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Southern Haute Cuisine

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Harv 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2003 11:58 PM
  Subject: Can you help me? Please??

  Hi Uncle Phaedrus,

  A friend of mine sent me to your website thinking that you could help me.

  I am trying to find what would be considered "southern haute cuisine." Don't laugh... 
  I have to come up with an upscale menu for an event that will be for approx. 300 people. 

  If you could help me out, I would be very grateful.


Hello Harv,

I'll try.

First, let's get a clear understanding of exactly what "haute cuisine" is. My food dictionary says it is "food that is prepared in an elegant or elaborate manner."

Many people, if you ask them about southern cuisine, would immediately say "fried chicken!" or "black-eyed peas" or "barbecue". Well, those things are certainly staples of traditional southern cuisine, but they are not "haute cuisine". Rather, they are taditional southern home cooking, like this:

"A classic Southern Sunday lunch would be more on the order of homemade fried chicken, the drippings used to make brown gravy, and mashed potatoes; turnip or collard greens, or black-eyed peas with pepper sauce and relish on the side; squash cut up with onions and cooked in an iron skillet until all the water is cooked out OR squash or eggplant sliced, lightly floured and fried; okra, cut, battered and fried in much the same fashion as the squash; sliced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes or fried green tomatoes or both; sliced onions and cucumbers in vinegar; fresh green garden onions; and peach cobbler or chocolate cake with ice cream. This would be served with homemade biscuits and/or SOUTHERN cornbread, with sweetened ice tea."

Southern cuisine can include many other things, from South Carolina "she-crab soup" to New Orleans Cajun cooking to Texas chili and Tex-Mex foods.

Among chefs, however, "Southern haute cuisine", also called "New Southern Cooking" has lately come to mean traditional Southern ingredients cooked in a more elaborate fashion.

For instance, when modernized from Old Southern Cooking to New Southern Cooking:

"Collard greens with salt pork" becomes "Wadmalaw Collards Braised in Palmetto Amber with Cabernet Pig's Feet

"Black-eyed peas and salt pork" becomes "Black Eyed Peas and Hog Jowl with Roasted Garlic and Garden Sage"

"Roasted Ears of Corn" becomes "Roasted Corn with Smoked Bacon and Caramelized Vidalia Onions"

"Cheese grits" becomes "Baked Grits with Sundried Tomatoes, Garlic and Fresh Goat Cheese"

These websites have some New Southern Cooking menus that might be helpful:


Magnolia Grill

Charleston Grill

I hope this helps. If you need something more, let me know.


Smoked Almonds

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mike 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Monday, August 18, 2003 5:01 PM
  Subject: need a recipe


   I am looking for a recipe for "smoked almonds".  Do you have such a recipe or know where 
   I can find one?


Hello Mike,

There are two ways to go about it. One involves actually smoking the almonds in a smoker, and the other involves using liquid smake flavoring. Both types are below.


  Smoked Almonds

  2 cups almonds
  2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  Fine salt

  Melt the butter and coat the almonds.

  Get the smoker to 300-325 degrees F. You want to use a very mild wood, I use apple, but any of the fruit 
  woods would work. Once your wood starts to smoke, place the almonds on a piece of foil in a SINGLE layer 
  and place inside the smoker. Smoke for about 20-30 minutes, turning them several times to assure even 
  smoking. After removing from smoker, add salt to taste.
  Smoked Almonds 
  Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method 
  -------- ------------ -------------------------------- 
  1/2 tsp. liquid smoke 
  2 tsp. water 
  1 cup almonds 
  1 tbsp. oil 

  Mix liquid smoke and water. Then add almonds and mix well. Let stand overnight. 

  Drain almonds and place in shallow pan. Add oil and toss until well coated. Roast in 300 degree oven for 
  25 minutes, stirring frequently. When golden, remove and sprinkle with salt. 

  Yield: 1 cup. 

Double Chocolate Pudding

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Eileen
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 8:52 PM
  Subject: chocolate pudding

  Dear Phaedrus,

Am searching for a recipe I recall was named "dougle dip chocolate pudding" which was found the 
The New York Times several years back.  What I most remember about it was that at the very end 
of cooking you added in instant espresso coffee and more bittersweet chocolate chips.  Fantastic!!!
         Can you help?
         Very truly yours,

Hello Eileen,

Is this it? The website said it was from the NY Times.


