TOP 10

By Vera Stewart | Photography by Brent Cline

Celebrating our 10th season this year with the show has been incredible! I so appreciate the opportunity I was given by WJBF to have my own show. I’m excited about sharing my hometown and recipes with viewers across 16 states on  38 metropolitan TV stations. Each show generally features a salad or appetizer, main dish and dessert with a beautiful presentation at the end. Recipes come from notable guests, our cookbook and others from experiments related to our next collection, OCCASIONS.

It’s hard to choose favorites but I have selected a few, based on viewer feedback. I hope you consider cooking through the seasons with me. We are ready to begin planning season 11 and we have some great ideas to share!

Top 10 Recipes

Season 1: Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Arugula Salad Topping

Season 2: Salt-Encrusted Prime Rib

Season 3: Oven Poached Salmon (James Farmer)

Season 4: Just Peachy Chutney & Grilled Cheese

Season 5: Cajun Shrimp

Season 6: Spinach and Parmesan-Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Sauce Romesco

Season 7: Brussels Sprout Salad with Pecan Oil

Season 8: Parmesan Grits Casserole

Season 9: Peanut Butter Pie

Season 10: Jones’ Old Fashioned Vegetable Soup

Peanut Butter Pie

Prep time: 30 minutes

Chill time: 2 hours

Yield: 2 (9-inch) pies


8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 (8-oz.) container Cool Whip

12 oz. creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

2 chocolate or graham cracker pie crusts, baked and cooled

Whipped cream, as garnish

Chopped lightly salted peanuts, as garnish

Hot caramel or chocolate sauce, as garnish


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese for 10 minutes with the whisk attachment.

2. Add in confectioners’ sugar and whip for another 10 minutes.

3. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and beat for 5 minutes. Fold in whipped topping until smooth.

4. Spoon evenly between the 2 crusts and freeze for at least 2 hours.

5. Before serving, garnish with whipped cream and chopped peanuts. Drizzle the caramel or chocolate sauce over the top.

6. Store any leftovers in the freezer and allow to thaw slightly before serving.

Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Arugula Salad

Total time: 35 minutes

Active time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


1 cup all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 extra-large eggs

1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Unsalted butter

Olive oil

5 oz. arugula

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

    1/4 lb. chunk Parmesan cheese


1. Combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a pie pan (use glass pie plates or shallow bowls). In a second pie pan, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. In a third pan, combine the bread crumbs, the 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, the lemon zest and thyme, and set aside.

2. Pound the chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment paper until they are about 1/4inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

3. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the prepared flour mixture, then dip into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

5. Place the arugula in a large bowl. In a 1-cup glass measure, whisk together the 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour enough dressing on the arugula to moisten. Toss well.

6. Place dressed arugula on a serving plate and tope with whole or sliced chicken. Add shave Parmesan to taste.

Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This is such a great fall recipe! Brussels sprout season is from September to February so make sure to get the most use out of those veggies during that time!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Total time: 1h 10 minutes

Serves: 5



2 lbs. Brussels sprouts , bottoms trimmed, very thinly sliced (slice feature in food processor)

1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese

1/2 cup candied pecans (The VeryVera Cookbook, Recipes from my Table)

1/4 cup of dried cranberries

6 oz. of bacon, finely chopped

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. raw honey, as needed for sweetness

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

    1/3 cup pecan oil

salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425 F and line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

2. Trim the ends of each Brussels sprout by cutting a super thin slice (about 1/8 inch-thick) off the root end. In a food processor fitted with the slicing attachment, coarsely shred the Brussels sprouts. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can just thinly slice the Brussels sprouts by hand.) Divide the shredded sprouts between two baking sheets, drizzle each tray with the olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and toss together to combine. Spread the Brussels sprouts out evenly on the baking sheets.

3. Roast until tender and browned, about 30 minutes, turning the pans halfway through.

4. Allow to rest to room temperature

5. When the Brussels sprouts are cooled, put them in a large mixing bowl and toss with the pecans, cranberries, bacon and vinaigrette then transfer to a serving bowl.

6. Top with goat cheese prior to serving.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until the honey dissolves and the ingredients are well combined.

2. Adjust flavor to taste, if necessary.

3. For best flavor, allow the dressing to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving over your favorite greens.

4. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week, and shake well before serving each time.

Appears in the June/July 2022 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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