Jed Portman

Case Closed on Pappygate? Not So Fast...

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 22, 2015

The sheriff always thought it was an inside job. In 2013, when the Buffalo Trace distillery reported that sixty-five cases of Pappy Van Winkle whiskey had disappeared from a secure area, it seemed likely that the perpetrators had access to the supply. Until recently, authorities couldn’t prove it. Then yesterday, a grand jury indicted a group of nine people in conjunction with the thefts. The likely ringleader, Gilbert “Toby” Curtsinger, is indeed a twenty-six-year veteran of Buffalo Trace, where he worked on the loading dock. (Another one of the accused worked at the Wild Turkey distillery, which suffered similar losses.) Here are five more things you should know about the latest developments in the biggest bourbon theft in recent history.

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If You Like Green Tomatoes...

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 22, 2015

At the Market Place restaurant, in Asheville, North Carolina, strawberries are more than just rosy slivers in springtime salads and the stuff of sweet preserves and cocktails. Chef William Dissen also buys firm, not-quite-ripe green strawberries from local farmers. He pickles them, and then deploys them as an acid-spiked condiment for grilled venison, rabbit paté, and more.

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The Dressing the South Forgot

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 16, 2015

Pimento cheese. Coleslaw. Potato salad. Those staple side dishes help keep the mayonnaise companies in business during the spring and summer. But in the days when cooking oil was a luxury, cooks below the Mason-Dixon line bound them with a different sort of dressing.

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Rediscover a Southern Classic: Pea Salad

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 10, 2015

Travis Milton can’t remember her name, but he remembers the crunch of the pea salad she used to bring to church picnics in Castlewood. Most cooks in his southwestern Virginia hometown added bacon to the ever-present side dish, but she preferred water chestnuts. Years later, when he developed his own recipe for pea salad, he followed her lead. But he also added a splash of rendered bacon fat, among other ingredients inspired by family gatherings past.

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Make Your Own Livermush

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 8, 2015

At Garden & Gun, we love livermush. Okay, not all of us. When we cooked a batch at the office a while back, some of the editors were less than enthusiastic about the name. But those who were brave enough to sample the North Carolina treat realized that it’s actually a lot tastier than its unappetizing moniker implies. That’s why we included livermush in our April/May issue, on our list of fifty reasons to love the South now.

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Opening: Real Tex-Mex in New York City

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 6, 2015

Lisa Fain couldn’t find good Tex-Mex food in New York City. So the Lone Star State native had to retreat to her kitchen instead. She started a blog that chronicled her attempts to replicate the dishes of her childhood, called the Homesick Texan. Now, after two cookbooks and praise from media outlets all over the country, she is taking the next step: helping to open a restaurant in her adopted hometown that promises to give enchiladas, tamales, and chile con queso the respect they deserve. El Original will open its doors in Hell’s Kitchen on Friday, April 10. We talked with Fain about what to expect.

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Where to Drink Seventy-Year-Old Whiskey

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMarch 31, 2015

Even thirty years ago, bourbon was better than it is today. Grains soaked and fermented in water that came from wells, not municipal water supplies. Ancient oaks supplied the wood for the air-dried barrels that held and mellowed corn spirits. Low demand kept most whiskeys small-batch, and distillers who spent two or three decades at their posts had time to refine and adjust their recipes. Until recently, only the most devoted collectors could sample the majority of those antique spirits before they vanished for good.

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Weekend Menu: Steven Satterfield's Spring Onion Pizza

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMarch 20, 2015

Blame Paula Deen. Or heck, let's leave her out of this for once. Blame generations of well-meaning chefs and cooks who have defined Southern cooking with adjectives like battered, fried, buttered, and smothered, rather than the most important one of all: fresh. Steven Satterfield, of Miller Union in Atlanta, isn't the first chef to make the case that our diet is rooted in garden soil. But in his new cookbook, he presents a vegetable-centric cuisine that is as appealing in its restraint as a salt-and-peppered slice of tomato, particularly as we lift our heads from the larded stew pots of cold months past to nibble on new harvests of asparagus, peas, and strawberries. Root to Leaf is divided by season, and the spring chapter contains such uncomplicated creations as this spring onion pizza, made with a wholesome whole wheat dough.

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How to Make a Collard Sandwich

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMarch 11, 2015

When Glenn and Dorsey Hunt piled collard greens between pucks of cornbread a decade ago, the fair food vendors from Robeson County, North Carolina, created a new regional classic.

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