It is finally that Goldilocks time of year here in Nashville: not too hot, not too cold, just right for a fall picnic. Here at Flavor Catering we believe in keeping it simple, and as a local business ourselves, keeping it local. So we headed to the nearby Turnip Truck to grab the ingredients for our favorite southern style spread, the ever-classic pimento cheese, (recipe below) and a few other tasty morsels to enjoy on our day out.
If you are from the south, then you already know all about pimento cheese. If you aren’t, then you are probably thinking that only a Southerner would mix extra sharp cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and sweet peppers together and call it a meal!
But its beauty is in its simplicity. Most of the ingredients you likely have in your refrigerator. The preparation is quick and easy, and can be served as decadent lunch or a last minute hors d’oeuvres for guests.
Lovingly referred to as “the caviar of the South,” the pimento cheese sandwich is most famously featured every year at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. More commonly, it is spread between two pieces of Bunny bread and pressed into the hands of hungry children as they rush out the door to play. It can be served with crackers or celery sticks, as it has been for decades, to party-goers. Personally, we like to place a dollop on our sweet potato biscuits and feature it as a seriously southern appetizer option.
No matter how you choose to enjoy, take heart in knowing that you are participating in a much loved culinary tradition here in the American South.
PIMENTO CHEESE RECIPE
serves 8 – 10
1 cup mayonnaise (you can’t get more southern than Duke’s!)
4 oz. diced pimento, drained
1 tbs. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. granulated garlic
pinch of salt
an 8 oz. block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
smoked paprika, to taste
buttermilk, for consistency (optional)
To start, finely shred your cheese. Mix mayonnaise and pimento in a large mixing bowl. Add in onion, garlic, and salt. Slowly add in cheddar until the mixture is good and thick. Add some smoked paprika, to taste, and enjoy!
You have two options here: you can blend all the ingredients in a food processor for a more consistent texture. Or you can go old-school on it (as we personally prefer) and mix it by hand. It’s a bit more labor intensive, but results in the chunky texture pimento cheese is often known for.
Chef’s Note: This is one of those per your preference dishes. . . more onion, less garlic? Go for it!!
Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves. – Humbert Wolfe
There are times when it feels as though summer’s end may never come — but with this first crisp in the Nashville air, we are finally feeling that fall is upon us. Sweaters and changing leaves and football and … smoked pork tenderloin with cherry apple chutney: that’s what we are really thinking of here at the Flavor kitchen. It is one of our favorite dishes to serve, and ever-popular for September and October weddings. But most importantly, it makes for a great dish to serve at home on these cool autumnal evenings…
CHERRY APPLE CHUTNEY RECIPE
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large gala apples
1/4 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup bourbon (your favorite regional variety!)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
To prepare, dice apples into 1/4 inch cubes.
Melt butter in a large sauté pan. Once butter is hot, add diced apples and cook on high heat until apples are fully caramelized. Take pan off of heat and add bourbon. Replace on heat for the fun (and fantastically photogenic!) part: the flambéing of the apples!
Once flames die down, add dried cherries and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add brown sugar and vinegar and cook on medium heat until apples are soft. Mix in rosemary and salt at the last, and your chutney is ready to serve!
SMOKED PORK TENDERLOIN RECIPE
1 large pork tenderloin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
cherry wood chips, soaked for 4 hours
Add soaked wood chips to smoker, and turn on.
Mix smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic, sugar and salt in small mixing bowl.
Trim fat and silver skin off of the pork tenderloin. (Note: the “silver skin” is the thin white layer of fat on top of the loin. It is important to trim this off, because it contracts when cooking as opposed to melting away as regular fat does.)
Once the tenderloin is ready, rub spices onto meat and smoke for 15 minutes. Finish cooking pork in the oven for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, or until meat reaches 150 degrees. Let pork stand for 5 to 8 minutes before slicing. Cut meat at a bias and top with chutney, to serve.
(Thanks to Flavor intern extraordinaire, Mary Nell for contributing this post!)
Most everyone in the south knows a peach cobbler recipe and most-likely will swear that their grandmother’s is the best. Here at Flavor we would argue that ours is among the best. As one of our clients’ favorites, the smell of peach cobbler is often lingering in the kitchen, and though we cannot provide you with those aromas via internet, we will invite you to imagine with your nose as we show you this light, crispy, warm, and flavorful indulgence.
As it is summer, peaches are ripe and abundant, and we turn to our friends at The Peach Truck.
Supporting another local business, we use Hatcher Dairy Farms for all the dairy products in our cobbler.
Our Cobbler Recipe:
Get ready for a true taste of summer.
2 quart water
3 cups sugar
12 oz butter
Put these ingredients in your favorite pot on the stove top and bring to a boil (that’s when it starts to bubble for those of you who do not frequent the kitchen).
1 gallon peeled and sliced peaches
2 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 Tbs Nutmeg
In a large bowl toss spices with peaches, being careful not to toss your peaches out of the bowl. Then pour hot syrup over peaches and let it sit in the fridge overnight. If there are scavengers that raid your fridge at night, be sure to label “DO NOT EAT”
The next morning eat breakfast so you aren’t tempted to eat the filling then take your mixture out of the fridge and get ready for the fun. First, strain your liquid off your peaches and put into a pot. Place the peaches aside and out of reach of the dog. Bring your liquid to a boil and while that is happening, make the “slurry” (Do not ask me where the word slurry came from, I’m an intern, I know as much as you do)
2 1/2 oz cornstarch
1/2 cup water
Add the cornstarch slurry to the boiling liquid and cook until thickened. Take this off of the stove. Now get those peaches that the dog didn’t eat and fold them in as if you are folding your grandmother’s best table cloths, not like a three year old attempting to fold a fitted sheet- the peaches should stay intact.
Take this and spread in a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, find a lady over the age of 60, she has one you can borrow.
Now for the biscuit:
6 c Flour
4 Tbs Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
12 oz Butter
3 1/2 cups Milk
Put flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times. Cut butter into cubes and add to the flour mixture. Don’t get Paula Dean on us, 12 oz is enough. Pulse until the butter is pea sized chunks. If it’s actually green like peas, you should be concerned. Add milk and pulse until it comes together. Do not get over-zealous and keep pulsing after it has come together, its just cobbler.
Now put this mixture on top of the filling in the cast iron skillet.
Bake this at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour. Set a timer if you usually get distracted and burn the bread like my grandmother does.
To keep your mind on the cobbler, you can make the heavy cream topping while it bakes.
1 pint Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 c Sugar
Put cream in mixer and whip until foamy. Add sugar and cinnamon and whip to soft peaks like the peaks of our beloved Appalachian Mountains on Good Ole Rocky Top (Go Vols) Then stop, scrape sides and bottom and then whip to stiff peaks.
Once the Cobbler is finished you can add this cream to the top and serve the cobbler to the family members who have been the best behaved for the week. Or if you are really kind, let everyone have a piece, but make sure to save a large portion for yourself. You deserve it.
And in case you would like an ice cold, energy booster to compliment your fresh cobbler, here is our secret to Iced Coffee.
1 pound Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
8 quarts Cold Water
Half-and-half (healthy Splash Per Serving)
Sweetened Condensed Milk (2-3 Tablespoons Per Serving)
Note: Can Use Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Syrups…adapt To Your Liking!
(Adapted from Imbibe Magazine)
In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.
Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed.
To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (can use plain sugar instead) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.
Thank you for journeying through the orchard with us, see you next time.