Posts by Chef Knox

picture of Bette Davis serving military with the betty on davis sunday brunch hours of operation 11 am till 3 pm

Sunday Brunch, Come On In To See Us

March 1st, 2017 Posted by Appetizers, Brunch, Drinks, Entrees, Ingredient Showcase 0 thoughts on “Sunday Brunch, Come On In To See Us”

As a Chef the word Brunch is almost taboo. Call me a rarity, or even an anomaly but I LOVE cooking Sunday brunch. In fact, it is my favorite shift to work. We even have a special playlist in the kitchen that is religiously played each week. 

I was always taught that a fair measurement of a Chef’s ability was how well they were able to cook their eggs. Thank you Escoffier. There is something unique about the challenge of perfectly cooking eggs. There are more ways to cook an egg than any other food. As a result, I have made it my business, no pun intended, to cook a lot of eggs over the years.

mound of bird's mill grits alongside perfectly cooked omelette

If an omelette where butter melting in your mouth then it must have come from one of our Sunday brunches. Options are available for the carnivores and veg heads the same. A pulled pork with pig paint omelette is ushered with pickled red onion, arugula, and pimento cheese making a regular appearance on our specials chalkboard. The brunch menu offers an omelette with goat cheese, fresh herbs and a weekly set of  local farm produce to fill this vegetarian delight.  

Poached eggs are a staple as is an eggs Benedict. Toasted rustic bread is the vessel for a bed of our own pastrami cuddling the poached eggs with a blanket of maple hollandaise that may just cause one’s head to explode like the yolk of your egg while the fork cuts through.   

roasted fingerling potatoes and thyme in cast iron skillet

As we all know brunch is not only about eggs. Though a vital element to a Sunday Funday kick off there are immense factors to accompany. Bloody Mary’s made with our own mix. Pitchers of mimosas, farm veggie hash, & our rustic french toast with crispy bacon. Sides of rich Byrd Mill grits and flavorful home fries. Cast iron biscuits with ever changing seasonal jams & jellies that I make just to be spread over these biscuit’s soft & flaky bellies. 

french toast with maple syrup drizzling over top of a toasted meringue

Let us not leave out the breakfast sausage gravy smothered over one of those cast iron biscuits. This is one of my personal all-time favorite dishes to eat frankly, anytime of day. We grind the pork ourselves and prepare our signature loose breakfast sausage before the gravy even comes into the picture. Flavors of sage, nutmeg, & maple syrup combine with hints of spicy pepper flakes among other ingredients begin to mold this sausage adventure. Sincerely, I have been making this same gravy for years and I still get worked up and hungry talking about it.

You may ask me, “Chef, what about chicken & waffles?” 

Well then I will tell you …

Paired with changing seasonal produce from any one of our wonderful farms, ancho chili maple glaze, & fluffy Belgian waffle with the right crunch. All of these elements become the entourage to the fried smoked chicken breast. Leaving the bone in furnishes a juicy piece of smokey chicken. 

So next Sunday between the hours of 11am to 3pm when you need your brunch fix we hope to see you walking through the door. I will be in the back with my rubber spatula cooking while dancing to Lady Gaga and Sean Cannon out front ready to give you a high five, a good laugh, and even better adult beverage.  

See you soon!

Chef Knox

 

poutine in a bowl from the betty on davis

Poutine

February 28th, 2017 Posted by Appetizers, History, Ingredient Showcase 0 thoughts on “Poutine”

It’s Poutine in RVA.

  • poutine (Poo-Teen) OR if you want to pass for a real Québécois, it’s pronounced (poo-tin) (n): 1)French-Canadian dish traditionally made of French fries and fresh cheese curds, covered with gravy. 2)Deliciousness.

 

Thanks to Canada, a dish that will keep you warm and fuzzy. Our House Cut fries mixed with white cheddar cheese curds then smothered with our pork gravy, EH!!! Much like many of the stories about any dish, the origin has a number of different tales.

