Post Roast and Yeast Rolls Rambling in October


AUTUMN OVENS AND A STYLE OF ROLLS
Rains in the early morning have a kind of gastronomic compass quick at work. It’s like a persuasion of sorts, this rain. I can practically see the colors change across the hardwood tree canopy in this last bastion of woods in Clarke County. Turning over and looking at a lone rose in my backyard, a rabidly budding rose hips bush gives it’s wild best to keep me in citrus-y tea all winter.
But that’s just the start of a great morning. The flavors of a classic Sunday beef pot roast and yeast rolls shakes me out of bed. You and I both know it builds a pretty strong case to get in the kitchen early.
The cut of beef is the rump roast which is above the round on the haunches of beef cattle. It is a tough cut of meat that tenderizes in the Dutch oven as it roasts with the vegetables, stock, seasonings and vinegar or wine. You can use an iron Dutch oven or clay. I like both but am using the cast iron version as it is closest to what my Mother used to make hers, and I am personally more comfortable with iron. Giving the secret to her recipe was part of my brother’s requirement for my sister in law when he married. He loves it that much, we all do, actually. Fresh pearl onions are key. This is not her exact recipe.
The yeast rolls were intoxicating. They would sit in front of heater vents with cheese cloth laid over the top like a blanket of mist. The timing for the rise perfectly matched our return from Church. Come home, change cloths, wait for Mamaw and any other guests to arrive, then it was time for pot roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, English peas, yeast rolls and sweet tea. This was Sunday in Autumn. This is a purely American meal with nods to the West African and French culinary sources that permeated the South during her formative years.

Depending on the corn, peas or beans in season we would shuck them all week off and on while sitting on the front porch, waving at neighbors, my buddies on their 3 speed bikes with banana seats and butterfly handlebars, watching my sister’s boyfriends drive by and give a honk of any number of Mustang Fastback, Camero, Firebird, Cutlass 396, Shelby Cobra, Ford Torino Cobra, Mercury Montego MX, Buick GSX, Dodge Super Bee, ‘66 Corvette, Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, Pontiac GTO, or Dodge Challenger, muscle car set of wheels that would make any kid drool with excitement over these gas guzzling wonders of the back roads, Plymouth Road Runners spinning out doing doughnuts at the ball park, her eventual husband driving up in a Oldsmobile 442 ragtop, my brother running off to pitching practice, me just running off, our crazy beagle/fox terrier dog Bob chasing every single car that turned onto our street, Mother talking about her sisters and the history of our town. “Just what is the other side of the tracks?” Yeah, this was sitting on the front porch as it was meant to be, shelling peas for supper and watching the coolest cars in Tucker stream on by through the warm autumn afternoons. Slow Food? We lived it then and we can live it today. The easiest place to start is with local produce, the flavors will send most memories into family meals and occasions free of discord or time. That was our home during the twilight of sleepy neighborhoods, scenes that we alone have the power to continue and evolve.

SOUTHERN POT ROAST (because I just cannot call it Yankee)
Use a 3 pound round, chuck or rump roast for this dish. Cooking time is approximately 2 ½ hours start to finish. Cook in 300 degree oven, allowing 12 minutes per pound. Start on stove top. You can use either iron or clay Dutch Oven, this recipe is for cast iron. If you cannot find pearl onions then use cipollini onions which are flatter than round. They are perfect for roasting and I like them both equally but have used the cipollini more professionally than the pearl variety.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, high quality here
5 strips Bacon or guanciale (smoked/cured jowl)
3 to 4 pound Boneless round
12 Black peppercorns
24 Pearl onions, peeled, whole
2 Bell peppers, seeded, diced
1 1/2 cups Butternut squash, peeled, 1 inch dice
1 1/2 cups Pumpkin, peeled, 1 inch dice
2 cups Red potatoes, 1 inch dice
4 large Tomatoes, chopped
1 pint Beef stock
1 cup Burgundy or balsamic/red vinegar blend
1/3 cup Dale’s Marinade
1 tablespoon Rosemary, fresh
1 ½ teaspoon Thyme, dried
5 Bay leaves
6 cloves Garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons Leaf parsley, chopped, washed
3 tablespoons Cane or Date molasses
3 ounces European Butter

Everything takes place in the Dutch oven.
Heat the olive oil and bacon together over medium high heat. When the bacon is rendered remove it from the pan and add the beef. Brown it on all sides.
Add the potatoes, pumpkin and bell peppers, cook two minutes. Add squash, onion and tomatoes, cook three minutes and then add rest of ingredients except the butter. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. This will be roughly 20 minutes on the stove top. Baste the roast before putting in oven. Put bacon on top of roast. Cover and cook for 60 minutes at 300 degrees. Remove. Keep covered for 10 minutes. Check tenderness and temperature. This will not be rare or even medium rare, it is a pot roast which means it will be cooked completely in the juices and vegetables held in by the design of the Dutch oven.
Remove meat and vegetables. Skim fat. Add butter and stir into the liquids. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour to thicken into consistency of a gravy. Serve in gravy boat at the table during supper.
YEAST ROLLS
Yeast rolls are exactly what they sound like, rolls made with yeast as the ingredient to give it rise and body. Biscuits use baking soda and baking powder for this effect but is not as light or flaky as can be found in yeast rolls. Yeast rolls take time, a bit of work and an accurate oven. There are dozens of recipes and techniques. I am using a recipe that best approximates that of my youth.
A few words on yeast: we have dry active, fast active, compressed fresh yeast cakes, and brewers yeast. Yeast dies over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Brewers yeast is used for the nutritive benefits as ingredient, gravy and for brewing beer. Dry yeast keeps a long time in the pantry and requires about 20 minutes to foam and rise in warm water. Fast acting dry yeast has very small grains, can be added to flour when warm water is later added to mix or will rise within minutes when mixed into warm water. Yeast is a living thing. Salt inhibits yeast. High heat kills yeast after it has risen and holds the flours in tight or big bubbles for rolls, pizza and various bread doughs. When making basic yeast breads you need to have your yeast mixed into 80 to 100 degree Fahrenheit water for 15 minutes or until it has doubled, even tripled in size but not much more than that as it will become too loose and will not have enough binding molecules.
Yeast is a single cell organism. A pound of yeast has 32, 000,000,000 cells of fermented sugar cells known as yeast. Yeast requires bread so it is not gluten free. Recall that the glutens given to intolerance in some individuals are wheat, barley and malt. Some people are sensitive to oats as well but in general oats are safe for those who are gluten intolerant.
Makes 20+/- rolls. Use a 9 x 13 pan. 375 degree oven, cook 15 minutes.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar/baking stevia
2 eggs (large)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cup bread flour (finer and higher gluten content than all purpose style)
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
Warm the milk to between 90 and 110 degrees F.

Mix all of the ingredients either with electric mixer dough hook or by hand.
If it is dry add a tablespoon of warm water or warm milk.

Knead until it is smooth and pliable, elastic and not sticking to your hands.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled metal bowl, cover with a damp towel and place in a warm area to rise for an hour or so.Butter the pan.
Split the dough in half, then into 4 equal parts. Divide again, then divide into 3 balls. Cut into 24 pieces. To form rolls, hold a small dough ball inside both hands, cup with opening between index finger and thumb, squeeze into a ball as it emerges from your hands. Sort of like playing but with great results. You are making little balls with just enough air introduced by the gentle squeeze so that they will rise into smooth rolls. Line them up in the greased casserole or baking pan so that they are barely touching, at best not at all. Cover with warm, damp towel. Dough will rise by half before they are ready to bake.
Remove cloth, bake 15 minutes. Very light tan. Brush with softened butter. Serve warm.
Morning rain on the gutters,
Poplars and elm, waterfall
Rattling attic fans and me.
Morning rain rumbles cloud-side down,
Each drop chasing the other,
Faster and faster into lawn and waterway,
Into deep aquifers and the starving Oconee,
A thunder clap snaps Polaroids
Of me awake into one dream in the 8 a.m.
World alive, there is more than this.
Red Mule grits swimming on the stove,
Pale white Vesuvius ready to blow.
The smell of turkey sausage
And French red hen eggs,
A touch of curry
And I’m ready to go….
Go where? Go here?
Already now the day is clearing,
Footfall in the pines so light and steady,
Rosehips, acorns, mushrooms
And sweet peas line the trail,
Trails down river where darters and perch
Fight for water time with catfish
And snapping turtles.
This is morning. My morning here.
A beautiful Georgia morning
In the land of the Creek and Cherokee.

