tomato flavor. I eat them all, but these are the ones I take home."

The Charlotte Observer is running their lead article from our own eGulleteer, Kathleen Purvis, on pork tenderloins and how their preparation has changed over time:

The splendor of pork tenderloin  Supple cut's many possibilities boost its popularity

How did your mother cook pork tenderloin? If you're older than 40, you may be drawing a blank.

These days, pork tenderloin is ubiquitous. It's fanned on platters for easy dinner parties, tossed on grills on Saturday night, tied together as a small roast on a weeknight. It's sliced into medallions and served under elegant sauces or cut up for stir-fries.

an excellent read if you enjoy this cut of meat as well as an article entitled "When food fights back, I'll bow out" which details her challenge with stone crabs:
My friends keep a deep pot near the stove, ready to quickly cook the crabs as soon as they catch them.

They used to have just one crab trap. But after the first time they invited me for a weekend, they added a second trap. I'm not taking that personally.

When something unusual gets caught in the traps, people turn to me, assuming that because I know how to cook things, I know how to kill them. Which is how I ended up trying to figure out the mechanics of a lone stone crab that wandered into the trap one morning last week.

.. recipe here for a marvelously simple mustard sauce which is from the very famous Joe's in Florida. Luscious!

Charlotte Creative Loafing has an article on the local favorite, Austin's Caribbean Cuisine:

But with the choice of Jerks; curries; oxtail and beef stews; ackee and salt fish with plantains and dumplings, it would be hard not to find dishes that are bold and tantalizing. Coco bread, made from malanga, a root similar to taro, is often found only earlier in the day. Goat and chicken pieces are rendered into bite-sized portions with a few powerful chops of a cleaver and are placed, bones and all, on top of a copious portion of rice and red beans (AKA peas). The Jerk Chicken, the Martin's most popular dish, is an amazing blend of heat, herbs, and spices that balance the tender sweetness of the meat.
and concludes with this piece of sage wisdom:
If you think the quickest passage to Jamaica with its relaxing sun-drenched white sand beaches is through the air, a meal from Austin's may prompt your taste buds to disagree.

Memphis Commercial Appeal this week looks at turnip greens, a staple of the typical southern diet:

Once the greens are clean, "We brown ham hocks, onions and bacon in a big braiser," Grisanti said. "Then, we add the greens and some water, a little sugar and some butter and then cook them until they're soft, between an hour and an hour and a half." Sounds simple, right? The success is in the seasoning, Grisanti said. For that unique Italian twist the kitchen crew at Grisanti's adds white pepper, salt and whole pepperoncini peppers.
The article includes a recipe as well for those who wish to make the dish at home.

The Nashville Tennessean about a local salt contest winner, Nikki Norman, who won in two of the categories: drinks and appetizers.

The Ruby Red Rita was inspired at a Florida garden club meeting where ''someone said ruby red grapefruit juice is great in a margarita,'' Norman said. She considers it the ultimate summer drink, one that you can make with or without tequila.

In the salt-baked Asian shrimp with Thai sauce appetizer recipe, she marinates the shrimp, still in the shells, then bakes them between layers of salt. Diners then peel the shrimp before dipping them into an accompanying sauce to eat.

I don't know about you but both of these recipes make my mouth water. :biggrin:

Triangle.com has an article on an oriental favorite, Ming Garden, which promises to be much more interesting than the average Chinese restaurant:

If anything, the menu is even more distinctive. The extensive offering runs the gamut from Mandarin (pork wrapped in eggplant, salt and pepper shrimp, Mongolian rack of lamb) to Szechwan (ma po tofu, kung pao shrimp and squid) to Shanghai style (moo shu duck, honey glazed walnut chicken).  The list even stretches beyond Chinese borders to offer a handful of dishes such as Vietnamese lobster and mango summer rolls, and Thai crab and asparagus salad. And Ming Garden's pan-Asian selection of Asian noodles is among the broadest around, with options including beef ho fun, seafood udon, jan pong, and dan dan noodle.

The News Observer which covers the area including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill has a dynamite article this week on the "Confessions of a Chile Head" ... quite a lively, frank discussion on how the writer developed the hot spicy habit:

It all began when I was a child, with an innocent shake of black pepper on my scrambled eggs. Back in those days, I'd never even heard of a pepper mill (ah, the naivete of youth!). The pre-ground stuff was all the stimulant my tender taste buds needed, anyway, each pungent black speck exploding into a world of flavor on my tongue. I was instantly hooked.Pretty soon, I was doing pepper three times a day, shaking it on everything from grits to meatloaf. Once, on a dare, I even tried it on vanilla ice cream. Little did I know that my experiment would become a trendy ice cream flavor 30 years later on dessert menus all over California.
This article rocks if you are a chile afficianado!

Which pretty much winds up the Southeastern Forum Digest for this week ... will update as more newsworthy articles appear during the week.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an excellent article on meatless barbecues:

Why bother with beef when you could instead bite into a thick eggplant steak — the tender, garlic-scented flesh collapsing under the weight of steam and a brushing of olive oil? Who'd chew on bland chicken when red peppers turn sweet and smoky on the grill, the perfect companion to flame-roasted asparagus, tangy cheese or seared mushrooms?

New recipe ideas I have not yet even considered can be found here for ...

Smoky Tomato Salsa

Twice-Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

Mushroom and Mozzarella Kebabs

Grilled Corn With Chipotle Butter

Figs With Cinnamon Cream

Grilled Falafel Sandwiches

Asparagus Salad With Roasted Red Pepper and Shaved Parmesan

Atlanta Creative Loafing has an article on the reopening of Soto, which has been discussed in a thread here on eG in the Southeast Forum ...

Dual elements comprise the splendor of a meal at Soto. There is, of course, the impeccably sourced fish served as sushi and sashimi. But, for me, the deepest pleasures come from Kosugi's specials and appetizers. Part-traditional Japanese dishes, part-culinary theater of the imagination, they pleasure the mind as much as they do the palate.
The article is an excellent picture of why so many Atlantans adore this place and the man himself!

and then there is an article which I found most revealing: a review of Lush and an update (below it) on Bazzaar .. from Richard Blais:

First about the vegetarian Lush:

Most other dishes here don't belong at the Satyricon banquet. They are what they are. There's an especially bracing gazpacho with a créme fraiche made of "avocado/lime tofu" and a giddy cucumber, mint and creamy tofu soup, both chilled.

and then Bazzaar:

Ravioli made of layered prosciutto, for example, is served over fresh chopped figs with parmesan whipped until frothy and garnished with micro-arugula. Minced Kobe beef tartare with Asian pear is served with a raw egg that's been injected with sesame oil and cracked open on the plate. Delicate salmon is bathed in lime juice, served over cubes of sweet watermelon and topped by a hunk of avocado lathered with horseradish turned into foam.
Classic Blais!! :biggrin:

All of the Atlanta reviews made me absolutely desirous of enjoying these new and reopened places .. the choice by CL is without a doubt, delirious!

Access Atlanta from the AJC reviews Rathbuns, a new restaurant which shows definite promise:

this man knows what ingredients to mix with what and make it all come out tasting real good. Try his white corn — sweet, pan-charred and still just a little bit crunchy, mixed with creamily melted, mildly nutty Gouda and a dice of bright tomatoes. Or sultry smoked salmon, so velvety you barely need to chew it, with a creamy mix of heated, heady habaneros, a lemon-zest vinaigrette and a dab of baby greens over a bite-sized square of toasted tortilla.

as I said, all of the reviews this week are worth reading, no matter where you live!

The Charleston Post and Courier has a mouth-watering article by the noted cookbook author, Natalie Dupree, on her grandmother's cooking and most appropriately subtitled "southern comfort":

Maw-Maw Dupree, would hustle us out at dawn to pick corn, tomatoes, pole beans, butter beans, okra, cucumbers, squash and whatever else was in her garden. Her double-crust peach pie was on a high dish, under a glass dome, away from snitching hands. She hollowed out the squash to fill with cheese, fried the okra, made the biscuits and/or cornbread and, most importantly, sliced the corn off the cob for creamed corn.

The Charlotte Observer opens its food section with a Kathleen Purvis article Cooking words are a question of taste, which has reference to a link from eGullet which you all will recall most vividly:

I got to pondering the food words that make us cringe when I came across a discussion on "Food TV Phraseology" on the food-lovers Web site www.egullet.com. Egullet is not for the faint of heart or opinion. Its regular posters are passionate foodies who are never shy about proclaiming their opinions, or "shouting down" dissenters in type.On this particular thread, Food Network offenders came under rapid fire. Perky Rachael Ray of "30 Minute Meals" bugs a lot of people with her equally perky abbreviation EVOO.
If this sounds familiar, it should be .. once again, Kathleen Purvis always seems to get it just right .. do yourself a favor and read on ... and her second article here is equally interesting:
WILMINGTON - Once upon a time, there were three Southern sisters.... they grew up along the marshy Lowcountry, beside the Atlantic, spaced out like a well-planned family. There was stately Savannah and elegant Charleston. And there was the youngest and smallest, Wilmington. All three were port cities ....
it will open your eyes in several different respects ... I knew so little about Wilmington until I read this.

Charlotte Creative Loafing this week offers an article on a new Indian restaurant, Namaste India Bar and Restaurant , which has become quite a local magnet for foodies:

When a restaurant imports a clay oven with an open charcoal flame from India and a chef from a five-star Nepal resort to man it, you gotta have tandoori. The lamb tikka hasina (which could also be known as a lamb fajita) proved a formidable choice. The iron skillet laden with lamb, peppers, and onions arrives hot and sizzling. Even after briskly spritzing the meat with lemon, the taste of the grill is well defined.

Another article on rose wines also is well worth reading:

Newsflash: not all pinks stink. Without a doubt, White Zinfandel, with its strawberry syrup flavor, has sentenced the entire class of roses to a crude and classless reputation, leaving the dry rose wines of the world to rot in trailer park hell. But fear not the rosy. The new, snazzed-up pink wine is fragrant with strawberries and watermelon, and packs a tart finish fantastic for summer.

Following this are several recommendations by the author:

Pedroncelli 2003 Zinfandel Rose Sonoma County

Iron Horse 2003 Rosato di Sangiovese Alexander Valley

Chateau de Parenchere 2003 Clairet Rose Bordeaux and

Beckmen 2003 Grenache Rose Santa Ynez Valley

Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal has an article on Asian cuisines which is interesting for a variety of reasons:

employees from Louisville restaurants August Moon and Asiatique gather around a table and the differences become obvious — the massive amount of fresh herbs in Vietnamese cooking, the coconut in Malaysian, stir-fry in Chinese, grilling in Indonesian.
The article enumerates the dishes typical of each cuisine
Fresh herbs are critical to Vietnamese cuisine, and stir-frying is rare. In Indonesia and Malaysia, galangal might be used instead of ginger, and they use a lot of coconut milk. The soy sauce in Indonesia is thicker and sweeter than in China. Chinese use chopsticks; Thais don't. All the cuisines rely on spice.

Memphis (Tenn) Commercial Appeal is running an article, and don't tune me out until you hear the entire story, on gelatin salads:

The Washington Post reported on a growing trend among cutting-edge chefs: the use of gels made from a seaweed-based gelling agent called agar-agar, popular in Asia for many years ..... by the popularity of Jell-O shots, or by the youth appeal of Asian boba tea drinks, with their squiggly tapioca balls and flavored jellies.... London's Wallpaper, a food feature titled "Three Summer Jellies" - that's Brit-speak for molded gelatin. Martha Stewart Living Everyday Food magazine, summer fruits star in an elegantly minimalist molded gelatin "mixed berry terrine."
See? Didn't I promise you something new and interesting in gelatin salads? :rolleyes:

The Nashville Tennessean has a piece on some local places with the event, date, cost, and website for information:

Spirited drink tasting events invite you to whet your whistle

Third annual Music City Brewers Fest

Nashville on the Rocks

Second annual Wine on the River

The St Petersburg (Fla) Times has a piece on coconuts with a recipe for coconut panna cotta that looks cooling yet simple to prepare ...

coconut, in its various forms, is easy to cook and fun to experiment with. From soups to sweets, coconut blends with a multitude of flavors, adding depth to hot Thai curries and subtlety to an inspired version of Italian panna cotta

If you want to try it au naturel, head for South Florida, or Latin America, where you can find vendors serving coco frio. The tops of chilled coconuts are lopped off with a machete ..

The News Observer from the Triangle has the article on heirloom tomatoes which Varmint started a thread about this morning here at eG: Varmint's thread

There is another article on the treatment to freeze shrimp from the same online source: here

Have you ever taken a bite of shrimp and found that it tastes kind of soapy with metallic undertone? This "off taste" is probably due to a phosphate treatment common in the processing of shrimp and other seafood -- particularly if the seafood has been frozen.

This winds up the Southeastern Forum Digest for the week ... will update as more newsworthy articles appear.

Enjoy your reading, check back often for updates, and stay cool .. after all, this is the summer! :laugh:

Gifted Gourmet

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an excellent article on a south Georgia dairy of which we are extremely proud, Sweet Grass Dairy. If you are a fan of artisanal cheeses and enjoy reading about their production, this is the perfect article for you. Peruse it carefully and get to know these two cheesemakers who are putting their entire heart and soul into this enterprise.

Cheeses that in the four short years of production have garnered more than a dozen national awards from the prestigious American Cheese Society (including a first place for the Lumiere this summer) and to such top-notch dining rooms as Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, Norman's in Miami and Clyde's in Washington. In Atlanta, Sweet Grass cheeses show up on the menus of such restaurants as Seeger's, MidCity Cuisine, the Food Studio, Woodfire Grill and Restaurant Eugene and in cheese shops at Star Provisions, Alon's and Whole Foods.

Recipes here include:

Grilled Gouda Cheese Sandwich

Creamy Goat Cheese Salad Dressing

Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Scones

"There are really very, very few places like Sweet Grass, where the cheese begins with the soil, the grass, the animal care, and then the cheese making goes to the point that it is spectacular."

This statement pretty well sums up the entire article.

Recipe of the week for Oven-Roasted Halibut with Herb Citrus Vinaigrette

Access Atlanta from the AJC has an exquisite article on a local vegetarian, actually vegan, upscale, delightful restaurant here called Lush ...Recommended dishes include smoky chilaquiles, a crisp endive salad, white bean hummus with assorted olives, a crisped bean curd, and the peanut butter mousse cake .. about which you will read more here:

A peanut butter mousse cake is the best of the lot. It's a dense chocolate cake layered with a silky-smooth, peanut butter-tofu mousse and has the added punch of peanuts ... And the fluffy banana mousse and dense chocolate bottom of banana "lush" pie is like a slice of chunky monkey without the Ben & Jerry's.  A vegan menu. An upscale vegan menu at that...Lush succeeds when it explores and elaborates on the possibilities of this muticultural cuisine.

Atlanta Creative Loafing reviews some especially appealing restaurants this week: Eugene's, Iris, Sotto Sotto and Jester's Cafe ... this week's focus is on Eugene's:

What Hopkins does best is gently coax the flavors out of carefully sourced ingredients ...... Slices of pan-roasted duck, for instance, are laid over a loose succotash of lady peas and corn. ..."Tower of crab" has become a signature dish, though one whose seasonal expiration date rapidly approaches. A meaty crabmeat is stacked on top of a crispy fried soft-shell crab, which in turn is placed over a pile of coleslaw, iconic in its vinegary creaminess ...in his crispy squash blossoms, stuffed with grits and cheese -- sometimes goat cheese, sometimes cheddar

and on and on until one simply has to either stop reading to wipe his/her chin or make reservations to try this place! :biggrin:

The Charleston Post and Courier showcases the local watermelon as the quintessential sign of summer ...

Charleston and South Carolina have a healthy respect for this heavily favored fruit. "Watermelon has been a favorite food in Charleston ever since there was a Charleston," Kennerty quips. "Hampton County, down in the back part of the state, calls itself the Watermelon Capital of the World," he adds. .. the 'Charleston Gray.'  is a large, oblong melon with a celadon-green rind and a brilliant red flesh was developed right in Charleston.

Delightfully summery recipes here include:

Salad With Smoked Ham and Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon-Peach Smoothie

Watermelon, Bacon, Avocado and Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich With Basil

Watermelon Lemonade

Watermelon Granita-Filled Lime Cups

In a section titled: savoring summer's last bounty, there are reviews of some terrific cookbooks:

in August, the farmers markets overflow with the final burst of summer's bounty.... the perfect time to peruse the season's newest ethnic and vegetarian cookbooks. Look for lots of lovely things to do with the last of the tomatoes, squash, eggplants and peppers.

The Charlotte Observer finds eG's own Kathleen Purvis coming face-to-face with the anxiety induced by the almighty chopstick:

What I'm not OK with is "chopstick pretension."  You know the offenders: They can pick up a single grain of rice. Their grip is so sure, they can wave bits of food like they're conducting a Sousa march, secure in the knowledge that what goes up will come down, dependably, into their mouths. They radiate the opinion that not matching them in masterfulness is a character flaw, not a quirk of experience.
Typically kpurvis humor and wit ... do read on ... :laugh:

The other major article this week is about sushi ... and in this highly informative article you will learn all about the many things related to eating sushi .. even the lingo associated with the specialty:

The Charlotte area increasingly is blessed with places purveying palatable, pretty, potent plates of sushi.  But in 16 years of reviewing restaurants, I've found there's no meal that freaks people out quicker. That's a raw deal. Sushi is great stuff. Let's demystify it for those still on the fence, and offer some lesser-known tidbits to dabblers.
a definite must read piece! :biggrin:

and then there is the bite-by-bite guide! the guide .. this you'll enjoy with pictures! I loved this!

Charlotte Creative Loafing has an article on honeys ... and this is one you will enjoy reading if this food is something you love:

"Our bees will return to the hive with telltale pollen on them -- orange -- from Tulip trees -- yellow. You can recognize the kind of pollen. We can usually tell exactly where the bees have been." ... there are about 30 or 40 varieties of honey made in the Piedmont region. The most common are blackberry; buttercup; cotton, which is one of the South's leading honeys; sweet clover, which is sweet and mildly flowery; spicy sourwood; tulip poplar, more intense than clover;

I had no idea how important a product this was to this region of the southeast ... lots of historical info and some surprising things I never was aware of are here as well ...

Yet another very cool article comes from Taylor Eason of CCL:

Bring Me Your Quirks  .....  It takes all (five) kinds of wine consumers

I get wine samples. Lots and lots of wine samples. This is much to the envy of my co-workers who observe my small army of bottles spilling onto the floor.

The five types include:

The Educators

The Muses 

The Closed Mouths

The Prognosticators

The Bullshitters

The Newbies

If you like stereotypes, read on ... I enjoyed his "take" on each ...

Memphis Commercial Appeal is running a story on lunch making for adults and children as school is opening shortly ...

Cone's wraps are also full of vitamin-rich veggies. She likes sprouts, lettuce and tomatoes with her turkey wraps, along with pre-sliced Muenster or provolone cheese. But often the star of her wrap is the wrap itself. She likes the garden spinach herb flavor, and prefers the tomato basil filled simply with left over chicken. All good and healthy lunches, Jacobson said. It's important to keep in mind that lunch is the meal that has to fuel you through a long afternoon.

The Nashville Tennessean has an article on gelatin desserts and salads which I have already reviewed here a week or two ago .. from Knight-Ridder .. and an article about a local woman who makes imitation sausages .. soysage, she calls them ..

Bishop laughs, ''I'm selling soysage in the sausage capital of the world.'' For five years she's mostly been a one-woman show, selling little brown blocks of sage-spiced soysage to vegans, vegetarians and carnivores starting to worry about their hearts.

Savannah Now has a somewhat interesting piece on the local favorite,

Hilton Head Island, S.C. ...the Iron Wolf Chop House ..... We started with the pecan fried calamari ($8) and a Carolina crab cake ($8). You could see the specks of pecan in the light breading on the calamari, but I'll be darned if we could taste any. Never mind, the calamari was fresh, tender and tasty, and the red pepper aioli on the side was delicious. The crab cake, served with a light mustard sauce, was nearly pure crab and delicious.

The News & Observer from Raleigh has an incredibly detailed article on the BLT sandwich which was enjoyable to read and quite revealing, layer upon layer:

Each letter of a BLT plays a vital role in the sandwich's overall flavor. The lettuce provides a refreshing, crisp high note. ...any kind of very fresh, tender, well-dried leaves will do. The acid-sweet flavor of vine-ripe tomatoes balances the fatty richness of the bacon. Jordan prefers a higher acid tomato for that tartness. However, some BLT fans won't give up their lower acid varieties, such as pink German Johnsons or yellow Carolina Golds. Northern BLT eaters won't touch anything but a Jersey tomato. It's all good, as long as it's an impeccably fresh tomato

even a discussion on the mayonnaises involved and the bacon types ... this is soooo divinely delicious, I can almost taste this classic sandwich as I write this digest ...

This winds up the Southeast Forum Digest for the week .. Have a good, safe end of the summer if you are getting ready to send your children off to school... :wink:

Gifted Gourmet

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city ... and, of course, there is extra heavy emphasis on Greek foods in almost all of the regional media:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution opens with a story about, what else, Greek baklava.

The article has to do with the working of phyllo in the kitchen of local Greek restaurant, Kyma, owned by Pano Karatassos, a legend in Atlanta's dining community.

Karatassos explains that phyllo is cooked traditionally, depending on whether the filling is savory or sweet, by either baking it or pan frying it in olive oil. When baked, it uses butter to create fluffy layers, like the ones in a traditional baklava. The butter melts between the layers, creates steam, which in turn pushes the layers apart to create flakiness.  Ahh . . . it's a simple, beautiful thing. And the Greeks have been doing it for centuries.

The story includes recipes for:

• Baklava

• Phyllo Triangles With Cheese and Mushroom Filling

• Phyllo Triangles With Spanakopita Filling

• Phyllo Pie With Prassopita Filling

• Phyllo Cigars or Spirals With Tiropita Filling

• Lemon Cream-filled Phyllo Cups

Reagan Walker's article is all about her fascination with that old southern favorite vegetable: okra.

Brock knows the magic of the pod. He grew up picking it from family vegetable patches in South Georgia and had more than his fair share of slimy boiled preparations.  Okra has a natural thickener that when mishandled (usually overcooked) can give the veggie and everything it touches a gelatinous coat. I suspect that most okra haters have been "slimed" one time too many. Brock also had the pleasure of fried okra growing up — a Southern standard. And he's ventured further into the culinary wonders of the pod, which is indigenous to Africa and found its way to Southern tables by way of slaves.

Access Atlanta from the AJC is all about a new local Brazilian bakery called Pao de Mel:

The intoxicating aroma of both mixed with cheese and milk fills the air the moment you step into Pao de Mel, a Brazilian bakery in Marietta.  Stop for a moment. Breathe in its rich, warm comfort....  prune cake covered in meringue, sweet flan and round loaves of rosca — a soft, braided sweet bread covered in bright yellow custard and coconut.
My mouth is watering for these delicacies which I have yet to experience but look forward to with great anticipation.

Atlanta Creative Loafing has a review by local Bill Addison, which true to form, is about a local restaurant, Chinese Gourmet Classic:

As soon as the stir-fry is set down, though, servers pour forth from the kitchen and laden our table with the other dishes. The lobster has also been stir-fried and cut into pieces, left in the shell. Tools are brought and we dig out sweet lumps of meat, scented with the pungent warmth of ginger. The noodles, thick and tangled under the lobster, have the same smoky wok-hay as the shrimp chow fun
His writing style make Addison a pleasure to experience!

Charleston Post & Courier is running an article, options exist for healthier breakfasts, which has not too much new information but does offer some great ideas:

"I generally recommend that sugars be limited early in the day, due to the blood sugar-stimulating effect," Chitwood says. "We have hormones that are more significant early in the day.  On her "good" list are fresh nuts, eggs, sprouted grain breads and cereals, lean meats such as turkey sausage, and whole milk or 2 percent yogurt with nuts and fruit.... fresh fruit is a good choice.
and there follows a list of some terrific menu-planning ideas.

Also in this week's paper is a piece about Dottie Frank and her love of lowcountry cuisine:

Dottie Frank has a cookbook inside her itching to come out.

...advances on the idea that food is at the center of the universe. The book revolves around the running of a seafood restaurant."  Her attraction to food is not about hunger, it's about being alive in this world while being nourished by her Lowcountry roots.  Although she clearly reveres Lowcountry vegetables ("They taste different; it's got to be the dirt") such as butter beans, corn and tomatoes, Frank balances a sophisticated palate with her love of simple food. Her favorites range from foie gras with sauteed apples and Calvados (a French apple brandy) to steamed shrimp "just caught that day" and okra soup.

The Charlotte Observer has a nice article with some great ideas about using store-bought dough but creating your own recipes from it:

Actually, that's an excellent start. From a can of biscuits, you can make dumplings, doughnuts and cobblers. With refrigerated pie crusts come tarts, pandowdies and crackers. From canned dinner rolls, try turnovers, crescents and pinwheels.
and an article on handling money along with food by Kathleen Purvis:
Here's an example, from a recent stop at one of the many take-out lunch counters that dot the uptown:The man behind the steam table was working alone. Diligently wearing disposable gloves, he dished up my chicken curry. Then he stepped to the register and took my money -- gloves on. Lynn Lathan, the senior environmental health specialist for the Mecklenburg County Health Department, had a good laugh at that one
.... read on ...

Charlotte Creative Loafing has an article by Tricia Childress on a tasty blend of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine at Viet-Thai Noodle House:

Viet-Thai's menu is lengthy --

The Vietnamese dishes here are magical. The brace of grilled lemon grass prawns served with a pool of tamarind sauce disappeared as quickly as the dish arrived. Wonderfully tender strips of chicken and quickly cooked vegetables tasted sweetly of a soothing mix of lemon grass and chilies. Dishes arrive garnished with origami-shaped vegetables. The large bowl of Mi Hai San noodle soup was too much to consume..... That is part of what I enjoy about Vietnamese cuisine: clean herbaceous flavors and interactive to boot.

Memphis Commercial Appeal is running as their main story a piece on Greek frittatas which is from Mollie Katzen and full of some interesting methods to prepare this favorite dish:

celebrate the spirit of the Olympics with a Greek-style egg dish, fit for the fittest among us and everyone else, too.  A frittata is a thick Italian omelet - sturdy and adaptable and filled with vegetables, herbs and cheese. Frittatas are particularly convenient in that unlike most other egg dishes, they can be made ahead and either reheated or served at room temperature so you can avoid the hassle of last-minute preparation.

recipe for Greek frittata

The Nashville Tennessean has an article Cookin' on 'cue:

the Amazin' Blazin' BBQ Cookoff. He and his team, ''Rock Bottom and the Pits,'' will be one of the 54 teams cooking baby back ribs, pork butt, chicken and beef brisket. ''I don't win a lot,'' Bottoms said, ''but I learn something every time I go.''He stood next to the rig surrounded by a portable sink he picked up at Wal-Mart and several tables with a tent over the biggest one. 

The Orlando Sentinel has an article by their Food Editor Heather McPherson who writes about Gr olive oil and its true origins:

Olive oil is a gift from the Greeks and, with Olympic-inspired tables being set around the world, it's time the credit goes to the right Mediterranean country.

More than 4,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks mastered the art of harvesting and processing the fruit of the olive tree. Food historians have long professed that the first olive-oil press was found on the island of Crete.

well worth reading to add some new ideas to what you may already know about the golden elixir ...

The Raleigh News & Observer has a set of articles which focus upon Greek wine because of the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens:

Greek wines seem made for food. "The only tricky part for me is changing people's perceptions of Greek wines," she says. That's because many American diners at Greek restaurants here have had an unpleasant experience with retsina, a white or rose wine flavored with pine resin. (The introduction of resin dates back to ancient times, when wine was stored in clay jars sealed with pine resin.) "Most of them are very strong in pine flavors," Edwards says. "Some people say they taste like Pine-Sol."

Another article this week gives specific suggestions on Greek wines to try and there is yet another article about the local Greek wine tasting dinner events as well. Perfect reading! A series of dinners featuring Greek wines have been scheduled in the Triangle to coincide with the Olympics in Athens.

Some of the choices include (and I have only chosen on to illustrate):


Menu: Traditional spreads with pita, dolmades and other meze (Robola white), barley risotto with root vegetables and mizithra cheese (Tsantaalis Athiri), phyllo cigars filled with spiced meats and Greek cheeses (Tsantalis Agioritiko Rose), chicken in red sauce with noodles, stuffed eggplant and drunken pork (Antonopoulos New Oak Red and Tsantalis Metoxi), Melomakarona biscuits (Keo St. John's Commandaria).

