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Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table

by Tammy Algood

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Is there anything better than a kitchen countertop spread with the spoils of a Saturday morning at the farmers’ market? Every trip yields some new assortment of old favorites and newfound treasures. One week, you’re tempted by the sun-warmed heirloom tomatoes and the Mason jars brimming with orange blossom honey. Another week, it’s the slabs of


Is there anything better than a kitchen countertop spread with the spoils of a Saturday morning at the farmers’ market? Every trip yields some new assortment of old favorites and newfound treasures. One week, you’re tempted by the sun-warmed heirloom tomatoes and the Mason jars brimming with orange blossom honey. Another week, it’s the slabs of milky Havarti cheese and the Red Haven peaches heavy with juice, enticing you to spend just a little more than you planned. Kentucky pole beans, silky ears of sweet corn, and sacks of stone-ground buckwheat flour may find their way into your basket on another visit.

Whether you shop with a list or purely on impulse, you’ll always find the truest taste of home at the local farms, roadside stands, and produce markets in your community. These are the places that offer up the native flavors of the South and all its seasons. They are your portal to the fields, the waters, and the vines where your food is cultivated. Get to know the origins of what you eat and the people who produce it. Tammy Algood’s Farm Fresh Southern Cooking celebrates this experience with delicious recipes that will enhance the natural flavors of your latest market haul and stories of the South’s most dedicated growers and culinary producers.

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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Read an Excerpt

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking

Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Tammy Algood Killgore a/k/a Tammy Algood and Bryan Curtis
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-0158-4

Chapter One


Crawfish-Stuffed Mushrooms Pocketbook Pleaser Sweet Potato Chutney Green Tomato Salsa Not for Wimps Shrimp Dip Tomato and Double Cheese Fondue Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Triangles Coconut Fried Shrimp and Florida Citrus Dip Spring Green Spread Cheese-Filled Banana Peppers Pea-Picking Salsa Spiced Peach Chutney Lazy Afternoon Fruit Salsa Party Time Rhubarb Chutney Pickled Figs Roasted Eggplant Dip Great Grapes Spring Celebration Cucumber Plates Kernels of Wisdom Salsa Time-Honored Cheese Crackers Golden Brown Goat Cheese Medallions Spring Street Bean Spread Good to the Core Apple Chutney Roasted Bacon Pecans "Where's the Party?" Broccoli Dip Fresh Peach Salsa

Crawfish~ Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes 8 to 10 servings

20 large fresh mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed * 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 1/2 cup diced onions 1/4 cup diced celery 1/4 cup diced green bell peppers 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon dried ground thyme 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce 1 pound crawfish tails, cooked, peeled, and chopped 1 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs Paprika

This is an elegant appetizer that is perfect for a patio party. I love the interest that crawfish adds to this dish, and it's spiced just right to please both those who love heat and those who shy away from it.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place the mushroom caps in the baking dish and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions, celery, peppers, and parsley. Sauté 4 minutes and stir in the thyme, salt, pepper, hot sauce, crawfish, and breadcrumbs.

Remove from the heat and carefully spoon the crawfish mixture into the mushroom caps. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle over the tops. Sprinkle lightly with paprika. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

* Save the mushrooms stems for sprinkling on a salad.

Pocketbook Pleaser Sweet Potato Chutney

Makes 2 1/2 cups

1 sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and diced 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and diced 3 green onions, chopped 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 celery stalk, chopped 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 2 tablespoons thawed frozen apple juice concentrate 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

This chutney is so good and looks terrific. It makes a great appetizer when served with nice crackers and slices of smoked Cheddar. I also serve a dollop on cooked pork, where both shine. It will pull even the most simply roasted meat into the fancy category. You won't be able to get enough! Use the leftover apple juice concentrate to make a pitcher of juice.

Place the potatoes, apples, onions, parsley, and celery in a serving bowl and gently toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, apple juice concentrate, ginger, pepper, and salt. Drizzle over the sweet potato mixture and gently toss to evenly coat.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Toss again before serving.

Note: Leftovers keep up to a week in the refrigerator.

Green Tomato Salsa

Makes 2 1/2 cups

1 pound green tomatoes, cut in large dice 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 green onions, sliced 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 1 tablespoon lime juice 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

It's time to go color-blind with salsa, because not all salsa has to be red. This one is excellent with low-salt or homemade tortilla chips. But don't leave it there. It can also be a garnish on grilled chicken, pork, or fish.

