Thursday, May 24, 2012

Atlanta Underground Market 01/29/12

Towards the end of January we had another opportunity to participate in the Atlanta Underground Market. Unlike all the previous markets, including the one that we had done, this was going to take place on a Sunday at Brunch time. All the others had been Saturday evenings. We felt like whatever we may have learned about the diners' habits last time might be thrown out the window with such a change!

Piccalilli and Henderson's Relish

This next market took place in a Midtown location even more centralized than the previous. For this market we kept with the original charcuterie+offal plan and we upped the ante by one more dish for variety. Our charcuterie dish requirement could technically be met by any of the three dishes we did that night. The last job I had before leaving Chicago was at Pleasant House Bakery, an English themed savory pie shop on the Southside. So I chose a couple dishes I had done there. First was a sandwich of English Rashers (back-bacon) served on H&F BreadCo. ciabatta with a piccalilli, another saucy pickled vegetable topping that is popular across the pond. This sandwich is traditionally called a Bacon Butty. I was first exposed to it as such when I staged at St. John Bread & Wine in London (served there with ketchup, the piccalilli came on something different).

Bacon Butty with Piccalilli

One of the more popular sides that we offered at PHB was a classic english bar snack called a Scotch Egg. It is a hard-boiled egg that is then wrapped in sausage, breaded and deep fried. In Chicago we fried them to orders the outside was hot but the egg was tepid at best. We knew we couldn't do this, so we went with the fried that day and cooled approach. We took them out of the cold to temper a bit so they weren't ice cold when we served them. We also wanted to do a sauce with them for a more flavorful kick and some more appeal. I whipped up, literally, a Coleman's Mustard aioli which also helped hold it place on the plate. These were a big hit with those that were familiar with the idea. Others warmed up to it pretty quickly, we sold out in less than an hour! We used natural cage-free eggs and Thompson pork.

Scotch Egg with Coleman's Aioli

The last dish met the offal part of our self-imposed requirements. I went with one of my all-time favorites, pork rinds! We got the skin from Thompson Farm in Dixie, GA (I had been saving it off our bellies and shoulders). I seasoned these with a malt vinegar powder and Maldon english sea salt after frying them to puffy deliciousness. These too were gone quickly.

Pre-bagged Pork Rinds

Our Art Director, Rebecca, really stepped it up for this market. We had printed signs and little stands for everything. We finally had an awesome logo so we could sticker some labels for things like the pork rinds. Our visual display was coming together nicely and we had several compliments on how professional and nice our booth looked! Baby steps!

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