Derby Delicious

Derby Delicious Day!

Today is the running of the 2022 Kentucky Derby.  YAY!!  My husband John and I are taking some foods and going to a local brewery with friends to enjoy it.  Food is a very important part of the derby, per the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs.

Early in 2021, my husband and I got stir crazy to escape our home as the pandemic continued.  We didn’t feel safe flying at that point, and, we were traveling with our parrot, Bobbie.  So….road trip.

We decided to do a loop to the east coast of the US and down to Savannah, then west to Atlanta and up through Kentucky and back to Michigan.  One of my favorite stops was Churchill Downs.  It was a bit surreal as was being used as a mass vaccination center with no races, but we did get to visit the museum there.  It was fascinating!

I have always loved watching the triple crown races, especially the Kentucky Derby.

But I digress.  In our Southern loop we enjoyed some foods not too common in our home state of Michigan.  One in particular stood out, Pimento Cheese.

My take on it

When we got home, I researched the cheese.  Apparently, there’s a different version for every restaurant and family unit in the South!  I made several versions and then set out to create a flavor I liked most.  So, at the bottom of this blog post is my favorite.  Enjoy!  Take it and make your own version.

Menu for May 9 – 14

Upcoming Classes

Click to see a calendar of upcoming classes.  In addition to the on-site classes that are on the calendar, I am working on developing a few online versions that can be accesses from anywhere.  Stay tuned for that!

Book Now

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

A yummy Southern cheese that is great on sammies, as a veggy dip, on crackers, and more. Easy to make and always a hit!
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: Cheese, Pimento
Servings: 12
Calories: 210kcal
Author: vkhanson

Equipment

  • 1 Stand Mixer

Ingredients

  • 4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded small
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise ideally Duke's is the brand used
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 2 T onion finely minced
  • 4 oz jarred pimento drained and chopped
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno optional, deseeded & finely minced
  • 8 green olives optional, finely chopped
  • 1/4 t cayenne powder optional

Instructions

  • Place everything in stand mixer and beat at medium until blended.
    Makes about two cups.

Notes

I like to make this in two styles.  To do that, I make a full batch with just the first eight ingredients.  Then, remove half.  This is your mild version.  I then add half of the remining ingredients to the remaining cheese in the mixer bowl, blend and you have a version that bites a bit and with the saltier, umami flavor that olives bring, which I prefer.
Remember to use only half:
4 olives, 1/4 jalapeno, 1/8 t cayenne
If you decide to add extra olives than noted, keep in mind that they will bring extra saltiness to the cheese.

I would love it if you let me know if you change it and how.  The variations are truly endless.  Please share your adaptations in the comments.


Goulash. Comfort Food at its Best.

I Loves Me Some Goulash

It’s still the depths of winter here in Michigan.  This is my least favorite time of the year.  Winter has drug on and on and we just want a bit of spring.  March is depressing as it is a bleak,

Traditional Hungarian Style Goulash

muddy, dirty snow, cold month, prolonging winter (at least that is my opinion).  My recipe is below.

Comfort food is my response to my serious case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Goulash is a favorite remedy.  In wintry weather, a hearty meal always hits the spot.   I was wondering about goulash recently. 

I know the version I make is different from a traditional Hungarian dish.  So here is a little in-depth look at one of my favorite foods. 

Goulash, a traditional Hungarian stew, has risen in popularity in the United States in recent years. Originally made with beef, tomatoes, onion, green peppers, and paprika, it was a filling meal for farmers to make quickly on the go. 

In America

Goulash Served with Rice

Goulash in America is quite different from the traditional Hungarian stew. The original is quite basic, and sometimes served with a starch such as carrots or potatoes. American goulash is essentially a meat sauce, almost always served over elbow macaroni. Other variations include using ground beef, or serving it over rice or egg noodles.

Twists on a Classic

If you’re interested in goulash and want to make it your own, try one of these substitutions!

  • try pork or veal instead of beef
  • add root vegetables like sweet potato and parsnips for more flavor
  • go veggie by swapping cannellini or kidney beans for beef
  • save time and effort by making a baked goulash

As such a malleable dish, goulash can be adapted to a variety of diets. It can easily be made gluten-free, vegetarian (even vegan!), dairy-free, and more. 

Still Not Sure?

If cooking seems too intimidating or complex, not to worry. Art of Cookery has plenty of cooking classes to cover the basics and the complexities of the art of cooking!  Not local to Whitehall and surrounding areas?  You can also book a private online lesson anywhere in the U.S.A. I (Chef Valerie)  will help you grow and develop a deep sense of connection, both with cooking and the very food you make. 

My Goulash!

Life is hectic. If preparing a home-cooked meal is enticing, but you don’t have the time in your busy schedule, and you are local to Whitehall, check out our selection of retail food. Art of Cookery has a rotating weekly menu of both prepared foods and meal kits. We even have goulash! Whether you have a few minutes to cook a meal kit or just need to grab a quick bite, we’ve got you covered.  Watch for a weekly new menu on our website, (click here) and also pinned to the top Facebook post for each weekly menu and order right away.  The food is made per order and not in advance ideally.  Although when we do make a batch to fill an order, we make extra and place it in fridge at the front entry for last minute grab and go pick ups.

Upcoming Classes

We are closed for a bit of a break until March 10.  But, so you can plan, here are the next upcoming classes:

Click here to access our website and click the red Calendar Button to see all classes on the calendar.

Magical Goulash

My version of this versatile comfort food. ONE PAN WONDER! Be sure to check out the notes at the bottom for ways to adapt it to your preferences. It is almost magical in how it always turns out. It can be as listed, vegan, vegetarian, keto....nearly anything.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Comfort Food, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Hungarian
Keyword: Goulash, Macaroni
Servings: 4 people
Author: vkhanson

Equipment

  • 1 Dutch Oven w/lid
  • 1 Stirrer Spatula, Wooden spoon, Pancake turner
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Knife

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp oil EVOO is nice but any fat will do.
  • 1/2 cup diced Onion
  • 1/2 cup diced Bell pepper Using green pepper adds visual color but any works.
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced Add a 3rd if you love garlic!
  • 1/2 lb ground beef See notes for alternatives.
  • 1 14-15 oz can diced Tomatoes
  • 8 oz water rinse can with it before adding. Can also use white wine or broth or a blend.
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika Smoked, sweet, or regular.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste Start with 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper and adjust at the end.
  • 3 oz Macaroni, dry or other small pasta (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Basil Cilantro or Parsley work well too.
  • 1/2 c shredded Cheddar Or other favorite cheese. Skip if making Vegan.

Instructions

  • In Dutch oven over medium high heat, add oil. Once heated, add onion, bell pepper, and pinch of salt. Sauté for 1 minute to flavor the oil.
  • Add ground beef and garlic. Cook until meat is browned.
  • Stir in tomatoes, rinse can with water and add water.
  • Add chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a low boil.
  • Add macaroni. Stir and bring back to low boil. Cover but stir frequently.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes. Add additional water if the pasta needs more to cook through (different sized pasta require varying amounts of liquid.)
  • Add basil and cook one minute more. Check for salt and pepper to your liking. Top with cheese.

Notes

How to adjust.  (This is really a great tutorial on pantry cooking and substitutions)
Starch (Pasta) substitutions:
  • ¾ c. (3 oz) any small pasta like macaroni, uncooked
  • 3 oz dry spaghetti, broken into small lengths
  • ½ cup dry rice, cook an extra 5 minutes for white and 10 for brown
  • 1 large or 2 smaller potatoes, washed and small diced
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen gnocchi, or small pierogi
  • Small batch of spaetzle
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (or 1 14oz can)
Protein substitutions:
  • ½ lb any ground or diced meat. 
  • 4 to 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz firm tofu (just add the salt, pepper, and half the chili powder with the tofu)
  • 1/3 cup dry quinoa (can be used as a starch also)
  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 1 14oz can of beans
  • ½ lb. any type of sausage (reduce the salt & pepper) (a strong chorizo would need you to reduce the chili powder also…taste and season at the end)
  • ¾ to 1 cup cooked lentil (or at least soaked in salt water for an hour)
Aromatics substitution examples (The onion, green pepper, and garlic in the above recipe are aromatics):
  • 1/2 c. of one, or a blend of, shallot, green onion, leek, red onion; OR use ½ TBSP onion powder; OR 2 oz pickled pearl onion
  • ½ c. of one, or a blend of, any color bell, poblano, jalapeno (will be hot), fine diced carrot, celery, fennel bulb; OR ¼ oz dried mild chilies; OR up to ½ tsp dry chili flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced: use of one, or a blend of, 1 ½ tsp pickled minced garlic, 1 ½ tsp garlic powder,1 ½ tsp minced dried garlic, 1 ½ tsp favorite seasoning
Tomato substitutions:
  • Use: 1 14 or15 oz. can of whole, diced or stewed tomatoes and increase water to achieve 23 oz, food process fresh tomatoes to achieve 2 cups
  • 8 oz tomato sauce and increase water/wine/broth to 15 oz
  • 4 oz tomato paste and increase water so the total of water and paste equal 22 oz
  • 15 oz (or close to that) jarred pasta sauce plus water to equal 23 oz
  • 23 oz tomato juice
  • 1 can tomato soup plus water/broth to total 23 oz
  • If no tomato options available use 23 oz of a blend of wine, stock/broth, canned soup of choice, and/or bouillon and water (you may wish to include some cumin and/or paprika to kick in some flavor)
Seasoning substitutions:
  • Instead of 1 tsp chili powder & 1/2 tsp paprika, consider one or a blend of up to 2 tsp: cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, chili powder, or steak seasoning/rub blend
  • ½ TBSP Italian seasoning, or skip all seasonings (including salt & pepper) and stir in half an envelope onion soup mix, or something similar, then taste at the end and adjust s & p.
 Herb substitutions:
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cilantro, parsley; chopped
  • 1tsp of dried herb or herb combination like Italian seasoning
 Cheese substitutions:
  • Cheddar is very nice in this.
  • Switch the cheddar out for any cheese you have/enjoy.
  • In addition to the cheese, consider toping with other garnishes, like green onion tops, snipped fresh herbs, sesame seeds, everything seasoning, even bacon bits.

Recharge, Seasonings, and Ratatouille Recipe

Taking a Break

Recharge, Seasonings, and Ratatouille.  Here is the recharge part:  Art of Cookery is taking a break.  John and I are going to close our respective businesses (his is Gotta Go Tours) for a few weeks to recharge, deep clean, and organize.

We will be closed from February 12 to March 8.

You can expect a fresh menu the following week.  I will list below the classes in March.

At the bottom, you’ll discover a recipe that is great year round for different reasons, Ratatouille.

Next up, Seasonings.  Here is a little tutorial for you regarding spices and herbs:

Spice Up Your Cooking

Proper seasoning is the difference between an average meal and a restaurant-quality feast. As a home chef, learning what spices to add will elevate your cooking and impress family and friends alike! 

The Fundamentals

If you want to up your culinary game, start with the basics. Some good go-to spices include:

  • black pepper
  • cumin
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • turmeric
  • bay leaves
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cinnamon
  • smoked paprika
  • oregano
  • ground mustard

With these basics, you can make thousands of combinations, adding the finishing touch to your delicious meal. If your food starts tasting flat, take a look at your herbs! Ground spices, such as paprika, lose their freshness after about 6 months. Take a quick whiff; if they’ve lost their scent, it’s time to go. Whole spices, like cloves, last up to 5 years. 

Tips and Tricks

  • When sauteing vegetables, add a bit of salt. Adding salt at the beginning of the cooking process allows time for it to penetrate the veggies, seasoning them throughout. 
  • Spice up your dishes with white pepper! Black pepper is made from dried, unripened berries, and white pepper is made from ripe fruit. This means black pepper has a hotter, more pungent taste, while white pepper is earthy and complex.
  • For a kick of spice and pine, pick up some juniper berries. They can be crushed and added to marinades and sauces, or in a rub for meat. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Seasonings are the spice of life. To get to the top of your cooking game, sign up for a cooking class with Art of Cookery! There, you learn how to use spices to amp up your meals. If you’re looking to cook at home, pick up one of our meal kits. With detailed instructions and fully prepped ingredients, our kits will give you the home-cooked meal in just minutes feel without the hassle.  

No time to cook at all?  Order from our menu of prepared retail meals. 

Just remember, there will be no classes, meal kits, or menu items until mid-March as per the first statement in this blog.  We are recharging and coming back to the Art of Cookery kitchen renewed and excited!

Classes

Sweet Pickled Beets (how to make them and how to safely can them) 3/10/22 @ 12 noon $38

Traditional Bread Baking 3/12/22 @1:00 PM $29

The Art of Pasta 3/20/22 @1:00 PM $19

Old Fashioned Doughnuts 3/22/22 @5:15 PM

Ratatouille

There's a lot of different ways to make and serve this quintessential dish. Here's my take on it.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: eggplant, pasta, zucchini
Servings: 4
Author: vkhanson

Equipment

  • 1 Skillet large
  • 1 Turner or wooden spoon to stir the sauté
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 Saucepan to cook pasta
  • 1 Colander to drain pasta

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 1 cup Dry Pasta of choice (macaroni, noodles, medium penne)
  • 6 cup Hot water to cook pasta
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt to cook pasta

Ratatouille

  • 3 tbsp Fat (olive oil, butter, bacon drippings)
  • 1 small Eggplant small diced
  • 2 pinches Salt divided
  • 1 small Zucchini small diced
  • 1 Onion halved and sliced
  • 1 Bell pepper large dice
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup Dry white wine (using a sweet wine will work, but will result in a slightly sweeter dish, use what you drink) or, substitute broth and add 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup Chopped tomato
  • 1/4 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Ground fennel seed (You can grind it in a coffee mill, mortar and pestle, or just use 1/3 tsp fennel seed)
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Fresh oregano (or 1/3 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp Fresh thyme (or 1/3 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 c Fresh basil chiffonade
  • 12 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 sprig thyme you want the leaves for garnish

Instructions

  • In saucepan place water and salt to cook pasta according to package directions.
  • In skillet, heat fat over medium-high heat. Sauté eggplant and 1 pinch of salt for 1 minute.
  • Add Zucchini and another pinch of salt. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring often.
  • Add onion and bell pepper. Sauté 2 minutes more.
  • Stir in garlic. Wait 30 seconds and add wine, stirring to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add tomato, coriander, and fennel. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  • Once simmering, stir in salt, pepper, mustard, sugar, oregano, and thyme. Simmer 1 minute.
  • Stir in fresh basil.
  • The pasta should be done now, or soon. When it is cooked to your liking, reserve 1/2 c pasta water and drain the rest in the colander.
  • If the ratatouille is quite thick, thin with some or all of the reserved pasta water. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as desired.
  • SERVE! Place pasta on plates (or one serving bowl) top with ratatouille. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and fresh thyme leaves. Add halved cherry tomatoes and lemon wedges.

Notes

This is a great summer garden dish. Use what you have. No zucchini (is that even possible?), substitute yellow squash. No bell peppers? Substitute any kind you have, like poblano, mild Hungarian, banana pepper. The eggplant kind of makes the dish but if you don't have any use a couple portabella mushrooms or okra (yes okra).
It also makes a great cold weather comfort food. You just have to go to the store for your produce and not the garden.

Burn’s Night, Wandering, and Classes

Burn's Night

January 25, 2022 is this year’s Burn’s Night.

Burns Night is a commemoration of the life and legacy of famous poet Robert Burns. First celebrated by Burns’ own friends and family as a memorial to the writer, it has since become an annual celebration in Scotland – and is now popular with nations across the world. 

One of the traditional ways to celebrate Burn’s Night is with a Burn’s Supper. These dinners can be formal or informal and may include only friends or friends and family. During this supper, ‘Selkirk Grace’ is recited as well as the ‘Address to a Haggis’. Whiskey and food are also main components of this supper.

My husband and I love to do murder mysteries with friends.  We recently did one that was themed in Scotland.  So I developed a Burn’s Supper menu.  I am sharing some recipes from it at the bottom of this post in case you want to hold a Burn’s Night Supper with friends.

The Menu:
  • Cock-a-leekie Soup
  • Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties
  • Cranachan

Upcoming Classes

This week I taught all of the ways to use a Dutch oven.  If you are only going to have one pan, that is what you should have.  We made bread, fried chicken, slow roasted pork, and baked a big cookie.

Then yesterday, a hearty soup class.

Next week’s Ravioli making, and Pierogi Paradise classes are full.  Please make sure to watch our calendar to see all of the upcoming classes so you don’t miss out on one you are interested in because it was already booked out.  Click here to go to the calendar.

Just tonight I added another of both of those classes for the following week or so because I received a lot of feedback that people missed registering in time.

The next available classes are:
  • Quiche – 1/31 at 5 pm $25
  • Ravioli – 2/1 at 12 noon $25
  • Lasagna – 2/3 at 5:15 pm $38
  • Pierogi Paradise – 2/8 at 5 pm $30

Email ICan@artcookery.com to book offline.  Use the link above to book online through the calendar.  OR call/text 231-740-4065 to register via phone.

Winter Wanderland

I am one of the founders of, and am the president of, White Lake Wanderland.  This is a group of volunteers who formed a 501C3 to bring residents out of their homes to enjoy all of the great activities this area has to be proud of.  

February 4, 5, and 6 is the next weekend long event.  Called Winter Wanderland 2022.  There’s activities for all interests and ages.  Sledding, skating, snowshoeing, hot toddy touring, bonfires and more.  Click here to go the the Facebook Wanderland page for more information.  Just click on the EVENTS and check all of the activities out.

Click a photo below to see which menu item it is.

Current Menu for Pick-up Orders

Burn's Supper Recipes

Cock-a-leekie Soup

Serves 8 (1 c servings)

 Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 T butter
  • 1/3 c rice, rinsed
  • 1 lg clove garlic, minced
  • 12 oz leeks (1 to 2 leeks) with outer leaves removed, leeks washed well and sliced into ½” discs
  • 5 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 c chopped cooked chicken, packed
  • ½ t season salt
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • 4 T heavy cream, divided

Preparation:

  1. Place butter in saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. When melted, add rice and garlic and sauté 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Add leeks and stock. Bring to simmer.
  4. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, until rice has cooked through.
  5. Taste and season with the salt and pepper. The amounts of these will vary based on the salt content of the stock.
  6. Be sure chicken is hot. Add the same amount of chicken to each bowl.
  7. Ladle 1 c broth into bowls and swirl ½ T heavy cream over each bowl.

Haggis Neeps and Tatties

Americanized Haggis

Requires an electric pressure cooker.

Makes 4 ½ c 

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • ¾ t gr coriander
  • ¾ t nutmeg
  • ½ t black pepper
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ½ lb beef or chicken liver, finely diced
  • 13 oz stock
  • 5 oz steel cut oats

Steps

  • Prepare all ingredients.
  • Press sauté on pressure cooker and add butter.
  • Once melted, add the onion. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the turkey. Cook and stir until nearly all pink gone.  Add liver and spices/herb.
  • Cook until liver is no longer red. Add stock and oats.  Bring to simmer and press cancel.
  • Place lid on and lock, making sure vent is closed.
  • Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Let vent naturally for 5.  Then release.
  • Open pressure cooker.

Serve with mashed potatoes and mashed turnips or rutabaga.   

Neeps

Ingredients:

  • 1 c water
  • 2 pounds of turnips or rutabaga, peeled and diced into 1” cubes (neeps)
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¼ t nutmeg
  • ¼ c half and half
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 Tchicken bouillon powder
  • ¼ t pepper
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t turmeric

Steps:

  1. Pour water into pressure cooker and place steamer basket of turnip/’baga in basket.
  2. Sprinkle with ¼ t salt and nutmeg. Place lid on and lock.  Check that vent is closed.
  3. Using high pressure, cook for 10 minutes, then quick release.
  4. Set out bowl (or food processer) and place remaining ingredients in.
  5. Open lid and remove basket of neeps. Place in a bowl with remain ingredients and mash.  If smooth is desired place all in food processor and blend to smooth.

Tatties

Ingredients:

  • Water that steamed the neeps, plus more to cover potatoes
  • 2 pounds of potatoes, washed, and cut into 1” dice
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ c sour cream
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ½ t garlic powder

Steps:

  1. Add potatoes to the neep water in the pressure cooker and add 1 t salt, garlic, and bay leaves
  2. Place lid on and lock. Check that vent is closed.
  3. Using high pressure, cook for 9 minutes, then quick release.
  4. Set out bowl and place remaining ingredients in.
  5. Once finished cooking, drain the potatoes, and add to the bowl of ingredients.
  6. Mash to smooth.

Whiskey Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 T butter
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 4 t whiskey
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 5 t mustard (whole grain or Dijon or mix of both)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (½ & ¼)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • Parsley for garnish

Steps:

  1. In saucepan, heat butter and add shallots. Cook over med-high heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add whiskey and carefully light to burn off alcohol.
  3. Add cream and mustard, and when it starts to simmer add salt/pepper to taste.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice.

To serve, place ½ c of haggis in a 14.5 oz tin cans with both ends removed, greased, and placed on a greased baking sheet.  Add ½ c tatties, and then ½ c neeps.  Refrigerate or bake immediately.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until the interior reaches 165°F.  Set on plate.  Run a sharp knife around inside to loosen.  Carefully pull up tin.  Serve with whiskey sauce and parsley.

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Cranachan

Serves 8 (1/2 c servings) 

Ingredients Needed:

  • ¼ c steel cut oats
  • 4 T whisky
  • 11/2 c raspberries
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 T whisky
  • 3 T honey
  • Mint for garnish 

Preparation:

  1. The day before needing the dessert, lightly toast the oats in skillet for a few minutes.   Mix the toasted oats with 4 T whisky to soak overnight.
  2. Remove 8 raspberries. Mash the rest with a fork.  Place in refrigerator.
  3. As close to serving as possible, whip the cream to soft peaks.
  4. Add 1 T whisky and the honey. Whip to standing peaks.
  5. Add the soaked oats. Whip again.
  6. Add a scoop to each bowl.
  7. Place 1/8th of the mashed berries to the top.
  8. Place another scoop on top of the mashed berries.
  9. Top with a berry and a pinch of minced mint.

Stay Warm and Healthy Friends!


It’s Almost Christmas…of 2021! How Did That Happen?

It feels like I lost two years.

I was just reflecting on 2020 and 2021 and have the weird feeling that those years got lost from my life timeline.  

Perhaps some of you can relate?  As we try to figure out if we can gather for Christmas for everyone’s comfort and safety, it is odd to realize we haven’t had a Christmas celebration in 2 years.

Are you gathering?  Are you changing plans or traditions?  Let me know in the comments?  I just don’t quite know how to navigate this continuing pandemic.

To give you all a bit of holiday cheer, scroll down to find a discount code that can be used online when booking a class.  You can save 10%!

 

Snow Farmers

Here’s a fun fact:  My husband, John, is one of the area’s new Snow Farmers.  The Snow Farmers are a group men (all Dads) who have gotten together to create snow when the conditions are right but Mother Nature got busy elsewhere and didn’t have time to put some out for area kids to sled and play on.

They are currently waiting for the Hanson Street hill in Whitehall to be closed so the kids will be safe.  If you see them out there, bring them a hot cup of joe and tell them thank you.  They are usually making snow in the nighttime or early morning.  They also assist with helping to keep Montague’s skating rink cleared of snow for skaters.

John, Rusty, and Elie. (Jimmy is absent the photo)

Upcoming Menu

Here is the menu for December 21 – 26.  Please note that I will not be making anything 12/24 or 12/25.  The foods on the menu will be fine in your fridge for a day or two if you really want something for meals those two days.  Just ask for your order to be made late in the day of 12/23.  You can pick up that evening, or the next day from the refrigerator we keep just inside the front entry to Art of Cookery.

Remember to let me know if you want a hot meal or refrigerated one when you pick up.

A Discount!

Book a class using our online registration and enter this code at check out to get a 10% discount.  The class can occur next year but must be booked by midnight 12/31/21.

CODE:  DEC2021

Don’t see a class you are interested in or can’t attend due to schedule?  Let me know via email what you want and some dates/times that work.

Last Post's Quiz

WOW!  You all really came through on that quiz I last posted.  I learned so much from you.  And your suggestions for posts were wonderful!

Look for something you suggested in upcoming posts.  I’ll be addressing pantry staples in my next post.  I will weave the topic together using a tried and true recipe.

Pear Conserve

This delightful pear and almond conserve goes well with both savory and sweet treats.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: Conserve, Jam, Pear
Servings: 8 half pints
Author: vkhanson

Equipment

  • Waterbath Canner
  • Canning funnel
  • Dutch Oven
  • Small Saucepan
  • Cooling Rack
  • Jar grabber
  • Half-pint canning jars (about 8)
  • Lids and Rings for jars
  • Ladle

Ingredients

  • c Pears Peeled, cored, diced
  • 6 c Sugar
  • ½ c Lemon juice
  • ½ c Finely diced almonds unsalted is preferable
  • 2 t Dried citrus zest Any flavor works. Or, 2 T fresh
  • 1 t Minced ginger root
  • 3 oz Liquid pectin usually 1 pouch

Instructions

  • Mix pears, sugar, and lemon juice in Dutch oven. Let sit for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  • Fill canner half-way (up to the bottom of the raised rack) with hot water and place over burner to come to a boil.
  • Put new lids in small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a slight boil and turn off burner.
  • Add almonds, zest, and ginger root to Dutch oven mixture.  Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Add pectin and return to a boil.  Boil 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and, using funnel, ladle into jars.  Tighten lids on.  Place in canner and submerge. There should be at least 1 inch of water over the tops. Add more hot water if needed. Cover.
  • Once water in canner returns to a boil, set timer for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, pull up the canning rack, remove jars and place on cooling rack.

Notes

You don't have to can this fantastic little recipe, but the jars make great host/hostess gifts.
This pairs well with beer and cheese.  I make a sourdough bread using beer and rosemary.  To serve, slice the bread, spread with conserve, and place a slice of cheddar on it.  YUM!

Pate a Choux Class

There’s still room for 1 more person in next week’s Pate a Choux class.  Pate a Choux is french pastry and is normally used to make cream puffs in the US.

The class is December 21st at 12 noon.  It is $20.


Menu and Old Recipes

Sunday Morning's Menu is Published

With our Retail Food License upgrade comes great responsibility.  🙂

For three weeks we have published a menu for the next week.  It is going quite nicely!  Prepared food can be ordered hot (for immediate consumption) or cold for eating later (all reheat well in microwave or stovetop).

I keep the foods reasonably priced (which is a challenge in todays skyrocketing food prices 🙁 )

The Meal Kits are designed for you to have a hot meal that is unique.  Kind of like the boxed meal kits (like Hello Fresh, etc.) but with most of the work already done.  Not a box with whole potatoes, carrots, onions, you discover veggies chopped and in some cases, par-cooked.  The sauces are already made.  You will have some heat and/or assembly but not much.

Charcuterie boxes require at least 24 hours notice as they are made fresh for each order.  48 hours is best.

See this week’s menu below.

Cooking Classes Are in Full Gear

Our cooking classes are at pre-pandemic levels.   

An expanded kitchen results in classes that occupy more space.  Lots of new tools/topics have been added, like Tagine cooking.

Be sure to check out our website for all of the cooking classes.  Click here to go the the home page.  

Click the button below to see the schedule.  Feel free to make a request for a specific topic in a time frame that works for you.  

A Moroccan class set up to learn how to use a tagine.

Old Handwritten Recipe Cards

Yesterday, I found an old recipe card box that has traveled with me in life’s journey for forty years.  Apparently is was always to valuable to part with as I moved and/or transitioned through life.

As a teenaged bride, I wrote down my mother’s popcorn ball recipe and went on to use it many times over (as supported by the stains) to treat my own children.  Then, there were my mother in law’s gumball bread (at every Christmas celebration) and Mac and cheese (at every 4th of July) in her own hand.  She is gone now.  But these are fond memories and go beyond simple recipes.  My Aunt Rose brought a meatball dish to a family reunion in the late 1980’s…I HAD to have the recipe.  I didn’t make it much but I remember the feeling of family and fun when I look at the recipe card.  🙂 

I hope you have memories like these tucked away somewhere.  They are a time capsule treasure.


Good News, Finished Kitchen Make-over and a Chicken Stroganoff Recipe!

Exciting News!!

This morning, the Retail Food License inspector arrived for the final inspection of our kitchen remodel project.

He issued a license for the new and improved space to do retail food sales!

This will now become a larger part of our business plan than before.  Our cooking classes will be held 2-3 times per week and we will be selling more meal kits and packaged foods. 

We are also looking into the future at pop-up hot comfort food sales both at our location and at other locations, such as breweries.  Stay tuned for more information on that part of our plan.

Fall into Wanderland

John and I (Valerie) are two of the founding members of White Lake Wanderland.  Together with other board members, (Casandra Atchison of Jimmy’s Pub, Kara and Mike Smith, and Elly Kennedy) we created and ran the 2020 Winter Wanderland in February 2020.  That inaugural event was wonderfully successful and brought a lot of people to the area to wander the two cities of Montague and Whitehall.

Well….then there came a pandemic.  Sigh.  So the Fall 2020 event and Winter 2021 events couldn’t be held. 

We were so excited to bring you the 2021 Fall into Wanderland last weekend.

The weekend of October 15, 16, & 17 was so FUN!  From kids costume parade to adult costume events to a thrift date and budget buffet, there was something for everyone.  Art of Cookery even hosted the Thrift Date and Budget Buffet.

Put February 4, 5, & 6 2022 on your calendars for the next event, Winter Wanderland.

One more thing, we are looking for about 3 more board members.  Let us know if you are interested.  You can comment on this blog, email ICan@artcookery.com, or message the FB page. Don’t want to be a board member but willing to help as a volunteer?  Let us know that also.

There are classes on our fall calendar.

We’ve loaded our calendar with classes.  Check out what is coming up.

This Friday, 10/22/21, is the next class. It is one of our How to Series and is both informative and affordable. The topic is The Art of Pasta and participants will be making pasta (Fettuccini in this case) by hand and by machine.  There are two tickets still available. Click here for more information.

To check out all upcoming classes, check out Art of Cookery’s website and calendar.

To request a specific class you do not see listed, email us at ICan@artcookery.com.  We can usually accommodate such requests.

Chicken Mushroom Stroganoff

A creamy, delicious, and hearty comfort food
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, mushrooms, noodles
Servings: 8
Author: vkhanson

Equipment

  • Large Skillet
  • Turner
  • Saucepan
  • Colander

Ingredients

  • 4 qt hot water
  • 2 tbsp coarse kosher salt or 4 t table salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 16 oz dry egg noodles or other preferred noodle
  • 1 tbsp oil or fat
  • 1/8 t red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz white mushrooms Rinsed and sliced
  • 1 lb chicken breast, partially frozen Sliced into 1/4" thin by 1" pieces. This is easier if partially frozen.
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp flour if you want a thinner sauce, use 2.
  • 1 1/4 c chicken broth or bouillon, or stock, or water, or milk
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t paprika
  • 1/2 t black pepper or to taste
  • 1 1/2 c sour cream
  • 3 tbsp butter to add to hot noodles, can be omitted if stirring the stroganoff and noodles together immediately.

Instructions

  • Place hot water, 2 T salt, and bay leaves in saucepan and place on burn to come to a boil.
  • Place skillet over high heat, add oil or fat, and when hot, add red pepper flakes and mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms for 5-8 minutes.
  • Once a lot of moisture has been released and steamed away, add onion, 1/4 t salt, and chicken. Sauté for 2 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
  • Add rosemary and wine. Stir and cook to reduce moisture by half.
  • Add garlic and flour. Sauté 1 minute more.
  • Meanwhile, drain the noodles when they are at a desired doneness and place back in pan or in serving dish. Stir 3 tbsp butter in to keep them from clumping.
  • To the sauce, add broth, salt, pepper, and paprika. Bring to a boil.
  • Add sour cream and stir and simmer for about 2 minutes until thickened.
  • Stir in the noodles and heat back up, or serve over hot noodles. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.

Notes

You can substitute mashed or fried potatoes or rice for the noodles.
A green herb, like chives or rosemary is a nice garnish.
Use two cans/jars of mushrooms instead of fresh for a short cut.  This will shave 5-8 minutes off your time.
Another time saver is using the breasts of a cooked rotisserie chicken.  Chop into bite size pieces and add with the broth.  If doing this, add the onions with the mushrooms.

Opening Fully!!

Art of Cookery is Reopening Fully for In-Person Classes

Like so many other small businesses, Art of Cookery shut down in March 2020.  Many attempts were made to provide live online classes via Zoom.   However, those classes just were not engaging public interest.

Recently, we’ve done a few small group live classes for people who are in the same “bubble” while we wore masks.  

Now, we are fully vaccinated and the CDC recommendations are that it would be safe enough to increase class sizes and allow unrelated class participants who are vaccinated to attend and no masks are required!!  That’s pretty exciting.  Unvaccinated persons cannot attend unmasked in a mixed group of unrelated persons.

There are many classes on the schedule including some youth classes.

Upcoming Classes

There are too many classes on our schedule to list them all here, and some are booked out with no more tickets available, but here is a highlight of some you may be interested in.

Pickled Asparagus on June 7th at 5:30 pm.  Learn how to make this delectable and unique local delicacy.  Learn some home canning techniques too!

Quiche on June 12 at 2 pm.  Learn tips and techniques for this quintessential brunch/breakfast dish.

Kids Young Chef Series June 14, 21, 28, July 12 & 19 at 11 am.  It is for young people ages 10-16 who are interested in truly learning how to cook.

Condiment Series: Ketchup o!n June 17 at 5:30.  Learn how to make ketchup from scratch and to control what goes into this condiment favorite.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner on June 23 at 12 noon.  Together make this delicious and vibrant full meal…and then sit down and enjoy it at Art of Cookery

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing on July 2 at 1 pm.  These are great to celebrate any holiday

Cookery Creations Meal Kits are A Hit

The meal kits were rolled out for orders in early May and are well received.  These aren’t boxes with whole, raw produce and proteins.  The veggies have been prepped to the recipe and much of the dinner is so close to finished that you have only a few steps. 

They tend to take between 20 to 30 minutes for a hearty, complete meal. 

The second menu set was just posted today.  Check it out!  There’s something for everyone…even a vegan option.

Make Your Own Chili Powder

Did you know chili powder is not simply powdered dry chilies? It is a blend of various spices.  Chef Valerie makes most spice blends she uses instead of purchasing them.  

Here is a great chili powder recipe.  Ideally you blend it in a small food processor or, better yet, a coffee grinder, but you don’t need to.

Chili Powder

This quick mix is a very tasty chili powder and was developed by Chef Valerie at Art of Cookery
Prep Time5 mins
Author: vkhanson

Equipment

  • Coffee Grinder

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Mix everything together and pulse in coffee grinder. Store the resulting chili powder in a sealed container.

jalapeno poppers

Pepper Poppers Post

Jalapeno Poppers

This is an odd way to begin a post about Jalapeno Poppers…but for a bit of backstory……

Here at Art of Cookery, one of my (Chef Valerie Hanson) favorite appliances is the Ninja FoodiNot only is it a great electric pressure cooker, but it nearly could replace every cooking appliance in your kitchen, including your range.  It just about does it all.  No.  I am not being paid for this or even trying to get you to buy one.  Just sharing about a great tool I use in the kitchen.  One drawback to it is that it is heavy.

P.S. Art of Cookery has to have a number of cookers for classes and has 2 Instant Pots and we love those as well.  The Foodi just does more than other pressure cookers.

Art of Cookery class line-up includes  a session called “Rock Your Pot” on how to use an electric pressure cooker and get maximum use of it.  This post is about a specific feature of the Foodi.  The air fryer.

Jump to Recipe

Harvest Season

It is October in Michigan and last Friday I had to harvest everything left on my tomato and pepper plants due to a frost warning.  Since I have been using the bountiful plants yummy fruit all summer, I was shocked to see how much was still on the plants.  Specifically, ripe to green tomatoes and bell, jalapeno, serrano, poblano, cayenne, sweet Italian, and Anaheim peppers.

It ended up not freezing.  But, better safe than sorry.  I’d have cried over losing all that produce.

So for five days, I have been canning tomatoes, marinara, pickled green tomatoes,  pickled peppers,  pepperoncini, and salsa verde.  I’ve also been dehydrating various peppers.

Jalapeno POPPERS

Yesterday, I still had a pile of jalapenos looking at me  and I still needed to make dinner.  Fortunately for me, my husband gifted himself with a pretty cool Weber grill.  He made jerked chicken and pork.  I just had to make a side.  POPPERS it is!  Who doesn’t love the wonderful blend of heat and creamy cheese that are Jalapeno Poppers?!

The recipe below makes some delicious poppers.  If you want to go even healthier, use Neufchatel cream cheese (or refried beans) and a low fat cheddar.  You can also use skim milk and egg whites.  And, toasting a few slices of lite bread and crushing them will reduce a few calories as well and still have lots of flavor.

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

Use your air fryer to transform your jalapeno abundance into delicious pepper poppers!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Jalapeno, peppers, snack
Servings: 5 2 per person
Author: vkhanson
Cost: $6

Equipment

  • Air Fryer
  • medium saucepan

Ingredients

  • 10 jalapeno peppers Large and firm

Filling

  • 5 ounces finely shredded cheddar extra sharp is best
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP chopped cilantro

Coating

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBSP milk or half and half or cream
  • 1 cup finely crushed bread crumbs I prefer the Italian seasoned version
  • 1 tsp salt

Dipping Sauce

  • 2/3 c sour cream
  • 1 small lime both the zest and juice

Instructions

  • 1. In a saucepan of boiling water, gently boil the jalapenos, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
    2. Remove from saucepan and plunge in ice water. Leave in ice water to cool.
    3. Drain on paper toweling.
  • 1.      Mix together the 5 filling ingredients.  Place in a Ziplock style bag.  Set aside. 
  • 1. Place the flour in a bowl. Set aside.
    2. Whisk the egg and milk in another bowl. Set aside.
    3. Toss the crumbs and salt in a third bowl. Set aside.
  • 1. Slit a side of the jalapeños and remove seeds and veins. It is helpful to have a pair of slender scissors to snip the top of the seeds to separate from the stem. Rinse and drain the insides.
    2. Snip a corner off the bag with the cheese mixture and fill the peppers by squeezing into the slit until full. Press the pepper shut. If there is a small seam of cheese, it is ok.
  • 1. If the peppers dried, slightly dampen them. Roll each pepper in flour, then egg/milk, then crumbs (really press the crumbs on, you want a good coating). Place on a plate as they are finished.
    2. Spray exposed top and sides lightly with cooking spray. Turn over and spray the other side.
  • 1. While air frying, mix together the sour cream and lime juice/zest for a great dipping sauce.
  • 1. Remove air fryer basked and spray with cooking oil. (Unless your fryer indicates not to.) Replace the basket and preheat at 375 for 5 minutes.
    2. Place five in your fryer basket seam side down. This is counterintuitive but do it.
    3. Set your timer for 10 minutes.
    4. After 3 to 4 minutes (before the cheese melts enough to start running out) turn the poppers so the slits are facing up. Finish cooking the full 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining peppers.

Notes

If you have extra coating and some zucchini, green tomato, or egg plant nearby, dredge them through the coating bowls and air fry for 3 to 4 minutes.

Chicken, Cheese, and Tamales. Oh MY!

Chicken, Cheese, and Tamales are an odd combination for a post.

