Chef Joe Randall offers delicate gourmet selections with his latest four-course meal. The meal will end with elegance as the house is filled with a ginger perfume from the gingerbread dessert.
The full menu can be found in Randall's book, "A Taste of Heritage: New African-American Cuisine." This week's menu includes duo of lump crabcake and shrimp cake with herb mustard sauce for appetizer; roasted tomato and okra soup; main course of stuffed sirloin of beef with wild mushroom sauce, Savannah red rice and country succotash; southern gingerbread with bourbon cream for dessert; and southern buttermilk biscuits.
Roasted tomato and okra soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 tomatoes (about 5 cups), roasted and diced
3 pints smoked ham stock
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/4 pounds fresh okra (about 5 cups), stems removed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup ham hock meat, diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a soup pot, heat the butter over medium high heat and saute the onions
and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Stir in
the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil.
reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half. Cook
5 minutes. Remove from heat and puree until smooth in batches in a blender
or food processor. Return the soup to the pot, bring it to a boil. Reduce
it to a simmer. Add the okra, bay leaf, thyme and ham. Simmer for 5-10 minutes
or until the okra is tender. Remove the bay leaf and season soup with salt
and pepper. Preparation time is 1 hour.
Stuffed sirloin of beef with wild mushroom sauce
Wild mushroom sauce
For mushroom sauce: Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat and saute the shallots 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and saute 3-4 minutes. Stir in flour, then veal brown stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add sherry and chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and simmer 4-5 minutes. Keep warm until serving time. Preparation time is 30 minutes. Makes eight servings.
Remove all the fat from sirloin strip, cut into eight 8-ounce slices.
Place one slice at a time between two pieces of plastic wrap. With a cleaver
or mallet, flatten each slice evenly. Set aside. Heat butter in a skillet
and saute shallots and garlic 1 minute. Add mushrooms and continue to saute
4-5 minutes. Add chopped tarragon and bread crumbs. Stir and remove from
heat. Stir in veal brown stock, season with salt and pepper to taste and
mix well. Spoon mushroom filling over each steak slice. Roll tightly and
wrap each with a slice of bacon. Broil 2-3 minutes on all sides under a
hot broiler. Place in a baking pan and finish cooking in a preheated 350
degree oven for 3-4 minutes. Slice each stuffed steak on a bias on a cutting
board. Spoon wild mushroom sauce (recipe follows) on heated dinner plate
and arrange the sliced steak on the sauce. Serve hot. Preparation time is
45 minutes. Makes eight servings.
Southern gingerbread with bourbon cream
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger (2 teaspoons, if preferred)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup molasses
1 cup hot water
Melt butter in saucepan over high heat. Cool to room temperature and add sugar and eggs. Mix well. In bowl, combine flour, soda, spices and salt. In separate bowl, mix molasses and water. Add dry ingredients to butter-sugar mixture, alternating with molasses mixture until mixed. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with wax paper and brush lightly with butter. Pour batter into pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. Allow 5 minutes to cool, then cut into 2-inch squares to serve. In chilled bowl, whip cream to rounded peaks. Add sugar and beat 30 seconds. Beat in bourbon a little at a time, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Top gingerbread squares with a spoonful of bourbon cream. Preparation time is 1 hour, 30 minutes. Makes 18 servings.