HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hugh Acheson's Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peas, Carrots and Hot-Sauce Butter



         Hugh Acheson is an Atlanta Chef who owns 5 restaurants there.  His first cookbook “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Re-Invented for Your Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter 2011) was awarded “Best Cookbook in American Cooking” by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.  Not bad for a kid born in Ottawa, Canada.   You may remember Hugh from his stints on Top Chef as a contestant and later a judge. He started working in kitchens at age 15 and he’s been drawn to them ever since.   He ended up in Atlanta because his wife, Mary Koons, went back to her native Athens Georgia for Grad School.  He’s clearly taken to the south and today’s recipe is a great example of his new style of southern cooking.  First, the dish looks just beautiful.  The peas and carrots pop from the plate and the big, juicy, crisp chicken gets its crunch from Crisco, which is about as Southern as you can get. It relies on the time honored use of Buttermilk to tenderize the meaty Chicken thighs.  Why Buttermilk?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turkey Meat Loaves with Red Pepper Sauce


         I first wrote this post way back in 2010 when the blog was still quite new.  This year, Memorial Day put a crimp in my writing as we were up to our ears in gardening and celebrating the start of our being in the Hamptons more and more. So when I went searching for something to share with you today, I came across this recipe. It surprised me to see that it never attracted an audience because it really is worth making.  Even if you, like me, have very little fondness for ground turkey.  I’ll grant all those who extoll its low-fat virtues that it’s about as low as you can go, but to me it’s also low on taste and low on juice and low on my list of things I love to cook.  But an article in an old Food and Wine intrigued me.  It was entitled “French food that won’t make you fat”.  Now there’s something I can sink my teeth into.  And it has a very solid pedigree.  Its inventor is the chef Sandro Gamba who cooked under Joel Robichon and Alain Ducasse, was Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Chef of 2001.        
        Apparently tired of rendering French classics at Nomi, in Chicago’s Park Hyatt Hotel, Chef Gamba quit his job and began to look for a place where he could cook “cleaner” and healthier versions of his mentors’ specialties.  He landed at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, CA which welcomed his healthy approach at all five restaurants on the property.  Unfortunately, visa problems sent him back to France where he spent two years at Sofitel headquarters as their Corporate Chef.  From there he went on to Geneva where he was the Food and Beverage director at the Intercontinental. Now, and for the last two years, he's been the Executive Chef at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.  I have to wonder if he's introduced his staff of 300 (!) to the virtues of his turkey meatloaf.  But I do know I'd like to re-introduce it to you.