Soby’s Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes, Broccolini and Habanero Butter Sauce

Sobys bacon wrapped tenderlion

Soby’s was one of the first upscale restaurants to open up on Main Street here in Greenville, SC. We’ve had a number of important dinners there, including our wedding dinner. As long as I have been going there, one of my favorite meals has been the bacon wrapped pork loin with broccolini, mashed potatoes and a habanero cream. The habanero cream sauce is the hit of the dish and it makes me crave it. I crave it so much, I decided to remake this meal at home.

I have to say, this was about as close of a recreation as there gets. The crispy/fatty bacon (I use Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked) is a nice balance against the lean pork loin. The crunch broccolini adds freshness and lightens the dish. The whipped potatoes are the glue and the habanero cream sauce… oh that spicy cream sauce blends perfectly with everything. The best bite is when you get a bit of all the components together on the fork. I love when meal components are great alone but are enhanced by each other. Amazing.

I’d like to offer a hat tip to Let’s Dish for the Habanero Cream Sauce recipe. I only slightly modified it.

 

Habanero Cream Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pork loin (they come in two packs at my grocery)
  • 4-6 slices applewood smoke bacon (I prefer Niman Ranch)
  • 1 large bunch of broccolini
  • 2-3 large baking potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Salt and pepper
Directions for Habanero Cream

  1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and add olive oil.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook until the rue is light blond.
  4. Slice the habanero in half and add to the pan. Note: for less spice, only use half. For even less spice remove the seeds and steams.
  5. Whisk in the milk and increase heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and bubbly.
  6. Stir in the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and keep warm. Remove the habanero halves before serving.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wrap the pork loin tightly with the applewood smoked bacon keeping a slight overlap on each wrap.
  3. Place the pork in oven pan and roast until desired doneness about 25 minutes. The last few minutes you can switch to the broiler if the bacon is not crisp enough.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and cut potatoes into uniform chunks. Place in pot of cool salted water with the smashed garlic cloves. Bring to boil and let them go until fork tender. Strain potatoes and using a ricer, food mill or food processor “mash” until you achieve the consistency that you like. I mash the garlic right in with the potatoes for extra garlicky goodness. Return potatoes to the pot, add approximately 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, as much half and half, heavy cream or milk as you like and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
  5. To save time and keep from clean two large pots, while the potatoes were boiling I add a steamer to the same pot and steamed the broccolini. You can do this in a separate pot if you like, but it worked out just fine using the same one.
  6. Once the broccolini are as tender as you like (I prefer mine almost raw), set aside.
  7. To plate this like Soby’s does, after allowing the pork to rest, slice the pork. Add the potatoes, three pieces of pork (as seen above), top with broccolini and pour the cream around the edges of the plate.
  8. Enjoy!
Soby’s Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes, Broccolini and Habanero Butter Sauce

Greenbrier Farm to Table Dinner with Hedges Wine and Stella’s Southern Bistro

Greenbrier Farms Pork Belly Wrapped Pork Loin Porchetta

It was a chilly night, not a usual thing on March 6th in the upstate of South Carolina. Never the less it was cold; to the point they had a pit fire and big outdoor space heater going instead the barn. We love Greenbrier Farms; it is an awesome place ran by awesome folks and producing amazing foods. Any time they have an event we try and attend. This particular event was most interesting. At Greenbrier, with Greenbrier products, prepared by Chef Jason Scholz (Stella’s Southern Bistro) and paired with wines from Hedges Family Estates…uhhh, yeh…we’re going.

I could go course by course and rave about each. I could go on about how each component worked well together and had balance. I could go on and on about how the wines paired perfectly. The venue was fun, the service was excellent, the…on and on. It would be true. Instead of going on and on, here is the menu and a few snap shots I was able to grab.

The stand outs for me; the second (Greenbrier Farms Pork Bolognaise & Tomato Braised Pork Meatballs) and third courses (Greenbrier Farms Pork Belly Wrapped Pork Loin “Porchetta”) pictured above but everything we ate and drank was phenomenal. If you haven’t, visit Greenbrier and Stella’s and buy some Hedges wine. You won’t regret it.

 

Greenbrier Farm to Table Dinner with Hedges Wine Menu

Hors D’ Oeuvres
Greenbrier Farms Pork Pate
Biscuit, chow chow

Hedges HIP Chardonnay – 2012 vintage
Made from 100% Chardonnay from the Dionysus Vineyard of the Columbia Valley, this wine shows flavors of crisp pears and apples with hints of pineapple, lychee, straw, licorice and custard. 100% fermented in stainless steel for a true expression of Chardonnay.

 

First Course
Crispy Confit Greenbrier Farms Chicken
Sea Island red pea & kimchee pancake, bourbon soy glazed stuffed wing, gingered sausage,
Hakurei turnips, anise chicken jus

Hedges CMS White – 2012 Vintage
Made mostly of Sauvignon Blanc (76%} rounded out by Chardonnay (22%) and Marsanne (2%) that shows flavors of pear, grapefruit peel, wet straw and gooseberry. 100% fermented in stainless steel for a clean, bright wine that is versatile and refreshing.

 

Second Course
Greenbrier Farms Pork Bolognaise & Tomato Braised Pork Meatballs
Anson Mills farro, dinosaur kale, Thomasville Tomme, rustic pork liver toast,
Palmetto Olive Oil Tuscan herb oil

Hedges CMS Red – CMS Red – 2011 vintage
Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah in the Columbia Valley AVA this wine is dark, deep ruby color. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, sweet plum fruit and sweet toasted oak with undertones of ripe melon, dried herbs and vanilla with hints of cocoa powder.

 

Third Course
Greenbrier Farms Pork Belly Wrapped Pork Loin “Porchetta”
fennel pollen, citrus, spinach & garlic sformato, arugula pesto, pan drippings
Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain – 2011 vintage
Made exclusively from fruit grown on the Hedges Estate, comprised of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 3% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec. Deep purple color, yet not opaque. The 2011 vintage produced a savory character in the wines, like that of fennel, salt, and tar.

 

Dessert
Sticky Toffee & Greenbrier Farms Carrot Cake
Split Creek goat cheese frosting, cajeta panna cotta, rum soaked raisins,
Palmetto Olive Oil Dark Chocolate Condimento

Hedges Fortified Wine
This wine, made in the tradition of Port, speaks of black cherries, deep dark wood and mahogany, and has hints of tobacco, earth and dark chocolate.

 

Crispy-Confit-Greenbrier-Farms-Chicken
Crispy Confit Greenbrier Farms Chicken

Sticky Toffee & Greenbrier Farms Carrot Cake
Sticky Toffee and Greenbrier Farms Carrot Cake

Pork Bolognaise and Tomato Braised Pork MeatballsPork Bolognaise and Tomato Braised Pork Meatballs

Greenbrier Farm to Table Dinner with Hedges Wine and Stella’s Southern Bistro

Duo of Greenbrier Farms Lamb at American Grocery

American Grocery - Greenbrier Farms duo of lamb

I always enjoy a visit to my favorite restaurant in Greenville, American Grocery. This particular trip was a date night and just happen to be our two week wedding anniversary. Jen and I both agreed we need a break, and Jen suggested AGR. It might have had something to do with them having Paella on the menu. If you’ve been to AGR, you know. Their menu changes every single day. If they have Paella on Thursday, that doesn’t mean it’ll be there on Friday. Knowing this, I still called and got reservations. I spoke with Darlene, owner and in-house sommelier, when I called. After the reservation was made, I asked if she thought the Paella would be on the menu tomorrow (Friday). She offered to ask Chef Clarke, owner, chef and husband to Darlene. I told her not to worry about that, we are coming anyway.

Making a long story, longer…on Friday afternoon I peeked at the menu (Darlene uploads the menu for that night in the late afternoon), the Paella was gone. When we arrived, however, we were greeted by Darlene, who whispered that they had saved one Paella for Jen. Awesome! Love AGR!

I started my meal with the Crispy Veal Sweetbread, crispy farm egg, sea island pea hash, green garlic cream, pickled ramps (pictured below). It was great. I love when chefs us offal, I think it truly respects the animal when you use every thing you can. This veal was super crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. The egg was perfectly cooked as well with the yolk broken, I mixed it together with the other ingredients. The pea hash and pickled ramps where delicious. Like most dishes at AGR, all the components of the dish are good, but together they are perfect.

My entree was the Duo of Local Lamb, sunchoke – potato cream, wild mushrooms, swiss chard, lamb jus (pictured above). The first of the lamb duo seemed to have been maybe braised, then shredded, then formed back, then seared. It tasted a lot like a REALLY good pulled pork medallion. On top of that was house made mustard which matched perfectly. The second lamb was loin that was tender and juice and cooked perfectly. Chef might have cooked this in a very similar way to how he prepares his duck breast. The outside was crunchy and almost sweet and as you can see (click on the above image to see a larger version) the inside was pink. The wild mushrooms added the earthiness and the swiss chard added that bitter punch. The lamb jus was deep, rich and very flavorful. The sunchoke – potato cream was also rich and very creamy and was the glue holding this fabulous meal together. Again, perfect.

As a side note, Jennifer did get the Paella (pictured below). Her meal consisted of AGR Paella – cobia, mussels, shrimp, calamari, chorizo, saffron rice, spring vegetables. I tasted it and it was delicious. The rice and chorizo alone would have been worth getting this dish. You then add a bunch of fresh seafood and it was over the top.

