Tupelo Honey Food Imitation

On Valentine’s Day, Maggie and I went to our favorite Southern style restaurant in Myrtle Beach, Tupelo Honey. Even though I made a reservation, we had to wait around forty minutes before being seated. Typically there is always a wait, which is well worth it, and we usually sit at the bar and get a couple of drinks. With the high volume of people in the restaurant there was no where to sit at the bar. We waited by the door on a bench and noticed the merchandise on a shelving unit.

On the shelves there were bottles of honey, cooking utensils, and packages of baking ingredients to make muffins, cakes, and other desserts. Next too all of this lovely take home southern charm sat two different cookbooks made by the restaurant’s corporation. With two books came two different themes: Blue Ridge Mountains and Ashville’s New South Kitchen. I decided to make a purchase on both of the books due to my passion of cooking and my love for Tupelo Honey’s cuisine.

In buying these two books, I thought it might be a nice idea to cook and share some recipes from the text. To make this worth your while, I thought making this Tupelo Honey imitation into a course meal would be exciting. The courses will begin with start to finish table service with biscuits, appetizer, and entree. And we cannot forget about dessert!

Buttermilk Biscuits & Blueberry Compote

Put simply, we’re pretty well known for our hot buttermilk biscuits. The only thing that makes these babies any better is topping them with scratch-made milk gravy!

Tupelo Honey

Just like with every meal at Tupelo Honey, it starts off with their delicious biscuits and blueberry compote. Although the recipe I found is matched with milk gravy, in the restaurant the biscuits are served with their Blueberry compote. Now, I told you we would have a sit down meal at Tupelo in this post… we are doing the compote. I dug deep and I finally found the recipe for the blueberry compote, so if you are reading this, you’re welcome.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chilled shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425­°F 
  2. Lightly butter a round cake pan or cast-iron skillet
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt. Snap the pieces of shortening with your fingers until the shortening pieces are no larger than peas. Make a well in the mixture and pour in the cream and 2/3 cup of buttermilk. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, sweep in the flour and turn the dough until the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough resembles cottage cheese, adding enough of the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk to reach this consistency.
  4. Sprinkle the rolling surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and sprinkle the top with flour. With floured hands, fold the dough in half and pat the dough into a 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick round, using additional flour as needed. Flour again if necessary and fold the dough in half a second time. If the dough is still clumpy, repeat the folding process for a third time. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick round. Dip a 2-inch biscuit cutter into the flour and cut out biscuits, ensuring you do not twist the cutter.
  5. Place the biscuits in the pan, sides slightly touching. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the biscuits again with melted butter.

The entire time I was making these biscuits I thought to myself, “this can’t be right, I am going to have to make them again.” The “dough” was so extremely sticky I used nearly an entire bag of flour to dry it out. They were like no other biscuit I have ever made before. In the end, it all worked out. I came to the conclusion that the dough was meant to be sticky. To my surprise, the biscuits came out, the first time, just like Tupelo’s!

Blueberry Compote

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons pectin
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

  1. Combine the sugar and pectin in a large bowl until thoroughly blended.
  2. Place the blueberries in a medium saucepan and stir in the sugar mixture and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, occasionally stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Cool to room temperature before serving.
  4. Store in airtight container for up to 30 days. (store in mason jars)

The blueberry compote was extremely easy and simplistic to make. Within 12 minutes we had a beautiful and delicious blueberry compote that tasted and looked very similar to the restaurants version. We decided to chill the compote overnight to make it more of a jam texture and stored it in a mason jar for future use. The combination of both the biscuit and compote are simply classic and timeless. Once you get through the difficulty of making the biscuits the recipe is entirely worth it.

Country Ham & Cheese Wontons

Ok, these are just plain fun! And mouth-watering. They are absolutely perfect when paired with mimosas for a brunch gathering. Or sip a little Southern Comfort with these.

Tupelo Honey
Ham & Cheese Wontons

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces country ham, sliced paper-thin
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons Tupelo Honey BBQ Dry Rub (recipe follows)
  • 24 wonton wrappers

Directions

  1. Fry the country ham slices in a 350°F deep fryer for 30-40 seconds, or bake at 350°F for 8 minutes, until slightly crispy. Let the ham slices cool slightly and then cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Place the cream cheese, chives, ham, and BBQ rub in a bowl and combine.
  2. Remove the wonton wrappers from the package and lay them (a few at a time) on a cutting board. Do not overlap. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper, about 1/2 inch away from the edges. Use your finger or a pastry brush to lightly “paint” two adjacent sides of each wrapper with water. Gently fold the two dry sides to meet with the wet sides, forming a triangle. Press together firmly to create a seal, and gently press the finished wonton to flatten it a little.
  3. Repeat this process with the remaining wrappers and filling. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or cook immediately. Note that wonton wrappers are fragile and occasionally tear. If that happens, remove the filling from the damaged wonton, grab another wrapper, and carry on.
Three Options for Cooking

(Preferred) Place the wontons in a 350°F deep fryer for roughly 2 minutes or until golden brown. (Be careful not to crowd them.) Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack with paper towel underneath. Repeat with the remaining wontons.

Or: Place 1/2 cup canola (or similar) oil in a skillet and heat to just below high. Add the wontons, without overcrowding the pan, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown, carefully flipping to cook both sides for a total of 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat this process with the remaining wontons.

Or: Place the wontons on a baking sheet and in a 400°F oven for 7 to 8 minutes until golden brown.

Tupelo Honey BBQ Dry Rub

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. To make the rub, combine the sugar and all of the spices in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 month.

Although these wontons were not my favorite of the bunch, they were the most fun to make. I would recommend a stand mixer when combining the cream cheese and other ingredients due to it’s thickness, however, the process of making the little wontons was very enjoyable. The recipe said it would make around 24 wontons, but I ended up with around 40. These are great for people who like spicy food and who might be hosting parties.

Cauliflower Converter Casserole

This is one of those casserole recipes that is so simple, so good, so consistent, and so easy, you’ll turn to it time and time again. It has also been known to be a converter – turning the non-cauliflower eater into a cauliflower lover.

Tupelo Honey

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower (2 lbs)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1.5 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup crushed buttery crackers
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 425°F
  2. Grease a 9in by 13in baking pan
  3. Trim the leaves from the cauliflower and cut out the core. Separate the cauliflower into florets.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and flour and whisk until blended. Whisk in the cream and hot sauce. Add the cauliflower, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and blend well. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. While it’s baking, combine the panko breadcrumbs, crackers, melted butter, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Remove the dish from the oven and distribute the cracker mixture evenly over the top. Bake the casserole for an additional 15 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and bubbly. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Garnish with herbs of choice

This dish was absolutely delicious to eat and so extremely easy to make. With it being my first time cooking cauliflower, it was to my surprise how simple it is to clean, cut, and cook. I know I am by no means a professional chef, but, in my opinion, there is just something missing. The casserole seemed to be a little dry, maybe due to too many breadcrumb and crackers on top. I think if I put a meat of some sort, such as sausage or chicken, there would have been a little bit more moisture and it would have been more pleasant to eat. The simplicity and easiness of the dish made the entire experience very charming.

Three-Berry Cream Cheese Pie

This is a fruity (and somewhat sneaky) cousin to the cheesecake, topped with the bountiful berries we have in our mountains (you can also use frozen berries).  It’s quicker than the standard cheesecake recipe and we think it’s equally scrumptious.  The pie needs to be refrigerated overnight before serving.

Tupelo Honey

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup ground vanilla wafers (40 wafers)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages softened cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Lightly butter a 9in deep-dish pie dish
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the vanilla wafers and melted butter and press the mixture into the baking dish, evenly covering the bottom and sides, and set aside. Combine blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a heavy saucepan. And place over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is a thick sauce (if you use fresh berries, reduce the cooking time to 3 minutes). Combine the water and cornstarch and add the mixture to the berries, cooking for about 2 minutes longer, or until the mixture thickens slightly. Set the berry mixture aside.
  4. Combine the cream cheese, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the eggs, vanilla, salt, and heavy cream in a food processor until fluffy, using a spatula to scrap the sides of the processor until all of the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour the cream mixture into the wafer crust and then pour the berry mixture on top of the cream filling. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pie is firm. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

By far, the triple-berry cream cheese pie was my absolute favorite part of this Tupelo Honey imitation excursion. I am a complete sucker for berries, a little sad strawberries were not invited to the party. Now, we throw some cream cheese in the mix? Paradise. If there is one item in this post that you try to make, sweet tooth or not, it’s this one. It is so easy to make it might even be dummy proof. The tartness of the berries, the sweetness of the cream cheese mix, and the saltiness of the crust is to die for.

In the past couple of months I have had a lot of request for more food posts, and I am really working on it. I hope this made up for lost time. I enjoy cooking a lot and it makes it even more fun doing it with the people I love and showing my creations to all of you in blog form. If you have requests that you would like me to do and review drop your suggestions in the comments down below!

//Probably Rob

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