Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Mill Farm Brunch

The Mills Farm Brunch was one of the shining moments of last month. It's been nearly one month ago now on Sept. 9th, but well worth going back to take a look at it. The event was a fundraiser for the Classic City Chefs & Cooks Association, the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

Tim and Alice Mills are two of my favorite people in all of Athens. They add a soul to our local foods scene that just makes me smile every time I think about them. I'll do a whole write up about them at some point but this entry is going to focus on the food we had at brunch.

You'll notice we just got a taste of everything, but it was perfect. Almost like a Tapas style brunch. Here's the menu....and the recipes.

Red Mule Polenta with Goat Cheese, Poached Egg, Truffled Hollandaise and Shaved Country Ham


1 cup Red Mule Polenta
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon whole butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces Sweet Grass Dairy goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Poached Egg:

4 whole eggs
1/2 gallon water
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon tarragon vinegar

Truffled Hollandaise:

4 egg yolks
Juice of 1/2 lemon
dash Chalula hot sauce
2 ounces water
8 ounces warm melted butter
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 teaspoon white truffle oil

For the polenta: In a sauce pan, bring stock to a simmer. Add polenta and stir for 2 minutes. Add butter and cream and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste and reserve.

For the poached egg: In another sauce pan, bring water to a simmer. Add salt and vinegar. Crack each egg into a small cup and gently place in water. Poach until firm and reserve.

For the hollandaise: Over a double boiler, place a bowl with eggs, lemon juice, water, and hot sauce, whisking until eggs are 150 degrees and form ribbons. Do not scramble. Pull from heat. Whisk in butter and truffle oil.

To serve: On serving dishes, divide the polenta. Place one poached egg atop each dish of polenta. Top with Truffled Hollandaise Sauce and garnish with thinly shaved country ham.

Note: You can shock eggs in ice water and reserve in the refrigerator for use later that day.

- Recipe from Athens Country Club Executive Chef Christopher McCook, CEC

Saffron Infused Double Cream Vermont White Cheddar Red Mule Grits with Dry Rubbed Hickory Smoked Pork and Butter Bean Tomato Chow Chow


2 teaspoons Saffron threads
6 cups chicken stock
6 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons Coarse ground black pepper
8 ounces butter
2 cups Red Mule Grits
16 ounces cheddar, shredded

Smoked pork:

8 pounds Boston butt pork roast
1 cup JMCC dry rub
3 pounds hickory chips
10 pounds charcoal
12 ounces beer

Chow Chow:

1/2 cup yellow onions, finely diced
8 ounces cabbage, finely diced
8 ounces butter beans, cooked
1/2 ounce salt
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ginger
16 ounces green tomatoes, finely diced
4 ounces carrots, finely diced
4 ounces celery, finely diced
6 ounces sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the grits: Add saffron to chicken stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain stock. Add cream, salt and pepper and butter bring to a slow boil. Add grits, whisking. Cook, stirring, for approximately 20 minutes. Add cheese and allow to melt. Makes 8 servings.

For the pork: Place chips in hot water and soak overnight. Rub pork with dry rub and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Light charcoal burn until gray and ashen (in a grill with a lid). Drain chips and spread over coals. Unwrap pork and place on a rack 12 to 18 inches above the chips. Cover and let smoke until wood chips are exhausted. Pull pork from grill, place in an ovenproof dish on a rack, add beer and cover. Place in a 300-degree oven for 4 hours. Remove from oven, trim fat and chop or shred meat. Add barbecue sauce to meat if you desire. Makes 20 4-ounce portions.

For the chow chow: Combine all ingredients in a non reactive pan bring to one boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Cool and store refrigerated. Should be served with this recipe at room temperature. Makes 30 2-ounce portions.

- Recipe from Jennings Mill Country Club Executive Chef Lance Jeffers

Fried Griddlecakes with Country Sausage, Green Tomato Jam and Cane syrup


3 cups Red Mule cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon of salt
6 teaspoons baking powder
Dash cinnamon powder
6 eggs
3 tablespoons of melted bacon fat
2 1/2 to 3 cups milk (at room temperature)

Green Tomato Jam:

3 pounds green tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lemon
1 orange
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Sausage patties

For the griddlecakes: Mix all of the dry ingredients together well. Add the eggs and continue mixing. Slowly add the milk until the batter reaches a pourable consistency. You may not need all of the milk. Add the melted bacon fat into the batter and continue stirring until well incorporated.

Spoon mixture into a well-seasoned pre-heated cast iron skillet and cook on one side until it begins to form an edge and is bubbling inside. Carefully turn and continue cooking until done.

For the green tomato jam: Place the tomatoes in a heavy bottom saucepot and cover with the salt and the sugar. Let them sit overnight. Take the zest off the orange and the lemon, using a zester; save this and reserve the juice. The next day stir the tomatoes and place over a low burner. Add the cinnamon. Add the juice and zest and cook slowly until tomatoes become fairly soft and the mixture thickens. Store in the refrigerator.

For the country sausage: Fry the sausage patties in a hot skillet, turning frequently until they reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.

To serve: Place cooked griddlecake on plate, arrange sausage patty on top of cake, spoon green tomato jam on top, and lightly drizzle with cane syrup.

- Recipe from Athens Country Club Sous Chef Chris Borden

Girl Ponders Mule.

I took a lot of pictures of Tim's mule Luke who grinds all the corn into the grits, polenta and cornmeal pictured above. Luke's the hardest working member of the family. I like this picture of a girl staring deep into Luke's soul.

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