I love food and eating out. I wish more people would support their locally owned restaurants. We spend our time in the Triad and reside full-time in the NC Mountains, but the love for local is strong! This blog dishes out all the yummy details. Catch my column, triadfoodies, in YES! Weekly and my podcast on the Triad Podcast Network, "At the Table with Triadfoodies." Email me to collaborate email@example.com
We’re really enjoying playing around with NC’s Lusty Monk Mustard. Keeping following along as we get creative with this delicious local condiment that can be used in so many ways. Head over to Instagram to enter a giveaway for a trio of their flavors, Original Sin, Sweet Temptation, and Burn in Hell.
I just love a crispy schnitzel. Be it chicken, veal or pork, if it’s fried perfectly crispy, I’m here for it. This schnitzel pairs perfectly with the creamy, slightly sweet and spicy mustard sauce and it’s like grown up chicken tendies wtih honey mustard dipping sauce and that my friends, is another blog post that is a throwback to a childhood favorite. In case you missed it, we have Corn Dog Minis here. Note: I bread my schnitzel or fried cutlets a bit differently. Lately, I do not dredge in flour. It gets perfectly crispy without the flour and the crispy coating actually sticks better to the chicken if you don’t do it. But if you’re a diehard believer in the flouring first, by all means, you do you.
4 chicken cutlets, about 1/3 inch thick (or as many as you need). I took chicken breasts and sliced it through the middle horizontally along its equator. 1 egg 1 cup Italian or seasoned bread crumbs 1 cup panko bread crumbs Italian seasoning, garlic, smoked paprika or favorite seasoning combo Salt/pepper 2 tbs Lusty Monk Sweet Temptation Honey Mustard 1 clove grated garlic 1/4 -1/2 cup cream 1/4-1/2 cup broth Brandy, sherry or white wine (optional) Micro greens, parsley or chives for garnish
Instructions: To prep the chicken, cut the chicken breasts into cutlets. You can even pound them with a mallet a bit to get them to about 1/3 inch thick. Whisk an egg in a shallow dish and place the breadcrumbs in two separate plates. Season the chicken with salt & pepper then dredge both sides in egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumbs then panko.
Heat a skillet with a good bit of olive oil. You’ll want enough oil for the chicken to sit in the oil and not be totally covered, but nearly. Once the oil shimmers, carefully place the chicken in the skillet, flipping once the bottom side is golden brown. Once completely golden on both sides, set aside on paper towel or wire rack and give it a sprinkle of salt.
For the sauce: You can prepare the sauce before and keep warm or if you feel good about your multitasking skills while the chicken cooks, you can quickly bring it together. Add a touch of oil to a skillet, add garlic and stir a few minutes until fragrant but not browning. Next, add the mustard. Add your 1/4 cup brandy or wine, about half the broth and allow to cook down. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer until thickened. Do not let it boil too hard as I find that it can make a grainy mustard bitter. Loosen, if necessary, with additional broth.
To serve, plate the chicken and top with sauce. Garnish with micro greens, parsley or fresh chives. Serve with a beautiful veggie, spaetzle or mashed potatoes.
The following is the first in a series of posts featuring NC’s Lusty Monk Mustard. I was gifted a set of mustard to give some new recipes a go. We are so thankful to Lusty Monk to be invited in on the fun.
It might make me a grown child, but I love hot dogs, fixed all kinds of ways. I love corn dogs just as much. Here’s my once a year do-it-myself treat featuring corn dogs using local corn meal, with Lusty Monk Mustard waiting close by for the dipping. Actually it’s so yummy, I might do this more than once a year.
Ingredients 2/3 cup flour plus another 1/4 cup for dredging 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal (I used Old Mill of Guilford) 1/4 cup sugar 1 tbs. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper (I like it speckled) sprinkling of onion powder, garlic powder or any seasonings you desire 1 cup milk 1 package of regular hot dogs, cut into thirds or fourths (smoked sausage is also great) Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
Preheat oil in a pot or pan. You’ll need about 3 inches. When the oil sizzles with a tester of batter, it’s ready. About 350 degrees is what you’re aiming for.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk. You want the batter to be almost pancake like, not too thick but not runny. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets.
Toss the hot dogs or sausages in the 1/4 cup flour until lightly coated. Then dip into the batter ensuring even coverage and shaking off excess.
Note: There are a number of ways to do this and I find a fork is great. But if you skewer the ends and you’re using sausages, they make these perfect round balls (you can see in the photo) which I love. Longer skewers allow you to place them in the oil and pick them up by the stick.
Place a few in the hot oil and cook until completely golden brown. You may need to turn them a bit for even cooking. They might look a bit rustic. I wasn’t going for perfect ovals here. But the sausages did get round like hushpuppies and they were super cute!
Place cooked doggies on a paper towel lined plate. You may need to keep warm in an oven while the rest of them fry, if they make it that far.
Serve with ketchup and/or mustard …we recommend Lusty Monk Mustard’s Original Sin, which is a grainy, almost dijon like mustard with a great kick of heat.
About Lusty Monk:
Our fellow mountain-dwellers are located in Candler, NC, just outside of Asheville. It’s made in small batches and I love the grainy, course texture and spicy kick. Perfect with pretzels, on a hot dog, on sandwiches. You can choose from Original Sin, Temptation (a spicy honey mustard) or Burn in Hell ( a chipotle version of Original Sin and my personal favorite). Lusty Monk can be found in the Triad and High Country and in 22 states nationwide. You’ll find them in the refrigerated section at markets like Earth Fare (Boone), Town & Country Meats (Greensboro), Canteen Market (Winston-Salem), Over Yonder (Valle Crucis). Check their website for locations. You can also order online.
Stay tuned for more ways I’m using Lusty Monk as we dive into the sweet and heat of this amazing mustard.
We’ve been quarantined and kept from our friends, our restaurants and our monthly Chef’s Tables (we barely squeezed one in back in March before the world shut down). We miss you all very much. Honestly, with all that’s going on and all that’s not, I haven’t had a lot of desire to hop on here and blog. There aren’t restaurant reviews to churn out and I haven’t really kept track of my recipe making (except on insta…I do post pics of food). But! Pandemic or no, we’ve had a few opportunities to discover new local yummies and behold! With some new to us and some that have finally found their rightful place in our gift guide, here are just a few of our favorite things from 2020. Keep reading for your chance to win the entire list! We hope you’ll mask up and get on out there and support your local shops. All of the items mentioned make for great snacks and stocking stuffers.
Triadfoodies Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide
Carolina Kettle Potato Chips
Specifically, the Sir Walter Cream Cheese & Chive. A riff on the sour cream and onion, they’re slightly less tangy than the latter but definitely pack a flavorful punch. We actually love all the Carolina Kettle chips, founded by Josh Monahan. You can find these chips at Mast General Store, Wine Merchants Bodega and quite a few local markets. Check the website carolinakettle.comfor locations.
Memaw’s Cheese Tiddies
I hope y’all know what a Memaw is. The name is cute and attention getting and the little cheese crackers are great for snacking. Cheese Tiddies are brought to you by the same folks who make the above Carolina Kettle chips, 1in6 Snacks, so they know their …well…snacks. Give them a read when you get a chance as the company gives back to the local food bank with every purchase.You can find Cheese Tiddies at local markets, Mast General Store and online. 1in6snacks.com.
A La Brava Hot Sauce
This Winston-Salem hot sauce is gaining quite the popularity around the Triad. I love the Diablo on chicken wings mixed with a little butter and honey. Owner Marcos Medina is giving the winner one of all three hot sauces, Diablo, Habanero and La Mayan. You can find A La Brava at Wine Merchants and other independent shops, Lowes Foods, Publix, Harris Teeter, Deep Roots, GMart and several other stores in NC, SC, VA and TN. Visit goalabrava.com for more info.
Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice
If you know, you know. Honestly, Anson Mills heirloom rice is top of the line and a chefs best friend. It is a little bit pickier to cook with than traditional store bought rice, even the highfalutin ones, but it’s so worth the extra step, which basically requires you to spread it out in a baking sheet and put it in the oven to help “dry it out” after cooking. It smells like popcorn when it cooks. It elevates any dish you prepare. No wonder it’s the choice of chefs all over. And our friends at Anson Mills not only included the Carolina Gold Rice, but also some grits! Happy day! Ansonmills.com
Smoke City Meats Pimento Cheese833 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC
As you know, pimento cheese doesn’t pack well outside of refrigeration. I love all of Chef Matt Pleasant’s pimento cheeses but you really ought to try the White Pimento Cheese with white cheddar, parmesan and olives. Truists will also love Chef’s original and spicy pimento cheese. Follow SCM for specials, take homes and recipe ideas. Winner receives a $25 gift card for whatever they want in the store. We hope it includes pimento cheese….and MEAT (obviously). smokecitymeats.com
Remember pre-pandemic when I had that Chef’s Table at Vin 205 and it was incredible?? As in back in February? Doesn’t that seem so long ago? And doesn’t it also make sense that we’ve had three Chef’s Table’s there? Sure does! Well, honestly I can’t decide what my favorite thing about Wine Merchants is. Caleb? Yes. Alan? Yes. Justin? Yes. The wine? Yes, yes. The bodega with all the great shopping, confections, local meat, pasta, snacks? Heck yes! The take and bake items? Oh please, absolutely. So winner gets a $25 gift card and then you can meander and get whatever you want, like a take and bake and wine. You deserve it. vin205.com
Black Mountain Salted Caramel Bar + Drinking Chocolate standing in for the BMC Fruit Cake
So because 2020 is being so 2020ish and all, Black Mountain Chocolate did some moving (literally) and shaking and at the time of this posting, they were only taking pre-orders of seasonal items. We have loved the Queen of Fruitcakes since the inception of our Favorite Things and it’s still available to order. To play it safe, BMC is giving the winner a candy bar, chocolate to drink and a $20 gift card. So, the lucky winner will also get to shop at the brand new Black Mountain Chocolate located in the Innovation Quarter. blackmountainchocolatefactory.com
Now, get shopping! But….how to win?? We’d like to thank all the makers above for giving these items for our gift bag of gloriously delicious favorite things!
Please, foodies, we implore you to support these and all local shops this season and the sooner the better. It has been so hard for so many and your support is keeping them alive. Comment below on what holiday item you are looking forward to trying this year OR drop any new finds in the comment section. We’ll give them a try and maybe they’ll make it to our finds next year. By commenting here or on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll also be entered to win the ENTIRE Favorite Things Gift Guide as a goodie bag. And I’ll have some runners-up too, who will take home one of each A La Brava Hot Sauces as well as Cheese Tiddies and Carolina Kettle Chips.
****IMPORTANT****Winner will be announced Sunday, December 13 and must be able to take possession of the goodie bag in person. NO SHIPPING. Winner should expect to pick up the goodies on Wednesday, Dec. 16 (weather permitting), in Winston-Salem and can be contactless, if preferred. I have arranged that the winning bag can be picked up at Wine Merchants at 205 S. Stratford Road if an in-person hand-off cannot be made.
As always, foodies, thank you for reading and supporting local! Merry Christmas and may your New Year be blessed and healthy.
I’ve once again partnered with BFR Beef to test and recipe develop burgers for your next burger feast. All opinions are my own.
This recipe would’ve come at you well before your July 4th grill out, but I didn’t get my hands on these beautiful BFR Beef burgers until the day before, so bookmark this recipe for 2021. As a matter of fact, these burgers are delicious any time and I hope you try them as soon as possible this summer. You can order BFR Beef online or shop at High Country Food Hub. You can read more about the food hub here. Essentially, it’s an online farmer’s market featuring multiple farmers and producers all across the High Country. It is my go-to for shopping and has been a life-saver during the time of stay-at-home orders.
My last post showcased Browns Farm Ridge’s Beef Osso Bucco and how lovely they cooked up for a nice Sunday dinner. Daniel at BFR asked if I’d like to test out their ground beef for grilling and well there’s only one correct answer. BFR sells ground beef in bulk but for added convenience you might be like me and love the pre-pattied options. You can get them in 4 oz patties for a thinner, diner style burger (or to double up like I did), or a thick, 7oz portion for a bigger burger. Nothing wrong with either. I opted to make 2, 7 oz thick burgers for the kids (yes, the kids) and 2, 4oz burgers each for mr. Foodie and myself (yes, I can eat that much, no shame here). We wanted double red, white, & blue burgers and they did not disappoint. The burgers were juicy and full of flavor, which I would wholeheartedly expect from my recent experiences with BFR Beef. These are pretty straightforward and besides the ketchup, the whole ensemble is done on the grill. You can sub out other ingredients for your red and white here (tomato instead of bacon, blue cheese or swiss cheese instead of onion or blue cheese for another “blue” …really the blueberry ketchup is all kinds of awesome so I’d keep it in there no matter what).
Red, White & Blue Burgers
Beef patties, portioned to your desired thickness
Bacon, 1 slice per burger (okay you can do more if you want, no judgement)
Onion, sliced into rings, as many as desired per burger
Blueberry ketchup (recipe below)
Hamburger buns, one per person
Anytime before, prepare the ketchup and allow to rest.
