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Category Archive for: ‘Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants’
Food Source – Chef Kern’s fine foods

In the Cumming, GA area.  This place is worth the drive.  Chef Kern’s has been catering special events with his great Cajun food since the 1980’s.  I wanted to make sure you knew you could visit his store and buy food to take home.  Note that the dishes on his menu usually serve at least 2 people.  These are great prices on exceptional food with weekly specials. – jughandle

Chef Kern, Inc.

Chef Kern, Inc. is a quality full service catering and fine foods company servicing Atlanta and North Georgia since 1988. Chef Kern’s specialties include Cajun, French, Italian, Southwestern, Mediterranean and Classic Southern Cuisines. Chef Kern Chiasson applies creative fresh ideas and knowledge to his defined style of seasoning, always committed to providing the freshest food available.

“The total palate pleasing adventure”!

 

CHEF KERN, INC  – Kerns Fine Foods.

Onsite Catering Division

3060 Keith Bridge Road

Cumming, GA 30041

Office: 770-889-8800

Fax: 770-889-8838

Web: chefkern.com

Email: Chef Kern Chiasson

Store Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday Closed

 

Directions

From Atlanta
Take GA 400 north to exit 17, hwy. 306. Turn right toward Gainesville. We are 1/2 mile down on the right, in the Lock Inns development. Second building back, look for the big red KERN’S sign

From Dahlonega
Take GA 400 south to exit 17, hwy. 306. Turn left toward Gainesville. We are 1 mile down on the right, in the Lock Inns development. Second building back, look for the big red KERN’S sign

From Gainesville
Take hwy. 53 toward Dawsonville; take a left onto hwy. 306 toward Cumming 1/4 mile past the intersection of hwy. 306 & 369. We are on the left, in the Lock Inns development second building back, look for the big red KERN’S sign

Fresh In The Store This Week

Weekly Specials

 

We are committed to providing our customers with the freshest, highest quality domestic ingredients available.

  • No Artificial Additives, Flavors or Colorings
  • No Preservatives or MSG
  • No Heavy Creams or Half & Half
Oli and Ve – Premium Olive Oil & Vinegars

While driving through old town Roswell, Ga, the other day we stopped at a completely unique and totally fun, shop called Oli+Ve Premium Oils & Vinegars.  Jughandle has only recommended a handful of places to our readers.  This is one to pay close attention to.

As the name suggests, the owners are proprietors of fine Olive Oils and Vinegar.  We here on the Farm have been searching high and low for a good consistent  reasonably priced source for olive oil for a long time.  The bonus with Oli + Ve is the amazing collection of  quality balsamic vinegars.

If you click on the link above you will be taken to the shop’s online store where you can purchase and have shipped to your home, their products.  Obviously, you will realize a saving of at least the shipping cost by visiting either of their two stores.  They also have cooking classes and recipes available.

olive oil pics

Olive Oils

The available oils vary by season and range from mild to full intensity flavors.  This being the winter season in the US, the available oils are from Sicily, Australia, Portugal and Chile.  You can sample as many of the oils as you would like to, try that at Kroger, with the recommendation of the owners to go from mild to medium to Robust flavors and then to the flavored oil and finally the vinegars. Prices for the oils are $9.95 for a 200 ml bottle, $17.95 for a 375 ml bottle and $29.95 for the large 750 ml bottle.

All of the offered oils are of the Extra Virgin or EVOO type, which is the highest quality oil available.  While the “single” variety EVOO had 9 different oils to chose from at our visit, there are also a number of Flavored or infused oils ranging in flavor from Basil to Blood Orange, Butter, Cilantro & Roasted Onion, garlic and Eureka Lemon.  To be honest we were a touch overwhelmed by all our options, so we chose to sample just the single variety and a handful of the vinegars on this trip.

Also offered are 4 specialty oils which we chose not to sample this time, but I look forward to on our next visit.  Those are Almond oil, Sesame, Walnut and White Truffle oil.  The first three sell for $18.95 and the White Truffle for $38.95 in a 375 ml bottle, which seem very reasonable to me.

Vinegars

While we were drawn to the shop for it’s olive oil, be became extremely excited about their vinegars.  Where to start?  Well, first of all balsamic vinegar MUST be made in Modena, Italy to be true, balsamic vinegar, just as Champagne is just sparkling wine if it doesn’t come from Champagne France.

Oli+Ve offer dark balsamic vinegars in around 25 different flavors.  I tried, Fig, Dark Chocolate, Blackberry Ginger, and Peach.  There were too many for one visit, but their website will list all of them.  Oh, ALL of the ones I tasted were KILLER.  Some flavors would make great desert sauces, some would be great BBQ sauces.  I tried the Cinnamon Pear on an ice cream sample I was offered. WOW!

Specialty vinegars include, premium white vinegar and red wine vinegar.

Keep in mind that you aren’t buying cheap boiled down vinegar with added sugar.  You are getting barrel aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy.

