Smoked Pork with Carolina Peach BBQ Sauce and Cheddar Biscuits

Once again, it’s been awhile. When constantly out of town, recording recipes seems be one of the things I let fall to the wayside, kind of like dusting. Inspired by the end of summer and the onset of fall and after spending time in what I call yankeeland (aka anything above North Carolina), I needed a good dose of Southern food.

After spending a couple days with his family in Waxhaw, Caleb came back with a TON of smoked pork shoulder and beef brisket from his dad and lots of peaches from his mom.

Of course pork and peaches are a stellar match; I shredded up some of the pork shoulder and decided I’d try my hand at a peach bbq sauce. Rather than serving with buns as pulled pork sandwiches, I made good old biscuits with sharp cheddar and green onion and served with simple cut green beans with nothing but garlic, salt and pepper.

The biscuits are pretty non-traditional and super simple but the ingredients are not measured at all. I fix biscuits this way when I plan on serving them with something heavy on top, in this case, pulled pork.  

Carolina Peach BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

1 large peach, peeled, pit removed and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 T butter
1/4 c spicy peach preserves
1/3 c honey
1/3 c dijon mustard
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1 T worcestershire sauce
1/2 c chicken stock, optional

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and add chopped red onion. Saute until translucent.

Sauteeing Onion

Add remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring frequently.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

If sauce becomes too thick for your liking, add chicken stock and increase cooking time by 10 minutes.

Cooked Sauce

Set sauce to the side. If smoked pork shoulder is hot, allow to cool completely. 

Smoked Pork

Using your hands and a fork, pull the pork apart. It does not need to be perfectly shredded.

Pulled Pork

Pour that yummy Carolina Peach BBQ Sauce on top and stir it up real good. Serve it on top of sliced biscuits and make sure the biscuits are covered completely.

Pork with BBQ SauceCheddar-Green Onion Biscuits

Instead of a list of ingredients, I’ll just provide basic instructions for these. 

Preheat oven to 400 F. 

Add desired amount of flour (any kind of your choosing, I use whole wheat) to a large mixing bowl. Stir in a good pinch of baking powder and salt.

Little by little add in yogurt, stirring as you go. Stop adding yogurt once mixture is crumbly and yogurt and flour and evenly distributed. Now, stir in cream until dough becomes a thick and discernible ball.

Stir in freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese and chopped green onion.

Place dough on a well floured surface and roll out to 1/2″ thickness. Using a biscuit cutter (or top of a mason jar, like I like to do), cut out biscuits and place on greased baking sheet.

Biscuits Before Oven

Cook for about 15 minutes or until golden. If using whole wheat flour, biscuits will be significantly darker than usual. 

Cooked Biscuits

Keep in mind that the texture of these biscuits won’t be quite the same as a traditional, fluffy Southern biscuit. They are however, very tasty and still definitely biscuits.

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Gaulart & Maliclet Fast & French

I have to brag on my favorite little place to grab a bite in downtown Charleston, Fast & French. Mon favorit petit café is now 30 years old. It’s a bit of a hole in the wall and yet well-known enough to be packed every time I go. I would eat there every day if I could and with their prices, it wouldn’t be unreasonable if I lived or worked downtown. One of the great things about it is the crowd. College of Charleston students, lawyers, businessmen/women, locals, Europeans, any person imaginable. They can all be found here.

Panoramic

My poor attempt at a panoramic shot.

Don’t go expecting the average American dining experience. This is a quintessential European nook on Broad Street. The seating is communal and servers are not there to be your buddy but are still plenty cordial. Go to enjoy some simple yet delicious café food. The lunch special is always to die for and comes with a glass of house wine (or other beverage). When available, I highly recommend a bowlful of their vichyssoise but all of the soups are delightful. I used to hate mushrooms with a raging passion but this place helped change my mind with their earthy pâté.

While the overwhelming majority of reviews are raving, I’ve read some of people complaining that the food is bland and poorly prepared – I couldn’t disagree more. They use fresh herbs and ingredients and offer flavorful simplicity. Not to mention the outstanding prices. On my most recent visit, my bill was ~$23 for a soup & sandwich, lunch special with wine and a dessert. Pas mal, n’est-ce pas?

Lunch Special

Lunch Special 8-16-14 : Seafood Creole with aioli, melon, cheese, baguette.

Wine

The house white wine – crisp, dry sauvignon blanc.

 

Peach Almond Tart

Dessert. Peach Almond Tart. This was orgasmic and had the best crust I’ve ever had on pie or tart.

Potato Cakes with Garlic Aioli

This weekend was the last weekend Caleb and I will be home for four weeks and his parents and younger sister came down to visit and volunteer during Matriculation Day at The Citadel. (Side note: his family are simple and unadventurous with their food.) Having taken on the role of the cook in the family, I tasked myself with making something simple for supper; I chose to make chicken marsala, roasted brussels sprouts, sauteed carrots and my special fennel mashed potatoes. There’s so much I could say about that supper, for which my family also joined us. All I’ll say is that the meal was fabulous, cooked traditionally with only fresh ingredients.

No matter how good mashed potatoes may be, they always seem to leave a bounty of leftovers. Being the Irish girl that I am, I knew just what to do with those leftovers – POTATO CAKES. These are by no means healthful but half of one potato cake is all I ever want and there’s no denying how delicious they are, especially topped with spoonful of garlic aioli or more traditionally with butter.

Potato Cakes

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes – please be sure to use good mashed potatoes, not the kind that have the consistency of baby food (I make mine with fennel and serve slightly chunky)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted

Dough

The green you see is a bit of the fennel fronds that I add to my fennel mashed potatoes.

On a floured surface combine mashed potatoes, flour and salt with your hands. This will create a thick dough.

Form into a rough ball and quarter.

Shape the quartered dough into rounds that are about 1/2″ thick and 4-6″ inches wide.

Dough Formed

In a small pan, heat a couple tablespoons of butter over medium heat. One by one, cook cakes until golden or about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Cake in Pan

Finished Cake

Plated Single Cake

Sometimes the simple way is the best way.

Serve hot with a pad of butter or as I do, with garlic aioli. Click for the YouTube video instructional for the aioli I served. The guy gives a great tutorial that is both concise and informative. I added fresh chopped Italian parsley and basil, as well as a tad bit of dijon (as suggested) to mine.

Plate Potato Cake with Tomato

I like to eat mine with a sliced garden fresh tomato.

Plated Potato Cake

I served Caleb his with leftover chicken marsala. Italian meets Irish?

These are great for a filing breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack or anytime really. Don’t eat too many, though!

Almond-Crusted Chicken

I have been feeling dreadfully uninspired in the kitchen lately which is probably due to weekend trips that have kept me from my Saturday morning trips to the market. But I am happy to say that after getting some amazing news which is sure to impact the rest of my life, I have perked right back up and am glad to say I’m out of the culinary doldrums.

My most reoccurring food challenge is to give Caleb food that feels hefty enough to satisfy the appetite of man who works fourteen hour days in the hot, humid Charleston sun while also satisfying my desire for food that doesn’t sit like a rock in my stomach and clog both our arteries. I’ve begun making one true ‘man-food meal’ a week – heavy, meat and potatoes stuff. The rest of the week, I focus on what I always do – well-rounded, healthy meals.

This almond-crusted chicken works wonders in my house because it gives Caleb the feel of fried chicken while eliminating the actual fried element. He loves for me to use the leftovers in his sandwich for lunch the next day. Imagine almond-crusted chicken on toasted focaccia bread with a slice of provolone and sundried tomato pesto. I’m salivating already.

Almond-Crusted Chicken

6 chicken cutlets
2/3 cup crushed roasted almonds
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten
salt to taste, if desired
olive oil

  • Using cutlets cuts out the meat pounding process here. If you’ve had a frustrating day, just use boneless skinless chicken breasts and pound away until breasts are about 1/4″ thick.
  • Set oven to broil.
  • Combine flour and crushed almonds in a shallow dish. Add a dash of salt if you wish. (Feel free to use almond flour or rice flour here. Either would a lovely substitute.)Ground Almonds

Dip chicken in egg and transfer to dish with flour and almond. Even and thoroughly coat.

Place chicken on greased baking baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
Pre-Oven

Cook under broiler for 4-6 minutes on each side, until golden and juices run clear.
Fresh Out The Oven

I served with one of my favorite veggie sides – spinach aglio e olio (aka spinach with garlic and olive oil, add a splash of lemon juice and white wine). I have to confess that I used a cheat in this meal – French brie ravioli that I did not make. I pick up my pasta from the farmers market and freeze any excess. Rio Bertolini’s makes wonderful fresh pastas, ranging from squid ink spaghettini and saffron papardelle to the most amazing raviolis you can imagine. The brie ravioli is no exception and I served it simply with a quick creamy basil sauce.

  • Plated