American Regional- Deep South

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We had Friday off this week because of Easter, so American Regional had a shortened menu since we only had one day. We were exploring the Deep South this week and the menu included items such as Watermelon and Watercress Salad, Southern Fried Chicken and Cream Gravy, Fried Green Tomatoes, Slow Cooked Greens, Shrimp Perloo, Vidalia Onion Tart (Can we say YUM???), Peanut Brittle, and Peach Cobbler. There were four groups and each group was to prepare half the menu, with every group making fried chicken.

No one's fried chicken came out perfectly because either the oil was too hot, in some cases, or not hot enough in others. When the oil was too hot, the outside got too dark and the inside wasn't cooked through. In the opposite circumstance, the inside was finished before the outside crisped up and it got very greasy. We didn't use the deep fryer because it would have destroyed the oil, and instead used pans on the stove. This was the difficulty in keeping the oil at the proper temperature. We should have used a candy thermometer to temp the oil before frying.

I, personally, prepared the Peach Cobbler. I'm from Ohio and the Northern version of peach cobbler is much different than the Southern version we prepared. In the Northern version, the peaches are layered in the bottom of a pan after being tossed with sugar, cinnamon, and flour and then topped with a sticky, almost biscuit-like dough that is dropped by spoonfuls on top. In the Southern version, we prepared a pie crust for the top and the bottom that was to be filled with the peach mixture.

Since this was the only dish I was assigned, I decided to make the most of it and make it fabulous. I made individual "pies" and then simmered the rest of the peaches until they were extremely soft. I melted some white chocolate, rum, and heavy cream over a double boiler and then pureed it with the peaches. I strained it through a chinois to make a sauce and added a little lemon juice to round out the flavors. I plated this sauce and then chilled them until time to plate the cobbler so there would be a contrast in temperatures. I made a flavored, very thick whipped cream and piped into mounds and froze them with a small heart of pie dough in the center to place on top of the piping hot cobbler so it would melt over the top. I simmered some additional peaches in a simple syrup and arranged them on top of the plated sauce, placed the hot cobbler on top after dipping the top of it in the peach simple syrup for a shine and extra moisture, and then topped it off with the whipped cream mound. It. Was. Delicious! I'm not a huge peach fan but I could have eaten several of these. Apparently so could everyone else because several of my classmates were disappointed because they didn't even get one bite. I would definitely call that a success.


C said...

HOLY COW! That cobbler may be the yummiest looking thing you've posted yet!

ralph said...

when I got to the "white chocolate, rum, heavy cream" part I actually involuntarily stopped reading for a second, closed my eyes, and tried to imagine that taste... YUM!!!

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