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Tupelo Honey Cafe by Elizabeth Sims, Chef Brian Sonoskus
We’ve tried one (well kinda three) recipes out of this book. For dinner one night we had the Nutty Fried Chicken with Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Milk Gravy.
The Nutty Fried Chicken tasty and quite easy to make. The recipe calls for mixed nuts for the coating of the chicken, I ended up using a mixture of cashews and peanuts, I wanted some pistachios as well but the only ones they had in the store were in shells and I didn’t really fancy de-shelling them (all the pre-mix nuts had almonds or raisins in them and I wasn’t sure how the almonds would work). My parents and I could all really taste the peanuts in the the coating, it was actually a bit overpowering so next time I will probably use less peanuts and more other nuts, possibly go with some almonds as well. I did have some problems with cooking some of the chicken bits, next time I will make sure they are cut a bit smaller. I ended up sticking them in the oven at 400F for about 15 minutes to make sure they were cooked all the way through. The chicken was really moist and tender though.
The Smashed Sweet Potatoes were also easy to make but here I also had to do some substituting, maple syrup around here is frightfully expensive so I used the Swedish “sirap” which is syrup. I also had some equipment issues as my hand mixer went belly up recently and I haven’t had a chance to replace it yet. You really need the mixer to make the potatoes all fluffy. The recipe calls for baking the potatoes for 1 1/2 but mine only took about 45 minutes so keep an eye on them (I might have cut the potatoes a bit smaller than called for ).
With the milk gravy I added a bit more cayenne pepper than the recipe called for (I didn’t measure exactly) since my dad and I like our food on the spicy side (dad on the VERY spicy side) and I felt that without this it would be a bit bland. It did complement the chicken really well though.
The recipe serves six, I halved it for three and still had leftovers of everything but the sweet potatoes. The chicken kept really well but the gravy wasn’t as good the next day.
What I really appreciated about the book other than the incredibly yummy recipes was the fact that at the back of the book they had a conversion table between imperial and metric. It makes it so much easier for me!
Overall this is a beautiful cookbook that I highly recommend!
It is out in spring 2011 but you can pre-order it from: