End of the Summer…

I can’t believe how fast this summer has come and (almost) gone. I thought it would be a good idea to post a couple of my favorite new concoctions we came up with this summer.

Grant came up with this one-pot wonder one night as a way to eat up all of our veggies from the garden. This is pure comfort food!

Big Smokey’s Southern Chicken Bog

3-4 chicken thighs, bone and skin on
¼ cup flour
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp bacon fat or butter
1 small red, orange or yellow pepper, chopped
½ Vidalia onion, chopped
6-8 okra, cut in slices
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp dried chopped rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cup white Basmati rice
3 cups stock

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium. Add bacon fat when pan is hot. While pan is heating, mix flour, spices, salt & pepper together in a bowl. Dredge chicken thighs in flour mixture. (Save flour mixture for use with okra.) Once pan is hot and bacon fat is sizzling, add chicken skin side down. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until skin side is a dark golden brown. Turn chicken over and continue to cook 5 more minutes. Put chicken aside. Add onion and pepper to pan. Dredge okra in remaining flour mixture and add to pan. Cook until onion and pepper is soft and okra is slightly brown. Add chopped tomato, rosemary, bay leaf, and cook for 5 more minutes until tomato starts to break down. Stir in rice. Salt and pepper a little more to taste. Nestle the chicken back into the mixture, skin side up. Add 2 cups of the stock. Reduce the heat to medium low. Let cook 15 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the stock. Stir mixture without turning the chicken. Add the remaining cup of stock and cook for 10 more minutes until rice is done to taste. Optional- last two minutes, turn pan on medium high and cook until a dark brown crust forms on the bottom of the rice (Lady Smokey is especially fond of how this makes a yummy crispy rice crust!). Remove pan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. One pot wonder or serve with a side salad! Hot sauce is recommended. YUM!

And another meaty dish, this was inspired by our new found love of tomato gravy.

Tomato Smothered Chicken Fried Pork Chops
Serves 3

3 boneless pork chops
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
¼ cup grape seed oil
½ cup all purpose flour
dash of cayenne pepper
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees. You will want to use an iron skillet (or wide, oven proof skillet). Mix buttermilk and spices together in a bowl. Soak pork chops in buttermilk mixture for about an hour. Heat skillet to medium heat. Add grape seed oil (enough to fill your skillet ¼ inch deep). In another bowl, mix flour with another dash of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Take the pork chops out of the buttermilk soak and place in flour mixture. Coat on both sides and place in skillet. Cook pork chops until golden brown on both sides (about 5 minutes on each side). Move pork chops to sides of pan. Add 2 Tbsp flour to middle of pan and stir in, mixing flour thoroughly to the oil in the pan to form a rue. Once you have a nice rue formed, add 2-3 chopped tomatoes. Place iron skillet in the oven for 10 more minutes to finish the pork and give the tomatoes time to break down. Place pork chop on a plate and spoon the tomato gravy over top.

Tomato Smothered Pork served with asparagus and sauteed corn.

We have so many friends who have new albums out or coming out in the next few weeks. It is very exciting and I look forward to listening to them all. This week, however, we were thrilled to get to see Connie Smith again and pick up a copy of her new album and her first release in 15 years, Long Line of Heartaches.

Connie Smith and guitarist Rick Wright at Grimey's Record Store August 2011.

One of the greatest voices in classic country music, Connie Smith grew up in West Virginia and Ohio. Bill Anderson first heard Connie Smith sing in a talent competition back in 1963 and he invited her to come sing in Nashville. She recorded the classic hits, “Once A Day” and “Cincinnati, Ohio,” and after almost a decade of country music stardom and hit songs, Connie left the spotlight to pursue motherhood and a gospel music career but remained an influential figure in country music. Dolly Parton once said that Connie Smith is the best female country singer. Many would agree. She also seems like a beautiful woman- inside and out. Locally, Connie Smith often performs on The Grand Ole Opry, with her husband of almost 15 years, Marty Stuart, on his  t.v. show on the RFD network, and she occasionally plays with her band, The Sun Downers (featuring the amazing Rick Wright on guitar), at the Station Inn. This month she is the Artist In Residency at the Country Music Hall of Fame.


One thought on “End of the Summer…

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