  Double Dip Of Chocolate Pudding
    a.. 1/2 cup sugar 
    b.. 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
    c.. 21/2 tablespoons cornstarch 
    d.. Pinch of salt 
    e.. 1 large egg plus 2 yolks 
    f.. 2 cups milk 
    g.. 4 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped 
    h.. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
    i.. 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder 
    j.. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
    k.. Combine sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. 
    l.. Whisk egg and yolks together in a small bowl. Add sugar mixture, and whisk to a smooth paste. 
        Set aside. 
    m.. Scald milk in medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat immediately. Add 1/2 cups 
        hot milk to egg mixture; whisk until smooth. Slowly pour this mixture back into saucepan with the 
	hot milk. Whisk constantly until smooth. 
    n.. Place saucepan over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. 
        Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate, butter, instant coffee and vanilla. Continue whisking 
	until smooth. 
    o.. Scrape the pudding into four individual serving dishes or one bowl. Cool to room temperature, 
        cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour or more. Serve with cream, whipped 
	or plain. 
    p.. Yield: Four servings. 
    q.. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 435 calories, 25 grams fat, 190 milligrams cholesterol, 
	115 milligrams sodium, 10 grams protein, 55 grams carbohydrate. 

Kosher Pickles

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lori
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 7:47 AM
  Subject: Kosher Deli fresh cumcumber pickle

  I have been trying to find a recipe to make the kind of pickles I used to get at a delicatessen in Chicago.  
  They came out of a big jar and were big, they were very crisp and tasted both of cucumber and garlic, as 
  if they had just been dipped in a brine and not pickled in the jar.  Do you know of such a recipe?  I would 
  love to be able to make these myself, as I have moved to a small Wisconsin town and can't find anything like 
  them.  Thanks so much!


Hi Lori,

Are these deli style kosher garlic dills? If so see the recipe below. If not, then I'll have to have some sort of name for them in order to locate a recipe.


  Deli-Style Kosher Dill Pickles

  Per gallon jar:
  8-10 cucumbers for pickling (a medium size)
  1-large handful fresh dill with flower heads (or add 1/4 teaspoon dill seed if flower heads are missing)
  4-6 large cloves of garlic, flattened 
  1/2-cup coarse kosher salt or pickling salt
  4 teaspoons pickling spice (Blue Ribbon, or other)
  1-2 large bay leaves

  Pack each gallon jar with cucumbers, sprinkling salt between each layer
  Add pickling spice, salt, dill (dill heads) and bay leaves
  Fill jar with water but leave two inches of room for brine to form
  You may prepare this in large crocks (something non-reactive) and then transfer to glass jars when finished
  Weigh cucumbers down to keep submerged and cover
  After 2-3 days, remove scum (if any has formed)
  Let ferment 3 more days and check for doneness by cutting off a slice of one cucumber
  Once they are fermented to the right stage (to taste), transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate 
  Ferment longer (12-20 days) for pungent sour pickles

  Real deli-style Kosher pickles have no vinegar added in the process unlike regular dills. They get their 
  bite from fermentation. Just like when you go to the grocery store and see pickles in the refrigerated 
  section, these pickles must be kept in the fridge. The fermenting will continue unabated if you don't 
  stop it by putting them in the refrigerator. The cold greatly slows down the fermentation but won't stop 
  it completely. It will continue to age but at a much slower rate until the pickles are eaten. 

Brass Rail Salad Dressing

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jenness 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 4:18 PM


  I sure hope you can help me.  My mother-in-law and I obtained a recipe years ago from a restaurant 
  that has since burnt mother-in-law has died and I have lost my copy of the recipe.

  The restaurant was in Dupo, Illinois.....across the Mississippi River from St. of 
  restaurant was THE BRASS RAIL.  They had the best house salad with the BEST dressing on it.

  Best to my knowledge it had tomato soup, finely diced onions, sugar and vinegar of some type.  
  They topped the salad off  with julienne beets.

  I have searched the internet for it and I have run out of ideas to look under.  It was called 

  I would really, really appreciate you finding it for me.

  Forever in Your Debt

Hi Jenness,

Well, I had given up and written to tell you that I couldn't find it, but.... I decided to check one more place, and maybe..... just maybe...... See below.


  Brass  Rail  French  Dressing

   Ingredients : 
   1 (10 oz.) can tomato soup
   1 c. sugar
   1 c. vinegar
   1/2 c. vegetable oil
   1 tsp. salt
   1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
   1 tsp. dry mustard
   1 tsp. paprika

   Preparation : 
     Combine ingredients in a blender and mix until done.  Store in


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