Recipes from the Heart XIV

While gearing up for the July Fourth Celebration we selected these three recipes that will do wonders for sagging spirits as we continue to thoughtfully protect ourselves and others. One is from the bucolic Blue Ridge mountains, another from deep South Georgia and the finale from France incorporating those delicious in-season peaches. Hopefully, these bring some extra joy to your dinner or patio table.

Spring Harvest
Chef Tyler Bailey
Liam’s, Thomasville, GA

Liam’s is a heralded gourmet restaurant in one of the South’s loveliest cities.

Anson Mills Farro 12 oz.
Asparagus 1/2 lb. 1/4 inch bias slices
Parmesan 2 oz. grated
Morel Mushrooms 8 oz. broken into pieces
Toasted Pecans 3 oz.
Garlic Cloves 2 ea. minced
Fresh Bay Leaves 4 ea.
Pecan Ridge Plantation Pecan Truffles 1 ea medium size Oliver Farms Pecan Oil 2 oz.
Butter 1 oz.
Lemon Juice to taste
Salt to taste

Place farro and bay leaves in a large pot. Add enough water to cover, approximately 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until tender, approximately 25 minutes. Strain and set aside. In a large sauté pan add butter and pecan oil. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted and add morel mushrooms. Brown on one side. Add garlic and asparagus and lightly toss until garlic is golden. Add cooked farro, Parmesan and 2 cups of water. Turn heat up to high and stir until water is gone. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Garnish with toasted pecans and shaved pecan truffles. Serves 4.


Bacon Jam
Chef Shawn Knight

The Sawmill Place, Blairsville, Georgia

Blairsville is near the North Carolina border in the Blue Ridge mountains. It’s a gorgeous village loaded with history and charm. This recipe should find it’s way to your breakfast table and makes a mighty fine late afternoon appetizer.


10 strips Applewood smoked bacon cut into ½ in pieces
1 medium onion diced
1 garlic clove smashed and peeled
1 cup strong brewed coffee
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup apple cider
½ cup brown sugar


Sauté bacon over medium to low heat – cook to medium texture, not crispy

Drain ½ bacon grease and set bacon aside

Sauté onions in ½ bacon grease leftover until caramelized

Add garlic while onions are caramelizing

Combine ingredients 4-7 in a pot, whisk, and warm

Pour ingredients 1-3 into pot

Let simmer until ingredients thicken

Pour mixture into food processor and pulse into jam like consistency


Peaches Melba

Peaches Melba captures the glory of fresh Southern peaches.

Peaches Melba was created for the famous Victorian era opera star Dame Nellie Melba by the greatest chef of the time, Auguste Escoffier. The recipes are available in the public domain, but the one I’ve enjoyed is from Jim Sanders who said the best he tasted was in a small café in the Bordeaux village of Pauillac.

For peaches

6 medium firm-ripe peaches (2 1/4 lb)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 (1-inch) piece vanilla bean

For raspberry sauce

1 (12-oz) package frozen raspberries, thawed
8 oz. Framboise (raspberry liqueur)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Accompaniment: 2 pt premium vanilla ice cream


Poach peaches:

Cut a shallow X in bottom of each peach with a sharp paring knife and immerse fruit in a 4-quart heavy pot (preferably wide) of boiling water 30 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Transfer peaches to a cutting board and peel, starting with cut end, then cut in half, discarding pits

Combine sugar and water in cleaned pot.

Halve vanilla bean lengthwise with a paring knife and scrape seeds into pot, then add pod and bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Add peaches, pitted sides down, to sugar syrup, then reduce heat and poach, covered, at a bare simmer 6 minutes. Turn peaches over and continue to poach, covered, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes more.

Cool peaches in poaching liquid in pot, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Make raspberry sauce while peaches cool:

Crush raspberries.

Combine sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Cover pan (so condensation will wash any sugar crystals down side of pan) and bring to a boil, then remove lid and boil 2 minutes

Stir sugar syrup and Framboise into raspberry purée and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Stir in lemon juice.

Serve peaches over ice cream and drizzled with sauce.


Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. |
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