Home Tags Stew
A native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Evans moved to Atlanta to helm the kitchen at Buckhead’s now-defunct Craftbar. His focus at the Optimist is seafood, but he still craves the earthier Southern comfort foods of home: his mom’s biscuits and gravy, his grandmother’s chicken and dumplings, and most of all, North Alabama chicken stew.
Pano I. Karatassos—wearing faded jeans and a loose T-shirt, his signature pin-striped chef's apron nowhere in sight—welcomes me into the state-of-the-art kitchen of his parents' Buckhead home. Raw vegetables, herbs, cutting boards, and cooking utensils are neatly organized in workstations, as if a television food show is about to be filmed.
From "The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking" by Joseph E. Dabney. For this traditional Lowcountry stew, I am indebted to the prize-winning Chef Louis Osteen of Charleston, Pawleys Island, and Captiva Island, Florida fame (and now at Lake Rabun Hotel northeast of Atlanta). He says this is one of his most popular winter soups.
Late summer is the perfect time to make this Northern Indian stew, when eggplants and peppers are plentiful and tomatoes are still available, if not slicer-perfect. You can use any kind of eggplant. The key is to roast it first to bring out a smoky flavor. Serve with basmati rice.
From "The New Southern Garden Cookbook" by Sheri Castle. The somewhat unusual combination of chicken, sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, coconut, chutney, and curry has deep roots in the South, particularly in the Lowcountry, where there was ready access to imported spices and where expert cooks from many cultures stirred their own familiar ingredients into the pots.