Get ready to visit in the kitchen with an award-winning country music star known for her bubbly personality and curly blond tresses.
Kimberly Schlapman, of the group Little Big Town, wants to share her favorite southern recipes with you in “Oh Gussie!” The cookbook includes scripture, inspiring quotes, and thoughts from Kimberly about life and her family. She shares remembrances of growing up in Georgia and memories made around the dinner table.
When not on the road performing hit songs such as “Pontoon” and “Little White Church,” she’s at home with her family, dishing out hearty recipes. The cookbook is filled with her family’s favorites, and while some are quite extensive, others offer hearty meals for families with less time for cooking.
Some of the recipes will probably look familiar if southern fare is your cuisine of choice. Apple butter, chicken biscuit pie, country low boil and fried chicken recipes are included. But more unique recipes also grace the pages – complete with pretty color pictures – of such dishes as okra hash and oysters with peach mignonette. Desserts are also included, including her family’s “Schlapp Happy Bars.”
Kimberly is not only a singer but a television host. She has her own show on the Great American Country channel called “Kimberly’s Simply Southern,” where she shares her passion for making food for her family. Fellow country stars often join her in the kitchen.
Ready to prepare your next meal? Consider Kimberly’s recipes for Georgia Peach Salsa and Rosemary Pork Chops.
GEORGIA PEACH SALSA
Kimberly’s introduction: I love the girly names of peach varieties, such as Elegant Lady, Spring Lady, White Lady and Summer Lady. There’s even one variety named Rich Lady. When these “ladies” are in season, around the month of July, I make this salsa. You need perfectly ripe peaches. Ripe peaches will smell pleasingly sweet and won’t have “green shoulders.” Remember that Crimson Blush is just the variety — not a sign of ripeness. Also, handle them gingerly, because even firm fruit will show bruises later if knocked around. If your peaches are a bit under ripe, store them in a cool room, stem side down, for a couple of days. When you start to notice that sweet peachy smell, they’re ready to go into this salsa and get dressed up with a little frilly cilantro and a bright squeeze of lime.
4 peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into small dice
½ cut finely diced red bell peppers
¼ cup minced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let the salsa sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Southern simple: For an easy lunch or summer dinner, I serve the salsa with my Southwest Tortilla Roll- Ups (also found in the cookbook).
Southern skinny: Serve this salsa with some baked tortilla chips for a fresh midday snack, or use it as flavorful topping for a piece of grilled fish.
ROSEMARY PORK CHOPS
Kimberly’s introduction: It’s funny how family sayings get picked up by friends. When I was around 10 and my sister was about 5, we were acting up at the dinner table. My daddy had worked a long hard day, and when he couldn’t take another minute of our shenanigans, he pushed his chair back, folded his dinner napkin, and left the table. Totally unaffected by his frustration, my innocent little sister immediately piped up: “Can I have Daddy’s pork chop?” I’ve often told friends that funny tale over the years. Now when I serve pork chops and someone wants seconds, they’ll chime in, “Can I have Daddy’s pork chop?”
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
4 rosemary sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Four ½ inch thick boneless pork chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Combine ½ cup of the olive oil, the vinegar, rosemary sprigs, garlic and brown sugar in a large zip-top bag. Add the pork chops to the marinade and seal. Massage the chops in the bag to coat them well. Refrigerate for at least two hours to marinate.
Remove the pork chops from the marinade and pat them dry (discard the marinade). Let the pork chops come to room temperature for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper on both sides, then dredge them in flour.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pork and pan fry until they’re cooked through, four to six minutes per side. Sprinkle the remaining rosemary on top of the chops at the very end for more flavor.
Southern simple: If you’re in a time or ingredient pinch, replace the rosemary and garlic in the marinade with one tablespoon of pesto.
Recipes reprinted with permission from William Morrow, copyright © 2015 by Coming Up Daisies, Inc. f/s/o Kimberly Schlapman.