Serve restaurant-quality entrees at home with these delicious recipes shared by celebrated Georgia chefs. Hugh Acheson (of 5 & 10 and The National in Athens; Empire State South in Atlanta; and The Florence in Savannah) shares a favorite dish from his new cookbook, The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits. Chef Kiera Moritz also offers a recipe for a memorable dish she serves at Steel Magnolias in Valdosta.
Chef Hugh Acheson
Sorghum and Milk-Braised Pork Loin With Pecans
Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds boneless pork loin
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
12 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons sorghum molasses
1 quart whole milk
Pecan Farro Risotto (for this recipe, visit atlantamagazine.com/georgiatravel)
Season the pork all over with kosher salt to taste and the black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large braising pan over medium-high heat, and add the butter. When the butter has foamed, carefully lower the pork into the pan, fat side down, and let it sear and caramelize for 10 minutes. Turn the pork over and sear on the other side for 10 minutes, until very nicely browned. Remove the pork and set it aside.
Add the onion slices and sage leaves to the pan and sweat the onions over medium heat for 5 minutes, until softening but not colored. Return the pork to the pan, spoon in the sorghum, and pour in the milk. Season lightly with Kosher salt and black pepper, as the liquid will concentrate as it cooks. Bring the milk to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 2 hours, turning the pork once halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the pork from the braising pan and set it on a clean cutting board. Raise the heat to medium and reduce the milk by half. The curds will become more apparent and your house will smell awesome.
Slice the pork and arrange the slices over Pecan Farro Risotto, with the sauce spooned over the top.
Pecan Farro Risotto
Serves 4 to 6 as a side
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup farro
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and crushed
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pour the chicken stock into a small pot and set it on a back burner on low heat. Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add the shallot. Cook the shallot down for 3 minutes, until it is very aromatic, and then add the farro. Stir well to coat, and lightly toast the farro for about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf to the farro. Then start gradually adding the warm chicken stock, about 1 cup every 5 minutes or so. As each addition cooks down, stir a lot, and when the stock is almost fully incorporated, add more stock. Taste the farro after 20 to 25 minutes of cooking; cook until it is just tender and quite wet, wetter than a risotto would be if it came to your table at an Italian restaurant.
Season the risotto with kosher salt and then add the pecans. Stir to incorporate, remove the bay leaf, and then vigorously stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the butter.
Chef Keira Moritz
Steel Magnolia’s Silver Queen Corn and Gayla’s Grits Cake with Summer Peach-Bacon Salsa
½ cup cooked Gayla’s Grits
1 ear Silver Queen corn, shucked and silked
½ cup whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking
Summer Peach-Bacon Salsa (for this recipe, visit atlantamagazine.com/georgiatravel)
Cut the kernels off the corncob, and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg with the milk and oil. Combine the reserved corn kernels, cooked grits, and all dry ingredients and gently stir with a fork. Pour reserved 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized cast-iron skillet and set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop large spoonfuls of batter (about 1/4 cup) into the skillet, about two inches apart. Let the fritters cook 1 to 1 ½ minutes, or until browned on the bottom and small bubbles have begun to appear on top, like a pancake. Flip the fritter and brown on the other side. Serve warm with the peach-bacon salsa and Sweet Grass Dairy Asher Blue cheese crumbles.
Summer Peach-Bacon Salsa
2 cups fresh peaches, chopped
¼ cup cooked, chopped bacon
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
½ cup pineapple juice
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 ounces Sweet Grass Dairy Asher Blue cheese to crumble for garnish
Combine all salsa ingredients and stir lightly, let sit for one hour refrigerated.
Read more about these chefs and recipes, as well as hundreds of other food and dining recommendations around the state, in Georgia Eats: The Official State Culinary Guide.