 

Our Purchases

We bought, a 750 ml bottle of the Robust, Organic Mission from California, which had just arrived, for every day use.  I got a 200 ml bottle of Eureka Lemon EVOO for dressings, and a 200 ml bottle of Fig Balsamic vinegar.  My wife, Darlene bought Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar for desert use.  We can’t wait to go back.  As another bonus, we received 6 check offs against our frequent shopper card that will get us a free bottle after 10 checks.  That won’t be hard at all. Oh, oh, oh, you can also bring back your clean bottle to be refilled and receive a $1 off.

I want everyone to frequent this shop, because quality products like these are hard to find and I’d like them to stay in business for a long time.  And make sure you tell them Jughandle’s Fat Farm sent you.  – jughandle

 

 

Olives

No, olives don’t grow on the tree with the pimento already in them.  In fact, most olives are very bitter when they are fresh and usually need to be processed or cured in lye or a brine to give them the familiar flavor we know.  Green olives are allowed to ferment before being brined while California Black olives are not which gives them a milder flavor than the green ones.  It is the phenolic compounds in the raw fruit that make them bitter.  The fermentation and brining remove those compounds.

Whole Foods Olives

Even though more attention has been sometimes been given to their delicious oil than their whole food delights, olives are one of the world’s most widely enjoyed foods. Technically classified as fruits of the Olea europea tree (an amazing tree that typically lives for hundreds of years) we commonly think about olives not as fruit but as a zesty vegetable that can be added are harvested in September but available year round to make a zesty additionto salads, meat and poultry dishes and, of course, pizza.

via WHFoods: Olives.

Georgia Olives

The US produces less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the world’s olive oil.  Georgia was a big producer of olives in the 1600’s.  Spanish settlers planted trees at missions in southeast Georgia in the 1590’s.  Olives were grown in Georgia well into the 1800’s until the Civil War and other problems eliminated the crop.  Recently there has been a resurgence of olive crops in that same area.

Nutritional value

1 once or about 8 olives have the following :

41 calories

4 g total fat

1 g saturated fat

3.7 g monounsaturated fat

.4 g polyunsaturated fat

436 mg of sodium

1 g carbohydrates

1 g dietary fiber

26.3 mg total Omega-3 fatty acids

340 mg total Omega-6 fatty acids

2% vitamin A

1% calcium

1% iron

Rates 0 on the glycemic load index

Rates a 24 and are mildly anti-inflammatory

Conclusions

Olives and their oil are a good source of “good” fat and there fore a good substitute for animal fat that has cholesterol in it.  I love all things olives and recommend them completely. – jughandle

Sources

Great prices on bulk olives on Amazon

Georgia Olive Oil on line

or Nuts.com for Olives click here

How to Make Kimchi

Kimchi is a tradional Korean dish made from all kinds of different vegetables with an emphasis on cabbage.  I remember seeing it first in the vegetable department of the grocery store in pint jars.  The redish chili stained vegetables pressed tight against the glass jar.  I picked one up to inspect the contents and bubbles rose from the bottom in a effervescent manner.  I was intrigued enough to buy a jar to try.  When I opened the jar the contents fizzed like a warm coke.  Timidly, I first smelled first (I have been burned by Limburger cheese before) then tried a bite.  Wow, the great spicy flavor with the effervescence and crunch of the vegetables was great.  I ate the whole jar in one sitting.

I’m considerably older now and I’ve learned that a true Korean cook would be embarrassed to buy Kimchi in a store.  Every one makes their own in Korea.  So I’m going to give it a shot.  Here is a recipe that sounds pretty good and complete and very Zen.  Try it yourself.  – jughandle

This recipe comes from Treelight.com

Ingredients

Organic foods

1 Napa cabbage

3 Carrots

2 Cucumbers

3 Heads broccoli

2 Bunches scallions

1 Apple

2 Small oranges

1 Lemon

 

Health food store

Unrefined rice vinegar

Unrefined sesame oil

Kosher salt (or sea salt)

Korean foods store

Crushed red pepper (coarse)

Crushed garlic

Sesame seeds

(Roasted more flavorful.

Raw may be healthier.)

 

Cooking tools

Large mixing bowl

Small mixing bowl

Cutting board

Cutting knife

 

Directions

Rinse all vegetables in water and salt.

Cut out stem of cabbage with a V-notch, then cut in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise once again, and slice crosswise into strips.

Cut up the cabbage stem into thin strips.

Sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt.

Scoop and stir with hands.

Let cabbage sit while peeling carrots and cucumber. Peel carrots completely. Take strips from the cucumbers.

Section the carrots and cut into thin strips.

Section the cucumbers and cut into thin strips.

Cut broccoli heads into byte-size pieces, cut stalks diagonally to make thin oval slices.

Add salt. Scoop and stir.

Trim scallions, slice the white part down the center, then cut into strips diagonally.

Core and dice the apple and add.

Skin the oranges and lemon.

Slice the oranges, separate into pieces, and add.

Put a handful of chilli pepper into a sauce bowl. Add from a third as much to an equal amount of sesame seeds, and crushed garlic.

Add enough sesame oil to moisten everything, and approximately an equal amount of rice vinegar (enough to make a paste).

Dice the lemon and squeeze into the bowl, add the remaining pieces.

