Jed Portman

Eat Like a Local in Eastern North Carolina

By Jed PortmanGood EatsOctober 1, 2015

Growing up on a farm in Wilson, North Carolina, Mike Moore learned to appreciate two things at a young age: the hard but rewarding work of tobacco farming and the good old-fashioned pleasures of country cooking, with ingredients fresh from the garden. “It was shell peas, tomatoes, fried cornbread, and greens,” he says. When he left a career in law enforcement to go to culinary school on the other side of the country, the cooks in his family weren’t sure he was making the right decision. But since he came home to North Carolina about a decade ago, his work ethic has helped him become one of the most influential chefs in the state.

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Five Southern Cooking Myths Debunked

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 23, 2015

J. Kenji López-Alt didn’t get his fried chicken recipe from his grandmother. Raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New York City, he figured it out through trial and error. “I made every conceivable bad version of fried chicken along the way,” he writes in The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, a years-in-the-making book likely to become an essential reference for anyone interested in the fundamentals of food. Burnt, greasy, a little bit raw. He went through some fifty birds before he settled on a recipe.

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In Memoriam: A Southern Food Pioneer

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 22, 2015

Willie Mae Seaton opened Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans some sixty years ago.

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Rise and Shine with Brains and Eggs

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 14, 2015

These days you probably won’t find scrambled pork brains and eggs on the breakfast menu at your local country kitchen, but a generation ago you might have.

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The Story of a Forgotten Fruit

By Jed PortmanGood EatsSeptember 8, 2015

Stretches of oak, hickory, and dogwood across the eastern half of the country hide a fruit that tastes more like a mango or a banana than the bittersweet blueberries or musky scuppernongs that grow nearby. Sticky and orange inside, the pawpaw is a cousin to the guanabana and cherimoya fruits sold on the street in more temperate parts of the world. Which is why it's strange that this fall, thousands of pawpaws will rot on forest floors for lack of curious foragers.

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Southern Classic: Sour Corn

By Jed PortmanGood EatsAugust 25, 2015

If you like sauerkraut, chances are you’ll like sour corn. 

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Make This Now: Butter Bean Salad

By Jed PortmanGood EatsAugust 14, 2015

Late summer is butter bean season, when farmers haul coolers full of shelled and plastic-bagged beans to the market, and people across the region add them to simmering stewpots. As with green beans, the usual way to prepare butter beans here in cornbread country is to cook them until falling-apart tender, with a ham hock or a few slices of bacon for seasoning. But the Garden & Gun staff can name at least one good exception: the butter bean salad from Monza, a restaurant down the street from our Charleston offices that serves salads, pastas, and wood-fired pizzas. This simple salad is a lighter way to enjoy a seasonal treasure before it goes into the freezer for the rest of the year.

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Five Things You Might Not Know About Southern Tomatoes

By Jed PortmanGood EatsAugust 11, 2015

1. For all we know, the famous Cherokee Purple tomato is only a few decades old.

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Meet The Woman Behind Biscuits and Gravy Potato Chips

By Jed PortmanGood EatsAugust 6, 2015

Maybe you’ve cheered and maybe you’ve rolled your eyes, but you’ve most likely heard about Frito-Lay’s attempts to shake up grocery store shelves with their annual choose-the-new-potato-chip contests, which pit the attention-getting likes of cheesy garlic bread and cappuccino against each other. This year, four regional flavors are competing for a place next to plain old sour cream and onion: West Coast Truffle Fries, Greektown Gyro, New York Reuben, and Southern Biscuits and Gravy. If you’re skeptical that buttermilk powder and lab-engineered seasonings can stand in for the warm flavors of scratch-made biscuits and gravy, you’re not alone. But the woman who submitted the idea stands to win a million dollars if these chips pass the taste test. Hailey Green, a twenty-five-year-old travel agent from Noblesville, Indiana, answered our questions about the most polarizing snack below the Mason-Dixon line.

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Why Duke's Mayonnaise Matters

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJuly 29, 2015

In many of the most popular restaurants below the Mason-Dixon line today, diners can practically trace the sprigs of parsley garnishing their plates to the wholesome hands of local farmers. So it’s surprising when the same chefs who preach about heirloom seeds and heritage animals embrace a factory-made food. But one variety of mayonnaise still arrives at upscale kitchens from Texas to Tennessee in decidedly non-artisan plastic tubs.

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