I don’t know about you, but I tend to wonder about
anybody who turns their nose up to Eagle Brand! Yes I’ve licked the spoon to
get every drop of this magical concoction when cooking. I bet if the truth were
know that many of you have too.
One of my favorite uses of this magic ingredient known as
Eagle Brand Milk – butter roll. And I’m not talking about a yeasty dinner roll,
or no sir, I’m talking about one of the most decadent of all desserts. If you
know how to make it right, it will stand up to any fancy European pastry. If
you skimp and get stingy with the ingredients, then you take the spectacular
out of it.
Butter Roll – a Buttery Bread Pudding in Soaking Sauce –
a very hard to find recipe guaranteed to make your eyes roll back in your head
with the first spoonful!
This homey dessert rarely appears in cookbooks, on TV
cooking shows, or on restaurant menus.Its method is typically passed from generation to generation, and of
course the recipe was never written down. It’s very regional and most say it came
out of the kitchens of some wonderful African-American cooks in the Orange
Mound area of Memphis over a hundred years ago.
If you’ve never had it, you might compare it to a bread
pudding, but that would be like comparing a cubic zirconium to the Hope
Diamond. It is a rich, decadent, saucy dessert that could be served in any of
the finest restaurants in Paris, and is guaranteed to make your eyes roll back
in your head with the first spoonful!
I served it to Master Chef Guy LeGay of the Hôtel Ritz
Paris when I entertained him in Jackson and he asked for the recipe.When I entertained the Governor of Tennessee
on election eve, we served dinner to over 500 guests and as you might imagine
we had a lot of “movers and shakers” who had grown accustom to some pretty
Well, all I can say is “You should have seen them rubbing
their fingers in the pan and licking them clean, when the Butter Roll was all
gone.” They just knew some famous French chef had stepped in to prepare
anything this divine. They begged for the recipe and the chef from Memphis told
them how he made it, but of course they didn’t have his know-how nor could they
replicate the love cooked into this dish. Sometimes it was the only dessert
that a Mother could afford to feed her children; hence you can imagine the
degree of comfort and love in each serving.
Cooking with sweetened condensed milk is like cooking
with magic and love, so go ahead and whip up one of these old-timey favorites
for Labor Day. Then take the rest of the day off!
This is the recipe that my long-time friend Stan Gibson
shared with me. He learned to cook it standing by an older lady in her kitchen
in Memphis and then translated her ‘spoonfuls and just enough of this and that’
into a recipe that we can all enjoy.
6 cups Pioneer® Biscuit Mix or equivalent baking mix
(alternatively, you can use 6 cups flour, 3 tablespoons baking powder, and 1/2
teaspoon salt, blended together in a food processor or blenderwith 3/4 cup
chilled, unsalted butter cut into very small pieces)
Combine the biscuit mix (or the blended flour mixture)
with the half-and-half to make a dough. You may not need all the half-and-half.
Roll the dough out in a rectangle 13 inches long by 10 inches wide and sprinkle
with sugar and nutmeg.
Place tablespoons of butter down the middle of the
rectangle and roll up along the longer side, sealing the ends. Place in a
buttered 10 x 13-inch baking pan and bake in a 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes
or until browned.
In a saucepan, combine the condensed milk, cream,
vanilla, and nutmeg, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Whisk in the 4 tablespoons of butter until melted. Pour
this soaking sauce over the baked butter roll and let rest for 1 hour until
most of the liquid is absorbed. To serve, cut the butter roll into slices 2 to
3 inches thick. Place each slice on a plate and spoon the soaking liquid over
3-4 tbsp. Olive Oil 6 cups French or rustic Italian bread, cubed 2 tsp. Kosher salt, divided 2 large tomatoes, cubed 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, ½” thick 1 red bell pepper, quartered, seeded 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered, seeded ½ red onion, cut into ½” thick slices 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped 3 tbsp. capers, drained Toss both bell peppers and red onion with olive oil and
salt. Grill or roast in 425 oven, until browned on edges, 15-20 minutes. Sauté
bread in olive oil and salt until browned, about 10 minutes. Combine above
ingredients and add vinaigrette. Let sit 30 minutes to blend.
