Friday, November 7, 2008


was addressed by the wine guy, Andy Chabot, from the acclaimed gourmet inn, Blackberry Farm in Tenn. who spoke at the Southern Foodways symposium.
Take your finger and trace the latitude from the mid-South across a globe, and where do you wind up?  Southern France, northern Spain and Italy. 
So choose wines from these regions to pair with the South's grandest cuisine, even if it's collard greens.  
Pork, esp, goes well with earthy, peppery Rhone wines (photo - country ham sample from Junior Johnson - yeah, the old race car driver/moonshiner, along with henpecked mustard, paired with a lovely Beaucastel from the Chateauneuf du Papes region). 
Italy's Piedmont region matches with Southern foods well, with wines made from the Nebbiola grape that has more tannin and acid.  Look for Barolos and Barbaresco, if you can afford them.
From the foothills of the Pyrenees in NE Spain, try a Priorato, made from the grenache grape that's also found in most Rhones.  They're high in alcohol, have a mineral taste, and forward fruit that stands up to Collard Greens!                                                                                                      

I've always heard that collards need a good frost in the fall before they're good to eat.  Vendors at the State Farmers Market were advertising theirs "with frost!"
Collards, mustard greens, and turnip greens are in season now. Grits love to hide in their creases, so they have to be washed and washed and washed before chopped and cooked.
The traditional way to cook any of these is to simmer for about at least an hour with a piece of pork rind or ham hock, even bacon.
I prefer to do a coarse chop, then brown a piece or two of bacon, then place the greens, wet, in the grease and sautee just for about 12 to 15 minutes, sometimes with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Then, when they just are tender, I splash balsamic vinegar over them.  Delish!

Covington Sweet Potato Hash
Last night, I cubed a couple of Covington's, admiring their nice red skin and bright orange flesh.  I placed those cubes in a saute pan and added enough water to cover the bottom, then let that boil for just a few until the potatoes were just tender.  Then I drained them, added chopped sweet red onions to the pan with olive oil, sauteed them until soft, added the sweet potatoes back and sprinkled them with some chopped fresh rosemary.  Salt and pepper, and oh my!  A great dish, fresh from the morning's foray at the farmers market.

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