Crispy Veal Sweetbread, crispy farm egg, sea island pea hash, green garlic cream, pickled ramps
AGR Crispy Veal Sweetbread
AGR Paella – cobia, mussels, shrimp, calamari, chorizo, saffron rice, spring vegetables
AGR Paella
Duo of Greenbrier Farms Lamb at American Grocery

Farm to Table Dinner featuring Stone Brewing at Greenbrier Farms

Very rarely do events like this come to such a happy confluence. I really like Stone Brewery. I love Greenbrier Farms and I love American Grocery. When I was invited to the Farm to Table Dinner that featured all three I was ecstatic. One of my favorite Chefs preparing food from my favorite farm, pared with beer from one of my favorite breweries. Awesome…and it was.

Five courses of exquisite, is how I would define this meal. I have to say that it was A LOT of food and A LOT of heavy food but WOW. My favorite course was the fourth (image above). Basically it was pulled pork, but made into “paddy” then seared so it had a nice crust. The mustard was house made and brilliant. Collard greens and grits are about as southern as you can get and went perfectly with the pork. YUM!

I also I loved the charcuterie and the salad course as well. Actually the whole meal was brilliant and the beers were delicious and bountiful. Below I tried to remember all the courses and beer parings. I might have forgotten something, but that should be pretty close.

Courses

  1. Charcuterie with grilled bread. Like pate (terrine or head cheese) with all kinds of goodies (lamb and pork head).
  2. Salad with greens, pickled green tomatoes, roasted red and white beets, turnips vinaigrette.
  3. Cassoulet deconstructed. White and red bean, kale, chicken confit, pork belly, aioli, green tomato chow chow.
  4. Pork roulette (pulled pork, crispy sear), housemade mustard seed mustard, collards, Anson Mills grit cake, pork and lamb demiglaze.
  5. Ginger and molasses cake, butterscotch Chantilly, whipped cream quenelle.

Beer Parings

  1. Stone IPA
  2. Stone Pale Ale
  3. Stone Levitation Ale
  4. Stone Smoked Porter
  5. Stone Imperial Russian Stout

If you are not familiar with Greenbrier Farms, they are a small farm located outside of Greenville, SC and are definitely on my Favorites Products List.

American Grocery is my favorite restaurant in this area. If you’ve been following this blog you undoubtedly know this. I have written about them on several occasions.

Farm to Table Dinner featuring Stone Brewing at Greenbrier Farms

Fall for Greenville 2011, downtown Greenville, South Carolina

2011 Fall for Greenville, Main Street, downtown Greenville, SC

We are very fortunate in this area to have a lot of great restaurants. We are equally lucky to have many outdoor events. As I have posted before, Fall for Greenville combines the best of both. This outdoor festival is full of music, great local food and eclectic beer and wine selections and proceeds go to local charities. What a phenomenal event! You can read more about this event in my write up from last year or download the Fall for Greenville 2011 Map(pdf). Below is some of the food I sampled. If you are within a few hours of sleepy Greenville, SC and haven’t been, I would highly recommend this event.

Fall for Greenville, Main Street, downtown Greenville, SC
Tacos from Fonda Rosalinda’s

Fall for Greenville, Ford's Red Beans and Rice
Ford’s Red Beans and Rice

Fall for Greenville, Main Street, downtown Greenville, SC
Looking South, Main Street, Greenville, SC

Fall for Greenville, Main Street, Soby's Lobster Mac and Cheese
Soby’s Lobster Mac and Cheese

Fall for Greenville, Larkin's Yukon Gold Chips with Bleu Cheese Dip
Larkin’s Yukon Gold Chips with Bleu Cheese Dip

Fall for Greenville, Main Street, downtown Greenville, SC
Looking South, Main Street, Greenville, SC

Fall for Greenville 2011, downtown Greenville, South Carolina

Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich at The Nose Dive

Vietnamese Bahn Mi at The Nose Dive, Greenville SC

Restaurants can come and go pretty quickly. One restaurant that opened with great fan fare in downtown Greenville was The Nose Dive. The next in a long growing line of Table 301 Restaurants that include local favorites like Soby’s, The Lazy Goat and Devereaux’s.

The Nose Dive was a long time coming. Opening in the space that used to be the home of Restaurant “O”, an upscale steak house. The space stayed empty for a very long time by Greenville standards. Never the less, when The Nose Dive did finally open, the “Gastropub” menu was refreshingly unique for the area. Upscale bar food. Gourmet technique and recipes applied to food you might normally not associate with a bar. We’ve eaten there MANY times since they opened and have never had a bad meal. We mostly like the sandwiches and “snacks”. The entree menu or “Mains” is good not great. The restaurant has a nice wine list and better than average beer selection.

The Nose Dive's Bahn MiThe whole reason for the post is to talk about my favorite sandwich in downtown Greenville. The Vietnamese Bahn Mi from The Nose Dive is a PERFECT sandwich in my opinion. PERFECT! Light and Crispy French Bun (with a very little mayo). Char Siu Pork brings some sweet and tangy bar-b-que flavor and is perfectly seasoned, not too little not too much. Spicy Pickled Vegetables add the acidity and crunch that anything “perfect” needs. Fresh Jalapenos slices and a lot of them add enough heat to make me sweat, which I love. Add in some cilantro for that fresh, earthiness and you have the perfect sandwich. YUM! I struggle getting anything else on the menu. I could see how some wouldn’t like this sandwich, it is probably not for everyone. Maybe it is too spicy, maybe some don’t like the pickled veg. For me, it is perfect.

Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich at The Nose Dive

2011 Greenville Restaurant Week at Devereaux’s and American Grocery

American Grocery, downtown Greenville, SC

Every year South Carolina puts on a Restaurant Week celebration. Through-out the state some of the nicer restaurants offer a prix fixe 3 course menu which is generally offered for around $30. Most of these restaurants usually have entrees that cost $30, so this is a really good deal. Restaurant Week in Greenville is a huge success with most of the restaurants staying packed the whole week. I love the idea because I believe it exposes many to restaurants they might not normally go to and cuisine they might not normally try. Brilliant!

So for a raging foodie like me it is heaven. This year we visited two of my favorite restaurants in Greenville; American Grocery and Devereaux’s. I’ve said this before but it is not easy to “shock” my palate with something I wasn’t expecting. Both of these restaurants succeed in doing that more often then not. Below are the sample Restaurant Week menus for each restaurant.

We first visited Devereaux’s with a group of friends. It was nice because between us all we had one of every thing. I had Rabbit Risotto (Rabbit Confit, orange zest, chive and asiago), Roasted Duck Breast (pictured below), and the Rosemary Funnel Cake (Pumpkin crisp ice cream, orange and honey, also pictured below) with wine pairings.

First the risotto; what stuck with me was the orange zest. The rabbit was great and the actual risotto was tender and creamy (what I would expect from a great risotto). The orange zest just gave the dish a big, citrus punch that caught me off guard (in a good way). The duck was cooked perfectly (which if you’ve cooked duck, isn’t always the easiest to do), with a sweet, chard crust on the out side and almost rare inside. The rice and vegetables that came with it where very nice and the savory demi-glaze was a perfect balance with the rich duck. My final course was the rosemary funnel cake. I have to say that I didn’t taste a lot of rosemary more ginger, but it was delicious. The ice cream and crisp finished the meal very well.

Our second trip was to American Grocery. Let me start by saying this is my favorite restaurant in Greenville. We go pretty regular. This meal was the best I have had at this restaurant. I had Red Fern Farm Lamb Albondigas (lima bean hummus, parsley salad), Blue Chip Farm Rabbit Loin ‘Pasta’ (swiss chard, carrot – bacon cream) and Buttermilk Panna Cotta (citrus soup, almond tuile) with wine pairings.

The first course was Lamb Albondigas, which are basically Spanish lamb meat balls and they were amazing. They were not overly rich and the lima bean hummus and peppery parsley balanced the dish very well. My main course was one of the best things I have eaten (the photo is at the top of the page). Rabbit Lion cooked confit in duck fat. Ridiculous! The fresh pasta made in house was so tender. The bitterness of the swiss chard. And all tied together with a carrot, bacon cream. I wanted to lick the bowl. Seriously, I wanted to lick the bowl and if it wasn’t so crowded I might have. Perfect! My dessert course was a Buttermilk Panna Cotta. It was very good but nothing that blew me away. Nothing could have lived up to my previous course. The panna cotta was not overly sweet, which works for me. The almond tuile had a fair amount of sweetness and added nice crunch. The citrus soup was great with bits of grapefruit it added a nice acidity.

If you have never been to some of these restaurants, Restaurant Week or Foodie Fest (in Greenville) are great opportunities. I highly suggest giving them a try. You may like them, you may not but for $30 you can’t beat it.

Devereaux's duck, downtown Greenville, SC
Roasted Duck Breast, Devereaux’s

Jen and Tracey at Devereauxs

Funnel Cake at Devereaux's, Main Street, downtown Greenville, SC
Rosemary Funnel Cake, Devereaux’s

Tracey and Jim at Devereauxs

2011 Greenville Restaurant Week at Devereaux’s and American Grocery