Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer in Tennessee

OK, so i thought around Christmas it would be great to do a blog. Chronicle the fun things, jobs, people, etc. etc. etc. It's the first of July, this will be my first entry since the holidays.
What a summer its been so far. I've been in Pulaski, TN traveling to North Carolina for work. (I know, and we thought the 405 was hard). Work so far has been great fun and in an amazing part of the country that until now I haven't been that familiar with. I also got to be a day player in the movie as the sausage maker in the HOB. Of course, they decided to not have sausage so I became the sausage maker with soup talents..., Got a cool haircut and fun wardrobe. Maybe you 'll be able to spot me when it comes out. Not sure what they are going to call it, but its based on the Hunger Games trilogy.

Now for the hometown saga. My friend Barbara and I were trying to open a little deli take out here in a funky little space that used to be a pole dancing studio. We were suppose to get the lease on July 1. Two weeks ago we had nice little thunderstorm here with what some called a small twister. We didn't find out until the next big rain, 5 days later, that the little twister had taken the skin roofing of our building and rolled it up to the edge like a big paper towel. So all the rain water flowed freely from the second to the first floor leaving the ceilings of both on their respective floors and those floors soaked with water. I discovered this while rapidly packing the truck to run to Asheville for a last minute
schedule change with my 6 slow roasted rabbits and 15 Cornish hens for rabbit stand ins (movie magic)

I spent the next two days on a mountain in the woods in Asheville warming up rabbit. Got back to Pulaski and to the reality of  "life is what happens while your planning something else." Deli be gone. For now any way.

Fast forward to the big 4th of July weekend. Time to have some fun. Right. Got invited to go to the river with my niece and her friends on the 3rd. Yeah, break out the thong. (Joking). As my niece was pulling into the driveway of my kitchen to pick me up, my sister called to say that my brothers restaurant was on fire..... I jump into her car and we speed to the Hickory House to see a big firetruck and an ambulance and several firefighters on the roof and in the smoke house battling the last of the fire. They were able to save the biggest section of the restaurant, but the smoke house part was pretty much a disaster. This started about an hour before they were opening for the day. Unfortunately, one of his employees had to go to the hospital with burns on both arms trying to put out the fire.

So, for those who don't know, this is my brother Butch, who has had this space for 25 years with his wife Renay. He's been citizen of the year twice here in Pulaski for his generosity to the community. He's also recuperating from his second bone marrow transplant. And he's a character. For the last three days I've been working 12 hours a day helping clean up after and start the rebuilding process. We hope to have him up and running by the end of the week.

Not sure what the rest of the summer has in store, but I'm ready. Like the sunflower from the garden at the kitchen.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A holiday idea that Joan approves...

Want to throw a 1964 themed Christmas party like AMC's Mad Men?
Try this edible centerpiece from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's holiday office party as seen in Season 4. 

White Popcorn Balls
5 quarts popped corn (try unbuttered or 'light' microwave)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Butter sides of saucepan.  In it combine granulated sugar, water, salt, syrup, and vinegar. Cook to hard-ball stage (250F). Stir in vanilla. Pour hot mixture slowly over popped corn, butter hands lightly and shape into grapefruit sized balls.

Pink Popcorn Balls
Prepare as white but remove vanilla..Add 1/4 tsp red food coloring and 1/4 peppermint extract to cooked syrup mixture instead.

Marshmallow Sparkles
Red food coloring
Strawberry or raspberry flavored gelatin (dry powder)
Marshmallows, large and mini

Add food coloring, a few drops at a time to the gelatin, mixing well to obtain desired color. Dip a few marshmallows by hand into water. Drain excess moisture by shaking in paper towel. Roll marshmallows in gelatin and allow to dry thoroughly.  Wear latex gloves!!

Arrange on a flat plate or tray in a pyramid shape using toothpicks to secure the levels.  You can add candy canes, ribbons, or pipe royal icing holly leaves... Then hide all imperfections with marshmallows!

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens "Cookies and Candies", 1966.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Dessert

The White Chocolate German Chocolate Cake
made its movie debut in the Christmas Dinner Scene of Stepbrothers.
For two years we created a Holiday Movie inspired menu for a cooking demonstration at the Macy’s Home Stores in San Diego and Costa Mesa. The events were sponsored by Circulon Cookware and Architectural Digest Magazine. I used one of my favorite cake recipes from my favorite cookbook “The Joy of Cooking” and revamped it just a bit to make this new Holiday Tradition.
We used it in the Christmas Dinner Scene of the movie “Step Brothers”
Inspired by:  “White Christmas” – The White Chocolate German Chocolate Cake


2 ¼cups of sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½teaspoon of salt
4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
½cup of boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½pound (2 sticks) of butter4 large eggs separated
scant ¼teaspoon of cream of tartar
2 cup of sugar
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Melt white chocolate in boiling water until smooth. Set aside.
Mix buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until creamy
 Gradually add in and beat on high speed 1 ¾cups of sugar until lightened in color and texture.
One at a time, beat in the 4 egg yolks.
Add the melted chocolate and beat just until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the
buttermilk mixture in 2 parts, beating on low speed.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar
until soft peaks form. Gradually add ¼cup of sugar, beating
on high speed. Beat until peaks are stiff but not dry.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in ¼of the egg whites into the
egg yolk mixture. Then fold in remaining egg whites.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 25 to 30
minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out
Let cool completely in cake pans before removing. Fill and
frost as desired.

Coconut Pecan Filling for White
Chocolate Cake


1 cup of sugar
1 cup of evaporated milk
3 large egg yolks
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
1 1/3 cups of flaked sweetened dried coconut
1 1/3 cups of chopped pecans
Combine in a medium sauce pan the sugar, evaporated milk, egg yolks and butter.
Cook stirring constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbling gently around the edges. Reduce heat and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes more.
Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut and pecans
Let cool until easy to spread. This can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Soften before using.

I hope you enjoy this. Happy Cooking this Holiday Season.

Show Me How You Burlesque!... with Food!

If you've seen the movie BURLESQUE and you remember the party scene... Eric Dane brings Christina Aguilera to his house for appetizers and wine.  The kitchen is full of tasty treats and Eric carries a tray down the staircase with him...
I thought I would cher a copy of the menu we created.
These might make some interesting new ideas for any holiday parties you may be planning.  

a selection of tray passed hors d oeuvres

vegan osso buco
roasted and carved potatoes
stuffed with chopped parsley salad

mini pulled pork sliders
braised pulled pork ribs
marinated in our secret bar b que sauce
topped with a creamy purple cabbage coleslaw
served in a homemade wild and black rice biscuit

duck confit
slow roasted breast of duck
marinated in a dried apricot reduction
served on buckwheat blinis
topped with granny smith slivers and bull’s blood micro greens

halibut and salmon ceviche
diced prime cuts of fresh fish
tossed with chopped red and yellow peppers
served on a crispy wontons
topped with citrus wedges and black sesame seeds

lamb lollipops
rack of lamb seared to perfection
served with a dollop of fresh mint pesto

belgian endive and goat cheese
herbed goat cheese stuffed in Belgian endive spears
topped with sliced marinated black figs

chicken liver mousse
served on a garlic crostini
accompanied with a bread and butter pickle relish

grilled tiger shrimp skewers
marinated in a cilantro pesto and grilled to perfection
served with a spicy red chili glaze

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Welcome to Jack White's BLOG

I hope to use this blog to share Pics, recipes and stories about current and future work here and in TN. Our game plan is to be up and running full time in both states by March 1st.
We are planning on canvassing the Nashville area with tastings of some of our most popular food items.
To get your company on the list, please respond to this blog, or visit jackwhitecatering.com.