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A Soulful Celebration

BY MEAGHAN ALVARADO
PHOTOS BY TAMMY HARROW

Trimming the tree, walking around downtown to enjoy the sights, lighting the Menorah…these are all traditions cherished this time of year. Sharing a meal with family and friends for many is the spotlight of the season.

The recipes for dishes that accent your table may have been in your family for many generations. Dae’Shaud Woodard, a.k.a. Skoot, shared his grandfather’s sauce recipe with the other students in his class at the St. Johns Academy of Culinary Arts.

Pop Terry’s famous barbeque sauce recipe was the highlight for their “Soulful Celebration,” with meal planning and recipes by Skoot and his fellow students, Debaka Williams and Keyana Logan. The entire class helped to prepare the meal, while Adriana Victorino and Brianna Freed assisted with plating.

Although we aren’t able to share Pop Terry’s famous sauce ingredients with you, below are the rest of the recipes from the feast.

ST. JOHNS ACADEMY OF CULINARY ARTS STUDENTS, LEFT TO RIGHT: BRIANNA FREED, DAE’SHAUD WOODARD, AND ADRIANA VICTORINO

SMOKED RIBS AND CHICKEN

  • 2 RACKS BABY BACK RIBS
  • 1 WHOLE CHICKEN, SPLIT
  • 5 LBS. OAK CHIPS
  • 1 C WATER

BLANCHING LIQUID

  • 8 CUPS WATER
  • 1/3 CUPS PICKLING SPICE
  • 3 BAY LEAVES
  • 2 TBSP KOSHER SALT

RUB

  • 2 TBSP OLD BAY
  • 2 TBSP CUMIN
  • 2 TBSP SMOKED PAPRIKA
  • 1 TBSP CORIANDER
  • 1 TBSP KOSHER SALT
  • 2 TSP WHITE PEPPER
  • 2 TSP BLACK PEPPER
  • 1 TSP CAYENNE PEPPER

Soak oak chips in water for 10 minutes, then drain. Bring the second measure of water, pickling spice, bay leaves and salt to rolling boil. Blanch ribs in blanching liquid and cook for 3 minutes. Preheat oven or smoker to 250ÅãF, place oak chips in chamber or pan at bottom. Rub chicken and ribs with spice blend rub. Smoke for 4-6 hours or to 165-185 degrees F (both chicken and ribs). Remove from heat, portion, and sauce with Pop Terry’s famous barbeque sauce or your personal favorite.

POTATO CROQUETTES

  • 2 LB. YUKON GOLD POTATOES
  • 2 WHOLE EGGS, 2 YOLKS
  • 1/2 CUP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 1 TSP KOSHER SALT
  • 1/2 TSP WHITE PEPPER
  • 1/2 TSP BLACK PEPPER
  • 1/4 TSP NUTMEG TO TASTE
  • NON-STICK PAN COATING
  • 2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, SEASONED

  • SALT, WHITE PEPPER, BLACK PEPPER

  • 2 WHOLE EGGS + 2 EGG WHITES, BEATEN

  • 2 CUPS BREADCRUMBS

CREOLE MUSTARD SAUCE

  • 4 OZ. CREOLE MUSTARD
  • 4 OZ. MAYONNAISE
  • 1 TBSP LOUISIANA HOT SAUCE
  • 1 TBSP LEMON JUICE
  • 1 TSP WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

Wash and boil whole potatoes. Remove from heat when soft. Drain, and peel skins. Place in electric mixing bowl, outfitted with a paddle attachment, and add eggs, egg yolks, salt, white pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg. Portion croquettes using a small scoop or two large tablespoons, and place onto parchment paper sprayed with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Reshape chilled mixture into desired shape (round, log, or quenelle), cover, and place in freezer for 30-45 minutes. Coat each croquette with the standard breading procedure: dip first in seasoned flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs. Pan, cover, and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Heat frying oil to 375°F. Fry chilled croquettes until golden brown. Season with salt and white pepper blend, and top with creole mustard sauce.

COLLARD GREENS

  • 2 LB. FRESH COLLARD GREENS
  • 1 SMALL ONION, DICED
  • 2 OZ. CANOLA OIL
  • CHICKEN GIBLETS AND NECK BONE
  • 2 TBSP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
  • ó CUP WATER
  • SALT AND WHITE PEPPER TO TASTE
  • DRIPPINGS FROM COOKED CHICKEN

Rinse, trim, and cut collard greens into ½” strips, crosswise. Heat oil in large saucepan and brown the chicken giblets and neck bone. Once giblets are browned, remove and add diced onion. Cook until translucent. Add collard greens, vinegar, water, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking and adjusting seasoning as needed. Once smoked chicken (from first recipe) has cooked, add pan drippings to greens. Drippings from roasted chicken can also be used.

BAKED MACARONI

  • 1 LB. CELLENTANI PASTA
  • 3 OZ. BUTTER, UNSALTED
  • 1/3 CUP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 2 CUPS WHOLE MILK
  • 1 BAY LEAF
  • 1 WHOLE CLOVE
  • SALT, WHITE PEPPER, TO TASTE
  • 1/8 TSP NUTMEG
  • 2 LB. SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE, GRATED

Boil pasta in lightly salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to cool. Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt butter, add flour, and mix with wooden spoon. Cook roux for 2-3 minutes and keep blonde. Stir in milk, using a whip. Add bay leaf and clove and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and clove, and season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Combine pasta, 1 & 1/2 lb. cheese, and sauce in a large bowl, and season with salt and white pepper. Spray casserole dish with nonstick pan coating, add pasta mixture, and top with remaining 8 oz. cheese. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil. Bake for 45 minutes, remove wrap and foil, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

PEACH COBBLER

  • 6-8 FRESH PEACHES
  • 2 OZ. BUTTER, UNSALTED
  • ó CUP SUGAR
  • JUICE OF 1 LEMON
  • 2 TSP CINNAMON
  • 2 TBSP & . CUP WATER
  • 2 TBSP CORNSTARCH

COBBLER TOPPING (RECIPE PRO PASTRY CHEF, BO FRIBERG)

  • 11 OZ. BREAD FLOUR
  • ó TSP SALT
  • 1/2 T BAKING POWDER
  • 2 OZ. COLD, UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 13 FL. OZ. HEAVY CREAM

Wash peaches, remove pits, and cut into 1” large slices. Melt butter in a large skillet and add sliced peaches, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and the first measure of water. Cook until soft and juicy. Mix the second measure of water with cornstarch to make a slurry. Add slurry to bubbling peach mixture, and allow mixture to return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Spray casserole dish with non-stick pan coating before adding cooked fruit, then reserve. Preheat oven to 400°F. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut the butter into small chunks, add, and cut into the flour mixture to the size of peas. Pour in the cream all at once and stir rapidly by hand to form a soft dough. Place on a floured work surface and pat out to a rectangle 1 ½ inches thick. Make two single turns, folding like a business letter. Cut folded dough into strips, then pull pieces 1-2 inches and drop on top of fruit mixture. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top of cobbler and bake until dough is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serves 8.

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