A couple weeks ago I went to Charleston, SC to participate in a Cookbook Boot Camp lead by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. The Lee Brothers are acclaimed southern food writers. They have published two amazing books, with a third to come at the end of February. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more about them.
Halfway through the Boot Camp, thanks to Matt and Ted and the inspiring participants, a light bulb went off: the Public House menus need some serious work. They need some life breathed back into them. Our first life breathing exercise is the food menu. We start serving today.
This menu reflects where we live, how I grew up, and comments we’ve heard from our customers and begins TODAY. Think of this as your elementary school menu grown up; all the fermented/pickled goodness you can imagine served in various forms; and pork expansion into uncharted territory.
First, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL grows up. It grows up by refining hot dogs, pimento cheese, and ranch dressing. We will be taking one of the most special and original ingredients that Knoxville has to offer, Cruze Farm Buttermilk, and mix it up with fresh herbs and Greek yogurt for some ranch dressing. Ranch yes, but not Hidden Valley’s.
Next, there’s FERMENTATION. We’ll be serving 3 hot dogs, each topped with a housemade fermented/pickled product: Collard Green Kimchi, Dilly Beans, and Cucumber sweet relish. Veggie and meat dogs will be available.
A less obvious, but nonetheless happy marriage of FERMENTATION and local ingredient, is the Preserved Hummus. We take the southern staple, Black Eyed Peas and blend it with a Chinese staple, fermented black beans, which are actually soy beans. It’s a bright combination that is both familiar and new.
Finally, PORK EXPANSION. This expansion is going in one direction and the direction is Pork Rind Popcorn. We take the best pork rinds the area has to offer and grind them into light and fluffy flakes withÂ salt and secret ingredients. This is sprinkled on popcorn to create a match made in heaven.