Here we are mid-August enjoying the cool-weather bursts as much as the flowers in the garden out front and loving the kitchen's Homemade Pasta (cut into ribbons), served with tomatoes (brought to us from neighbors) and seasoned with Bracken Brae's herbs -it's delicious and a great looking dish.
We also have what is best described as a Summer Gumbo
(a light roux with okra, tomatoes and
other summer vegetables, sweetened with sidemeat).
What Bill Smith most wants to talk about is first, how delicious and popular the Scallops and Hominy has becomes since he added the mild kick of Shishito Peppers to the dish and second, the "Ambrosia-speckled" and "Devotion-white" varieties of corn that showed up this year. He says, "It might be the best corn I can recall, and it's wonderful grilled."
Also, the five reasons to order the Grilled Hanger Steak:
1/eight ounces of this cut the butcher usually saves for himself
2/ the side of Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob
3/ the side of Grilled Whole Okra Pods with char-stripes and a dusting of salt
4/Jerusalem Artichoke Relish (one of two sauces served with the Hangar and it was Bill Smith's father's recipe)
5/ finally, the days-long simmering Bourbon Brown Sauce.
Getting ready for the big kick-off dinner at the Southern Foodways' shin-dig in Oxford this October, Bill Smith is making a sauce from Fried Corn and serving it over a Braised Pork Shank. "This is Osso Bucco, but with pork-it's just falling off the bone and makes it's own sauce, plus the creamy Fried Corn sauce as a bonus," says Bill Smith. The pork shank is on the menu now.
I thought it a good time to recap the Cinderella story of how Atlantic Beach Pie became
Atlantic Beach Pie: Chef Bill Smith made the "found heirloom recipe" pie for a summer field trip the Southern Foodways Alliance folks made to New Bern. Katie Workman (of Workman Publishing, the parent company of Algonquin) discovered the pie when traveling through Chapel Hill on tour for her Mom 100 cookbook blog and brought the idea of the salty (Saltine) cracker crust and lemon-lime filling to the attention of the coast-to-coast listeners tuned into public radio. The radio spot was re-aired in July and then the Food 52 Blog did a pretty layout for their popular Genius Recipes posts and then the baton was handed off to Facebook sharing. Loads of shares. The color of the baked crust is golden and the filling is a lemon-yellow that contrasts with the whipped cream. It's just a recipe that people actually make and make again because it's easy and tastes so good. Kathleen Purves wrote about it here just last week too.
Eleven books were just announced to the Longlist of Best Debut Novels set in the South. I'll try to write about each of these books like I did last year. We'll be posting details on each book on the Book Prize Facebook Page while we promote this good reading from now through the holidays. So please like the page if you want to follow what's going on:
The Resurrectionist, by Matthew Guinn
Remember Me Like This, by Bret Anthony Johnston
I Shall Be Near To You, by Erin Lindsay McCabe
Heart of Palm, by Laura Lee Smith
In the Garden of Stone, by Susan Tekulve
Saint Monkey, by Jacinda Townsend
The Ways of the Dead, by Neely Tucker
Mother of Rain, by Karen Spears Zacharias
Queen Sugar, by Natalie Baszile
Byrd, by Kim Church
Flying Shoes, by Lisa Howorth
This is a interesting list to read too: Southern Living's 100 Best Restaurants in the South. They honored us by including Crook's. Here's their roundup of the magazine's favorite 100 places to eat (from Washington, DC to Texas.)
Notes from the Bar: As the summer wanes, we are backing off from the rosé wine special and moving on to an effervescent wine special that Kyle Y. likes to call "the late summer fizzles." There is an Australian dry Riesling that has a slight fizz which the winemakers call Frisk "Prickly" Riesling, the delightfully refreshing Contadi Castaldi sparkling Italian rosé and the delicious, unique Lini Lambrusco Rosso...a chilled, slightly effervescent red wine. All three pair perfectly with Carolina 'Cue or other spicy foods.
On the Walls: Roger Haile presents his brother, Chris Haile's beautiful, haunting portraits & landscapes through the end of August.
Check our website for our complete Menus; http://www.crookscorner.com
Hope to see you soon, and as always, thank you for your friendship & patronage -