Saturday, November 13, 2010

Drop Box

Saturday, November 6, 2010

GARDEN FRESH THANKSGIVING - food is art for the mind

Garden Fresh Thanksgiving dinner – above all, make it simple” Pick your vegetables and herbs from your garden the day you prepare them. Make sure you have enough and supplement what you do not have with sustainably produced food from your market or farmers market. Turkey should be fresh and OG. Try to get as much crafted and local foods as possible – it makes a big difference.  

Fresh Herb Roast Turkey with Giblet Stuffing Turkey – wash until cavity runs clear, remove neck and Giblets, save the giblets (you can do this in the sink, it is easier to clean up after turkey if you work with it in a clean and disinfected sink – just make sure you rinse it real well with cold water.) Rough chop celery tops, carrot end and onion – throw those in a roasting pan Throw the peals of all vegetables (but the green ones) in a soup pot with water and wine to cover and a little more since it will reduce. Think at least 2 qts. Rub the turkey with soy then season with salt and pepper inside and out Place the turkey on the vegetables and season with fresh garden herbs, paprika, pepper, chopped garlic (minced) and drizzle olive oil over herbs & garlic seasoning. Let air dry  

Stock –with fresh oregano, thyme, Bay leaf and S and P with a good pour of wine and the Turkey neck. If you have chicken stock add a cup or two. Every time you cut up something or break an egg throw it in the stock. Medium heat – reduce this by half. It is for your gravy, to moisten your stuffing, add to your greens or baste the turkey.

Stuffing Two packages of cheap hamburger rolls and a big bowl – break them up in fairly good size chunks and let them dry out some. Dice 3 onions, 4 carrots, 4 celery sticks and sauté’ When the diced vegetables are cooked but not caramelized, add diced garlic cook for 2 minutes then turn off heat. Break three large eggs and Whisk them in a bowl Now take the giblets from the turkey and poach them in the stock for 5 – 10 minutes (best done in a small strainer) – remove and slice then dice – add to the hamburger rolls. Moisten the rolls with stock (ladle), add the egg - mix with a rubber spatula and stuff the turkey cavity and neck – really pack it in (the neck will hold more than you think.) – Also leave it mounded out at the cavity. Cover the roasting dish with its top and the turkey is ready to cook. Add white wine (about two cups) before you put the turkey in the oven.  

Turkey Gravy – melt one stick of butter, add an equal amount of flour do this over medium to medium high heat – this is a roux. Cook it until it is a light brown color. When the turkey is done, remove the vegetables you do not want in the gravy, pour off and reserve in a measuring cup some of the fat (you can also add some of this to the roux when you make it.) De glaze the pan with white wine, loosen the bits at the bottom, add stock in desired amount and begin to whisk the cooled off roux into the gravy. Add a little canned milk and adjust with wine, let simmer and season to taste just before you serve it (the sauce sits on the stove reduces and gets saltier so be careful unless you are serving right away)
Mashed New Potato with Chives Boil quartered new potatoes with some salt until done Mash them skin on with a Whisk or masher, add butter and sour cream (be careful not to add too much) and Salt and Pepper to taste Once you have the consistency you want add minced fine Fresh Chives Put in a covered ceramic serving dish and keep warm.  

Orange Cranberry Relish with Horseradish Use a vegetable peeler to remove zest from the orange (it will take off the zest but not the white bitter rind) – slice it REAL thin (Julienne) Open 1 can of Cranberry Relish – add to small pot. Add juice of orange and zest Add one bag fresh cranberries ¼ - 1/3 jar of horseradish or if you have fresh add grated but be very careful with fresh it is hot and strong Cook over medium heat in non reactive pan.  

Collards, Kale and Swiss chard Rice Wine Dice one onion and sauté in olive oil While that is cooking cut the stems out of the greens, Kale and Chard – cut these lengthwise in strips and in fairly large pieces across. Add to the sautéing onions Add one or two smashed and diced cloves of garlic Stir until bright green, let sauté for a few minutes then add 1 beer and water to cover – simmer I almost always add some of the stock but for T Day I do not do my traditional Hock. If you have shallots, sauté them when you do the garlic Add a good splash of Rice Wine Vinegar and a pinch of sugar.  

