We recently traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for a weekend brewery crawl. The craft beer there is abundant and fantastic. What I also found was the famous Tupelo Honey Cafe, a Southern foodies dream. Well worth the 3 hour wait ( don’t worry they text you when you’re getting close on the list so you are free to explore downtown while you wait) this restaurant creates new southern comfort food by adding creative twists and fresh local and seasonal ingredients to their dishes. I was such a fan I bought the cook book and have not been disappointed with anything I have tried yet. This is the best roast chicken I have ever made. The herb stuffing seeps its flavor into all of the meat while it roasts, making each bite as comforting as a bowl of chicken soup. This is a great way to use up extras from the herb garden as well. I might even try to use this recipe with my Thanksgiving turkey. I highly recommend the cookbook and their website says that there will be a new one available this Spring, I am pre-ordering mine now.
Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Herb Roasted Chicken
1 3 lb chicken
2 c peeled and diced carrots
2 c diced celery
2 c diced sweet yellow onion ( Vidalias are best)
2 T chopped fresh Thyme
2 T chopped fresh sage
2 T chopped fresh Basil
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 t salt
1 t pepper
1/2 c olive oil
Pre heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl to make the stuffing.
Remove giblets from chicken cavity and place on roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the mixture until full. Add left over stuffing with the giblets on the roasting pan and place the chicken on top, use the left over oil in the stuffing bowl to rub over the skin of the chicken. Place in the oven for 1 hr 40 min or until the juices run clear. Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Use the stuffing and giblets from the roasting pan to make a pan gravy if desired.
I love pumpkin ravioli but who has time or energy to make that, get all the flavor with none of the work with this baked ziti dish.
Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti
1 16 0z package of ziti or other pasta cooked and drained
2 c pumpkin puree
2 c ricotta cheese
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese
1 T honey
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 T chopped fresh sage
1 T butter
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
While pasta is cooking, mix pumpkin, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, honey, egg, nutmeg and sage in a bowl. When pasta is done drain and return to pot, add butter and stir over low heat until melted. Add pumpkin/cheese mixture and stir until evenly mixed. Stir in salt and pepper. Add to a large baking pan and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 20 min at 325 or until cheese is melted.
Butternut squash and pork chops are classic fall food, this sauce gets a little zip from oranges which are also coming into season.
Pork Chops with Orange Butternut Sauce
8 boneless pork chops
2 T butter
3 cups butternut squash peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c chopped onion
3/4 cup orange juice ( used fresh squeezed if possible)
1T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t dried sage
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cinnamon
Melt Butter in a large pan over med high heat. add squash and onions, saute until onions and squash are browned. add garlic and saute until garlic is soft and golden.
add orange juice, vinegar, ginger, sage and cinnamon , bring to a simmer and cover. cook for 15-25 minutes or until squash is soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon. Use a hand blender to make into a puree ( you could also hand mash or use a regular blender) remove from pan and set aside.
Sprinkle chops with salt and chili powder, brown on each side in the pan. You may have to do this in small batches depending on chop and pan size.
Add puree back to the pan with chops cover and cook over med heat for 20 minutes or until chops are done. add water if necessary ( I used about a 1/4 cup). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.