I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Green Bean Casserole with Tarragon and Hazelnuts

Green Bean Casserole with Tarragon and Hazelnuts

Green bean casserole is a traditional, can’t-do-without dish for many families Thanksgiving table. I have to say it though, I cannot stand the traditional version made with canned soup and fried crunchy bits. The beans are mushy, there is no telling what is in that can of soup and the oniony things are too salty. But green beans do make a great casserole for the holidays.

So here’s a perfect, unique version with a fresh, clean taste and a great deal of interest. I love to use tarragon to get a different herbal flavor in the mix, as I always use lots of sage and rosemary in the dressing and the bird. Toasty hazelnuts add a nice crunch, and a hit of cream, tangy mayonnaise and nutty cheese keep things in the traditional vein, while the lemon keeps it from being too cloying. Maybe this will be a new tradition for your family table too.

Green Bean Casserole with Tarragon and Hazelnuts
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  2. ¼ cup butter
  3. 4 shallots, halved and sliced into thin half moons
  4. 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  5. ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  6. 3 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  7. zest and juice of one lemon
  8. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  9. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  10. 6 ounces gruyere, grated
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 8 by 8 inch baking dish.
  2. Cut the trimmed green beans into roughly one inch pieces. Bring a large skillet of water to a boil and drop in the beans. Boil for about a minute, just until the bright color of the beans comes out. Drain the beans and plunge into cold water to cool. Drain again.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot strands and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is soft and just beginning to turn a pale caramel brown, about 4 minutes. Add the hazelnuts, stir and cook for about 2 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Do not let the garlic brown. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green beans, tarragon, the lemon zest and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice until everything is evenly distributed. Set aside to cool.
  4. Mix the mayonnaise and cream together in small bowl, then add it to the green beans, stirring to coat well. Spread a layer of beans in the baking dish, sprinkle over half the cheese, then layer the remaining beans and cheese.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake a further 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
  6. The casserole can prepared several hours before baking and kept covered in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Easily doubled.
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Maple Apple Biscuits with Whipped Maple Butter

Maple Apple Biscuits with Whipped Maple Butter

I’ve been focusing this month on simple comfort foods; food to share with family and friends that are simple and delicious. And nothing is more comforting to me than a homemade biscuit. So in the fall, I like to pair up the best of the season’s apples with a little sweet maple syrup to make a perfectly appropriate treat for breakfast, brunch or a snack.

These biscuits have just a hint of sweetness, so they pair well with the sweet maple butter. Any sweet spread would be lovely from homemade apple butter to a drizzle of honey. Take them more to the savory side with plain butter, or use them for ham biscuits with a little swipe of mustard.

Maple Apple Biscuits with Whipped Maple Butter
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups soft wheat flour (such as White Lily)
  2. 3 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 3 teaspoons sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, plus ¼ teaspoon
  6. ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, divided
  7. ¼ cup milk
  8. 1 egg
  9. 2 Tablespoons grade B amber maple syrup
  10. 1 medium apple
For the Maple Butter
  1. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  2. 2 Tablespoons grade B amber maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Grease a small baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, 3 teaspoons sugar, salt and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon together with a fork in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour. Toss the butter to coat it with the flour, then use two knifes or your good clean hands to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse meal.
  3. Measure the milk into a jug then add the egg and maple syrup. Beat with a fork until well combined. Add to the flour and butter and still with a fork until the dough is just coming together. Peel the apple, remove the core and cut it into very small pieces. Drop the pieces into the bowl and use your clean hands to lightly knead the dough until the flour is all incorporated and the apples are distributed evenly. (peeling and chopping the apples right before adding them prevents browning.)
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat it out into a rectangle about 4 by 8 inches. Press any stray apple pieces into the dough. Flour a knife or bench scraper and cut the dough into eight squares. Carefully transfer the biscuits to the greased baking sheet.
  5. Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in a small saucepan or the microwave. Stir in the 1 Tablespoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon until you have a thick paste. The sugar will not dissolve completely. Brush the butter mixture over the tops of the biscuits using a pastry brush. Make sure you get some sugar on the biscuits. Coat the biscuits well, but you may not use all the topping.
  6. Bake the biscuits until risen and golden on the edges, 8 – 12 minutes, watching closely.
  7. For the Maple Butter
  8. Whip the softened butter and maple syrup together with an electric mixer until completely combined and smooth. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
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Roasted Green Beans and Peppers with Garlic

Roasted Green Beans and Peppers with Garlic

Every summer, I wait until the green beans at the farmers market look really plump and delicious, then I buy a big batch to take home, blanch and freeze. These are my Thanksgiving beans, for a traditional casserole or a simple steamed platter. I impress myself with my forward thinking ways. But sometimes I go overboard at the farmers market when everything is so fresh and ripe, and this recipe was born of that impulse. I was canning and pickling and cooking, and I completely forgot about the big basket of beans. And I bought a little tray of peppers in rainbow colors because they were so pretty, but I didn’t have any plan for them. So a few days later, when I rediscovered those beans, I wanted to use them in a flavorful way even though they weren’t at the very peak of freshness.

Roasting intensifies flavor, so it’s a great way to maximize beans that aren’t fresh off the vine. And it’s easy. You can prep everything ahead of time, then toss the beans and peppers with the oil at the last minute and bang them in the oven while your meat is resting. Bell peppers add wonderful bright pop to the dish and love to use a rainbow of colors – yellow, red, orange, purple. If you remembered to freeze some fresh, this is also a great way to give them a boost.

Roasted Green Beans and Peppers with Garlic
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup olive oil
  2. 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  3. zest and juice of one lemon
  4. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  5. salt and black pepper
  6. 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  7. 4 bell peppers, the more colors the better
Instructions
  1. Pour the oil into a small saucepan and gently heat over low. When the oil is warm,
  2. add the minced garlic and stir to combine. When the garlic is very fragrant, stir in lemon zest and marjoram and remove the pan from the heat. Leave to steep for at least 5 minutes, but an hour is fine.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the beans in a spacious bowl. Remove the stem, seeds and cores from the peppers and cut into strips about as wide as the green beans. Toss them with the beans in the bowl. Drizzle the oil over the beans and peppers and toss to coat. Spread the mix on a baking sheet in one layer (you can use two sheets if needed). Salt and pepper the beans generously, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until the beans are still tender and crisp, but browned and charred in a few places. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the beans and serve immediately.
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Fresh Herb Field Peas

Fresh Herb Field Peas

I buy field peas in bulk in the summer.  Ladys, creamers, zippers, whippoorwill, crowders, purple hulls, you name it.  Farmers market Saturdays for me are about canning and putting up, followed by a Southern supper of field peas, corn and tomatoes.  So I am always looking for creative ways to prepare them.  This is my new favorite.  It’s clean and summery with a good dose of the best of the seasons herbs. 

 It can be a little hard sometimes when writing recipes to quantify herbs. Particularly for a recipe like this.  So I just say handfuls.  You want the potlikker the peas cook in  well flavored, and the finishing butter to be chockfull, so the peas are well coated with fresh green herbs.  Choose whatever herbs you have to hand.  I love a good blend of leafy basil and parsley with a little hint of mint, combined with onion-y chives and woodsy oregano.  I love the flavor pork adds to field peas, but you can leave it out to make a vegetarian version of this dish.

Fresh Herb Field Peas
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound purple hull or other field peas
  2. 6 cloves garlic
  3. 2 generous handfuls of fresh herb leaves – basil, mint, oregano, chives, parsley and thyme
  4. 3 strips bacon
  5. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  6. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the peas in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to settle for 30 minutes, then scoop off any floaters. Pick out any bruised peas, then lift the peas out of the water into a saucepan using your hands. Don’t pour through a strainer, the dirt only gets on the peas again.
  2. Pick out a good handful of herbs and tie them together in a piece of cheesecloth. Nestle the herb bundle, the bacon and 4 cloves of garlic in the peas and add fresh water to just barely cover. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam or scum that rises. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the peas, uncovered, for about 1 hour until soft and tender but still holding their shape.
  3. While the peas are cooking, finely chop another handful of herbs and place in a bowl with the softened butter. Put the remaining two cloves of garlic through a press or very finely chop them and add to the butter. Use a fork to mash the herbs, garlic and butter together. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine thoroughly.
  4. When the peas are cooked, strain through a strainer and discard the bacon, garlic cloves and herb bundle. Scrape the herb butter into the saucepan over low heat until it begins to melt. Return the peas to the saucepan and gently stir through the butter until the peas are coated. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.
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Peach Bourbon Cake with Sweet Tea Peaches

Peach Bourbon Cake with Sweet Tea Peaches

Here I go again.  Peaches and bourbon.  They just go so well together, and when I am standing in the kitchen with some marvelous summer peaches, I just want to add a little splash.  The peaches have been so amazing this year – I’ve jammed, spiced, ketchuped and canned a huge amount.  But I went a little overboard on the buying.  I created this recipe for a family dinner when I found myself with an overabundance of peaches, and added a touch of bourbon at the end.  But I still had more peaches, so I upped the Southern factor by making a sweet tea infused compote, which adds another layer of flavor.  You could add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, but it is rich enough as is.  The cake would also be delicious with Peach Butterbourbon Sauce and the compote would be delicious on its own or stirred into some yogurt for breakfast.

Peach Bourbon Cake with Sweet Tea Peaches
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. Peach Bourbon Cake
  2. 4 medium sized peaches
  3. 3 cups flour, divided
  4. 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  5. 1 cup granulated sugar
  6. 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. ½ teaspoon salt
  10. ½ cup buttermilk
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  13. Sweet Tea Peaches
  14. 1 cup water
  15. 1 cup granulated sugar
  16. 2 black tea bag
  17. 8 medium peaches
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan thoroughly.
  2. Peel and pit the peaches and cut into small chunks. Toss with ¼ cup of the flour and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl. Add the remaining 2 ¾ cups flour, baking powder and salt alternately with the buttermilk, scraping down the bowl, until completely mixed. Beat in the vanilla and bourbon.
  4. Gently fold the floured peaches through the batter distributing the chunks evenly. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Peaches
  1. Stir the water and sugar together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is syrup. Remove from the heat and add the tea bag. Leave to steep for about 5 minutes.
  2. Peel and pit the peaches and cut into small chunks. Remove the tea bag from the syrup and add the peaches. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced and the peaches are coated in a light syrup, about 15 minutes.
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Tomatoes Stuffed with Summer Squash

Tomatoes Stuffed with Summer Squash

So it’s the middle of summer. You’ve been to the farmers market and loaded up your bag with beautiful vegetables. That whole box of yellow squash and lots and lots of tomatoes. Now what? I always get questions from friends about how to use squash (other than squash casserole) and for interesting ways to use tomatoes. And I am just as guilty. I buy and buy, wanting to soak up every last bit of summer bounty.

I love this vividly summer dish as a twist to traditional stuffed tomatoes and a unique way to highlight Southern summer favorites. Sure, there is a little work involved, but it pays off in spades. Look for medium sized, firm tomatoes that just fit in the palm of you hand. Grating the squash takes a few minutes, but do use the small side on the grater to give you a fine, almost mousse-like filling. These beauties can be the centerpiece of a stunning vegetable plate with field peas, greens and fresh corn or a side dish for a meatier meal.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Summer Squash
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 6 medium tomatoes
  2. 2 yellow squash
  3. ½ small yellow onion
  4. 2 Tablespoons butter
  5. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  9. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut a small slice off of the top of each tomato and use small spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp, leaving a nice little hollow cup. Sprinkle the insides lightly with salt, then turn them upside down on several layers of paper towels to drain for 30 minutes.
  2. Grate the squash on the fine holes of a box grater and place in a colander. Leave to drain for 30 minutes. Transfer the squash to a clean tea towel and twist and squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible. Grate the onion on the same small holes and add to the squash.
  3. Melt the butter with the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the squash and onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the squash is soft, stirring frequently to avoid browning. Stir in the chopped oregano. Pour in the heavy cream and cook, stirring frequently, until the squash has absorbed all the cream and is thick and there is no cream left in the pan. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted, then remove the skillet from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Place the tomatoes in a lightly oiled baking dish in which they fit snuggly – basically holding each other upright. Spoon the squash into the tomatoes, filling the hollows and pressing down, but be gentle so you don’t break the tomatoes. Fill the tomatoes, but don’t leave mounded squash overflowing. You may have some filling leftover – chef’s treat!
  5. You can cool and refrigerate the tomatoes for a few hours at this point.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the tomatoes for about 20 minute, until heated through but the tomatoes are still holding their shape. Serve immediately.
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Cherry Tomatoes in Cream

Cherry Tomatoes in Cream

Beautiful cherry tomatoes in all shapes and sizes are such a temptation at the farmers market.  Like little summer jewels.  This is an old southern recipe, updated with fresh herbs, that is a perfect side to a grilled steak or fish.  These tomatoes are quick to prepare, but luxuriant and rich, with a lightly caramelized cream finish.

Use whatever type of lovely little tomatoes you find at your farmers market.  The mixed red and golden ones are particularly pretty, but a bowl full of bright red beauties with a sprinkling of bright green herbs are just as striking.  I even like it when the tomatoes are different shapes and sizes – little ones will burst and completely fall apart while the larger ones will be just soft. 

Cherry Tomatoes in Cream
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tablespoons butter
  2. 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  3. 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  4. salt and pepper
  5. 1 cup heavy cream
  6. 2 teaspoons chopped oregano, basil or mint
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved and bubbling. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes begin to soften and burst. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cream and stir to coat. Cook for a few minutes until the cream starts to bubble. Remove the tomatoes to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Continue to cook the cream until it is slightly thickened and reduced, about 3 minutes. Pour the cream over the tomatoes, sprinkle with the herbs and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. You can easily half or double the recipe.
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Farmers Market Vegetable Tart

Farmers Market Vegetable Tart

I think this tart is the very picture of summer farmers market bounty. It uses all the best local summer produce with fresh herbs and salty cheese. I even use locally produced goat feta. You can buy the vegetables for specifically for this magnificent tart or make it with the remnants of a big shopping haul.  It looks like a work of art, simply because of the bounty of nature. I like to vary the vegetables to get the beautiful colors – green zucchini, yellow squash, red tomatoes and peppers, purple eggplant and onions. Vary it up according to your tastes and what is growing. Thyme is a wonderful complement to hot weather vegetables, but oregano or marjoram work as well, or you could add some basil or parsley to the cooked vegetables.

And it is perfect summer cooking. You can make it in easy stages and have the final product ready hours before popping it in the oven. It is good fresh and hot, but still delicious as it cools to room temperature. It makes a great meal on its own, or can be a side to grilled meats.

Farmers Market Vegetable Tart
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  2. ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  3. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. ¾ cups (1 ½ sticks) cold butter, cut into cubes
  6. ½ cup water
  7. 1 zucchini
  8. 1 yellow squash
  9. 1 small eggplant
  10. 1 yellow bell pepper
  11. 1 red bell pepper
  12. 1 small red onion
  13. 2 plum tomatoes
  14. 3 cloves garlic
  15. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  16. 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  17. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Pulse the flour, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, salt and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves together in the bowl of a food processor until combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the texture of fine meal. If you pinch a little between your fingers, it should stick together. Add ¼ cup of water and pulse until the dough starts to come together, then slowly drizzle in the remaining water just until the dough comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it out into a flat disc. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut all the vegetables into bite size chunks and place on a baking sheet. Cut the onion into small wedges and add to the pan, then cut the tomatoes into chunks and add. Peel the garlic cloves and add to the pan. Drizzle over the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and about ½ teaspoon of thyme leaves. Toss everything together with your hands until the vegetables are lightly coated with oil. Don’t be tempted to add lots of oil – the vegetables will not be lovely and roasted, but soggy. Roast for 30 - 45 minutes until the vegetables are soft and slightly browned. Leave the vegetables to cool, then toss with the crumbled feta.
  3. Take the pastry out of the fridge and let rest for about 10 minutes. Trace a circle about 14-inches round onto a piece of parchment paper (I frequently trace an outline of the platter I am going to serve on). Lightly flour the parchment paper and transfer the chilled dough disk to the paper. Lightly sprinkle the top with flour and roll the dough into a circle the size you’ve traced on the paper. Pile the vegetables into the center of the dough, leaving about a 2-inch border. Carefully fold the dough up around the vegetables. Use your fingers to press together any creases or breaks of in the dough. Carefully transfer the tart on the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Sprinkle about 1 Tablespoon parmesan over the top and some thyme leaves. Beat the egg with a splash of water and brush a thin layer over the crust. The tart can rest in the fridge for a few hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the tart until the pastry is cooked through and golden, about 30 minutes. Let the tart rest for a few minutes before slicing, though it is also delicious at room temperature.
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Slow Cooker Creamy Corn with Bacon, Green Onions and Bourbon