Garden Turnip Puree Peel, quarter, boil until tender, puree, do not add anything but S and P – keep this real simple do not add any liquid  

Radish and cucumber salad with rice wine vinegar  

Roasted Pearl Onion Cream Roast onions, remove from pan, add shallots, 1 min then de-glaze the pan with white wine, raise the heat to medium high, add cream a dash more of white wine, S and P – reduce until nape (coats a spoon) a few drops of Worschestire 

Mixed Garden Green Salad with Apple & Walnut creamy Vinaigrette Pick fresh salad greens from your garden – wash and drain well. Dice the apples (squeeze one lemon or sprinkle with white wine to prevent oxidation), pulse the walnuts briefly, make a creamy Dijon Vinaigrette with some fresh parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in the machine after the walnuts (do not wash in between). Once you have an emulsion, add the vinaigrette to the apples and walnuts and toss. If you want thicker vinaigrette add 1 Tbsp. of mayo (I do that). Just before service rough chop or tear the dry greens and Toss your greens with the dressing – it is almost or similar to Waldorf salad on greens.  

Fresh Bread (heated in foil) Maitre D Hotel butter Chop parley fine, wash in clean cotton towel until it is light green, mince one shallot and whip these into the softened butter and a dash of white wine, roll in wax paper, refrigerate.  

Dessert - Pumpkin Pie or Apple Tart for dessert – do yourself a favor if you know a good patisserie and get this from them. If you have that dynamite Moms Pumpkin, Minced, Apple pie recipe you love to make then go for it but do it the day before.
Good Coffee – Remember this IMPORTANT thing. A great meal finished with mediocre coffee and dessert is the last thing guest has so make sure the quality of these is the best.  

Aperitif – my dad always served these in a variety

Two Hours later – use your farmers loaf bread, make a sandwich with mayonnaise, pepper, and a little of everything on the table with some leaf lettuce, thin layers with mayo and turkey breast first but really do use a little of everything. [Save any bones and the carcass, break it up and put in a stock pot the next day, add one onion, rough chop carrot and celery, wine, s and p and make soup. Use very little carrot.]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What shaped the Durham Food Scene

On Fri, 3/12/10, Jeff Ensminger wrote:

Durham has always been "cool" - ain't nothin new.

These were famous parties in Durham attended by up to 300+ thrown by Dukies cum Townies.

Fancy Town was always at - well fancy Town. This was 6 little tobacco houses that rented for $50.00 month (running water yes, no toilets all out houses) and those that remain still do. Owned by the guy in charge of vending at Duke. I lived here at "Heartbreak Hotel" There was one big house at Fancy Town lived in by two brothers married to two sisters - gave it that Kentucky bottom feel. Heartbreak had the best Asparagus grown in North carolina.

The forklift festival was held on July 4th at the "Plant" a spin off on the Folk Life festival across the street which became the Eno River Fest.. The Plant was inhabited by "squatting Duke Students" and serious part of Durham history; and in one of or the first books about Durham's Historic Places. Owned and built by a prestigious black family I believe. The driveway remains and entrance are still there. The old folks home bought it because of the party then tore it down. Sat on 60 acres of virgin hardwoods that are still there. The Plant had a 3 story windmill, it was a very cool house. No one went to the Eno River Festival until the "Plant" came down. The Fork Lift was three full days.

Chili Wars was the best Chefs in Durham, most of them hometown, there were no Chefs (but me a two Dutch guys from the windmill), there were no restaurants and competition was always very tough. I took second place one year to Helen Whiting, she owned the Regulator as a partner then she died - she was a great chef - Helen could cook and the sole reason there have always been a decent cookbook selection at the Regulator.

The "St. Joes Reggae Roof Raiser" - the best music in Chapel Hill and Durham (Raleigh wasn't invited:) - we cleared ceiling high garbage out of the church basement and, the old kitchen in it. This was what I refer to as a Hellavu party. Long standing main attraction - Joe Bell and the Stinging Blades. St. Josephs / Haiti Cultural center exists today because we saved the church day before the wrecking ball and rented a room for a business in it so they couldn't tear it down.

Oyster Invasion (Roast) was definitely seasonal. Everyone went home after a late night from that party for some reason:).

Sunny Side Halloween and Monkey Top Turkey day were too famous to type anything. (I don't have to worry, I'll never run for public office) but, some that hold were definitely at some of these parties. They would never admit it and I'll never tell.

Frog Leg Regatta was on Kerr lake at George Evins (Evins Tobacco of Oxford)(but the Evins lived in Hope Valley) company house. George would buy a ton of frog legs and I would cook them on a grill to eat after the Regatta. Those who decided to enter could only if they were in a man powered something. Inner tub, tree trunk, funky boat etc. but inner tube was the choice and dressed out as well. No bland inner tubes at the Frog Leg. The winner got a prize so competition was stiff. The first to go out, around the pole and back to shore won. Then we would all eat frogs legs and drink beer.

These were famous parties we had every year.

Ray Simone did all the art work and we silk screened T-shirts in black (none of that classless four color stuff) - Ray, a cartoonist moved from here to California - a cool guy, a good friend and a killer artist - these T-shirts are real Durham Art at its best. Ray lived at Birdie Ditch, our famous swimming hole in the middle of town (now filled in with dirt). A great pond. As good as Jake Phelps at the Cabin. Jakes and the Ditch were the places to swim other than the Quarry.

