So long to the South


Shrimp and grits at Southern Gourmasian

By Katherine

Greg and I have spent most of this year in different time zones. We didn’t plan to be apart so long, but it turns out moving cross country (which we’d done twice before) is a lot harder when you’re selling a home. We drove our Honda Civic — loaded down with all the essentials of a dorm room and one very sedated dog — 2,208 miles from Sherwood, Arkansas to Oregon in early April. After a few days, Greg returned home to Arkansas to finish some house repairs and wait, and wait, and wait, for the house to sell. Over nearly four months, we had too many meals apart and too many conversations on the phone. Even worse — we woke up in separate beds. He had some good friends to keep him company and I had our mutt and some amazing new coworkers, but we were pretty miserable without each other. He was finally able to move out for good in late July. So we’re no longer Southerners, not that we ever really were. Neither of us can muster a “Bless her heart” with any sincerity. Before we get cooking in the Pacific Northwest (OK, we obviously already have but unpacking has also trumped blogging) we thought we’d share a few of our last Southern dishes from in and around Little Rock.


Chicken livers and waffles at South on Main

South on Main's cheeseburger

South on Main’s cheeseburger

Spaghetti with meat sauce from Ira's

Spaghetti with meat sauce from Ira’s


Fried catfish at The Flying Fish

Candied pecans and fried black-eyed peas from The Capital Hotel

Candied pecans and fried black-eyed peas from The Capital Hotel

Smoked duck over spoonbread at South on Main

Smoked duck over spoon bread at South on Main


Cocktails at Raduno


Rabbit with pork belly at South on Main

We’re ready for new adventures and after a pretty long hiatus we’re eager to blog again. We’ve already picked wild blackberries and taken some apples and pears off a coworker’s hands. We’re buying wild mushrooms like candy and Greg is fretting over how to grow hot peppers in a much cooler climate. And of course we have a few salmon recipes in the pipeline. Even our dog is thrilled with the move.


Mingus in March, Oregon bound


Posted in Food | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Pickled Carrots

The carrots do taste a billion times better fresh than from the store

The carrots do taste a billion times better fresh than from the store

The carrot harvest this year was exceptional. Time to try a new type of pickle. Go here for how to can. Remember to use only the freshest best quality ingredients. The brine amount will fill 6 pint sized canning jars. Increase the ratios for more.

Pickled Carrots

  • 3-4 lbs fresh carrots washed clean no longer than 3 inches
  • 1 large sweet onion cut into small wedges
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 tsp kosher sea salt
  • Dried chili de arbols
  • Mustard seeds
  • Dill seeds
  • Celery seeds
  • Black peppercorns

Sort through carrots. Halve any that are longer than your pinky into spears. Measure how many jars will be needed by loosely filling with carrots. Remove carrots and sterilize jars. In a large pan of boiling salted water cook carrots for 1 minute then immediately drain and rinse in cold water. Bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. In each jar place 2 dried chilis, 2 wedges onion, 1/4 tsp black peppercorns, 1/4 tsp celery seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard, and dill seeds. Fill the rest of the way with carrots. Pour boiling brine over leaving enough head space at top and seal. Pickles will be ready after a week but will be best after a month. Refrigerate any jars that do not ping.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Garden, Mexican, Recipes, Things in Jars, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Sesame Chicken Wings

Ok so those are not wings, sue me

Ok so those are not wings, sue me

This is a really simple quick way to use up all those chicken wings that may be around after butchering a bunch of chickens. What, you buy chickens already cut up without the bones and pre made chicken stock from a store. The recipe was inspired by this one we found on Epicurious.

Stop that.

Sesame Chicken Wings

  • 12-16 chicken wings segmented skin on
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 stp salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions diced fine

Mash garlic to a paste and mix with everything else but seeds and onion. Add meat and stir to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes then arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet in one layer coating with remaining sauce. Bake at 425 degrees until chicken is done, about 30 minutes.


Posted in Appetizers, Chicken, Dinner, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Snow Geese “Pastrami”

Guess what phone took this photo

Guess what phone took this photo

Our hunting friend asked if we had any use for snow geese since he had a bunch. He made sure to warn us that it is a really gamey hard to cook meat. The only response to free fresh meat is and should always be yes.

Oh and snow geese is delectable.

This recipe requires brining and smoking.

Snow Geese Pastrami

  • 6-8 snow geese breasts still on the bone skin removed

for brine

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/2 onion roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 dried chili de arbols

for spice rub

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Wash breasts and pat dry. Place all brine ingredients in a stock pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add breasts to solution, submerge and brine in refrigerator for 1 hour per total pounds up to four hours. Remove from brine, shake excess off and place on a drying rack back in refrigerator for 24 hours. Grind spice mix and rub generously into meat. Start smoker and smoke with apple or pecan wood. Remove when done and slice from breast bone, then slice into thin strips. serve with a horseradish cream sauce.

Posted in Appetizers, Dinner, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tomatillo and Chili Pepper Stewed Venison Shoulder

That is a meaty taco

That is a meaty taco

This is a great way to use a venison shoulder. The meat can be used as filling for tacos, burritos, tamales or on top of a sandwich.

Venison Shoulder in a Tomatillo Chili Pepper Sauce

  • 2-3 lb venison shoulder
  • 2 dried ancho chilis stems removed
  • 4 dried chili de arbols stems removed
  • 28 ounce can tomatillos drained
  • 1 lime
  • 1 large onion diced fine
  • 1 green pepper diced medium
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 tbsp bacon fat

Soak dried peppers in 2 cups boiling water until soft. In a blender place 1/2 the cilantro, tomatillos, lime juice, lime zest, peppers and water and blend until smooth. In a large stock pot heat fat until sizzling and sear shoulder on all sides. Remove meat to a plate and add onion to pan. Turn heat to low and saute until golden then add green pepper and saute until soft. Add chicken stock, turn heat to medium and de glaze pan. Add tomatillo sauce and bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer, add meat and cook on low partially covered until meat falls off bone, about 2 hours. Remove pan from heat. Remove meat and shred by hand then add back to sauce and bring back to a simmer. Cook until thick and season with salt, pepper and more cilantro.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Mexican, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sweet Potato Tatties

I know they are not authentic tatties

I know they are not authentic tatties

So this is what happens when you forget to buy potatoes but have a mess of sweet potatoes still around from last year’s harvest. The final result was actually very good and the sweeter flavor of the yams and molasses went very well with the rest of a traditional Irish breakfast. For the standard tattie recipe go here.

We’re still having fun trying out our new camera phone. To read a more thorough review of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge go here.

Sweet Potato Tatties

  • 1 lb sweet potato baked
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 3/4-1 cup flour

Remove skins from cooked potatoes and mash with butter, molasses and cinnamon. Slowly add flour until a rough dough forms. Heavily flour the counter and roll dough out to 1/8″ thick. Cut into squares and fry in butter until browned on both sides. Serve hot. Cooked tatties will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week and in the freezer for ever. Toss them in a toaster to rewarm them.

Posted in Breakfast, Food, Sides, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Irish Flag

Yeah this is another shot from the S7 I am feeling a little blatant.

Yeah this is another shot from the S7 I am feeling a little blatant.

So we missed St. Patricks Day this year and as punishment forced ourselves to drink one of these. Then we forced ourselves to do three more.

We’re still having fun trying out our new camera phone. To read a more thorough review of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge go here.

Irish Flag Shot

Equal parts Creme de Menthe, Irish Cream, and Grand Marnier layered in that order carefully in a 2 ounce shot glass. Pour each liquor slowly over the back of a spoon to keep the liquors from mixing.

Posted in Spirits | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments