Category: Cooking ~ Recipes

Pairing a couple of my NC favorite foods… Mimi’s Mountain Mixes & Carolina Gold Oils

Orange-y Everything Beer Bread with Mediterranean Dipping Oil

Pair North Carolina’s Mimi’s Mountain Mixes Beer Bread with Carolina Gold Oil’s Mediterranean Dipping Oil for an easy fun nibble. Great addition to your charcuterie boards too! I gave a little twist and used orange beer…. realllll good!

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No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream With vanilla bean

No Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream with vanilla bean

Nothing says summer like the combination of sweet, ripe cantaloupe and creamy coconut. Close your eyes and you might even think you’ve landed on a tropical island. No need to pull out the ice cream freezer for this one. Fun to make as popsicles too!

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Deviled Crab Hushpuppy Waffle & Pickled Seafood Medley ~ The New Southern Seafood Platter in Our State Magazine

... a southern seafood platter twist!

We love a seafood platter in the summertime — especially one that features fresh, local fish. Here, we imagined what a modern twist on this classic dish might look like with these Deviled Crab Hushpuppy Waffles and Pickled Seafood Medley!

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Spicy Citrus Seafood Cocktail With NC wild-caught shrimp

Spicy Citrus NC Seafood Cocktail

Spicy Citrus NC Seafood Cocktail

Published in Carolina Country Magazine July 2020

Who has time or desire to do much cooking during the lazy hazy hot days of North Carolina summer?  Not me! Y’all, this seafood cocktail is light… so full of flavor with just a hint of fresh citrus, and only a little bit of fuss when it comes to cook’n. Loaded with a bounty of fresh seafood from our coast, you can enjoy this for a late morning brunch… for lunch… or right out of a jar in your porch swing watching the sun set!  

This is one of those recipes where specifics and exactness isn’t important — you know, throw cook’n!  Use all of one seafood or whatever combo you like. Go with your favorite vegetables and what’s in season.  Add veggies you like to my recipe… as The Frugal Gourmet Chef Jeff Smith would say…

“Omit and substitute! That’s how recipes should be written. Please don’t ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute.”

And in keeping with my North Carolina company ingredients, I chose North Carolina’s Bruce Julian’s Blood Mary Mix to finish out my recipe!  Just round up what you need and throw together some of my seafood cocktail… soon!  You’ll be so glad you did… and so will your company.

And while you’re at it, be sure to make some of my Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter too.  Followed up with a little dish of my No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream.

Come on over, and hang out with us in my fun facebook community too, where you will find this and lots of other goodies.

Spicy Citrus North Carolina Seafood Cocktail

Light and spicy... with just the right hint of fresh citrus, the seafood cocktail features all sorts of North Carolina goodness!

Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Fun Food!, Main Course, Snack, Supper
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, Gluten Free, Mexican, North Carolina Goodies, Seafood, Southern, Summer Food, Tailgating
Keyword: bloody mary mix, bruce julian, crab, got to be nc, grilled salad, romaine, southwestern, north carolina shrimp, lobster, mexican seafood cocktail, north carolina seafood, seafood cocktail, spicy
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
Spicy Sauce
  • 2 quarts favorite Bloody Mary mix* or V8
  • 1 bunch radishes, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • zest of 1 lemon, lime, orange and juice of ½ each, Cut the remaining halves into wedges for guests to squeeze into their cocktails
  • cracked black pepper
Seafood Mixture
  • 2 pounds wild-caught North Carolina shrimp, peeled, cooked and cooled
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 6 small lobster tails
  • 2 firm avocados, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Garnishes
  • 1/2 pound lump crab meat
  • cilantro
Instructions
  1. Combine and chill the spicy sauce ingredients.

  2. A few minutes before serving, add about four pounds of cooked shellfish of your choice (or use our suggestions above) and gently stir in the avocados and cilantro.

  3. Sprinkle with crabmeat and more cilantro.

Recipe Notes

*I used NC’s Bruce Julian Bloody Mary Mix.

 

Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter

Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter

How do you make crackers more better? Why browned butter, of course! Make these Savory Bay Crackers with browned butter to enjoy alongside all sorts of dishes!

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No-Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream With vanilla bean

No Churn Cantaloupe & Coconut Ice Cream with Vanilla Bean

Nothing says summer like the combination of sweet, ripe cantaloupe and creamy coconut. Close your eyes and you might even think you’ve landed on a tropical island with this no-churn Cantaloupe and Coconut Ice Cream with vanilla bean.

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Aunt Fran’s German Chocolate Cake

Aunt Fran's German Chocolate Cak

 

In honor of #NationalGermanChocolateCakeDay today, I’m sharing my Aunt Fran’s recipe.  She made a gazillion of these over the years and it was always one of the first to go at our church homecoming days. Some of us would go get dessert first to assure we got some before everybody else hit that table. 

I don’t have a really great picture. Actually, my sister, who does little cooking, made this one last year and snapped this picture. Even my cousins couldn’t find a picture of their mama’s delicious cake. So just know it’s delicious! 

Fortunately, I have her recipe preserved in a cookbook of Perry family recipes I compiled decades ago.  I’m so glad Aunt Fran shared her recipe with me way back then… so I can share with you!
DO make one… and if you do, send me a picture and I will add it here.

I hope you have a Happy German Chocolate Cake Day!  What a great thing to celebrate…

Come over and join the fun on my facebook page where I’ve shared this recipe today.

