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Posts Tagged ‘southern food’

G. Garvin’s Down-Home Travel Tips

G. at Hillbilly Tea

“Down-home” describes an unpretentious, laid-back Southern life. Food prepared with down-home style is simple, wholesome and delicious. The locations I visited on my down-home road trip truly represent everything great about the word. The best part about it? You bring the Southern life to wherever you live. Check out your local farmers’ market, grab some fresh ingredients and cook something special for your family and friends.

Noble Springs Dairy

I had a blast with the Nobles of Franklin, Tenn. Their farm is beautiful, and I loved hanging out with all of their goats. Goat cheese is tangy and versatile, and you can’t go wrong with it in a salad. I can see why the Nobles are popular with the local restaurants.

Hillbilly Tea

What makes Hillbilly Tea so amazing is its unique approach to tea and the dedication made to tea by putting it all over the menu. I never knew you could make so much with tea. While it’s inspirational and different, it’s still simple. Anyone can incorporate tea into sauces or baking at home.

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G. Garvin’s Atlanta Travel Tips


G. Garvin with Chef Chris Hall, Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner at Atlanta’s The Local Three
While growing up and living in Atlanta, I’ve seen the city go through a lot of great changes. Every year another unique restaurant pops up, giving locals and tourists a chance to visit Atlanta and fall in love with its diverse culture. The next time you’re in town, I encourage stopping by a few of the local favorites to see how we have a good time.

Heirloom Market BBQ

This place is great because it truly encompasses a mix of cultures. One chef is from Tennessee, the other is from Korea. Their combined talents make for some amazing barbecue. The sauces are unique and provide a great balance to their smoked meats.

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Dinner Rush! Savannah Shrimp & Grits

I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Deen family these days (and believe me when I tell you, they’re the loveliest people). Between working on Bobby’s hit show Not My Mama’s Meals, helping the brothers out with an awesome Thanksgiving special, and now just getting back home from taping the newest season of Paula’s Best Dishes, Savannah is starting to feel like a second home.

Obviously the South is known for its hospitality, scenery and delicious “low country” cookin’. That’s why, without fail, I seek out a plate of shrimp & grits every time I head down there. It’s such a comforting, delicious reminder of the fact that I’m in a place completely different from my home in New York’s Hudson Valley.

As Bobby, Jamie, and Paula have all been working to better their diets these days, I’ve picked up a few of their pointers about how to enjoy Southern food while not letting it feel like I’ve got a brick in my stomach after eating.  Keep these “Savannah Shrimp & Grits” light and satisfying by adding in lots of herbs — here I’m using tarragon — and some acid, like lemon juice. That’ll bolster flavor, keep down fat and make you feel like you’re sitting under the mossy trees of one of Savannah’s bucolic town squares.

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Southern Staples: Rich and Creamy Grits with Shrimp in Red Eye Gravy

Every recipe has a story to tell,” explains Chef Darin Sehnert of Savannah, Georgia. I have found that this statement couldn’t be truer for Southern recipes, which embody American culinary heritage rooted in technique and tradition. Though I didn’t grow up in the South, and I essentially have no ties to Southern cuisine, I am currently in the throes of a love affair with all things Southern, from biscuits and gravy to barbecue-slathered pork ribs. This all started the summer I worked at a barbecue restaurant in Vermont, where I instantly developed an appreciation for pulled pork, collard greens and pecan pie. With folk recipes dating back to the birth of our nation, it’s no wonder that Chef Darin says recipes contain stories.

Consider Shrimp and Grits. This elegant, yet simple, Southern staple started out with humble roots as just a fisherman’s breakfast. Chef Darin shared his recipe for Rich and Creamy Grits with Shrimp in Red Eye Gravy with us.

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Individual Sweet Corn Custards

Southerners can take just about any vegetable and improve upon it. We’ve been known to deep fry squash and call it a fritter, or toss sugar and eggs into sweet potatoes and call it a pudding. Take sweet summer corn for instance. We’ll cream it, can it or casserole it — you name it, we’ve made it.

It’s not because we don’t like our vegetables, either. There is truly nothing finer than fresh summer corn picked up from a weathered old farmer’s roadside stand, resting assured that it was plucked from his field mere hours before. Whether shaved raw into a salad or eaten straight from the cob, it just doesn’t get much better than that. But after a few weeks of this kind of bountiful eating — and many more months on the horizon — folks have to start mixing things up a bit. It only takes one too many tomato salads to get us doing what we do best. (Some people may say worst, but hey, what can you do?) After a long Southern harvest, heavy cream and butter start making that surplus of veggies in the garden look pretty darn enticing.

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A Southern Spin on the Classic Cobb Salad

Barbecue makes a frequent appearance at our house, whether my fiancé smoked thirty pounds of pig using his secret family recipe, or I slow-cooked a batch of my signature oven-braised pulled pork. Either way, you can guarantee there are going to be plenty of leftovers for snacking. And while I am usually happy with just a plain ol’ sandwich (cheap white bun and vinegar sauce, please), every now and then I have so much extra that I have to start experimenting.

I’ve made pulled pork quesadillas and pulled pork hash. In fact, the only thing I haven’t made is pulled pork french fries. (Note to self: is that even possible? Must try soon.) It seems I am always looking for the next big thing. My fiancé and I eat Cobb salads on a regular basis, so it was only natural for me to add pork instead of the usual chicken or turkey, and let’s just say it was a bona fide hit.

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Paula Deen’s Recipes Get Healthy

Bobby and Paula Deen

Bobby is putting his mother Paula Deen's recipes on a diet.

Staying fit with celebrated Southern chef Paula Deen in the kitchen? It ain’t easy, y’all, but that’s what Paula’s son Bobby has managed to do. His secret? Bobby Deen is remaking his mama’s most crave-worthy recipes so they’re lighter, leaner and still just as delicious.

From Shrimp and Polenta and Spicy Sweet Potato Chips to “No-Fry” Apple Pies and Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie, Bobby Deen slims down his mother’s favorite comfort food recipes on the all new Cooking Channel show Not My Mama’s Meals premiering tomorrow night at 9pm ET.

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