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.
Mashed Potatoes are my favorite food and these are one of my favorites. These would be a perfect side for Thanksgiving, an alternative to the traditional mashed potatoes, or a weeknight meal.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
6 large Gold Potatoes peeled and quartered
1 1/2 c peeled baby carrots
1/2 c cream or milk
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
4 T butter
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese
Add potatoes and carrots to a pot of boiling salted water, cook until fork tender ( your fork should be able to mash them easily). Drain and return to the pot, add cream/milk, salt, Pepper, butter, and thyme. Use and electric mixer or mash by hand until smooth. Stir in cheese and serve. These also make a great topping for Shepherds or Cottage Pie.
I am a foodie, I love to make my own sauces and purees but I have a weakness, powdered Bernaise sauce. Don’t judge, I have tried making my own, it was good (and much more difficult) but when I crave Bernaise I want the Knorr green, red, and yellow packet. I was shopping in Publix the other day and heard over the loudspeaker that the Aprons lady was making some kind of fish with a Citrus Bernaise. Sounds delicious, I thought, so I changed up my menu a little to include it. I always have packet in the pantry as well as some sort of citrus in the fruit bowl. Here is what I came up with…
Chicken with Citrus Bernaise Sauce and Wilted Spinach
For the chicken
2 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t dried thyme
Mix together pour into a large zip lock bag and add 4 – 6 chicken cutlets. Seal and refrigerate 30 min to 2 hours. Grill over medium high about 5 min per side depending on thickness ( alway check temp with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness).
1 package Knorr Bernaise Sauce mix
1 c milk
6 T butter
1T Orange Juice
1/2 T lemon juice
1/2 t zest from orange and lemon
fresh parsley (if desired)
Follow Bernaise sauce directions, then add juices and zest stir and cook about 2-3 minutes over low, add chopped fresh parsley if desired.
1 T olive oil
2 bags washed baby spinach
1 t garlic
salt and pepper
heat oil in a large skillet over med high,
add spinach and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until spinach is just wilted. Remove from heat, do not over cook.
Place spinach on plate, top with grilled chicken and ladle Bernaise sauce over top.
** This would be great with grill fish as well
Left over wine, whats that? I know, I think 750ml is a serving size too, but hey sometimes it happens. Maybe you invited a friend over and you finished your bottle but she had to drive or maybe you thought it was a good idea to open a second bottle and found out you were wrong. Anyway if you somehow find yourself with some extra red wine this is a delicious recipe to make and then open a new bottle of wine to drink with it. It is light, delicate and delicious. I served it with a side of creamed kale.
Leftover Wine Beef Stew
1 1/2 lbs stew meat ( cut into chunks)
6 larger potatoes peeled and cut into 1/8s
2 carrots chopped
1 T corn starch
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 c chopped shallot
1 T chopped parsley
4 sprigs of thyme
1 c red wine ( I used a Cabernet)
1 c beef broth
1 t Dijon mustard
1 T red wine vinegar
Add corn starch salt and pepper into a large ziplock bag. Add meat and shake to coat. Heat oil in a large skillet, add coated meat and shallot and stir until meat is browned on all sides. Add to slow cooker. Add Potatoes, carrots, parsley. thyme, wine, broth, mustard and vinegar to slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3) or until potatoes are cooked through.
I love pretzels and cheese fondue, ok I love cheese fondue with everything. I would eat cheese fondue for dinner every night but let’s admit it that is really an appetizer. So how to make it into a real dinner….. I will put it on a sandwich, and add some healthier things and hey, its dinner. So I put fondue, chicken, apples, and spinach on a pretzel roll and voila dinner is served. I made my own pretzel rolls because I like to set myself up to fail. I am not a baker, in fact I hate it and I am not very good at it either. I had to make a second batch because the first batch looked like a dog had chewed on all my rolls. The second batch was slightly better and tasted great but from now on these will be an item I get from my bakery.
Chicken and Cheese Fondue Sandwiches
4 large or 8 small pretzel rolls
4 thinly sliced chicken cutlets
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t nutmeg
1 apple sliced thin
1 c fresh baby spinach
2 oz goat cheese
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 c flour
1 t chopped garlic
1 c white wine, beer or water
Sprinkle the chicken cutlets with the thyme and nutmeg. Heat oil in a skillet and cook chicken for about 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and no longer pink. Cover with foil and set aside. Add garlic and wine/beer/water to a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Toss flour with shredded cheese to coat, add to sauce pan with goat cheese and whisk over med.heat until melted and well combined, turn heat to low.
Slice rolls and add chicken spinach and sliced apples, spoon fondue on top and serve. If fondue gets too thick, turn heat up and stir until melted.
I think they were great without the chicken too, so they would be a good vegetarian option.
We recently took a little trip down to Boca Raton, Fl and happened upon a cute little Jamaican bistro called Rock Steady Jamaican Bistro. The food and service was excellent. I love a good jerk and the spicy, sweet, fresh flavors of Caribbean cuisine, luckily so do my kids. I realized I don’t make enough of this at home, time to change that. I have used the dry jerk seasoning from the spice aisle at the grocery store but it just doesn’t cut it. Time to try my hand a a real, wet, jerk, marinade. I think it was a hit, it had all the flavors I was looking for. Unfortunately neither my local grocery or produce stand had scotch bonnet peppers so I used fresh jalapenos from my garden. I think it still tasted fine but if you are going for authentic switch out the jalapenos for scotch bonnets, just remember they are much spicier so use half the amount.
Combine the following ingredients in a food processor:
1 T allspice powder
1/3 c brown sugar
2T minced garlic
2-4 jalapenos (depending on your spice preference)
1T fresh Thyme
1 bunch scallions
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 T soy sauce
Pour marinade over 1 1/2 pounds of pork, shrimp or chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
I used chicken cutlets and grilled them over high heat for about 4 minutes per side.
A traditional side in Jamaica is Rice and pigeon peas. Pigeon peas come in red and green and can be found in the ethnic food section of the grocery store. They are not sweet like english peas but more like a legume, or small red bean. This easy recipe is made in a rice cooker.
Rice and Pigeon Peas
2 1/2 c jasmine rice rinsed until water runs clear
2 1/2 c water
8 oz canned pigeon peas (red or green)
1 t fresh thyme
1 t minced jalapeno
1/4 c sliced scallions/green onions
1 t salt
Place all ingredients into a rice cooker, and cook until done.
Serve with a sweet fruit salad to balance out the heat of the Jerk and enjoy a little taste of the islands without leaving home.