Our Kentucky State Fair menu was a real winner and loaded with farm freshness – corn and zucchini cakes topped with hickory smoked avocado sour cream crema, and buttermilk marinated chicken that was grilled and glazed with a peach barbecue sauce. All served over fresh arugula.
Peach BBQ Sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup peach preserves
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Add to a blender and process until smooth.
Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.
Grilled Buttermilk Chicken
2 cups buttermilk
1 lime, zest and juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
8 boneless chicken breasts
Grape seed oil
Whisk together the buttermilk, lime zest and juice, garlic, chili powder, coriander with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour the marinade into a large resealable plastic bag, add the chicken, seal the bag and refrigerate. Marinate the chicken up to 4 hours.
Preheat the grill pan to medium high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Brush with oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown and charred on both sides and cooked to 165 degrees in the thickest part. Brush with Peach BBQ sauce and serve.
Smoked Avocado Crema
1 medium avocado, pit removed, cut in chunks
¼ cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon toasted cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Place the avocado in a bowl. Wrap the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. Use a Smoking Gun and trap enough smoke to form a dense cloud under the plastic. Let stand, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.
Release smoke, remove plastic wrap. Taste a small piece. If a stronger smoke flavor is desired, repeat the smoking.
Add the avocado and the remaining ingredients to the work bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Serve over the corn cakes.
Corn & Zucchini Cakes
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
½ cup stone ground corn, we prefer 8-row flint corn
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
¾ stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh corn kernels with scraped corn milk
1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed to remove excess moisture
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
4 tablespoons Ghee or clarified butter
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the sheet pans in the oven.
In a large bowl, stir together both cornmeals, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs. Stir in the corn, zucchini, and chives. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just moistened and all the dry is absorbed. Rest 10 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee or clarified butter on a flat griddle over medium heat until it sizzles. Drop ¼ cups of batter into the griddle leaving space between them to spread. Cook for 2-3 minutes, turn, and cook for 2 minutes more or until both sides are browned and the center of the pancake is firm. Keep the cakes warm in the oven on the parchment lined sheet trays. Continue cooking the rest of the batter by adding more clarified butter as needed. Serve topped with Smoked Avocado Crema.
2 cups fresh arugula
Toss the arugula in a small amount of olive oil to just coat. Add a pinch of salt and toss. Place on each plate a small amount of arugula. Top with a corn & zucchini cake, topped with avocado crema. Then top with a chicken breast and more Peach BBQ sauce.