.. do read the article on the wine dinners because it will give you numerous delicious ideas!

Have a marvelous time enjoying the articles from some of the many cities in the southeastern states!

I have very much enjoyed my first week as a Forum Host for this area and hope that you will contact me with ideas specific to the places in which you live in this region!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeastern Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city .. just as last week's food sections focused upon the Greek food tie-in with the 2004 Olympics, so this week is driven by articles of remembrance on Julia Child.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a story on a lot of interesting ways to "pep up" tuna .. and the recipes actually do look quite different, for a change:

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Tonnato-Stuffed Eggs

Smoked Tuna Horseradish Dip

Cannellini Beans With Tuna

Tuna Salad With Coconut Green Curry

Curried Tuna and Chutney Salad With Mango

Tuna Walnut Salad

Tunisian Tuna Salad

New pouch packages are attracting buyers who don't like the mess of cans. Flavored tunas, from jalapeño to hickory-smoked ....more choices. Water vs. oil. Light vs. albacore. Can vs. pouch. Premium fillets vs. flake-filled chunk. Olive oil vs. vegetable oil. Tuna lovers are branching out beyond what's on sale. They're buying based on taste, dolphin friendliness, mercury levels and pedigree.
I went on to read the section which is intended as a tuna "primer" and even managed to learn some new facts I had not previously known.See what you think ...

Atlanta Creative Loafing has a few new reviews on local dining: Wisteria comes of age with well-conceived, Southern-tinged cuisine:

The meaty, not-too-gamy succulence of wild boar and cranberry sausage is intensified by sharp, chunky peach chow-chow. Rich, long-cooked onions in a caramelized onion tart have been partially pureed ... Tomatoey crab bisque is rife with flecks of crab. ..squiggles of goat cheese créme fraiche. It tastes unfussy and honest. Brown turkey figs are a local treat in season right now. They were part of a recent special salad with mixed greens, feta and saba (crushed grape syrup) vinaigrette
A rather interesting place which had the misfortune of opening the same week as 9/11 ... but has gone on to thrill the local palates!

The Charleston Post & Courier has a lovely, very personal tribute to Julia Child, from one of its own staff writers, who had corresponded with her:

the biggest lesson I learned there wasn't how to make a creme anglaise or truss a chicken. It was a lesson in kindness and caring, and it came from Julia. Feeling indebted to her, I wrote her two or three times to tell her of my progress, never with an expectation of hearing back from her. But I did. Every time. Her letters always were peppered with sincere enthusiasm in phrases such as, "I'm so envious of all that fabulous French training," and, "I've heard that La Varenne has an amazing bread-making program."A lesser person wouldn't have bothered. But she was the most.
Beautifully written piece!

The Charlotte Observer also has its own Kathleen Purvis writing her own personal message on Julia Child as well:

I met Julia Child was in 1996, at the Symposium for Professional Food Writers at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. I wanted to meet Julia Child. ...Meet her? Try and miss her. At 83, Child had barely begun to slow down. For the three days of the symposium, she was everywhere, taking notes at every lecture, standing in line at the microphones as soon as they'd open the floor to questions. In the salon after dinner, she was ensconced near the fireplace, mostly listening while everyone else told stories about her, looking amused while people did their Julia imitations.
You will want to share Kathleen's very perceptive take on Julia in this touching article ... another must read!

Charlotte Creative Loafing opens with a piece: Crash Course In Charlotte cuisine

A newcomer's guide to food in the Queen City ....

Perhaps the lip calisthenics of the word polenta makes this food more palatable.... the English shortened the Native American word for grits, Rockahominie, to hominy. The best grits are coarse-ground and whole grain. Grits should taste like creamed fresh corn and are best when made with milk and/or cream and served with sauteed shrimp and onions. At area restaurants, you may also find Stone Ground Grit Gnocchi, Baked Cheese Grits or even a Warm Grit Pudding.
and the article continues with subjects such as the local fruits and its ethnic dining scene .. even more to read and enjoy here ...

Memphis Commercial Appeal is chock full of great articles this week, among which was this one:CIA chef .... Mississippi cook's culinary pedigree followed a phone call that changed his life ...

Lee Craven was working at an Applebee's in Florence, Ala. ...got a call from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.  "They're like, 'You've been accepted,'. Craven, 26, now is executive chef at Madidi, the tony Clarksdale, Miss., restaurant owned by actor Morgan Freeman and attorney Bill Luckett. Describing Craven's cooking, Freeman said it's "on a par with the best chefs that I've experienced in Spain, in France, in Germany. I think he's right up there, just knowing how to do food".

Interesting story on how Craven grew and developed and has impressed a great many diners with his abilities.

The Nashville Tennessean has a little short treasure on lamb kebabs which seems perfect for the end of summer grilling:

Kebabs are one of my favorite quick meals to prepare, even if the recipe calls for some sort of marinade. With lean, tender cuts of meat, the purpose of the marinade is to lend a bit of flavor, not to tenderize it. So, you can leave the meat in the marinade as long as it takes ...
and there follows a nice marinade recipe for the kebabs.

The Raleigh News & Observer has a delighful, mouth watering article on shrimp, a personal favorite ...

Mary Earp at Earp's Seafood in Raleigh. Wild shrimp is all she will ever sell, never imported or farm-raised. "I only want wild shrimp because farmed shrimp have absolutely no flavor. Why bother to eat shrimp if they have no flavor?" she says.The distinction between wild-caught shrimp and farmed shrimp is important for many reasons..."Our domestic, wild-caught shrimp are safe to eat, untainted, cleaner, have a firmer flesh and taste better than the almost bland flavor of imported, farm-raised shrimp,"

Recipes include:

Shrimp and Grits with Country Ham and Upscale Red-Eye Gravy

Lowcountry Shrimp Pilau

Pickled Shrimp

Naked Carolina Coast Shrimp with Avocado and Nam Prik Sauce

Fried Shrimp

Steamed Shrimp with Lemon Grass-Coconut Sauce

Sort-of-Boiled Shrimp

and there are several other articles well worth your time this week, one of which is "Don't fear fish on the grill" ...

So don't be afraid to grill fish. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the flavor and texture of fish from your grill. It may be even better than some you have had at a restaurant. Hey, nothing beats chilling on the back porch watching the smoke rise and driving your neighbors nuts with the smell of great grilled food.

That pretty much winds up the Southeast Forum Digest for this week ... stay tuned because more will follow .. and have a great week!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since I was in California last week, I did not do a Southeast Forum Digest, preferring instead to simply pick up on the latest news stories which will be fresher and more inviting! Thanks for your patience .. without further ado, here is a compendium of what is in the food news this week in the media:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution has as its lead story both beer and recipes which use beer as a main ingredient. This article has several local restaurants as examples of ways in which beer is used to make a signature dish.

Putting beer and food together can be as easy or elaborate as you care to make it, limited only by your imagination.... chicken is marinated and then slowly braised in Caracole amber, a strong Belgian ale with a distinctively earthy essence.."It's like coq au vin," Albrecht says, "but with beer instead of wine. The beer gives it some flavors that are a little different and are very good."  "When pairing food with beer, I try to look for layered flavors," Crawford says. "Contrasting flavors seem to fight for the palate."

Recipes using beer include:

Sun-Dried Cherry and Wheat Beer Vinaigrette

Ale-Marinated Pork Chops With Ale Gravy

Belgian Beer-Braised Chicken

Speedy Stout Mocha Freeze

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake and Frosting With Imperial Stout

Steak With Ale-Braised Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Thai Curry Mussels Cooked With White Beer

Atlanta Creative Loafing has reviews of a number of interesting local restaurants, among them the Korean Dongbaek Garden and the reviewer's take on the "fish bomb":

My friend and I lean our heads over a bowl of soup crowded with homemade noodles and seafood in a lobster-red broth. Among the jumble float small, gray, podlike nubs. He holds up one pod creature in a spoon while our server tries her best to explain what they are. "Fish bomb," she repeats in friendly but broken English. "Don't swallow. Chew. Be careful. Juicy." She smiles apologetically.

Also in this issue is a visit a local restaurant serving, what else? tapas!

What a friend we have in tapas .... Che opens in Buckhead:

I didn't eat a thing I didn't like..... but, Serrano ham and chorizo -- served with olives, cornichons and pickled onions -- was sliced far too thin for my taste. It's completely intentional: The menus describe it as "thinly sliced," but Serrano ham, unlike prosciutto, needs more body to communicate its flavor ... toasted pumpkin seed dip is earthy and smoky tasting. A little hamburger is cooked Cuban-style with cumin and made crispy with shoestring potatoes placed inside the bun... favorite dish was a large piece of skate, flash-fried in a crispy batter and served with a mojo of smoked paprika and Key lime juice. Air-dried tuna: it's a subtle pleasure, served over a salsa fresca of sweet peppers, cukes and tomatoes. Peekytoe crab is served on plantain chips. Taste citrus, soy and sesame.

Access Atlanta from the AJC has a lovely review of a new restaurant here called Toast:

The pasta really is Toast's calling card, a flirtatious little romp through all things fresh and wonderful. When someone likes to do something it often shows in his work, and puffy, pillowlike, mascarpone-filled agnolotti is proof positive of a work ethic moving in the right direction. First, it's important to grasp how different pasta this fresh is going to taste and feel in your mouth; its fragile chewiness and mild wheaty flavor almost seem like an afterthought. With the agnolotti is another perfect broth, this time a little creamier and teeming with the sultry, smoky, delicate sexiness of chanterelle mushrooms.