Chinook Salmon and Sesame Catfish


THE RETURN OF THE KINGS OF SUMMER:
GRILLED SALMON WITH PINEAPPLE AND ROSEMARY
AND
SEARED SESAME CATFISH WITH BABY BOK CHOY

The return of summer for the West and the South is defined by two fish, for the West it is salmon and for the South it is catfish. Today we pay our culinary respects to the mighty King Salmon, the Chinook, the Coho, the Pink, the Silver bright (chum), and the fatty, deep red Sockeye. It will be grilled with rosemary and pineapple. This traveler of the oceans who knows two homes, the river bed of their birth and the oceans they explore and live before returning to spawn and die in the smooth rocks from which they were raised. I can imagine no life so determined and so beneficial to all life as the salmon. They swim UP waterfalls! Imagine how they swim upstream. They manage every possible roadblock in the water world. As fingerlings they feed a great amount of other fish, as kings of the sea they devour tons of krill and shrimp. After a few years they return from their mystery tour of the seas to the mouths of the rivers of their birth. They then stop feeding. After crossing our dams and our intrusions, our overheated overflows, our pollution, they pass waterfall and rapids, they pass bears and other mammals, they pass our nets and lures, and then they spawn and die. At the end of this journey they nurture the soil and they enrichen the fresh water with their decaying bones. Parts of our Northwest are alive and green, the rivers themselves are alive, all by the presence of the powerful and life giving salmon.
I feel a kinship to this fish. Much of my life has been enjoyed on the rocks and sands of the magnificent coasts of Northern California and the Carolinas. I am a native Georgian, and by native I mean going back into the 1700’s where my relatives settled into what is known as Tucker, Georgia. There is a lot of Irish and English in my DNA. The wandering nature of my life I attribute to the ancient line of world roaming Celts, and of course of personal love of our beautiful nation. How did I come to enjoy working with the flavors of America and of the far Pacific? By traveling in both life and thought through the vast network of poetry, food and philosophy that this land has to offer. My love of salmon is not just culinary; it is also a philosophic and poetic love. Watching the salmon run on a river is beyond description. Understanding the life of the salmon is to understand how Life interacts in our world where all things really are connected and that all life is sacred. As with all life on this earth we must work to protect and properly harvest salmon so that we can enjoy the flavor and health benefits, and so that the ecosystem can flourish through the life of this unmatched species of life. Wild salmon is filled with all things good for our health. Also, fresh wild salmon is just about one of the best tasting things I have ever eaten. In June I will be hosting a sustainable seafood dinner at the restaurant for those of you interested in the benefits of our streams and oceans.
Now on to the good stuff of why we are here: the fish and the grill! Everything will be cooked on the grill. And I trust you are eating outside, close to the source. Also, if you are buying your fish at Publix or Earthfare, remember that their seafood delivery days are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Ask ahead for special fish so that they can have it in for you. Except for my Hawaiian fish we use the same purveyor, Inland Seafood, so I can vouch for the superb quality.
We will be using wild Chinook salmon for this recipe. If you cannot find the wild Chinook (King), then use sockeye, chum or Coho. If at all possible avoid the Pacific Ocean farmed Atlantic salmon as the harm outweighs the benefits of this particular fish. The first run of Chinook is a treasure. This fish is fatty, healthy, strong, large, and full of wide flaked meat. If you buy the whole fish you can use the head and backbones for fish stock for a rich and hearty chowder. When buying the steak cut go for the one that still has the backbone in it as this has more flavor and is more amenable to the grill. After it has grilled just lift the center bone out of the fish, all the other bones will come along with it.

