Thursday, February 11, 2016

Foodie Reads 2016: Chef Edward Lee Melds (NOT Fuses) Asian + Southern Ingredients


The Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge is in full swing and we have entered our second month. I am hopping between three or four different books this month so far, but this is the one that landed on the top of the stack and is the first one I've finished: Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee.*

My Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and I love snuggling up on the couch and watching the episodes of Mind of a Chef that feature Chef Edward. It's Season Three in case you were wondering!


Actually I bought the cookbook specifically because we are enjoying the show. We stream the episodes on NetFlix since we don't have any TV stations. And while we enjoy his episodes, I really loved his book. More of his story-telling comes through and more of his passion about food. It's a stunning book with accessible recipes.

In addition to the incredible recipes, the book itself is a great read. Chef Edward has an authoritative voice and his narrative is compelling. A note about this post's title....

Chef Edward really dislikes the word 'fusion.' "Not only because it is dated," he writes, "but also because it implies a kind of culinary racism, suggesting that foods from Eastern cultures are so radically different that they need to be artificially introduced or 'fused' with Western cuisines to give them legitimacy." So, don't call his particular style of cooking 'fusion', despite being chock full of both Asian and Southern flavors. 

This is a book I plan to keep near the kitchen for guidance and inspiration. For this post, I am sharing TWO dishes that have both an Asian and a Southern feel. I had only planned to share the Vietnamese Lamb Chops, but the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf whined, "Mom, when are you going to make collard greens again. I love collard greens." Since that is not a sentence I really anticipated hearing from a child, even mine, I ran right out and bought a bunch. The Precise Kitchen Elf makes his own kimchi, but we were out, so I bought a jar of that as well. R looked at me disapprovingly when he saw me making this dish. "My kimchi is better," he noted. True enough.

Collards and Kimchi
Slightly adapted from Smoke and Pickles

Ingredients
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 C onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1½ C diced ham
  • 1½ pounds collard greens, washed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
  • 2½ C chicken stock
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 1½ T apple cider vinegar
  • 1¼ C kimchi, chopped

Procedure
Heat the butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the butter starts to foam, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until they begin to darken. Add the ham and cook until it is crispy but not too brown, approximately 3 minutes. Add the collards, chicken stock, and soy sauce. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The collards should be tender but still have a little bite to them. Add the vinegar to the greens and cook for another minute. Fold the kimchi into greens. Mix well and serve immediately.

Vietnamese Lamb Chops
Slightly adapted from Smoke and Pickles

Ingredients serves 6
  • 1/4 C bourbon
  • 1/2 C fish sauce
  • 1/2 C ginger syrup
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T fresh garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 2 t freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 (1-inch-thick) lamb loin chops
  • For serving: fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and steamed rice (I used Jade rice)


Procedure
Place everything except the lamb in a rimmed dish and whisk to combine. Lay the lamb in a single layer in the marinade. Turn to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator between 4 and 24 hours, turning the lamb at least once during the marinating time. I marinated mine for 10 hours.


Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Bake the lamb for 15 minutes. Turn the chops and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the dish to a wire rack and let the chops rest for 5 minutes.


For serving: Garnish with the cilantro and serve with the sauce, lime wedges, and steamed rice.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.



Here's what everyone else is reading this month: February 2016 Foodie Reads Challenge.

3 comments:

  1. i really need to watch that show. I know several people who love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a really neat show! You should give it a try.

      Delete
  2. I have never heard of this show. We don't have netflix but perhaps I can get it on Amazon.

    ReplyDelete

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