Category: cook’n with NC goodies

Furbaby Watermelon Colada Coolers

Furbaby Watermelon Colada Coolers

Furbaby Watermelon Colada Coolers

Published by Carolina Country Magazine March 2021

Are you a furbaby mom or dad?  I am… mama to June Bug, my sweet little blind Speagle.  She loves treats, especially this one. These Furbaby Watermelon Colada Coolers are a tasty treat on a warm spring or summer day.  Your kitties can have them too… and so can you!  Pet and people friendly.  

Grab yourself a watermelon and fix your critters some frozen treats.  And if you don’t have a mold like this, just make in muffin tins… they will love ya just the same.  You can also make in a Pyrex dish, freeze and then slice!

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Furbaby Watermelon Colada Coolers

These fruity treats can be enjoyed by both doggies and kitties (and you, too)!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: Pet Treats
Keyword: bogue sound watermelons, cat treats, dog ice cream, dog treats, furbaby, pet treats, watermelon
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • plain yogurt
  • pureed watermelon
  • grated coconut
Instructions
  1. Using a small brush or end of a spoon, “paint” the inside of silicone molds with yogurt.* Scatter with a little grated coconut.

  2. Spoon pureed watermelon over and freeze.

  3. Once frozen, store in zippered container for instant ice cold treats for your fur babies.

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have molds, no worries! Just make in a Pyrex dish, freeze, slice and bag.

Everything Pork Smash Burgers with Toasty Hoop Cheese

Published in Carolina Country Magazine May 2015

Smashburgers!  or Smash Burgers?  No matter which you way you prefer, they’re everywhere these days… but do you know what that actually means?  

My definition is a good old ground meat burger,  smashed somehow or other, and cooked so that you get a nice, uneven edge from “smashing” that has little nooks and crannies with crunchy little bits and pieces and a crusty bite to them.
The kind we love from our favorite hole-in-the-wall grills and diners!

Most smashburgers are made with ground beef.  But y’all know I don’t do “most.” That’s why I made these with good old NC ground pork!  If you can’t source from a local farmer, you can find ground pork in any grocery store… it’s what I use in my egg rolls too!  

When I was growing up, this is how mama made hamburgers, because she near’bout burnt everything she cooked… and our burgers were no exception. They were crunchy alright!  But actually real good.  Even if they were shriveled up little things… the steamed buns daddy insisted on (and me too to this day) made them tolerable while lost inside the bun.  They just didn’t have a “name” way back then. But now I know, she was cooking smashburgers!

For me, there are 5 things that make up a really great smashburger. The first three… the key to getting that crunch is the right fat ratio (at least 80/20 fat), making them not very big (3-4 ounces) so you can smash big and thin, and a very hot cooking surface… like a preheated cast iron skillet or griddle. 

These days, lots of folks have Blackstone griddles… found at varying price points here and there (self included), and I love that thing!  It’s perfect for making smashburgers and with this recipe, making the “toasty cheese” alongside them! You can cook these in a hot skillet indoors, but because of the high heat and grease, I highly recommend cooking your smashers outside.  If you don’t have a griddle, a cast iron skillet works great!

Number four… as for the cheese, you can use any kind of melty cheese, but I’m a big fan of hoop cheese! (Read about hoop cheese here at North Carolina’s Ashe County Cheese.)

I grew up with it. And it’s often seen… little slices wrapped in “cellophane” with saltine crackers by the register at country stores. Just right to grab for breakfast on the way to work, or a mid-morn or afternoon snack when taking a break from work on the farm.  Enough to “tide you over” till lunch or suppertime.

Mama, not being a cook, would sometimes melt hoop cheese in her cast iron skillet and throw some canned biscuits in the oven. Supper would be biscuits and cheese… spoonsful of the ooey gooey melted cheese over top of those split biscuits.  I can see that good stuff now… with that little golden orange ring of grease around the edge that cooked out of that melted cheese.

Last but certainly worth special attention… really good rolls are the crowning glory for your burgs.  You’ll want something that’s going to hold that luscious burger without it falling to pieces while you savor every crunchy bite!  My favorite are potato rolls, that only get better with the brushed-on butter and light grilling inside out, so you get a little soft with a little crisp too. 

As for toppings, offer up anything that suits your fancy. I like to keep those simple on my smashburgers, so not one bit of the crunchy goodness is lost. 

Memorial day is almost here… and a perfect time to fix a bunch of smashburgers and have a grand ole time with those you love! A Smash Bash… to celebrate and remember those who have served our nation to protect the land of the free… home of the brave!  

Fix some of my Smoky Okra Fries to enjoy alongside and Hummingbird Ice Cream Parfaits for dessert. 

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Get your burg on y’all!

Everything Pork Smash Burgers with Toasty Hoop Cheese

When the burger craving comes upon us, nothing else will do. Smashburgers: those delectable little patties with a bit of crunch — the kind we seek out at our favorite hole-in-the-wall burger joints. I used NC ground pork for these, topped with hoop cheese.

Course: Fun Food!, Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: American, Gluten Free, Grilling, Keto Friendly, Kid-Friendly, Southern, Summer Food, Tailgating
Keyword: blackstone griddle, burger, cast iron cooking, hoop cheese, smash burger, smashburger
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground pork (at least 80/20 fat)
  • 2 tablespoons ‘everything bagel’ seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt (optional-due to saltiness in cheese)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil in bowl
  • Buns (potato or brioche)
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 pound wedge hoop cheese
Instructions
  1. Place griddle or large cast iron skillet on grate. Preheat grill (or griddle) to highest heat.

  2. Combine pork and seasonings and mix as little as possible. (The more you handle, the tougher the meat will be.)

  3. Divide into 12 balls. Roll in bowl of oil and place onto hot griddle or skillet. Do not move for at least 1 minute. Flip, then using the bottom of a mason jar, “smash” the burger to make it thin. Cook about 2 minutes, turn and cook the other side about the same to get a good sear. Stack in pan to the side to keep warm.

  4. For the buns, brush the insides with melted butter. Grill the buttered sides while the burgers cook. Place burgers onto “ungrilled” outsides of buns (buttered side out).

  5. Put mounds of hoop cheese into hot skillet or on griddle. As it melts, scoop a portion with spatula onto each burger and eat as is or add toppings.

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High temperatures paired with abundant vegetables make for healthy nibbles or a light meal. Roasting brings out the natural sugars in your vegetables that caramelize for a sweet zing. Exact measurements are not needed — make as much as you need for your crew. Dollop with Buttermilk Green Goddess Dressing and you’ll never look at vegetables the same way again.

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Mimi's Mountain Mix Pizza at Wendy's Home Economics!

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Creamy Rosemary Parmesan Grits

Creamy Rosemary Parmesan Grits

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Egg Nog Chess Pie with bananas and cream…

Egg Nog Chess Pie with bananas and cream

It seems fittin’ to use up that last bit of holiday eggnog in a good old southern chess pie. ‘Nog and bananas go together like mac and cheese, so partake of pie while toasting toes in front of a cozy fire as you settle into the New Year.

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Roasted Grape & Cheese Crostini with spiced pecan crumbs

Roasted Grapes & Cheese Crostini with spiced pecan crumbs

Sometimes we just need “a little something” to nibble on — roasting grapes and serving over warm, softened cheese on crostini is a new favorite! The grapes become nice and “jammy” and oh-so-good with a drizzle of herbed oil, vinegar and honey. No exact measurements needed for this one.

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How to Host a Pig Picking… and P.S., barbecue is a noun, not a verb!

How To Host A Pig Pickin!

Ahhh… the good ole southern NC pig picking! Here’s all you need to know to host one for yourself. Nothing is much finer than gathering friends and family to pick pork, is there?

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Bacon-Stuffed Pork Loin With garlicy apple cider gravy

Maple Bacon Stuffed Pork Loin with Garlicky Apple Cider Gravy

Ahhh, fall. Time for roasting and slow cooking flavors of the season. Low and slow is just right for lean pork loin … surrounded by bacon and salami for the moist fat needed to make it tender and juicy. This pork stuffed pork with garlicky apple cider gravy will make ya tummy happy!

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Don’t throw away those watermelon rinds!

Carolina Gold Oil drizzled Salted Watermelon Rind

Stop… Don’t throw that watermelon rind away! Throw this together… Bogue Sound Watermelon Rind drizzled with Carolina Gold Oil! Great for nibblin, appetize’n… or on top of your tacos, hot dogs, salads and more.

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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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