Aunt Fran's German Chocolate Cake

The delicious homemade German Chocolate Cake is, as they say, fit'n!

Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern Desserts
Keyword: cake, German Chocolate
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
CAKE
  • 4 ounce bar German chocolate
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
CAKE
  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Melt chocolate in boiling water; cool.

  3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

  4. Add egg yolks, one at a time; beat well.

  5. Add chocolate and vanilla; mix well.

  6. Sift flour, salt and soda together.

  7. add alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture; beat until smooth.

  8. Fold in egg whites.

  9. Pour into 3 deep 8" or 9" was paper lined baking pans.

  10. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Cool.

COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING (makes 2 1/2 cups)
  1. Combine everything except coconut and nuts in a saucepan. Cook about 12 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly as this will scorch easily.

  2. Remove from heat and beat in coconut pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread on layers and side of cake.

Peanut Butter & Hot Pepper Jelly Doughnut Holes… with Peggy Roses jellies and all natural peanut butter

You will want to make some of these scrumptious Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnuts! Made with canned biscuits filled with Peggy Roses Hot Pepper Jelly and All Natural Peanut Butter! Y’all. Just do it.

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Krispy Kreme Cannoli Strawberry Shortcakes!

Krispy Kreme Cannoli Strawberry Shortcakes

We love strawberry time! And Krispy Kreme doughnuts, of course. How about an NC cannoli strawberry shortcake? Those signature doughnuts, combined with a creamy cannoli-like filling, sweet berries, plus a pillow of whipped cream drizzled with chocolate? Yes, please!

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Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad With roasted garlic

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad

Published in Carolina Country Magazine May 2020

Creations like this one is why I sometimes feel like the Queen of Throw Cooking!  Because that is just how this tasty salad came to be.

Each year, on the 2nd Sunday in September,  Dinner in the Meadow is held in Franklin County outside Louisburg, NC. Held atop a grassy knoll in the meadow of Meadow Lane Farm, this dinner supports a grant for the chosen applicant of that year’s small farm fund grant.  For many years, I have been a part of the dinner, handling marketing and social media. Most years, I throw together lunch for all the volunteer set up crew and that is how this dish came about.

Friend and farm owner Martha Mobley owns this NC Century Farm where she grows all sorts of organic produce and flowers… and raises all sorts of farm animals, mostly sheep and cows.  Although a full time extension agent in Franklin County, you can find her selling her farm goodness every Saturday at the Durham Farmers’ Market.  She gives me some goodies to work with for the volunteer lunch, so I had the best pork butts you can have to make this salad.

When she gave them to me, freezer to freezer, I had no idea what I’d do with them.  I figured I would probably just make some pulled pork sandwiches… but when time came around, I dug around my pantry to see what else I could throw together instead!  I found some orzo… sun dried tomatoes… some toasted pine nuts… and my head started getting all giddy as I had this vision!  TaDa.
Pork and orzo salad!

That day, Martha said it was the best food she’d ever had and wanted me to make her more.  It took me a while but I did.  I also wanted to put on paper out of my head so I could share with others.  Thus, here came to be, that recipe, on paper, for Carolina Country Magazine customers and anybody else that wants it!  It’s has become one of my favorites too… and I hope you will give it a try as well. It takes just a little forethought to cook the pork, pasta and roasted garlic, but you can then make and enjoy this salad for days. I even froze some to see how it would hold up… and it was just as tasty! 

I do hope you will throw together this salad too.  And if you do, snap a picture and share over on my fun facebook page!  Enjoy y’all…

Pulled Pork and Orzo Italian Salad

 

 

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad with roasted garlic!

For those who love pasta salads and Italian food, it doesn't get much better! This will feed a crowd, but easy to cut in half... everybody will love it, so make a bunch! Freezes too...

Course: Main Course, Salad, Supper
Cuisine: Italian, Southern
Keyword: Italian, orzo, pasta salad,, pork, pulled pork
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 5-6 lbs. pork butt, cooked, shredded and chopped (cook ahead in crockpot)
  • 1 16 ounce box orzo, cooked per package directions
  • 1 8,5 ounce jar julienned sun dried tomatoes with oil, undrained
  • 1 3.5 ounce capers, drained
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (We used Mt. Olive.)
  • 1 cup white raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 6 ounce bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 heads roasted garlic
  • 1 cup oil*
Instructions
  1. Cook pork and roast garlic to have ready for assembling salad. For pork, I simply cook in crock pot until fork tender. Remove from drippings when done, shred with fork and cut up big pieces with scissors to bite size.

  2. To roast garlic: *Cut tops from 4 heads of garlic. Place in small baking dish. Pour oil over garlic. Roast at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and squeeze cloves into salad, along with the oil.

  3. To make salad: Fold pork into orzo. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later. Best if removed from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Note: The orzo can be cooked 1–2 days ahead. Cook al dente, and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Refrigerate in airtight container until ready to make salad.

 

 

Easter Brunch Asparagus Casserole

Easter Asparagus Brunch Casserole

This light and velvety asparagus casserole will be a favorite with the cheese lovers in your crowd for Easter brunch, or anytime. Other vegetables can be substituted or added, and have fun trying other cheeses too. You can even add in diced ham or bacon. Use this recipe as a base and spiff up to make it your own.

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Anytime is Deviled Egg time!

While recipe developer and food stylist at Our State Magazine, I was asked to give a classic deviled egg a North Carolina twist. These recipes inspired by our culture are fun to make and good to eat.

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