ROTIERS RESTAURANT – NASHVILLE

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Home of the Famous French Bread Hamburger!   Rotiers offers (arguably) the best southern food in Nashville… staff have been there for 20+ years. Good ol’ grub for the soul. You won’t regret it. 

Rotier’s has been serving cold beer, burgers, and handmade milkshakes since 1945. John and Evelyn Rotier started the restaurant after WWII, the building was originally a carriage house for the Elliston Mansion. Rotier’s started as a beer joint with cheeseburgers and pinball machines, and later evolved into a full scale restaurant soon after gambling became illegal in Tennessee. The meat and three menu came along, or “meat and vegetables” if you are not from Tennessee, so patrons could choose from several different home cooked meals. John and Evelyn had three children: John, Margaret, and Charlie Rotier, who all worked in the restaurant.

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BIG CHIEF 1940s DELICACIES

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INGREDIENTS

BIG CHIEF BRISKET:

1 whole beef brisket, untrimmed, 9 to 12 pounds
1 (12-oz) bottle beer – e.g.: Lone Star
Oak or mesquite wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Chile Hot Sauce (recipe follows)

BIG CHIEF RUB:

1 1/2 cups kosher salt, preferably Morton
1/4 cup (black) peppercorns, coarsely ground, or about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Chile Hot Sauce
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 tablespoon red chile flakes, or more to taste

BIG CHIEF CHILE HOT SAUCE:

1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 tablespoon red chile flakes, or more to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill.

Pat the brisket dry with paper towels. Do not trim any excess fat off the meat; this fat will naturally baste the meat and keep it moist during the long cooking time.

Using your hands or a shaker-top jar, sprinkle the brisket liberally with the rub. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and pat the spices into the meat but do not rub-this mixture will form a dark savoury crust on the meat, often referred to as the sought after “burnt-ends.” Set aside on a clean tray until ready to cook.

If using a charcoal grill, place a drip pan between the 2 piles of white-gray ashed briquettes (on the charcoal grate). Pour the beer into the drip pan. Before placing the meat on the grill, place the soaked wood chips directly on the coals. You will need to add charcoal every hour to maintain the heat. If using a gas grill, place a drip pan with the beer in the upper left corner of the gas grill directly on top of the flavorizer bars or ceramic rock. Place the soaked wood chips in a smoker box.

Place the brisket in the centre of the cooking grate, fat side up, over indirect medium-low heat. Cover and cook slowly for 4 to 5 hours at 325 degrees to 350 degrees or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the brisket registers 190 to 200 degrees. The meat should be very tender and falling apart. It will feel like the consistency of butter when you insert it with the probe of the thermometer. Remember: Do not turn the meat during the entire cooking time.

Let the meat rest for 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. The recipe can be made in advance up to this point and, once it is cool, wrapped in 3 layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil. To reheat the brisket, leave in foil and heat for about 1 hour at 250 degrees. For a crispier crust, remove the foil at the end and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with the Texas Vinegar-Chile Hot Sauce if desired.

For the rub:

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. The rub will keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Good for Seasoning: Beef (brisket, beef shoulder); pork; chicken

For the sauce:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium nonreactive bowl. Pour the sauce into a glass bottle with a top. It will keep indefinitely, covered in or out of the refrigerator.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

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BIG CHIEF BARBECUE

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Captured on film by Marion Post Wolcott in 1940, Big Chief Barbecue was a Georgia outlet positioned between Columbia and the hungry soldiers stationed at Fort Benning. The face that Big Barbecue presents is replete with particular products and generic brands.  CHECK OUT OTHER JOINTS HERE.

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GREAT DEPRESSION COOKING

91 year-old cook and great grandmother, Clara, recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era. Learn how to make simple yet delicious dishes while listening to stories from the Depression.

 

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THE WORLD’S BEST SALSA

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The first time I went to a truly authentic Mexican restaurant, I got my socks knocked off when the customary bowl of chips and salsa arrived at the table. The salsa was so… different. Different, of course, from all of the jarred salsas that I had ever known. The chunks weren’t as big, it had more heat, and you could clearly taste the tomatoes, lime, and cilantro. This was quite near the opposite of any salsa I had grown up eating from a jar. And I love, love, loved it! I couldn’t get enough. I may have had to box up the majority of my meal because I filled up on an obscene amount of chips and salsa. (Okay, so I still do that.) So what took me so long to make this type of restaurant-style salsa at home? I don’t have a good answer, but the important thing is that I have made it, and I am 100% positive I will never, ever buy a jar of salsa again!

Not only is this salsa bursting with tons of fresh flavours, but it couldn’t be easier or quicker to make. Seriously. You just dump everything into a food processor (I think a blender would work too), and then you pulse to your desired consistency.

And then you sit down with an entire bag of tortilla chips, a bowl of this salsa, and watch them both disappear. It’s amazing how quickly that can happen right? Or you layer together some cream cheese and cheddar cheese, melt it in the microwave a bit, then pour this salsa over, and dig in (that is one of my all-time favourite, guilty indulgence snacks!). Basically, if you like salsa at all, you will be in love with this! And it makes a ton, so make sure you keep a steady supply of tortilla chips in the house!

You know how after you make spaghetti sauce your fingers smell like garlic and basil? And you know that it means kitchen success? (Or lack of an odour-neutralising soap?) Well, when I was done making this, my fingers smelled like lime and cilantro. Major success.

Yield: About 6 cups (a.k.a. a ginormous batch) prep time: 15 minutes total time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

28-ounce can whole tomatoes (peeled) with juice
2 10-ounce cans Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
¼ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 jalepeño, quartered and sliced thin
½ cup cilantro
Juice from ½ a fresh lime
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

DIRECTIONS:

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until you get desired consistency (was about 10 pulses for me). Refrigerate for at least one hour, and then serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

*Note 1: This makes a large quantity so use at least an 11-cup food processor, or work in batches.

*Note 2: If you prefer a milder salsa, remove the seeds and membrane from the jalapeno before adding it to the food processor.

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JUKE JOINT BLUES

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THE INCOMPARABLE CHUY’S TEX MEX

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Chuy’s opened on April 16, 1982 in an old, abandoned Texas Barbeque joint on iconic Barton Springs Road in Austin, TX. There was seating for about sixty, a women’s restroom the size of a broom closet and a men’s restroom that was, well, outside. Founders Mike Young and John Zapp had a vision of a fun and funky Tex-Mex restaurant that served authentic and fresh food in an atmosphere that appealed to everyone. From these humble beginnings Chuy’s was born.

The menu is made up of a combination of flavours, with recipes and ingredients from across New Mexico, Mexican border towns, the Rio Grande Valley, deep South Texas, Austin and beyond. Our Green Chile sauce recipe was “borrowed” from a little hole-in-the-wall in Española, New Mexico, and our fajita marinade is an old South Texas family recipe (used at some “infamous” South Padre Island beach parties.) Mike and John wanted to bring FRESH to Tex-Mex, and that commitment to food is still the core of everything Chuy’s does today.

CHECK OUT THE MENU

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