The return of the Farmers’ Market for me each season is just about as exciting as Christmas Day. With fresh herbs and local produce on my mind, I love getting up on Saturday morning, throwing on my yoga pants, a tank top, a pair of favorite flip flops and my over-sized sunglasses and heading out the door. Sometimes, I even pack up my 11-pound Shih Tzu, Ewok, and we ride with the radio up and the windows down on the way. Continue reading “5 Farmers’ Market Recipes to Make Right Now”
It’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.
The 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.
Nothing 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!
Green 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.
After 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!
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.
French 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.
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.
Grape tomatoes are abundant at farmers’ markets this time of year, and I’ve got the perfect way to use them up! My recipe for Summer Bruschetta is a scrumptious starter course and makes one fine appetizer with drinks. Fun fact for ya: The Italian word Bruschetta translates to, “slice of toasted bread seasoned with oil and garlic.” If you’ve never cooked slices of bread in melted butter on the stove top, start living. There’s no time like the present!
I’m a firm believer in supporting Georgia farmers and shopping local whenever possible. All of the ingredients in my recipe are locally sourced, but can certainly be substituted wherever you live. I encourage you to visit a farmers’ market near you for fresh, local and nutritious ingredients! This recipe is simple, sweet and satisfying.
Farmers’ Market Summer Bruschetta
- 2 Tablespoons of Georgia Olive Oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- Half of 1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
- 2 pints red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
- Balsamic Vinegar to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 bunch fresh basil, separated into leaves, rolled up tightly and sliced (chiffonade)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Café Baguette
- 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
- 1 stick of butter
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add garlic and onion and stir for about one minute. Pour into a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.
Add tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, sugar and basil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Toss to coat. If time permits, refrigerate for one hour. If not, it is fine to use immediately.
Cut the baguette into diagonal slices. Melt half the butter in the same skillet you used for the garlic. Cook the baguette on both sides until golden brown. Rub toast with one whole garlic clove while hot. Repeat with remaining butter and bread.
To serve, stir the tomato mixture and spoon generously over toasted baguette slices.
You’re also invited to join me at the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. I hope you’ll stop by the Celebrity Chef tent to say hi and get a taste of my Summer Bruschetta! Be sure to listen out for my radio commercial (below) on air this week promoting the market.
This is it y’all! History in the making. Me on TV!! In this episode of Statesboro Cooks, I star as a guest host.
The show will air on local cable, Channel 99 at the following times throughout the month:
- Monday 7:30 p.m.
- Tuesday 1 a.m.
- Wednesday 1 p.m.
- Thursday 7:30 p.m.
Statesboro Cooks is a multimedia communications team production. My next appearance will be in September. Thank you for watching!
I’ve taken I-16 to I-95 a many a time to blog about East coast restaurants with Southern charm and popular seafood dishes, but here lately I’ve realized that my local market could use some play. I’m a proud resident of the beautiful farm town of Bulloch County, an alumna of the one and only Georgia Southern University and an avid get-out-of-bed-on-Saturday-mornings fan of the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market. As a college student circa 2001, the Boro’s dining scene consisted of about three chain restaurants, Snooky’s and fast food. I moved away for a little while and came back–to a dining scene I didn’t recognize, and one that keeps changing and growing today.
I’ve decided to expand Some Kinda Good to include the food world I dine in almost daily.
You won’t find chain restaurants or fast food establishments covered here. I aim to bring attention to those quintessential mom & pop joints and locally owned restaurants and bakeries that represent small town America. I may even let you in on a few best kept secrets, like where to buy seafood caught fresh off the Georgia coast or where you can get blackberry jam jarred in the Tennessee mountains and peanut brittle sold in a Zip-Lock bag right here at home.
I have a genuine passion for Southern culture and good food, and Statesboro delivers on all accounts. It’s not uncommon to see cowboy boots on a Sunday morning at church or a John Deer tractor barreling down a two lane back road. Cotton and sunflower fields surround the city limits and having traveled the world, I don’t take those things for granted.
