Thursday, November 06, 2008

Charleston Cuisine: Fried Green Tomatoes & Grits

"It's hard to imagine a better introduction to one of our region's most cherished staples than these fried grits, " Louis Osteen writes in Charleston Cuisine. "Crispy on the outside and creamy and succulent on the inside."

Also, bland. For this I blame Louis's slapdash recipe-writing. I'm convinced that the qualities that make a great, intuitive chef do not overlap with those that make a great cookbook author.

Just looking at Louis's image on the cover of his book -- fat, beaming, and holding heaping platters of biscuits and something yummy-looking with bones -- I can tell he's not the kind of man to obsessively pore over a notebook worrying about teaspoons of salt and pepper. 

I served the bland grits with the last of the preserved duck. This is how much duck Louis suggests serving eight people:

Fortunately I was only serving three people, so there was almost enough.
Per the excellent suggestion of Layne, I also made Louis's fried green tomatoes. "Crispy-on-the-outside" -- and tart and juicy on the inside. Fantastic.

A few weeks ago I decided I would no longer fight about food with Owen. So when he set up a howl at the prospect of the meal described above, I shut him down by saying he could fix himself whatever he wanted. . . .

Am I on the right path here? Is he ever going to come around on his own? Is he going to end up with scurvy or rickets or something? 

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