Prepare the onions by slicing. Place onion rings on a medium size piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil, salt & pepper. Heat grill on high, and cook burgers until desired doneness. Thinner burgers, of course, take less time. Top with cheese if you like and allow to melt. While the beef is cooking, grill your bacon on the opposite side of the grill if possible at medium high temperature, until crispy. Next to the bacon, add the onions on foil and cook until very lightly caramelized. They’ll just hang out there on the foil and do their thing.
Smear a good bit of the blueberry ketchup on the top hamburger bun. Once everything is finished on the grill, place the burger on the bottom bun, place onions on the burger, then bacon on top of the onions. Add the blueberry coated top bun and there you have it….a Red, White & Blue Burger.
Smoky Blueberry Ketchup (adapted from Saveur)
2 lb. fresh blueberries
1- 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. onion powder
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lime, juiced
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Place over high heat and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-40 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally. Taste along the way and adjust seasonings if needed. Once thickened, remove the sauce and blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Fun fact: a blender works better for a smoother puree but for burgers, chunkier is fine. This ketchup is great with sweet potato fries and anything pork.
If you make this burger, be sure to let me know and let us know what you think!
BFR Beef graciously reached out to me offering their osso bucco beef products gratis for a full review. All opinions are my own.
You know that supporting local is very important to me. One of the local farmers I’ve been enjoying supporting is BFR Beef. I first found them on High Country Food Hub. BFR’s farm is owned by the Brown family since 1942 and is located in Boone. You can order their products from the hub or on their website as well as visit them at the King’s Street Farmer’s Market in Boone and Blowing Rock Farmer’s Market.
For me, the most convenient way I purchase their products is through the High Country Food Hub, which is basically an online farmer’s market featuring many local farmers and artisans in the High Country. It’s a great one-stop source for lots of my produce and beef, even baked goods. You can find out more by visiting their site. Or for a review by me, click here. By the way, the market is open through Monday at 11:59pm! Click here to shop from the hub.
I have seriously never been disappointed in any of BFR Beef’s products. My first product was their Beef Italian Sausage — it’s so good in spaghetti sauce! But I also love their soup bones, which make for a wonderful broth, but they have so much meat on them, you literally can make chili with them, then save the bones for later (for that broth).
Recently, BFR Beef reached out to me to see if I’d like to try my hand at beef Osso Bucco. I’ve only made Osso Bucco once EVER so I jumped at a chance to collab with these great folks. I’ve found that you treat Osso Bucco much like you would any other type of beef that needs braising with a slightly longer cook time. The size of the BFR shanks are literally like a “personal roast” for a hungry adult. My kids split one and it was plenty for them. Take a look at how I made these osso bucco for a delectable Father’s Day meal. These osso bucco shanks did not disappoint. The beef variety is not quite as tender and unctuous as veal, but it’s rich and meaty and so homey. You’ll find a bit of fat in and around the shanks but it cooks down quite nicely. And honeys, I know the photography here is not the best. Osso Bucco in the evening is very difficult to photograph on a dark, rainy evening. You get the idea.
And full disclosure regarding the polenta. I literally used a tube of it from Trader Joe’s and added milk until it got heated and creamy, then added a handful of leftover fontina and allowed it to melt through. I then folded in some fresh parmesan. You can use instant polenta from a package too. Just follow the package directions. Mashed potatoes would be an obvious excellent choice or since we’re talking Italian here, why not some pasta with browned butter or your favorite marinara?
Beef Osso Bucco w/ Creamy Polenta
Beef Osso Bucco (one shank per adult, Veal would work fine too) 2 carrots, sliced 1/2 sweet onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tbs. chopped fresh rosemary 1 bunch fresh thyme 1 bunch Italian parsley 2 tbs. tomato paste 1 cup red wine 2-4 cups beef or veal stock salt/pepper to taste
Instant polenta Milk Butter Salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300-degrees. Heat enough oil in a hot deep skillet or dutch oven to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle s/p on both sides of the shanks. Sear both sides until browned. Remove from heat. To the hot pan, add any oil as necessary (you shouldn’t need any) add tomato paste and cook until deeply browned but not burnt. Add onions, carrots and saute until slightly softened. Add wine to deglaze then add garlic. Return the shanks to the pan. Add enough broth to just cover the shanks and toss in your herbs. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Occasionally you may want to lift the lid and check that the liquid isn’t absorbing too quickly. If it is, just add a bit more broth. At the end of cook time, the beef shanks should be very tender. Serve atop polenta and fresh thyme and parsley as a garnish.
For the polenta: Prepare according to package directions, finishing with milk or cream and a great melty cheese plus parm.