Statesboro Cooks Showcases Host Rebekah Faulk’s Holiday Menu

wpid-20131030_222638.jpgI’m very excited to share with you our new episode of Statesboro Cooks, highlighting my Holiday Inspired Menu Featuring Pastured Pork Tenderloin. In the 30-minute program, I host and serve as an executive producer with my friend, Tyson Davis. If you’re in the Statesboro area, you can catch the show on local cable, Channel 99, at 7:30 p.m. 7-days-a-week throughout the holidays. If not, check it out on YouTube at the link below! I hope you’ll make these recipes, and thank you for watching.

Statesboro Cooks is a Georgia Southern University multimedia communications team production. To see the previous episode I hosted, watch here.

Join Me at Hunter Cattle Company & The Garden of the Coastal Plain This Month

As far as I’m concerned, Statesboro is home to one of the best little food communities in the South. I have the privilege of living and working in this blessed farm town, and this month, in just a few days, I’m teaming up with Hunter Cattle Company, a family owned and operated pastured and sustainable farm, and The Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern University to talk local food and share my story. I hope you’ll be in the crowd!

Image courtesy of Hunter Cattle Company
Image courtesy of Hunter Cattle Company

Farm Heritage Day is Hunter Cattle Company’s biggest event of the year and an annual festival designed to teach attendees about preserving the history of farming and homesteading through educational and inspirational experiences. I attended the event last year and had a blast watching the pig races and walking around the farm. The smell of the food wafting off the grills is enough to make your mouth water!

This year, the Ferguson family has invited me to entertain guests with a 20-minute live cooking demonstration during the event which is this Saturday, Sept. 20. You can find me under the Chef’s Demo Tent at 4 p.m. Join me (and the other 5,000 expected guests!) as I talk about the health benefits of eating pastured eggs, and teach the crowd about how Hunter Cattle’s chickens are raised. Don’t miss out on sampling my Vidalia Onion Quiche featuring Hunter Cattle Co.’s pastured bacon and eggs. You’ll learn why pastured eggs are best and what to look for on package labeling when shopping for eggs. I’ll also share some recipe ideas! It’s sure to be eggcellent. 😉 Hunter Cattle Company is located at 934 Driggers Rd., Brooklet, GA 30415. Learn more about the event by following them on Facebook.

Lunch&Learn
Image courtesy of The Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern University

Then, just a few days later on Tuesday, Sept. 23, I’ll be cooking my Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits with a white wine sauce, during The Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern University’s 2014-’15 Lunch and Learn series, titled “Return to Your Roots, Pursue Your Passion.” From Noon – 1 p.m., while you’re eating lunch, I’ll demonstrate my dish live and share my journey from Statesboro to Hollywood on ABC’s “The Taste,” as well as how I became the Statesboro Herald Food Columnist and how I consistently maintain one of Urbanspoon’s top Georgia food blogs by going after the things that make my heart beat.

Martha Nesbit (right) and I worked together in the Celebrity Chef tent.
Martha Nesbit (right) and I after a very long day of working together in the Celebrity Chef tent at the Savannah Food and Wine Festival 2013.

The sweet lady pictured above to my right is Mrs. Martha Nesbit. I had the opportunity to meet Martha when I volunteered for the Savannah Food & Wine Festival last year. Mrs. Nesbit will be the featured talent at the Garden on Thursday, Oct. 30. Located at 1505 Bland Ave., under the Heritage Pavilion, tickets are $20 including lunch and the program. All proceeds support the Garden. Learn more about these events and purchase your tickets by visiting the Garden’s website or read more on my.georgiasouthern.edu: Lunch and Learn Featuring Rebekah Faulk and Martha Nesbit.

RFWebsite

You can keep up with all my appearances by visiting my new website at http://rebekahfaulk.wix.com/rebekahfaulk. Also, if you or someone you know is looking for a speaker, writer or food TV personality for an upcoming event, I hope you’ll share my website with them.

Thanks so much for reading Some Kinda Good. See y’all in Statesboro!

 

A Holiday Menu Featuring Pastured Pork Tenderloin

wpid-20131030_222638.jpgIt’s officially holiday season. Let the menu and party planning begin! I’ve put together a holiday inspired meal including a classic combination of flavors, along with some of my family’s traditional recipes that are impressive on the table but simple to execute. These dishes are special enough for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but delicious year ’round. Here’s what’s cookin’: Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Sautéed Cinnamon Apples, Mama’s Sweet Potato Casserole, Farm-Raised Green Beans and Grandma’s Made-from-Scratch Buttermilk Biscuits. We couldn’t celebrate the holidays without incorporating pumpkin, so for dessert, the Pumpkin Spice Trifle will make its debut appearance.
wpid-20131030_222643.jpgThe star of this show is the Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin. This time of year, I think folks get ham and turkey’d out. So, now is a great time to allow pork to step into the limelight. To accomplish that gorgeous golden brown exterior and moist meat, I use a combination of dried and fresh herbs and Georgia olive oil. Season the meat liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle it with olive oil, then massage in a healthy amount of fresh basil, fresh rosemary and about a two teaspoons of dried oregano. Here’s a tip: Cook the tenderloin in a 9 x 13 dish, and just before putting it in the oven, add about an inch of water to the pan. Roast the meat at 425 degrees for 25 minutes per pound. Another reason this tenderloin tastes amazing, is because it’s pasture-raised. This little piggie wasn’t given any antibiotics or steroids, and was free to roam and eat Georgia grass. The result is a much more nutritious animal that’s healthier to eat and healthier for our environment. Thanks to my friends at Hunter Cattle Company for raising it.

wpid-20131030_222647.jpgNothing compliments pork like a side of delicious cinnamon apples sautéed in butter. This is as simple as it gets. Slice 5 to 6 medium apples about a 1/4 inch thick and saute in four tablespoons of unsalted butter. Allow them to cook down, then season with cinnamon and keep them warm. You don’t even have to peel them!

wpid-20131030_222657.jpgGreen beans may be a popular side item, but served this way you can’t go wrong. My Farm-raised Green Beans also feature Hunter Cattle’s smoked bacon and sweet Vidalia onions and homegrown tomatoes from the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market. Cook the bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Saute diced onion and tomato in the remaining bacon fat, season with salt & pepper and add to cooked green beans with a pat or two of butter. Top with crumbled bacon. On the left above, Mama’s Sweet Potato Casserole is a regular at every family function. It adds a wonderful pop of color to the plate. The topping, made of chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour and butter–is like candy.

wpid-20131030_222650.jpgFinally, no meal would be complete without Southern, made-from-scratch Buttermilk Biscuits. With a dollop of blackberry jam, bread never tasted so good.

wpid-IMG_20131101_110403.jpgAfter a mouth-watering meal, a 14-layer cake or heavy pie is overwhelming. My Pumpkin Spice Trifle hits the spot. Complimented by soft spice cake and crunchy gingersnap cookies, it’s like a pillow-y cloud of light fresh whipped cream and vanilla pudding bursting with fall flavors. Plus, it makes a stunning presentation.


For the complete recipes to these dishes and to watch me cook them in action, tune in to my next episode of Statesboro Cooks, premiering in mid-November on local cable Channel 99. Be sure to watch the show to discover my secret to the best buttermilk biscuits you ever tasted! For those outside of the area, I’ll be sure to post the episode right here on Some Kinda Good, so you can watch too. Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season. Eat well!

Breakfast Locally Inspired

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Cinnamon Sugar Pecan French Toast with Smoked Bacon

Food tastes better when you buy local. For Sunday morning brunch recently, I made french toast and bacon, but not just any french toast and bacon. On Saturday, I visited the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market where I purchased a pecan loaf from Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Cafe and a pound of smoked bacon from Hunter Cattle Company. The sweet bread was the perfect thickness when sliced just right, and the Georgia pecans provided a nice crunch and texture that regular loaf bread lacks. Dusted with a touch of confectioner’s sugar, it was all I could do to take one picture before I savored every bite. And the pig. Never have I tasted the flavor of hog meat so profound and assertive.


Only available on Saturdays, the $4.50 pecan loaf at Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Cafe is hand-shaped into a round and baked. When the bread comes out of the oven, the top is sliced into what resembles a tree to allow steam to escape. When purchased, the bread is so fresh, you can still see the white flour on top in its brown paper sack. It’s so rustic and fun. For french toast, slice the bread about a 1/4 inch thick.

wpid-20130922_121044.jpgFrench toast is awesome for a few reasons: 1) It breaks up the monotony of pancakes and waffles, 2) Everything you need to make a batter for it is usually readily available on-hand or easy to get, and 3) It takes no time! For the batter, beat two eggs, whisk in a cup of milk or half & half, cinnamon sugar and a pinch of salt. Soak slices for about 30 seconds on each side.

wpid-20130922_121052.jpgMelt half a stick of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Toast slices about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and beautiful like the one in the center. Flip. Repeat.


Meanwhile, cook your bacon. For one pound of Hunter Cattle Company smoked bacon, you’ll pay a little less than $10, and when you think about what you’re getting, you can’t put a price tag on your health. Learn how choosing pastured pork can benefit your well-being. You’re guaranteed to taste the difference.

wpid-IMG_20130923_120314.jpgDrizzle it with syrup or eat it without. You decide. There you have it. Breakfast locally inspired.  

Downtown Statesboro is Alive with South & Vine Public House

UPDATE: South & Vine Public House caught fire on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Owner Seni Alabi Isama has now opened a new restaurant in Statesboro called 441 Public Kitchen and Bar. More on the fire here: South & Vine Public House Burned But Not Broken. 


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South & Vine Public House
Statesboro, Georgia

Great things are happening at the intersection of South Main and West Vine streets in downtown Statesboro. Open for just four months now, one Georgia Southern alumnus and his team are making a big impact on the community, with a focus on flavor and a philosophy on fresh that you won’t believe until your taste buds live it. With more than 1,000 Facebook likes, South & Vine Public House is a food experience Savannahians will soon be driving to Bulloch County to discover.

wpid-20130601_193417.jpgYou won’t find the menu online because it changes daily based on ingredient availability and the owner’s intuition. No matter what’s featured, you can be guaranteed it will be made with local ingredients and cooked to perfection by Chef and Owner Seni (pronounced Shanney), Head Chef Stephen, who formerly worked at Emma’s Fine Dining & Lounge, and Sous Chef Sebastian, a Miami native.

This is a restaurant that gets it.

THE FOOD:


At South & Vine Public House, food is the main event. From Hunter Cattle Company beef, ground in-house, to the made-from-scratch ketchup and mayonnaise, these folks are really cooking. The menu features what’s in season, so when an item runs out, it’s all gone. Dine here if it’s flavor you seek, an appreciation for quality ingredients, beautiful presentation and healthy portion sizes paired with appropriate prices. Excellence reveals itself in each menu item’s texture, plating and taste.

THE BAR:

Happy hour is from 4 – 6 p.m. daily, featuring 25% off the entire bar and all appetizers.

THE ATMOSPHERE:

A casual environment, you’ll find a small vase of fresh flowers at each table and utensils wrapped in white linens. The restaurant has an open concept floor plan including a “window” into the kitchen, and a chalkboard placed behind the hostess stand highlighting daily specials. Seating includes tables, booths and a bar area overlooking South Main Street. Attention is even given to the clean, tastefully decorated restrooms (which I always appreciate).

THE STAFF:


The team at South & Vine is welcoming and knowledgeable about the menu. Owner Seni and his wife, move about the restaurant conversing with customers, making mental notes of names and faces. It’s a place guests feel comfortable and leave satisfied.

wpid-20130601_205406.jpgWe parted with this subtle note of hospitality, a hand-carved “flower vase” made of Walker Farms’ rainbow carrots, compliments of the chef.

South & Vine Public House on Urbanspoon

Join the Grass-Fed Beef Conversation with Hunter Cattle Company

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Hunter Cattle Company
Brooklet, Georgia

In my everyday life, I’m connected–connected to my friends on social media, my emails and text messages. Like a large percentage of the human population, I too have a smartphone that I couldn’t do without. Over the weekend however, I experienced a different kind of connection, one I don’t experience often enough–to land and food–at Hunter Cattle Company in Brooklet, Georgia.

The cast iron skillet is a work horse in my kitchen.
The cast iron skillet is a work horse in my kitchen.

Despite the rain, I put my boots on and ventured about 14 miles Southeast of town to taste my first grass-fed hamburger and meet the good folks behind this family owned and operated farm I’d heard so much about. On my ride down the two-lane country roads to get there, I passed cotton fields and pecan orchards and a deer that never had a chance. I came upon the 350-acre property and turned onto the dirt road that led me to MooMa’s Farm Store. Immediately, I spotted a few cats–one golden, fat kitty asleep under a bush and another gray kitty purring happily curled up in a ball on the porch. Having grown up in rural Georgia myself, I felt at home as I entered the screeching screen door to the store. Cast iron pans served as wall art on the outside of the red barn-like exterior.

A few family members of Hunter Cattle Company in front of MooMa's Farm Store. From left: Kristan, the oldest daughter; Del, "Pa"; Debra, "MooMa"; and Anthony, the oldest son.
A few family members of Hunter Cattle Company in front of MooMa’s Farm Store. From left: Kristan, the oldest daughter; Del, “Pa”; Debra, “MooMa”; and Anthony, the oldest son.

Over nine years ago, Del and Debra Ferguson along with their oldest son and daughter (pictured left), found the land and decided to relocate there to raise their families and grow their own food. Today, the family’s “accidental business” provides grass-fed beef to restaurants all over Southeast Georgia, many right here in Statesboro like Chops on Main and South & Vine Public House and at Savannah’s popular Green Truck Pub and Moon River Brewery.

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The natural color of these eggs are beautiful! It takes 24 hours to lay an egg, and one chicken produces one egg per day.

Local businesses like Sugar Magnolia Bakery also sell Hunter Cattle Company’s free-range eggs. They participate in the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market (which kicks off April 6 this spring!) and the Forsyth Farmers’ Market in Savannah. Most recently, Hunter Cattle Company earned the University of Georgia sponsored 2013 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest in the meat category for their pork sausage. They’ve been featured in Southern Living magazine, The South magazine and Savannah magazine among countless other news outlets, solely by word of mouth.

Now, about that hamburger. I could try and describe the flavor to you, but I like the way my butcher friend, Chad of Carne Bellingham, described the difference between grass-fed cattle vs. “factory” farm meat best: “It’s like Chips Ahoy versus mom’s homemade cookies.”


Hunter Cattle Company’s passion for education is evident. Their animals receive no added growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics and are not subject to feedlots or cages. Committed to the humane treatment of all the animals, the pigs and chickens are free to roam and graze and are raised on Georgia grass. After spending just a few hours at the farm, I was enlightened to learn:

    • Factory farms use 80% of the United States’ antibiotic supply for livestock
    • If cows, chickens and pigs are given the ability to roam freely and eat what they were created to eat, they are healthier, and as a result so are we!
    • Livestock living conditions and diet are key factors when considering healthy benefits of American meat

I will certainly never look at a package of ground beef at the grocery store the same again!

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see a newborn baby pig, it’s a must. The pigs were my favorite part of the day.


They even have peacocks and turkeys!

If Southern hospitality describes anyone, it would be the Ferguson family. They fed me, showed me around and even sent me home with a Hunter Cattle Company T-shirt. By the end of my time there, I was hugging their necks and feeling like one of the family. Whether you’re local or not from around these parts, make time to visit Hunter Cattle Company. From birthday parties to overnight accommodations, they have it all. Most importantly though, you’ll be reminded what it’s like to hear the chickens peck, smell the cow manure and watch little boys drink from a garden hose.