My dear friend, Jen, and I are big foodies and often attend many foodie type events together here in Seattle. We’ve taken cooking classes together, met Tom Douglas together, made doughnuts together at the Pantry at Delancey and we met Chef Edward Lee together at an event at a local culinary book store here called Book Larder. Truth be told, I didn’t know who Edward Lee was until Jen asked me if I wanted to go. . I did not watch Top Chef that season . . nor had I heard about him.
But as soon as I read about his new cookbook, Smoke and Pickles, recipes and stories from a new Southern kitchen. . with exceptional recipes for food with Korean roots and Southern soul. Word. I was sold.
So, Jen and I went to the event, listened to Edward Lee talk about truly discovering his identity and finally being able to celebrate his Korean roots and upbringing while being introduced to Southern life and culture in Louisville, Kentucky – he’s hilarious by the way. We sampled some Curry Pork Pies (in the cookbook!), got to say hello and got our new cookbooks signed.
I love this book, not only because Edward Lee is Korean and I can relate on so many levels but also because it’s filled with honest, great stories and freaking brilliant recipes. This book is “a memoir first and a cookbook second, which makes sense considering that a serious chef would have a hard time telling a life’s story without the aid of recipes.”
“Chef Edward Lee’s story and his food could only happen in America. Raised in Brooklyn by a family of Korean immigrants, he eventually settled down in his adopted hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where he owns the acclaimed restaurant 610 Magnolia. A multiple James Beard Award nominee for his unique patchwork cuisine, Edward creates recipes—filled with pickling, fermenting, frying, curing, and smoking—that reflect the overlapping flavors and techniques that led this Korean-American boy to feel right at home in the South.
Dishes like Chicken-Fried Pork Steak with Ramen Crust and Buttermilk Pepper Gravy; Collards and Kimchi; Braised Beef Kalbi with Soft Grits and Scallions; and Miso-Smothered Chicken all share a place on his table. Born with the storytelling gene of a true Southerner, Lee fills his debut cookbook with tales of the restaurant world, New York City, Kentucky, and his time competing on Top Chef, plus more than 130 exceptional recipes for food with Korean roots and Southern soul.” This is my new favorite cookbook. . I’m making his Miso Smothered Chicken, Bourbon and Coke Meatloaf Sandwich and the Adobo Fried Chicken and Waffles (on the cookbook cover) next! If any of this sounds enticing, buy this cookbook.
This perfect rémoulade is the second recipe in the cookbook. If you have never had rémoulade, boy – you are missing out. Invented in France, “rémoulade is a popular condiment in many countries. Very much like the tartar sauce of some English-speaking cultures, remoulade is often aioli- or mayonnaise-based. Although similar to tartar sauce, it is often more yellowish (or reddish in Louisiana), often flavored with curry, and sometimes contains chopped pickles or piccalilli.” – Wikipedia. I love how Edward recounts his first experience tasting rémoulade, at the young age of 12 at a fancy shamancy restaurant (you have to buy the cookbook to read the rest of the story). For me, to say that rémoulade is similar to tartar sauce is a huge understatement. You must try this.
We’re cutting back a little on the beef and pork here at home, as you know, so I wanted to make some MLT’s. A vegetarian twist on the BLT. Mushroom Lettuce (Arugula in this case) and Tomato sandwiches and I topped these babies (and put some on the toast too) with this perfect rémoulade from Edward Lee. This stuff rocks. I really really love mushrooms and portobellos are perfect for this with their meaty texture and you won’t even miss the bacon. Seriously. My meat lovin’ husband scarfed down 4 of these and loved them. So, the next time you’re hankering for a great sandwich, give this one a try.
Edward Lee's Perfect Rémoulade
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup chopped cornichons
- 2 garlic cloves; grated or finely minced
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon; chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh flat-leaf parsley; chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon ketchup
- 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika smoked paprika is fine too
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- grated zest of 1 orange
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3-4 dashes of Tabasco sauce
- Put the eggs into a small pot of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 4 minutes only, then drain and immediately transfer to an ice bath to chill. Drain. (do not leave the eggs in the ice bath; you want the yolks to be runny).
- Peel the eggs and add to a large mixing bowl. Beat with a whisk; the yolks should be runny. Don't worry if it's lumpy. Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well. Transfer to a bowl or jar with lid and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving or using. The remoulade will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Recipe published here with permission from Edward Lee. From Smoke & Pickles, pg 6.
Mushroom, Arugula and Tomato Toast with Rémoulade
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 slices of a french baguette
- rémoulade see link above
- 6-8 to matoes slices
- 1-2 cups sautéed mushrooms cremini or portobello; using olive oil, kosher salt and pepper; depending on how much you want to use
- freshly ground pepper
- fresh parsley; finely chopped for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add the french baguette slices and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until nicely browned and crispy; another 2-3 minutes or so.
- To assemble your toasts: slather on the rémoulade on the toast, top with fresh arugula, sliced tomatoes and then the sautéed mushrooms. Top with more rémoulade, and garnish with freshly ground pepper and some parsley.