Category: Mindless Mutterings from the Teacher’s Lounge

Honey Kissed Rosemary Sesame Chicken

Your crowd will love this simple honey roasted chicken… seasoned with a hint of rosemary and sprinkled with the toasty goodness of sesame seeds.

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Peach on the Atlantic Beach Pie!

 

Pie.  This pie. My “ugly” pie. 
My delicious ugly pie.
Atlantic Beach Pie.
PEACH on the Atlantic Beach Pie!

You’ll want to make my Peach on the Atlantic Beach Pie… it might be ugly… and weepy (read the story), but the damn good taste makes up for all that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter what you call it, this pie has deep roots in the “SOBX” area of North Carolina. Referred to by some as the South Outer Banks, the geographic area stretches for about 85ish miles… from the Cape Lookout/”Down East” areas on the upper end down to the Shackleford Banks/Bogue Banks area on the other… with the most familiar areas including beaches of Carteret County (“Crystal Coast area”) down south along with a few ports on the intercoastal waterway. The most well known towns and townships in this region are Harkers Island, Beaufort, Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle and Swansboro. 

Those of us fortunate enough to have part time happy places in these “South Outer Banks” or live on the “Crystal Coast” as permanent residents are blessed, and are surrounded with a whole lot of land and sea culinary offerings, steeped in a history of its own.

Like this pie.

Ever since Chef Bill Smith at Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill introduced hundreds to his version of the vintage Atlantic Beach Pie a few years back at a Southern Foodways Alliance event, nearly every culinary magazine and blogger has made and written about it, or created their own version.  It’s a yummy pie, and except for the crust, is pretty much one of the few things my mama “cooked”… Eagle Brand Lemon Pie.

The pie is a “descendant” of the Harker’s Island Lemon Milk Pie. The recipe can be found numerous places online, but I highly recommend you get yourself the Island Born and Bred Cookbook where you will find it and so many other local recipes handed down through generations.

Harker’s Island North Carolina’s history, culinary and otherwise, in this tasty cookbook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is a collection of Harkers Island food, fun, fact and fiction compiled by the Harkers Island Methodist Women! You will love the recipes and history scattered about this book that was featured in Good Housekeeping’s “Cookbook Corner.” And if opportunity presents itself, be sure to grab tickets to one of Core Sound Museum‘s dinners with some of these recipes… oh my gosh!  The local food is lovingly prepared by ladies of and supporters of the museum, and you’ll not find any better meal along the crystal coast!  As I finish writing this today, they are busy preparing for tonight’s sold out supper and disappointed I couldn’t go this time as I’ve done in the past. Just take a look at the menu… and drool!

So, back to the pie!

Now I’m a citrus love’n gal, but not especially fond of lemon. Give me lime, and especially orange! I alway order my sweet tea with orange… and now most of my friends do the same. Even if I just get ice water when out, “no lemon, orange please!” is my order.  Most places have some, definitely those that have a bar, and are usually happy to oblige.  

Since the original version was made with just lemon and most of the remakes use that or lemon-lime combination, I’m thinking to myself… “Self, why not add some ORANGE in there too?” 
So that’s exactly what I did.  And unlike most newer versions, I stayed true to the original with a meringue, although you can use fresh whipped cream, which will work equally as well on this pie.

But I added to my twist on the pie!  Fresh.Juicy.North.Carolina.PEACHESohhhh la LA!  Such a great pairing with this tangy citrusy filling.
So… here’s Wendy’s version of Atlantic Beach Pie… with the bonus of North Carolina peaches tucked in as an added surprise!  Without further adieu… Peach on the (Atlantic) Beach Pie! 
Do make one to enjoy, and run on back over here and tell me what you think?

P.S.  When I was making my test and final versions of the pie for Carolina Country Magazine, it was a terribly hot and humid week here in North Carolina. I was nearly weeping myself at the weeping pie meringues. And my ugly pies! I can’t shoot THAT thing to put in the magazine!
So I threw it out for conversation on my facebook community and personal page too… to get everybody’s consensus on weeping meringue. It was 100% votes FOR weeping… with folks calling them “little droplets of gold,” and “I thought all good pies weep” to “it reminds me of my grandma’s pies.” Even the staff at the magazine where I took one of my “ugly” test versions agreed and asked, “don’t ALL good pies weep?”
I agree with all those sentiments, so if your pie meringue weeps, don’t let it make you weep! It’s supposed to be that way… right?

Here’s my weepiest pie!  It doesn’t make me sad, how about you?

You’ll love my version of this vintage Atlantic Beach Pie… made with a surprise of juicy North Carolina peaches nestled inside.

Peach on the Atlantic Beach Pie
In recent years, a revival of the vintage Atlantic Beach Pie has occurred. We created our version of the recipe by using a combination of citrus juices (not just one), a little zest, and snuck in a surprise layer of NC peaches. Enjoy!
Course: Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Southern Desserts
Servings: 1 pie
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 sleeves saltine or Ritz crackers, or combination
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed juice, (lemon, lime and orange mix)*
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk Eagle Brand preferred
  • 1 cup chopped North Carolina peaches
Meringue
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  2. Roughly crumble crackers into bowl. Knead in butter and sugar until crumbs stick together, breaking up any large pieces of cracker (but not into dust). Press into 8-inch pie dish and chill for 15 minutes. Bake about 16 minutes until the crust starts browning.


  3. Beat yolks, juice and zest into condensed milk.


  4. Scatter peaches over crust; cover with the filling.


  5. Whip egg whites and tartar until soft peaks form. Add vanilla, salt and sugar, one tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form. Spread over filling and bake about 18 minutes.


  6. Chill at least 6 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

*One large lemon, lime and orange should give you at least a half cup of juice,

Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Throw together this no-cook chicken salad in no time for a tasty meal on a hot summer’s day.

Well here we are, in the dog days of summer!  In my neck of the woods, it’s been the monsoon days of summer. Rain! RaiN! RAIN!  But hopefully, we have a little break in sight for that and can now “look forward” to good old hot.humid.days.of.August!  And who wants to turn on anything that will add to that heat?  Ummmm, nobody.  This recipe for Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes was first published last summer in Carolina Country Magazine and a frequent go-to for me.  We all love to grab a cooked rotisserie chicken now and then… we can do so many things with one… not to mention throwing the skin and bones into the crock pot overnight after pick’n for the BEST flavorful chicken broth. You DO do that don’t you?  Oh there’s so much flavor in those bones and skin (if you don’t eat it) and all you have to do is cover with a quart or two of water, turn on low, and head to bed.  By morning time, you’ll be waking up to the aroma of tasty broth to use for soups, cooking veggies like greens and butterbeans or just to sip. You can throw in some herbs on the front end, or simply cool and freeze and season on the back end depending on how you’ll be using it.  I freeze in pint-size containers and it’s great to be able to grab and cook a little pot of butterbeans or collards with this deliciousness!

So here’s to the versitile Rotisserie Chicken!!  Pick one up today and make this chicken salad twist… ooooh la LA, you’ll be glad you did.

While here, please subscribe to my “Table Scraps” newsletter (green box over there to the right)… an e-zine with great stuff for in, out and about the home!   Take a look at my contributors…

P.S.  Don’t forget to come follow along in my facebook world too…
classy with a bit of sass!!  

Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Who wants to cook on hot summer days?  No need with this flavorful Italian chicken salad.... just pick up a rotisserie chicken, throw in a few ingredients and toss with the simple Dijon dressing, and that's it!  Except for a juicy ripe summer tomato you're going to stuff with this good stuff.  

Servings: 8
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, boned & shredded (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sliced roasted peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garniish
  • 1 4 ounce carton feta cheese with basil and tomato, reserve 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • 8 large tomatoes, cored and drained upside down
DIJON HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • crushed black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Stir dressing into chicken to coat. Add all remaining ingredients (except the tomatoes) and mix well.

  2. Chill several hours or overnight. Stuff tomatoes and garnish with reserved feta cheese crumbles and parsley. Serve immediately
Recipe Notes
  • Don’t cut out too much of the delicious tomato — just enough to mound the chicken salad!
  • If you have fresh herbs... oregano, rosemary, basil, etc., use them instead of dried for more robust flavor!

#BlackboardBlurbs… a little teachable moment!
So what are capers?

Tomato-Pimento Cheese Shortcakes With Black-Peppered Whipped Cream

 

Serve for breakfast, brunch or alongside your favorite grilled meats!

Sometimes, those of us who create recipes for both pleasure and profit throw together something that becomes a personal favorite. It seems that mine tend to be those using freshly harvested tomatoes! I got most of the tomato gene in my family, because my sister has never liked them, (with the exception of them being turned into something else like sauce that involves some sort of pasta).  Myself, well I live for the first early spring hothouse tomatoes grown by “down the road” friends… be it at my Zebulon home in Franklin County and a quick zip over to The Vollmer Farm, or just up the road a piece at one of my new favorite places near my “other” home in Cedar Point, NC… Winberry Farm Produce Market!  It just so happened I was in Cedar Point when doing my happy dance creating this vision for the first time I’ve had parked in my head for a few years, but just never got around to making it come to life!

This recipe was created for Carolina Country Magazine... where I am blessed to contribute a couple of recipes each month, and occasionally get to write for the magazine too!  We create and shoot for magazines a few months in advance, so both Vollmer and Winberry’s hothouse tomatoes were none too soon for me to start playing with this… what I consider one of my personal “masterpieces!”  What’s not to love?
…fresh local tomatoes?  …pimento cheese?  …whipped cream? 
Goodness Gracious for sure!
Nekkid food… just like God gave it to us.

My guinea pigs all gave this a thumbs up too, confirming what I thought… this one is a keeper.  So without babbling on, here is my recipe for Tomato-Pimento Cheese Shortcakes with Black-Peppered Whipped Cream.  It’s just right for a light summer breakfast or brunch (to be sure with a side of bacon, sausage or country ham)… or my favorite way to eat, alongside a big hunk’o grilled bone-in ribeye!
Suit your fancy…

And just a helpful hint… the shortcakes can be made ahead and frozen. Just take out and “freshen” in your toaster oven. The microwave will do too.

I hope you and yours enjoy these as much as I have this summer.  Now run along and make yourself some.  Stay tuned… still to come, more tomato faves, including my Dilly Swiss Tomato Pie.

Tomato-Pimento Cheese Shortcakes with Black-Peppered Whipped Cream

Serve these savory summer shortcakes for breakfast, brunch... and they make a perfect side for grilled steaks, chops and chicken.  The shortcakes can be frozen to quickly revive in your toaster oven or microwave. 

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Summer Food
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 3 1/4 cups biscuit mix
  • 1 cup thick pimento cheese
  • 1/4 cup Duke's mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Filling:
  • about 14 large tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • 4 tablespoons oil, your preferred salad oil
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar, your favorite
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup each fresh chopped basil and oregano
  • salt and pepper to suit your taste
Whipped Cream:
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 8 ounce cream cheese with chives
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh herbs to garnish, chives preferred
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine shortcake ingredients and drop by heaping tablespoon onto prepared baking pan. Spread flat with back of spoon.Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

  2. Stir all filling ingredients together least one hour before serving. Spoon filling over 12 shortcakes, covering each with second cake.
  3. For topping, whip cream and cream cheese until thickened. Blend in pepper.
  4. Top shortcakes with dollop of whipped cream and garnish with fresh herbs.

Welcome new subscribers…

Hey y’all…  

I’ve had my blog simmering on the back burner for a spell for various reasons, but oh is that about to change! So many great recipes to share I have been creating for clients and others “just because” will be showing up here soon.  And you can also look forward to some new “Substitute Teachers” who will be joining in with fun musings on topics other than food… (even a fellow has joined us in the teacher’s lounge)… but keeping with our “home economics” theme, inside, out and about the house. We will sometimes take field trips too… culinary adventures you won’t want to miss. 

Some of you may be here for the first time after getting my recent mailing list “cleanse,” so I am happy to have you, and hope before you unsubscribe you’ll stick around for a bit. I think you might like what is on the way.  And if any of you are closet writers with ideas to contribute, I would love to hear from you too. Just visit my Substitute Teachers page and drop me a note.

So take a seat, “class” is about to commence. 
And P.S… you will get “extra credit” for sharing my blog with your friends too.

Wendy