Deluxe Old-Fashioned Paté Plates seem to be the savory star of the menu. Bill Smith has been making them every other day, layering them into his red and French-blue terrines. Each plate has a slice of 2 Bird Pate (chicken liver flavored w/ Wild Turkey and a slice of Chunky Country Pork Paté. The plates are garnished with pickled peppers, olives, onion jam, a Jezebel Sauce and garlic toast.
"I am really quite good at this," said Bill Smith. "I don't know why but I just have a knack for making patés, and it's a perfect way to employ the loin and the scraps that I find I have when I've prepped so many pounded cutlets for Cheese Pork!. Also, interesting is this Jezebel Sauce, which I'd forgotten about and is a big hit. It's horseradish and something else but let us tell you after you've tasted it (hint: it's sweet)... and see if you can guess."
Duck will be landing on the menu soon....We are really looking forward to the duck as we've not had it at all this winter so far.
We've heard many people say, especially those sitting at the bar, that thePaté Plate with a salad and glass of something red or sparkling is an excellent dinner choice with the addition of French Fries or sautéed leeks and cabbage or mashed rutabagas or something dark green or maybe just dessert after... really good.
Our Southern Schnitzel (otherwise known as Cheese Pork!) is Bill Smith's twist on the schnitzels he had in the Swiss Alps. A pounded pork cutlet is breaded with a crumbly Swiss cheese breading and then pan seared and ladled with delicious Madeira Sauce... all of this served over buttery mashed rutabagas.
We'll be back in touch with some news of New Orleans dishes to celebrate Mardi Gras ... but before I sign off I want to announce some important news if you haven't already heard it: Kim Church, author of BYRD, has won the second-annual Crook's Corner Book Prize, for best first novel set in the South.
There was a nice write up in Garden & Gun about the winning author, the finalists, the prize itself and it included a description of Crook's as a place for "sumptuous Southern comfort food." We like the way that sounds!
Speaking of Garden & Gun, keep your eyes on the newsstands for their February/March 2015 issue featuring wonderful photos by Andrew Kornylak & a great story by Nic Brown on Bill Smith & his time at Crook's Corner.
And..... Atlantic Beach Pie was named a Top 10 Greatest Hits of the Year by FOOD 52.
Chef Bill Smith is constantly creating new recipes, some interpretations of heirloom recipes and found recipes, in the Crook's Kitchen and so when he announces something that sounds maybe strange or offbeat, people will now try them due to the popularity of the Atlantic beach Pie (a lemon-lime pie with a Saltine Cracker crust garnished with whipped cream & Kosher salt). Two unusual desserts that folks are liking are the Spanish Bar Cake (from Our State Magazine) and the Red Hot Sorbet (orange sorbet with Red Hots). We are also offering Warm Big Biscuit Bread Pudding with caramel & Crème Anglaise, made with biscuits you may remember from Sunday brunch.
Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year, so we're celebrating Saturday night with a special menu and music track plus all the February dishes and classic favorites like Fried Oysters. But on those years when the 14th is on a weekend, this spreads out the love ... we might see you on the Big Night, or Friday, or even Sunday Brunch. You know your sweetheart wants some, as Bill Smith calls, "gussied-up desserts" -Valentine surprises and the Good Banana Pudding or Mt. Airy Chocolate Soufflé Cake.
Bar Notes: "For me, January is always the time for sparkles, bubbles & the cheer that comes with toasting with loved ones." says manager Kyle. Continuing with the celebration of the New Year right into Valentines Day, we've got your sparkling wine needs covered. Kyle has put together a selection of brut nature cavas, sparkling rosés & fine Champagne befitting whatever occasion you happen to be toasting.
On The Walls: Rita Baldwin's delightful oil paintings for the month of January. Next up is Louis St. Lewis.
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 -