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Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Comments

Reid

Hi Kirk,

I haven't had "Southern" (soul) food since I moved back to Hawaii from New York. My favorite place was the Pink Teacup:

http://www.thepinkteacup.com/index.html

There are a couple of places here, but I haven't been. There's Deb's in Kailua...at one time she was selling barbecued ribs at Sam's Club. Don't know if that's still the case or not.

Jack

Boy do I love this place! I've been here probably 4 or 5 times and I haven't been able to order anything else but the fried oysters and the catfish. Dinner here might be in order very soon.

Kirk

Hi Reid - Let me tell you I spent a bit of time in Columbus, GA, Atlanta, and Ft Smith - the catfish and oysters at this place could stand up to anything I've had there. It's pretty good!

Hey Jack - I'll just change the name of my blog to Jack's shadow! Isn't really funny, think of all the places we both visit??? BTW those oysters are heavenly!

Reid

Hi Kirk,

The food here looks really good. I should have said that the first time around right? =)

I can't wait to see what Jo has to say, especially since she's a Southerner! (sorry can't talk with that particular accent!)

RONW

Kirk,

Ettouffe crawfish (in your photo) resembles my late night dish of pouring a can of unthinned Campbell's vegetable soup over plain rice. From now on I'll call my midnight specialty an "ettouffe." Mahalo, Kirk....you have given me class. I'll send you the recipe if you like.

elmomonster

Oysters and catfish! Yummy! There's a dearth of Southern vittles here in O.C. At least it's not in my radar. Although I have enjoyed some cornmeal crusted catfish at Johnny Rebs, I've never seen fried oysters! Dang...gotta get me some!

Kirk

Hi Reid - Yes, i'm wondering where Jo is??? Hmmmm, where is she???

Hi RONW - That must be a heck of a can of Campbells you got there!

Hi Elmo - The only Southern (other than the Gumbo Pot in the Farmer's Market)I've had in LA is Aunt Kizzy's, and I wasn't too impressed. The oysters were the best dish crunchy outside, creamy inside....

mabel

Hi, I found your blog through the links on the google map Foodie's Eye View of SD. Just wanted to say that I love reading food blogs, and was soooo happy to have found one that covers the SD area. I've been having the most unbearable cravings for fresh mochi, and am planning to go to Hogetsu this weekend. Thanks!!

Kirk

Hi Mabel - Thank you for taking the time out to comment. Howie does have a nice site doesn't he? Please let me know how your visit to Hogetsu-do goes.

clare eats

no southern restaurants here humph :(

Jo

::sniff sniff:: You missed me! You really missed me! (Remember Sally Fields first AA acceptance speech?)

ANYWAY, It's been a busy day of running around. I was able to read the post earlier but nothing more. Now then, lets to this one by one...

Fried Oysters - What can I say here? Oysters are just plain ol' nasty any way you look at it. Fried is the only way to eat them and it looks like you got holt a sumbody whats knows what theys doin heauh. Y'alls gotta be careful because you fry 'em a tad hotter so the crust browns but the center remains slightly raw thus preserving the moisture content. My mother loved fried oysters because (don't ask me why) she felt elegant eating them. ::shrugs::

Smothered Chicken - I have never eaten smothered chicken in my life. This is indeed a "southern" dish, but it isn't indigineous to my neck of the woods (Georgia & Northen Florida). However, I can comment on how it should be prepared because it is essentially the same cooking style as the country fried steak (which I'll have to post more on at a later date). There should be plenty of black pepper, salt, and onions. These are the essential flavor components. Anything else plays a minor supporting role.

Fried Okra - bad choice here. Just the pic makes me say yucko. This is "restaurant" fried okra. True fried okra (and this is a truism for most of the southern region) is fresh okra, sliced, tossed with white or self-rising cornmeal (not all cornmeals are equal!) seasoned with salt and pepper. Again, these are the essentials, all else is variation on the theme. On the stove at medium high heat there should be an appropriately sized cast iron skillet with enough bacon grease to generously coat the bottom & sides of the skillet. When the grease is hot, toss in the okra. The grease will be absorbed within a few minutes. This must be stirred/tossed every couple minutes to prevent scorching and ensure even cooking. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to fully cook. What you have there is deep fried and probably was previously frozen. Okra is, or was, very hard to come by out here. It requires an overnight ground temperature of 70 degrees just to germinate, so that is probably at least part of the reason you got that stuff. Although, even in the south it's hard to come by properly fried okra in a restaurant.