Bull City Silk Screen did all the shirts and in many cases at the party. That was Bobby Parker. Bobby, Dave Fruchteneict (who had bee hives on the roof) and I lived at a house for a year on James Street (around the corner from the Greenhouse). That is when I worked at Hope Valley because there were no restaurants.

Bull City Sound - "in by noon, out by June" did the sound. Russell Rose, one of my very best friends and all around genius weird person! Russell lived at the plant and the little house behind Monkey Top that is a Dr.s right by 147 (it used to be behind Sunny Side).

RTP was RTI and Burroughs Welcome - that is it - in the 70's before IBM and everything else. (We used to take the flatbed rail where they bought the railroad right of way and removed the track as a back way through the park to get to Raleigh. We always went that way to concerts at the coliseum. We definitely needed a designated driver but there was not one. This was the only way to Raleigh without getting a ticket.

Amos and Andy's put a sandwich on the menu we always ordered late night or EARLY morning - the Cosmic Egg. It was on the menus until they closed. Dunham and Sons had the best bone-in chicken sandwich on white bread. That was over by St. Joes. Near where Tin pan Alley used to be. Everyone always ate at Parkers. Subway was lunch and before the chain. Subway (the chain) actually bought and paid for the Subway name from our Subway and they changed the name to what else - "Bull City Subs". The only place you placed your order in the kitchen and hung out and drank beer while you waited.

The DAP was after Another Thyme happy hour on Friday when a guy borrowed a bunch of money against his credit cards and started the Durham Bulls back. When the team was weak, the townies would win for them by harassing the other team into oblivion. Third base was the place to be. Stephanie Fagerberg (Anderson) ran the beer tap and Johnny was on duty making sure angry team members would not hurt fans when they yelled obscene remarks about their mothers. Bill Miller was the grounds keeper par excellence
Triangle Slim (his WUNC radio name and show - Bob Burtman) and a serious Red Sox baseball fan came up with the idea for the wooden bull, tail and smoke and did that by hand when there was something to cheer about. He sat behind the plywood bull and we always made sure his cup was full, it was too funny. Bob wrote for the INDY for a long time and still writes in Durham to this very.

Everyone went to the Hide Away Bar on Duke Campus to drink beer and play pool and pick up Duke girls. The Hide Away was famous. In the same building as the Dope Shop" named cafeteria in the 20's when students went to get a few bottles of "dope" so they could stay up for exam studies. Boy Duke lost that name didn't it? It also lost the Hide Away but Anotherthyme opened with a bar so Friday and little Friday (Thursday) went there. AT was unbelievable on Friday night. The bar was 3 rows deep easy with overflow into the dining room. people didn't really eat there until later in the night the place was so loud. (Yance of Yance Seafood opened his place called Mayolas, named after his Mom who ran a pool Hall and beer joint there before).

The top hat Bar and Grill had the best burger and fresh cut fries across from Somethyme.

The Deli in Forest Hills shopping center was another Durham music venue.

The Town Hall in Chapel hill was so overly famous in the 70's that the city closed it. I met my wife at the cave in Chapel Hill.

Its a beautiful day was the first and only health store and was across from Somethyme (which became Seventh Street), as a Chef I loved the veggie thing at Somewthyme but the rude waits that threw silverware at you were a little to much for my refined restaurant blood. Rude waits but good food, no meat, I always had a hard time understanding lettuce heads coming right out of the Culinary Institute and just finishing my stint in lake Placed at the 1980 Winter Games.

Sudis Deli and Sudis restaurant were on main Street where DAD is today.
The Palms always had the "young lawyers club" - a breakfast and coffee thing before work and court. The butcher block table in my kitchen is from the palms.

The Sallam Cultural Center owned by Billy Stevens, Robert Tygard and Brother Yusef Salleem was the coolest place in town. Great music. The Sallam had the best fish sandwich at lunch. The West End clean up squad was started by Yuseff, Billy and Roger who traded food to kids in the WE for cleaning up the neighborhood. The West End was the cleanest neighborhood in Durham but was still rough. After Gigs at the Sallam we used to go to the "liquor house" on Carroll Street and drink shots out of salt shakers for $.50. When asked by the African American community why Yusef was hanging with white folk he said "they call them hippies because theys hip" so we were accepted in the West End and the Sallam had an invisible protection in place.

Currents cafeteria was the only place you could go for lunch and look at automatic weapons while you picked out you entree. The owner bought, sold and traded at the register during lunch. I think of all these places Currents and Dunham's are the only surviving.

