What an evening!
The kickoff meeting for the Triangle Chapter of Culinary Historians was held at 7pm last night at Flyleaf Books! Virtuoso Nancie McDermott is the visionary of this proceeding. She is the author of ten cookbooks ranging from pasta & noodles, Asian cooking and curries, to Southern desserts. Her most recent effort, “Southern Pies”, is now on shelves across the area, including Flyleaf Books, McIntyres at Fearrington, and other venues such as amazon.
Flyleaf Books owner Jamie Fiocco was gracious and supportive of the endeavor, agreeing to host the now weekly meetings in her spacious community “Living Room”. There was plenty of seating and quite a bit of food! See article also.
Sandra Gutierrez, also an author, of The New Southern-Latino Table is a food writer and dedicated culinary educator. Mrs Gutierrez brought her “New World Chocolate Cake” to the meeting. Forks were held in suspense. It was revolutionary. Some chocolate cakes are too chocolaty and not sweet enough. There is a tendency to overdo the chocolate and add too much baking soda, which produces a bitter, unbalanced flavor. This however, was a chocolate dream. Moist, chocolate, and sweet without a cloying taste. It was simple and elegant. In past chocolate research, I’ve learned a few things. A really good chocolate does not have to be dressed in a ‘Superman costume’ and have x-ray vision. Straightforward dishes and desserts such as this often showcase fine chocolate to better effect.
Chef, author, and entrepreneur Sara Foster of Foster’s Market was also present and contributed to the proceedings. Her book, Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen, was one of those alluded to. There were quite a few cookbooks on display at the kickoff meeting. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with her briefly. The meeting was held right next door to the Chapel Hill Foster’s Market location – a fitting place to discuss food certainly!
There were many others present from the local food scene as well- 24 (including Jamie Fiocco our site host), were in attendance! Rhonda Jones, proprieter of new bakery Chez Moi, brought one of her flavored rum cakes, she uses various flavors, to name a few: banana, black cherry, brown sugar vanilla… mouth watering yet? It was delectable. Her cakes are now being sold at Southern Season in Chapel Hill. They are in a fundraising effort for a food truck – which will definitely serve the Triangle area well! All the best to them in their endeavors!
Lastly – my contribution was bringing a summer fruit salsa. I first made this last summer from Durham Farmer’s Market produce for an ASL brunch I was invited to. It fits aptly with breakfast food and as a general snack with chips. I am listing the recipe below.
Hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did!!!
Same time 7pm – same place – Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill- next Wednesday!
See you there!
Dee’s Summer Fruit Salsa
(makes approximately 4-5 cups)
Hint: Best made with produce from local farmer’s market.
For peak flavor, ripen fruit in brown paper bags for at least 2 days, they’ll be juicy and easier to peel.
If time is short and chopped peaches are not quite as ripe, flash cook them for 2-3 mins on medium heat in a non-reactive sauce pan with a TB of fig balsamic to soften and bring out the natural sugars.
4 large peaches – chopped in 1 inch cubes
3 medium tomatoes – halved, squeezed lightly, and chopped in 1 inch cubes
2 large mangos, (quarter from top with a sharp knife and pull back skin, chop in 1 inch cubes)
15-20 sweet cherries, pitted and quartered
1 large white or yellow onion – chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 medium-sized jalapenos – 2 with seeds, 1 without (add heat to taste)
4 cloves garlic chopped very fine or 2 TB powdered garlic
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro (Leaves from 8-10 stems)
Leaves from 3-4 stems of mint, chopped fine
1 TB pure ancho chile powder
Flash cook for 5 minutes on medium heat in a non-reactive pan to kill bacteria and bring out the juices.
Drain about 1/4 cup of juice and stir in 2 TB of tomato paste to thicken and the juice of two limes.
For final presentation, you can do as you like.
Adding some coarsely chopped cilantro and mint on top will give a great flavor boost!
Pull out a bowl of chips, or whatever you like and enjoy!