Monday, May 25, 2015

24 May 2015

It has been a beautiful Memorial Day weekend in Canton, and Saturday was the opening day of the Canton Farmers Market! This year's organizers, Micki Farley and Sherri Cloud, did an amazing job getting local farmers to participate. I had a wonderful time and walked away with peaches, strawberries, icicle and French breakfast radishes, parsley, farm eggs, sausage and smoked pork chops from Joyful Noise Acres Farm. I used everything but the sausage for tonight's Sunday Supper! I love the Canton Farmers Market, and this year is going to be off the charts. I encourage everyone to come to Cannon Park on Saturdays from 8 AM until noon to check it out. Cup Up is serving some delicious coffee, and Angelfire 7 BBQ has created a special breakfast sandwich just for the market.

Last weekend was also great due to the 12th Annual Canton Festival of the Arts. Jeff did a great job chairing the event, and all of the volunteers worked very hard to make it successful. There were some great artists, food vendors, music and children's activities, and everyone had a great time. On the Friday night before the Festival, I hosted an opening reception and gallery exhibit at the Cherokee Arts Center. A lot of our local dignitaries attended the reception, and one of the featured artists was my dear friend Steven Martin from Blue Ridge. There will be another reception for the exhibit on First Friday, June 4, so please stop by the Arts Center and see his wonderful work!

As I stated, tonight's Sunday Supper was primarily derived from my Farmers Market purchases, and everything was delicious, fresh and local. For an appetizer, I baked some goat cheese with olive oil, thyme, pink peppercorns and red pepper flakes. It is a quick and easy appetizer, and you can serve it with sliced French bread or crackers. For the salad course, I used the beautiful organic icicle and French breakfast radishes with mixed herbs and a lemon Parmesan dressing. It was packed with flavor, and the radishes were amazing! For the main course, I brined the beautiful smoked pork chops from Joyful Noise in sweet tea and then grilled them with BBQ sauce. I served them over smoked gouda cheese grits and some grilled asparagus.

For dessert, I used the perfectly ripened Mercier strawberries to make one of my favorite desserts from Vivian Howard's PBS cooking show, "A Chef's Life." The trifle consists of coconut cornbread strawberry shortcake with basil whipped cream. The combination of flavors is off the charts, especially if you are patient enough to let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. I haven't quite mastered that part, but it did make it for six hours this time around.

So, Summer is off to a great and tasty start! I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend and took some time to be thankful for the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Never forget.

The Menu:

- Baked Goat Cheese with Olive Oil, Pink Peppercorns,
Chili Flakes and Thyme

- Herb Salad with Icicle and French Breakfast Radishes

- Grilled Maple Chipolte Smoked Pork Chops Over Gouda Cheese Grits

- Grilled Jumbo Asparagus

- Coconut Cornbread Strawberry Shortcake with Basil Whipped Cream

The Recipe – Grilled Maple Chipolte Pork Chops Over Smoked Gouda Cheese Grits


1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon adobo sauce, from can
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6 pork loin chops with bone (1 1/4-inch-thick)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Smoked Gouda Grits:
6 cups low sodium chicken broth or 6 cups water
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 2/3 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter


Whisk together first 5 ingredients, and slowly reduce over low heat.
Sprinkle pork chops evenly with salt and pepper.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155°, turning once.
Baste with half of barbecue sauce mixture the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Spoon Smoked Gouda Grits evenly onto 6 serving plates; top each with a pork chop, and drizzle evenly with remaining barbecue sauce mixture.

Smoked Gouda Grits:
Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened.
Add cheese and butter, stirring until melted.
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