Charleston Post & Courier has a lead story on a local favorite, shrimp and grits:

fresh, sweet shrimp floating in a buttery sauce that was ladled over a steaming plate of grits. Not a speck of tasso ham or cheese or tomato ... The rest of the world began getting a taste of shrimp and grits with the rise of Charleston's restaurant scene. Chefs started playing with the "recipe," and some form of the dish became de rigueur at many upscale establishments. Guess who's championing shrimp and grits? Quaker Grits declared this month that "grits are going gourmet," i.e., mainstream.
and, since I love the shrimp and grits that I ate in Charleston, this really was an article I could drool over!

The Charlotte Observer has an article by our own Kathleen Purvis:

What every mom needs: Time to help

If only food were always the answer. When I embarked on the life of a working mother, I thought food would be the question. And I thought I knew the answer. Last-minute bake sale requests, hasty class cupcakes, birthday cakes turned on a dime: I was ready. I laid in cake mixes and cupcake liners, and stocked my bookshelf with a few good last-minute cookbooks, like Anne Byrn's "Cake Mix Doctor."

as well as articles on Tôm Kàa Kài
when I raised a spoonful of the creamy broth to my mouth, it tasted of coconuts. It was smooth and rich, with the warmth of chiles, subtle citrus and a spice that could only have been the galangal.  I dug for the slivers of buttery chicken, steeped in cream.The soup was wonderful. I'd eaten Thai food many times before but savoring Tôm Kàa Kài, I felt I'd found it only then. Fishing out a slice of galangal, I held it on my spoon. If it came from Hawaii, what about the lemon grass? Where were the shiitake mushrooms from?

Charlotte Creative Loafing has a review of New Zealand Cafe:

dishes from New Zealand. Was it Gollum who talked about the juicy-sweet fish? If so, he probably meant the Chilean sea bass, which is totally submerged in a too thick and cloyingly sweet ginger soy sauce. The taste of the fish had been perfectly eclipsed. Another New Zealand choice is the fried pork chop, which is sliced and also overdosed with a sweet sauce. The New Zealand chicken turned out to be small battered chunks of white meat, again set in a sea of sweet, but this time flecked with heat. If you're an aficionado of sweet and sour, these dishes are up your alley.

Memphis Commercial Appeal has an interesting story on a woman, Marti Kuhn, who specializes in making cracker bread:

On a recent sultry summer morning, she patiently rolled out dough as thin as, well, a cracker. "I love breads that go crunch," said Kuhn, 63. "Every piece is a little different," she said. "If I was going to get any bigger, I might have to look for equipment to help out, but I like making them by hand. It's a little like a pizza crust." The cracker bread comes in several distinctive flavors: sesame seed, spicy rosemary with garlic, chili-cumin. The asiago cheese is Mantia's favorite.  "It's wonderful," Mantia said. "It's got such great flavor."

The Nashville Tennessean is running a lead story on a group who is learning about cooking together:

Camaraderie in the kitchen:  Gather 'round the in-store table to learn new cooking skills and make new friends ...People who like to spend time in the kitchen are always looking for new recipes and tips to make their cooking easier. For them, the intimate cooking classes at the CoolSprings Galleria Williams-Sonoma store might be just the thing to stir their imaginations. On a recent night, students at Kim Kolts' class soaked up cooking hints, recipes, new ideas for tailgating parties and more....The intimate setting makes attendees feel like they're sitting in Kolts' kitchen.... Students like the way they can see every move she makes and see the textures of the products up close as the dishes are prepared.

The Raleigh News & Observer has a mouth-watering piece on rotisserie chicken:

Rotisserie chicken has been growing in popularity for the past 20 years, says Richard Lobb, a spokesman National Chicken Council ...Sales of raw whole birds slumped when packages of chicken parts became widely available, but the advent of Boston Market made buying whole cooked chicken popular, he says. Lobb estimates that 800 million chickens will be sold as rotisserie birds this year, 500 million of them in supermarkets. The convenience and reasonable price have made rotisserie chicken so popular that whole cookbooks have been created to boost chicken creativity.
There follows a list of cookbooks devoted exclusively to the rotisserie chicken in many forms.

Another article that I enjoyed was: Try a taste of Lowcountry at Woodlands

one of the best-kept secrets in the South: The Woodlands Resort and Inn. The resort, which received South Carolina's only Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond awards for culinary and hotel excellence, is nestled in a 40 acre parklike setting.

and we currently have a thread running on this place here at eG in the Southeast Forum ... the article is wonderfully descriptive:

A meal here is a very special experience. A recent luncheon featured Beet Cured Organic Irish Salmon with Heart of Palm, Lemon-Radish Mignonette (a light relish mixture), Pecan Crusted Quail Breast & Seared Foie Gras, Poached Tenderloin of Great Plains Bison (it was fork tender), Silver Queen Corn and Chanterelle Mushrooms. Each course was punctuated by baskets of fragrant, hot-from-the-oven Woodlands Signature Cheddar & Herb Biscuits that quickly disappeared. For those who wish it, there is a choice of wines from California, South Australia and Italy. New desserts are created daily. Recent selections include Milk Chocolate Souffle, Warm Persimmon Pudding with Spiced Pears, Bourbon Chocolate Torte with Candied Pecans, Dried Apricot Compote and Creme Brulee.

This pretty much concludes the Digest for this week! Have a wonderfully delicious Labor Day Weekend with friends and family and remember to try the foods of the southeast.... you will be surprised at their flavors and varieties! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states.

This week's Southeast Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city ..

Atlanta Journal-Constitution has some recipes for challah for Rosh Hashonah, the upcoming Jewish New Year as well as for pomegranate chicken and honeycake, all of which are classic fare for this holiday:

I don't make challah because it's better or more interesting or more personal; I do it because it satisfies my soul. The simplicity and quiet of bread baking seems perfect for Rosh Hashana, a time when we are supposed to be reviewing and reflecting on our spiritual lives. As you shape the dough into the traditional spiral, think about the cycle of life and how fortunate we are to have the privilege of celebrating the new year once again.

The author captures the spirit of the holiday as she exlains how to shape the unique spiral that makes a lovely mahogany, gleaming "snail" challah: shaping photographs for the baker Enjoy her explanations and her writing!

Atlanta Creative Loafing looks back at the local award-winner, Pano and Paul's, which has been here with its successful run for some 25 years. It is a classic, both elegant and stylish, in its continental cuisine and its patrons.

Pano's has always weaved modern ideas among the classics on the menu. It's a savvy philosophy that has kept this restaurant consistently relevant. A supple cut of filet mignon is glazed with brandy-pepper sauce and crowned with mushroom ragout studded with braised shallots.  Translucent slices of smoked salmon are carved tableside, adorned with minced onions and capers and paired with a fluffy blini.  An almond clafouti -- its warm, nutty texture somewhere between a pancake and a souffle -- reduces me to ecstatic mumbling.
For me, this was the place to celebrate significant life events: anniversaries, graduations, engagements. It is nice watching as it has become a local favorite and still draws excellent crowds on both weekends and weeknights.

Charleston Post and Courier celebrates the sixteenth of September, Mexican Independence Day, by offering some marvelous recipes and ideas for people who enjoy celebrating this special holiday.

Jeffrey Pilcher who is a history professor at The Citadel, turned his love of Mexican history and food into his dissertation, "Que Vivan Los Tamales -- Food and the Making of Mexican Identity" .... he describes antojitos as any number of finger foods made with corn tortilla dough. Some of the dough may be shaped into little boats or "canoas" to hold chile sauce, meat or beans. "Sopes" look like silver dollars with a rim, with the edge serving to hold in chile sauce and perhaps a little meat and cream. "Tlacoyos" resemble a small flattened football, a pointy oval. They are made out of blue corn and are filled with beans and chiles or other ingredients.
The entire article has a variety of interesting ideas as well as recipes and is well worth the time you will spend reading it!

Charlotte Observer is a little different this week in an article, by Kathleen Purvis, about the designing of Johnson and Wales seventeen dream kitchens:

For the staff of Johnson & Wales University, coming to Charlotte was a chance to do a lot of things. They got a highly visible campus in an urban location; they became a part of a red-hot region. But this is what really made people rub their hands together: the chance to build kitchens. Their own kitchens.
a planning session in which everybody throws their ideas on the table. For one intense week, shortly after the J&W announcement in fall 2002, 30 to 40 people came together -- designers, architects, faculty, city officials, business people.
What follows is a marvelously insightful article on how they designed and created their finished kitchens ... a must read!

Charlotte Creative Loafing has a number of fine food related articles, one of which caught my eye on foods of the Yucatan peninsula served locally at the 220-seat Cantina 1511 on East Boulevard ...

guacamole made tableside, shrimp tacos accessorized with caramelized onions and balanced with jalapeno, and a large well-seasoned quesadilla, smoky, not spicy. Best of all was the Pollo alla Parrilla, a spin of a Yucatan favorite: black beans and white rice, dotted with red onion and topped with an achiote-citrus marinated grilled chicken breast. Only the banana leaf was missing. The grilled Cuban shrimp was equally appealing and also accompanied by black beans, spicy rice and fried sweet plantains.
if this sounds like your type of cuisine, do check out this article, or if you happen to find yourself in Charlotte, try this place and enjoy!

Memphis Commercial Appeal also has their own article on Rosh Hashonah foods ... and a lovely one it is by Faye Levy, the author of "Feast from the Mideast," HarperCollins, 2003.

