Smith Brothers Butcher Shop’s Supper Club

Smith Brothers Butcher Shop’s Supper Club

The ultimate way for a restaurant or store to showcase its skill and imagination is by hosting a supper club, a temporary pop-up restaurant with a specialty menu. A recent new kid on the block of Savannah’s thriving trend of pop-ups is the beloved local Smith Brothers Butcher Shop.

The idea behind their supper club is to not only allow Chef April Spain to experiment and showcase newly inspired dishes but to also feature food from Smith Brothers’ popular suppliers.

I was lucky enough to attend Smith Brothers’ second supper club, which featured Grassroots Farms pork and produce from Canewater Farms. Chef Spain created and prepared the four course meal, which also featured wine pairings with a theme of rosé.

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To start the evening, the supper club hosted a cocktail hour filled with various hors d’oeuvres and a paired rosé. The rosé, paired by Matt Roseman with Ultimate Distributing, was Rosé All Day—a sparkling rosé that you could literally drink all day.

The wine “comes from the south of France and is a wonderful way to start the day,” Matt explained to the group. I agree completely.

A big beautiful wood cutting board was covered in various cheeses, all of which can be found at Smith Brothers, and of course a selection of various crackers sat next to the plate.

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Thick cut Beetroot Cured Salmon was artfully arranged on the table. Unlike most smoked salmon, this was served in thick slices which lended a heartier feel to the delicate fish.

Overall, the smoke was as subtle as the texture of the tender salmon, and the fish itself was lightly sweet.

Paying homage to the popular hors d’oeuvre bruschett was Smith Brothers’ rendition of tangy goat cheese smeared over toasted bread rounds with a topping of candy-like roasted red grapes — an upscale version more suiting for its counterpart of pink wine.

Also among the accoutremonts were Grassroot Farm Fried Pork Belly Skins, basically a pork rind on steroids. The fried pork was served simply with a dusting of salt and pepper.

It’s an appetizer that would have been easy to eat in excess, like when you open a bag of potato chips and cannot stop.

IMG_8463My favorite of the snacks were the Canewater Farms’ Fried Padron Peppers, which upon the first bite tasted like okra —and us Southerners love our okra. The savory little waxy peppers were tender and with a deep roasted flavor, a heavy dose of flaked salt sprinkled on the outside hit your mouth with a tiny jolt. I found myself going back for more and more because they were so poppable.

The first course, a smoked fig salad with Canewater Farms candied peppers and fresh watermelon atop a manchego cheese crisp was like nothing I have ever tasted. The figs had a whisper of smoky flavor, just enough to cut through the sweetness. The manchego crisp gave the dish a deeply nutty profile, and the watermelon freshened everything up.

This was a first course that I could eat again and again. The pairing, Brotte Rosé Cotes de Rhone, was the perfect accompaniment to complement the sweetness of the fig and watermelon, “Rome valley is where this rosé comes from…and is a blend of Grenache and Syrah,” Matt told the table before we devoured the first pairing.

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Smith Brothers owners Robert and Brenda Anderson were present and welcomed everyone as the meal started. Robert introduced Canewater Farms’ co-owner Rafe Rivers who explained that they “farm about twenty acres of vegetables over in Darien, Georgia. We are certified organic and we grow vegetables for about 50 restaurants.”

The second course, a play on surf and turf, was a perfect summer dish for any dinner party. Grassroots Farm pork belly and pan seared sea scallops were presented atop a bed of vibrant summer sweet corn puree.

The corn reminded me of the creamed corn that many Southern mothers make, creamed not by the addition of cream but by scraping the husks to extract the corn’s natural milk. The scallops were prepared the way every local loves them — crusted with a tender center — and the pork belly was rendered ideally.

For the third and main event, a massive slab of slowly roasted pork loin supplied by Grassroots was presented with velvety polenta from Canewater, grilled peaches, and basil butter. Chef Spain, in a way that I am certain was magic, rendered the fat and skin of the pork in a masterful way creating the crunchiest crust while maintaining a succulent fork-tender center.

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The polenta was most surprising, and had a flavor similar to that of peach pie from the addition of vibrant summer stone fruit. The rosé, Le Rocher Des Violettes Rosé, accompanying the pork was much darker than the rest due to ratio of red wine used in the blend, ideal to stand up to an exuberant main course such as luscious swine.

Though I am certain no one at the table saved room to eat dessert, hesitation was quickly relinquished after everyone tasted how delicious the “stuffed french toast” was. Two slices of buttery lemon pound cake were prepared using the method you would apply to french toast, and stuffed with blackberry compote and rose macerated cherries. Plopped on top, a semi-savory herbed cream, Chef Spain’s way to cut through the classically bold cake.

The pairing of port, made from a rose to with the theme, was just as spectacular as the final course itself. Matt explained he picked a port from Portugal, Quinta Do Tedo Rosé Port, that is made from “red wine grapes fortified with brandy, and aged for only six months.”

I plan on returning for as many of these suppers as I can, and if you would like to join me at one of their future supper clubs, Smith Brother’s emails the details with their mailing list.

Original article is here.

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Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

When it comes to cooking, I am a believer in using every ingredient to the max. In my posts, I have often spoken of the difficulties in cooking for a home of two — especially being a Southerner with a large family who is used to eating large meals. The concepts of a meat and three and eating everything on your plate was instilled in me at a very young age.

Another southern part of me loves to keep a cake on the counter at all times, and my husband’s mother is the same way. With all of the baking I do, I so often have leftover egg yolks and nothing to do with them. For most, we think nothing of tossing the egg yolk into the sink after separating eggs for a mix. To be honest, I have done the same countless times, often without even blinking. Thinking back on it now, it is kind of silly to waste such a delicious fat-filled staple. Egg yolks are so versatile; they’re essentially nature’s mayonnaise. Personally I feel as though a runny egg can be eaten atop of almost any dish, taking a dish from normal to out of this world. So why would we throw away something so delicious?

All of that changes now. After reading up a bit on salt curing, a cooking technique that predates most, I thought why not apply this technique to my egg yolks. If you don’t know what curing is, it is a way to preserve food by applying salt.

Cured egg yolks, often time duck yolks, are popular with traditional Japanese cuisine.

The result of curing the yolk is a bit strange. The finished product is not runny, instead the texture of the yolk is that of a soft gummy. Many people treat the yolk as a soft cheese, grating it over a finished dish. The flavor is like a creamy umami salt bomb.

For my recipe, I wanted to expand on the idea of Asian cuisine, adding Korean chili powder known as Gochugaru. You can find it in any local asian grocery store.

As for the color of the yolks pictured, they are much more orange than those cured in a traditional salt cure. The chili powder adds a vibrant orange tint to the yolks.

Do not be scared of curing something. The process itself is rather foolproof. Simply tightly cover and let sit untouched in the fridge for one week.

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Cuisine: Asian

Servings: 6

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Ingredients

  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Cups of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Korean Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine together salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar.
  2. In a sealable container (at least 8x8), pour 2/3 of the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the container.
  3. Create six indentions in the mixture, large enough to nest an egg yolk.
  4. Gently place each egg yolk into each indention, being careful not to break.
  5. Gently pour, preferable with your fingers, the remaining 1/3 salt mixture over each egg yolk. Be sure each egg yolk is fully covered.
  6. Tightly cover and store in the fridge for one week.
  7. After one week, remove from the fridge.
  8. Gently rinse each yolk with water.
  9. Grate onto anything you want.
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