Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Great Coffee Rubbed Pork and Brownies for Labor Day

Yes, you read it right. I did say coffee rub. You know, some time back this tea gal used to be a coffee drinker.  I do love the taste of coffee, it just doesn't love me back!

This is most likely the last artisan from the Williams-Sonoma Artisans Market I will feature for awhile.  But, I think I might have saved the best for last!  Virginia Willis is a friend and colleague of mine from Atlanta.  We met some years ago and made a connection.  She is a Southern chef and the acclaimed cookbook author of Bon Appetit, Y'all and the soon to be released Basic to Brilliant, Y'all which is available now for PreOrder. 

While at Williams-Sonoma, the minute I smelled her French Quarter Spice Rub, I was immediately taken back to a time and place much earlier in my life-my first trip to New Orleans!  I was 20 and decided to drive across the country for college from South Florida to Southern California all by myself.  It was sort of a rite of passage into adulthood in my mind. 

I can't believe my mom ever agreed to it,  but I know as a mother now, she must have prayed for me the whole road trip.  I had my trip planned out with all my stops.  I drove straight to Alabama and stayed at a hotel for the first time all by myself.  It was a strange feeling to say the least. 

I woke up early to get on the road to hit New Orleans for the day.  I drove my little Toyota Corolla into the French Quarter and parked.  As I walked around, I stopped at a little cafe called Cafe Du Monde for some coffee and beignets.  I don't know if it was because I was experiencing things for the first time on my own, the vibe of the French Quarter, the saxophonist playing in the background or what, but it was some of the best coffee and donuts I had ever had! 

I am not sure how Virginia managed to package all those memories into her spice rub, but she did.  I couldn't wait to get home and try it out.  I decided to put the rub on sliced boneless pork loin, but it is good on chicken (which I sampled at Williams-Sonoma) and steak too.  The rub gave the pork a unique flavor that we all loved-a spicy sweet coffee taste!  It is an easy way to give flavor to your favorite meat. I think a Sri Lankan Ceylon iced tea or a hot cup of slightly smokey Chinese Keemun black tea would pair nicely with the rubbed pork!

To finish your meal without any real hassle, you'll love her Pecan Brownies Mise En Place!  What is Mise En Place you might be asking?  It is a French culinary term that chefs use to describe getting all their ingredients ready for a recipe.  Well, Virginia has done that with her brownies using the finest ingredients-you just pour in the milk,  Let me tell you, the brownies don't taste like the brownie mixes at the grocery store-not even close!   I would pair the brownies with a hot cup of Indian Darjeeling tea or a Chinese Golden Monkey! 

You will want to check out all the products at My Southern Pantry.  It is a great head start to your Holiday cooking and shopping After perusing, you might even wish you were Southern too!

If you are in the Atlanta area, the products will be at Williams-Sonoma Lenox this Saturday!
Happy Sipping and Labor Day, Lisa

1 comment:

  1. Lisa,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I can hardly wait to get my hands on some of Virginia's French Quarter Spice Rub. The Brownies? Oh my, they are on my list too along with Chinese Golden Monkey tea.
    What a treat!