Saturday, March 7, 2015

Appetizing Aperture

“Pure Pork Awesomeness,” the second cookbook from Atlanta chef, restaurateur and “Top Chef” alum Kevin Gillespie, squeals onto shelves March 31. Be one of the first to the trough and pig out with Gillespie at a special “Pure Pork Awesomeness” Cookbook Party at his nationally acclaimed Glenwood Park restaurant Gunshow on Sunday, March 29 from 2-6 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include a signed copy of the book plus a plethora of pork portions such as Korean barbecued pork bulgogi, Indianapolis-style fried pork loin sandwiches and Buffalo pork “wings.” Chase your pig with drink specials including brews from SweetWater Brewing Company. Preview of the preview? The recipe for spicy sausage and kale soup, a favorite of Gillespie’s mom, is plucked right from the book and so right for cold winter nights. 
Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup
(Makes 3 quarts)    
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
2½ cups ¼-inch-diced Vidalia onion
8 cloves garlic, thickly sliced, about ¼ cup
1 tablespoon Espelette pepper or hot paprika
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for garnish
3 Yukon gold potatoes, halved and then sliced into ¼-inch slices, about 3 cups
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
4 cups packed sliced kale leaves, preferably black lacinato kale, tough ribs removed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar 
Refrigerate the pork until well chilled; the fat should be solid and firm. Chill your meat grinder and the large die. Toss 1¼ cups of the onion, 2 tablespoons of the garlic, Espelette pepper, fennel seeds, salt, and red pepper flakes with the pork and mix well. Chill until ready to grind. Assemble the meat grinder and grind the pork into a large bowl. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the ground pork, stirring gently until it just starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1¼ cups onion and 2 tablespoons garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Your sausage should be crumbly. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with oil. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover and decrease the heat to low. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through and are just starting to break apart, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid, add the cheese and kale, and cook until the kale is completely wilted, about 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the vinegar. Garnish each bowl with additional Parmesan cheese and a heavy drizzle of olive oil. The oil and other garnishes take the soup from ho-hum to over the top. 

Friday, March 6, 2015


Some days, only a two-handed, double-decker, gut-busting burger will do the trick. @burgerdays pictures insider information on where to find the best burgers in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia (okay, so sometimes they wander outside their zone). You pretty much need a big honking napkin to view this Instagram page because it’s so juicy. There are even more fun buns on their Burger Days website

Play HOBNOB Beer Bingo to Win Drinks, Appetizers or a Free Dinner for Two

Up, down, across or fill ‘er up. HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern Beer Bingo broadens your brew-savvy horizon one beer and stamp at a time. Each card bears 36 squares with each square naming a different beer. Order a beer and your HOBNOB server will stamp that square on your card. Fill a line down on the card and receive a free draft beer, across wins a free appetizer and a completely stamped-out bingo card wins a free dinner for two at HOBNOB (up to $40). Squares cover the gamut from Atlanta’s own Orpheus Brewing to Mother Earth in North Carolina, Boulevard in Missouri, Ballast Point out west in San Diego and across the Atlantic to Ireland’s Guinness (a perfect St. Pat’s pick). Relax. Beer Bingo is all about getting to know your beers and appreciating each beer’s personality so don’t try to fill the whole card in one visit. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mom Says Enroll in White Oak Pastures CSA Program and Eat Your Organic Vegetables

It’s open enrollment time for the White Oak PasturesCommunity Supported Agriculture (CSA) Main Seasonprogram. The season runs from March 16 through November 16, 2015. There are six convenient pickup locations (detailshere): Albany, Atlanta, Columbus and Thomasville, Georgia; Dothan, Alabama and Tallahassee, Florida. Fill out anapplication and eat easy knowing your USDA Certified organic produce is sustainably planted, tended and harvested by the same hands that drive CSA shares to your city. Each CSA share includes a diverse selection of 8-12 fresh, seasonal produce items -- click through blog archives to get an idea of what’s growing when. Coupon clippers take heart. All CSA members receive discounts on the farm’s pastured meats and pasture-raised eggs when buying them at the farm store, online market or farmers market stalls; free delivery of online purchases to CSA drop-off locations; a tour of the pastures and gardens and an invite to the CSA farmer-hosted dinner. Questions? Email farm manager Ryan Carnley

Be a Fun Guy or Gal at White Oak Pastures' Mushroom Workshop March 7

Make room for ‘shrooms on this weekend’s calendar. Zoom south to the Mushroom Cultivation Workshop at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia on Saturday, March 7. The informative workshop begins with a noon lunch in the Pavilion then spores off into mushroom lifecycle and cultivation discussions. Hands-on activities include inoculating hardwood logs to grow shiitake mushrooms and propagating oyster mushroom spawn. Cap the day learning how to identify wild mushrooms using a dichotomous key -- handy to know so you won’t trifle with the wrong truffle when you’re out foraging. Just when you think you’re stuffed to the gills with info, bag up some oyster mushroom spawn to raise on your own homestead and hit the road around 4 p.m. Arrive at 10 a.m. if you would like to take a farm tour. $60 per person includes lunch, classes and supplies. Limited to 25 participants. Reserve your spot by calling 229-641-2081 or emailing Lori Moshman

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bayou ‘n Bourbon Blows into Marlow’s Tavern

Batten down at the bar or table and prepare to be blown away by Big Easy cuisine and cocktails during the annualMarlow’s Tavern Bayou ‘n Bourbon celebration going on through March 30 at all Marlow’s locations. While Mardi Gras jazzes down Bourbon Street, “Marleaux” spins its own spirited take on Louisiana lunch and dinner victuals and cocktails. Chow down on Mo’ Betta Food: roasted chicken and shrimp gumbo; Le Cajun Boudin, a slow-roasted pork seasoned Cajun-style; daily flatbread from the bayou with Marlow’s secret sauce; N’awlins-style po’boy with tempura-battered shrimp and crawfish; Creole patty melt with andouille sausage, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and peppers and house-made Creole rémoulade; deconstructed jambalaya of grilled Prestige Farms chicken, andouille sausage, house-made dirty rice and traditional crawfish Creole sauce; and blackened NOLA red fish grill with corn and okra choux ($6.50-$18.50). Jack Daniel’s Honey splashes the honey bourbon bread pudding for a feisty Bourbon Street sweet ($7). NOLA is known for its liberal libations, and Marlow’s upholds the tradition with handcrafted cocktails including Ramos gin fizz, Bourbon Street lemonade and Cajun cosmo; cold brews of Abita Strawberry Harvest and Abita amber; and Sokol Blosser Evolution, Oregon 16th edition, a crisp white wine that pals well with Cajun spices. For those seeking a milder winter, Marlow’s regular menu also is available during Bayou ‘n Bourbon.

Bye, you -- friends of the neighborhood restaurant have a chance to win a dinner for two or a dinner for four by entering their contact information on the Marlow’s TavernFacebook page for a March 10 drawing. Be on the prowl for other social media giveaways during Bayou ‘n Bourbon days. 

Aqua blue is Shamrockin’ for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis

Shamrockin’ for a Cure will make breathing easier for those dealing with cystic fibrosis. Roswell restaurant Aqua blue is in -- are you? This major fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fills Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre from 7 p.m. until midnight on Saturday, March 7. Last year’s big night raised more than $300,000, and this year’s goal envisions an even bigger proverbial pot-of-gold for the cause. Event guests are so lucky! They’ll graze well on specialties from Aqua blue and other popular Atlanta-, Alpharetta- and Roswell-area restaurants, drink from bottomless cups, sham-rock and dance the night away to upbeat retro and pop tunes from Bogey and the Viceroy and raise pens and paddles to shop the silent and live auctions. Tickets include all of these shenanigans for $95 per person ($43 tax deductible). Shamrockin’ shame you can’t go? You can still give to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation here

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Orpheus Brewing Transmigration of Souls Hops into Cans

Whether you’re feeling drafty or ready to pop your top, Atlanta-based Orpheus Brewing has a Transmigration of Soulsfor you. The artisanal brewery’s newest release is available this week in cans at local retailers and package stores as well as on draft at our city’s best bars and restaurants through August. Transmigration of Souls is the third canned beer to debut from Orpheus Brewing and a member of the brewery’s Bone Tablet IPA series. The hopped-up double IPA bears a dry malt body, sense-awakening aromatic hops and a bouquet of orange, lemon and tropical fruit. Cans wear eye-catching artwork designed by Atlanta tattoo and fine artist Sam Parker, which can be a real conversation starter when inviting friends to wax poetic over a few cold ones. Chews to go with? Skip the baked brie. Founder and brewmaster Jason Pellett believes another Transmigration of Souls or spicy foods are the best accomplices. 

Cheers, Beers and 93 Years at Atkins Park Virginia-Highland

Celebrating 93 years of good times, Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland owns the distinction of being Atlanta’s oldest continuously licensed tavern. Yes, neighbors and newcomers have felt at home here ever since the original Atkins Park Delicatessen opened in 1922. History buffs, view a photo of the deli here. Flash forward to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 4 when Atkins Park throws a party to honor its 93 years. A limited, open bar and tasting station are in the works, and guests will receive complimentary anniversary T-shirts (while supplies last). Come on out and party! Can you keep up with a 93-year-old?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What’s New on Pinterest

The grapefruit shines like a citrusy sun beaming up from your winter fruit bowl -- which is why we are in hot Pursuit of the Grapefruit on this week’s Pinterest board. There’s a vitamin C-loaded grapefruit for every purpose: sweet pinks, lycopene-laden rubies, tart whites and giant pummelos, also called pomelos or pamplemousse. Put on your sunglasses and see how we use them to wake up winter salads, create cocktails and smoothies, broil ‘em, perk up pastries and bushels more.