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. champagne vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Whisk together all ingredients. Susan Francisco
Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo
1 stick butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. chopped garlic
½ to 1 tbsp. tomato paste (for that nice pink color)
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb. fettuccine or bow tie pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
In saucepan, melt butter and lightly sautéed garlic and
diced sun-dried tomatoes. Add tomato paste, heavy cream and chicken bouillon
and heat till small bubbles form but do not boil. Add parmesan cheese cooking
just until the cheeses melt.Add the
fettuccine stirring to coat well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped Italian parsley. May be served with
grilled chicken breast strips. Serves 8. Brenda Whalley
1 cup coarsely crushed Oreo, plus 2 tbsp. for garnish
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 large chocolate candy bar, for garnish
Fully bake pie crust according to instructions in recipe or on box; cool completely.
Whisk egg whites and sugar in a saucepan over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves and egg whites are warm but not hot, 2-3 minutes; remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until cool, tripled in volume, and stiff peaks form (the tips of the peaks won't fall over when beaters are lifted from bowl and turned upright), about 6 minutes. I put mixing bowl and beaters in freezer to get cold.
Stir chopped chocolate and butter in a large bowl in saucepan over low-medium heat until melted and smooth, 4–5 minutes; set aside.
Beat 2 cups cream in clean cold medium bowl until medium peaks form, 5-6 minutes.
Gently fold white mixture into warm chocolate mixture until fully incorporated (work quickly to prevent chocolate from turning gritty). Gently fold in whipped cream just until no white streaks remain; do not over mix. Spoon ½ cup chocolate mousse into bottom of cooled pie crust; spread evenly over bottom of crust. Sprinkle crushed chocolate wafers over mousse. Top with remaining mousse, mounding in the center to create a dome. (The point is to add height, not to spread out evenly to edges.) Chill pie.
Beat remaining cream and crème fraîche until medium-stiff peaks form. Top chocolate mousse with whipped-cream mixture, following the same rounded dome shape. Chill pie for at least 4 hours or, covered, for up to 3 days. (It will slice best if chilled overnight, allowing mousse to set properly.)
Use a vegetable peeler to make chocolate ribbons and garnish pie, along with crushed cookies. Store in freezer as it will be easier to slice and serve.
To hear a Southerner tell it, bacon is one of the main food
groups. Some go so far as to say bacon makes everything better – it’s simply
the best food on earth. I didn’t want next Thursday to slip by, you know it’s
National Bacon Day.
The sizzle, the smell, no alarm clock will wake you from
a deep slumber like bacon cooking in the kitchen. Sure it’s still a tradition
served with eggs for breakfast, but it seemingly has no bounds these days.
Breakfast now finds strips of bacon cooked inside
pancakes, chopped up in muffins, added to omelets, or stuffed into a biscuit
for instance. Then there’s the argument as to the best way to cook bacon. Pan
fried, baked in the oven, on the griddle, grilled, microwaved or even deep
fried are all options.
There are bacon aficionados who are really choosy about
the thickness, smokiness and brand of what they will eat. So is it applewood,
cherry or hickory smoked, dry, salt or sugar cured, peppered, thin sliced or maple
flavored? There’s even beef and turkey bacon but I’m not sure that really
qualifies when you think about it.
Bacon is so in vogue that some chefs even note brands
used on the menus. Sounds kinda like bacon-snobbery to me, but so be it. Two of
the popular producers are Tripp’s in Brownsville and Benton’s in Madisonville,
just north of Chattanooga. Charlie Tripp and Allan Benton are master meat curers
and country pork ‘gurus’ who know their stuff
If you don’t like smoke, be warned that these two brands
which spend time in the smokehouse are not for you.Isn’t it amazing that bacon from right here
in Tennessee is shipped to five-star chefs in Manhattan, across the country and
around the world?
When Charlie and Judy Tripp of Brownsville entertain,
their menu usually includes a serving of family tradition – slices of the
country ham or bacon that made their family famous. Tripp’s was started as a
“side-business” over 45 years ago by Charlie’s dad, Charles Tripp, Sr. who was
a Methodist circuit minister in Haywood County. From this old agricultural town
where cotton is still king and the natives speak with a drawl as distinctive as
the curing process; the Tripps ship their award winning products around the
“Before I got up from the breakfast table at Judy and
Charlie’s I ordered smoked bacon and country ham to be shipped to our home in
California,” said film producer James Keach. “It may have been our first time
to have smoked bacon, but you can bet it wasn’t our last.”
“Jane (Seymour) cooked it for some friends and they raved
over it,” Keach continued. “Smoked bacon like Tripp’s isn’t something you can
run out and pick up in Malibu.”
Similarly Benton’s has an allegiance of fans who have
become bacon enthusiasts after tasting their version of this old-fashioned
Benton’s uses a slow curing process. The slabs of bacon
are rubbed with salt and brown sugar; set aside to dry cure for a month; smoked
over applewood and hickory; sliced to a 1/4-inch thickness; packaged and
shipped to customers around the world. With every bite, you are tasting nothing
short of mouth-watering essence of smoke, salt, and sweetness. Benton’s bacon
loses about 12 percent of its weight in water as it is cured, thus it doesn’t
shrink when you cook it like many of the supermarket versions which have water
The ever humble and charming Benton quips that any
hillbilly can cure pork; that it’s no big deal. Somehow I just know that’s not
true and this master of smoke, salt, and sugar curing must have magic in that
smokehouse. His cult-like following among chefs and culinary journalists alike
goes to prove that this master meat curer and country pork ‘guru’ knows his
stuff. Allan Benton’s bacon is as good as it gets – it’s smoking hot!
Though honored by the many ways chefs have prepared and
served Benton’s Bacon, Allan says his favorite remains the traditional way, pan
fried. For him, a BLT with a garden fresh tomato is as good as it gets. He also
likes to place a couple of pieces of bacon atop steaks when grilling, rather
than wrapping them. When asked the secret to frying good bacon, he defers to
his wife, Sharon, who he boasts is the resident expert.Her advice -“When frying bacon, you have to
play with it – press it, flip it, poke it, don’t leave it, and by no means over
Judy Tripp knows a thing or two about frying bacon as
well. If you’ve ever had one of her homemade yeast rolls stuffed with bacon,
you know what deliciousness really taste like!
You can find bacon recipes including BLT or grilled
cheese sandwiches, cheese balls, mac and cheese, cocktails, burgers, soups,
chowders, quiches, frittatas, pastas, risottos, polenta, grits, salads,
appetizers, apple pie, coffee cake and pralines.
Water chestnuts, Mozzarella cheese sticks, pineapple,
peppers of all descriptions, hot dogs, Vidalia onions, asparagus, meatloaf,
shrimp, chicken, onion rings, green bean bundles, dates, corn on the cobb,
filets, scallops, little Smokies, apple-cheddar rolls, tater tots and sesame
seed bread sticks are among the hundreds of things you can wrap with bacon.
I’m not so sure about the bacon ice cream, chocolate
bars, donuts, cheesecake, beer, truffles and cotton candy! Who knows, might be
Oven Baked Bacon
Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean-up. Place metal
rack on sheet pan and place bacon on the rack. Bake in a pre-heated 380 degree
oven for about 30 minutes. It depends on the thickness of your bacon and how
crisp you like your bacon. Remove from oven and loosen bacon from rack to keep
from sticking to rack as it cools and breaking when you pick it up. Allow to
cool. The grease will be in the sheet pan and the bacon is crisp on both sides,
no need to turn.
Sharp cheddar or Havarti cheese
Frozen tater tots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let the tater tots thaw
slightly so that you can cut them halfway down with a knife, but they shouldn’t
be soft. Then cut the cheese into small pieces and sandwich inside the tater
tots. Wrap the bacon around the cheese-filled tot so that the bacon overlaps.
Cut the remaining strip off. Instead of pre-cutting the bacon, this will ensure
that the strips will wrap perfectly around the whole tater tot. Slide a
toothpick through the bacon-tot to hold it in place. If you have any leftover
ends that don’t completely fit around a tater tot, cook them! You don’t want to
waste any bacon. Use a baking pan lined with foil; lightly grease the pan so
the cheese doesn’t stick to the foil. Place the bacon-wrapped tots on the pan,
leaving room between each one. Bake for 25 minutes. Broil on low for 3-5
minutes or until bacon is crispy. Allow to cool before serving. Some prefer to
serve with a dipping sauce such as horseradish cream or spicy ketchup.
4 large Vidalia onions
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. Montreal seasoning
8 thick slices bacon
6-8 oz. cheese, grated (Gruyere, Cheddar, Havarti, Gouda
½ cup bread crumbs
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry vermouth
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp. Montreal seasoning
Prep smoker to 250 degrees (or cook in the oven).
Peel onions and trim off a small amount of the bottom of
onions so they stand upright. Cut into halves. With spoon, scoop out a few of
the inner the layers of the onion leaving the majority of the outer layers.
Save onion you scoop out.
Brush onions with olive oil and liberally sprinkle
seasoning over each onion. Wrap bacon slices around each onion; secure with
Combine sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl. Finely chop
the onion pieces you scooped out and add to bread crumbs; mix and divide among
onions – putting in center cavity. Put 2 tablespoons of sauce on top of bread
crump mixture. Smoke for 2 hours. Baste every 30 minutes. The last 5-10
minutes, place cheese on onions allowing melting.
NOTE: Cooking time depends on size of onion used but you
want to make sure the onions are fully cooked.
Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, corn, cheddar and onions in
greased quiche pan. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Top with bacon and Captain Rodney’s. Serve with corn chips or crackers. Marilyn
Jackson of Jackson
If you like store bought sweet pickles honey child,
you’re gonna swear by these!
Old-fashioned Sweet (14—Day) Pickle
Day 1 – Wash cucumbers and pack in a gallon jar. Fill jar
with water and then pour in pan with 1 cup pickling salt. Bring to a boil and
pour over the cucumbers in the jar. Let stand for 7 days, covered with plastic
wrap or a lid in a cool place, not in hot garage. NOTE: Discard the white foam
that has formed after a week. If pickles are out of the water, they will be
soft, so cut that part off the cucumber.
Day 8 – Rinse cucumbers, put back in the jar and fill jar
with boiling water; let set for 24 hours.
Day 9 – Rinse cucumbers and cut into slices. Return to
jar; fill jar with water and 1 tbsp. alum. Pour liquid in pan and boil mixture;
pour over cucumbers; let set for 24 hours.
Days 10 – 13 – Rinse cucumbers. Put 1 tbsp. pickling
spice tied in a cheesecloth bag (or add spices to cucumbers with the cinnamon) and place in the jar; add 1 stick of
cinnamon.Mix 8 cups sugar and 4 cups
white vinegar and bring to a boil.Pour
over cucumbers, saving remaining syrup.Heat syrup 4 times (once a day.)
Day 14 – Pack canning jars with pickles on the fifth day,
heat and add syrup. Discard spice bag and cinnamon stick.Place lids on jars. They will seal as they
cool down. You will need the extra syrup you saved when you put in individual
jars. Two gallons of cucumbers will make about 7 quarts. Randy Hayes of Madison
Betty Pope’s Sweet Lime Pickles
2 gallons cucumbers, sliced 2 gallons cold water 2 cups lime (Not fruit, available at supermarket) Soak cucumbers 24 hours in water and lime. Stir, drain
and rinse. Soak in cold water 3 hours and drain. 2 quarts red vinegar 10 cups sugar 2 tablespoons salt 1 jar McCormick® pickling spices Mix and pour over cucumbers and allow to stand overnight.
Bring to a boil and cook until cucumbers become almost translucent. Heat jars
and lids and pack cucumbers in jars. Fill with juice up to the neck of jar and
seal. Of course you should put some cute labels on them. Betty Pope of Mercer,
Churn No Seal Pickles
Jessie Lee Vise Wyatt of Bath Springs, Tennessee was my
mother-in-law and this was her recipe and one that our entire family has
enjoyed for almost 100 years.
3 gallons sliced cucumbers 2 cups canning salt 1 gallon hot water 1 box alum 10 pounds sugar 1 box McCormick picking spices 1 gallon vinegar (5%) Put salt it hot water and dissolve in a churn or a
non-metallic container; add the sliced cucumbers. Soak 8 days; pour off salt
water and rinse. Put alum in enough warm water to cover cucumbers; let set over
night. Pour off, and then pour vinegar over cucumbers and let set over night.
Pour off, and then put layer of pickles and layer of sugar until all are
covered. Tie spices in a cloth and place them in the middle of the churn. Cover
and use as needed. You may use plastic containers with sealing lids. Anna Laura
Wyatt of Bath Springs TN
Fire and Ice Pickles
I took the easy way out and made these pickles. We like
them. I’ve heard them called Fire and Ice, Good and Evil, or Sweet and Hot.
This recipe I got from Alyce Mantia whose customers at her Memphis restaurant
raved about her secret pickle recipe. They are really good with homemade
Drain a gallon jar of whole dill pickles in a colander,
discarding the liquid. Cut them as you prefer – chunks, slices or spears. You
also need two pounds of white sugar, 1/4 cup of garlic, peeled and very finely
minced and a small bottle of Tabasco sauce. You can add pickling spice if you
Now, in the original jar, layer some of the pickles, some
of the sugar, some of the garlic and a few sprinkles of Tabasco. Repeat until
everything is used up (we only use the equivalent of about half the small
bottle of Tabasco for this quantity).
Put the top on tightly and keep in a cool dark spot (no
need to refrigerate) for at least two weeks, turning upside down every couple
of days. They keep just fine at room temperature, but chill before eating for
the best texture. Carla Yarbro Murphy of Jackson
Y’all listen up . . . cucumbers are ready and that means
it’s pickling time. If you’ve ever had homemade sweet pickles, you know there’s
nothing like them for sale at any grocery store on earth.
If there’s one thing as traditionally Southern in the
Tennessee summer as sweet tea and BLT sandwiches, for me it’s making sweet
pickles. Newspapers on the countertops, big canners on the stove and the smell
of vinegar in the kitchen.
This summer’s crop of many vegetables has been short due
to the larger than normal rainfall and a colder spring. However, Troy Huffman
of Weir Family Produce called to tell me the cucumbers were in and the size we
needed for pickling was ready and waiting to be picked up.
Off we went and now the first 25 pounds are cut into
spears and will soon be soaking. Not just any cucumber makes a good pickle as
far as I’m concerned. The old fashioned pickling cucumbers about 5-6 inches
long are perfect. There’s no waste with a lot of seeds and those burpless and
new-fangled hybrid varieties just don’t taste right!
I’ve also found out that the brand of pickling spices
greatly alters the taste of your pickles and for me, McCormick is the only
brand to use. It only took one wasted batch to know the difference.
If you’ve never tasted homemade sweet pickles, you have
no way of knowing that they are the bomb. I can remember as a young child going
to my great aunt Jessie Lee Wyatt’s home in Bath Springs, TN and she would
always pull out a jar of her homemade churn pickles from the icebox. They
tasted nothing like the pickles we were used to eating!
They were sweet, crisp chunks and much larger than the
little Gherkins from the grocery. My brother loved them, as did my cousins, and
everybody else who sat down to eat at her table. That included a slew of
Methodist circuit preachers traversing Decatur County.
You know that potato chip commercial that says you can’t
eat just one? Well these sweet pickles were like that.
Some of our customers at Murphy Tractor actually made a
couple of kinds of sweet pickles, one being the so-called 14 day pickle.
They’re good, but took more time. My mother worked with my daddy at the shop
and with three active children, she didn’t have two weeks to worry with
pickles. Then one day, Betty Rose came in with her husband, David, who needed a
part for his tractor. The conversation turned to gardening as she sat in the
office talking to mother.
When she found out mother hadn’t made pickles, Betty just
smiled and said, “I’ll fix that. I’ll be back this afternoon.”
Sure enough, just before closing time, she shows up with
a big brown paper sack full of cucumbers and a recipe written on a piece of
paper. It was simple, it didn’t take 14 days or a churn and she promised they
were good. She was right.
These pickles are so good chilled and served with picnic
fried chicken or bologna and crackers. They’re a defining ingredient in chicken
or tuna salad and the juice is an elixir you can use to spike pimento cheese or
That was about over 30 years ago. My mother has made
pickles every summer since and everyone begs for a jar of pickles once they
Then we were given a jar of homemade sweet pickles from
Randy Hayes, and they are also the bomb! As luck would have it, are you ready
for this – it’s that 14 day pickle. Funny how things come back around.
After we make this first batch, we are making Randy’s 14
day pickles.His wife, Gina, shared her
recipe for hot dill pickles which she says you can heat up as much as you like.
Between the two of them, they have shelves of pickled cucumbers and other
My cousin, Barbara Jarvis, just reminded me of the sweet
red ring cucumber pickles that the ladies at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church
always sold at their bazaar. They look like those old-fashioned canned apple
rings and were all the rage years ago. Her mother, Lois Murphy, also made bread
and butter pickles. Her brother, Scott, to this day can eat a half a jar of
sour pickles at a time.
“I’ll get a fork full of sweet pickles if they’re on the
table, but Scott’s the one who loves pickles. The sweet ones are about the only
ones I’ll eat,” laughed Calvin, another of Barbara’s brothers. “Carla and the
girls are making a hot sweet pickle this year that’s good.”
There’s really easy versions of refrigerator pickles if
you’re working and just don’t have much spare time. Go ahead and give one of
these recipes a try, it’s so worth it. I promise!