That last book got me off my game. I told you I rated it a 1. And then it got hard to get back into the swing of reading. I was reading Buttermilk Graffiti for Cook The Books Club, but I missed the due date by 2 weeks. Great work! But between this book and the Emily Giffin book I just finished (probably coming tomorrow), I am back! Rated a 4.03 on goodreads, I gave the book 4 stars.
Edward Lee is a famous chef. He has published the cookbook Smoke and Pickles, which I need to pick up for myself. Lee is of Korean heritage, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He currently lives in Kentucky and finds way to blend the food that reminds him of his youth with southern flavors.
Buttermilk Graffiti is not a cookbook, though it does include some recipes. It is a story about what Edward Lee has learned about the food of America, the immigrants that brought certain flavors to certain places, and the combinations of cultures. I usually make a list of all of the food in a cookbook, but I won’t be doing that in this post – there is food mentioned in nearly every paragraph. But he includes recipes for:
- Amok Trey
- Pork Lab with Fried Egg on Popcorn Bread
- Lagman Soup
- Russian Pickled Watermelon
- Lamb Arayes
- Mango Fries
- Chicken “Vaca Frita” with Coconut Rice and Mojo Sauce
- Slaw Dogs
- Fried Pork Chops with Miso Creamed Corn and Pickle Juice Gravy
- Cabbage Rolls
- Beef Tartare-Stuffed Deviled Eggs with Caviar
- Octopus Stir Fry
- Salt-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Seared Beef Rib Eye with Prunes, Almonds, and Bourbon Washed Butter
- Budae Jjigae with Fried Bologna
- Pickled Salmon
- Vietnamese Crepes
- Bourbon Nuoc Cham-Roasted Oysters
- Pollo A La Brasa
- Green Fried Rice with Chicken, Cilantro, and Aji Sauce
- Beef Skewers with Cashews, Curry, and Black Pepper
- Spicy Tomato Braised Chicken with Turmeric and Cashew
- Roast Butternut Squash Schnitzel
- Beef Tongue Pastrami
- Beef Tongue Sandwich
- Lacy Cornbread with Rhubarb Jam
The chapter called German Mustard really spoke to me on a personal level. Lee contemplates why there hasn’t been more of an abundance of German-inspired cuisine in the US. There are several reasons he points out:
- Americans see the food as unappetizing.
- The food requires an “ambassador” to introduce it to America.
- German food never recovered from the negative perceptions of Germans during WWII.
- We’ve already appropriated German food through sausage, pretzels, etc.
- There has not been a large German immigration into the US in years.
I don’t know why German food isn’t more known in the US. My favorite restaurant growing up was a schnitzel restaurant in San Francisco. It was eventually bought and unfortunately the flavors from the new owners didn’t compare to the food I had loved. But I did spend my 21st birthday there with my family. I had a big beer and a weinerschnitzel.
My mom was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is full German by blood, but our family has been in America since the mid-1800s. My grandpa was raised on a farm in Wisconsin where they exclusively spoke German in the home. When my grandpa moved out of the house he joined the military during WWII and stopped speaking German. He did not teach it to anyone in the family. My grandmother’s family did not speak German at all either, though I’m unsure when they dropped the language and switched to English exclusively.
This chapter spoke to me, because I got it. My maternal side of the family may not identify as being German anymore, but there is still a lot of German influence in the food and in the culture. German flavors make me feel like home. My grandma made German food. My mom made German food. I make German food. It’s the food that reminds me of home.
But like Lee shows throughout his book, sometimes cultures combine and bring changes to the food. As he shared a squash schnitzel, I made a schnitzel I can eat with my diet. Pork rinds provide a great crunchy breading to a keto breaded meat. This schnitzel may not be exactly what I ate as a child, but the flavors are all there.
4 pork chops
1 tbsp heavy cream
4 oz crushed pork rinds
1 packet gelatin
1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp butter
3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
7 oz mushrooms
3 cloves shallots
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Whisk the egg and heavy cream together.
- Pound your pork chop so it’s very thin. Dredge the pork chop in the egg and then coat with the crushed pork rinds.
- Bake the pork chop for 24 minutes, flipping half way through.
- While the pork chops are cooking, work on the sauce. Place the gelatin and beef broth together in a bowl and set aside.
- Melt 1 tbsp butter in a skillet and add the bacon. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining butter and the shallots and cook until the shallots are tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, white wine, and lemon juice and cook until the sauce is as thick as you’d like.
- Remove the pork chops from the oven and place the sauce on top.
I am still on track for the Philippine tarsier badge for #YARC2019.