Sassy Southern Cooking with a French Twist

brunch

Sunday, Savory Sunday (and Sweet, Too!)

Indaco Adds Sunday Brunch to Tasty “Dixie-talian” Menu

The burgeoning bunch of downtown Charleston restaurants serving brunch, especially on smokin’ hot Upper King Street, just got one restaurant bigger, and in my opinion, that much better. Indaco, popular for its sexy, sophisticated bar and dinner scene, added brunch to its menu line-up and kicked off last Sunday with a whopping 120 covers on the very first day.

The menu, co-created by Executive Chef Michael Perez and newly promoted Chef de Cuisine Andy McLeod, stays true to the restaurant’s self-described Dixie-talian roots, or as McLeod aptly describes it, “a broad use of local ingredients with an Italian spin.” Not surprisingly, the menu weaves a series of pizzas (both sweet and savory) from their celebrated wood-burning oven, egg sandwiches, pasta, and classic Italian “primi” courses such as an exquisite sounding Bombolini made with a Meyer lemon marmalata and lemon crema, smoked pork rilettes, and a prosciutto plate with Honey Crisp apples, honey and Parmesan cheese.

Here are some of my favorites:

Light and luscious, "Milk and Honey" showcases Indaco's impossibly creamy and smooth housemade whipped ricotta and crunchy granola with sweet, garden-fresh fruit. A bit of honey sweetens the deal to Sunday morning perfection.

Light and luscious, “Milk and Honey” showcases Indaco’s impossibly creamy and smooth housemade whipped ricotta and crunchy granola with sweet, garden-fresh fruit. A bit of honey sweetens the deal to Sunday morning perfection.

Nutella lovers will revel in the warm stuff drizzled over caramelized bananas and toasted nuts on Indaco's impeccable pizza crust.

Nutella lovers will revel in the warm stuff drizzled over caramelized bananas and toasted nuts on Indaco’s impeccable pizza crust.

Save room for the pasta, whatever you do. The Mezzaluna is a riff on shrimp and grits, with the tenderest housemade noodles prepared with corn/pasta flour, grouper sausage, and Shem Creek harvested shrimp swimming in a ham stock broth. Exquisite!

Save room for the pasta!The Mezzaluna is a riff on shrimp and grits, with the tenderest housemade noodles prepared with corn/pasta flour, grouper sausage, and Shem Creek harvested shrimp swimming in a ham stock broth. Exquisite!

While sophisticated, the space is also children-friendly, particularly the large, outdoor patio. Management anticipates adding live music to the entertainment mix in the coming weeks, once the brunch crowd has settled in. Bottomless Bellinis prepared with peach, a splash of pomegranate and Prosecco or a Mark it 8, Dude adult beverage featuring a blend of vodka, Borghetti, a cereal infused cream (last week it was cinnamon crunch!) and a pinch of cinnamon, will certainly suit Charleston’s vast apres church, libation-imbibing crowd.

Reservations recommended.

Indaco

526 King Street, downtown Charleston, 29403

843-727-1228

indacocharleston.com

Sunday brunch hours – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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Good Food and Pets Welcome for Al Fresco Dining at Kitchen 208

You’ll enjoy this relatively new restaurant on Lower King Street (near Fulton Lane) in Charleston. Big, hearty, delicious breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch offerings, the restaurant also offers a warm welcome to furry friends on their spacious outside patio.

Kitchen 208's extra tasty Cobblestone sandwich is served all day.

Kitchen 208’s extra tasty Cobblestone sandwich is served all day.

 

Bon appetit!

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Fresh Potato, Onion and Sausage Hash

My most recent post at The Permanent Tourist-Charleston features two of spring’s most beloved ingredients – fresh potatoes and onions. Here’s a link to the post and the recipe.

http://charleston.thepermanenttourist.com/simply-saturday-3/

Feel free to visit and subscribe to charleston.thepermanenttourist.com

In the meantime, Happy Father’s Day!

 

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Happy Father’s Day!

In yesterday’s The Permanent Tourist Charleston blog, I shared memories of my magnificent father, and thoughts on cooking for Dad on his big day. The post includes a delicious recipe, and an opportunity to win a copy of The French Cook: Sauces (Gibbs Smith).

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

http://charleston.thepermanenttourist.com/you-know-well-have-a-good-time-then/

The French Cook: Sauces (Gibbes Smith, March 1, 2013) by Holly Herrick

The French Cook: Sauces (Gibbes Smith, March 1, 2013) by Holly Herrick

 

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Serving Dad, “McCaulio” Style

My father was (and is)  many things to many  people: a busy corporate executive over-seeing a large staff, a friend to  many, a close brother to his brothers Jim and John, a loyal husband, a veteran, a caring son to his father and mother, and a loving keeper of many animals, including his beloved horse Valiant.

But to me, he is simply Dad. The best kind of Dad. He’s the kind of Dad, despite his extremely demanding travel and career demands when the four of us were growing up, that was there. He was there for all the little league games, he was there (through example) to teach the important life lessons on the value of honesty and hard work, he was there to celebrate each of our joys, sorrows, and lives. Sweetly, he would bring my sister Heather and I little trinkets from his travels, a miniature Swiss clock from Geneva, or Madame Alexander dolls dressed up to represent their respective countries. He would set up camp under a tent in our rooms to tell “scary” stories of “Cookie” the hapless, good-hearted monster. He would scatter the eggs at the Easter hunts and put up the tree (and take it down) for what seems like an endless stream of Christmas’s past. He would eventually walk me down the aisle on my wedding day, a blend of pathos, pride and pure love apparent upon his handsome face and radiating from his beautiful, selfless soul.

My Mom, Dad and dog, Tann Mann on a recent visit.

My Mom, Dad and dog, Tann Mann on a recent visit.

But for all the gifts, love, memories, lessons and life he has shared with me, nothing resonates as strongly with love as his “McCaulio.” This was his name for his  warm breakfast specialty blend of left-overs that usually included rice, peas, some kind of steak or pork, and eggs, scrambled up in a pan and served with a big dose of ketchup. It takes a varied form on his name, Herb McCauley, and took many variations in its actual ingredient list. There were two constants, though. It was always a hot breakfast, and it was always made with love and usually lots of laughs as he prepared to get us off to school. Mom liked to sleep in during those busy years, and Dad selflessly picked up the slack. I’ll never forget him or McCaulio. I sure do love that man!

So, while I’m late getting this out to you to help serve your Dad a special breakfast this morning, there is still time to put it together later today, or any other day of the year, just like Dad and his McCaulio.  This is a simple yet beautiful “special” breakfast that comes together quickly. Mom can help the kids with the bechamel sauce. Meanwhile, the kids can put together a quick eggs scramble and toast. Dad will love it, and he’ll especially love it because it was made with loving hearts.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad and to Dads everywhere!

Adapted from The French Cook: Sauces (March 2013/Gibbs Smith)

Scrambled Eggs with Sage and Sausage Bechamel Sauce. Photo by Steven Rothfeld.

Scrambled Eggs with Sage and Sausage Bechamel Sauce. Photo by Steven Rothfeld.

Soft Scrambled Eggs Cloaked with Sage and Sausage Bechamel Sauce on Baguette Toaste Points

(Makes 4 generous servings)

First, prepare the bechamel.

Basic Bechamel Master Recipe

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons All-Purpose flour

1 shallot or small onion (about 3 tablespoons), finely chopped

2 cups skim milk

1 1/2 cups Half & Half

Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste recipe

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When just melted, whisk in the flour all at once, whisking rapidly to combine. Add the chopped shallot (or onion) and whisk to combine. Continue whisking and cooking (without browning) for 5 minutes. Add the skim milk and Half & Half, drizzling rapidly into the roux, whisking continually. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Continue whisking and cooking the béchamel another five minutes, or until it’s come up to a gentle simmer and thickened to the consistency of thick chowder. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Reserve warm. Any left-overs can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 days and gently re-heated for another use. (Note: If you want to limit the fat and calories, the recipe can be prepared with skim milk only, unless it will be flavored with alcohol or acid in the recipe where it will ultimately be used. Depending on the quantity, it might risk breaking/curdling the sauce.) Set aside.

Meanwhile, put together the rest of the dish.

12 ounces loose pork sausage

Sea salt or kosher salt

Ground white pepper

2 cups of the reserved, prepared bechamel

1 teaspoon dried, ground sage

2 tablespoons dry vermouth

2 tablespoons pork or veal demi-glace

For the toast points:

8 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonally  cut slices fresh baguette bread

For the eggs:

8 large eggs

1/4 cup half & half

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sea salt or kosher salt

Ground white pepper

4 sage leaves, optional for garnish

Heat a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain the sausage in a colander, straining off and discarding all of the rendered fat. Set aside.

Finish the prepared, reserved bechamel by whisking in the sage, vermouth and demi-glace in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in the reserved sausage. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Keep warm over very low heat.

Toast the sliced bread in batches in a toaster or under a high broiler until golden brown. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and the half & half until very well incorporated, aerated and lemony in color. Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or spoon. As soon as the eggs beging to set, remove from the heat.

To serve,  arrange two of the toast points on each of four large plates. Divide the eggs and warm bechamel over the toast points. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh sage leaves, if desired.

Bon appetit!

 

 

 

 

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