This is the college town that inspired Blind Willie McTell’s Statesboro Blues, home of the six-time national football champions, the Georgia Southern Eagles.
So, come take a little ride with me. Let’s discover the margarita cupcake together at Sweet Cheeks Bakery downtown and the fresh mozzarella panini at my absolute favorite place to blog and brunch: Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe.
Let’s shop at the 40-year-old Ellis’ Meat Market for some stuffed jumbo shrimp and low country boil fixin’s. Then, we’ll crank up the radio and take Highway 67 to Strickland Farms for some boiled peanuts and vine-ripened tomatoes. We may even stop for a little antiquing.
I’m tapping into my local food market and I can’t wait to share my classic Georgia home with you. Let’s go!
If Georgia were a food, it would be a fried peach pie with bourbon and cinnamon. Nothing says pride in the Peach State like a made from scratch buttery pie pastry, filled with local, sweet peaches fresh from the Farmers’ Market. At first taste of Fried Peach Pies with Bourbon and Cinnamon , you won’t even need to visit the fair when it comes to town. The flaky, crunchy exterior of this turnover with soft, bright red-orange peaches in the center, dusted with cinnamon sugar is one fine way to celebrate this summer fruit. Don’t limit these peach pies to dessert–pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and savor one for breakfast!
First things first. I’m all about a short cut folks, but nothing beats homemade pie dough. Combine self-rising flour, sugar and kosher salt with cold, cubed butter and a little egg wash and you’ve got yourself something to write home about. A food processor is the quickest way to bring everything together. Divide the dough onto a floured surface into 10 equal discs. Then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for at least 45 minutes.
Now, while everything gets underway, go ahead and crank up Georgia Blues by Jimi Hendricks and Lonnie Youngblood.
Lately, Saturday morning finds me at the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market. I really enjoy talking with the area farmers and learning about what they grow and how they like to cook their crops. These were some of the most beautiful peaches I’ve ever seen, grown by Jacob’s Produce, a family farm located off of GA Hwy 17 in Screven County.
To peel peaches, forgo the vegetable peeler. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add peaches one at a time with a slotted spoon. Let them boil for about 45 seconds, then remove them from the boiling water and put them directly into an ice bath for about 20 seconds. This is the best way to get the most fruit out of your peach. Man alive, those are pretty!
Once your peaches are peeled and sliced, transfer them to a large skillet and add in a good quality bourbon (I like Bulleit Rye American Whiskey), lemon juice, brown sugar, tapioca and cinnamon. You’ll let those flavors marry for about 10 minutes before cooking them.
In an earlier blog post, I mentioned tapioca and many of my readers had questions about it. This is tapioca. Tapioca is an ingredient in tapioca pudding. It can be found on the baking aisle of your grocery store near the cornstarch and baking powder. Tapioca is used as a thickening agent and to sweeten fruit pies.
Once the peach mixture has set and cooled in the freezer for about 20 minutes, create an assembly line for the fun part! You can use water to moisten the edges of your pie dough, but I used milk for added flavor.
Fry the pies in vegetable oil by the batch. The length of time you’ll fry them will depend on how hot your oil is. My first batch took a little longer than the others. You just want to achieve that deep, dark golden brown color. Remove them from the oil and onto a paper towel-lined plate and immediately dust them with cinnamon sugar. The kitchen is smelling Some Kinda Good at this point, y’all.
Few things get me out of the house before Noon on a Saturday morning, but fresh ingredients and a fantastic recipe was all I needed to get motivated over the weekend. I packed up my Shih Tzu, Ewok and off we went to the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market for some locally grown strawberries. We returned home to make Ina Garten’s Strawberry Country Cake featured in the cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties. Watch the video below to get the highlights from our trip!
Continue reading “Farmers Market Fun and One Souped-Up Strawberry Shortcake”