Savor the flavors of the foothills with Morning in the Mountains Cookbook.
Asheville’s Bed & Breakfast Association’s collection of ample sunrise spreads.
I was recently invited to join the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association for their cookbook release party. Several months in the making, I originally heard about this charming recipe collection during a North Carolina Farm Tour I attended earlier in the summer. Needless to say, I was very excited to snag a copy for myself.
When it comes to planning a perfect escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s no better place to stay than with Asheville’s Bed & Breakfast Association. One of the best perks (in addition to little extras like free wifi, ample parking, warm cookies, soothing tea, local beer & wine) is the incredible home-cooked feast that’s included in your stay. The attention to detail at this group of B&B’s goes way beyond what’s essential when ensuring that you have a comfortable place to stay. In fact, these innkeepers will go the extra mile by accommodating food allergies, offering advice for local attractions and helping with whatever you need to fuel your upcoming day.
Cheese Pillows from Sweet Biscuit Inn
I visited The Reynolds Mansion for this celebratory event (this place is beautiful!). Most of my time was spent talking with the cookbook’s innkeepers, sampling recipes and conversing with other media folks. It was definitely an event filled with food, wine and laughter. I just absolutely love socializing with a new crowd and am pleased to say that I actually made a few new friends; including local journalist Cat Carter and the talented Erin Adams (the cookbook’s photographer).
Jess Bentley, Cat Carter, Heidi Billotto and Susan Doiser
Later on that evening, we were treated to a cooking demonstration at Williams Sonoma by Frank Salvo, Innkeeper at 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage. Frank’s animated charisma in the kitchen is simply captivating; he instantly became one of my favorite people and I cannot wait to visit his award winning Bed & Breakfast in the near future. “I’d like to think that we offer B&B dining with flair”, Frank teased.
Frank Salvo, Innkeeper from 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage
If there is a recipe that I have not mastered yet at home, it’s Shrimp & Grits. Thankfully, that’s exactly what Frank decided to cook for us during his presentation. Indeed, his method for this classic southern dish has extra flair; as there’s a sauce made of decadent heavy cream, bright bell peppers, Neese’s Country Sausage and velvety cream cheese (I could easily slurp on a bowl of this Sausage-Pepper Cream by itself).
Frank’s Shrimp & Grits
I’ll share Frank’s recipe below as a teaser for the Morning in the Mountains cookbook. “While the book’s focus is breakfast, you’ll also receive the best recipes for appetizers, sweet bites and [the] best homemade cookies”, explained by the innkeepers behind this fantastic recipe collection.
- 4 cups Water
- 4 cups Heavy Cream
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 2 cups 5-minute Grits
- For the Sausage-Pepper Cream
- ½ pound County Sausage (preferably Neese's)
- 1½ cups assorted Bell Peppers, cut into strips
- 1 tsp. Ground Pepper
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 3 ounces Cream Cheese
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup Butter
- 2 pounds medium Shrimp, peeled & deveined
- Salt to taste
- Green Onions or Chives, chopped
- Prepare Grits: Bring water and cream to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add salt and slowly pour in grits, stirring constantly. Cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Pour into 1-cup ramekins, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Prepare Sausage-Pepper Cream: Brown sausage in a skillet and drain. Add peppers and sauté until just tender, about 3-4 minutes. Combine cream and heavy cream in a separate saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until smooth. Add sausage mixture and freshly ground pepper, then simmer until slitty thickened into a sauce consistency.
- Cook Shrimp: Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook, turning once, until shrimp are pink and firm.
- To Serve: Preheat oven to 300F. Unmold grit cakes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until warmed, about 20 minutes. Transfer to serving plates and evenly pour the sausage-pepper cream over each grit cake. Arrange shrimp on top of each dish and garnish with green onions or chives.
For additional recipes from The Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association, please purchase a copy of Morning in the Mountains here.