Braised Bacon, Quail Egg, Red Pepper Grits, Toasted Cashew Powder

This is a dish that was served at a Chef’s Table last week and was very well received.  It is based on a dish that I enjoyed at 5&10 in Athens, Georgia a couple weeks ago.

The bacon was prepared by braising a slab of apple wood smoked bacon in chicken stock for six hours at 250 degrees.  After the bacon chilled, it was portioned and reheated gently for service.

The toasted cashew powder was produced by toasting cashews in the oven then blending in the food processor with tapioca maltodextrin.  Maltodextrin was added incrementally until the desired consistency was reached, then the cashew powder was pushed through a sieve to remove any larger particles and to lighten the end product.

The grits were the real highlight of the dish.  They were made with Anson Mills grits and were finished with a puree that was produced by Chef Hannah Yerby.  Hannah made the red pepper puree with roasted red bell peppers, peppadew peppers, heavy cream, shallots and srirachi.  The result was a sweet, creamy and slightly tart flavor that slowly builds heat on the back of the palate.

I have never been a fan of the “breakfast for dinner” concept but I would enjoy this dish anytime!

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