One thing is for sure. Poutine was born in rural Quebec in the 1950’s. Since that time this dish has made it’s way not only all across Canada, making it their National Dish, but there are many variations across the globe. What began as a basket of Fries evolved to half fries, half cheese curds. For obvious reasons, (because duh, why not?!?!) gravy began to appear a top. With this addition the Canadian cuisine’s Holy Trinity was born.

This dish is so popular across our Northern border that it can be found in many fast food chains including Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, & Burger King. It’s that wicked good!

Chef Knox

 

delivery of oysters for valentines day menu

Christchurch, The Betty, & Oysters

February 27th, 2017 Posted by Ingredient Showcase 0 thoughts on “Christchurch, The Betty, & Oysters”

 Every year Valentine’s Day rolls around and there are two ingredients I automatically go to; chocolate and oysters. Though chocolate is wonderful, this post is about the latter. We get some of the best oysters that one can get from Christchurch School. There is a marine biology program there that allows the students start from beginning to end with the oysters. Christchurch is located right on the Rappahannock River, so the students can keep an eye on them at all times. These oysters are some of the cleanest tasty oysters you’ll ever have. Not only is there a terrific product as a canvas for the dish but an opportunity to support a program helping educate and better the community.

This Valentine’s Day dish was a dozen raw oysters. The oysters by themselves are fantastic however being a special occasion I thought it appropriate to enhance the oysters with some texture and the right combination of sweet, salty, spicy, & earthy.

picture of two prepared raw oysters from valentines day menu

Christchurch Oysters on a half shell with beet green crisps, pea shoots, soy pickled red onion mignonette, topped with sweet & spicy Virginia peanuts. On this appetizer alone four different local farms/organizations are represented including the oysters. Victory Farms, Gourmet Greens, Hubbard Peanut Co. represent other ingredients.
Chef Knox

chicken, shallots, and red wine just before being put into the oven

Coq Au Vin

February 1st, 2017 Posted by Entrees, History 0 thoughts on “Coq Au Vin”

One of my favorite things about being the Chef at The Betty is the chance to take a classic dish or “comfort food” and make it my own. A perfect example of this is the Coq Au Vin.

Coq Au Vin, translating to cock/rooster in red wine, is a French dish that was popularized by Julia Childs. She used this recipe in her influential cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) and the television show, The French Chef. See her recipe here. This brought exposure of the dish into American homes. However, the true origins of the dish are mostly unknown.

Two of the more common stories told include Caesar & Napoleon. What remains consistent through each tale behind the dish is the utilization of using rooster from poor families. Once the rooster was no longer able to serve it’s purpose on their land, it served a new purpose on a plate.

Rooster comes out stringy and tough after being cooked, which makes it fairly unappetizing. To fix this, folks would use cheap or turned wine to submerge the bird. After cooking a long period of time the meat would become tender falling off the bone. This stew-like meal was and still is typically served with mushrooms, onions, & lardons.

Over time due to chicken becoming more affordable and reasonable quality wine more abundant, Coq Au Vin has evolved from its poverty roots. As well, the number of ways in which this dish could be prepared can change slightly. Using Riesling instead of Burgundy, for example. At The Betty, we shoot towards keeping things simple and true, yet refined.

In our version of Coq Au Vin, shallots, burgundy wine, chicken stock and, & thyme accompany a chicken leg. These ingredients get to know each other for over an hour or more with the oven at a very low temperature. 

Different farms can be incorporated on this dish each week. For example, Joyce Farm or River Oaks Farm may provide the chicken. This week we will be using mixed mustard greens from Victory Farms Inc. These greens add a pepper forward flavor to the rich sauce and tender chicken. Byrd’s Mill Grits act as the vessel bringing all the flavors home for a slight twist on a classic.

Hungry yet? Come to The Betty and give this delicious dish a go. Look Forward to seeing you soon.

Chef Knox