Good Eats

Lessons in Biscuit-Making from a Seasoned Baker

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 18, 2015

For the past few years, I’ve subscribed to a straightforward biscuit-making method, learned from a pastry chef friend. (Sorry, Grandma!) First, I put a stick of butter in the coldest corner of the freezer. When I wake up the next morning, I grate that frozen butter into a bowl of White Lily self-rising flour, and then add enough buttermilk to turn the dry mix into a soft but foldable dough, handling all ingredients delicately to keep the butter cold and the biscuits flaky.

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Toast the Preakness with a Black-Eyed Susan

By Jessica MischnerGood EatsMay 15, 2015

Despite the mint julep’s high profile, the Derby isn’t the only Triple Crown race with its own cocktail. The Preakness has a signature libation, too. And at Baltimore’s annual post-run Winners Circle Wind Down, the Black-Eyed Susans taste a little different. That’s because Woodberry Kitchen mixologist, partner, and Director of Operations Corey Polyoka applies his restaurant’s regional, farm-driven ethos to the Preakness’s official cocktail. Instead of vodka—traditionally the drink’s primary spirit—his recipe uses Breuckelen rye. “I love rye and try to use it whenever I can for the historic tie,” he says. “So much rye has been made in the area in the past, and it’s starting to be produced around here again.” Rum goes in, as usual; Polyoka sources his from Lyon Distilling in nearby St. Michaels. Lightly acidic verjus, the sweet-tart pressed juice of unripened grapes, replaces store-bought sour mix (you can buy it here or you can sub in a mixture of lemon and lime juice), and pitted cherries add sweetness. “This version hits that same tropical note as the original,” Polyoka says, “but it’s more balanced and technique-driven.”

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Alton Brown's Favorite Southern Road Eats

By The EditorsGood EatsMay 15, 2015

If you are hitting the road this summer and looking for recommendations on where to eat, Alton Brown has a few suggestions. The Atlanta-based bestselling author, James Beard Award winner, and television personality travels (and eats) for a living. His traveling variety show, Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour had him crisscrossing the country and, as you might imagine, he had many good meals along the way.  

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Five Questions With One of the South's Best Chefs

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 12, 2015

Last Monday night, Jason Stanhope won Best Chef: Southeast at the James Beard Foundation awards in Chicago. It was the first nomination for the executive chef at FIG restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, where he has earned a reputation as a hard-working but soft-spoken standout in a demanding field crowded with outsized personalities. The chef is back at work now, and he took a few minutes to talk with us about the honor.

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A Cake of Truly Historic Proportions

By Heather RichieGood EatsMay 9, 2015

The recipe calls for forty eggs. That’s right. forty. Not four. Holy cow, er, chicken.

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A Mimosa with a Twist

By Jessica MischnerGood EatsMay 7, 2015

Nothing against the classic brunch pairing of OJ and Champagne, but Mother’s Day calls for a cocktail upgrade. (As a mother myself, I can speak with authority on this.) And Jonathan Shull, co-owner of the Apothecary at Brent’s Drugs, in Jackson, Mississippi, has created an inventive twist that mimics the mimosa’s easy-drinking nature. His Wingate Spritz—inspired by childhood summers spent at his grandparents (the Wingates) at their house in Columbus, Mississippi—is built from familiar ingredients such as citrus and sparkling wine, then fortified with spirits. “My grandparents had a beautiful side garden with a wall of honeysuckle,” Shull says, “so I played off that with Mississippi’s Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka mixed with grapefruit, Aperol, and Champagne.” The result: an easy like Sunday morning thirst-quencher that raises the bar for Mom.

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The South Wins Big at the James Beard Awards

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 5, 2015

The James Beard Foundation awards are probably the highest-profile in American food, and a win can elevate a chef to the heights of the industry. The South represented itself well at the awards ceremony last night. (And also at the Broadcast and Journalism Awards, on April 24, where Heritage, chef Sean Brock's seven-month-old cookbook, and Gravy, a quarterly magazine published by the Southern Foodways Alliance, both won big-deal endorsements.)

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A Dinner to Remember: Celebrating the Civil War's End

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 30, 2015

At the end of the Civil War, the city of Charleston, South Carolina, was starving. It had been years since even the rich had seen some of the dishes that locally renowned caterer and restaurateur Nat Fuller served to a group of war-weary diners in April of 1865, drawing upon his many connections in and outside the area. But perhaps more surprising than the fare on the table at his restaurant, the Bachelor’s Retreat, was the racial makeup of the restaurant that night. Fuller was a former slave, and he invited both white and black guests to the banquet. The dinner ruffled some aristocratic feathers at the time, and it also served as a modern-day inspiration for two culinary scholars who decided to bring its message of reconciliation into the twenty-first century—to a city that still needs it.

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The Art of the Beaten Biscuit

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 29, 2015

The beaten biscuit doesn’t disintegrate into buttery crumbs. It lacks the tang of buttermilk and the lightness of baking powder. It’s a dense holdover from the antebellum era that can require more than an hour of hard work, or a bulky, nearly extinct piece of equipment. Even so, devotees like chef Karl Worley of Biscuit Love Brunch in Nashville believe it’s worth the trouble.

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The Most Southern Ice Cream Ever

By Heather RichieGood EatsApril 24, 2015

It isn’t honey, it isn’t molasses, and it sure isn’t sugar. Sorghum syrup is a homegrown Southern sweetener in a class of its own, with a distinctive and lingering flavor. In Sorghum’s Savor, North Carolina­­­–based food writer Ronni Lundy takes an equally deep look at the lengthy history of this versatile Appalachian staple, which can lend bittersweet base notes to everything from biscuits and cocktails to curries and salads. You’ll find recipes for all of those in Lundy’s new cookbook, alongside passages explaining how modern makers distill syrup from pressed sorghum cane juice, and why they still bother.

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