RECIPES: Art Smith's Fresh Take on Southern Classics

For Art Smith, there's no place like least when it comes to food.

July 15, 2009— -- Courtesy of Art Smith

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Serves 4


One 3 ½ pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces

2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon salt

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup self-rising flour

½ teaspoon sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder


Place the chicken in a medium bowl and add the buttermilk and salt. Stir well and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Add enough oil to a deep large skillet to create a depth of 1 inch. Heat over medium-high heat to 360 degrees F (use a deep-frying thermometer or an electric frying pan).

Mix the flour, paprika, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Remove the dark meat from the buttermilk, shake to remove the excess, and roll in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and place in the hot oil. Cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 mintues. Adjust the heat as needed so that the oil bubbles steadily around the chicken- it shouldn't brown too quickly. Drain on paper towels.

Reheat the oil to 360 degrees F. Repeat with the breasts and wings, cooking for about 15 minutes. Serve the chicken hot or at room temperature, within 2 hours of cooking.

Pecan-Crusted Rockfish with Sauteed Ribbon Vegetables and Wassail Sauce

For the Crust


2 cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup grated white cheddar

1/4c grated Parm

4 sprigs thyme leaves, chopped

4 sprigs parsley leaves, chopped

3/4 cups all-purpose flour


Combine all ingredients well and set aside.

For the Wassail Sauce


1 quart apple cider

1 cup orange juice

6 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 cup pineapple juice

2 quarts chicken stock


1. Combine juices and spices in a pot and bring to a simmer.

2. Reduce juices by half or until the consistency of maple syrup, strain and set aside.

3. In a separate pot, reduce chicken stock until about 2c remain.

4. Stir the reduce syrup into the stock

5. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Ribbon Vegetables


2 medium carrots, peeled

2 medium zucchini, washed and dried

2 medium yellow squash, washed and dried


Slice all vegetables on a mandolin the long way as thin as possible to make ribbons. Mix ribbons, keeping garlic separate.

For the Assembly


4 6oz.- portions of skinless rockfish filet

2 cups buttermilk

Finished crust

Ribbon vegetables

1 clove garlic, minced

Warm wassail sauce


Salt & pepper


1. Season fish with salt and pepper

2. Dip one side of the fish in to the buttermilk and then press into the crust

3. Add 2oz oil to a medium hot sauté pan

4. Add fish nut side down and cook for 3 minutes or until crust turns golden brown

5. Flip fish and move pan into a 350*oven to cook for 5 minutes

6. In another medium hot sauté pan sauté the garlic in 1oz oil until jut beginning to brown

7. Add ribbon vegetables and toss in oil

8. Season with salt and pepper and place in a loose ball on 4 plates

9. Place cooked fish on vegetables with crust side up

10. Spoon about 1oz of sauce on fish and around plate.

Horseradish & Beet Cured Salmon Hoecake with Hackleback Caviar, Dill Crème Fraiche and Caper Berries

For the Cure


1 side Salmon fillet, skin on, pin blones removed

3/4 pound of Beets, stem removed, fine grated

1 pound Horseradish, fresh, grated

6 oz Granulated Sugar

6 oz Kosher Salt

2 tablespoons Black

Pepper, cracked

Zest of 2 limes

Zest of 2 lemons

1 bunch Tarragon, picked and chopped fine


1. Combine all ingredients except the salmon in a bowl and thoroughly mix using gloves.

2. Place the salmon on a sheet pan with an oven rack.

3. Coat the salmon with about ½ inch of the mix, making sure it is an even coat.

4. Place the salmon in the walkin and let sit for 72 hours.

5. With a damp rag, remove the crust.

6. Slice thin with a knife.

For the Hoecake Batter


2 cups Cornmeal

4 oz All purpose Flour

4 teaspoons Granulated


2 teaspoons Ground Black


4 teaspoosns Kosher Salt

1 tablespoom Lemon Zest

2 ounces Butter, melted

Water, as needed


1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

2. Add water as needed to make a pancake-like consistency

For the Dill Crème Fraiche


2 cup Crème Fraiche

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

2 tablespoons Minced Garlic

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 tablepoons Minced Shallots

1/2 teaspoon White pepper, ground


1. Combine all ingredients.



1/4 cup Minced red onion

12 Caper berries, split

12 oz Cured Salmon, sliced

¼ cup Blended Olive Oil


1. Heat Griddle to 350 degrees F.

2. Ladle out 3oz of hoecake batter and cook on each side for 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times.

3. Lay each finished hoecake on a separate plate and layer with 2 oz cured salmon.

4. Drizzle 1 oz of dill crème fraiche on the salmon.

5. Garnish with minced red onions and split caper berries.