Chef Jesse Jones gave a cooking demo at Savory Spice Shop the other night called “Let’s Talk Turkey.” We learned how to use select seasonings to give an exciting new life to traditional recipes for Thanksgiving. See below for the recipes for Black River Creole Creamed Spinach, Candied Sweet Potatoes and Smoky Baked Macaroni and Cheese.
For over 2 hours Chef Jesse entertained us with stories of cooking with his family down south as a child and for his community “in the hood” in Irvington, NJ where he lives now with his wife and children.
He educated us on how to apply French culinary methods such as roux, confit and béchamel to the most traditional American holiday meal at Thanksgiving. He confused us with his southern drawl when saying words like .... (click here to read full story)
Black River Creole Creamed Spinach
Makes 2 cups or 4 servings
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely diced shallots
2 cloves roasted Garlic, chopped
1 red pepper (roasted) peeled, seeded, pureed
½ tsp Black River Creole seasoning
1 cup heavy cream
5 ½ cups baby spinach, blanched
1 tsp butter
Directions: In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and pepper and sauté until soft, but not darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Add cream and reduce the heat until cream thickens. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add the butter and salt to taste.
Candied sweet potatoes
Makes 8 servings
2 pounds sweet potatoes
½ cup ( 1 stick ) unsalted butter
½ cup Pure Maple Sugar
1 cup water
Pinch of kosher salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ pure vanilla bean
1 tsp Pure Maple sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the sweet potatoes half way, about 20 minutes, and set aside to cool. Potatoes will still be a little firm; when cool peel them and cut into quarters.
In a medium pot add water, pure maple sugar, sugar, butter, kosher salt, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla bean, mix well. Cook until syrupy and thick, about 10 minutes. Add sweet potatoes to casserole dish and pour sugar mixture over to cover the potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes until fork tender and golden brown.
Smoky baked macaroni and cheese
Makes 8 to 10 serving
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups elbow macaroni
½ stick butter
½ cup wondra flour
2 cups evaporated milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup Smoky Hills Cheese Powder
Pinch white pepper
2 cups white extra sharp cheddar
2 cups mild cheddar
(mix cheese Blend together)
2 eggs ,beaten
1 tsp paprika
Preheat the oven 350. In heavy duty pot, melt butter, then add flour, to make roux. Add milk and stir until smooth, no lumps. Add salt, cayenne, Smoky Hills Cheese Powder, white pepper, Check seasoning to taste. Add ½ of cheese blend and let melt. Save remaining for topping later. Turn off heat. In a mixing bowl add macaroni, cheese sauce, taste for salt, then add 2 beaten eggs, mix well. Pour in a 2 quart casserole dish, sprinkle with saved cheese and paprika and more Smoky hills Cheese powder. Bake uncovered, until golden brown and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes.