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STATE PLATE SEASON 2 PART 2 (begins in Jan. 26, 2018)
Topic Started: Dec 6 2017, 07:49 AM (284 Views)
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The states that will now be featured in upcoming episodes include Alaska,
Montana, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Ohio, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.

1. Posted Image


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WEEK ONE: January 26, 2018 8:00PM

ALASKA Posted Image

Explore some tasty eats on this culinary adventure in the state known as, The Last Frontier! Taylor takes a photo with huskies on the 49th Parallel......just for chuckles Posted Image

In this episode of State Plate, Taylor treks through the Last Frontier to show you how to eat like an Alaskan. He’ll travel to our northern-most state to bring you delicacies not found anywhere else in the nation. First, he’ll check out a hot dog that looks familiar but hides a tasty secret. Then, he’ll fish the Alaskan waters for two different types of kings. Finally, he’ll learn the lore behind two Alaskan eats: pickled kelp and Eskimo ice cream. If you crave adventure and hunger for the unknown, join Taylor on his tasty exploration of this wild land.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Reindeer Dogs Posted Image-Popular on the streets of Anchorage Posted Imageand slowly making its way across the country, this week we bring you the Reindeer Dog. Made from Alaskan caribou, these dogs are split and grilled and served on a steamed bun. The taste is similar to venison sausage but slightly less gamey. As accompaniments try carmelizing onions in a dark cola , top with BOs sauce ( a blend of stone-ground mustard, pepper extract and vinegar ) Posted Imageand add, cheese, catsup, relish or just about anything. Reindeer store fat outside their muscles and therefore there is no marbling. You can eat these "dogs" raw .

Red Umbrella Reindeer - Reindeer sausages and gourmet hot dogs. Located in the heart of downtown, we have been published in the Huffington Post, Anchorage Press, and featured on the Travel Channel. Red Umbrella Reindeer is a family owned sausage cart serving local Alaskans and visitors for over 10 years! The family prides themselves on their great customer service and fresh never frozen sausages, which gives more of the reindeer flavor straight to you. They also have sautéed, caramelized onions made fresh every 15 minutes. It’s no wonder we are the most popular cart downtown and a favorite among locals! Posted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image

Entrée: Smoked Chinook Salmon Posted Image ..... In the Bering Sea, King Salmon spawn. The best way to catch them is by Drift Boat Fishing when the Salmon are swimming upstream to spawn. A King Salmon can be anywhere from 20 to 50 lbs. and 2 to 4 feet long. They are hard to catch and make for great sport fishing. When the fish is born in fresh water, they wait until they are between 2 to 4 inches long. They then swim to the ocean where they eat and eat and eat .......their meal getting bigger and bigger as they grow. In 1 to 8 hears they swim upstream to spawn and become the prey for local fishermen.
The Salmon are cured in brine liquid for about 4 hrs then smoked .

Landem Fishing - Based out of Kasilof Alaska, Hook Line & Land Em Fishing Adventures is owned and operated by Pro Guide Felix Sturm - a veteran angler with over 20 years of experience.

Side 1: Pickled Kelp - Makombu Tsukudani (Pickled Seaweed) This sweet-salty seaweed condiment is terrific atop rice or noodles, sprinkled over salads, or served alongside fish. Using a shredded version of the high-quality kelp called makombu makes preparing it a snap.

At Barnacle Foods , kelp is processed. The Bull Kelp , STIPE , are cut into rings to make pickled kelp or salsa. Posted Image Dill, garlic, coriander and mustard seeds are added to brine and put into jars. Posted ImageThe kelp stipe is added to the jars and placed in boiling water .

Side 2: King Crab Cakes Posted Image The King Crab has 8 legs: one fighting leg, one mating leg, and 6 others. Posted Image Take the meat out of a leg . Saute finely diced/chopped vegetables and add cream cheese and the crab meat and make a patty. Put them in the refrigerator for a while to get cool. DEEP FRY .

Bridge Seafood - Alaskans know fresh seafood and Bridge Seafood stands alone. This unique Anchorage outpost is seafood central for those who want to try all Alaska has to offer.
Our convenient restaurant location adjacent to the Ulu Factory is just a short walk from any point in downtown. Spanning the waters of Ship Creek, Anchorage’s urban salmon stream, watch anglers catch fish while you dine.

Dessert: Eskimo Ice Cream - Akutaq Posted ImagePosted Imageis a food in western Alaska and northern Canada. It is a Yup'ik word, meaning something mixed. Other names include agutak (ᐊᑯᑕᖅ), Eskimo ice cream, Indian ice cream, Native ice cream or Alaskan ice cream. Traditionally it was made with whipped fat mixed with berries like cranberries, salmonberries, ...

Anna’s Alaska, Off the Eaten Path : Anna takes SHEEFISH and removes the meat keeping the fat only. She uses her hands to mix the fat and the salmon berries . The heat from her hand helps to mix the "ice cream".

Appetizer: Reindeer Dog Posted Image
Entree: King SalmonPosted Image
Side 1 : Pickled Kelp Posted Image
Side 2 : King Crab Cake Posted Image
Dessert : Eskimo Ice Cream


1. SalmonBerries are so named because of their color Posted Image
2. Taylor went on a fishing trip and in 10 minutes caught a 25 lb. King Salmon . KUDOS MAN !!!Posted Image
3. There are 6600 miles of coast line along Alaska
4. In the Downtown Market of Anchorage, there are lots of different cultures represented.
5. Reindeer are also known as caribou: Posted Image
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WEEK TWO: February 2, 2018


No treasure map needed to discover a priceless bounty of tasty tidbits in The Treasure State!
In Montana, they have big skies and bigger appetites, but can they fill the big State Plate? In this episode, Taylor Hicks will learn about wild Montana, as he sets his sights on finding the right fare. First, Taylor will fly-fish with basketball legend, Bob Knight, as they seek out trout in the southern rivers. Next, he’ll take a historic journey into the copper mines of Butte, to find out what it takes to make a tasty pasty. And finally, he’ll discover a pie so wild that it’s made from a berry that’s never been tamed. So bring your appetite, because it’s about to get mouth-watering in Montana.

Featured Plates & Food Contributors

Appetizer: Pasty Posted Image
Joe’s Pasty Shop The Pasty is a fresh baked dough, filled with meat, potatoes and served with gravy. Posted Image Miners took the pasty in their lunch boxes along with letters and pictures of their families. Mining was very dangerous, so they never knew if they would return .
You mix the onions, potatoes and salt and pepper together. Add ground beef and cubed beef and form a patty. Dough is flattened by a machinePosted Image and the meat mixture is folded into the dough and trimmed. The Pasty is covered with milk and baked for 1 1/2 hrs.

Entrée: Trout Posted Image
Salt Patrol – Capt. John Keizer where trout is farm raised for eating . The trout are breaded and sauteed and served with lemon. Cutthroat trout are native to Montana , while rainbow and brown trout were brought into the State. Posted Image

Taylor goes fishin' with Indiana Basketball Coach Bobby Knight in the Gallatin River.
Trout are caught by fly fishing where the key to success is in the casting. Taylor caught a nice brown trout , but had to say " Bye , bye" as he threw the fish back into the water.

Posted Image

Side 1: Wheat (Bread) : Posted Image

You can take a stalk of wheat and rub it between your hands, blow away the chafe and what's left is the grain.

