Chris Styler

Freelance Food LLC

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Posted on Sep 22 by

“Confit Duck Leg, Black Garlic, Pan Fried Farro Verde, Pear Kimchi, Embered Cabbage, Virginia Peanuts…” Honestly, when I hear a menu description like that I usually excuse myself (“Where’s the men’s room?”) and head for the hills. It is a chef in a thousand who can pull of a menu promise like that. As Flip Wilson’s character Geraldine used to say, “Don’t write a check with your mouth that your body can’t cash.” That’s how I feel about menu prose. Sean Brock, author or Heritage and  Chef/Partner of Husk Restaurant in Charleston is that one in a thousand who can cash that check. That duck, among many other dishes, was outstanding and delivered with style, hospitality and good old southern graciousness that made the entire evening stand out. I posted an album on Facebook of all the dishes we ate that evening. I want to go back. Now. Living in Jersey City makes that a little difficult but I’m sure we can figure it out. To the left is  another beauty that added up to more than the sum...


Keep the Barbecue Coming!

Posted on Sep 5 by

Best-of-the-Carolinas Barbecue Sauce Just because today marks the unofficial end of summer doesn’t mean that grilling should screech to a halt. There’s plenty of warm days ahead, and that means BBQ. This is my blend of the vinegary mop sauces, the mustard-based sauces and ketchupy sauces that hail from different parts of the Carolinas. All of the above are worth searching out and trying. I know this sauce is not authentic, but it is good. It’s simple to make and makes quite a bit so unless yours is a big group, you’ll get at least a few meals out of it. Brush this onto just about anything but toward the end of cooking so the sauce doesn’t burn. If you have a smoker, try this as a basting sauce on baby back ribs. MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS 1 cup cider vinegar 1/3 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons deli-style mustard 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes Kosher salt Bring all the ingredients and 3/4 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve...


Spicy-Cool Avocado Sauce (Cauliflower Version)

Posted on Jul 14 by

I used to make this all the time and then plain forgot about it. It is quick, rich in flavor and lots of good oils from the avocado. I use this on a lot of stovetop-smoked foods and most often with grilled fish or chicken. This summer I started pairing it more with vegetables, like these mini-cauliflowers from the farmers’ market. Sliced dead ripe tomatoes, grilled corn and wax beans are a few other suggestions. Or pan-broiled shrimp. Makes about 2  cups 1 ripe, but not mushy, Hass avocado 4 to 5 teaspoons fresh lime juice ¼ cup sour cream 1 teaspooon hot red pepper sauce, or to taste Kosher salt Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh into the bowl of a food processor. Add the lime juice, and process the avocado, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the avocado is very smooth. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl. Beat in the sour cream and red pepper sauce. Season with additional hot red pepper sauce,...