Saturday, November 28, 2015

Coconut Creamed Greens from Whitney Miller's New Southern Table (& her book signing in Memphis today!)

Whitney Miller's second cookbook, New Southern Table (Nelson Books 2015) was released this month, and we are so happy for her! Justin took the photos for the book, which is filled with re-imagined Southern classics and so many creative dishes we can't wait to make during the holidays. Whitney won MasterChef in season one, and soon after her victory, she wrote her first cookbook, Modern Southern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm, and traveled all over the world cooking up a storm and speaking about topics close to her heart.

Whitney, a native of Southern Mississippi, is currently in Memphis for the holidays with her awesome husband Ryan, and she's speaking and signing books today, Saturday, Nov. 28, at 4 p.m. at Booksellers. So come on out with us and meet our friend, get a book signed, and take care of a little holiday shopping at the best bookstore in town this afternoon!

We wanted to share a recipe from the book with you -- one that's representative of Whitney's modern take on Southern food. We already had a bunch of frozen blanched greens from the farm, so this was the perfect thing to make as a side dish today for lunch. (Except it looked so good that we actually ended up having it with tofu scramble and stewed tomatoes for breakfast!)

Whitney Miller's Coconut
Creamed Greens

2 teaspoons coconut or olive oil
12 cups packed, chopped turnip greens or kale, ribs removed
2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
6 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
honey (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened shaved coconut, roughly chopped

Place the oil in a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the greens and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until slightly wilted, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and roasted garlic. Stir until well mixed. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the salt, and cook uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the greens to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the greens are broken down into chunky small pieces, about 30 seconds. Do not puree. Stir in the honey to cut any remaining bitterness from the greens. Pour into a shallow 8-inch casserole dish. Season the creamed greens with additional salt to taste. Sprinkle the coconut in an even layer over the greens.

Preheat the broiler. Broil the greens until the coconut is golden brown. Serve warm. (Makes 4 servings.)

Recipe courtesy of  Whitney Miller and Nelson Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgrilling on IHA's Inspired Home blog

We are excited to have been selected by the International Housewares Association to contribute to their Inspired Home blog. We've been compensated for our time, but our opinions are, of course, our own. 

Check out our new post on the IHA Inspired Home blog. Last week, we did a test run for an outdoor Thanksgiving celebration, and we overcame both the meager Sunday night flower selection in Memphis and an all-night downpour in order to take some photos and help the story come to fruition. We included 3 recipes that are Thanksgiving mainstays around here: Smoked Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Pecans, Roast Beast, and Cast-Iron Brussels Sprouts and Apples. Good stuff! Hope you are excited about your plans for the holiday this week and also hope you're inspired by our low-key, non-crazed, and slightly contrary take on the whole deal. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Chanterelle and Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash with Miracle Mushroom Gravy

This is the perfect vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving. Check out this great link: it was even featured HERE in The New York Times!

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced white onion (about 1 small)
1 vegetable bouillon cube 
1/4 cup white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
1 cup chanterelles, torn into strips
1/4 cup finely diced dried apricots 
Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper (to taste)
2 cups brioche or good-quality white bread, torn into pieces
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 large acorn squash (or two small)
1 tablespoons olive oil 
Miracle Mushroom Gravy (to garnish; recipe follows)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the butter and then sauté the celery, onion, and bouillon cube until lightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the wine, and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chanterelles and apricots to the pan and warm through. Add salt and pepper. Chill the mushroom mixture thoroughly. In a large bowl, mix the bread, eggs, and the cooled vegetable mixture

Using a sharp kitchen knife (and plenty of caution), trim the stem end off of the squash and cut the squash into 3/4 inch rings. You should be able to get 4 rings out of a large acorn squash. Discard the stem end and bottom piece. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds and membrane out of the squash and discard. Lay the squash rings out on a large parchment-lined baking sheet drizzle slices of squash with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove squash from the oven and press the stuffing into the center of each squash ring. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the stuffing has set and starting to brown. Add Miracle Mushroom Gravy to garnish. 

Miracle Mushroom Gravy

1 (10-ounce) package crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup diced shallot
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
scant 1/8 teaspoon ground clove 
1 tablespoon soy sauce (like Bragg’s)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
smoked paprika (to garnish)

Slice mushrooms about 1/4-inch thick. You will blend them later, so there’s no need to be overly precise. In a medium frying pan over hight heat, sauté the mushrooms until browned. Add the shallot to the pan and continue to cook for another minute until the rawness has been cooked out of the shallot and it's translucent. 

Place the mushrooms and shallot ino the work bowl of your food processor and add the sage, red pepper flakes, clove powder, soy sauce, and maple syrup. In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk mixture until fragrant (about five minutes.) Whisk in the whole milk and heat mixture until slightly thick. Add milk mixture to the food processor that contains the mushroom mixture. Pulse until mushrooms are finely chopped and well incorporated into the milk, but leave some chunkiness for a nice texture. Return the mixture to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. If gets too thick, add some milk or stock to thin it out.