Welcome to Tennessee

Today is National Tennessee Day. Tennessee, the Volunteer State. Theirs is a long and proud history of stepping forward to do the right thing. That is with the exception of the Civil War. Like most southern states, Tennessee was on wrong side of the moral compass.

Weird but True –
Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, is the second most visited house in America, second to the White House. On any given year, over a 600,000 visitors tour Graceland.

Josephine Myrtle Corbin was born in Tennessee in 1868. Despite her deformity, Josephine married and had children. She was born with two pelvises side by side, and as a result she had four legs. Ironically, Josephine died as a result of a leg infection.

That’s a Fact –
During the civil war, 38 battles were fought on Tennessee soil. Tennessee was surpassed only by Virginia for the number of battles fought. By 1860, one in four living in Tennessee were slaves. They fought on the side of the North.

America’s 11th president, James Polk, and his wife are buried on the ground of the State Capital. While both were originally buried at Polk Palace, their remains were reburied at the State Capitol in 1893, Although Polk only served a single term as President, from 1845 to 1849, he lead the nation through the Mexican-American War and negotiated the Oregon Treaty, expanding the nation to the west coast.

Geographically Speaking –
Tennessee is home to the most caves on record of any state. According to the Tennessee Cave Survey, there are more than 10,000 caves, 90% of them are located on private lands. Every cave in Tennessee has some type of unique resource. For example, bats eat insects in the summer and are considered a farmer’s best friend. Bats are estimated to have a value above 300 million to the state agriculture.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America, attracting almost twice the number of visitor that the Grand Canyon.

Tennessee is also known as the Gateway to the Deep South. Naturally, our menu had to reflect a richly textured celebration in foods.

Tennessee Supper
Tennessee Whiskey Skillet Pork Chops
Skillet Bourbon Green Beans
Buttery Herb Mashed Potatoes
Buttermilk Biscuits

A La Mode Butterscotch Pecan Bread Pudding

Tennessee Whiskey Skillet Pork Chops
1/2 cup Tennessee Whiskey
1/2 cup Apple Cider
2-1/2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2/3 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Cayenne Pepper to taste
6 bone-in Pork Chops
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Olive Oil as needed
1 tablespoon Butter

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup whisk the whiskey, cider, sugar, 1 teaspoon vinegar, mustard, vanilla, and cayenne. 

Reserve three-quarters of the whiskey mix to create a sauce, pour remaining quarter of the mix into a glass casserole dish. Arrange pork chops in the casserole dish, turning to coat in the whiskey marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 90 minutes.

When ready to cook, remove pork chops from the marinade, pat lightly with paper towel to remove excess whiskey sauce. Season pork chops with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Place half of the chops in the skillet cook until nicely browned, about 6 minutes per side. Move to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining pork chops.

In the now empty skillet, add the reserved whiskey mixture. Scrape up any browned bits and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low. Tip plate holding chops to allow add any juices that have accumulated to drain into the skillet. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of vinegar, and butter. Whisk to blend. Allow whiskey sauce to simmer until thickened, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Return the chops to the pan, turning to coat in the sauce. Cover and allow the chops to rest for 5 minutes in sauce before serving.

Skillet Bourbon Green Beans
1 medium Yellow Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1 lb Green Beans
4 strips Bacon
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Red Pepper Flakes or to taste
1/4 cup Water
3 tablespoons Bourbon
3 tablespoons Brown Sugar

Dice onion, set aside. Mince garlic, set aside. Clean and trim green beans, set aside.

Note: If fresh green beans are not available, use whole frozen beans. Rinse under cold water to thaw, drain well and pat dry.

Cut bacon into small 1/2-inch pieces. Scatter chopped bacon into a large cast iron skillet; fry until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Reserve the bacon grease.

Add onion to bacon grease and sauté until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook just until garlic blooms, about 30 seconds.

Add green beans, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until the beans begin to show brown spots, about 6 minutes or so over medium heat.

Add water, cover and cook 2 minutes. Green beans should still be bright green and crisp.

Add bourbon and brown sugar, continue to cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, until green beans are barely crisp. Stir often.

Sprinkle green beans with crisped bacon and serve straight from the pan for a rustic, southern presentation.

Buttery Herb Mashed Potatoes
3 lbs Russet Potatoes
Water as needed
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2-1/2 tablespoons Chives, snipped
1/2 teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh Rosemary leaves
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup Milk
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Peel potatoes, cut into quarters.

Place potatoes in 4-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover potatoes. Add Kosher Salt to the water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes or until tender; drain. Mash with potato masher or whip with an electric mixer on low speed for extra creamy potatoes.

While potatoes are cooking, peel and crush garlic set aside. Snip chives, set aside. Strip thyme leaves from sprigs, set aside. Strip rosemary from sprigs, dice needles and set aside.

Melt butter in 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook garlic in butter for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. DO NOT let garlic or butter brown. Stir in milk, chives, thyme and rosemary. Cook until thoroughly heated. Keep warm

Once potatoes are mashed, add milk mixture to the potatoes; whip until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with additional herbs for a splash of color and nice presentation.

Buttermilk Biscuits
1/2 cup Butter, frozen
2-1/2 cups Self-rising Flour
1 cup chilled Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Butter, melted

Place a stick of butter into the freezer for about an hour or so to fully freeze.

Heat oven to 475. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.

Place flour in a large bowl. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate frozen butter over the flour. Toss together to coat butter in flour. Chill for 10 minutes.

Make a well in center of mixture. Add buttermilk, and stir 15 times. Dough will be sticky.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle; about 9 by 5 inches. Fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times.

Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-1/2 inch floured biscuit or round cutter, reshaping scraps as needed.

Place biscuit rounds on the prepared pan. Bake in heated oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm and enjoy.

A La Mode Butterscotch Pecan Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding
16 oz loaf French Bread, day-old
1/4 cup melted Butter
1-3/4 cups Pecans, divided
3 cups Milk
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Bakers Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
4 large Eggs
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1-1/4 cups Butterscotch Chips, divided
French Vanilla Custard Ice Cream for serving

Use day-old bread.

Heat oven to 325-degrees. Coat a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole baking dish with cooking spray., set aside. Melt butter, set aside. Chop pecans, set aside.

Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Place on baling sheet to dry out while preparing egg mixture.

Heat milk and brown sugar in medium saucepan until warm and sugar is dissolved, but not boiling. Crack eggs into large bowl and whisk with fine sugar.

Slowly stream warm milk into eggs white whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Gently whisk in heavy cream, vanilla extract, and melted butter. Place bread cubes into mixture and allow to soak for 20 minutes.

Gently stir 1 cup butterscotch chips and 1-1/2 cups pecans into bread mixture; pour bread pudding into the prepared baking pan. Top with remaining butterscotch chips and pecans.

Bake in the heated oven for about 50 minutes to an hour, or until egg mixture is completely cooked. Let sit while preparing butterscotch sauce.

Serve bread pudding, topped with vanilla ice cream, butterscotch sauce and toasted pecans.

Butterscotch Sauce
1-1/2 cups Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/3 cup Water
1/4 cup Butter
1/8 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a medium saucepan, mix brown sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, and salt together. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil without stirring. Let cook until soft ball stage is reached, 236 degrees on the candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to lukewarm. Stir in milk and vanilla.

Pour into a heatproof jar. Cover and refrigerate any unused sauce up to a month.

To use later, warm sauce in a pan filled with water over medium-heat.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: