Roy’s Nutz and Buttz

Roy’s Nutz and Buttz

If there is one type of cuisine that really hits home for me, it is BBQ. I grew up in a small town outside of Atlanta where barbecue joints were as concentrated as the traffic on I-85 every afternoon at 5 p.m.

So when I relocated to the Lowcountry a few short years ago, I was disappointed at the relative lack of available barbecue restaurants.

Thankfully, our city finally wised up and passed ordinances allowing food trucks to begin operation within Savannah. With the change, one of Savannah’s most popular food trucks Owners Roy and Mandy Chambliss both had nine-to-five jobs before they took the leap to crank up their wheeled walk-up.

Just as much experience as they both have in the business world, they have even more when it comes to barbecue.

The story of this American dream truly began when Roy learned to barbecue about 20 years ago, while coaching his son’s travel baseball games. According to Roy, the barbecue was an effort “to raise money” for the team, and he learned by purchasing “a little grill from Sam’s and burning a lot of meat”. Now he has a professional smoking rig that can feed at least two-thousand people per day.

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Roy’s choice in wood is pecan and red oak because “[the oak smokes] hotter while [the pecan] gives the meat a sweet taste,” he explained as I peppered him with questions while attempting to learn the process.

Roy went on to explain that for the pork, he cooks it “for at least twelve hours per butt,” and he smokes the protein for four hours before wrapping it to prevent oversmoking.

Roy’s Nutz & Butts offers your traditional smoked barbecue meats and a few unique entrees. and barbecue stops, Roy’s Nutz & Buttz, was born.

Let’s start with the Chicken Bomb, a chicken sandwich like no other. Dishes like this are the reason I love to visit and review more relatable restaurants. Though popular in many newer places, it is special to see a mom-and-pop that offers new and unique takes on classic dishes.

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The base of this sandwich is a slow smoked piece of chicken coated in buffalo sauce and layered with a mound of gooey house-smoked (obviously) buffalo chicken dip, smoked crispy thick cut bacon, and a torrential downpour of creamy ranch.

Commonly buffalo chicken sandwiches feature fried chicken, but I prefer the smoked chicken because it retains much more moisture and flavor. The bacon acts as the crunchy element, in lieu of breading. And if crunchy bacon is your thing, this smoked bacon is colossally crispy.

Another extremely unique offering is the Gonzo dog. Though of course smoked (I would expect nothing less from Pitmaster Roy), the dog’s twist comes with a stuffing of cheese before being encased in bacon.

Yes, the same crispy crunchy bacon described above. Smoking the hotdog allows the bacon to properly render its fat and crisp up, which often doesn’t happen with bacon wrapped meat. After your teeth pierce the guarding layer of bacon and through the juicy meat itself, your mouth is flooded with melted creamy sharp cheese.

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The burger is smoked as well, and be warned once you taste a smoked hamburger you will never want it cooked any other way. Smoking the beef allows the burger to be cooked through without becoming dry or making the meat tough. You get the flavor of a traditional American cheeseburger alongside a whisper of smoked meat.

As for the side items, every single one of them are so delicious they could be featured as main. Roy’s Brunswick Stew is award winning; it placed second in the professional category and third for the People’s’ Choice award of the 2018 Brunswick Stewbilee competition.

Want to know why? Roy’s is the only restaurant around town using brisket in their stew. Traditionally the stew includes pork and sometimes chicken, but Roy included all three smoked meats. The recipe also excludes potatoes, a filler for the stew traditionally used to stretch the amount it will serve.

The baked beans are not overly sweet. Instead they are balanced by Mandy’s addition of chili sauce. Cooked down with the beans you will find green peppers, which add a touch of brightness to the Southern staple. The combination of the two additions give these beans an overall peppery flavor with the finish of a hint of the traditional sweetness.

The Macaroni and Cheese is made the way that I prefer, creamy and not baked with an egg like many southern versions of the side. The flavor of cheese is deep, due to the use of sharp American, Monterey Jack, and Colby. Distributed about you will find a sea of cracked black pepper, a perfect touch to cut through the richness of three cheeses.

Let’s not forget about the barbecue sauce. Besides the actual smoked meat this may be the most important offering. The idea for Roy’s signature sauce, a Honey Jalapeño Barbecue Sauce, surfaced when he was sampling barbecue at a local joint in Arizona.

After returning to Savannah, he spent a little bit of time attempting to recreate the sauce before perfecting his own. The sauce “is probably their most popular” and is made with a purée of fresh jalapeños.

For the people that think it the honey jalapeno barbecue sauce is too spicy, Roy, made a hickory salve and as he was doing a lot of jobs in South Carolina, “everybody asked [them] for a mustard based one, so that is what I did,” Roy explained as he told me about his other two barbecue sauce creations.

The mustard version is reminiscent of a smokey spicy honey mustard, while the hickory is closer to a traditional barbecue sauce without so much sweetness.

The menu is only going to get larger, and Roy and Mandy have been working on a brick-and-mortar sit-down featuring a large menu and new creations. Their quick success is due to love of the food, each other, and serving people.

As Mandy put it, she “has the most amazing job in the world.”

Original Article: Here

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Banana Bread Donuts + Chocolate & Peanut Butter

Banana Bread Donuts + Chocolate & Peanut Butter

When I think of food and my father, a few very select items come to mind. Peanut butter and chocolate may be at the top of that list.

Growing up, and even now, my dad keeps a secret treat hidden in the pantry. He takes a jar of peanut butter and some chocolate chips and stirs the chips into the jar. When he wants a sweet treat he digs out a spoonful at a time to eat. My love for chocolate was definitely passed down from my dad.

When my father-in-law comes to mind, I immediately see donuts. Not only does he love sweets more than your average bear but because he lives close to a donut shop, he grabs a dozen anytime the hot sign is on. I know how easy it is to gobble down freshly glazed, warm donuts. They practically dissolve in your mouth.

So when I was contemplating a good bake for Father’s Day, it was easy to find inspiration.

These donuts take classic banana bread, remove the nuts, and are baked into donuts. For the glaze, a dark chocolate ganache and peanut butter drizzle paired perfectly with the banana. On top, I added crushed salted peanuts to cut through the decedent chocolate topping.

This recipe is extremely moldable. You can easily change it around to suit your father. Put chocolate inside the donuts, and the same goes for nuts of your choice. You can do just a peanut butter glaze, and so much more — the options are limitless.

Banana Bread Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 Stick of Butter, softened
  • 4 Extremely Ripe Bananas
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butter and flour your donut cake pan. Set aside.
  • In your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in eggs and the remaining ingredients. Mixture should be fully mixed but still have a few lumps due to the banana.
  • Spoon into donut pan. Each donut should be about 2/3 full. This recipe makes 13 donuts total. Bake each pan full in batches for 15 minutes each.
  • Let donuts cool before dunki ng the tops of each donut into your ganache and drizzling with peanut butter. You can top the donuts with crushed peanuts as well.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium.
  2. Once at a simmer, remove cream from heat and pour directly over chocolate.
  3. Let sit for several minutes, then stir vigorously until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth.

Peanut Butter Drizzle

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, stir together cream and peanut butter.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. When peanut-butter mixture is warm enough to drizzle it is ready.

Brown Sugar Bottom Cheesecake

Brown Sugar Bottom Cheesecake

Everyone has that one recipe that people instantly recognize as theirs. The one that you are stuck always bringing to family gatherings. The one that is asked about all the time. The one recipe that you refuse to give away.

For me, that dish has kind of become cheesecake. I do not know if I should blame my husband (it is his all-time favorite dessert) or his family. Almost every holiday or gathering I find myself returning to baking a cheesecake.

There is one great thing about cheesecake being your signature dish…it is literally a blank canvas for any flavor. You can go tart with lemon, classic with strawberry, a bit more crazy with candy bars, I mean the options are endless. Once, I even saw a recipe for a crawfish cheesecake.

This recipe is not that crazy, just a subtle yet unique twist to the classic cheesecake. I also portioned down the size, my husband has been having a  lot of trouble lately finishing all of the deserts I have been making. The baking time is cut in half as well, another nice addition.

The recipe makes one small tart sized cheesecake, and on the bottom is a layer of brown sugar. When you bake the cheesecake, part of the brown sugar gets gooey and some of it stays crisp. Gives the cake a decadent layer with a bit of texture.

You can have your classic cheesecake with that little extra something that makes people ask “what is that?”.

I want to give you a few cheesecake basics/reminders:

Cook your cake in a water bath to avoid cracking.

To avoid water seeping into your crust (from the water bath) line the outside of the pan with a bit of tinfoil.

Let the cake cool in the oven with the door open…to avoid cracking.

The cheesecake is done when the middle is still slightly jiggly; and I mean slightly.

Brown Sugar Bottom Cheesecake

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • Crust Ingredients:
  • 5 Ounces of Short Bread Cookies
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Block or 1/2 Pound of Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
  • 6 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a food processor, crush short bread cookies until they are fine crumbs.
  3. Pour crumbs into tart pan, then pour in butter. Mix together and firmly press the crust into the tart pan. Set aside on a baking sheet.
  4. In your stand mixer cream together cream cheese and sugar.
  5. Mix in egg and remaining ingredients (except brown sugar), blending for about 5 minutes or until mixture is completely smooth.
  6. In the bottom of your tart pan, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the bottom of the crust.
  7. Pour cheesecake mix into prepared tart pan, over the brown sugar bottom.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm in the center with a slight jiggle.
  9. Let cool in the oven with the door open.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
https://epicuropedia.com/2018/06/15/brown-sugar-bottom-cheesecake/

Avocado + Lime Pops

Avocado + Lime Pops

Officially it may not be summer yet, but boy does it feel like it in Savannah. The sad part is, we have many more months of sticky thick heat, and lets not forget the clouds of gnats.

The best way to stay cool is sit inside your air conditioned home or find some water to get into (I am talking beach or pool). And if you do not own a pool, you almost have to find a friend who does.

During the summer my husband and I love to spend time at the beach on Tybee Island with his family at the beach house. As for Sundays, with a workweek looming, we prefer to hit up our club pool because it is easy and close. They have a huge case of ice cream and popsicles next to the cabana (which is really just the bar) that draws me in at the end of every visit.

Sometimes it is nice to just forget you are a full grown adult, and get a cold treat after a long day swimming with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I cant forget about being an adult for too long, those ice cream treats stick in the wrong places as my age increases. That is where avocado popsicles come in.

Avocado in a popsicle? I know right—it sounds super weird.

Honestly it probably is. But I am not one to shy away from the strange, especially when it involves a trying a new treat. I had a similar thought when I read that some people use avocado as a popsicle base to make the dessert healthy but keep it creamy. Luckily, this recipe came out delicious, so we can now be certain that avocado works as a frozen treat.

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Avocado + Lime Pops

Yield: 3-6

Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Cup of Fresh Lime Juice, about 5 limes
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Fresh Pineapple
  • 1 Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a food processor combine lime, avocado, 1/2 cup of pineapple, and sugar. Blend until smooth.
  2. Chop your cilantro and remaining pineapple, stir into mix.
  3. Pour into your popsicle containers, and freeze for several hours before eating.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
https://epicuropedia.com/2018/06/13/avocado-lime-pops/

*Makes 6 small pops or 3 large pops

Review: Akedo

Review: Akedo

A BIG CITY with a small town feel is how I describe Savannah. The growth of Savannah is as steady as the shipping containers flowing in and out of our port.
The accompanying upswing in the local food scene has brought Savannah’s first authentic ramen bar as of last week.
Akedo Ramen Bar business partner Brad Syfan hit the nail on the head when I asked, “Why bring a legitimate ramen shop to this seafood-driven town?”
His response: “Well-executed ramen is something you find in major cities across the country but has not really been singled out as something to get excited about in Savannah. We hope to change that.”

