Taste and See

For our May/June feature on Feasts of the Southern Wild, in which we explore our seaport’s most exotic flavors, we asked three local taste makers for some inspiration.  Photos by Izzy Hudgins. 



Farmer’s Market Kimchi

Most people picture napa cabbage when they think of Kimchi, but the last time Josh Yates of Green Truck Pub made Kimchi, he used bok choi from Statesboro’s Honeydew Farm, available at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market in the late fall/winter months.  He’s also had success using baby collards that Relinda Walker famously grows.  

3 pounds bok choi, tatsoi or baby collards, washed

1/3 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup fish sauce (available at the area’s Asian markets. Josh recommends 3 Crabs brand.)

1 1/2 cups Korean chili powder (Josh’s note: Best to just ask the nice lady behind the counter at Han Me.)

2 bunches scallions or spring onion tops, chopped.

Cloves of 1 whole head garlic, peeled

3 to 4 inches fresh ginger, peeled

1/2 to 1 pound daikon radish, or other radish or carrots depending on seasonal/local availability, coarsely shredded on box grater

Rough chop your greens and toss with the salt in your largest mixing bowl, trying to distribute the salt evenly.  Cover with cold water (you may need to put a plate on top to keep the greens from floating.)  Let greens soak at least 8 hours or overnight.  Remove to a colander, reserving the brine.

In your food processor, puree garlic, ginger, chili powder, soy and fish sauces to a fine paste.  Toss well with greens, scallions and radish/carrots and pack in to large sterilized mason jars.  Pour a little of the brine in to just cover most of the kimchi.  Loosely screw on lids and “burp” the lid every day to release any gas that might build up.  You can leave this out in a dark corner at room temperature for as little as 1 to 2 days or as much as a week, depending on how funky you like it.  Feel free to taste daily, and careful in the summer months as it goes much faster!


Octopus Salad

Joe Monti, Jerry Gault’s brother in law, forwarded his family recipe for octopus salad.  “Now, by no means am I a chef.  I have no formal culinary training, however this recipe was taught to me by my father, who was born in Italy on an island off the coast of Naples called Ischia, next to the Isle of Capri.  Whenever I asked my father for measurements, it was always in Italian and made no sense, so my cooking has been mostly by trial and error and I find myself guilty of inheriting my father’s inability to measure, and more to rely on my senses.”

2 medium-sized octopuses, roughly 2 to 3 pounds each, cleaned

4 or 5 celery stalks and leaves, coarsely chopped

3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced

A good drizzle of olive oil, roughly two tablespoonsOlive Oil a good drizzle

Juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed

Kalamata olives, as many as you like, cut in half

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the octopuses in boiling water for an hour, or until tender.  Warning, do this outside, because octopus has a tendency to be malodorous.  Once boiling is complete, brush the octopus with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place the octopuses on a hot grill to get a quick char on all side.  Once the octopus is done, cut them into bite size pieces and mix in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.

Note from Joe: I believe this is the basic recipe for your classic Mediterranean octopus salad. My father also called it a seafood salad and would add cooked scungilli, or as we like to call it down south, conch.  Cook the same as octopus-minus the grilling.  He would also add cooked squid (blanched in boiling water for a few minutes) cut into rings. Thanks to Jerry I’m able to enjoy a taste of my heritage and remember some of the fonder memories of my father and times with my family as a child.


Turbo G & T with Safi Preserved Limes

Courtesy of Margaret Coughlin at B. Matthews Eatery

1 1/2 ounces Tuthilltown Half Moon Orchard Gin

1 ounce Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic

Preserved limes (recipe below)

Shake gin and tonic with ice, strain over ice into glass. Garnish with two preserved limes.

Preserved Limes

5 limes

1/4 to 1/2 cup kosher salt

2 cinnamon sticks

3 to 5 whole cloves

Small handful coriander seeds

4 to 5 black peppercorns

1 to 2 bay leaf

Freshly squeezed lime juice

Quarter the limes from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, sprinkle salt on the exposed flesh, then reshape the
fruit. Place a tablespoon or two of salt on the bottom of the sterilized mason jar. Pack in the limes and push them down, adding more salt, and the spices between layers. Press the limes down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining limes. Add enough freshly squeezed lime juice to cover the fruit. Leave some air space before sealing the jar. Let the limes ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days. To use, rinse the limes, removing and discarding the pulp, if desired—and there is no need to refrigerate after opening. Preserved limes will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year.



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