Start your day with a treat from Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm, where Kelly Clarkson got married!
VANILLA CORNMEAL GRIDDLE CAKES WITH PEARS
Makes up to 12 (4-in.) cakes
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup corn flour
5 tbsp. sugar
1¾ tsp. plus ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1½ cups buttermilk
½ cup cooked yellow grits
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 small pears, peeled, cored and diced
1. To make clarified butter, melt unsalted butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; cook 20 to 30 minutes until bubbling ceases and liquid turns clear. Strain, being sure to leave any solids in the bottom of the pan. Cool completely.
2. Whisk together flours and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Whisk together buttermilk and next 4 ingredients; add flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in pears.
4. Heat griddle or a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; brush with 1 to 2 tbsp. cooled clarified butter. Pour about ¼ cup batter for each cake onto griddle. Cook over medium-low heat 3 to 4 minutes or until tops are covered with tiny bubbles and edges look dry and cooked; turn cakes and cook other side. Remove from griddle to serving plate. Grease griddle with additional butter, as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining batter. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.
This spicy cocktail from Mason’s Grill in Baton Rouge took the top prize at the N.Y.C. Wine & Food Festival
BLOODY MASON (BURN, BABY, BURN!)
Makes 1 serving
Dip rim of mason jar or 16-oz. glass into chipotle pepper sauce; dip rim in fine sea salt; set aside. Fill cocktail shaker ½ full of ice cubes. Add 3 tbsp. pepper-infused (or cilantro-lime-infused) vodka, ½ tsp. prepared horseradish, 2 dashes celery salt, 4 dashes pepper sauce, 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce, 2 dashes Sriracha and 1 cup Bloody Mary mix. Squeeze 1 fresh lemon wedge and 1 fresh lime wedge into shaker; cover and shake 3 to 4 times. Pour Bloody Mary mixture into prepared jar; add lemon and lime wedges. Garnish as desired. Suggested garnishes: bacon, beef straw, celery stalk, cocktail onions, pickled okra, spicy green beans.