A holiday dinner could begin, for instance, with sea bass with garlic and sweet bell peppers, a bright and zesty Moroccan-Jewish appetizer. It's delicious and a revelation to anyone who thinks gefilte fish is the only Jewish way of preparing fish. For a Rosh Hashanah main course, serve roast chicken stuffed with rice and fruit, which combines savory and sweet flavors. Sephardic side dishes - vegetable pancakes made of winter squash, leeks and spinach ..
She describes some of the dishes prepared by Sephardic Jews as well as Ashkenazic Jews:

Rosh Hashonah recipes here for a number of side dishes

and here for the roast chicken

here for the sea bass ...

Nashville Tennessean has a highly timely article on the showdown between baked beans from Massachusetts and from Texas which is a food reflection of the current election:

In one can, sporting a dorky donkey, are the Liberal Democrat Boston Baked Beans. In the other can, a charismatic elephant in a bolo tie promotes Conservative Republican Texas Chili Beans. The ''liberally spiced'' beans from Boston were hardly spiced at all; instead, they were sweetened with molasses, somewhat bland, and reminiscent in smell and flavor of wet cardboard.... the Texas-style chili beans, their ''conservative spice'' had noticeable kick and a much richer sauce that was a deep, chili-red, just like certain states on a map.
You'll definitely want to read the article to see which bean was the best .. but, from even this brief excerpt, you may surmise that quite easily ... :rolleyes:

Another article in this edition of the Tennessean is about Loretta Lynn, the country western music star and her preparation of chicken and dumplings, among other things, in her cookbook You're Cookin' it Country:

She writes, ''I know people will holler, but 'possum was my daddy's favorite dish. If they lived where I lived, they would think it was a great dish, too.'' Other recipes, including her country fried cream corn and chicken and dumplings, are about as traditionally Southern as you can get.  Then there's her peanut butter fudge. ''I was probably 11 or 12 the first time I ever tasted peanut butter,'' she writes. ''I thought it was the greatest thing God ever made.

Raleigh News and Observer has a number of articles which I found quite interesting with the imminent approach of fall .... French Butter Pears, is just one such article which comes with a recipe for Five-Spice French Pear Butter:

Sometimes also called Buerre Hardy, this relative of d'Anjou pear is a French heirloom pear that dates from around 1820.The "butter" part of this pear's name refers not only to its creamy flavor, but also to its "melt in your mouth" texture. In fact, for years the Butter pear's creamy (not gritty) texture and juicy, sweet flavor made it the pear for use in baby foods. Butter pears are delicious eaten out of hand. They work well in both sweet and savory dishes and are delicious with cheeses.

Yet another article this week focusses on Westphalian ham:

before I even put away the ice cream, yank off 8 inches of a fresh baguette, split it open with my thumbs and load it up with freshly sliced Westphalian ham. That simple combination is so perfect the only condiment I need is a good shake of crushed red pepper. Now, truth is, I can get Westphalian ham (with nitrites) at other stores in the Triangle (Fresh Market in Raleigh, A Southern Season in Chapel Hill and Fowler's in Durham).
positively made my mouth water ....

St. Petersburg Times has a superbly interesting article on Paula Deen from Food Network and a new television show Deen will be starting shortly:

Her 30-minute show is filmed in Elliott's home kitchen in Millbrook, N.Y., in the Hudson Valley, and in Savannah. It airs at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. "I'm a little scared," she said. "I'm going up against Oprah." She is working on a fourth cookbook, Paula Deen's Living It Up With Friends, which will focus on celebratory dishes, "everything from a christening to a funeral."
She has recently remarried and is working on a new oyster restaurant with her brother as well ... quite a lady!

Have a great week and if you are celebrating a holiday or simply getting yourself psyched up for fall foods, enjoy your reading!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states. The Ivan story pretty much dominated the news in these states this week but it is now business as usual.

This week's Southeast Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city ..

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a summer's end type of story for its feature article on preserving the fruits and vegetables we enjoyed so recently.

We love to put stuff in jars, too, but we don't call it canning. We like our "preserves" to be as alive in our kitchen as a fresh salsa, to consume in a few weeks. Since we treat these jars as fresh condiments and keep them refrigerated, we almost never perform the extra step of processing them in boiling water unless it's desirable to cook the fruits or vegetables gently in glass.


Peach Preserves

Dill Cucumber Slices

Brandied Plums

Green Tomato Chowchow

Atlanta Creative Loafing has a number of interesting articles this week: Smoke shop

Neighborly Asada dishes out easygoing eats and stout margaritas, Serious sushi at Zuma, plus news about town, Now You're Cookin': Seven favorites for learning at the stove .. in this article, Suzanne Wright does an analysis of some of the best places where a cook, either a novice or an expert already, can develop new skills for the kitchen:

If your last encounter with cooking instruction was in high school home ec, you owe it to yourself to check out one of these cooking schools. Classes abound at numerous facilities; we've selected a few of our favorite instructors of the gastronomic arts. There's nothing quite like the pride you'll feel eating sushi you've prepared yourself.
Quite an interesting "read"!

Access Atlanta of the AJC has an article on the new, well, not so very new anymore here in town, Brazilian steakhouses which have blossomed and spread .. with varying degrees of success:

Maybe Fogo de Chão earned our fealty because it was Atlanta's first churrascaria. It was always consistent, always a sure bet, always a party.  How many churrascarias do we now have around town? Six? Eight?  I am personally a little sick of the whole business. Not to sneeze at this apotheosis of plenty, but just how often can I watch boneless meat pile up on my plate and go, "Goodie, goodie?" All those people dislodging whozit-whatzit-cow-cow-cow under my nose every 10 seconds — it gets old.
The piece by Atlanta critic, John Kessler, is a riot!

Charleston Post & Courier offers a number of pieces this week, one on The Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side of NYC, owned by Mark Isreal, originally from the Carolinas:

There's a Southern feeling to this shop, an impression that turns out to be more than imagination. Isreal has family back in, of all places, South Carolina. His mother's side comes from the Upstate, around Chester ...As much as I'm entertained by Isreal and his exaggerated Southern accent, I'm here for the doughnuts. It's time for a tasting.  "I decided if I was going to do this, I would do the best," Isreal says as he slices samples out of three glossy, sumptuous rounds. "Doughnuts have taken over my life."

Also featured articles this week on heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, and a test on baking with artificial sweeteners.

The Charlotte Observer offers a number of stories: on granola's rebirth, on the woman behind Duke's Mayonnaise, and an article by Kathleen Purvis:

Charity flap tests limits of strict ethics

Journalism has a clear path: Find the truth, tell both sides, and avoid conflicts of interest. For a food journalist, there are many rocks in that path. Restaurant invitations, food gifts and offers of paid trips arise with alarming frequency.To be open about it: I serve on the committee that oversees the cookbook awards. I accepted the invitation to serve for many reasons. Recognizing good work is honorable. As a regional representative, I can widen the focus beyond the New York publishing world. By getting to know New York, I can bring better stories to Charlotte readers.
Well worth your time in reading this.

Charlotte Creative Loafing has a number of articles, two on Italian food which are Charlotte local favorites and another of the articles which caught my eye:

particularly the one entitled "Dixie Chicks" on the wonderments of southern fried chicken available in Charlotte: The bird is the word

Who doesn't like chicken? Well, vegetarians don't, but aside from them, chicken seems to appeal to just about everyone. Plus, when Tar Heels buy chicken, they have the added bonus of helping to employ a few folks around the state. North Carolina is the fourth largest producer of broilers in the US. In fact, over 14 million broilers will be ready for market during the week ending October 16. That's a lot of chickens. Fried chicken is synonymous with Southern country cooking, but the cooking method is still up for debate. Should it be deep fat fried? Or skillet fried the way your mama did?

Memphis Commercial Appeal has an article on La Montagne, which is a favorite for its cuisine:

A summer squash and roasted tomato soup, presented yin and yang style in the bowl, was utterly lovely, each brightly colored component delicious and, mixed together, even tastier. Perfectly grilled scallops were offered over a small mixed green salad with two barely cooked asparagus spears wrapped in slightly crusty prosciutto, a delightful play of flavor and texture.

Plus an intriguing article on Chez Philippe:

Whoever said "too many cooks spoil the broth" would have been shocked to see how smoothly food flowed in the kitchen at Chez Philippe on Saturday.  That's when a collection of all-star chefs from around the country collaborated on "Bon Apetit Y'all," a benefit dinner for the James Beard Foundation's scholarship fund.
Good reading this week on all of the articles offered!

The Nashville Tennessean has the usual seaonal article with recipes: Sweeten up Jewish new year; prepare to break Yom Kippur fast:

the cheesecake-like kugel she's been making for years is a good option. The recipe, shared by a friend and caterer, is a classic that always receives compliments and recipe requests. Another do-ahead possibility to break the fast is Stern's chilled herb-baked salmon. Unlike most cold salmon preparations where the fish is poached, this one is baked, yielding a moist, tender, flavorful result.

Also here you will read about Fair Fare of the Tennessee State Fair and the foods you can find there:

Yes, indeed, it's corn dog time in Tennessee. ....the Tennessee State Fair is in full swing now through Sunday, and other county fairs are scheduled throughout the fall. Like other delicate cuisines, fair food must be fresh. By the time we are done, we have sampled corn on a stick, corndogs on a stick, a fried Twinkie and Snickers on a stick, cotton candy, a funnel cake and some Native American fry bread. Fair food, after all, is a unique blend of deep-fried indulgence and portable convenience. Fried and gone to heaven!
and you will find some fair foods to replicate at home here as well.

The Raleigh News & Observer offers a number of great articles you won't want to miss:

an article on choosing good wine glasses:

To get a little more real, I spoke with Kurt Saylor at Raleigh's The Wine Merchant. His advice is that you should have at least two sizes of wine glasses: a larger one for red wines and a smaller one for whites. Saylor tells me that their best- selling wine glasses are from Riedel's "vinum" collection, which, unlike the sommeliers' collection, are machine-made and, therefore, much less expensive, in most cases around $15 a glass.

and the piece de resistance is, of course, on Enoteca Vin, about which much has been written here at eGullet in anticipation of the upcoming October 3rd eG Dinner there:

In the article, Sekules gently chides the locals for rhyming "Vin" with "bin" (instead of the more Continental "Van") and applauds the "eclectic" and "unique" wine list created by co-owners Chrish and Laurie Peel. Architect Louis Cherry is the other co-owner, the one who came up with the notion of an "enoteca" (literally, "wine library") for Raleigh after visiting some of these modest wine retailers with wine-friendly menus in Italy. But she saves her warmest praise for chef and general manager Ashley Christensen and her food: "an ever-changing array of simple, non-snob, downright exhilarating dishes that riff on American, French and Mediterranean traditions."

That pretty much winds up this week's SE Digest .. have a good weekend and check back here for more updates and discussions in the Southeast Forum!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states. This week's Southeast Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city ..

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week offers an article about how one can improve upon the supermarket bagged chickens available for take-out ...

make your rotisserie chicken brilliant not boring

the little black dress of dinner? Chicken, even a seasoned rotisserie bird, is bland enough to pair well with almost any flavoring .... Layered over crisp salads, placed on prepared pizza crusts or stirred into soups and casseroles, rotisserie chicken lets you take shortcuts without resorting to canned chicken or spending an hour to roast your own
Free-ranging ideas for your rotisserie chicken

Recipes include:

Easy Curried Chicken and Couscous

Chicken and Wild Rice Salad With Dried Cherries

Crusted Chicken and Black Beans

Chicken Potpie

White Bean Chili

Indian Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce

Chinese Chicken Salad

Atlanta Creative Loafing has as its lead article: The Czar of bizarre which is all about Richard Blais ... we have several threads here about him and his culinary art ...here and here

Richard Blais is quickly becoming Atlanta's next-generation Paul Luna: a talented, high profile chef with an independent streak that refuses to be tamed.Moist, milky slices of chicken splay across a comforting slick of mild potato puree. What does Blais choose? A scoop of peach sorbet, a stiff wedge of crisped chicken skin and maple-flavored sauce drizzled around the edge. Sweet, salt, sweet. Strange, oily, cloying.proscuitto wrapped around whipped parmesan and drizzled with figgy reduction sauce. Nice. The cheese plate is a still life of ripe specimens with fun accompaniments -- Gorgonzola with a smoky balsamic drizzle, goat cheese next to swipe of pumpkin butter and a rye crisp.

Chinese characters: A trip through the time-warp continuum with Hsu's and Silk which is about the rapidly-changing oriental food choices now appearing in Atlanta:

Fusion is an example of the way taste, at a personal level, gets renarrated by the culture -- namely through globalization. Hsu's is all about fusion. But it's all very odd. The fusion renders the style at Hsu's quaint. But fusion itself has become retro.

The Charleston Post & Courier offers a superb article by well-known cookbook author, Natalie Dupree:

There is never a time a professional can't learn something from a cooking class, and my time at the Cordon Bleu Ottawa was no exception. It has demonstration and practical (participation) classes, and both were up to the minute in methodology. The demonstrations had television cameras as well as mirrors, so not a thing would be missed, and the recipes came with background information such as the region, where the dish came from, the origins of the dish and the usefulness of the dish.
Definitely one of the best articles I have read from Dupree ... see what you think ...

Charlotte Observer has an article, by Kathleen Purvis, of the changing but now nationally recognized Charlotte Shout food festival:

starting Thursday, with appearances by Wolfgang Puck, Martin Yan, Tyler Florence, Rick Browne and pastry chef Sherry Yard, among others. The barbecue contest, Blues Brews & BBQ, is up to 54 teams from states all over. And the Johnson & Wales University campus across the street  ...."This year is really going to show what we've tried to do, which was to create a food event that has no rival in the country," says festival organizer Robert Krumbine.

Charlotte Shout Festival schedule

Charlotte Creative Loafing

When Asheville native Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can't Go Home Again, he meant it. In an earlier novel, he had written a thinly veiled and damn-ing depiction of the residents of his hometown. Trashing a place always makes it harder to return.  Time also makes it hard to return, and not all returns to the past have pleasant results. Such is frequently the case for restaurants. While it's true that some kitchens excel in mining for memories, the truth is that before the 1990s, the decade America found its collective culinary soul, there just wasn't much to brag about in most American kitchens
an article about reinventing dishes from the past at Harry & Jean's Passionate American Food ...

Memphis Commercial Appeal has a story about pies:

The pie's the limit .....what a pie really is. Is a silk pie really a pie, or just mousse in a pastry shell? What about a brownie pie? Should a chicken pot pie be called a pie?  Yes to all the above, according to "The Dictionary of American Food and Drink" by John F. Mariani. If it's in a pastry crust, it's a pie.

The Nashville Tennessean has as its main article:

Tackle some new tailgating techniques  we've come up with some recipes to add to the repertoire of goodies to serve from the trunk of your car, the back of your SUV and your card table

The Raleigh News & Observer has a marvelous article: Yan can Teach ...

North Carolina will be the first place in America Yan fans can buy the book, whose Oct. 10 publication date matches the national debut of his TV show. Advance copies of "Martin Yan Quick & Easy" have been shipped to Charlotte, where Yan will appear at the Charlotte Shout Culinary Arts Experience on Friday night, and to Chapel Hill, where Yan will teach a cooking class and sign cookbooks at A Southern Season gourmet store on Sunday. "This is the lifestyle," Yan says of the 30-minute approach ..
do read on ...

have a good weekend and check back here for more updates and discussions in the Southeast Forum!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states. This week's Southeast Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city . . .

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution opens with a detailed, most interesting typical autumn topic, namely apples, and the myriad varieties we now have available to us. The article offers recipes to try as well.

To pick the right apple for the right recipe, it's important to understand that each variety, whether it's a 200-year-old heirloom or a well-known conventionally grown commercial apple, has its own flavor, aroma and texture. Some apples, such as Paula Red, Macoun, McIntosh, Pippin and Rome Beauty, have a tart flavor but a high starch content, making them perfect for butters, sauce and spreads, and in some recipes where apples are chopped or sliced and folded into the ingredients

Recipes being offered along with the article include:

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Apple Pumpkin Butter

Apple Upside-down Cake

Apple, Fig and Shallot Tart

Scotch-Baked Apples

Rosemary Shortbread With Sautéed Apples

Atlanta Creative Loafing examines the pleasures of dining at the very new and very enjoyable, Rathbun's .. a local chef who has opened his own restaurant with great accolades and success:

Remarkably, the kitchen traverses multiple genres with grace. Order a bunch of small plates and let Rathbun's life's work flash before your palate. Satiny smoked salmon tostadas with a habanero ... Light, crispy calamari tossed in Indonesian sambal recalls the fusion stylings of Bluepointe ... the blue cheese fondue served with glorious, mahogany French fries I could down by the deep fryer-full...  the eggplant steak fries paired with an oddly successful sauce of Tabasco and confectioner's sugar ... Rathbun weaves the richest tapestry of New American cooking to arrive in Atlanta in some years.

Access Atlanta offers a view of the newly reopened and highly acclaimed, Soto:

Iron Chef Soto has created a lattice of slivered lotus root inside the ring and now he's adding — what is it? — lobster! Yes, and what's next? Uni (sea urchin) mousse. OK, he's overlapping the lotus root over the top, he removes the steel ring and he finishes it with smoked sea urchin and caviar. I wish I could tell you that I slowly savored this creation like Kaga-san in his sequined cape. But, alas, I was more like a Rottweiler to a pork chop. How nice to fill my mouth with the sea-splashed flavor of uni without the clingy texture of its raw state. And how well that tender lobster and that wisp of smoke frames it.

Pure euphoria ...

Charleston (SC) Post & Courier has an article on pizza this week.

Think of a pizza as a blank canvas, and then let loose the Jackson Pollock within you.  Taking a cue from the late master of abstract paintings, drizzle, splatter or toss any food that pleases your palate onto some dough or a ready-made crust. Pop your creation into the oven, and have a tasty meal within minutes. You can get gourmet with your pie or stick to the basics, such as pepperoni and cheese. Sneak in a few vegetables and don't tell the kids.

Recipes in this article which actually look most interesting include

Barbecued Chicken Pizza

Sweet Vidalia Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

Pizza Mexicana

Spinach, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Pizza

Jenny's Shrimp and Artichoke Pizza

Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil and Chicken Pizza

Quick Sausage Pizzas

Related article, same online paper: Pizzas on the grill creative alternative for tailgating parties

The Charlotte Observer has an article titled "2004 brings out bevy of books from or about South's best kitchens" by our own eGulleter, Kathleen Purvis.

For almost as long as there have been Southern cooks, there have been Southern cookbooks. For the 150 or so years since, hardly a year has passed without one or two books on Southern food. But 2004 has brought a bounty.

There are books by Southern chefs and books about Southern chefs, books by Southern writers and books on Southern foods. If you can't eat your way across the South this year, you can certainly eat their words.

Books and Kathleen Purvis' reviews of each are:






Recipes from each of these new books are included in the article.