Southern Slow Cooker Creamy Corn with Bacon, Green Onions and Bourbon

My family has a farm in Arkansas, rice and soybeans mostly, but a few other crops. One year, when I was maybe ten or twelve, my dad and a fellow farmer decided to experiment with corn. So on a little corner of the farm, they planted a couple of varieties. When it came in, he brought home paper grocery sacks of corn all summer. My mother spent that summer shucking corn and using it in every kind of recipe she could think of. We ate corn every single day. The problem was, it was never very good. Little kernels, pale and tough. But my mama sure did keep trying and we did our best to support her. One day, Daddy was out at the farm, picking some corn and putting it in his paper grocery sack and his fellow farmer asked what in the world he’s doing. Well, turns out my dad, bless his heart, had been picking corn from the end of the field that was grown as feed corn – not the good eating corn from the other end. Of course, by the time he figured it out, the season was pretty much over. We don’t grow corn anymore.

Fresh corn is one of my very favorite things about summer. I wait for the season all year and really make the most of it when it arrives. I buy freshly picked cobs by the armful at the farmers market. I blanch and strip those kernels and freeze them in little bags to enjoy all winter. I can fresh corn relish. I use it in cool summer salads. And of course I eat it straight off the cob, boiled or grilled and smothered with butter.

Sometimes I do go over board. I buy so much corn, I just can’t get it dealt with quickly, so there are some cobs in the fridge for a few days. They are still good, but not as fresh and tender and sweet as those right out of the field. So they sometimes need a little help. I found myself in this predicament one day and remembered a recipe for crockpot corn scribbled on a scrap of paper. I dug it out of the files, but decided I could do better. Take that basic creamy corn recipe and really give it some style. Green onions, bourbon and hot sauce zazz it up, but is deliciously creamy and tender.

You can cut the corn from the cobs right into the slow cooker and avoid the mess of flying kernels (just be careful if the cooker is hot). And of course, you can use frozen corn when the fresh is not in season. But whatever you do, make sure the corn was intended for good eating and not for the pigs.

Slow Cooker Creamy Corn with Bacon, Green Onions and Bourbon
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 5 strips bacon, cooked until crisp
  2. 3 Tablespoons bacon grease
  3. 2 Tablespoons butter
  4. 7 – 8 green onions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 6 – 8 ears of corn (about 5 cups kernels, or 1 ½ pounds)
  7. ½ cup milk
  8. 8 ounces cream cheese
  9. 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  10. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  11. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  12. 1 teaspoon hot sauce
Instructions
  1. Place the bacon grease and butter on the bottom of a 5 – 7 quart slow cooker, turn it on high, cover and leave for about 5 minutes until the butter melts. Add the chopped green onions and minced garlic, cover, and leave for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. Add the corn, cream cheese cut into cubes, milk, bourbon, salt, pepper and hot sauce and give it a good stir. Cover the crockpot and cook for 3 ½ hours.
  3. Chop the bacon strips into small pieces and stir through the corn. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately
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Blackberry Cobbler with Bourbon Sauce

Blackberry Cobbler with Bourbon Sauce

I call this dish a cobbler, but I know that description can be controversial. I served this dish to my family, and as the spoons scraped the plates, a discussion came up about what is a cobbler exactly. We each described different types of dishes, and went through all the other names for similar dishes – grunt, buckle, crumble, slump, betty…When the plates were clean and the remnants of sauce being eaten by the spoonful, I asked if they thought I should give the dish a different name. The general consensus was, when it’s as good as this, who cares what it’s called.

This sauce is rich and delicious, but you could add a scope of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

 

Blackberry Cobbler with Bourbon Sauce
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. Blackberry Cobbler
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  5. ¼ teaspoon salt
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. ½ cup butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
  8. ¾ cups whole milk
  9. 2 cups blackberries
  10. Bourbon Sauce
  11. ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  12. 1 cup light brown sugar
  13. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  14. 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  15. ¼ cup bourbon
For the Cobbler
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl with a fork. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract and milk and stir until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the blackberries over the surface.
  3. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until puffed and golden around the edges and a tester inserted in the center of the batter comes out clean.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For the Sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is cohesive. Pull the pan off the heat and and cool slightly. Slowly whisk the egg yolks into the mixture and whisk until the sauce is combined and slightly thickened. Whisk in the bourbon and return to the heat, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens slightly. The sauce should be the consistency of thick syrup.
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