The Ivy Room was a good deli with a mini bar. (Bats was behind it - a parking lot for Brightleaf now). The Duke and Duchess was where the land Trust is now. It closed and for a while was a florist shop before DCLT bought it. The kitchen was in the basement.

The Rathskeller (where Avid Video used to be) closed and a pizza place took over but it was still "the rat".

Lakewood shopping center was the hang out for Duke students on West campus with all stores rented and two grocery + a Deli/bar/Music Venue and the new place that opened there Satisfaction Pizza (Right around when Bats closed).

Dorothy's fast Lane was on main Street across from Brightleaf where the Chinese place or the pub are now). Beer there was from the grocery store, Lakewood party store or Sam's and bought as needed. Dorothy lives in Savannah and still talks about parkers grill - her favorite food haunt.
Fowlers Gourmet was on Roxboro (a pawn shop now) and had a sawdust floor in the meat market. I bought meat there for the Club and hauled it over so the club manager wouldn't by garbage. Fowlers moved to Brighleaf; Bob and his wife were great, Fowlers was an oasis. (Thanks to Frank Kenan for getting them as a tenant).

The only other place for meat was Billy's University Red and White on old Chapel Hill Road. I bought meat from Billy up until close a few years ago. Billy would love to barter and "make a price". He and A Wandering used to buy 200+ #'s of tenderloins at a pop during Christmas.

Maria Pertruse from Hungry made pastries for AWF and Gary Wein at Savory faire.

That was it, there were no caterers in Durham but us two, one in Chapel Hill and Craig's in Raleigh.

Mark Yonce was the "wine man" along with Fowlers.

Wellspring didn't exist yet at its first location where Magnolia is now which was a local community grocery store (every neighborhood in Durham had one). When they did it was all vegetables.

The Durham Intergalactic Food Conspiracy (the Coop) was on the corner of Broad and Markham at East Campus.

The Sallam had closed and AWF moved into the Sallam Kitchen. A three block walk from my place on Shepherd. Four years later we moved because of gangs to the Europa Center with Frank Kenan, great guy. I miss Frank. A Wandering Feast bought the Dope Shop on Wheels from Duke Salvage and ran that mobile kitchen at Carolina Friends School for lunch, black tie parties at finer homes for big events and served Indonesian food and Soft Shell Crab sandwiches at the Eno River festival after the Plant was torn down. At the Eno, the Sheriff would take care of us in return for libation and a place to hang out. AWF made more in 3 days at the Eno than a teacher makes in a year. It just got too hot and old. AWF did Johns S. wedding with the African theme in the Atrium of the Europa out of the Center Cafe. That was a kick John. Center Cafe was open lunch only with catering at night. We were the first small plate for events.

Frank Kenan asked me to go meet this "new young guy" from Burlington opening up a place in an old Dairy bar; George Bakatsia near Mrs. Kenan's clothing store.

AND last but not least:

Everyone ate at Anna Marias Pizza on credit. Anna and Bat saved hundreds of Duke students from starving. They had a huge selection of comic books and beer or soda was all on the honor system. My favorite was the half and half (half salad with pasta chicken Parmesan). Bat was a gambler, he would take your food marker in a heartbeat if he liked you. He called me from Florida once and borrowed a $100 to get back to Durham then immediately placed a bet on a horse and lost it. Anna worked the kitchen, bat worked the floor with a guitar and his Mr. Microphone so he could call in orders over FM to Anna in the rear kitchen. That was high tech ordering system of the day in Durham. I have the cash register from Bats.

1 - The Fancy Town parade - always held at fancy Town off of Old Erwin Road
2 - Chili Wars
3 - The Forklift Festival - held at the now demolished "Plant" a mansion inhabited by Duke students across from the ENo at West Point - it was a spin off on the Folk Life" festival that became the Eno River Festival
4 - Reggae Roof Raiser
5 - Oyster Invasion and Roast
6 - The Sunny Side Halloween Party - the house next to Monkey Top
7 - Monkey Top Turkey day - the other house with Duke students and all around vagabonds and raconteurs with a few townies tossed in
8 - Frog Leg Regatta
(All art for all parties for T-Shirts was again Ray Simone of Birdie Ditch)

We will re-instate these parties at the Chameleon in honor of a period in Durham history that really quite literally fell through the cracks but shaped the town. You hear a lot about Durham up to 1970 something, then its a bit of a blurr.

Durham's first "Foodies" always had food at these parties cooperatively cooked by everyone and the restaurants of the day were all these places mentioned above and certainly none of them were "fusion". We always had "Fine Food" we just didn't have refined places to eat at. Look at us now!

You guys are history buffs and I had written this stuff down and filed it. I just ran into it and thought I should send it on.