In a large bowl, gently combine the tomatoes, garlic, onions, cilantro, juice, peppers, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

Not for Wimps Shrimp Dip

Makes 5 cups

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon pickled jalapeño pepper liquid 1 tablespoon prepared mustard 1 1/2 pounds cooked salad shrimp 3 celery stalks, finely chopped 6 green onions, chopped 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño peppers

A thin chip or cracker simply cannot hold up to this chunky dip. Use scoop-type chips or crostini, and serve with a crisp white wine for an elegant appetizer your guests will love.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, pepper liquid, and mustard on low speed. Fold in the shrimp, celery, onions, and peppers. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve chilled with hefty chips or crackers.

Tomato and Double Cheese Fondue

Makes 8 servings

10 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup tomato juice, divided 10 ounces grated Gruyère cheese 10 ounces grated emmentaler cheese 4 teaspoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon cream 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano Bread cubes for dipping

Cheeses with an almost nutty flavor are paired with sweet, ripe tomatoes. The creamy, warm mixture is excellent to use for dunking chunks of crusty bread or even roasted meats.

Place the tomatoes and garlic in a fondue pot set on medium heat. Cook until soft, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add half of the juice and cook 3 minutes longer. Stir in the cheeses.

In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch, remaining juice, and cream. Stir until smooth and add to the tomato mixture. When the cheese is melted, season with the pepper and oregano. Serve warm with bread cubes.

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Triangles

Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided 2 medium sweet onions, peeled and chopped 3/4 cup chopped button or cremini mushrooms 1/3 cup chopped roasted bell peppers 2 tablespoons chopped black olives 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 (10-ounce) package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed 1/2 cup spreadable garlic and herb cream cheese

Onions and mushrooms get along together rather well. Here, the mushrooms are more than willing to let the onions star in this appetizer. Don't rush the process of caramelizing the onions. It is worth the small time investment.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions and cook 10 minutes or until onions are golden and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mushrooms, peppers, olives, and salt. Cook 5 to 7 minutes longer and remove from heat. Cool at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Melt the remaining butter in a microwave-safe dish on low power. Place a sheet of the puff pastry dough on a dry work surface. Brush with half of the melted butter. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 4-inch squares. Repeat with the remaining pastry dough and butter.

In the center of each square, place one heaping teaspoon of the onion mixture. Top with a teaspoon of cream cheese. Pull opposite corners together to form a triangle. Repeat with the remaining squares. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: The filling can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before using.

Coconut Fried Shrimp and Florida Citrus Dip

Makes 4 servings

Vegetable oil 1 (10-ounce) jar orange marmalade 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard 1 tablespoon lime juice 3/4 cup biscuit mix 1 tablespoon sugar 3/4 cup beer 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups shredded coconut 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact

This dish is a tribute to our South Florida friends and the marvelous food they produce. It's a great way to kick off summer entertaining around the pool or on the deck. The crunchy, slightly sweet shrimp are enhanced with a bright, sunny dipping sauce.

In a Dutch oven pour the oil to a depth of 3 inches. Place over medium-high heat and bring to 350°F.

Meanwhile, make the citrus dip: Combine the marmalade, mustard, and juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the marmalade melts. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the biscuit mix, sugar, and beer, stirring until smooth. Place the flour and coconut in separate shallow dishes. Coat the shrimp with the flour and dip in the beer mixture. Gently roll the coated shrimp in the coconut.

Fry a few at a time until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with the Citrus Dip.

Spotlight: Honey

I love to hear stories about people who just pick up, move, and start over. That's exactly what Ellie and Steve Conlon did in 1974 when they decided to leave suburban Philadelphia and relocate to West Virginia. With their two beehives and their son, they launched a new business named ThistleDew Farm because they craved a simple life of making honey.

Flip the Conlon family album pages to this year and you'll see they've expanded that simple life considerably. Today, they have more than 700 beehives (and four sons!) that help locals and travelers alike fall in love with all the numerous ways honeybees enrich our lives.

I have always loved beautiful comb honey. There's something about seeing that comb settled amid the luscious, sweet nectar that just seems to make it taste better. The Conlons have an ample supply of the comb honey I crave, as well as shelves full of other items I really didn't know I needed.

At ThistleDew Farm, you can find honey candy that is fabulous. They also sell delicious whipped honey, for which I have found literally dozens of uses. I love their honey mustards, fruited creamed honeys, jellies, dressings, and ice cream toppings. But the real deal is the honey itself, in flavors of buckwheat, tulip poplar, orange blossom, basswood, aster, sumac, raspberry, blackberry, goldenrod, wildflower, and the tangy black locust.

