In an ideal world, Eatocracy would have a table big enough to seat every one of you around it - breaking bread and sharing stories. Until that day, we can only have a handful of folks to dinner at a time, starting with our inaugural Secret Supper at as-yet-to-be-divulged Atlanta restaurant this Wednesday evening.
Over the next few months, we'll be working with chefs in cities around the US to create menus that will spark conversation about regionally-specific food culture, history and politics - and invite local eaters, farmers, activists and bloggers to join us. We hope we'll get a chance to feast with you in person, but even if we don't, there are still several ways to participate.
– On iReport, we're giving you a chance to show off your culinary skills. Our Atlanta Secret Chef has shared his/her recipes, centered around the dinner's theme: how chefs' increasingly close collaboration with farmers figures into the preservation and evolution of Southern cooking.
Your iReport assignment - use one of these recipes OR a favored one from either your family or a community cookbook (especially one that's spiral or comb bound) and document the creation of your dish. We'll feature our favorites on Eatocracy over the next few weeks.
8 smoked bacon slices (we slice these very thin from a slab with a slicer)
Preheat oven to 325°F
Starting low keeps the bacon flat during cooking; otherwise it would ripple.
A silpat is a silicone baking sheet. If you don't have any on hand, you can use parchment paper.
3 quarts sunchokes, 1/2" dice
Sunchokes are also called Jerusalem artichokes. Brunoise is an 1/8"x1/8"x1/8" cut.
Bread & Butter Pickles
2 gallons sliced pickling cucumbers
1. Dissolve salt into water and soak cucumbers in salt water for 24 hours. Drain and reserve.
2.5 quarts cider vinegar
2. Combine and dissolve sugar over low heat (do not boil). When sugar is dissolved stir in:
2 tbsp turmeric
3. Stir all the ingredients gently together and bring up to a simmer. Turn off heat and ladle into hot sterilized canning jars. Wipe the rim and softly tighten top. Place jars into boiling water, making sure the top is covered and the glass jars are lifted from the bottom of the pot. Boil for ten minutes, remove the jars from the water and let cool at room temperature. May be eaten immediately but taste best when allowed to age for at least two weeks. Will keep months.
Ideally, this should be made at the height of cucurbit season - which varies around the country.