Category: Food & Prop Style’n

…krave-worthy Krispy Kreme Kroutons!

Being that today is “National Doughnut Day,” seems fitting to share one of my Krispy Kreme Kreations with you.

It just so happens that my lastest, krunchy Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons, is one of four North Carolina food icons I got to blab about in the November issue of Carolina Country Magazine. I chose Krispy Kreme as one of the four for a couple of reasons. For starters, when talking about iconic foods here in North Carolina, KK is at or near the top of any such list. KK is also celebrating a milestone birthday this year… their 80th! I even made this scrumptious sundae with KK Kroutons and Kookies to celebrate.

Aren’t we so happy Krispy Kreme was born?

I’ve been making these blissful little krouton morsels for years, just never got around to sharing until now!  You can make ’em in no time flat, but be warned.

….krunchy krispy kreme kroutons

Nobody can eat just one, or 10, so make a big old mess of them! Folks love to munch on “kroutons” right out of the bowl, but I enjoy on top of Ma Perry’s Boiled Custard, a Perry family tradition that started before I came along… a long time ago.

I do hope you will make some kroutons, and come back to let me know what you think… I’m pretty sure you will be the Kueen if you serve up a pile of these sometime soon.
Don’t you think KK should bag my kroutons too?  

Krispy Kreme Kroutons

Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons

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Cinnamon-Butter Krispy Kreme Kroutons
Krispy Kreme “Kroutons” are a fun treat by themselves, but floating in boiled custard to enjoy at the bottom of your cup is good, too!
Ingredients
  • 6 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts,
  • 1 stick butter. melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Using kitchen scissors, cut each doughnut into 12 "coins." Spread cut pieces out on baking pan and let air dry, uncovered, overnight.

  2. Preheat toaster oven or oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in microwave and stir in cinnamon. Toss “kroutons” in bowl with cinnamon butter. Bake about 5 minutes, tossing as needed, until golden brown.

  3. Cool and store in airtight container.

So, what are your ideas for using Krispy Kreme Kroutons?
Do tell…

Speaking of tomatoes, fried green ones…

A few years ago while food styling and creating recipes at Our State Magazine, I had the opportunity to create some “sauces” for Fried Green Tomatoes!  We Southerners know summertime isn’t complete without enjoying this tangy fried treat. OK, I’m sure some folks may coat and bake them, but Wendy don’t play that with some things, and “Fried” green ‘maters are one of those things.

Most of us have our preferred way to cook those, so this post isn’t about that…. since basically you just dip in buttermilk, crumbs…. and fry!

Saucy Fried Green Tomatoes
photography by Matt Hulsman for Our State Magazine!

 

Today, I’d like to share the 3 toppings the magazine published.  See if you find one you like, or if you have a preferred way to serve, please add a note about that in the comments below! 

The toppings are…

  • Herby Mayo Dressing… like Green Goddess
  • Whipped Feta & Basil Pimento Cheese
  • Sweet ‘n Hot Strawberry Spread

Enjoy these recipes on Our State’s site or printable below!
Recipes published June 2015

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Herby Mayo Dressing for Fried Green Tomatoes

Try a drizzle of this dressing, then add bits of bacon and chopped chives. (Hint: It tastes great on salads or as a vegetable dip, too.)

Yield: About 1¼ cups.

Course: Brunch, Dressings, Main Course, Salad, Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine: Farmers Market, Southern, Summer Food
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise, Duke's preferred
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste (or 4 cloves, grated)
  • 4 whole scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • several turns freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the dressing is blended and the herbs are incorporated. Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. 
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Whipped Feta & Basil Pimento Cheese for Fried Green Tomatoes

This recipe calls for feta cheese, but you can easily substitute goat cheese if preferred.

Yield: About 1 pint.

Course: Brunch, Dressings, Main Course, Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine: Farmers Market, Southern, Summer Food
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces feta cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimento, drained
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar optional
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients except basil leaves into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined and fluffy. Tear up 3 or 4 of the basil leaves, add to the pimento cheese, and pulse until chopped and incorporated into the cheese. Roll up remaining leaves and slice into thin ribbons.
  2. Spoon cheese on top of warm fried green tomatoes. Garnish with basil ribbons.
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Sweet ’n’ Hot Strawberry Spread for Fried Green Tomatoes
The best of both worlds: strawberries for sweetness, chowchow for a little kick.
Course: Brunch, Dressings, Main Course, Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine: Farmers Market, North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Summer Food
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons drained chow chow
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam or preserves
  • fresh basil optional
Instructions
  1. Stir to combine and spread onto fried green tomatoes.

 

Wendy’s Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie!

’tis pie season. Tomato Pie Season. And I can’t believe I have never put my Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie here….  

Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie

Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie
Photo by Matt Hulsman for Our State Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As food stylist and recipe developer at Our State Magazine for 5 years, I often prepared and styled recipes from church and community cookbooks they featured each month, while sometimes I created recipes for the magazine. Now those who know me well know getting in one of my kitchens and doing some “throw cooking” creating recipes of my own…. usually with North Carolina goodies, is my mostest favorite thing to do!  And this tomato pie 

Sometimes, ingredients just harmonize and the recipe turns out just right the first time!  This tomato pie is one of those times. I get visions in my head… and can hardly wait to pull together the ingredients and start playing! Although rare, there certainly are disasters and some “what was I thinking” concoctions, but for the most part, I believe this to be a talent given to me by God… there’s just no other explanation.  That, along with just having taste buds that seem to know what tastes good together is my “formula.”  This comes to me naturally, and it is so hard for me to grasp that this simple thing, for others, is terrifying and beyond anything they can or will do.  We had this very conversation this past weekend where I was throwing together my okra salad, a variation of it, and folks there were just mesmerized at what I did, and said in a million years would have never thought to do such a thing… while gobbling it all down!

So when the subject of tomato pies came up, I came here to get the link and text to them. And it wasn’t even here!  So today, I’m fixing that.  

This simple summer pie can be made in a flash… and that’s just what kind of cook’n we all prefer in prime tomato season when adding heat to our lives in any fashion is not on our agenda… at least not here in North Carolina, where the heat and humidity becomes absurd.  July, August and September are prime field tomato months for us, although I’m fortunate to have some farmers near me who grow some pretty darn good hot house tomatoes we start eating about March or April! So “Tomato Everything” graces my menus and recipes, and that’s fine by me… as I’d just as soon eat juicy fresh local summer ‘maters as I had a hunk’o steak!  

You can Google and scour Pinterest for “tomato pie” recipes, and find thousands of them… most claiming to be “the best tomato pie you’ve ever had.”  But I’m here to tell you, I’m laying claim to that title with MY tomato pie. Period.

There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, it has Duke’s mayonnaise, which speaks for itself! And if you live in a place where there is no Duke’s, I have full pity on you… (but you CAN order online from them or have friends and relatives visiting you from The Land of Duke’s bring you some). Many of y’all know by now that my “little” (back then) nephew Wyatt and I had the opportunity to be featured in several Duke’s commercials a few years back. We became something akin to “celebrities” for a few years as they would run starting in spring and tomato sandwich time, right on through the end of tomato season in fall.  And he was BMOC2G (big man on campus in 2nd grade). So anytime I can throw some Duke’s in a recipe, I do.

Nextly… most tomato pies you see use mozzarella, or cheddar cheese.  Nope, not around here! I’m a Swiss cheese fanatic, and when others are using the same old kinds of cheeses in recipes, you’ll likely find Swiss in mine…. like my Swiss Pimiento Cheese (another recipe I throw together and need to throw here too)!

And lastly…. you will typically see herbs from what I call the “Italian Family” in tomato pies, but you haven’t lived until you’ve enjoyed a meaty juicy tomato pie…with fresh DILL!

So those couple of things married together make my taste buds do a culinary happy dance. And I’m sure they will do the same for yours.  So without further babble…. I bring you, my Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie! I do hope you will make one soon, and come back here and share your review with me… and that you and yours love it as much as me and mine do. And since I have all the ingredients on hand, I think I shall throw myself one together now too. One can never have too much tomato pie, right?

Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie
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Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie

Most tomato pies will feature cheddar or mozzarella cheeses, and typically, herbs and seasonings in the Italian family. This one takes the "usual" to "unusual" and brings the fresh flavor of dill to the table, with the rich creaminess of Swiss cheese... finished off with the crispy crunchy onion topping. You can even make this crustless.... for more of a tomato pudding than pie!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 6 (or sometimes, just 1!)
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 store bought deep dish pie crust (or your own)
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • several turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 whole green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Duke's mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup canned French-fried onion topping
Instructions
  1. Place the tomato slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let tomatoes drain for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Dry any surface moisture with a paper towel.
    NOTE: The longer you let the tomatoes sit the better as the more moisture you can pull, the meatier they will be. I sometimes slice and salt in the morning for cooking my pie later in the day.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350º. Prick the bottom and sides of the piecrust with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes.

  3. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and cheese. Fold in the chopped dill.
  4. Layer the tomato slices in the piecrust. Season them with black pepper. Scatter with chopped green onions. Dollop the mayonnaise and cheese mixture over the tomatoes and onions.

  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melting and starts to brown. Scatter with fried onion topping, then bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes. Slice and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Variation: You can use a variety of tomatoes for added color and flavors!  

Your pie will have more onion crust topping than this picture.... sometimes "things" have to be done in the name of food styling for better photos, and this is an example.  Too much of the onion and you wouldn't see the beautiful meaty tomatoes underneath!

Recipe originally published in Our State Magazine ~ July 2015

“Traditional Southern Thanksgiving Favs…with a Twist”

Twisted Southern Thanksgiving Table

Being the “throw cooker” that I am, those of you that know me know I’m gonna throw a twist into a meal or recipe, any chance I get.  Well there’s no reason Thanksgiving should be exempt from my voodoo.  My friends

Valonda and Sharon invited me back again to their show, NBC17’s My Carolina Today Show, here in the Raleigh Triangle market… those two are so cute and fun I can never say no to their invites… although being a big girl as I am, I feel like Goliath Chef beside them. I’m sure they must wear something like Size -4 or something like that… and so bubbly I just wanna pinch their cheeks… bless their hearts!  I usually take my clogs off during taping to help a little, but forgot when taping this week… the show will air tomorrow (Thursday, November 16th)… so as I post, I don’t have a link to the video yet they always throw up online… I’ll come back with that!

When Sharon asked me at my last visit to come up with ‘something’ for Thanksgiving, I didn’t have any ideas right off the bat like usual… but a couple of weeks ago, as usual, I had a vision… of one thing, and that’s all it takes to get me going.  They asked me yesterday if I just magically ‘come up with this stuff,’ and I told them, “well, actually, yes.”  My inspiration this time was collards. (And when I come up for air in-between this week’s BIG projects…. I’m going to post my “Almost Famous Collards” for you, and how I throw ’em together.)  Once I had the collard vision, everything else just flowed right out of me… and so now, I introduce to you…

My Southern Thanksgiving Table… with a twist!

As you look through these realllllly easy recipes, you’ll see all our usual stuff found on Turkey Day Tables, at least mine anyway… turkey, cranberry sauce, collards, stuffing (AKA dressing), turnips, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and pecan pie ~ just twisted out a bit.  I hope y’all enjoy these and reallllly hope you will give me some feedback down there in the ‘comments’ box, and also, PLEASE SHARE on your Facebook pages and with your friends… I really need to get more folks here and need your help!  I give you entertainment and wondermous recipes, and all I ask is that you invite a few folks to subscribe…

OK… advertisement over!

Gotta run… as Food Stylist and Recipe Developer for Our State Magazine, gotta be up realllllllllll early in the morning and in Greensboro BY 7:30…. to shoot some wayyyy outside the box special recipes I developed for February issue… been working on them for a few months!  Can’t tell ya any more than that… Top Secret, but you just run yourself on over and subscribe right now so it will come right to your mailbox in mid-January! (It’s a perfect gift that gives all year long too… for yourself or others.)  You are just not gonna believe your eyes.  Lordie Mercie, they are bringing in video folk too, to film the ‘behind the scenes’ of the assembly of these recipes and what goes on at a special photo shoot like this, so this gal needs all the ‘beauty rest’ she can get… but to tell you the truth, I’m SOOOO excited about this and feel like it’s my Christmas Eve and don’t anticipate much sleep, ‘tween that and the tornado watches going on thru the night.  I’m about to bust wide open to tell folks about this… by my lips are sealed… for a few more weeks anyway.

So… hope you enjoy these recipes… and Share Away!

FOR 1 page PRINTABLE RECIPES, click HERE! Or, click the recipe name.

Grilled Barbecued Turkey

Grilled Barbecued Twisted ‘n Kicked Turkey

We’re twist’n & kick’n up Thanksgiving this year with some new ways to cook and serve traditional oldies.  Everybody loves grilled goodies and this turkey is no exception.  This recipe features some culinary goodies made here in North Carolina but you can sub your own favorites as well.

 

Recipe By: Wendy Perry
Serving Size:  however much you cook!

Sliced Turkey breast (you can used cooked)
Turkey Legs (raw)
Tiny Town Turkey Rub     (from Savory Spice Shop Raleigh-visit one in your area or order online!)

1          cup                 NC’s Fireside Black Jack BBQ Sauce                         Visit their Web Site
½         cup                NC’s Crooked Condiments Gaelic Ale Mustard      Visit their Web Site
1          teaspoon        jalapeno powder (more or less to taste)   (also from Savory Spice Shop)

TURKEY:  To save time, you can buy cooked turkey breast.

Shake (generously) some Tiny Town Turkey Rub onto turkey.

SAUCE:  Mix BBQ sauce, mustard and jalapeno power in small bowl.

Slice (cooked turkey) and place on grill.  Baste with sauce and grill on each side until well-heated and sauce has caramelized a bit.

Cook raw turkey legs, turning frequently, until at 165° by thermometer.  Once done and before removing from grill, baste generously with sauce and turn a few
times to allow sauce to glaze and caramelize.

Use this to also to baste Bacon Wrapped Collard Rolls with Stuffing.

Recipe Copyright© Wendy L. Perry, Inc.
May be shared with credit cited and link back to this blog

Cranberry BBQ SauSal

Cranberry BBQ “SauSal

Throw your guests a twist at Thanksgiving or any time you serve turkey or chicken with this SauSal… (a little Sauce with a hint of Salsa)
You can throw this together in about 10 minutes with a bag of cranberries and some goodies you probably have on hand!

 

Recipe By: Wendy Perry
Serving Size: 8+

1          bag                 fresh cranberries
¼         cup               favorite BBQ sauce
1           cup                sugar
½         cup               brown sugar
¾         cup               your favorite salsachopped cilantro
1                                  jalapeno, seeded and diced

Throw everything but cilantro and jalapeno into heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until berries have popped and sauce has thickened.

Pour into serving bowl and chill.  At serving time, sprinkle with cilantro and jalapeno.  Serve with BBQ Turkey and Bacon Wrapped Cabbage Rolls and Stuffing.

This is also good on leftover turkey (and ham) sandwiches and wraps.

Recipe Copyright© Wendy L. Perry, Inc.        May be shared with credit cited and link back to this blog

Bacon Wrapped Collard Rolls with Stuffing

Bacon Wrapped Collard Rolls with Stuffing

Collards….
the quintessential southern green, and no traditional Thanksgiving table in these parts would be complete without ‘em.  But this year, throw together some of these and throw on the grill along with your turkey for a real surprising twist… and your dressing, or stuffing, whichever you call it, is tucked inside!  Like most of this meal, these can be made ahead and just throw on the grill when you cook your turkey.

 

 

Recipe By: Wendy Perry
Serving Size: 8

8                                 collard leaves, torn into large pieces
8       slices               bacon
4       cups                 your favorite stuffing
toothpicks

BBQ Turkey Sauce (see that recipe up above)

In deep skillet or pot, heat water 2 inches deep.  Once boiling, throw collard leaves into water (stacked on top of each other).  Blanche several minutes until tender.  Remove and drain in colander being careful not to tear leaves.

Cook bacon in layers of paper towels in microwave (or skillet) several minutes until almost done, but still soft and pliable.

Lay collard leaf onto flat surface.  Spoon ½ cup of stuffing horizontally and roll up.  Wrap a slice of bacon around the roll and secure with toothpick.  Continue until all rolls are completed.

Throw on hot grill and baste with the Turkey BBQ Sauce, turning to glaze while sauce lightly caramelizes and bacon finishes cooking.  Serve with grilled turkey.

 

Recipe Copyright© Wendy L. Perry, Inc.
May be shared with credit cited and link back to this blog

Rosemary Skewered Fall Veggie Kabobs

Rosemary Skewered Fall Veggie Kabobs

These are really easy to throw together for a new twist on traditional Thanksgiving vegetables.  You can also make these ahead of time to throw on the grill with the rest of your Grilled Turkey Day meal.

 

Recipe By: Wendy Perry
Serving Size: 8

8                                   stems of fresh rosemary
8          (or more)     fresh Brussels Sprouts
16       1” chunks      fresh turnips
16       1” chunks      fresh butternut squash
1          large               red onion, cut into 1” square slices
1          stick                butter, melted
Few     sprigs            fresh sage
salt and freshly ground pepper

Strip leaves from rosemary stems, leaving about 2” of leaves on tip end.  Set aside.

Steam Brussels Sprouts in microwave until tender but not mushy, about 3-4 minutes.  (Time will vary depending on wattage of your microwave.)

Steam turnip and squash chunks in microwave until crisp tender being careful not to overcook;  if too done, they will break apart when sliding onto skewers.

Thread onto skewers… squash, turnip, onion, sprout, squash, turnip, onion (or whatever pattern you choose)… I use 1 Brussels Sprout in center but you can add more if you like.

Throw onto grill making sure tips with leaves are over unheated area so they won’t burn off.  Use sage stem with leaves to baste with melted butter while cooking.  Grill, turning gently with tongs, until slightly charred on all sides.  Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper or seasoning of choice.

 

Recipe Copyright© Wendy L. Perry, Inc.
May be shared with credit cited with link back to this blog

BUTTERscoth PECAN Skillet Pie

BUTTERscoth PECAN Skillet Pie

Yummmm….
cooking and serving pie from a skillet just seems to make ‘em taste better!  This pie just says ‘fall’… with the toasty pecans and richness of the butterscotch.  Top with Sweet ‘Tater & Molasses Ice Cream and get ready for accolades all around for your DEElicious DEEssert.

Recipe By: Wendy Perry
Serving Size: 8

1 1/2      cups               pecan pieces
2          tablespoons   flour
3              large             eggs – beaten with whisk till slightly frothy
1      11 ounce bag     butterscotch morsels
1/2          cup               brown sugar
1              stick              butter — melted, cooled
1          teaspoon        vanilla
1                                     unbaked pie shell, (I use Pillsbury from dairy section, not frozen)
Sweet ‘Tater & Molasses Ice Cream
Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray 10″-12’ cast iron skillet; place crust into prepared pan.  It will naturally ‘ruffle’ as shown in picture.

In medium bowl, mix pecan pieces with flour. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into pie shell and bake 350* for about 40-45 minutes.

Let pie cool before slicing as it is easier to cut at room temperature.

Serve with dollop of Sweet ‘Tater & Molasses Ice Cream and pinch of sea salt.

Recipe Copyright© Wendy L. Perry, Inc.
May be shared with credit cited with link back to this blog

NC Sweet ‘Tater * Molasses Ice Cream

North Carolina Sweet ‘Tater & Molasses Ice Cream

Lordie Mercie.
You just don’t get much easier than this when it comes to Throw Cooking.  This is a fun and easy recipe for little ones to throw together with you in the kitchen.  Eat as is, or plop some on top of a slice of BUTTERscoth PECAN Skillet Pie.

 

Recipe By: Wendy Perry
Serving Size: 8

1          ½ gallon         vanilla ice cream, softened
2          large                 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1          tablespoons  apple pie spice
½         cup                  molasses
sea salt

Put softened ice cream into mixing bowl.  Throw in sweet potatoes and spice.  Drizzle with molasses and swirl into ice cream mixture.  Refreeze.

Serve as is or over pie with a pinch of sea salt on top!

Sweet potatoes can be cooked in microwave on high power, about 10 minutes.  Cook until soft when squeezed with a towel.  Be sure they are well cooled before adding into ice cream.

Recipe Copyright© Wendy L. Perry, Inc.
May be shared with credit cited with link back to this blog

That’s all for now folks!