Mix the ingredients in the sauce bowl to make paste, then gently spread the paste into the vegetable bowl.

Note:  When it comes to the amounts, there are no hard and fast rules. It’s all done “to taste”, and I can tell you that when GrandMaster makes it, it tastes a lot better than when I do. (The taste you’re going for is one that balances all of the flavors, so you’re aware of each of them as you eat.)

Preparing the Basic Ingredients

Cabbage

First, cut the Napa cabbage in half lengthwise. Then you are ready to wash all of the vegetables. This is a very important step. Don’t neglect it. Run cool water into the sink or into a bowl. Sprinkle some Kosher salt into the water, and put in a bit of vinegar. Then swish the vegetables around in the water. Let them stand for a little while, but not too long, so they get a thorough rinsing. The salt and the vinegar act to purify the vegetables, washing away any toxic residues from pesticides and any clinging dirt.

As you wash the vegetables, focus on your inner cooking. As you prepare the food, prepare your mind. Recognize that the way you prepare this meal is the way you are preparing your life. Put your total energy and attention into it. Clean your mind of all surface troubles and tribulations, all worries and fears. Focus on this exact moment in time. Observe the colors and textures of the vegetables. Feel them in your hand. Relax. Connect with your purpose and with the purpose of those who will be eating this food. Recognize that you are preparing totally healthy, life-giving fuel. Feel the love that you are demonstrating for yourself and for others as you perform this important service. Smile inside. This is going to be great! Its going to taste awesome!

Now its time to slice up the cabbage. The secret to all Korean cooking is to cut the food into bite-sized pieces, just right for putting in your mouth and enjoying. That way, the meal can be eaten calmly, instead of hacking away with a knife and fork every minute or so!

Put half of the cabbage on the cutting board, flat side down. Then, at the base of the cabbage, cut a V-shaped notch around the stem, and remove it. (If you are an old hand, you can skip this step and leave in the heart of the cabbage. But at first its better to leave out the heart because its pretty tough to chew.) Then cut the cabbage lengthwise again, but leave the two halves together. Now, starting at the base and working towards the top of the cabbage, cut across the cabbage making strips about one inch wide. As you cut, the pieces will begin separating. When you are done, put all the pieces into the large bowl.

Cut the other half and add those pieces to the bowl. Then sprinkle them all with a layer of Kosher salt. This again is a most important step. As the salt interacts with the cabbage, it draws out its natural juices and begins to break down the cell walls so that the spices in the chili paste can penetrate. Salting the cabbage is done early, so the salt can work while the other ingredients are being prepared.

After sprinkling salt, gently stir it into the cabbage. Do this with your hands, rather than with a tool. (We’ll discuss more on this later.) Use your hands like you’re hugging the cabbage. Move them gently around the sides, and then gather them into the center. Then push the cabbage to the sides (gently) and pull your hands around the edges like you’re swimming with a breaststroke.

The hugging motion is gentle. Generate love while you’re doing it. Its hard to overstate the importance of this step. Whenever we make Kimchi, it comes out good, but nearly as good as Grandmaster’s. We’re pretty sure that the missing ingredient is love. No one generates love with the intensity and purity that Grandmaster does. Its interesting to watch Grandmaster at times like these, too. If someone speaks to her, she may nod, or smile, or she may not react all — but her concentration never wavers. She is completely absorbed in what she is doing. She is also completely aware of everything going on around her — who is saying what, who is doing what, and where they are — but she has her attention focused on one thing — and that concentration makes a big difference in her kimchi.

After you hug the cabbage, taste. It shouldn’t taste “salty”. At the same time, you should be able to taste the salt. Try adding little at a time, and test it frequently. When you reach the point where the cabbage “zings”, you’ve got it. The right balance of salt makes the cabbage come alive, so its exciting on your tongue. Practice! You’ll get it.

As you prepare each of the next vegetables, work them into the bowl with the same hugging technique. Add additional salt as required to keep the flavors tingling on your tongue.

Carrots

The carrots are next. Cut off the ends, then cut the carrots into sections about one inch long. Then stand the pieces on end, and cut downward into flat strips about a quarter of an inch thick. That gives you bite-sized carrot morsels that will taste great and be easy to chew. Go ahead and try one. Sing out “Lachaim” first (“La-kheye-em). Let it ring out! It means “To Life!” After all, that’s why we’re cooking!

In addition to making the carrots easier to chew, this method of cutting them exposes the maximum surface area of the inner fibers, so that they wind up as tender as can be! If you happen to have a very wide carrot, you can cut each “cylinder” in half vertically before making the downward cuts, then turn the piece 90 degrees, and continue cutting downward — every vertical slice now makes two carrot slices. (Don’t try this on the cucumber, though. The interior of the cucumber is too soft — the extra cut makes it go limp too quickly.)

Cucumber

Before cutting the cucumber, use a peeler or knife to take off the skin. Leave thin strips of skin between the areas you peel — they add color and texture — but remove most of the skin. Then cut off the ends, and cut the cucumber the same way you cut the carrot (except for not cutting down the middle unless the cucumber is huge).

