Serenbe Style and Soul

with Marie Nygren



June 2012



Another Award-Winning Chef Leads Class

Written by , Posted in Hugh Acheson, Recipe Articles, Southern Chefs Series

Fresh from being named Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation, Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten, The National, and Empire State South and author of the James Beard Foundation award-winning cookbook, A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen, filled my kitchen on May 20 and 21 with energy and his self-deprecating humor during the 3rd installment of the 2012 Southern Chef Series.  

Acheson, a perennial favorite of the series, led his 10 students in the preparation of to-die-for bacon-wrapped, fennel-stuffed rainbow trout with a hot pepper vinaigrette; crisp kale and baby zucchini salad with garlic and anchovy dressing; a refreshing corn, tomato, and basil salad with a shallot, thyme vinaigrette; and sautéed strawberries with black pepper and vanilla bean ice cream. 

It was exciting having had both Hugh and Linton Hopkins in the chef series again this year since they recently shared the coveted Best Chef Southeast award.  

Please join me in congratulating the Blue Eyed Daisy, winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! While you’re at it, stop by the Daisy and pick up their scrumptious cupcakes and other delectable treats.

Hugh Acheson’s Crisp Kale and Baby Zucchini Salad
with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing

2 small zucchinis (5 inches around) shaved very thinly

1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus a small pinch

1/3 cup olive oil

6 cups kale leaves

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the shaved zucchini in a bowl or platter and pour 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice over it. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and then douse with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Use an olive oil you would be proud of, not the cheapest you can find. Let the zucchini sit at room temperature as you progress through the rest of the recipe.

In a large bowl toss the kale leaves with one tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and toss well. Lay out on a baking sheet pan and bake in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

The kale should crisp well and have a nice amount of color to it but not be shriveled up greenery. We are trying to get to a texture of crunchy while retaining the beauty of green.

Remove the kale from the oven and set aside.

In a small mortar and pestle, pound the garlic into a paste with the mustard, anchovy paste, and the pinch of salt. Slowly add the olive oil to emulsify and then thin with the remaining lemon juice and the vinegar. Taste for loveliness.

Spread some of the dressing down on a platter and then arrange the zucchini on the dressing. Then pile up the kale leaves over that and dot with Parmesan shavings. Eat. It’s good for you.

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