Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Those New Year's black-eyes are stars in this hearty dish

Never has a new year been ushered in with such a grand serving of black-eyes. The black-eyed pea addition to this sumptuous dish, Southern Italian Chicken Soup, helped give it Hubby’s vote for our best New Year’s Day menu ever.

The black-eyes had plenty of good, healthy company: chicken chunks, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, fresh okra (that garden okra stowed away in the deep-freeze finally can get its winter chance to shine), and cheese-filled tortellini were other components to this hearty winter soup that made 8 servings.

Best of all it was quick: no slow-cooker, no dreary hours of toiling in the kitchen. Southern Living magazine’s December issue recommended this dish for a laid-back holiday get-together that would be minus the fuss. Definitely company-worthy, or, as in our case, for just the two of us—Southern Italian Chicken Soup will be a favorite from now on.

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

1 large onion, diced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 cups chicken broth
1 (15.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinned and boned chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups sliced fresh okra
1 (15.5-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté first 4 ingredients in 2 tablespoons hot oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until ingredients are tender. Stir in broth and next 3 ingredients; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Meanwhile sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Cook in remaining 1 tablespoon hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Cool slightly (about 5 minutes); cut into 1-inch pieces. Add okra, black-eyed peas, and chicken to Dutch oven. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until okra is tender. Add tortellini and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until tortellini is done. Serve with Parmesan. Makes 8 servings. (Source: Southern Living December 2012)

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