Broccoli

Before cutting the broccoli, remove the little leaves growing in and around the stalks. Then cut up the broccoli heads into mouth sized pieces. You can also add parts of the stalk if you cut them on a narrow angle. To see what I mean, try cutting straight across the stalk. That gives you a small circular piece with a lot of rind and very little of the soft, white middle. But if you move the knife to angle the blade up the stem, you slice off a long oval with a lot of the white inside. These pieces are in good balance, with enough rind on the outside to keep a firm texture, and enough fleshy white part on the inside to make them a delectable treat.

Scallions

The scallions are the last of the “standard” vegetables in this recipe. Actually, none of the vegetables are standard. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi. For example there is cucumber kimchi, that uses no cabbage. And there is mostly-cabbage kimchi with a few scallions and not much else. That’s the kind of kimchi you usually find in Korean restaurants, and Koreans love it. But the basic kimchi we are making here is one that is designed to be a tasty treat for people who have never had kimchi before, and who may not even like spicy food all that much! Whenever you make kimchi, don’t be afraid to experiment. Use whatever you have on hand. That keeps it exciting.

No matter what kind of kimchi you make, though, always include the scallions. Scallions are a vital part of Grandmaster’s cooking, and of Korean cooking in general. Onions and garlic have for centuries been eaten as regular staples by the longest living peoples on earth — Asians, Russians, and Bulgarians. That is not a coincidence!

To prepare the scallions, first cut off the hairy ends and cut off as much of the green parts as have started to wilt. The topmost layer of skin on the onion is frequently soft and wilted, too. If you peel it off, you’ll find fresh, crisp onion underneath. All of the onion that remains should be that crisp.

Once the scallions are ready, cut them once lengthwise, from about the middle (where everything joins into a single stem) down to the end of the stem. Opening the scallions in this way unlocks their flavor, and lets their juices mingle freely with the other ingredients in the Kimchi. After slicing them lengthwise, hold several (or all or them) at one time, and cut short sections — about half an inch long. But, rather than cutting straight downward, cut at an angle to expose the maximum amount of surface area.

Fruit

With the last of the vegetables in the bowl, check the salt level one more time, then start on the fruit. Different fruits can be used. Each gives a different flavor. I have seen a pear used, for example, and it tasted great. But the standard blend that Grandmaster makes usually has an apple, a couple of oranges, and one or two lemons. Although the Korean kimchi you find in stores or restaurants generally does not use fruit, I love the little bits of fruit in Grandmaster’s recipe. They taste great! (Hint: If anyone in your family tends to dislike spicy foods, use more fruit and less red pepper. They’ll love it.)

To prepare the apple, either core it or slice it into sections and remove the core from the sections. Then dice the apple into half-inch cubes. Add them to the bowl.

For the orange, first remove the skin, then slice it like a pineapple, making slices between a quarter-inch and a half-inch thick. As you put the slices into the bowl, gently separate them into sections of one or two pieces. These pieces act like little surprise packages, giving you little bursts of flavor now and again as you enjoy the kimchi. They’re wonderful!

When adding the lemon, first remove the skin and slice it into round sections, the same as the orange. But then dice the lemon into tiny bits before adding it to the bowl. Brush off the juice on the cutting board into the bowl, too. It adds a lot of flavor.

Note: Rather than adding the lemon to the bowl, it can also be used for extra moisture when making the chili paste. I’ve seen Grandmaster do it both ways. Actually, I’ve seen Grandmaster do a lot of things differently each time. What matters most is the energy you put into the project, not strict attention to detail. If you perform each step with a purpose, and are consciously aware of that purpose, then that is sufficient. If something doesn’t work out, then rely on Grandmaster’s second principle of mental conduct: Learn from your mistakes! And if it does work out, great! Adding your own creativity and ingenuity to the process makes it that much more wonderful!

Preparing the Chili Paste

That takes care of the basic ingredients. Now for the chili paste. This is the big step! So far, its easy to see why Kimchi is healthy. After all, its all raw fruits and vegetables, something we all need a lot more of in our diet. But much more healthy and energizing surprises await!

Chili Pepper

The first ingredient is Korean ground chili pepper. This is a very coarse grind of pepper. It consists of large flakes that are very flavorful and very hot. Take out about as much as you think you’ll need to cover the Kimchi and put in the small bowl. (Usually a small handful will do.) Don’t worry about taking too much — anything that doesn’t get used on the kimchi can be used later on as a flavoring for soups or rice or sandwiches. (Sparingly!)

Along with garlic and onions, chilli pepper has been recommended by some very long-lived peoples! Its worth using, even if you are not all that fond of spicy foods. Remember to keep it in balance — it should add flavor and zest, not cry out for a fire hose!

Garlic

This is without a doubt the secret ingredient in Kimchi — large amounts of fresh, crushed garlic. Grandmaster recommends eating kimchi with every meal. Anyone who looks as young as she does at 46 has got to be on to something. Along with meditation, exercise, stress release, and positive thinking, the garlic in her diet has a lot to do with that.

You need about half as much garlic as chili pepper, or a little more. You can relax, though. You don’t have to crush it all yourself. Any Korean store (or a good Oriental store) will have small tubs of crushed garlic in the freezer section. Later on, I’ll go into a lot more detail about how Kimchi and garlic act to make you healthy. For now though, let’s finish up the recipe so we can enjoy the eating!

Sesame Seed, Rice Vinegar, Sesame Oil

There are only a few steps left. Now that you have added the garlic to the chili powder, add an equal amount of roasted sesame seeds. The total mixture so far is about 1/2 chili powder, one quarter crushed garlic, and one quarter roast sesame seeds. Add rice vinegar and knead the mixture with your hands. Add enough vinegar until you begin to form a smooth paste. Then add a dash of sesame oil — about a tablespoon. Now is the time to add the diced lemon, if you haven’t already added it to the large bowl.

Test the chili paste for flavor — it will be hot, but the sesame and garlic flavors should also be pronounced. Add more ingredients as needed. Blend the ingredients until the paste has a uniform color. The dry chili pepper will be bright red. As you add rice vinegar and other ingredients, it becomes more orange. Try to keep it on the bright side, rather than a dull orange.

Spreading the Chili Paste

Ah. The final step. Take a bit of the chili paste in your hand, and rub it into the top of the Kimchi. Softly. Gently. Now practice your hugging exercise, gently moving the Kimchi around until all of the pieces are evenly coated. If you can see uncoated pieces, then you need to add more. The goal is to just cover the Kimchi — any more chili paste than that, and its going to be a lot hotter. If you are not used to spicy foods, add the chili paste a little at a time. Try it as you go. When you get to the point where your tongue says, “Wow! That’s exciting!” then its time to stop. Get a bowl, put in some rice, and treat yourself to one of the best dishes you could possibly make.

The goal of this step is not just to spread the chili paste, but to put your energy into the food. Perhaps you are familiar with the concept of “energy circuits” in your body. This is a very traditional concept in the Orient.

One of the body’s main energy pathways runs along the arms down to the palms of the hands. It terminates right at the base of the hand, in the center of the palm heel. For an exercise in energy sensitivity, put your hands out to a fire (from a distance), or up to the sun. Be aware of your body. Note how much more you feel the energy in your palms than elsewhere on your skin.

As you spread the chili paste and hug the kimchi, focus on generating energy through your palms. Generate all the love, strength, and power that you can. Put your heart into it. You will feel stronger, and the kimchi will come out that much better!

Bottling

Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a large glass bottle. Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle.

Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well – this liquid will become kim chi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them as they are stacked in the bottle.

Be sure to leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the bottle before capping it tightly with a lid. Allow bottle of kim chi to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Your kim chi is now ready to eat. Refrigerate and take out portions as needed. The refrigerated kim chi will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator over time. So long as you use clean utensils to take out small portions, it will keep for up to a month in your refrigerator.

Fermentation

Why Fermentation is Healthy

The definition of fermentation is “breaking down into simpler components”. Fermentation makes the foods easier to digest and the nutrients easier to assimilate. In effect, much of the work of digestion is done for you. Since it doesn’t use heat, fermentation also retains enzymes, vitamins, and other nutrients that are usually destroyed by food processing.

The active cultures that pre-digest the food as part of the fermentation process actually generate nutrients. So there are more vitamins–especially B-vitamins–and minerals like iron are released from the chemical bonds that prevent them from being assimilated. In effect, the nutritional value of a food goes up when it has been fermented..

The fermentation process also preserves the food. You start with a wholesome, raw food and preserve it in a way that leaves its nutrients intact, so you have the health benefits of raw food with having to run to the grocery store every other day for more–which is what happens, unless you’re lucky enough to have a garden.

Note, too, that it’s especially important to ferment (or otherwise prepare) the cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabibrussels sprouts, and turnip greens.) Those vegetables have important anti-cancer properties. But if they’re not cooked or fermented first, they tend to depress the thyroid, which lowers your energy and gives you a tendency to gain weight. (That’s generally not a problem in small quantities, but it can become one if you eat a lot of these vegetables.)

On the other hand, the cruciferous vegetables can be overcooked, too. That makes fermentation an ideal way to unlock the nutrients in cruciferous vegetables, because there is no risk of overcooking.

The bottom line is that fermentation is an important part of the process, when making cabbage-based kimchi.

How Fermentation Works

The critical ingredients for the fermentation process are:

  • Salt (sea salt)
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Cool temperature

Salting the food preserves the food and protects it from bacteria, so it doesn’t spoil before it ferments. Sea salt is most desirable for that purpose, rather than table salt. (Table salt has been bleached and has had other important minerals removed.)

Once the food is salted, it needs to be kept in a cool place with minimal oxygen.

To keep the contents cool, Koreans have traditionally placed their Kimchi pots in the ground, which stays at 55 degrees year-round. Basements and root cellars are also good. For the rest of us, one author recommended using a small refrigerator at the least cool temperature setting.