Charlotte Creative Loafing has an article on a Japanese restaurant which has Tricia Childress enthralled, Restaurant "i" Japanese Fusion:

The sashimi platter was large and took up most of the center table. Tuna, fluke, salmon, yellowtail and snapper bobbed against a tide of shaved radish. We downed the mackerel like a shot of ocean mist. The pungency of the ocean rolled through our mouths. This dish is a sure thrill for sashimi lovers. The sleek tataki appetizer is thin folds of melting prime sirloin beneath a ribbon of aioli resting in a pool of ponzu. The architectural i roll gets a hearty boost from the seasoned tuna pressed against the mellow avocado and tempura, and a crunch from the slivers of celery, cucumber and red bell peppers. The seared tuna starter has faintly layered flavors of olive oil and ponzu. The result is something you can't quite put your finger on

The Jacksonville Times Union (Fla) is running an interview on cooking schools in their local area:First-year students tell us why they're in the programBy DAN MACDONALD .. who very recently (September 16) wrote an article on eGullet....

Culinary schools are among the fastest growing fields in higher education today. Business is brisk at the areas two culinary programs -- Florida Community College at Jacksonville North Campus and the First Coast Technical Institute School of Culinary Arts in St. Augustine. Both are at or near capacity with plans to add more classrooms and cooking space.

Exceptionally fine insightful interview reading by Mr. McDonald.

Memphis Commercial Appeal runs its main story on the Food Pyramid and its ramifications:

The Healthy Eating Pyramid from the Harvard School of Public Health is the most notable exception. It puts plant oils at the bottom of the pyramid with whole grains, whereas all oils are at the tip of the USDA's pyramid.

The Mediterranean plan is based on whole grains (and it includes potatoes in the grain category, not the vegetable group), but it also includes much more fat than the USDA's guide. Still, it's the favorite of Marian Levy, a registered dietitian with the University of Tennessee

Well worth your time to read through and digest the importance of the issues involved.

The Nashville Tennessean has a story on a local woman, Susan Rotter ... here, I'll let you read the story for your self:

A year ago today, Susan Rotter of Nolensville became $100,000 richer. Her recipe for Southern-fried stuffed chicken won last year's Southern Living Cook-Off grand prize. Not bad for someone entering her first cooking contest. At the time of the cook-off last year, the grand-prize winner received an extra $10,000 for a charity of the winner's choice. Rotter chose the Mid-South chapter of the National MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society because she had two members of her family who suffered from the disease.

and there is a recipe for her spice cake which she makes into a pumpkin cake ...

the recipe is here

The Raleigh News & Observer opens with an article on the poet, Maya Angelou and her new cookbook:

At 76, Angelou has combined her talent with words and food in her latest endeavor, "Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes" (Random House, $29.95), published this week.

A caramel cake, for example, is her grandmother's way of showing support for little Maya, who stopped speaking in public after harrowing child abuse at age 8, when she was sent home by a teacher for refusing to talk. ... but  most hilariously, a woman with a reputation for being a non-cook shocks Angelou and her circle of friends by preparing a gourmet feast -- after tricking New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne into guiding her through the meal step by step over the telephone

a definite must read and the recipes look superb and enticing...

Caramel Cake

Caramel Syrup

Caramel Frosting

The St. Petersburg Times (Fla) offers an article which sounds well worth reading in order to make the special pound cake recipe involved:

"Truth is, with the right recipe, a homemade pound cake is always tastier than store-bought. It's bigger and buttery-moist, and its irregularities are more enticing than the robot-precise versions in aluminum loaf pans.

I've found the perfect recipe, thanks to the genius of Christopher Kimball, the persnickety chef at the magazine he founded, Cook's Illustrated.

'Although it sounds simple, a good pound cake is in fact quite difficult to make perfectly if the ingredients are not at the proper temperature,' Kimball writes... " Of course, the precision of the special Kimball recipe follows this article.

That is what is happening in some of the major cities in the Southeast Forum this week. Enjoy the first colors of autumn which have just begun to make their appearances in the South!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here you will find the collection of digests for a number of media which are located in the Southeastern states. This week's Southeast Forum Digest includes, in alphabetical order, by city . . .

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution focuses this week upon hot, fresh and fragrant, artisan breads from groceries .. par-baked, as the article explains.

a path that has bakers debating the essence of the craft: How can bread still be called artisan if it's created in a factory, partially baked, flash frozen, then shipped hundreds of miles to a supermarket for a final browning? Par-baked loaves have turned artisan bread into the fastest-growing segment of the bread market.The Bread Bakers Guild, with 1,300 members has not taken a position on par-baking, although its electronic bulletin boards have hummed with debate. Some of its members have talked about switching to "craft baking" to describe their work, because they believe "artisan" has lost its meaning.
This is an article which I found to be extremely interesting ... and the recipes section was equally noteworthy this week:

Savory Sausage and Mushroom Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce

Asparagus Pudding With Ricotta

Fondue the Swiss Way


Sort-of Frisée Lardon

Access Atlanta of the AJC has the story of the year in its selection of the Top 50 Atlanta Restaurants .... and between the two critics, it was often not an easy ride!

You see, when one dining critic tries to pick the Top 50 restaurants in a metro area, it's a matter of weighing options, savoring the intangible and reflection. But with two critics on the scene, it's a matter of rules. We began rethinking the old Top 50 selections for the first time in a year and drew up a list of about 75 places to consider. In many cases we both visited the same restaurant on separate occasions. We each assumed veto power: We could strike any restaurant from the list at will. But to put a new restaurant on the list required either mutual consent or a really, really good argument.

Fall 2004 Dining Guide

• Introduction

• John Kessler's Picks

• Meredith Ford's Picks

• Top 5: 1 menu, 2 orders

• Best Bets: Our top 50

• Notable newcomers

• Using these restaurant listings

For the moment, I'll retreat :wink: and let you savor the list, note the changes, and make your plans for a superb list of local choices! Enjoy yourselves! :biggrin:

Atlanta Creative Loafing has a piece on seafood restaurants in Atlanta, a choice near and dear to my heart!

I once heard someone say that if Atlanta were on the water, it would be a perfect city and even more people would live here. I'm not sure about that, but I am sure we'd have more seafood restaurants in every price range. I grew up on the Gulf Coast, where mullet, grouper, shrimp and triggerfish were plentiful and cheap. I yearn for good seafood. The topic of seafood -- challenged perhaps only by barbecue -- always inspires heated debate. Landlocked as we are, there are still perennial go-tos (Atlanta Fish Company, the Lobster Bar, McCormick & Schmick's) and some great sushi spots (MF Sushibar, Aqua Blue, Soto). The restaurants featured here have either stood the test of time or are interesting upstarts, though the list is by no means exhaustive

The Birmingham News (Alabama) is focused upon that old favorite, eggs ...

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends an average daily intake of no more than 300 milligrams. But some health professionals are starting to take another look at that limit to see if it should be changed. Even with the current recommendations, most people needn't fear eggs. As for me, I often eat eggs for breakfast, fried or boiled. For a change, I'll have an omelet. Sometimes I scramble them with peppers, onions and mushrooms. The possibilities are endless.... please don't think of eggs as being only for breakfast. Eggs are the ideal low-carb fast food for any time of day.

The Charleston (SC) Post & Courier is running a long article covering local food contests and an interesting read on making trifles:

"Trifles are my favorite desserts. They can be prepared well ahead of time and make a large dessert, which can serve a crowd of about 30 people. You definitely need a large trifle bowl or small punch bowl for this. The recipes are easily adjusted to your own favorite flavors and to which fruits are in season.
... all sorts of recipes: lemon, tiramisu, strawberry, punchbowl trifles .. you will swoon! I know I did! :wink:

The Charlotte Observer offers several different stories and an article by eG's own Kathleen Purvis:

» MOORE | Recipes and patriotism

» JOURNAL | An early start on a career

» WINE | Bringing subtlety

I liked the story on the career coice of a student who is enrolled at Johnson & Wales:

Robin Hall Domeier follows baking student Cherie Nunley through her first semester at Johnson & Wales University. Cherie Nunley's job as a culinary assistant at Johnson & Wales University gave her the chance to mingle with the public and celebrity chefs. While working the school's pastry booth at Charlotte Shout, Nunley fielded questions from customers curious about the school and met chefs Martin Yan and Wolfgang Puck.
Most insightful story!

Charlotte Creative Loafingoffers several stories worth your time:

One Fish, Two Fish

Kobe Won

Minding your peas and cukes

Memphis Commercial Appeal offers up a bounty of good reading:

Pork Medallions En Papillote with Quick Cheddar Polenta

Greek-Korean kebabs tasty, but Petra's servers need to shape up

Friends gather 'round the food and wine, and educate the palate

Keep watch: Bar codes don't necessarily bar pricing goofs

The Nashville Tennessean has the inspiring story of Tal Martin who collects and distributes food for the hungry in the area:

On and off for four years, Martin — a 10-year veteran of the restaurant business himself — has driven one of the five Nashville's Table trucks used to rescue perishable foods from restaurants, groceries, schools and other sources that will feed hungry people in Middle Tennessee. Nashville's Table has rescued more than 10 million pounds of food since its start in 1989 and provided it at no charge to those in need.

The Raleigh News & Observer has a lovely piece titled "Simple pleasure of pimento cheese"

This cookbook was written by a man who has come to love his roots. The narrative is touching, bold and true to his heart. I decided to share his pimento cheese recipe for a couple of reasons. The last time I wrote about pimento cheese, I got an avalanche of e-mails, and I want to see if any opinions have changed. Also, pimento cheese is one of the top five foods that scream Southern.

The article includes this jewel: Miss Verba's Pimento Cheese, the recipe....

Have a great week and be sure to visit our companion forum: The Southern Food Culture Forumwith our own Dean McCord, Varmint, relating his adventures at the SFA Weekend in Oxford, Mississippi! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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