What better way to celebrate Summer than with the best of both coasts? Catfish and Salmon! We will have catfish for the appetizer and salmon for the entrée. I recommend frozen green grapes, blueberries and raspberries sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar for a cooling dessert.
The history of Southern cuisine is lush with odes to catfish. From the catch to the table this slick fellow is the South. Can you imagine the writings of Mark Twain, or even our own late, beloved Lewis Grizzard without catfish? As a boy I learned to fish by catching bream, crappie and catfish. Later in life I developed a love of fly-fishing for trout and steelhead. A s my Uncle Allen Driscoll tells me I will end up at the end of a boat spinning for the three great bass species. Any way it goes, I am happy just to be near the water. This is pretty much how it is for most of us who grow up in a fishing boat, on the edge of a stream, or in the cold surf.
Farmed catfish is a stellar example of environmentally friendly and delicious fish cultivation. Catfish, trout and tilapia farming are what fish farming is all about. Everything is used, and nothing is poisonous to the earth or to us, the consumer. And besides, each one is delicious and easy to prepare.
For our grill we use an equal portion of two different charcoal briquettes, coconut and hickory. Coconut charcoal for intense heat, and hickory for the flavor.
It has to be blazing hot for the catfish appetizer so don’t fear the red glow from the base of your grill when the coconut charcoals are primed. By the time you get to cooking the salmon (20 minutes) the coals will have calmed down a bit and the hickory smoke will be dominate in the mix. This meal is for 4 people.
Four hours before it’s time to eat you will do all of the preparations. This way when the grill is ready all you do is cook and eat. Oh yes!
SESAME CATFISH
1 pound catfish cut into two inch cubes
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 ounces cilantro, fresh, chopped
4 tablespoons poblano pepper, diced
1 cup beer (yeah beer, any non-light kind)
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons sesame oil
8 bamboo skewers
Mix all together in bowl and marinade in refrigerator for three hours. This removes the pond taste and gives them an extra punch of flavor. Four pieces of catfish per skewer.
GREENS
4 heads baby bok choy (find this at Fooks Market on Baxter St)
1 medium red onion (or Vidalia if they are any good this year)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in long thin strips
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut in long thin strips
1/2 cup sweet rice vinegar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
Cut the baby bok choy (a.k.a. Shanghai cabbage) in half. Slice the red onion in rings. Mix all together in large mixing bowl and marinade two to three hours. After it marinades, drain the liquid before cooking it. Roll the Shanghai cabbage in aluminum foil.
SALMON
4 –8 ounce salmon steaks
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons coarse pink sea salt, or any other coarse salt
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
1/2 cup oyster sauce (Asian section of store or at Fooks store)
1/3 cup corn oil
4 stalks rosemary, fresh of course
1 pineapple, check to see that it is a sweet one
When it comes to the oyster sauce, as with all things culinary the better the brand the better the flavor. Mix the pineapple juice, salt, black pepper, and oyster sauce together. Core and cut the pineapple into one-inch thick triangles. Cut the rosemary stalks into 8 two-inch pieces. Pierce each salmon with two rosemary fronds. Rub the salmon steaks with the oyster sauce mixture and let them set in this for about thirty minutes. Save the juices for brushing the steaks while they grill. Save the corn oil for grilling time. You can buy rosemary bushes at Home Depot.
IF you have a rosemary bush all you gotta do is reach over and pinch a bunch off of the bush and throw it on the grill for extra flavor. Two years ago I presented a salmon recipe with rosemary, so as an anniversary memoir I am using the two together again, in a different way, but still together. Fresh rosemary is an incredibly versatile herb that I think is not used enough in the home kitchen from appetizers to desserts. It must be fresh. I’ve used it in crème brulee, ice creams, savory dishes, with fruits, with roasts, on the grill, and as a garnish. Fresh rosemary is without bounds and in many ways has more uses than even the most popular of all, basil.

HONEY WASABI SAUCE FOR THE SALMON
1 tablespoon wasabi powder
1/2 cup honey (check for different kinds of flower honey)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
Whisk all together and refrigerate until time for supper.
VEGETABLE
Do you ever feel as if you were a slave to the will and whim of the grocery stores here in the Athens area? FOOKS on Baxter in Athens is a great choice for a concise selection of Pan Asian ingredients.
That no matter what you plan they will not have the best produce that you need? If that is the case then make the drive to the International Farmers Market, or to the market at 99 Ranch, and best of the best is Super H on Pleasantdale Road. What you save in groceries far exceeds the cost of gas in driving there and back. If you have no idea what it is that you are looking at when you examine the produce, the seafood or the prepared foods and ingredients then just ask anyone close by. In my experiences most of the time people are more than happy and ready to not only tell you what a food is but also how best to prepare it the same way they did in their native lands.
If you are afraid to try the too culturally different, then stick to the tried and true of grilling our own sweet corn and zucchini, yellow squash, or green tomatoes. After all, Southern cuisine is a true and valued food all it’s own just the same as any other international cuisine like French, Chinese or Italian. True Southern, for many of us, is really the first and foremost food of life. Thing is, you really must follow the rules of fresh and take your time. Fresh is the only way to cook. There is no excuse today to cook any other way. Some will eat to live, and others happily live to eat. I prefer to live to eat. When you live to eat there is no obstacle too great to stand between yourself and a cherished meal or ingredient.

So, if you can’t make the drive and the yellow squash is looking good then go with the squash. It’s the same for sweet corn as either is perfect on the grill with salmon and pineapple. The plate will be sort of yellow looking but that’s ok. Sometimes our foods can’t be as colorful as we would like.
GRILLING
The first stage is ready. The grill is fire hot from the coconut or cherry wood coals. Place the roll of Shanghai cabbage on the backside of the grill. After five minutes brush the grill with peanut oil and place the catfish skewers on the grill. Cover the grill. Turn them after five minutes. Turn again and cook for another five minutes. So, that’s fifteen minutes cook time for the first course.
Unroll the baby bock choy and divide between four plates. Place two catfish skewers on each plate. Pour the juice from the boy choy over the food. Garnish with lemon and cilantro.
For the salmon brush the grill with corn oil. The heat should be a bit calmer by this time. You will grill the fish five minutes per side, turning three times. Be careful when you turn the fish over as they may stick, so use a flat metal spatula to loosen them off of the grill rails. Place pineapple on the grill at the same time as the salmon, but only turn the pineapple triangles two times. This is also fifteen minutes cook time for the second course of your meal. The squash only needs about ten minutes. Corn will need about fifteen minutes. The hickory flavor of the smoke should be plenty enough seasoning for the vegetables. If that is not enough then sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little bit of chopped fresh garlic.
When they have cooked remove the salmon from the grill and pull out the backbone. Then pull out the rosemary sticks. Brush the fish with the honey wasabi mayonnaise and set on plates. Arrange pineapple and vegetable around your centerpiece of salmon. Sprinkle chopped macadamia nuts or cashews mixed with chopped parsley and rosemary over it all. Garnish with lime and red bell pepper.
FROZEN BERRIES
1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
1 bunch green seedless grapes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pick the grapes off the stems. Arrange the fruits on a freezer proof plate. Sprinkle with the sugar. Freeze. When it’s time to eat just place the plate on the table and munch along as the sun goes down on your perfect Georgia day with friends by the grill. And that, all together, is the way to live to eat.

GRILLING MY LIFE AWAY
Sometimes a warm summer night is all we need
To see how beloved this Southern life can be,
For me it’s how I cherish, how I care and prepare,
For others it’s just the way the day crawls by,
How we sit and chat and watch the flowers in the breeze,
And any way you slice it there’s no other way to live
Than passing the time on a porch in Georgia in late August.

proletaria

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𝓡. 𝓐. 𝓓𝓸𝓾𝓰𝓵𝓪𝓼

𝙳𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚖 𝚋𝚒𝚐! 𝙻𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚛!

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Immature poet imitate...but the mature one steal from the depth of the heart

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Welkom op de blog van Discobar Bizar. Druk gerust wat op de andere knoppen ook, of lees het aangrijpende verhaal van Harry nu je hier bent. Welcome to the Discobar Bizar blog, feel free to push some of the other buttons, or to read the gripping story of Harry whilst you are here!

the poet's billow

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MY TROUBLED MIND

confessions are self-serving

proletaria

politics philosophy phenomena

Poems for Warriors

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain..." 1 Cor. 15:10

LUNA

Pen to paper

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Sircharlesthepoet

Poetry by Charles Joseph

susansflowers

garden ponderings

𝓡. 𝓐. 𝓓𝓸𝓾𝓰𝓵𝓪𝓼

𝙳𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚖 𝚋𝚒𝚐! 𝙻𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚛!

Flutter of Dreams

Dreaming in Music and Writing by Mel Gutiér

RhYmOpeDia

Immature poet imitate...but the mature one steal from the depth of the heart

hotfox63

IN MEMORY EVERYTHING SEEMS TO HAPPEN TO MUSIC -Tennessee Williams

My Cynical Heart

Welcome to my world.

Discobar Bizar

Welkom op de blog van Discobar Bizar. Druk gerust wat op de andere knoppen ook, of lees het aangrijpende verhaal van Harry nu je hier bent. Welcome to the Discobar Bizar blog, feel free to push some of the other buttons, or to read the gripping story of Harry whilst you are here!

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

MY TROUBLED MIND

confessions are self-serving

proletaria

politics philosophy phenomena

Poems for Warriors

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain..." 1 Cor. 15:10

LUNA

Pen to paper

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Sircharlesthepoet

Poetry by Charles Joseph

susansflowers

garden ponderings

𝓡. 𝓐. 𝓓𝓸𝓾𝓰𝓵𝓪𝓼

𝙳𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚖 𝚋𝚒𝚐! 𝙻𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚛!

Flutter of Dreams

Dreaming in Music and Writing by Mel Gutiér

RhYmOpeDia

Immature poet imitate...but the mature one steal from the depth of the heart

hotfox63

IN MEMORY EVERYTHING SEEMS TO HAPPEN TO MUSIC -Tennessee Williams

My Cynical Heart

Welcome to my world.

Discobar Bizar

Welkom op de blog van Discobar Bizar. Druk gerust wat op de andere knoppen ook, of lees het aangrijpende verhaal van Harry nu je hier bent. Welcome to the Discobar Bizar blog, feel free to push some of the other buttons, or to read the gripping story of Harry whilst you are here!

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

MY TROUBLED MIND

confessions are self-serving

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