The final step is keeping the air out, which allows fermentation to occur. It’s a process that only takes place in the absence of oxygen. That’s why an apple core rots at the bottom of a garbage can, but simply dries out at the top. So you keep stirring compost to keep it from fermenting (and smelling), but you want your kimchi to ferment. Go figure. (The fermentation does produce a bit of an odor, but you get used to it.)

The ideal way to keep the air out of the process is to put a stone (or a plate)  in the jar that fits to the edges. The stone keeps constant pressure at the top, continually squeezing air out as the contents condense and settle

Stuffed Mushrooms

My niece Kellie has inspired me to find out all I can about stuffed mushrooms.  Here goes nothing.

 

It seems that everybody has a recipe for stuffed mushrooms.  They come in small, for hors-d’oeuvres, medium sized, for side dishes and large for main courses.  Mushrooms can be stuffed with just about anything from meat to veggies or any combination there of.  They can be grilled, baked, pan-fried, sauteed, roasted or any other way that sounds good to you.  Mushrooms have a subtle flavor (most that we cook with anyway) and a great texture and mouth feel.  They are sponge like and absorb liquid easily.

There are a couple of things you night need to know about mushrooms to make good cooking decisions and some information that is just fun to know.

Nutritional Information:

  • 3.5 oz of mushroom has around 27 calories
  • 4.1 grams of carbohydrates
  • .1 gram of fat
  • 2.5 grams of protein
  • various vitamins and minerals

Cooking and storing information:

  • shrooms are sponge like and should be marinated or coated in liquid before cooking to keep from drying out.  Becareful not to marinate too long (no more than a few minutes should do) or you’ll have a soggy, dense mushroom.  Taste the marinade before using to insure it isn’t too strong.  With mushrooms, what you taste is what you get.
  • high heat quick methods of cooking allow the mushroom to heat throughly while getting a nice crust without shrinking
  • You should never wash mushrooms, just brush off the dirt.  If you just have to wash them wait until you are about to cook them then pat them dry.
  • Store in a cool, dry, dark place.  Do not cover in plastic or put in a plastic bag.  Wrap in a cloth,cheese-cloth, or store in a cloth bag or use them soon after purchase.

Best Cooking Methods for un-stuffed mushrooms:

  • Saute is great for small button sized or chopped mushrooms.  Saute in butter or olive oil and season while cooking.  No marinating is necessary but pickled mushrooms saute nicely and are a great addition to a stew or stir fry.
  • Grilling or Broiling in the oven – These methods are best suited to larger whole mushrooms or caps such as Portabellas and Shiitakes.  Brush the shrooms with oil or butter and season.  Grill or Broil close to the heat source for 4 minutes per side flipping once or twice. Baste a couple of times with your seasoned butter or oil mixture while cooking.
  • Roasting – Preheat your oven to 450°, brush mushrooms as with the grilling method and roast in a shallow pan for up to 20 mins, flipping once.

Seasonings and Marinades:

  • dry seasoning combinations sprinkled on a olive oil brushed mushroom are great.  Try Lemon-Pepper or McCormick’s Grill Mates
  • Olive oil, seasoned with herbs and or vinegar is nice.
  • Sherry or other cooking wines make a good marinade.
  • Sauces, such as brown sauce, white sauce or tomato sauce are a great way to raise the flavor profile.
  • Don’t forget Balsamic vinegar and
  • Soy sauce
  • Try your favorite salad dressing, like Italian or ranch.

Stuffing:

  • like I said before – anything – try:
  • bread crumbs, sausage and onions covered with Parmesan cheese
  • chopped bell pepper, onion, cheese and herbs
  • roasted veggies chopped or diced and marinated in soy sauce or balsamic vinegar for a vegan solution
  • seasoned rice and tofu with a balsamic sauce

Best method for Cooking Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • Baking– you can bake a stuffed mushroom in a 400° oven for 30-45 mins. cover with foil for the first 2/3 of the cooking time
  • Roasting in foil – wrap your stuffed mushrooms in foil and put on the grill for 30 mins or until they seem done.  This is best if you have a cheese topping or stuffing that shouldn’t brown too quickly.
  • Pan frying/steaming – For smaller stuffed mushrooms fill a frying pan with the stuffed mushrooms and fry on med/high heat in a little oil until the bottoms start to brown.  Pour in a 1/2 cup of wine, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or a combination and cover with a tight fitting lid, reducing the heat to med and steam in the liquid for 10 or 15 mins.  This is also a good way to melt a cheese topping.
Look for stuffed mushroom recipes I’ll be adding in the next few days.  Let me know if you have a good combination you’d like to share with the Farmers – Jug
Restaurant- Wisteria

Wisteria

 

(404) 631-6536

Inman Park 
471 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
www.wisteria-atlanta.com

Type of food:  Southern/soul, Modern American and American

$15-25 per entree

Special Features: Gluten-Free FriendlyVegan FriendlyKid Friendly and Romantic

Dinner only

Nestled in Historic Inman Park since 2001, Wisteria Restaurant and Chef/Owner Jason Hill serve up southern hospitality and contemporary southern cuisine along with an award winning wine and spirits list.

Housed in a building over a century old, Wisteria has blossomed into a nationally recognized Atlanta gem as well as a celebrated local favorite, conveniently located only minutes from downtown and around the corner from the Jimmy Carter Center.

From small intimate dinners to large celebrations, Wisteria provides the perfect setting for a memorable experience.

Menu

Soups

White Bean Puree – 6
with white truffle oil and crisped Virginia bacon (optional)

Crab Bisque – 7
with Calvados goat cheese crème fraîche

Salads

Mixed Greens – 6.5
with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, champagne vinaigrette and crostini

Arugula and Grilled Apple – 7
with honey-roasted pecan dressing and fried onions

Classic Caesar Salad – 6.50
with Grana Padano, crisped capers and crostini

Frisee and Aged Balsamic Marinated Strawberries – 8
with buttermilk bleu cheese and candied walnuts

prices subject to change

 

 Appetizers

 

Oysters – 12.00

cold water, served by the half dozen

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus – 7.5

with home made sweet potato chips,

olives, and tomatoes

Flash Fried Gulf Oysters – 9

atop grilled baguette with sherry cream sauce

Kobe Beef Carpaccio – 9

with arugula tossed in a horseradish

vinaigrette and aged parmesan

Charleston-Style Jumbo Lump Crab Cake – 12.5

over roasted corn and sweet pepper succotash

Cornmeal Fried Calamari – 9

with sweet and sour apricot sauce and

wasabi crème fraiche

Crawfish and Corn Fritters – 7.5

with a horseradish cream sauce

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs – 6

with pickled okra and spiced pecans

Ahi Tuna and Crispy Flatbread – 10

avocados and fresh micro-greens in a citrus truffle vinaigrette

Prince Edward Island Mussels – 11

in a charred vine-ripened tomato and herbed garlic broth

Southern Fried Okra – 7

with a spiced apple cider vinegar

 

 

Entrees

Georgia Coastal Shrimp and Grits – 18
over stone ground corn grits with sautéed peppers and
onions in a spicy shrimp broth

Three Meat Bolognese – 17
rigatoni with ground beef tenderloin, pork and veal in a basil, tomato cream sauce with parmesan

Pan Fried North Carolina Flounder – 24
over a Napa cabbage, avocado, and mixed radish slaw with spring onion tarter

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb – 2 chops – 14oz – 28
whipped potatoes with roasted asparagus,
wild mushrooms and red wine jus
4 chops-28 oz (no split) 36

North Atlantic Skate Wing – 20
pan-seared with lemon brown butter over stone ground grits and roasted asparagus spears

Southern Fried Tennessee Blue Catfish – 17
green tomato, okra and spicy crawfish ragout with remoulade

Molasses-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin – 18
sweet potato soufflé topped with an onion, apple and walnut relish

Almond Encrusted Georgia Mountain Trout – 20
sautéed haricot verts, corn, tomatoes, fingerling and
baby red potatoes with a bacon vinaigrette

Pan Roasted Nantucket Sea Scallops – 28
over orzo with sweet corn, roasted tomatoes, Grana Padano and arugula almond pesto

Grilled Center Cut Beef Tenderloin – 8 ounce – 29
sharp cheddar, braised greens macaroni and cheese with a shallot, horseradish jus

All Natural Iron Skillet Fried Chicken – 17
bacon braised collard greens with sweet corn pudding and mushroom-herb broth

Vegetable Platter – 16
seasonal fresh vegetables grilled, stewed, sautéed and roasted

 

Sides

Braised Greens Mac and Cheese – 7
Asparagus with Brown Butter and Toasted Almonds – 6
Creamed Corn Succotash – 6
Sweet Corn Pudding – 6
Bacon Braised Collard Greens – 6
Green Tomato and Okra Ragout – 6
Arugula Pesto Green Beans – 5
Adluh Mill Stone Ground Corn Grits – 5
Sweet Potato Soufflé with Candied Pecans – 4 .5
Mashed Potato with Roasted Shallot Gravy – 4.5

 

 

Desserts

Small Bite Desserts
One for 4.00 Three for 10.00 Six for 18.00

Sweet Potato and Praloine Cheesecake with Whipped Cream
Pairing Suggestion: King Estate Vin Glas
Dried Cherry and Port Wine Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Pairing Suggestion: Royal Tokaji

Coconut Cream Pie topped with Whipped Cream and Toasted Coconut
Pairing Suggestion: Kiona Ice Wine

Granny’s Carrot Cake with Bourbon Sauce
Pairing Suggestion: Cardenal Mendoza

Warm Fudge Tart with Swiss Chocolate Orange Ice Cream
Pairing Suggestion: 1999 Warres Late Bottle Vintage Port

Bread Pudding ‘Traditional Style’ with Bourbon Sauce
Pairing Suggestion: Grand Marnier

Chef Walker’s Seasonal Granita
Pairing Suggestion: Segura Vidas ‘Aria’ Cava

Epicurian Ice Cream
Swiss Chocolate Orange or Vanilla Bean
________________________________________________________________________
We Proudly Serve:
Lakehouse Coffee, Lavazza Espresso and Mighty Leaf Whole Leaf Hot Teas
Wisteria Signature Coffee is available 1 lb $12 – ½ lb $7

Dessert Wine, Port, Sherry, Brandy, and Cognac listed on reverse


Restaurant – Ecco

Ecco 

(404) 537-2850

 

Welcome!

Located in the heart of midtown, Ecco features seasonally inspired cuisine with European influences. The atmosphere is welcoming, much like a neighborhood classic, imbued with a sophisticated yet casual elegance. With its soaring glass entrance and honed marble floors, its stunning over-sized bar, exhibition kitchen and wood-burning oven, Ecco embraces its classic roots while delivering an unmistakably modern, fresh and original dining experience.

Type of food:

Italian, Mediterranean and European

Dinner only

$15-25 per entree

Midtown 
40 7th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
www.ecco-atlanta.com
www.facebook.com/eccoatlanta

Since opening in 2006, Ecco has quickly become one of Atlanta’s, and the Southeast’s, most recognized and renowned European cuisine restaurants.

 With over 12 years of culinary experience, Executive Chef Micah Willix’s progressive yet straightforward approach to cooking is the ideal match for creation of the bold, European dishes featured at Ecco.
 The seasonal European menu tempts with delicious meat and cheese boards featuring a myriad of different selections, house-made pastas, authentic wood-fired pizzas and mouthwatering desserts.
Ecco also features a nationally-recognized wine list with many selections exclusive to this European cuisine haven. Whether with a large party, enjoying a romantic dinner or simply having a bite at the bar, Ecco is sure to become one of your favorite Midtown Atlanta neighborhood dining spots.
A FIFTH GROUP RESTAURANTS CONCEPT

 

 Menu

Enjoy Atlanta’s most adventurous seasonally inspired European menu.

Meats and cheeses one for 4.75, three for 14, five for 22

Cured Meats
Prosciutto di Parma: 16 month ham
Finocchiona: pork salami with fennel seed
Coppa: cured pork shoulder
Speck: smoked prosciutto
Sopressatta: pork salami with white wine
Cured Duck Breast: with lavender blossoms
Piccante: spicy pork salami
Toscano: beef & pork salami with black pepper
Culaccia: domestic prosciutto-style ham
Bresaola: house-cured beef eye round
Mortadella: fine ground pork & pistachio

Cheese in descending order from mild to pungent
Caña de Oveja: Spain; sheep’s milk; soft
Quadrello: Italy; water buffalo’s milk; soft
Cloth-bound Cheddar: England; cow’s milk; firm
Frumage Baladin: Italy; cow’s milk with beer and barley malt; semi-firm
Pecorino Toscano: Italy; sheep’s milk; firm
Humboldt Fog: California; goat’s milk; soft
Gorgonzola Dolce: Italy; cow’s milk blue; soft
Great Hill Blue: Massachusetts; cow’s milk blue; semi-firm

Taste & Share
Mixed olives 4
Curried fennel and asparagus pickles 7
Fried goat cheese, honey and black pepper 7
Marinated white anchovies 7
Olive tapenade, radishes and toast 7
Piquillo peppers stuffed with braised shortrib 7
Baby octopus with gaeta olive, chili and mint 8
Mussels with preserved lemon, smoked paprika and coriander 12

Appetizers
Mustard greens and meatball soup 8
Mixed local lettuces with dijon vinaigrette, radish and pecorino 9
Grilled steak tartare with apricots & tarragon 11
Bruschetta with porchetta, field peas and tomato 12
Arugula salad with grilled asparagus, fried lemon and grana padano 11
Brandade with fennel and dried tomato salad 12

Wood-Fired Pizzas
San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil 13
Pecorino, ricotta, arugula, preserved lemon 14
Pork sausage, grana padano, fresh mozzarella, oregano 14
Salami piccante, fresh mozzarella and grana padano 13

Pastas 
Chili-braised pork with garlic and pappardelle 16
Mushroom risotto with fontina 16
Pea and ricotta canneloni with tomatoes and mint 15
Basil fettucini, grilled squash and grana padano broth 15

Mains
Porchetta a la plancha with fennel agrodolce 19
Sauteed hake, smoked scallops, potato & cream 29
Duck pinchos with shallot confit and sherry 22
Cotechino sausage, lentils and arugula 21
Grilled butcher steak with mustard and fines herbes 24
Roasted whole rainbow trout stuffed with lemon and bay 25

Sides
Field pea salad with ricotta salata and chive 6
Grilled asparagus, prosecco dressing and marcona almonds 6
Pommes frites, mayonnaise 4
Polenta with fresh goat cheese 6
Roasted beets, orange and thyme 6
Farro and cucumber salad, marinated goat cheese 6

Dessert
Champagne truffles 5
Crema catalan with almond cookies 8
Sticky toffee pudding, dopplebock ice cream 8
Tangerine and hazelnut cake, sabayon 8
Chocolate walnut semifreddo, caramel-espresso 8
Ice cream or sorbet please ask your server for today’s selections 6

Fifth Group Restaurants serves only 100% trans fat-free food.
This menu is subject to change. Gluten-free menu available upon request. 
 

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