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The menu features three types of house ramen: vegan, pork, and chicken (and also the option to create your own bowl). Every broth used by the restaurant takes at least a day to make.
Chef Thomas Bishop explained at the modern yet quaint counter that the process took “from break down….to service,” which makes the food served truly a “labor of love.”
For those of you that have never tasted ramen, it is a distant cousin to pho, but with heartier flavors and more featured ingredients. The best way to attack in order to avoid wearing the broth on your face, is to take the duck spoon that comes on the side and, using your chopsticks, you fill it up with a piece of each item floating in the broth.
Once full, you dunk the spoon in the broth to gather up as much umami juice as you can.
I would also recommend pairing one of the five different sakes or three different beers with your meal—as if the bowl of brothy deliciousness was not already going to warm your belly enough. Truly any choice you make will pair perfectly as a cold accompaniment to the comforting meal.
The Vegan Miso begins with the creamiest miso broth I have ever slurped up, making the broth much lighter in color than most miso broths. The bowl is layered with a heavy hand with ramen noodles, chunked tofu, bok choy, bamboo shoots, and shiitake mushrooms, each ingredient more tender than the last.

Even though this is a vegan dish, you will not miss the meat at all. The miso broth is so hearty that the texture is reminiscent of a peanut butter sauce, and the noodles are hearty as well, thick yet delicate with an umptious chew.

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The tofu easily dissolves on your tongue, and the roasted mushrooms add a meatiness to the dish. Finally, the bok choy brings a much needed brightness to the cozy dish.
Chef Bishop explained that the store is currently “making the ramen noodles in house… and going forward would like to make all of the noodles served.” As for the ramen noodles, “they are vegan…made with just water and flour.”
Next on the list of house bowls is the “classic ramen,” says Brad, or Pork Tonkostsu, which traditionally features ramen broth that is created using pork bones, among other things, and served with pork belly, also known as Chasu.

Akedo’s version comes with all the required authentic items—a soft boiled egg, shiitake mushrooms, mayu oil, and those same hearty ramen noodles I mentioned before. This dish has a bit more kick, which is surely welcome with Asian cuisine, and overall tastes deeply of umami with a subdue flavor of salt. The shiitake mushrooms bring earthiness to the bowl, and the drizzle of mayu oil and black garlic oil add a hint of smoky garlic flavor.
Chicken Soyu is the third and final house bowl. Soyu stands for the Soyu (or soy) broth that could be considered the leading lady in this dish. The star itself, the ultra-tender chicken that would taste just as delicious on its own. Paired with the deeply savory soy broth and delicate bird is shiitake, ramen noodles, bok choy, and an egg.

The Build Your Own features many items that are not included in the three house bowls. My favorite, the kimchi made by the Chefs at Akedo, is for those who truly feel as though they are setting out to create their own masterpiece. Be careful though — there are so many choices it would be easy to over-select.

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In addition to the house-made ramen noodles, the restaurant also offers Udon and Vermicelli noodles. Vermicelli is for those who prefer skinnier noodles, as compared to the robust traditional udon or ramen options.

Power ups, or add-ins, are available in personalizing your soul warming bowl. Togarashi, a Japanese red chili pepper blend, is perfect for spice lovers.

Similar is the chili bomb power up, a paste made with a blend of chilis is still a fiery choice but with a bit more citrus and salt added in. Another bomb is the umami power up, which is a concentrate hit of six flavors of food.

For those a little less daring, and maybe more traditional, Wakame may be more your style; it is a sweet edible seaweed. Similar to wakame is the option to add nori to your bowl. Most people have tasted this edible seaweed strip when eating sushi.

Let’s not forget the bamboo shoots, leek hay, and green onion; all bright and earthy punches to consider as additions to your meal. For the extra hungry, you can also double your protein, which is a great option considering how quickly you will inhale the decadent pork or chicken.

As for the future, the store is only going to get cooler, and may feature actual arcade games. As I mentioned in my last article on the food group, a third concept is forthcoming in the space above El Coyote and Akedo.

Original Article Here

Churro S’more Brownies

Churro S’more Brownies

As a death row inmate, my last meal would most certainly include my mom’s meatloaf sandwich, loaded fries, and those cheap gooey brownies you make from a box mix.

I know kind of morbid, but we have all contemplated it or discussed our last meal with our friends.

I am not afraid to admit (even though I can be a food snob at times) that I absolutely love those cheap and easy box mix brownies. You are lying to yourself if you do not agree. The reason is simple: they come out perfectly soft and chocolaty every single time.

So why not take oozy, fudgy brownies up a notch? This recipe came about rather seamlessly; in fact I had been thinking about creating the dessert for sometime. I purchased some churro marshmallows to snack on, and quite honestly they tasted horrible on their own. As to not waste them (or my money) I decided to repurpose them.

You can buy them here. You can also make your own by coating plain marshmallows in butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture.

This recipe is a take on those classic fudgy brownies, but with a graham crust, Mexican chocolate, and charred churro marshmallows on the top.

Mexican Chocolate & Churro Marshmallow S’more Brownies 

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Graham Flour
  • 1/4 Cup of AP Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons of Butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons of Molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons of Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Prepare a 9 inch square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. While that mixes, combine your dry ingredients into a small bowl. Mix together.
  5. Slowly mix in your dry mix, alternating with the remaining wet ingredients. Mix until all of the ingredients are fully combined.
  6. Press down mixture into your prepared baking dish to create one even layer of crust.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of Churro Marshmallows, cut in half length wise
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2.7 Ounces of Mexican Chocolate, Grated
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of AP Flour

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and Mexican chocolate. Mix to combine.
  2. Slowly add in each egg, mixing until fully combined.
  3. Last mix in your vegetable oil.
  4. Pour over graham crust. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Once baked, remove from oven and place marshmallows on the top of the brownies in a single layer, cinnamon side down. You want the cut side to be facing up. The residual heat from baking will cause the marshmallows to stick.
  6. Once the brownies have cooled and before serving, torch the marshmallow top with a baking torch. If you do not have one you can use your oven on broil.
  7. Slice and serve.

Review: the Corner Grill

Review: the Corner Grill

NEXT to the Publix, as it seems most everything on Whitemarsh Island is, sits a quaint little spot that I am positive many people have passed without even realizing.
The Corner Grill, truly a hidden gem, is one that I was lucky enough to notice while heading through the parking lot one day.
As the story goes, co-owner and Chef, Paige Harris, worked as a landscape architecture for over a decade before deciding to take the leap to follow his dream. His wife and co-owner, Terry Harris, has supported him every step of the way and works on the business side of the restaurant, allowing Paige to do what he does best— cook.

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Originally Paige did not set out to create a “burger joint,” but the menu “organically came to be,” Terry told me.
This is the dripping, gut warming, you-are-going-to-need-a-hundred-napkins kind of food that everyone loves. It is good for brunch, lunch, dinner, to eat while watching sports, late night, to cure a hangover, or when you just feel like being naughty.
You better go on the verge of death due to starvation, because Paige is not playing around with the portions he serves up.
Crowd favorites change from week to week, which is understandable when your menu is overflowing with decadent and unique creations — most of the time it has been the Gyro or a burger.
Paige told me that this week her “favorite is the Caesar Chicken Sandwich,” partially because she loved the burgers so much she was eating too many.
As for Raine Morrison, the young student working the counter, she suggested I try her current favorites: the Melt and the Gyro.
The most unique sandwich I have ever put in my mouth is called the Brunch. Two thick, chewy Belgian waffles are used as the vessel to carry a juicy piece of fried chicken.

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That is right! A chicken and waffles sandwich, and it is one that would be named best in show. You do not become best in show by simply being made of two waffles stacked together with some fried chicken and a little syrup.
Something more has to happen—the je ne sais quoi. Paige was kind enough to tell me exactly what the little something was that he adds to make the sandwich magical: dried onions.
Mopped onto the canyons of the golden brown waffle top is a chipotle sweet and sour sauce and ranch. Before wolfing down the sandwich, rather quickly I may add, I would have never imagined ranch and sweet and sour could work so harmoniously together. A punch to the palate is the best way to describe the flavor of the sandwich and is followed by the sweet flavor of sugar and the cooling effect of creamy ranch.
I would compare the Wade, another out-of-this-world sandwich, to a Southern version of a Hawaiian spam sandwich. This time us Southerners out did our Pacific surrounded distant cousins to the west, which is not surprising when you top a sandwich with pimento cheese.

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I believe this sandwich would make Paige’s father proud, and not because it is named after him. With bologna cut that thick, the taste brings a nostalgia that makes anyone smile.
First the bologna is seared on the flattop, giving it a nice crunchy crust. It is then layered between two slices of buttered toast along with a mountain of pimento cheese, pickles, and mustard.

Each ingredients has its own role, working together like an army of ants to devour your taste buds as their next prey.
For the side, the options are as vast the number of bachelorette parties that can be found in City Market on any given weekend. And I can assure you, eating any one of the Corner Grill’s mouthwatering side items is much more fun waking up after a long night downtown.
If it is your very first time eating at the Corner Grill, I would suggest the Feta Fries, which you could think of as their signature side item. Crunchy hand-cut fries are heaped among chunks of feta and fresh green onions. The feta brings the right amount of salt and tang to the party, and the green onions brighten the soul-filled hearty taste of the dish.
Just as indulgent are the Potato Skin Style Fries, not to be confused with actual potato skins. Those same hand-cut french fries are paired with all the ingredients that you know and love in a potato skin: melted cheese, bacon, green onions, and of course ranch that has oozed into every pore of this cavernous dish.
The mountain of fries is nothing short of sinful, but who can resist a revamp of a classic American dish.

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A man after my own heart, “Paige has always been a fan of sauces…[he] couldn’t even stand plain chips growing up as a kid without some sort of sauce to dip them in,” Terry told me.
I am not going to list every sauce available, mainly because it may take up the rest of this article, but I will tell you the list includes the classics like ranch and honey mustard and more unique artworks like feta dressing and something called boss sauce.

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What I will suggest is getting almost every sauce possible, stopping short of looking like a crazy sauce lady, so you can dunk every single bite into a different sauce and create different flavor combinations.
Wilmington Island and all of Savannah may be lucky enough to see what the Harris’ come up with next. Terry elaborated that they “would like to be able to expand into multiple locations or even try to open some other style restaurant.”

Original article: here

Chorizo Chipotle Jack Pull-Apart Bread

Chorizo Chipotle Jack Pull-Apart Bread

It was only a few short years ago that I discovered Chorizo. After tasting the spicy flavor filled Spanish meat, I felt like I was deprived for so many years.

So anytime I come across fresh, not cured, chorizo I love to buy it up and store it in the freezer; keep it on reserve for a gluttonous cooking day.

That day came  not too long ago as I was attempting to use some leftover jack cheese purchased in a variety pack. Living in a household of just two proves difficult to not waste food or leftovers.

My husband and I, and even a few friends, powered through several varieties of jack cheese from the pack,  but could not finish it all. What remained was a very spicy chipotle jack cheese. Luckily for me, I had some frozen chorizo to pair with it when I decided to come up with a recipe to use the leftover cheese.

The result was more delicious than I imagined…the best part of cooking is tasting the finished experimental product and realizing everything was a success.

Casseroles and soups are an easy way to use of leftover items because of the ability to throw random things into the mixture. Sometimes even bread is a great vessel to throw some random ingredients into and see what you come up with. An in this case, bread was the perfect way to use up my leftover cheese and frozen chorizo.

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Do not worry, if you do not have chipotle jack cheese you can substitute it for any type of jack cheese. Same goes if you do not like spicy food.

The recipe creates two normal sized loafs, so you will need two loaf pans

Chorizo and Chipotle Jack Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 Cups of Milk, room temperature
  • 2 Packages of Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 1/2 Cups of Bread Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Stick plus 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 8 Ounces of Chipotle Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 3 Cups of Chorizo, cooked and crumbled

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Directions:

  1. In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, combine milk and yeast. Let the  mix rest for about 5 minutes to allow yeast to bloom. Attach your dough hook to your mixer.
  2. While yeast blooms, mix your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Slowly add in 1/2 your flour mixture, with the beaters turned to low, until all of the mixture is fully incorporated.
  4. Next beat in your eggs and 1/2 cup, or one stick, of melted butter.
  5. Slowly add the remaining amount of flour mixture, and once fully combined turn the mixer to medium speed. A dough should begin to form.
  6. Once a soft dough has formed, it should be slightly sticky, remove the dough from the mixer, placing it into a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap, and let rise on the counter for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until double in size.
  7. In a medium bowl, mix together your chorizo and cheese.
  8. Gently punch down dough, and divide in half. Turn dough out, onto floured surface.
  9. Roll each half into an 18×12 inch rectangle. Spread an even amount of your chorizo mixture onto each rectangle of dough, pressing the mixture into the dough.
  10. Spray two 9 inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
  11. Cut your rectangles into thirds, length wise, creating three strips. Then cut the strips into four inch rectangles.
  12. Stack the rectangles, on their sides, into each loaf pan.
  13. Once your pans are completely full, cover and let rise until double in size. About 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  14. Once double in size, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  15. Brush each loaf with the remaining melted two tablespoons of butter.
  16. Bake for about an hour, or until dough is cooked in the center.
  17. If the bread begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil.
  18. After baked, let bread cool completely before serving.

Mulberry & Lemon Pound Cake

Mulberry & Lemon Pound Cake

Pound cake is about as southern as a cake can be. Growing up pound cake was my mom’s go-to cake. Easy to make and always extra moist and buttery.

It was best fresh and warm, straight out of the oven. And even delicious a few days stale with a smear of butter, and toasted in the oven.

You could eat it as dessert or for breakfast (oh us fatty southerners). It was good topped with whipped cream, strawberries, or filled with lemon, chocolate, and so much more.

Funny thing is, when I met my mother-in-law I found out, lemon pound cake was her go-to cake. After moving so far away from my family, this was a comfort to have a little slice of “home” so close.

My husband is a sucker for all things lemon — me not so much. Regardless, lemon is a wonderful pairing for pound cake because it cuts right through the decadent pound of sugar, pound of butter, and a pound of everything else.

The perfect pairing for lemons, at least when it comes to dessert, is blueberry and blackberry. Again, each add a bit of sweetness to counteract the tart citrus. So when I was out watering my garden and discovered a Mulberry tree, mainly because they had fallen off the tree into my garden bed, I immediately thought to pair them with lemon.

If you do not know what a mulberry is (I did not until I discovered them in my garden), it  looks like a tiny blackberry but has the flavor of both a blackberry and muscadine.

…and if you don’t know what a muscadine is then you have clearly never been to the south. It is basically an earthy flavored southern grape. Grows on a vine too!

I had a muscadine vine in my backyard growing up, and always looked forward to picking and eating them. Don’t tell anyone, but my mom and I once made muscadine wine.

So naturally, not only did the mulberries remind me of my mother, but making a pound cake was truly an homage to her.

This one is for my mom and mother-in-law…all the other mothers in my life. Happy Mothers’ Day.

Mulberry & Lemon Pound Cake

Category: Cake

Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 3 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cups of Heavy Cream
  • Zest from 2 Lemons
  • 1/3 Cup of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Confectioners Sugar
  • 3 Cups of Mulberries (you can substitute blackberries)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a Bundt cake pan, and set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer or with a beater, cream together your butter and sugar, until fluffy.
  3. Add in your eggs one at a time, mixing until fully combined after each.
  4. Turn mixer to low, add in your salt, baking soda, baking powder, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  5. Once fully incorporated, alternate mixing in your flour and your heavy cram. Begin and end with the flour. Mix your heavy cream in 1/4 at a time, and your flour 1 cup at a time.
  6. Gently stir in 2 cups of the fresh mulberries.
  7. Pour batter into pan, cook on middle rack for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
  8. Let cake cool completely before glazing.
  9. Once cool, make your glaze.
  10. In a food processor, juice the remaining 1 cup of mulberries. Pass through fine mesh strainer to get remove seeds and flesh.
  11. In a small bowl, combine 1-2 tablespoons of mulberry juice with your powdered sugar.
  12. Pour over the top of the cooled pound cake and let set, about 30 minutes, before serving.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/05/12/mulberry-lemon-pound-cake/

Review: Harper’s Desserts

Review: Harper’s Desserts

Officially, it may not be summer yet, but, as to be expected for Savannah, things are beginning to heat up. It’s only May, but now warm enough to hit the beach on Tybee, go out on the boat and hit the sandbar.
Some sticky days it seems the only way to truly cool off from the Savannah sun is seek out something cool and refreshing. Luckily, there’s a new kid on the block to help chill you down: Harper’s Desserts on the islands.
By no means are the owners of Harper’s new to the neighborhood; they have been running local favorite and classic Flying Fish Bar & Grill.

Co-owner Robin McMahon “has always been in charge of the Flying Fish dessert menu and was committed to offering unique desserts that were not mainstream,” Chris McMahon, marketing director of Flying Fish, tells me.
So when the space for Harper’s came available right next door to Flying Fish, the owners seized the opportunity. Owners Mike and Robin named to store after their three year old granddaughter, Harper, who I’m told by Chris often tells people about “her shop next door.”
On deck are 24 different flavors of cold. refreshing ice cream offered by Harper’s. The owners have included everything from classics like chocolate, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, and vanilla to more unique creations like Jolted Cow and Yellow Cake.
Of all the crazy flavors, most popular with the kids have been the “Cotton Candy and Superman flavor ice creams,” Chris says.
Generally, the most popular ice cream flavors have been the Jolted Cow and the Blueberry Cheesecake. The Jolted Cow is a java flavored ice cream base that comes swirled with sticky caramel and chewy soft brownie chunks, which cut through the bitter bite of the coffee.

The coffee flavor is not too strong, and it coats the mouth with a the creamy sweet flavor of brew before your tongue finds a fudgy chunk of decadent brownie.
As for the Blueberry Cheesecake, the tangy and divine ice cream base is jammed full of the flavor of cheesecake and swirled with an alarming amount of blueberry.
The star of the show at Harper’s, and what definitely makes them unique, is their wide assortment of Monster Shakes. The term monster is almost an understatement.
These milkshakes are served in a large mason jar rimmed with anything from chocolate to breakfast cereal, then topped with things such as a moonpie, an entire slice of cheesecake, oreos, fruit, and so much more.

I was lucky to try (and unable to finish by myself due to the overwhelming portion) the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bust Monster Shake. To create this bad boy, Harper’s blends their chocolate peanut butter ice cream with milk and Reese’s pieces.
The dreamy creation is poured into a jar rimmed with chocolate and topped with nutter butters, Reese’s candy, whipped cream, and crushed peanuts.
The milkshake fills your mouth with the creamy flavor of peanut butter, and as you continue to sip the thick drink chocolate hits your palate next.
Surprisingly enough, it was not until Harper’s featured their Shamrock Shake that the monster shakes took off. As you guessed, the popular dessert is only available during Savannah’s favorite holiday season.

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Harper’s Desserts does not just offer ice cream, they also have a wide assortment cakes and pies. New to the dessert menu is a Red Velvet Cake, which “has quickly become one of our most popular desserts in just a few weeks,” Chris says.

Instead of an entire cake or a slice, this speciality is individually portioned into your very own mini cake. Round airy layers of tasty red cake are smeared with luxurious satin cream cheese buttercream frosting.

Another beautiful dessert option is the Reese’s Pie — a creamy peanut butter center lays atop a crumbly chocolate crush for this slice. Creamy, crunchy, salty, sweet, this dessert has it all.

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Also extremely popular as a dessert offered at Harper’s is the Mississippi Mud Pie, which is “Robin’s recipe,” explains Chris.
Again featuring a chocolate crust, instead this pie has a chocolate mousse-like filling and is topped with a velvety chocolate ganache.
Harper’s also offered the classic beach side pie, Key Lime, and hopes to feature “a peach version of the pie, which we think will be a great summer dessert,” boasts Chris.
True to form for a beach town sweet shop, shaved ice is featured on their menu.
Let’s not forget the coffee, which is brewed from a Nescafé Milano System. You can order anything from lattes to americanos.
Chris loves the coffee and, as he explains the system to me, he says they have “an espresso roast with a deep coffee flavor…it is great on its own or as a base” for something else.
The cherry on top of this sundae is: If you eat next door at Flying Fish, Harper’s will hand deliver anything you order right to your table.
If you have yet to have the chance to sample the-out-of-this-world flavors of Harper’s, I suggest you get down there now. Although the store opened in December 2017, you can expect a grand opening party coming very soon.

Original article: here