January 28, 2011

Making a Food Statement: Arkansas' Finest

Snow is melting, I'm starting a new diet today that's more exercise —  NFL Training Camp for the Wii —  and calorie awareness thanks to MyNetDiary for the iPad — and we're getting back on track with more great, and easy family meals.

As advertised we're headed for Indiana next week, but today's meal features favorites from Arkansas.

This menu is compliments of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion. Thanks to Tiffany Dabbs who consulted the three culinary chefs on staff at the Mansion, as well as First Lady Ginger Beebe to present A Course for Adventure with the ideal Arkansas meal. I don't think you can get more authentic Arkansas flair than that!

Without further ado, here is the quintessential Arkansas Menu:

Arkansas Governor’s Mansion grown figs with Goat Cheese over Arugula.  Dressed with a Fig Vinaigrette.

Here's a link to Martha Stewart's fig vinaigrette made with dried figs, which are easier to find than fresh figs, which do not ship well.

Video is from University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. The video notes figs are one of the easiest fruits to grow in Arkansas. Interesting to note, people with latex allergies shouldn't handle figs.
Tiffany says this is salad is one of Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe’s favorite. It's also featured on the Mansion catering menu.

Roasted Whole Chicken
See Ina Garten's perfect roast chicken recipe. This needs to be started 2 hours before dinner time but the rest of the dinner is easy.

Fresh Green Beans with Shallots
Food Network Kitchen's recipe HERE.

Arkansas Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries
Check out this Tourism site for more products that are made in Arkansas.

Free Arkansas travel info HERE.
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Store bought crust or
Homemade crust
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of salt
½ cup Crisco
 3 Tablespoons of water

Pie filling
1 cup Karo syrup
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
2 TABLESPOONS of butter, melted
1½ cups pecan halves

For crust, sift flour with salt then mix with Crisco until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Add water to mixture and combine until dough ball forms. Do Not over mix. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.Roll out dough onto a 9” to 10” round, flat surface and then place dough in a sprayed pie dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together Karo syrup, eggs, sugar, melted butter, and pecan halves. Pour into pie shell and bake for 60-70 minutes.

Thank you Tiffany Dabbs, First Lady Ginger Beebe and Mansion chefs for your time and help with our states project.

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