Best Corned Beef Hash

A Treasure on Queen Street


Pomegranate Mimosa

I’m not an early riser so I’m not likely to make it to breakfast.  But I can make it to brunch that curious meal for people who can’t make up there minds between breakfast and lunch. I cooked brunch at the Soho Charcuterie in New York on and off for 8 years, and there are certain things that I’m particular about. French toast and corn beef hash.

I was in Charleston, an amazing culinary destination, and decided to forgo the complimentary hotel breakfast of muffins and do-it-yourself waffles and take in brunch. But where to go? I was familiar with a number of establishments for dinner but was at a loss for meal at 11:30 AM. I decided to check out the brunch at Poogan’s Porch (see my post about my experience at the James Beard House) as they had french toast, although I was more in the mood for hash.

I turned onto Queen St. Passed the Porch and turned into a parking lot. When I emerged Entrancefrom the parking deck I saw an inviting awning and a long alleyway leading into a restaurant. It reminded me of New Orleans but a lot of Charleston reminds me of the Big Easy. On a fluke I checked out the specials listed by the entrance of 82 Queen. There it was, Corned Beef Hash. Kismet. The restaurant wasn’t crowed but that was to be expected. It’s mere steps from Husk and Poogan’s Porch. But I’m not a patient person and they had corned beef hash.  Did I say corned beef hash, I meant the best fricken corned beef hash I’ve ever had.  

When Mike set the the plate in front me by jaw dropped. It was beautiful. corned beef hash The perfectly cooked poached eggs rested on a pile of moist chunks of tender corn beef and three types of potatoes; Yukon Gold, Peruvian purple and sweet potatoes. To add the color were red, green and yellow peppers and red onions. A toasted slice of marbled rye finished the dish which came in handy for sopping up the egg yolk and delicate hollandaise sauce. Was it just the corned beef hash? I quizzed the 3 women at the table next to me and aked them what they had and it they enjoyed it. It was 3 for 3. The women said they come there often as they love to dine in the amazing courtyard.
Funny SpeakerNext time you find yourself in Charleston and want to avoid the crazy brunch crowds head over to 82 Queen street and relax in the courtyard and sip a pomegranate Mimosa. Back on Queen Street I overheard a tour guide driving a carriage full of tourists say that 82 Queen had the best She Crab Soup in Charleston.

ABOUT 82 QUEEN:  Serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the restaurant is spread throughout three buildings with eleven quaint dining areas including a turn-of-the-century courtyard featuring a mammoth Magnolia tree. 82 Queen is a three time winner of the ‘Best City Restaurant’ award from Southern Living magazine and five time recipient of the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. Consistently called-on as a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike, this 300 year old address represents both the history and the cuisine of the Lowcountry.


Salmon Pinwheels with Scallop Mousse

First Course for Christmas Dinner

What? You made salmon for Christmas? What kind of Jamook makes salmon for Christmas? Relax, I used the dish as the salad course served cold with an herb mayo on a bed of baby spinach. Yum!  I made roast duck for the main course.

In many cultures salmon IS the traditional meal for the holidays. Look up Christmas Salmon and you get between 13-22 million results.  Use “quotes” and the results are down to 8,510. But really, over 8,000 results for “Christmas Salmon.” So I’m not totally pazzesco.  Besides, a cold salmon appetizer is just the thing for Spring.

The complete recipe is coming soon. Can’t find my notes and have to get ready for the American Culinary Federation, Southeastern Conference this weekend in Charleston. Hope to post from the conference. I’m not promising anything.

Cia For Now
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Gnocchi – Easiest Meal Ever

Thanks to Costco
You Can Make This Meal in Under 30min

People are always asking me, “When are you going to prepare something simple, something I can make.”  They are not interested in mousse, or coq au vin, or beef wellington.  I like a challenge, I like making things I haven’t made before but have always wanted to make. Don’t get me wrong, you serve me beans and franks, I’ll eat beans and franks. I’m just not going to blog about it.

Funny Speaker Makes Gnocchi

All ingredients used, including the vodka, are from Costco

Below is a video and a recipe for, Gnocchi in a creamy roasted red pepper and tomato vodka sauce. Wait. That was the hard part. Saying all that with a straight face. Thanks to Costco this dish is incredibly easy to prepare. But it’s a dish that will impress the most discriminating palate.  I say thanks to Costco because everything that went into this recipe was stuff I had on the shelf, in large quantities.

First of all, if you’re not tying to impress anyone, you can simply heat up the soup and pour it over your favorite pasta. Bada Bing, that’s it. That’s what I did the first time, But while you’re waiting for the water to boil, you might as well play with the soup

For 2 large servings or 4 first course servings

• One pouch gnocchi
• 16 oz. Pacific Brand Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup (half a carton)
• 1 can diced tomatoes drained
• 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion chopped fine
• 1.5 oz Vodka
• Grated Parmigiano

Place pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Put a couple of tablespoons of Olive Oil in a fry pan. Use a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. What does that mean, “Extra Virgin?” You got one too many virgins? I use the Kirkland Signature brand imported extra virgin olive oil which got a very high rating in Consumer Reports.

Sautee the onions over a medium high heat until soft. The soup is sweet to begin with so you don’t need to cook the onions too long. When the onions are to your liking, add the vodka pouring at arms length. DO NOT PUT YOUR FACE OVER THE PAN. That seems obvious to me but you have to say it. If you’re cooking with gas, merely tilt the pan so the fame comes in contact with the vodka. If you are using an electric stove, use one of those long matches you use for lighting a fire, or grill. Shake the pan until the flames die down. When the flames die down, add the soup and a can of diced tomatoes, drained. Stir everything together.

The water probably has yet to boil. So pour you a glass of red wine and grate some aged Parmigiano Reggiano. If you like a cheesier sauce you can add up to 1/2 Cup of grated cheese directly to the sauce as it’s cooking.

These gnocchi from Costco is imported from Italy and comes in a box of four. It only takes 6 minutes once placed in the boiling water. Drain the gnocchi and add it to the sauce. You can put up to a ½ cup of grated cheese into the sauce if you’d like but it does make the pan harder to clean.

Plate the pasta and sprinkle a little grated cheese on top. For a classy touch add a chiffonade basil. This is the perfect time to use some fresh basil chiffonade. Chiffonade is French for “little ribbons.” You make the ribbons by stacking some large basil leaves then roll them up tightly then making thin slices against the roll. This is also the perfect use for a Santoku knife. Basil is one of those herbs that change taste and character the more you play with it. A larger knife bruises the leaf and the color turns a dark color and it doesn’t make for as nice a garnish.

NOTE: The audio pronunciation guide at Webster’s online dictionary as well as pronounce Gnocchi as, “nock-ee,” but it’s pronounced like I say it in the video. The “GN” is almost like an “n” before a “y”, with the “n” almost silent. The “Oh” sound is long, n’yo-kee.

Posted by humorous motivational speaker and celebrity chef, Vinny Verelli