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.

DIFFERENT HENS IN FAMILIAR PLACES


DIFFERENT HENS IN FAMILIAR PLACES

Chilly weather and the beautiful change of colors of North Georgia in November, the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, and of course, Thanksgiving. Just thinking about the season makes me hungry. It is a favorite for us all, and normally we gather with our extended families around the traditional 15-pound turkey and a dozen side dishes. But what if there is just the two of you, or a turkey isn’t what you want this time around, and you want to save the big bird for Christmas. Well, you have a few choices for your poultry needs and they are poulet rouge (from Plow Point Farms), duck, goose, chicken, turkey, pigeoneaux, dove, quail, pheasant, and Rock Cornish game hens. We will be preparing the game hen. The recipe will work just as well with any of the other birds, but there is something of a guilty pleasure in having a whole bird of your own on the plate. Choose your sides from whatever is looking the best in the produce section.
(If your mood is towards one whole bird to split for two then use a poulet rouge hen from Plow Point Farms in Oconee County. The BEST chickens I have ever eaten. )

Tyson Farms created the Rock Cornish game hens we normally see in the grocery store in the middle 1960’s. The original Cornish game hen is from the land of King Lear, Cornwall, England. They are quite affordable and just the thing if you want treat yourself to something special for dinner without the high cost, hours of basting, or endless leftovers hanging out in your refrigerator.
Poulet rouge, aka red hen of the piedmont and in our case, of Oconee county, Georgia. This breed of chicken is longer, meatier without being fatty but remaining juicy at any stage, be it fresh and roasted to 165 degrees internal temperature on the thigh bone, or as leftovers. The flavor is very smooth, texture is meaty yet juicy. I am amazed by this perfect chicken in any preparation. I have mostly approached it with the cuisine of my past, Haute Cuisine, French Continental and whether stuffed under the skin with herb butter or chevre and roasted; boned and folded around shiitake mushrooms, garlic and feta cheese; buttermilk marinade and Southern fried; cut into six pieces and roasted with a light golden stock; Thanksgiving style roasted whole with carrots, turnips, small onions, garlic and red potatoes, it does not matter because any way it is prepared it is the best chicken you will ever eat. Cornish game hens and poulet rouge are definitely my two go-to birds when I have a need for chicken…and that’s a lot!
You will find adobo seasoning in the Mexican section at your grocery store. Cardamom is usually used in sweet pastries, but in this case it is a great compliment in bringing together the spice of the adobo and the deep flavors of black strap molasses. If you can find it, black cardamom adds a very unique Indian flavor to your dish. What you end up with is a combination of bright and deep flavors, with each taste complimenting the other.
(Please try out all of the choices that we have for sweet flavors, from granulated white sugar to the different honeys, molasses, palm sugar, turbinado, maple syrups, and grades of sugar, including slices of raw sugar cane. Although most sugars are not considered healthy, black strap molasses is truly good for you as it is converted into energy and is not stored as fat in your body. Take a cup of wild flower honey and add orange, lemon and lime skins (no white), 1 stick of cinnamon and one piece star anise. Mix and cover. Store in cabinet for three days. Honey syrup to live for!)

ADOBO AND PLUM GAME HENS
2 1 1/4 pound each, Cornish game hens
Thaw them out in your refrigerator. This will take a day or two, but don’t rush it. Remove neck and giblets from cavity. Rinse in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.
COMBINE
2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1/3 cup Molasses
1/4 cup Light soy sauce
Rub the season mix half of it over the skin and inside the cavity of the hens. Refrigerate overnight. Save the rest of the seasoning for when you cook them.
STUFFING
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
8 purple plums, peel and remove the stones
2 teabags Darjeeling tea, remove tea from bags
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup warm water to bind the stuffing
(If you cannot find fresh plums, don’t be ashamed to use canned or dried. It’s ok to substitute with nectarines, apricots, lychee, rambutan, jackfruit, peaches or even apples and pears.)

Mix the stuffing in a small bowl. Now fill the cavity of each hen with the stuffing mix. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub the rest of the seasoning on the hens. Roast in small roasting pan for one hour.
There are two ways to check for doneness. The first is with your trusty thermometer, which will register 180 degrees, the second is to insert the tip of a boning knife into the section between the thigh and breast, the juices of the bird will run clear. If the liquid is cloudy then it is not done. Do both and you will see how it works. The skin is going to be dark, so don’t think that you have burned your dinner, remember, we seasoned with molasses and soy. Let the birds rest for 10 minutes after you take them out of the oven before you have your dinner. This allows the juices to settle and the meat to tighten back up after the cooking. They will slice easier, and will taste better if you allow this resting time.
CORNISH HEN MOLE (pronounced MO-Lay)
A mole is a very popular central Mexico and Central American dish and style of cooking. It involves a clay pot. That’s easy. Then it uses chocolate, chilies, aromatic spices, tomato, herbs, nuts, garlic and dried apricots or other dried fruits to balance the heat. Mole is one of the more complicated sauces/dishes to prepare and requires a bold hand with the seasonings and a gentle method of cooking. Think of it in terms of Thai curries, Vietnamese soups, French cassoulet, or Spanish paella and you’ll get an idea of how serious this dish is to the Oaxacan cooks of central Mexican. As you may have noticed, chocolate is not just a dessert or drink; chocolate can be used throughout a meal as a garnish and central ingredient to every course. Chocolate is bitter, sweet, dry, moist, bittersweet and even hot, but never white, as white chocolate has no chocolate and is made with coconut and palm sugars.
We are using Cornish hen because it is small, tasty, and tender, doesn’t take forever to cook, will fill up with the mole flavors and not fill you up. And because I think that Cornish game hens taste great and are an easy small entrée for two to share in a meal of several courses.
Toast the nuts/seeds with the spices before adding to the mix. Do this in a pan in a 475~ oven for ten minutes. Do not be afraid of the list of ingredients. You can use garam masala as your base and go from there if you like, or buy a premade mole as your base and season from that as a starting point.
MOLE
¼ cup duck fat or olive oil
1-tablespoon chipotle, chopped
2 tablespoons poblano, diced
2 tablespoons onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup tomato, chopped, seeded
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/3-cup mixed peanuts and cashews, toasted
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
½ teaspoon cloves, toasted
½ teaspoon cinnamon, toasted
½ teaspoon ginger, toasted
1-teaspoon allspice, toasted
2 tablespoons dried Oregano
1/3 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh Parsley, chopped
1 cup unsweetened Chocolate
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sea salt

The mole takes one hour of cooking on the stove for the sauce to reach the correct flavor and consistency.
I prefer a large iron skillet to cook this part of the dish. If you do not have one then use a stainless steel thick, large high sided pan, not a soup pot. Use a large wooden spoon for the stirring. Heat the duck fat, lard or oil on medium high heat in the pan, and add the peppers and onions. Cook until they are soft. Add the garlic and tomato and cook on medium low heat for fifteen minutes. Add the toasted nuts and herbs and stir. Add the fresh herbs, stir. Cook for fifteen minutes. Add the chocolate and stir, turn up the heat to medium and keep stirring for five minutes. Add chicken stock and Worcestershire, stir and turn heat to low. Let simmer uncovered on low for about fifteen more minutes. You will need to stir it from time to time to keep it from splattering or sticking to the pan. It will be thick but still liquid. If it is too thick then add more chicken stock.
Remove from heat and let cool. Overnight is fine or you can mix it with the hen and immediately cook in the oven.
HENS
The mole is enough for two hens. Thoroughly wash the hens in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Did you remove the giblet bag from inside the cavity? Cut the bird into six pieces.
Put the pieces into a large bowl and mix with the mole. Put in heavy duty roasting pan or clay pot. Preheat oven to 375~ and cook for one hour.
You can also add the cut up hens to the mole sauce as it cooks and simmer it this way for thirty minutes right in the sauce and it will be very tender and spicy. It’s just that the way in the pan requires constant attention and in the oven you can just let the oven do the work while you enjoy the other courses of your fine Valentine’s dinner.
Divide between two plates. Squeeze a half lime over the dishes to add an extra lift to the flavors. A good side would be quinoa or wild rice. Divide an apple, Asian pear or a bunch of grapes to share with this as well. Fruit and Chocolate
POULET ROUGE TRADITIONAL
If you are feeling more traditionally inclined and want to make your hens taste like the bird of the last 25 years then but better:
SPICE RUB
2 ounces butter
½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning (ground sage and bay leaves)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Crush ingredients in your spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Rub under the skin.

STUFFING
1 stalk celery, fine dice
½ medium white onion, fine dice
2 cups coarse Italian bread crumbs
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1//4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 egg yolks
Combine and divide, stuff into the cavity of the bird.
ROASTING
6 small red potatoes
1 large turnip, rough chopped
2 cups acorn squash, peeled, seeded and rough chopped
1 leek, washed and diced up to the light green stalk
4 cippolinni onions, peeled and stems removed
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup very rich chicken stock

Roast 45 minutes at 425 degrees. Baste every 15 minutes. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 30 minutes. It really is that easy.
Collards and field peas go great with this way of cooking the poulet rouge.

THANKSGIVING
Early evening opening into a November sky

Of fog brightened stars and shadowed trees,

Wicker chairs creaking as we lean back and yawn,

Sharing sweet warm tea and Anjou pears.

Coltrane’s Meditation on the stereo,

It flows and rises.

Dark eyes, brown and gold, sea deep,

Mahogany-black hair, thin strands

Moving along with the autumn song

Of the wind and the birds in our garden.

It’s so peaceful here, after dinner,

Relaxed and easy, where this is the wish:

The working world slips away and it’s just us,

Here on the back porch, feeling the night,

Feeling it all wrap around us

So vibrant and crisp,

Alive with thanksgiving,

With each other.

Donnie And Sanni Chambers, Married 4.17.10 A Beautiful Day


ATHENS, GEORGIA, RIVERHILL ROAD APRIL 17 2010

It was a constellation rich night in the early heat of summer.
Me and a pack of poets and musicians gathered together
For a big feast, in a big backyard, with big stories to tell,
And there’s all the time in the world to tell them,
Yeah, and there’s even more time to listen to them.
Georgia’s sweet that way, we talk, we talk a lot.
I want to talk about Donnie, and about this woman he loves.
The man, he’s so beautiful when he’s in love, his voice
Not quite so torn and his eyes not baggy, almost clear.
And it was this woman, this svelte gorgeous mystery, Sanni,
She arose at the just the right moment,
We all started singing famous hayride songs,
He started writing about dawn and dances,
About Halleluiah and victories in a kiss.
It’s like that, Sanni arrived. I swear I saw him smile.
That snap of the seconds when we all thought
He had had his last date with silver linings.
We saw the azaleas and wisteria start blooming.
This looming man for whom happiness was once a taunt.
He was happy. Donnie, singing rock and roll.
Was he ready to set sail up the brown Oconee River?
Was he ready to follow catfish and perch
To the Bear Creek Reservoir?
Not yet. No. He was not ready.
This guys playing an electric guitar.
It was just like that, right now, when Sanni arrived.
She looked at him and smiled and I swear
I heard rainbows shooting down his Vaudeville days.
And today it is just like this, in a day famous for it’s luster,
On an afternoon more full with joy than mosquitoes and mist,
Yep, today it is just like this, Sanni and Donnie have arrived.

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

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

%d bloggers like this: