Early this week, I asked you all to tell me where you’d go and what you’d find to eat if you could take a road trip anywhere right now. There were some fantastic answers and I thank everybody for commenting.
I have decided to award the book to blog reader Vickie C, who left comment No. 15 on this post. It is a bit lengthier than most of the other comments, but that’s not why I picked it. I just liked what Vickie had to say:
“Road trips are the best, that is what we did for our honeymoon.
We just got back from one about a week ago – we drove the Parkway down to Ashville, NC and ended up just outside of there in the Smokey Mountains. Wonderful and had a fanstastic time!
But my next road trip would be to Milwaukee, for deep fried cheese curds which is a must when you go! Taking the side roads, and staying off the Interstates. The people you meet, the things you see and the food you encounter. You know that some of the smallest places that look questionable on the outside, usually have the best food and people on the in side.”
You’ve got that right, Vickie, and many readers of this blog would surely agree with you. Please send me your shipping address at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send that book out to you.
In case you’re interested, the Virginia restaurants mentioned in this book are Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington, Best Buns Bread Co. in Arlington, The Black Sheep in Richmond, and Something Different Country Store and Deli in Urbanna.
As usual, I’m going to share a couple of recipes from this book so those of you who didn’t win can still enjoy it a bit. These recipes are for Oyster Pot Pies from Out of the Fire in Easton, MD and Charred Poblano Creamed Corn from The Admiral in Asheville, NC. Enjoy!
The Admiral’s Charred Poblano Creamed Corn
Serves 4 to 6
1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
4 cups fresh corn kernels (10 ears)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sour cream
Garnish: Fresh basil leaves
1. Broil poblano and jalapeno peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet 5 inches from heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until peppers look blistered. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel peppers; remove and discard seeds. Coarsely chop peppers.
2. Saute onion and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in chopped peppers, cream, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes.
3. Process cream mixture, cilantro and basil in a blender until smooth. Return cream mixture to skillet. Stir in corn kernels and lime juice; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until corn is tender. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Serve immediately.
Out of the Fire Oyster Pot Pie
3 bacon slices
1 1/4 cups diced carrot
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups diced unpeeled baking potato
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Spanish sherry
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 (16-oz.) container oysters, drained
1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook bacon in a large skillet 5 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings in pan. Crumble bacon. Cook carrot and next 2 ingredients in hot drippings 8 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.
2. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and next 3 ingredients; cook over medium heat 4 minutes, whisking constantly, until mix is thickened and bubbly. Stir in sherry and thyme. Stir potato mixture into vegetable mixture.
3. Divide vegetable mixture evenly among 4 lightly greased (2-cup) crocks. Place one-fourth of the oysters (9 to 10) in each crock; stir oysters into vegetable mixture.
4. Roll each pie crust into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Cut 2 (5-inch) circles from each pie crust. Place circles on top of filling in crocks. Cut slits in crust to let steam escape.
5. Brush crusts with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.