Show 3 – Rick Lewis of Southern
If you missed the show you can check it out on the archive player.
Comfort food. A phrase that years ago would not be associated with skilled cooks and fine dining but now, elevated comfort food dishes like fried chicken and gourmet mac n cheese can be found across the country on menus put together by top chefs. Now producing elevated comfort food can even get you a James Beard Award nomination for Rising Star just as it did this week’s guest Rick Lewis in 2014.
The James Beard Foundation is a national non-profit culinary arts organization named after the famous cookbook author and teacher. Their annual awards are, as Rick stated during his appearance on the James Beard Nominee episode of The Food Network’s show Guy’s Grocery Games, the Oscars of cooking. Rick was at the helm of Quincy Street Bistro at that time after spending years at Monarch and now can be found dishing out some of the best Hot Fried Chicken at Southern located at 3108 Olive Street in the same building as partner Mike Emerson’s Pappy’s Smokehouse. “Hot” Fried Chicken does not refer to temperature but is a southern style fried chicken method sometimes referred to as Nashville Hot Chicken and characterized by its spicy marinade, finishing with a dip in spicy sauce or paste with varying degrees of cayenne pepper and served with pickles and white bread. If you like juicy and spicy fried chicken bursting with flavor, Southern is not to be missed. The menu is also loaded up with other sandwiches and southern favorites like greens, fried green tomatoes, and catfish. You’ll also want to tame that heat with a cold beer or a one of my favorite classic staples of southern dining, sweet tea.
With this Sunday being Mother’s Day we’ll also be joined by a special guest, my mom. A few words that sum up my mother are loving, supportive, faithful, fun, and selfless. Growing up she worked full time, went back to school when my older sister and I were kids, kept a clean house, put family first, helped create fun family memories, and always made sure we were well fed. Throughout the years she made countless lunches and breakfasts including the great weekend spreads prepared by her and my dad that sent that wonderful smell into your room and was the best alarm clock ever. And every night she put a great meal on the table made up of real food that she cooked. The skill and organization she demonstrated menu planning, shopping on a tight budget, preparing and cleaning up the meal all in time to help get homework done, do some laundry or house cleaning before bed was a true testament of her love and dedication to all of us. She never stopped caring for all those around her and exists the same way to this day. It’s who she is. My life would not be nearly what it is without her. I’ve been very fortunate to have some amazing mothers in my life and all of them were great cooks.
High Fashion Mom at church fashion show. Always so beautiful.
My God Parents Aunt Sandra and Uncle Hutch.
Momo and Popo, my dad’s parents, at my high school graduation. Before you ask, CBC.
Maw Bea my mom’s mother.
Cut Of Meat Of The Week
Many of us get locked into using the same cuts of meat over and over for our meals. At times because it’s what is readily available or on sale but many times I find it’s because we don’t investigate other cuts and how to use them. Each week we’ll feature a different cut and give you info on it’s use and recipe suggestions.
This week’s cut is flank steak. Flank steak can be used for many preparations and is a great option for the budget conscious. It comes from the bottom abdominal muscles of the cow but when treated properly can be nice and tender. Use it for fajitas, stir fry, steak skewers on the grill, even a steak sandwich. They take to marinades very well and can be broiled or grilled to medium then sliced thin against the grain. It used to be less expensive but with the rise in popularity or this and cuts like flat iron it has gone up a bit since mom used to use it for her great London Broil. Here’s mom’s super quick and simple but great recipe.
London Broil Using Flank Steak
Marinate the meat for at least two to three hours or preferably over night in soy sauce. You can also add some olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Pierce with a fork to help tenderize.
Broil on high heat for about 5 minutes per side.
Slice thin and against the grain.
Spice Of The Week
Every culture uses spices to bring wonderful flavors to their dishes. The history of the spice trade goes back centuries. It has been the motivating factor in travel and exploration around the world and even wars. With so many spices available it can be an overload of choices. What to use and how can be an overwhelming pursuit. Many of us again just go for what we know and are comfortable with. Each week we’ll feature a different selection from the rack and go over uses and recipe ideas in a effort to help you break free from the garlic powder and Italian seasoning that you’ve been using in every dish.
This week’s selection is basil. I know dried basil is probably a pretty typical choice for many home cooks. It works great with so many things and can bring a more intense flavor. As with any dried spices make sure they are as fresh as possible. This week however I want to focus on fresh basil and encourage you to grow your own. It grows very easily and can be put together with various other herbs in pots for a nice selection right in your own back yard. Nice green leaves, sweet with a touch of bitter. It is one of my favorites. What’s tomato sauce without basil? Nothing I want to try that’s for sure. Two of my favorite uses are in a classic caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, salt and pepper, and a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and the other, pesto. I love pesto! Spread it on bread, use in sauces, add to a sandwich and wow. So fresh, flavorful and easy to make. It also keeps well in your refrigerator. Here’s a simple method for fresh pesto.
1 part olive oil
1 part pine nuts
1/2 part grated parmesan
Salt to taste
You can pulse all ingredients in a food processor until you reach your desired consistency of paste. Or go the classic route and pound all ingredients in a mortar and pestle.
Upcoming Food and Beverage Events
Saturday, May 7th – Cinco de Mayo on Cherokee Street
Saturday, May 7th – Cinco de Mayo Patio Party at Byrd & Barrel
Saturday, May 7th – Kentucky Derby Party at Tamm Avenue Grill
Sunday, May 15th – Pigs & Pints
Saturday, June 11th – St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival