I've spent some time recently making some of the recipes from Edward Lee's great new cook book, Smoke & Pickles. Lee, a Brooklyn native, now calls Kentucky home. If he wasn't already garnering national attention, Lee's good showing on Top Chef a few years back, as well as being named a finalist for the 2013 James Beard award for the southeast has certainly made that a reality now. His main restaurant is 610 Magnolia in Louisville.
Smoke & Pickles is Lee's first cookbook and it is an homage to his Korean roots and the southern culture hes has since adopted over the past ten years. I made several recipes from the book last weekend. Pictured above is definitely one of the highlights: a rice bowl (there are numerous rice bowl ideas in the book) with tuna, jalapeno remoulade, hearts of palm, avocado, lettuce, and crunchy pork rinds. Lee's recipe for cooking rice involves browning the cooked rice which brings a nice crispy texture to the rice and this dish. This one is a winner. Cool sushi grade tuna against the warm, crunchy rice and Lee's nod to the south in the spicy remoulade.
Kabocha squash mac and cheese topped with pork rinds and black sesame seed. Pretty decadent rendition of macaroni and cheese. Though, the sweetness of the squash tempers the gooey/salty cheese a good bit. The pork rind topping is an interesting touch and another example of Lee's connection to down-home southern gastronomy.