Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kentucky Appetizers

Much to my surprise Kentucky does have an enviable culinary history , rich with pioneer, native American, African American and mountain folk influences.

Country hams, fresh fish, regional produce and FINE BOURBONS form the basis for a rich and tasty heritage in the kitchen.

I promised you some Kentucky recipes and here are some that I have tried, with you guessed it ...BOURBON as a common theme/additive in most of the recipes. I've started with some appetizers. Future recipes unless otherwise stated, come from a lovely book that I purchased in Somerset Kentucky called, "Adventures in New Kentucky Cooking" by David Domine. To my new friends at the Dawahare Store in Somerset, this menu is for you. Enjoy

Smocked Salmon Patties and Bourbon Dill Sauce

3c fresh salmon,poached, flaked and cooked.

1 smoked salmon chopped

1c fresh bread crumbs

1/4c mayonnaise

1 large egg beaten

2 medium shallots diced

2T. chopped capers

1 tsp. kosher salt

1tsp. fresh ground pepper

1c flour for dredging

1/4c canola oil for frying

Poach fresh salmon by placing a large fillet in a pan of cool salted water and then heating it over medium heat until bubbles start to form around the edge. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove from liquid and cool.Use a fork to flake fish apart. (don't worry if it isn't cooked through, since it will be fried anyway.) Add reaming ingredients and gently mix. Chill for about 1 hour. Shape into rounds, dredge in flour and fry until golden brown.


1c sour cream or thick yogurt

1/2c mayonnaise

3T. bourbon

2T fresh dill chopped

1/2tsp kosher salt

1tsp white pepper

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Chill for 1 hour and serve with warm salmon patties.

In recent years. some local tobacco farmers have turned to aquaculture with fortunate results for Bluegrass gastronomy.


4C canned butter beans or lima beans

2tsp. salt

1tsp.ground cumin

3T. fresh lemon juice


6T extra virgin olive oil

6 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2tsp.white pepper

1/4c chopped fresh parsley

Drain canned beans and transfer to a food processor. (If dried beans are used follow package instructions.) Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.Transfer to a bowl and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with extra EVOO (optional) and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Or garnish with fresh radish slices or banana pepper rings. Serve with toast slices of sour mash bread.

Butter beans grace many a dinner table in the south and in the hills of eastern Kentucky they were often cooked to a soft mush and served with corm bread. This updated recipe yields a garlicky Bluegrass versing of the traditional Middle Eastern chick-pea humus. If you used lima beans they have a slightly different flavour than butter beans but nevertheless a good substitution.

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