When In Nashville…

You that saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Well when in Nashville, do as the Nash-Villains do.” That is exactly what my husband and I did while spending a long weekend there over New Year’s eve. We only ate from the 3 primary food groups offered in Tennessee:

  1. Pork BBQ
  2. Hot fried chicken
  3. Biscuits (with sausage gravy or with country ham)

Let me break down the food groups for you:

  1. BBQ: Always pork – no beef – this is hog country. Ribs, pulled pork, and often a strange dish of “BBQ Nachos” offered at most places.  the Nachos consists of tortilla chips piled high with pulled pork, BBQ sauce, jalapeños & cheese. One side note: incase you needed to lighten things up a bit – BBQ chicken was offered at most place as well. Each place had it’s small unique touches too like “Kool-Aid pickles” or “pimento Mac-n-Cheese.” Our favorite of all the places was a joint called “peg leg Poker” and it didn’t disappoint! click here!
  2. Hot Fried Chicken: A unique Nashville style fried chicken preparation. Think fried chicken doused in a thin, spicy sauce coating. Served on white bread with a pickle or in sandwich. Totally different than “buffalo style”  – it is hard to explain. Be warned, it is not for the faint of heart. Even the “mild” (supposedly not hot) is totally spicy. Don’t go above “medium” unless you know what you are getting into! We waited 45mins in line at “Hattie B’s” for ours and it was worth every minute of the wait! click here!
  3. Biscuits: A staple at every meal. If I told you how many biscuits I ate each day I would have to kill you. Let’s just say it was an embarrassing amount! At breakfast you eat them with country sausage gravy  (white cream gravy with lots of black pepper and bits of sausage) or at supper time with slices of country ham. Country ham is hard to explain – it’s salty, (cured but not usually/always smoked) kinda dry, thickly sliced ham. Served on biscuits. meat on bread. nothing more. Some do enjoy some mustard or if you are feeling sweet some honey or sorghum or jam. Just plan on eat ing at least 2 or maybe 12. We saw them everywhere but here is the most famous and we thought very delicious. click here! (bonus points – they ship!)

 

P.S. If you go – be sure to get some boots!

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Cobbled Fruit

While I wait around for this year’s annual peach, I thought I would make something with the nectarines that were on sale at the store recently.

Pie always has a lot pressure to be perfect and a “crisp” is only about apples for me. So cobbler just seemed like the perfect thing to make with 2lbs of nectarines.

As usual I decided to just make the recipe up as I went along. After all, just reading the cookbooks is kinda like cooking from them right? I figured I have read enough cobbler recipes to handle it without actually following one.

I started by spraying the baking dish with non-stick spray and then layering in about 3/4 cup of light brown sugar that I mixed with a couple teaspoons of ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt first.dish prep

With sliced butter pats at the ready (don’t panic -it was a big pan of cobbler – 16 pieces of butter for 16 halves of fruit) I started to lay the nectarine halves face down with the butter nestled in the hollow of the fruit. I was thinking “upside down fruit dessert” at this point.

But my fruit was slightly under ripe so I ended up slicing them into wedges. I layered the fruit wedges on top of the sugar bottom, distributed the pats of butter and sprinkled a dusting of cornstarch across the top. Next came the cobbler topping. In this case a standard biscuit mix. I sweetened the mix up by adding a bit of sugar and flavored it with a dash of vanilla. Think “strawberry short-cake biscuits.” If you really wanted to get crazy you could cut in some more brown sugar with biscuit dough topping for more of a sweeter, strudel effect. I didn’t do that because I wanted the fruit to shine.

This turned out to be a delicious, not-too-sweet, dessert…if such a thing exists! However a little ice cream wouldn’t hurt next time!