Collard Greens - This dish right here is the most telling of the specific region here. These folks are probably from Oklahoma/Arkansas/Texas. While collards are eaten all over, they are most predominant in this area. Where I'm from we eat mostly turnip and mustard greens. Another thing is that we don't often eat turnip root. The only reason I even had it growing up was because my grandmothers father was originally from Arkansas and that is an area where the root is commonly eaten. Depending on the specifc area, some folks eat only the root, only the greens, or greens and roots cooked together.

Ettouffe - ::laughing:: Ron, you start with a roux... And that is how you make ettouffee. It's anything cooked in a roux gravy. The Campbell's soup really cracked me up! ANYway, for this dish you start out with good bacon drippings and plenty of em. Then you fry the flour adding the salt and pepper just before you add water or broth. Here's a secret, you can tell how close a folk is to "Boudreaux & Thibideaux" by how dark they ettouffe be. Hear tell how theys cook theys flour damn neauh black! After you add the liquid, you add meat, onions, peppers, and celery. The most common meats obviously being crawfish, shrimp, or chicken. OH, VERY important, this should ONLY be prepared in a deep cast iron skillet with a lid. The cooking heat must be kept very low throughout. The low heat is what allows the roux to be taken to a sufficient darkness without scorching.

Catfish - oh yea... ::smacking lips:: I've eaten that a time or two or three hundred! That is clearly restaurant style there but then you were at a restaurant weren't you? Oh man, I wish I was there fo' shuah! I like my own homemade tartar sauce as well. Sounds like they do a good job with theirs.

Coleslaw - My Aunt Joyce makes the best, bar none so I don't even bother.

Hushpuppies - ::grins widely:: Tell Missus that when y'all come heauh, I'll make hu' verah verah happy fo' shuah! I LOVE hushpuppies! Oh man...

OK, with all that said, a proper fried fish dinner where I'm from would consist of DUH! Fried fish, probably shrimp as well, depends on wether or not you could throw the net and growing up, I was always happy to throw the net! Hushpuppies, grits (plain, no cheese), and coleslaw. The only condiment I ever used with this meal was ketchup. Ketchup for the fish, the hushpuppies, and in the grits.

Kirk, you brought back more than a few memories here and the tears are starting to flow. I am, TRULY THANKFUL.

Kirk

Hi Clare - Oh man, you don't knw what you're missing!

Hi Jo - Thanks for the info. So tonight, you'll never guess, we had Southern Again! It'll be posted in a few minutes.

Mike V.

Thanks for another place to put on the list!
Looks great.
Not too far a drive for us, either.

Kirk

Hi Mike - Yes, give it a shot - if you like fried, the oysters and catfish are excellent - let me know how you like it!

Reid

Jo,

But I like cheese grits. When I lived in NYC, my friend's mother used to cook greens -- a combination of mustard, collard and turnip.

milgwimper

Reid,

If you like cheese grits eat cheese grits. The people in Mississippi wont say boo! LOL Its all regional and preferrential taste, because most places I went, either it was salt and pepper only, or eggs and grits, and hot sauce, or cheese..Jo is the only one I have seen eat grits with catsup, and I tease her about it all the time! ;P


Jo,
(nudge nudge wink wink) "know what I mean?" -Monty Python

Kirk

mmm-grits! For some reason I love grits. And cheese grits are fabuloso. I haven't heard "nudge nudge wink wink" in a while. LOL!

Jo

Hey, I'm not dissing cheese grits! The ONLY time I want them without cheese is with a fish fry. Normally I eat them with sharp cheddar. Kraft American when I want them the way my Aunt Joyce makes them. Best breakfast in my sphere? Bowl of cheesey grits, 2 5 minute eggs (firm white, runny yolk), and crumbled sausage all stirred together. ::shudder of pleasure:: oh yea... Geez Kirk, I didn't realize you liked Southern! Heck, I didn't think any of you guys (except Mills of course) had even heard of some of this stuff! You've totally blown me away this last couple days.

I made Country fried steak last night and realized something, I don't mind food that is black pepper hot. I actually use quite a bit of that... Does that count towards "chili head" points?

Jo

OH, Reid, so where was your NYC friends Mom from? If she was from NYC, where were her parents from?

Question for all of you, have any of you eaten southern style cabbage or fried corn?

Kirk

Hi Jo - I like Southern Food, and so does the Missus - though she doesn't care for Brunswick Stew, and I'm not fond of chitlins. Southern Style Cabbage - is that the one where you start with bacon and add cabbage and simmer - sometimes will have sausage in it?
And I believe black pepper qualifies for a few chili head points, though others may disagree.

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