There is an online store if you want to shop from your own living room. Or you can stop by Monday through Friday and have fun shopping in person. I cannot stop myself from grabbing beeswax items on the way to the checkout, like lip balms, lotions, hand creams, and of course, artisan candles. You'll be hooked too. Then, if you can pull yourself away from the hypnotic observation hive, you'll be on your way home ... but it may be a tad later than you think!

Thistle Dew Farm

Ellie and Steve Conlon Rural Route 1, Box 122 Proctor, West Virginia 26055 (800) 85-Honey or 1-800-854-6639 E-mail: info@thistledewfarm.com Website: www.thistledewfarm.com Consumer Experience: Purchase on-site and online

Spring Green Spread

Makes 2 cups

11/2 pounds fresh green peas, still in shells 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if desired) 1/8 teaspoon salt

Every time I make this spread, I find myself wondering why I don't make it more often. It looks as fresh as it tastes. It has just a bit of heat on the end, which you'll love. Select wheat crackers so the light flavor can shine.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Place the peas in a wire basket and plunge into the boiling water. Cook 30 seconds. Drain and plunge in a sink filled with ice water. After 30 seconds, drain. Shell the peas when cool enough to handle.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peas, pine nuts, juice, oil, zest, cheese, cayenne, and salt. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Serve with toasted whole wheat crackers.

Cheese-Filled Banana Peppers

Makes 8 to 10 servings

4 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 8 large banana peppers 2 tablespoons olive oil

This is the recipe I make as soon as the first banana peppers come in from my garden. Most often I serve it as an appetizer, but occasionally it becomes an unexpected side dish.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, feta, parsley, oregano, and pepper. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Cut the stem end off each pepper and carefully scoop out the seeds with the blade of a knife or a small spoon. Spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper. Place on the prepared pan and drizzle with the oil. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until the peppers are tender. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Pea-Picking Salsa

Makes 8 servings

1 pound fresh black-eyed peas, cooked, drained, and cooled 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced 1 small purple onion, peeled and diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 3/4 cup peanut oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

This salsa is perfect for tailgating and a great use for your end-of-the-year harvest of peas and peppers. This is not your normal dip or salsa, so have the recipe handy to give to friends as you serve it. I like to serve it with bagel chips or hefty low-salt pita chips.

In a large bowl, combine the peas, peppers, and onions and set aside.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the garlic, basil, parsley, oil, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Shake well to combine. Pour over the pea mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature with crackers or chips.

Farmers' Market

I love farmers' markets where you can drop in any day at practically any time and stay all day. That's what I do at the Capitol Market whenever I'm close to Charleston, West Virginia. It's a favorite of those who reside nearby.

Built on an old railroad transfer dock, the market officially opened in 1997. It plays host to a slew of specialty shops inside, and outside vendors offer everything from giant trees to the smallest berries.

The outdoor produce area seems as if it goes on for miles. You can easily and conveniently find mounds of locally grown fruits and vegetables of every persuasion. On my visit, I left with armloads of fresh corn, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers for pickling, and heirloom beans. I was thankful I brought a cooler because once you start shopping, it is quite difficult to stop!

Wander inside and you'll find local wines, beers, cheeses, meats, chocolates, and fresh seafood. The aroma of the coffee-roasting shop alone is enough to draw you in from out of doors. The shops are eclectic and wonderfully eccentric. Since the market is open year-round, it's a fantastic stop for lunch, dinner, breakfast, brunch, an afternoon snack, or an after-work cocktail. It will put a smile on your face all throughout the day!

Capitol Market

800 Smith Street Charleston, West Virginia 25301 (304) 344-1905 E-mail: tammy@capitolmarket.net Website: www.capitolmarket.net Open year-round Consumer Experience: farmers' market

Spiced Peach Chutney

Makes 2 cups

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 shallots, peeled and minced 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 3 cups chopped fresh peaches 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce

You will find many ways to serve this chutney. I love to place it in assorted bowls around the patio while dinner is on the grill. It is exceptional with chicken or pork and equally fantastic served as an appetizer with crackers.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic, shallots, and jalapeños. Sauté 3 minutes. Add the peaches and raisins. Sauté 3 minutes more.

Add the sugar and vinegar, stirring well. Add the juice, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 7 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Excerpted from Farm Fresh Southern Cooking by TAMMY ALGOOD Copyright © 2012 by Tammy Algood Killgore a/k/a Tammy Algood and Bryan Curtis. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Tammy Algood is a food personality on Nashville's local ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox affiliates, as well as statewide on PBS. You can hear her food reports and commentary on Nashville radio networks, Clear Channel, and NPR. She conducts cooking schools at various Tennessee wineries and has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers.

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