This week showcases Southern classics featuring some seasonal ingredients, spiced up with a recipe from the high-energy kitchen of Nashville super-star Carrie Underwood. My friend, Louisiana’s legendary Chef John Folse, one of the influential pioneers of television cooking, contributes his remarkably delicious Shrimp and Grits. There’s more: Fried Green Tomatoes from Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta, a heritage restaurant that for over 75 years has served guests from the four corners including U.S. Presidents, Hollywood stars and even The Dalia Lama. To celebrate the first crop of Georgia peaches, enjoy satisfying Peach Cobbler created by the best selling author and television celebrity, Charleston’s Nathalie Dupree, a recipient of the prestigious “Grand Dame” of Les Dames d’Escoffier award, among many others.
Carrie Underwood’s Vegan Pizza
Vegetable oil cooking spray
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray
1 Food for Life Organic Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain (or wholegrain) 9-inch tortilla
¼ cup pizza sauce
¼ cup 2 percent shredded mozzarella
16 slices Yves Veggie Meatless Pepperoni
Vegetable toppings of your choice
1 cup mixed greens
Heat oven to 400°.
Coat a cookie sheet or pizza stone with cooking spray. Spray I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray on both sides of tortilla; place tortilla on sheet; spread with pizza sauce; sprinkle with cheese.
Top with pepperoni slices and your favorite vegetable toppings. Bake until tortilla is crispy and cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Top with mixed greens, if desired. Cut into 4 slices and enjoy.
Chef John Folse’s Louisiana Shrimp and Grits
2 dozen 21-25 count shrimp, peel and deveined
½ cup butter
¼ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
¼ cup yellow bell pepper, finely diced
¼ cup green bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup red onion, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
1tbsp garlic, minced
½ cup andouille sausage, minced
¼ cup flour
4 cups shrimp stock
½ cup cream
¼ cup green onions, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation for Shrimp:
In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium high heat. Add all vegetables and andouille. Sauté 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir until slightly golden, 3-5 minutes. Add shrimp stock one cup at a time stirring until mixture achieves a sauce-like consistency. Continue adding as much stock as necessary. Add cream, blend well and bring to a low boil. Add green onions and shrimp and cook until shrimp curl and turn pink, 3 -5 minutes. Season to taste using salt and pepper. Serve a generous portion of sauce and 4 large shrimp over each portion of grits.
1 ½ cups stone ground grits (I recommend Bradley’s Country Store Grits)
3 ½ cups whole milk
3 ¼ cups water
1 ½ tbsps salt
1/2 tsps white pepper
4 tbsps. butter
½ pound shredded Gouda cheese, not smoked
In a 1-gallon-stockpot, combine milk, water, salt, pepper and butter. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Add grits and stir well into the liquid. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook 12-14 minutes stirring occasionally until thickened. Stirring. Remove from heat and blend in cheese. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve a generous portion of grits along with the shrimp.1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 up buttermilk
2 TBS prepared horseradish
2 TBS grated Parmesan
1 TBS sour cream
1 1/2 tsp dry ranch dressing mix
1 large egg
2 TBS milk
1 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
Mary Mac’s Fried Green Tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon sour cream
11/2 teaspoons dry ranch dressing mix
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
3 firm medium green tomatoes, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Fresh basil, for garnish
To make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, horseradish, Parmesan, sour cream and ranch dressing mix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made up to 1 week in advance.
To make the tomatoes: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1/2-inch oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Line a plate or wire rack with paper towels.
While oil is heating, in a pie plate, whisk egg, then whisk in milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
In another pie plate, combine flour, cracker crumbs and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dip tomato slices into egg mixture, turning to coat. Dredge both sides of tomato slices in flour mixture and shake off excess flour. Carefully place tomato slices into hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning once, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with sauce. Garnish with basil, if desired.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, horseradish, Parmesan, sour cream and ranch dressing mix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve
In a large skillet heat 1/2 inch oil over medium heat until hot. Line a plate or wire rack with paper towels
While oil is heating, in a bowl, whisk egg, then whisk in milk and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
In another dish, combine flour, cracker crumbs and remaining salt 1/2 tsp salt. Dip tomato slices into egg mixture, turning to coat. Dredge both sides of tomato slices in flour mixture and shake off excess flour. Carefully place tomato slices into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, turning once, about four minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with sauce.
Nathalie Dupree’s Perfect Peach Cobbler
This recipe can be adapted to other fruits such as blueberries, blackberries and plums. Don’t exceed the total weight of fruit here, as the extra juicy can make the cobbler sloppy. The lower oven temperature is necessary due to the amount of sugar in the batter.
For the fruit:
450 g (1 lb) peaches (about 2 rounded cups prepared fruit)
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
For the batter:
50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
130 g (¾ cup minus 1 tablespoon) sugar
100 g (¾ cup sifted) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
180 ml (¾ cup) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 180C/350F.
Halve the peaches, take out the stones, and cut into chunky bite-sized pieces. Peel or not as you prefer. Sprinkle with lemon juice as you go to prevent discolouration and add the tablespoon of sugar. Mix gently and set aside.
Put the butter in a 20-24cm (8- or 9-inch) ovenproof dish to melt in the oven while you mix the batter.
Whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the milk and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
When the butter is melted, carefully pour the batter into the hot dish, right on top of the melted butter without mixing. Then distribute the peach chunks on top of the batter as evenly as you can without disturbing the batter underneath.
Bake for about 40-50 minutes until the top is a golden brown all over, the fruit juices are bubbling, and a skewer inserted into the centre shows no uncooked batter. Rotate the dish halfway through to bake evenly.
Let cool for a few minutes and serve warm. A little crème fraîche or pouring cream is nice, though it doesn’t really need it. Refrigerate leftovers.
NOTE: Recipes were edited ever-so-slighly for brevity and space considerations.