About the Chicken

Indeed!  I was intrigued by Chef Michael Symon’s recent appearance on Good Morning America where he shared his recipe for making that now infamous Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich.  So much so that I made it, and then made it again tweaking it slightly.  I then shared them with patrons at our local craft brewery Fetch.  They are a huge hit.  Thank you Chef Michael!  In the final recipe I settled on (see end of this post for full recipe) you see my notes for some of what I changed.  Essentially I adjusted the flour, some seasonings, and added onion powder to the mix.  You can click the recipe link above to see his recipe.

Cheese!

A lot of you may already know that I love to make my own cheese.  I also teach cheesemaking at my Art of Cookery cooking school.  Making Soft Cheeses such as Mozzarella and Sour Cream/Crème Fraiche is one class that is popular.  On rare occasions over the years I have taught a hard cheese class by private request.  Currently, I am considering making it a class that is on our calendar schedule.

Feedback Request

I am hoping for feedback from you. 

Making cheddar is a time commitment.  Here is the schedule.

On day 1 we start the class around noon.  The day is over about 6 to 7 hours later.  It will definitely be 7 if we use the cheddar’s whey to make ricotta. There are downtimes, such as 45 minute waits here and there but it is a process that moves forward all afternoon.

Next, on day 2 there is a 1 hour session pulling the cheese out of the press.  It can be a little more if we are using the ricotta to make Ziergerkase Cheese (DEFINITELY worth it).  If making the Zierrgerkase, there is a 1 hour class 24 hours after putting it in the cheesepress.  That day would be skipped if not making that second cheese.

Then, 3 days after taking the cheddar out of the press, the last class is about 1 hour long and covers waxing and aging the cheese.

Ziergerkase is soaked for up to four days in a bring of Cabernet and Tarragon. Delicious!

So, it is about a 10 hour class time commitment, broken up over a few days.  That is followed by the students themselves aging the cheese.  That entails turning it over a couple times a week and storing it in a dark cool place.

Questions to help me with:

  • I would have to charge $100 per person.  Do you believe it is worth the time and money?
  • I think it is a great way for someone to decide they want to go into cheesemaking without the costly equipment purchase (For instance, a cheese press alone is not cheap!)  Do you agree?
  • The participant(s) would have to commit to keeping the schedule.  Do you believe it is a doable schedule?  Any other questions or feedback?

Tamales – Yum

Rita and her husband with John Gonzales of Michigan’s Best.

I like to teach a lot of various cuisines.  As a result, some of my cooking classes are involved in making some Asian, Moroccan, and Mexican dishes for example.  One topic I have never approached but always wanted to is Tamales.  I love them but know they can be a failure for many reasons if you don’t know the secrets.

Recently, I reached out to Rita Rodriguez, owner of Two Hot Tamales in neighboring Newaygo County and asked if she would be interested in being a guest chef at Art of Cookery and teach a Tamale class with me as her sous chef.  She Said YES!  As a result, we have settled on December 8, 2019 at 1 pm.  This special event will take place at 1 pm and last approximately 2 hours.  However, stay tuned, pricing has not yet been set.

So here is what I am asking:

Are you interested?  We’d like to have a number for planning purposes.  Responding that you are interested doesn’t mean you are committed or registered, just interested.  Please comment below, and/or send an email to ICan@artcookery.com.  You can private message on our facebook page too.  Or just look for the even on our facebook page and click on interested.

And now for that Chicken Sandwich recipe

Ingredients

·        2, 10 to 12-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 4 small ones)

·        1 cup buttermilk

·        1 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

·        1 teaspoon garlic powder

·        1 tsp onion powder

·        1 1/4 teaspoon table salt

·        1 teaspoon black pepper

·        1 ½ TBSP Hot Sauce (Chef Michael suggests Louisiana brand but use what you have.  Increase to 2 tablespoons if making the spicy version)

·        3/4 cup flour (I use a blend of one part “00” flour, 1 part extra fancy Durum semolina and 2 parts unbleached all-purpose flour.  All all-purpose will work just fine, in fact it’s what Chef Symon used, but in my opinion, the flour blend gives a better coating and crunchier result.)

·        3/4 cup cornstarch

·        2 tsp sweet paprika

·        1 tablespoon garlic powder

·        1 tsp onion powder

·        2 tsp cayenne powder, optional (if making the spicy version, even more if desired)

·        Oil for frying

·        4 soft brioche hamburger buns

·        unsalted butter

·        Dill pickle chips

·        Miracle Whip or Mayo, for serving (I use Miracle Whip but Hellman’s is ok and Dukes Mayo is the southern standard)

Directions

Lay out your chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken to an even half-inch thickness. Cut each in half to make four.  If your breasts are very large, trim two bun size pieces from each breast and use the two smaller cuts as a pair of bonus chicken slices or make a fifth sandwich from them.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk and next six ingredients. Submerge the chicken in the buttermilk and soak.  Chef Symon recommends at overnight or for at least 4 hours I recommend at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Once the chicken is fully marinated.  Heat a pot of oil or deep-fryer to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour(s), cornstarch and seasonings.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the buttermilk marinade into the flour mixture and mix loosely with a fork, creating some small clumps. This will help the chicken achieve a jagged, flakey crunch.

Bread and fry the chicken.

Remove one piece of chicken from the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off. Place it in the flour mixture and turn to coat evenly. Gently press the breading into the chicken and repeat with the remaining pieces.

Deep fry for four to five minutes, until the chicken is crunchy and cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove to a draining rack and season with salt, if desired. I do not salt them. While they rest and cool slightly, finish the sandwich.

Finish and assemble the sandwich.

Heat a skillet or griddle.  Rub a stick of butter on the griddle so there’s a melted smear for each Brioche half.  Place the cut side of the brioche buns over melted butter and lightly toast.  (Chef Symon melts the butter and brushes it over the buns with a pastry brush and then toasts.  My way is easier)

To finish, spread both halves of the buns with generously with Miracle Whip or mayo and add a layer pickle slices to the bottom half. Place a piece of chicken on and top with the other half of the bun.  Serve fresh and hot.

ENJOY