Slap Ya Mama

Thursdays are for Crème de la Crème classes!  It was round two of my "Southern Crème Charm" menu featuring Cheesy Grits Bites, Braised Greens with Bacon, Pan Seared Pimento Cheese Pork Chops, and Peach Cobbler.

My Cheesy Grits Bites are everything you would want in a true Southern grits (plus, heavy cream and cheese!).  This recipe is so versatile -- appetizer or side dish...mini muffins or 9x13 pan.  Top with seasoned sour cream (Slap Ya Mama!) and freshly chopped chives. The flavor kick is so delicious!

Next, we start the Braised Greens with Bacon so that it has time to soak up all the fantastic flavor. My kids were initially freaked out -- but they licked the pot clean when I did a trial run!  I love getting them to change their tune...The nutrients are in the broth so don't forget every last drop.

The pork chops come together very easily, so we skipped to dessert!  This "ease" factor of my Peach Cobbler recipe is reminiscent of my "Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding" from the Napa Valley menu.  So stinking easy.  I like to bake in individual ramekins for the cute factor -- but you can also do it in a 9x9!

While the Peach Cobbler baked, we started on our final recipe: Pan Seared Pimento Cheese Pork Chops.  I keep the sear simple with seasoned flour and hot oil in a skillet.  Then, I place the pork chops in a deep dish, fill dish with a white wine reduction, top with our homemade pimento cheese spread and sprig of thyme.  Finish baking in the oven.  Couldn't be easier!

It was a pleasure introducing my students to my take on the Southern staples: grits, pimento cheese, greens, and peaches.  I hope to see you again soon! Cheers! XOXO Paula

Sangria & Apple Pie

My students were so wonderful -- they came up all the way from Kansas City and western Nebraska for class!  I'm so happy they were able to rendezvous for some family time in the Crème kitchen. And for a Crème first, I played "Chef" and "DJ".You guys -- I brought back the "Comforts Best" menu from fall by request!  Autumn Sangria, Spinach and Artichoke Dip in a Pretzel Bowl, Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Dunks, and Homemade Deep Dish Salted Caramel Apple Pie.  This is the ultimate "food coma" class.  

The Sangria was ready when they arrived so that the fruit could soak up all the goodness.  You can easily tweak this recipe for different seasons.  Use seasonal fruit for unique twist.

I was delighted to learn that one of my students was the "queen of dips".  This Spinach and Artichoke Dip is one of those recipes you have to keep on hand for entertaining.  The warm dip baked in a pretzel boat just takes it up another notch.

This soup is so simple.  It's a creamy soup made from tender poached chicken with homemade broth, onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, and peas.  Serve with Gruyere Pie Crust Dunks to knock their socks off!  

Last but not least -- Deep Dish Salted Caramel Apple Pie.  Oh my goodness....it's fabulous.  You can make a pie crust from scratch using a food processor and a pastry cutter.  Layer apples and caramel.  Repeat.  Design your vented crust....and bake to perfection!  The finishing touch?  Globs of thick salted caramel sauce.

Thank you for making the trip!  It was such a pleasure having you in the kitchen.  Cheers! XOXO Paula

Caviar of the South

Tonight was a special night -- for four reasons!  First, I had another Baker's Dozen celebration. Thank you, Aimee, for spending 13 classes at Crème de la Crème!  Second, Sandy was inducted into the Crème Club (six classes)...and last but not least...I had my first ever male Crème Club inductee!  Congratulations to Dan!  It has been such a treat having you all in the kitchen.  I'm so thankful that you choose to spend your Thursday evening with me.  Lastly, it was the first class of my "Southern Crème Charm" menu!  Cheesy Grit Bites, Pan Seared Pimento Cheese Pork Chops, Braised Greens with Bacon, and Peach Cobbler.  

After pouring glasses of wine, I did something I rarely do -- pass out the entree recipe first!  There are a million recipes for Pimento Cheese.  I was so excited to share my version, as well as offer some alternatives for the leftovers!  I chose to start with this recipe so that the fresh garlic could incorporate into the spread.

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Next, it was time for our appetizer: Cheesy Grit Bites.  I love this recipe because it can simply serve as an appetizer or side dish.  Fresh peppers, old fashioned grits, and pepper jack cheese combine for a savory dish (even fresh eggs from our Crème chickens!).

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It wouldn't be a Southern menu without the scent of fried bacon.  Bacon with collard greens -- nothing like it!  

These Cheesy Grits Bites are heaven!  Top with seasoned sour cream and chives or caramelized andouille sausage.

Next up was a "to die for" Peach Cobbler.  Give it time to bake for cobbler perfection.

Time for the Pimento Cheese Pork Chops!  Season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Brown on each side in a sizzling hot pan and then reduce with wine, broth, and fresh thyme. Put in a baking dish and top with our yummy cheese pimento spread.

My students can't leave without a warm dessert!  I topped our cobbler with homemade cinnamon whipped cream, blueberries, and a mint leaf. Bon appetit!

Thank you for a fabulous evening!  Cheers! XOXO Paula