Wheat Montana - Welcome to Wheat Montana! Our family has been farming and milling in Southwest Montana for three generations. We grow our grain sustainably and mill it just down the road. That means we can guarantee that our products are top quality, healthy, and farm fresh. Whether you're interested in flour, bread, specialty grains, pancake mixes, cereals, bakery items or even a homemade deli sandwich, we know you're going to taste the difference. Wheat is thrashed by machines .

Side 2: Lentils There are different kinds of lentils. Posted Image The Black Beluga lentil is farmed in Montana . The lentils must be sifted to remove bugs and there must be a 14% moisture content for the lentil to be packaged and used.
Boil the lentils and then add anything to them. For a salad, add vegetables and/or fruit.
Timeless Seeds |-

Dessert: Huckleberry Pie Huckleberries are rare and grow wild in Montana and Idaho. Posted Image They are like blueberries on steroids. Posted Image The taste is tart , but the aroma is sweet. Add brown sugar, cane sugar , corn starch and lemon to the huckleberries. Mix and put into pie crust. Add a top crust and bake for 1 1/2 hrs . I think Taylor really liked this dish . Posted Image

Chef’s Table, LLC

Appetizer: Pasty Posted Image

Entree: Trout Posted Image
Side 1 : Roll
Side 2 : Lentil Salad Posted Image

Dessert: Huckleberry Pie Posted Image


1. In 1860's a disappointing gold rush occurred in Montana. A large cooper deposit was discovered and many people from Cornwall England flooded into the State. Posted Image They brought their favorite food with them...............the Pasty .
2. You can't eat trout caught in the rivers of Montana. It is only catch and release . This is the trout that Taylor caught. Posted Image
3. Wheat is the #1 industry in Montana ( along with cattle raising )
4. 5 million acres of wheat are harvested each year. Posted Image
5. The Lentil is one of the first crops to be harvested. It was domesticated in the Near EAst 10,000 years ago, but has only been in the United States for 100 yrs.
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WEEK THREE: February 9, 2018


This meal will send you straight to your happy place in The Peace Garden State!!

Explore the boundless bounty of North Dakota! Known as the Peace Garden State, this humble northern land is the United States’ top producer of many farm-to-table treats, and Taylor Hicks is out to try them all. He’ll harvest fresh clover honey and see what the buzz is about. He’ll have a fin-tastic time fishing for fresh northern pike. Then he’ll learn about not one, but two top exports: barley and sunflower seeds. Finally, he’ll discover the chokecherry – a North Dakota delicacy that is neither dangerous nor a cherry. It’s a farm-to-table feast on this episode of State Plate.


1. Taylor Hicks brings 'State Plate' TV show to Wishek
By Francis Materi / The Wishek Star Today

WISHEK, N.D. — The sweet success story at Danzig Honey Co. in Wishek, N.D., is about to get some national exposure.

Taylor Hicks, a world-famous singer who won the fifth season of "American Idol" in 2006, has expanded his entertainment career beyond music and now hosts "State Plate" on the INSP cable TV channel.

On the program, Hicks fills his dinner plate with an appetizer, an entree, a side dish and a dessert. Each item is representative of the food produced in the state featured on the current episode.

North Dakota leads the nation in honey production — making the visit Hicks and a production crew of about 10 people paid to Wishek in August a perfect fit.

"We got a call in July that they were interested in coming out here," says Erik Dohn of Danzig Honey Co. "I guess they were looking for a honey operation in North Dakota and a Google search landed them on our website,, which is designed by David Salwei. The whole process from that first phone call to the filming took no more than 30 days."
Hicks donned the traditional beekeeper's uniform of a hood and coveralls. He joined Dohn at the company's production plant in Wishek and in a nearby field to get a quick taste of the honey-making process.
"It was just incredible to see what a team these bees are and what a team Erik and his employees are," Hicks told The Wishek Star last week in a telephone interview.
Hicks is an Alabama native. The TV production marked his first visit to North Dakota and his first experience with honeybees.
"During their short lifespan, a single bee produces just a teaspoon and a half of honey. But together, the bees across your state make about 40 million pounds every year. That's a remarkable fact that has stuck with me," he says.

The segment in Wishek takes up about six minutes of the half-hour "State Plate" program. Hicks also traveled to Buchanan, Devils Lake and Baldwin for the North Dakota episode.
Dohn's mom, Deb, baked fresh jalapeño cornbread, which was drizzled with sweet clover/alfalfa honey to fill the appetizer spot on Hicks' plate.
"Now you're talking my language," Hicks exclaims during the show, referring to his Southern roots. "Sweet and spicy cornbread!"
Dohn says honey was not the only local food favorite Hicks and his staff got to try during their stop in Wishek.
"We sent them over to the Big Screen Bar and Grill, which happened to be serving chicken and dumplings as the lunch special that day. They loved it. They cleaned their plates and told us they wanted more."
Hicks says he hasn't tried too many of the hearty German/Russian dishes that are diet staples around Wishek.

"It's been such a blessing for me doing 'State Plate,' because we can get out and experience the delicious foods everyone loves, in small towns like Wishek and throughout the U.S.," he says.
During the first two seasons of the show, Hicks has sampled crab cakes in Maryland, chili in Texas, potatoes in Idaho and more as he travels from coast-to-coast.
When this season ends, Hicks will have visited 36 of the 50 states to document the most-popular foods.
The fact Hicks spent an entire day in Wishek last summer had to be kept under wraps until production work was completed and a premiere date was set for the North Dakota episode.
"We signed an agreement with ISPN and we were literally sworn to secrecy," says Dohn, with a chuckle. "But I can finally talk about it now. It was really great to have a celebrity in our midst. Everyone at Danzig Honey Company had fun. Taylor is welcome to come back and see us again anytime."
Erik Dohn's parents, Bryan and Deb Dohn, have owned Danzig Honey Co. since 2000. They named it after Danzig, a ghost town a few miles south of Wishek.
All of the company's honey is produced in south central North Dakota. Bees make the honey from floral sources, such as alfalfa, clover, sunflower, canola and wildflowers — including dandelions, lilac and others.
The majority of the Danzig honey comes from clover and alfalfa because of its high quality and light, pleasant taste.

2. Bismarck Times

Chokecherry sauce, honey featured in North Dakota ‘State Plate’
Chris Olson Forum News Service
Hicks is best known as the winner of season five of “American Idol.” Since then Hicks said he has been touring to support his music career, but he is also in his second season hosting “State Plate.”

In each episode, Hicks and his support crew create a plate of food that represents each state’s iconic foods. Hicks said he couldn’t disclose what foods were used to create North Dakota’s State Plate.

“Let’s just say I was ‘buzzing’ around the state,” he said.

Hicks said he hadn’t been to North Dakota before he visited Buchanan, Wishek, Devils Lake and Baldwin last summer to record the episode. The show also filmed at Berry Dakota, located on the farm of Kay Eagleson about 10 miles north of Jamestown on North Dakota Highway 20.

He also got up close and personal with a few thousand bees at Danzig Honey Company in Wishek. Erik Dohn, who runs Danzig Honey Company along with his father, said Hicks visited the beekeeping operation and honey producing company in August. Dohn said they went through the process of making honey.

“We went to a bee yard and pulled some honey,” he said. “We brought it back to the honey processing plant and extracted some honey.”

Dohn said Hicks was a little nervous when they were out in the bee yard, but Hicks and his crew were in protective bee suits.

“You go from every now and then having one or two (bees) flying around to having 40,000 to 50,000 flying around you,” Dohn said. “It can be a little overwhelming. He handled it really well.”

Eagleson said she had a great time with Hicks and his crew when they visited her in mid-August. She said they made a chokecherry sauce that will be used on the North Dakota plate.
Hicks liked the sauce, Eagleson said, but couldn’t hide the sour taste a natural chokecherry makes when he sampled a few.
“He made quite the face in tasting them,” she said.
Hicks said he enjoyed learning about North Dakota food.
“It was a real treat to go to North Dakota and travel and meet the people and just sink my teeth in the foods that make up that state,” he said.

Growing up in Alabama, Hicks said he thought North Dakota had more mountains than he found when he visited.
“I was surprised it wasn’t as mountainous,” he said. “But the rolling terrain and the food were great.”
Hicks said the goal of “State Plate” is to visit all 50 states before the show is over. The show will have visited 36 states by the end of its second season.
“We’re almost to the goal,” he said. “We haven’t been to Hawaii yet, but we hope we’ll get there.”
There is good food everywhere in the United States, Hicks said.
“Each state has its famous food,” he said. “It’s very common for us to put that famous food on each state’s plate, but we also like to add a little local flavor to the plate.”
Hicks co-owns a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Ala., called Saw’s BBQ. He said eating barbecue is a way of life in Alabama.
Being the winner of season five of “American Idol” had a big impact on his life, said Hicks. He toured the nation and internationally after winning. He said he used his touring experience to make traveling for “State Plate” a good experience.
“I have always toured, but this is the best of both worlds, food and culture,” he said.

Appetizer: Honey The fields of North Dakota are loaded with clover and alfalfa where in June thru August, bees make honey in their colonies. Posted Image
The bees gather the pollen and make honey . Smokers are used to calm the bees. Posted Image and Butyric Acid pushes the bees out of the hive. The stacks of honeycomb are removed and separated and put into extractors to produce the honey. Posted Image

Danzig Honey Company - Posted Image

Entrée: Beer Battered Fried Northern Pike Posted Image

Posted Image The pike is a cold water fish . They are very aggressive . A crankbait lure is used that looks like the pikes food. They can be caught all year long and can weigh up to 20/30 lb.s

Bry’s Guide Service - Welcome to North Dakota's premier fishing and hunting location. Here at Bry's Guide Service and the Fish Rehab Lodge, we want to give you the experience of a lifetime. Our goal is to help you create a trip unique to your needs and let you see first hand the beauty Devils Lake has to offer. Explore our services and contact us today to book your next outdoors experience! Taylor took a fishing trip for Northern Pike and was successful .Posted Image.....maybe his harmonica playing helped. Posted Image

Side 1: Barley Risotto Posted Image
They add asparagus to the risotto for a tasty dish.

Town Hall Delicatessen

Side 2: Chokecherry Sauce -Posted Image

Place the aronia berries in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the honey, ginger, lemon juice, and vanilla, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. The sauce should be the consistency of jam.

Berry Dakota - The company was founded in 1996 by Kay Eagleson. We feature homemade Jelly, Jam & Syrup made with wild berries and fruits native to the upper Midwest region. Native berries are picked at the peak of perfection to insure the best flavors.
Kay's homemade quality Jams, Jellies & Syrups are hand stirred & made in small batches to assure high quality products. (Just like Grandma used to make.)You can pick your favorites from Crab Apple, Chokecherry, Wild Plum, Buffalo Berry and other flavors.
Berry Dakota features Jellies & Syrup which are made from pure fruit juice and the Jam Is made with the whole pieces of fruit. All are pure fruit or juice with no added apple or lemon juice. See the back of the brochure for all varieties
Jelly and Jam contain only 48 calories per tablespoon. On a tablespoon per tablespoon basis jam & jelly have half the calories of butter or margarine and contains 0 grams fat. A tablespoon of butter contains 102 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat and 31 milligrams of cholesterol. Posted Image is very bitter . Taylor participated in a chockcherry seed spitting contest at the Annual Festival.

Dessert: Sunflower Pie Posted Image
Coleman Farms Posted Image
Professional combines are used to harvest the sunflower seeds, but you can do one yourself by picking the head and removing the florets and then finding the seeds underneath.
Appetizer: Posted Image
Entree and Sides : Posted Image
Dessert: Posted Image


1. North Dakota produces more honey then any other place in North Ameica. 40 million libs a year worth 80 million dollars at 16,000 bee sites
2. A colony has 1 queen, 100 drones and from 20 to 80 thousand worker bees. One bee = 1.5 tsp of honey .Posted Image
3. 42 million bushels of barley are harvest by combines each year. Posted Image
4. Posted Image Sunflower head.
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WEEK FOUR : February 16, 2018


Dive right into deliciousness in The Ocean State! Noted for Sailing, Seafood and Music Festival...........


Narragansett and SK to be featured in an upcoming episode of ‘State Plate’

Narragansett and SK to be featured in an upcoming episode of ‘State Plate’
The Rhode Island episode of State Plate premiers on INSP on Friday, Feb. 16 8:00 p.m. ET. Pictured above are Slate Plate host Taylor Hicks and Richard Fuka of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance at the RI Calamari Festival last September.

Posted ImagePhoto Courtesy Narragansett Chamber of Commerce

Narragansett and South Kingstown will be represented in the second season of State Plate – an award winning culinary and travel series airing on INSP TV. The episode, which will air on Feb. 16 at 8:00 p.m., features a variety of food and culinary-related events throughout the Ocean State. The series is hosted by former American Idol winner Taylor Hicks.

Hicks and a camera crew were present at Narragansett’s Calamari Festival, presumably gathering footage for the upcoming episode. What has become an annual event sponsored by the town’s chamber of commerce, the Narragansett Calamari Festival saw 11 restaurants from around the state descend upon Gazebo Park for a calamari cook-off in September of last year. In addition to the “all-you-can-eat” calamari offerings, attendees also enjoyed live music, games and special appearances by Disney characters for kids, a beer garden for adults and additional food trucks. Hicks also emceed the awards ceremony and presented the award for best calamari to George’s of Galilee, which took home the top prize for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, Hicks also presented an award to the Mews Tavern as the most-spirited team.

In its first season, which aired in 2016, State Plate and Hicks chronicled food culture throughout the country, with each episode being devoted to a different state and that state’s unique culinary offerings. In this season, which began airing in August, Rhode Island will be featured on the show in addition to Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, New Jersey, Ohio and Kentucky, among others. The season wraps up with Nevada, which airs April 13, and marks 36 states visited by Hicks and State Plate.

“In State Plate, Taylor Hicks tastes his way across the United States on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous, and tastiest foods,” a press release detailing the Rhode Island episode reads. “He samples crab cakes in Maryland, chili in Texas, potatoes in Idaho, and other delectable dishes as he travels from coast to coast visiting farms, ranches, markets, and festivals in order to uncover the stories and legends behind each state’s unique food traditions. It’s a heaping helping of America’s most intriguing cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor.”

The Narragansett Calamari Festival was born out of a joint venture by the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce and the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, and brings awareness to the work of Narragansett Galilee’s fishing fleet. Galilee is one of the most prominent squid-fishing ports in the country.

“We’re so excited about the episode,” said Narragansett Chamber of Commerce Immediate Past Chair Bethany Lordaro, who helped organize the event. “When they were there filming that day, it was so much fun. It’s really great because they are a show that highlights basically each state and what foods each state is known for, and they reached out to us early in the spring last year because we’re the calamari state. They really wanted to capture the seafood culture here, and our fishing ports and that sort of the thing. We can’t wait for Rhode Island to be showcased and hopefully bring more people out to visit our state and specifically our town.”

Perhaps unbeknownst to the rest of America, the food in Lil’ Rhody is a sure highlight of the state, and State Plate will seek to expose the grand culinary ventures of the entire Ocean State in the Rhode Island-based episode, as Hicks did not come exclusively to Narragansett.

“When many think of Rhode Island, they imagine the beauty of the lighthouses including Rose Island Light and Castle Hill or historical places like Hammersmith Farm and the Touro Synagogue National Historic Site; but what about the food?” the press release continues. “Taylor Hicks travels the state discovering all the delectable dishes the state has to offer. Taylor visited Barrington, Warren, Narragansett, West Kingston and Wakefield and filled his plate with delicious food from each of these areas.”

Appetizer: Calamari Posted Image Most all squid appetizers are served fried : Posted Image

The Rhode Island Calamari Festival is held the Saturday following Labor Day each year at Veteran’s Park in Narragansett.Posted Image

Taylor visited three purveyors of calamari who had entered the contest for best dish.
Arturo Joe's contribution was buffalo calamariPosted Image ..... garlic, veg and soy sauce mixed with fried calamari.
Since its founding, the skilled chefs and talented staff of Arturo Joe's have been crafting our reputation as the best place to go for delicious Italian cuisine. Posted Image

Fredericks had smoked calamari popper. Posted ImagePosted Image

Muse Tavern had the winning dish : calamari shooter Posted Image clams are soaked in buttermilk, dredged and deep fried . Grilled pineapple , mesquite salsa and chipotle aioli mixed is the dipping sauce.

Entrée: Quahog Stuffies Posted Image

Posted Image
Stuff the clean quahog shells with the quahog meat mixture. Melt butter, add onion, red and green peppers, garlic and clams and mix together.
Bake 1 hr.

Side: Johnny Cakes Posted Image

Grind corn meal on a stone mill Posted Image add sugar, salt, water and make into a patty. Fry in a pan and use butter and/or maple syrup on top.

Dessert 1: Donut Cakes Posted Image

There are lots of donut shops in Rhode Island . A donut cake is a raised donut rolled and shaped , fried and then decorated. Posted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image

Dessert 2: Coffee Cabinet

Coffee Milk is the official drink of Rhode Island. It is a milk shake make with 2 shots of coffee syrup and milk. To make a cabinet, you put 2 scoops of coffee ice cream into a blender with coffee milk...............

Entree and Sides : Posted Image
Posted Image
Dessert: Posted ImagePosted Image

Posted Image


1. Taylor has a tough time at the coffee bar
2. Originally a small fisherman's tavern which opened in 1947, owners Dave and Danny have transformed the building into a legendary Rhode Island restaurant and bar with something for everyone.
The Mews boasts 3 unique bars, serving 69 beers on tap including many local micro-brews and rare + limited offerings. It is a staple for any beer lover.
3. Taylor at the Donuts Shop making a cookie for State Plate celebration Posted Image
4. 7 million lb of calamari are harvested each year. This equals 50% of the nations squid . A squid has a 14 month life cycle - they are able to reproduce 3 or 4 times during that period........ GOOD TIMES
5. A clam has 4 different stages of development: The littleneck, the count neck, the cherrystone and the quahog. Each ring on a clam shell equal one year of life.
6. The adages, "Rule of Thumb" and "Keep your Nose to the Grindstone" came from making corn meal. The meal must be so thin that it will seep through a closed thumb Posted Image and you have to keep your nose close to the grindstone to make sure the meal is grinding properly.
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WEEK FIVE: February 23, 2018


Where can you find a garden of culinary delights? Why, in The Garden State, of course! It may be called the Garden State, but in New Jersey, diners pop-up like wildflowers. In this episode of State Plate, come with Taylor Hicks as he curates a plate to showcase New Jersey’s love of late-night diners. Find out why you’d never mistake the Italian hotdog with one from Chicago. Figure out the historical role the pork roll sandwich had to play in the revolution. Dance, dunk and dip the night away with a New Jersey original: disco fries. And check out New Jersey’s version of a sloppy joe – a sandwich so delicious and precise you’d hardly recognize it.

There's NORTH JERSEY - with it's close connection to NYC ; SOUTH JERSEY - with an affinity for Philly , but all of New Jersey is populated with DINERS, DINERS AND MORE DINNERS ..........500 of them .

Appetizer: Italian Hot Dog Posted Image
Posted Image

A hot dog is cooked in soy bean oil and put into a Pizza Bread bun Posted Image that has been coated with mustard ............. onions , peppers and cooked potatoes are added on top and ketsup is dabbed as an extra. The Pizza Bread is soft in the middle and hard on the outside.Posted Image

Entrée: Pork Roll Posted Image

Media: Why did singer Taylor Hicks eat a pork roll sandwich in Asbury Park?
Chris Jordan, Feb. 20, 2018

Taylor Hicks came, he saw and he ate.

He ate Jersey food, that is, as part of his new culinary travel show, “State Plate.” The New Jersey episode debuts 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 on the INSP channel.

“New Jersey has unbelievable food that should, in my opinion, be a lot more of a national food as opposed to just a local food,” said Hicks, the winner of the fifth season of “American Idol.” “There are some foods in New Jersey that are local but they’re so good that the world needs to hear more about them.”

More: Who has the best pork roll?

Like Jersey pork roll, or Taylor Ham, depending on your zip code. Hicks had a pork roll sandwich at Johnny’s Pork Roll and Coffee Truck on the north end of the Asbury Park boardwalk in the episode.

“It’s was such an iconic food with local flare,” said Hicks of the sandwich. “I had never had one before and it was such a delight, such a delightful sandwich and obviously the ambiance of the beach, we had a really, really nice time.”

Hicks filmed the pork roll segment in September.

Taylor Hicks inside Johnny's Pork Roll and Coffee
Taylor Hicks inside Johnny's Pork Roll and Coffee Truck on the north end of the Asbury Park boardwalk. (Photo: INSP)

“It was awesome,” said Johnny Porkroll, aka John Yarusi. “He loved talking about pork roll, how to make it, eat it, everything involved in it.”

Hicks even sings in the Johnny Porkroll truck. Posted Image

“Jersey takes lot of pride in their food and that’s a testament to the people and the personalities of the folks from New Jersey,” Hicks said. “It’s really nice people and really, really down home with their food, too.”

It might have been Hicks’ first pork roll sandwich, but it wasn’t his first visit to Asbury Park.

“The city has blossomed, and obviously I love performing up there,” said Hicks, who is finishing up a new album. “I feel like a lot of people get my music up there, it’s something I enjoy, New Jersey. I’ve always liked the people of New Jersey. It’s interesting being an Alabama boy how much I can like folks from New Jersey. Asbury Park is such a great little town. It reminds me of where I grew up in Alabama and it’s just good folks.”

Who has the best pork roll?

A pork roll, egg and cheese from Bagel Masters in Shrewsbury.
Hicks also has salt water taffy at James Candy Company in Atlantic City; an Italian hot dog at Jimmy Buff’s in West Orange; disco fries at the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton; and a “New Jersey” sloppy joe at the Town Hall Delicatessen in South Orange.

More: Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen chef from Neptune to appear on Food Network's 'Chopped'

The concept of “State Plate” is for Hicks to visit all 50 states in search of local culinary treasures.

“We fill up a plate of food that’s iconic to that state,” Hicks said. “If it’s boardwalk, we go there. If it’s on a farm, we go there. It’s just we really want to dig to the heart of the matter of where this iconic food comes from in each state.”

A pork roll is made of minced ham. A hard Kaiser Roll is the bun used. Posted Image The pork roll is cut into thin slices and grilled . Make sure the edges are cut a bit so the slice won't curl. Char the edges slightly for taste.

Posted Image Between the Kaiser Roll place 2 slices of pork roll, a fried egg, American Cheese and 2 more slices of pork roll......add ketchup if desired.

Posted Image

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Side 1: New Jersey Sloppy Joe Posted Image

Bread is the heart of the sandwich............It is sliced very thin. Posted Image To a slice of bread , add, roast beef, turkey slice, Swiss cheese and another slice of bread , then the beef, turkey and cheese and a final slice of bread. Put Russian Dressing on the bread ( mayo, ketchup and relish )

Side 2: Disco FriesPosted Image

Cut potatoes into steak fry size and deep fry. Add brown gravy to the fries and mozzarella cheese . Posted Image Put under a broiler until the cheese is melted .

Dessert: Salt Water Taffy Posted Image

Salt water taffy is a variety of soft taffy originally produced and marketed in the Atlantic City, New Jersey,Posted Image area of the Jersey Shore starting in the 1880s. Salt water taffy is composed of sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, glycerine, water, butter, salt, natural and/or artificial flavor, and food color. The taffy is pulled many times Posted Imageand then with a machine it is cut Posted Imageand packaged for distribution.


DESSERT: Posted Image

1. Jimmy Buff's is the orginator of the Italian Hot Dog Posted Image
2. The Jersey Sloppy Joe originated in 1935 in NJ...........It is NOT beef and ketchup....
3. Salt Water Taffy is an Atlantic City Boardwalk speciality .
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WEEK SIX: March 5, 2018 7:30


Called the Buckeye State, Ohio is nicknamed for a nut that spawned a look-alike candy treat. But what other foods are famous in Ohio? Taylor Hicks is on a mission to find out. In this episode of State Plate, he’ll take a trip into Amish country to uncover the historic origins of baby swiss cheese. He’ll scour chili-crazed Cincinnati to see how many ways they can serve it up. He’ll pick pawpaws – a state fruit so nice, they named it twice.

And, he’ll seek out the American-roots of the Polish pierogi – a savory dumpling hearty enough to fill even the biggest state plate.

Feast your eyes on this Buckeye State feast!


*This story originally appeared in The Budget’s March 8, 2018, Local Edition.

By Beverly Keller
The Budget

What do buckeye candies, Cincinnati chili, pawpaw fruit, pierogies and Baby Swiss cheese have in common? They were all featured on the latest episode of State Plate, hosted by Taylor Hicks.

Holmes County was in the National spotlight thanks to a television show that aired Monday night on the INSP Network. Host Taylor Hicks, the winner of Season 5 of American Idol and current barbecue restaurant owner and food-lover extraordinaire, came to Amish County last fall to learn all about Baby Swiss cheese at Guggisberg Cheese Factory near Charm.

“It was a great experience to visit Amish Country and meet Ursula and the Guggisberg family,” Hicks shared. “They have an amazing story that dates back to her grandparents creating Baby Swiss. Ursula was absolutely amazing to work with.”

Ursula Guggisberg-Bennett echoed the same thoughts on Hicks. “He was easy to work with,” she explained. “It was like talking to an old friend. Off camera, he was talking to the guys about sports. It really was a great experience.”

Hicks explained that the process of making cheese is more complicated than he imagined. “It is almost as complicated as bees making honey because everything has to be just right,” he said. “Guggisberg has to be one of the greatest dairies in the country.”

Hicks noted that the awards the cheesemaker has won to date are nothing short of phenomenal. “I think they probably have won the American Idol of cheese a few times over,” he said with a laugh. “I wonder if winning Grand Champion Cheesemaker is like winning American Idol. I didn’t ask.”

The unique area of Holmes County also impressed Hicks during his time in the Doughty Valley. “This is a very unique area, very culturally-centered,” he shared. “I’ve been to other areas like Hershey in Pennsylvania but they don’t come close to what is there in Ohio in Holmes County.”

Work ethic was also something that left an impression on Hicks about his visit to the area. “Everyone works very hard for that end product,” he said. “You can see with the Guggisberg family how important the family unit and working together are to the success of their business.”

Guggisberg-Bennett shared that the family felt honored to be picked for the show. “We are one of three foods featured from Ohio,” she said “We feel honored to have been picked. It was neat to walk Taylor through the process and teach him that this area is part of what makes us who we are. The rolling hills of Holmes County and our local family farms set us apart.”

Appetizer: Baby Swiss Cheese

Guggisberg Cheese located in the heart of Ohio's Amish Country . Baby Swiss is a milder cheese. The holes are smaller and are called eyes. The Baby Swiss is aged for a shorter time than other Swiss. Ten pounds of milk makes one pound of cheese. The milk is pasteurized and separated ; then cultures ( enzymes ) are added. Posted Image The milk coagulates and the curd is separated from the whey. It is aged for 30 days in a mold !!!

Entrée: Cincinnati Chili Posted Image

Cincinnati chili is a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce used as a topping for spaghetti or hot dogs, both dishes developed by Macedonian immigrant restaurateurs in the 1920s. Cinnamon and sometimes chocolate are in the chili. There are 5 types of Cincinnati chili : 1. just chili; 2chili and spaghetti; 3. with cheese on top ; 4. with onions and/or beans added to 1 and 2 ; 5. All of the above Posted Image
Posted Image

Side 1: Pawpaw Posted Image

pawpaw, is a small deciduous tree native to the eastern United States and Canada, producing a large, yellowish-green to brown fruit. Pawpaw fruits have a sweet, custardish flavor somewhat similar to banana, mango, and cantaloupe, and are commonly eaten raw, but also make excellent ice cream and baked desserts. The fruit can be pureed to make smoothies.
Goats help to raise a paw paw as they eat the brush near the trees , fertilize the soil and bring the flies that pollinate the trees. Posted Image
A paw-paw is higher in most minerals than either apples, banana or oranges.
The green paw-paw is the most tropical in flavor ; the purple has a more caramel taste. Posted Image Softness of the fruit is the key to taste , but the paw-paw is 26% sugar. Zowie .

Taylor harvesting paw-paws from the paw-paw patch Posted Image

Side 2: Pierogi

Pierogi (singular pieróg), also known as varenyky, are filled dumplings of Central European origin made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savory or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water.

Use unleavened dough. Keep flattening in until it is about 6 feet long. Posted Image Fill the dough with mashed potato , cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper mix.Posted Image Cook in boiling water and then saute in butter. Top with glazed onions.

Dessert: Buckeyes Posted Image

Buckeye candy is a confection made from a peanut butter fudge partially dipped in chocolate to leave a circle of peanut butter visible.

First made in the 1960's , powdered milk and sugar are added to peanut butter and mixed well in a vat. Posted ImagePosted Image

The Appetizer: Posted Image
The Entree: Posted Image
The Dessert: Posted Image


1. Ohio is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Posted Image
2. The Amish in Ohio were looking for a food product that would use their milk Posted Image ..............voila ! Swiss Cheese
3. The Paw Paw is the State Fruit of Ohio . Lewis and Clark survived on Paw Paw during a brief time during their expedition
4. While perogies come from Eastern Europe, they were first sold in Cleveland, Ohio in the early 20th century Posted Image
5. There are more chili restaurants and food trucks in Cincinnati then any other city Posted Image
6. You can't eat the buckeye nut . Not edible to humans unless roasted to breakdown tannic acid and esculin. But I'll bet squirrels can !!!
7. 1/2 of the U.S. population live within 500 miles of Columbus , Ohio
8. The worlds largest buckeye candy Posted Image
9. Ohio Food Fun
2009 was a fruitful year! The tomato became the Official State Fruit and the Pawpaw was named the Official State Native Fruit.
TBT (Throwback Tomato!): In 1965 Ohio made tomato juice the Official State Beverage.
Akron is home to the National Hamburger Festival.
Dublin is home to “Cornhenge,” a field of 109, nearly 8-foot-tall concrete corn sculptures.
The banana split was invented in Wilmington, OH.
The world’s largest popcorn festival takes place annually in Marion, OH.
Chef Boyardee was real! And he lived in Ohio! He was Hector Boiardi, the chef who directed the catering of President Woodrow Wilson’s second wedding in 1915. In 1917, Boiardi moved from New York to Cleveland where, in 1924, he and his wife, Helen, opened an Italian restaurant called Il Giardino D’Italia (The Garden of Italy). In 1928, he, Helen and his two brothers launched the now famous food company. Hector, the immigrant who arrived from Italy at the age of 16, and worked in the kitchen of New York’s Plaza Hotel, eventually becoming head chef, died in 1985, a millionaire.

10. Recipe for making a buckeye candy

1 1/2 cups of creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla, adding, in gradual increments, the confectioners’ sugar.
Beat with an electric mixer on low until blended into a dry dough.
Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
Insert a toothpick into the top of each ball. You will use the toothpick later to dip the balls into chocolate.
Place the peanut butter balls in the freezer until they become chilled and firm—about 30 minutes. Some people simply refrigerate them until firm.
Melt chocolate chips. You can use a double boiler or set a bowl over a pot of simmering water. If you prefer, you can microwave on half-power 30 seconds at a time until melted. Whichever method you use, be sure to stir often until smooth.
When chocolate is melted, retrieve the frozen (or refrigerated) peanut butter balls.
Dip the firm peanut butter balls into the chocolate using the toothpick, covering just about ¾ of the ball, allowing a small portion of peanut butter to peek out at the top. This gives them the appearance of a buckeye.
Place the buckeyes back on your cookie sheet.
Remove the toothpicks, and gently smooth over the hole with your finger.
Refrigerate until it’s time to serve.
Leftovers can be stored in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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WEEK SEVEN: March 12, 2018


You can never be blue in The Bluegrass State…not with these good eats! Home of the Kentucky Derby . Posted Image
Posted ImagePosted Image

The Bluegrass State is serving up derby eats and down-home treats! Come with Taylor Hicks as he explores mouthwatering fare and the beautiful countryside of Kentucky in this episode of State Plate. First, he’ll sample a delicate derby favorite, the benedictine sandwich. Posted Image Then, he’ll taste burgoo, a stew so unique that natives don’t agree on a recipe or how it got its name. He’ll sleuth out the secret recipe of the hot brown, Kentucky’s most famous late-night dish. And finally, he’ll sample the bourbon ball, a Kentucky candy favorite. It’s a world of unbridled flavor on this episode of State Plate.

Appetizer: Benedictine Spread Posted Image

A spread made with cucumbers and cream cheese. Posted Image Invented near the beginning of the 20th century, it was originally and still is used for making cucumber sandwiches,Posted Image but in recent years it has been used as a dip or combined with meat in a sandwich
The limestone soil makes it perfect for vegetable growing as well as grazing for horses.
The prickly spines on a cucumber shows their ripeness and freshness as well as the deep green color. Posted Image

Entrée: Kentucky Hot Brown Posted Image

The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. For the Mornay sauce: heat butter, flour, and heavy cream. Add parmesan cheese and nutmeg. To make the sandwich place tomato, turkey on a slice of bread . Add hot mornay sauce .

During the Kentucky Derby 1000 sandwiches are sold each day. Taylor enjoying his hot brown Posted Image

Side 1: Burgoo Posted Image

Traditional burgoo was made using whatever meats and vegetables were available—typically, venison, squirrel, opossum, raccoon or game birds, and was often associated with autumn and the harvest season. Today, local barbecue restaurants use a specific meat in their recipes, usually pork, chicken, or mutton, which, along with the spices used, creates a flavor unique to each restaurant.

A typical burgoo is a combination of meats: pork, chicken, mutton or beef, often hickory-smoked, but other meats are seen occasionally; and vegetables, such as lima beans, corn, okra, tomatoes, cabbage and potatoes. Typically, since burgoo is a slow-cooked dish, the starch from the added vegetables results in thickening of the stew. However, a thickening agent, such as cornmeal, ground beans, whole wheat, or potato starch can be used when cooked in a non-traditional way. In addition, soup bones can be added for taste and thickening. Stirring the stew is the key to this stew , whether done by Taylor or by the people in the civil war. Posted Image Posted Image

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3-4 lbs. pork shoulder or ribs, cut into large pieces (3 to 4 inches wide)*
2-3 lbs. chuck roast, stew meat, or other inexpensive cut of beef, cut into large pieces (3 to 4 inches wide)*
3-5 chicken legs or thighs with the bone
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 quart beef stock or broth
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 large potatoes (russets work well, or use your favorite)
1 bag of frozen corn (about 1 pound)
1 bag of frozen lima beans (about 14 oz.)
Salt and pepper
4-8 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco or hot sauce of your choice, on the side
*Note: You will cut the meats into smaller pieces later in the recipe. However, it’s best to cook them in large chunks at first so they remain juicy and tender throughout the cooking process.

Brown the meats: Heat vegetable oil on medium-high in a large soup pot (at least 8-qt). Salt the meats on all sides. When the oil is hot, brown all the meats in batches. Do not crowd the pan. You want the meats to brown, not steam. Do not move the meat while browning a side. Let the meat become seared. Place the browned meats in a bowl.
Sauté onions, carrots, celery, green pepper in the pot. If they begin to stick to the bottom, add a bit more oil. Sauté for a few minutes then add salt to taste.
When the vegetables are browned, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the meats, both chicken and beef broths, the tomatoes, and stir. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 2 hours—enjoying the mouthwatering aroma wafting through your house!
After 2 hours, uncover and remove the meats. Strip the chicken off the bone and toss the skin if you prefer. Cut or shred the larger chunks of meat into bite-size pieces.
Replace all the meat to the pot and increase the heat to a strong simmer.
Potatoes: Peel and cut the potatoes into relatively the same size as the meat. If you’re using new potatoes, you can leave the skins on. However, if you’re using russets, peeling is recommended. Once cut, add potatoes to the stew and cook until they’re done, about 45 minutes.
Once the potatoes are cooked, add the Worcestershire sauce, mix well, and taste to see if you need more salt and Worcestershire sauce.
Add the corn and lima beans. Mix well and cook for at least 10 minutes, or longer, depending on your preferred texture.
Before serving, taste again to see if you’d like to add more salt or Worcestershire.
Serve with thick crusty bread or cornbread (for dipping and sopping up the last bits off your plate!) and hot sauce for guests who savor the heat.

Posted Image

Side 2: Spoonbread Posted Image

Spoonbread is a moist cornmeal-based dish prevalent in parts of the Southern United States. Although named a "bread", spoonbread is closer in consistency and taste to many savory puddings, such as Yorkshire pudding or a souffle.

In the early 1900's or perhaps by the Native Americans, this dish found its origin.

Take Milk plus 1/ 14 cup of self rising corn meal............heat
Mix egg, salt, sugar , and butter . Pour into milk mixture and bake 1/2 hr.

Dessert: Bourbon Balls Posted Image

Bourbon balls are bite-sized confections incorporating bourbon, and dark chocolate as an ingredient. It was invented at the Rebecca Ruth's Candy Company in 1936 by Ruth Hanley Booe. The candy dough contains straight bourbon. Posted Image This dough is covered with milk chocolate Posted Imageand topped with a pecan slice.

Posted Image

Appetizer: Posted Image
Entrees and Sides : Posted Image
Dessert: Posted Image


1. A Hot Brown Sandwich (sometimes known as a Louisville or Kentucky Hot Brown) is an American hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit and was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night suppers

2. 3 million bourbon ball candies are sold each year.

3. Recipe for Benedictine Spread
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsps. cucumber juice and cuke dices
1 tbsp. onion juice and minced onion
1 tsp. salt
A few grains of cayenne pepper
2 drops green food coloring

3. There is a 5.4 billion dollar produce business in Kentucky

4. . The official Agricultural Insect of Kentucky is the honey bee (Apis mellifera), designated in 2010.

In 2005 Milk was designated as Kentucky official state drink.

Kentucky's official state Fruit is the Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis), designated in 2004.

The official Wild Animal Game Species of Kentucky is the Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), designated in 1968.

Kentucky's official state Fish is the Kentucky Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus), designated in 1956.

It is claimed that cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaolin's restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibb lettuce was first cultivated in Kentucky by Jack Bibb in the late 19th century It is also called limestone lettuce, from the limestone in the Kentucky soil where it was first grown.

Bourbon whiskey is named for Bourbon County, Kentucky, where is was first made in the late 18th century.

Henry Clay imported the first purebred Herefords to America in 1817.

The official Bourbon Festival of Kentucky is The Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky (designated in 2000).

In 2006 the Clarkson Honeyfest was designated as Kentucky's Official State Honey Festival.

The Trigg County Country Ham Festival
Trigg County, Kentucky, has been holding the festival every year since 1977. Each October, tens of thousands of people from all over the country come to sample the county's famous country cured hams.
The world's largest country ham and biscuit is made here each year as part of the festivities, and many contests are held, including the pig derby, a greased-pig catching contest, and a kiss a pig contest. Just hope it doesn't kiss back!
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project

The Tater Day Festival, which is one of the few festivals devoted to sweet potatoes, is held in Benton, Kentucky. The three-day Tater Day Festival had its beginnings in 1843. Farmers from the countryside would bring their products to the town square to sell or trade on county court days. One of the things they would bring is sweet potatoes, which grow well in the Southern climate. 'Tater' is a nickname for potato.
In Benton, this eventually turned into an annual festival honoring the sweet potato, complete with a parade, carnival, and baking and canning competitions, beginning on the first Monday in April.
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project

5. In 1860 during the civil war , burgoo was invented to keep food constantly cooking for the soldiers. A soldier with a speech impediment tried to say Bird Stew and it came out Burgoo

6. Taylor played a little harmonica with a local Blue Grass Band . Posted Image
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WEEK EIGHT : March 19, 2018


North Carolina may be first in flight, but can it also be first in bite? On this episode of State Plate, Taylor Hicks will explore the farm-to-table flavors of a state famous for its Southern staples and slow-roasted meats. First, Taylor will pick a versatile native grape, used in everything from juice to jelly, and make a perfect spread for homemade biscuits. Then, he’ll weigh in on a BBQ battle royal that’s left a state divided on what constitutes “true ’cue.” Next, he’ll try two sides that feature farm-fresh greens. And finally, he’ll savor some homemade sweet potato pie, a true Carolina treat. It’s a Southern smorgasbord on this episode of State Plate.

If you’re fixin’ to chow down, check out these fixin’s from The Tarheel State!

1. The News and Observer

March 19, 2018 1:52 PM

"American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks' TV show highlights the country's best foods. He takes on NC this week.
"American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks hosts the food and travel show "State Plate" on the INSP network. An episode featuring North Carolina food airs Monday, March 19, featuring The Pit Authentic Barbecue and owner Greg Hatem. State Plate

On the subject of Brooklyn barbecue, Taylor Hicks is delicate. He has an opinion, sure, but he's guarded about it, aware of the fervor kicked up when barbecue lovers draw lines in the sand.

What the "American Idol" winner says is almost apologetic on behalf of those in the Northeast, not that they're not talented or capable when it comes to the smoked arts. They just have the wrong wood.

"It's tough to get the right wood in the Northeast," Hicks said in a phone interview. "They need to come down here and try our barbecue. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves."

It's fair to say that at any given moment Hicks is in between plates of barbecue.

Hicks won Season 5 of the FOX reality singing competition, launching a fan kingdom known as the Soul Patrol. He now co-owns his own barbecue joint in Birmingham, Ala., Saw's Juke Joint, and when he's on the road, it's the first thing he seeks out. A life on the road also leaves little time for sightseeing, but everyone has to eat.

"When you're in the touring business, you're in the food business too, sort of through osmosis," Hicks said, calling from Nashville, Tenn., where he's recording a new album.

After all that eating on the road, Hicks calls himself a foodie and has turned travel and food into the show "State Plate" on the INSP network, which is described as having programs with "inspiring stories that honor tireless, traditional values and celebrate the American spirit."

The show has Hicks traveling the country with each episode focusing on one state and featuring as many of that state's signature dishes as it can fit on a plate in a half hour. His stops have included Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona, Texas and Massachusetts.

The show, now in its second season, comes to North Carolina, having been selected by fans to be featured. The episode premieres March 19 at 7:30 p.m. and spans the state, from Eastern North Carolina sweet potatoes and muscadines to leafy greens in the western mountains.

Barbecue, perhaps the state's signature food, features prominently. Hicks stops at The Pit in Raleigh and smokes a whole hog with owner Greg Hatem, sampling both Eastern- and Lexington-style sauces.

"I love the Triangle," Hicks said explaining why he picked the restaurant on West Davie Street for the show. "It's kind of like the Bermuda Triangle for barbecue. You can get lost in it."

At the Pit in downtown Raleigh,
Hicks doesn't adhere to the barbecue romance and myths that the greatest smoked meats are only found in dives far from the farthest town. He said if barbecue is done right, great barbecue can come from anywhere, but to follow heart, not hype.

"Just because it's a hole in the wall doesn't mean it's great barbecue," Hicks said. "Great barbecue can come from the nicest shopping mall in Savannah, Ga., or someone cooking in their backyard and selling it on the side of the road. It starts with how it's prepared and second, the sauce. Just because a picture of a famous football coach holding a rib is hanging on the wall doesn't mean it's the world's greatest ribs."

Hicks was raised in Alabama by North Carolina parents, eating livermush sandwiches nearly every day, a delicacy he said they brought with them from their home state. Food is often what tells our stories and gives our memories and traditions a place to stand throughout time.

That's the aim of "State Plate," to capture a state's identity a state through its food. The North Carolina episode features muscadine grape jelly from Trinity, kilt lettuce in Winston-Salem, sweet potato pie in Bailey and cole slaw from Norlina.

Minus the coast, where North Carolina waters are teeming with terrific seafood, it's hard to argue with the plate Hicks and producers made here.

But among the chefs, farmers and home cooks in the episode, no one of color is represented, an omission in telling the story of the state's cuisine and Southern food.

A spokesperson for INSP said it's a tall order to encapsulate a state through just a few of its foods and that the series overall is a better representation of the country.

"The challenge for this project is that the task is overwhelming: how to select a small selection of people and foods that are representative of each state out of the countless possibilities," a spokesperson said in an email after the interview with Hicks.

"We have had to do this for all 50 states, knowing that, inevitably, the selections would need to be somewhat subjective and that there would not be time for some very deserving people and foods. However, on balance, when looking at the series in its entirety, it will be clear that we provided significant ethnic and cultural diversity."

Appetizer: Muscadine JellyPosted Image

This is an old-time muscadine jelly or ( scuppernong) made without pectin. Muscadines and scuppernongs are wild native American grapes found in the Southeastern U.S., but also cultivated . Posted Image The grapes are larger than the grapes you find in your local market. they're about 1 1/2 inches in size. Posted ImageAnother difference is the skin. These grapes come in blue, green, red, yellow and bronze . The more gold the color, the sweeter the grape.
These grapes are hand picked . There is a little hint of sour , but mostly sweet in the taste . Boil the grapes, mash them, strain them, add sugar and serve on a biscuit. Posted Image

Entrée: BBQ Pulled Pork ( Eastern and Western ( Lexington ) ) Posted ImagePosted Image

The SpaniardsPosted Image brought vinegar based sauce to N.C. as they considered tomatoes poisonous .

Eastern BBQ is made with the whole pig and the sauce is tangy . Posted Image The meat is stripped from the bones and chopped Posted Image

Vinegar based sauce: Vinegar Sauce
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar.
3/4 cup ketchup.
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce.
4 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar.
2 teaspoons kosher salt.
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard.

The German's from P.A. brought the tomato bases sauce .

Western ( Lexington ) BBQ sauce is made from the shoulder of the pig . It is tomato based with vinegar and honey and is sweet.
The pork shoulder is slightly charred so the outside is brown Posted Imageand then is just stripped from the bone by hand and NOT chopped.

4 cups cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups ketchup
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Add all ingredients to list

Posted Image
Taylor working the pulled pork station :
Posted Image

Side 1: Kilt Lettuce and Onions Posted Image

Kilt Lettuce is not a type of lettuce, rather it is a dish of lettuce (or other greens) served warm. ... It is an Appalachian and southern US version of a warm salad, in which the salad green has bacon on it -- bacon fat, that is.Posted Image
The leaf lettuce is pan fried until soft and "melts" easily. Posted Image

Apple cider vinegar, green onions and the lettuce are mixed for a delicious side dish.

Side 2: Coleslaw Posted Image

Cabbage is ground profusely throughout North Carolina Posted Image

There are Eastern and Western Style dressings for cole slaw.

Eastern is - mayonnaise and creamy
Western is - vinegar and tangy Ketchup provides the "red" in this slaw,

Green Posted Imageand red cabbage Posted Imageare cut with shredded or minced carrots added . Salt and pepper to taste

Dessert: Sweet Potato Pie Posted Image

The Heel of the potato is cut and replanted ...........
The Sweet Potato can be dug with a shovel and grow in small bunches .Posted Image
Cook and mash the potato then blend with condensed milk , vanilla and spices. Posted Image Bake in a home made crust.

Firm sweet potatoes, which have golden skin and paler flesh.
Soft sweet potatoes, which have copper skin and orange flesh. These are used for sweet potato pie.
The two types of sweet potatoes cook differently. Firm sweet potatoes still remain firm and a little waxy after cooking, while the soft variety becomes creamy and fluffy.

Appetizer: Posted Image
Entree and Sides:Posted Image
Posted Image


1. There are 8 million acres of farmland in N.C.
2. It was not the tomato that was poisonous, rather the pewter bowls and plates that the tomato based BBQ sauce was serve in. The acid from the tomato reacted negatively with the pewter.
3. The Sweet potato is the State Vegetable of N.C. Skin color can be white, yellow, red, purple, or brown, while the flesh can be white, yellow, orange, or even orange-red
4. N.C. is the # 1 producer of sweet potatoes in the U.S. 50% of all U.S. sweet potatoes come from North Carolina
5. If you are in the U.S. you are probably eating a sweet potato regardless of its color.

Sweet potatoes are not a type of yam, and yams are not a type of sweet potato. They are both tuberous root vegetables that come from a flowering plant, but they are not related and actually don't even have a lot in common.

Yams are native to Africa and Asia, with the majority of the crop coming from Africa. They are related to lilies, and can be as small as a regular potato or jumbo in size (some grow five feet long!). Yams have a cylindrical shape with blackish or brown, bark-like skin and white, purple, or reddish flesh. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are starchier and drier.
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WEEK NINE : March 26, 2018


Home of pumpkins, potatoes and primaries

We’re basing this on the rock-solid truth: You’ll get a hearty meal in The Granite State!

In New Hampshire, “Live Free or Die” isn’t just a motto, it’s a way of life. On this episode of State Plate, Taylor Hicks will explore the liberated larder of a state that’s truly free. First, Taylor will taste some fall-ready soup and find out the history of America’s first fruit, the pumpkin. Next, he’ll savor the freest dairy product in the union – New Hampshire’s unpasteurized yogurt. Then, he’ll find out what’s like to be home on the free-range when he visits venison and white potato farms. And, finally Taylor will sample a dessert that tastes like cider, eats like cake, and has the freedom to claim both parties. It’s the snacks of the citizenry on this episode of State Plate!

Appetizer: Pumpkin Bisque Posted Image

A rich soup made from the flesh of the pumpkin. scoop out and remove the seeds. Remove the rind. The whitish part is the flesh .Posted Image Cube it and cook it for 2 hours and then mash it with spices ( nutmeg, cinnamon ) . Add chicken broth , apple cider , maple syrup, some brown sugar and cream.

In Laconia , NH, in 1991, th pumpkin festival began . Posted Image Taylor enjoyed the many foods made with pumpkin ( fritters, fries, stews, piesPosted Image , lasagnePosted Image and soups ) . Posted Image

Entrée: Venison RibPosted Image

The best venison comes from the European Red Deer which are raised in N.H. Posted Image The deer are gentle but easily spooked , so it takes time and wiles to move them from pen to pen. They eat grass , corn and chocolate....

The best tasting venison is cooked rare.

Side 1: Mashed White PotatoesPosted Image

As the official state vegetable ,Posted Image the white potato is generally just boiled and mashed and served with butter . Season with s/p.

The White Potato originated in 500 BC in South America. It was taken to Europe first and then to North America. The Scotch/Irish brought it to New Hampshire first.

Side 2: Yogurt Salad DressingPosted Image

Posted Image

Made from fresh unpasteurized milk of the Guernsey cow which is heated . Culture ( bacteria ) is added and poured into jars Posted Imageto cool for 2 days. Herbs are added to make the salad dressing .

Dessert: Apple Cider DoughnutsPosted Image

Apple cider is made from Cortland and MacIntosch Apples in N.H. . The apples are dumped into a ( bin dumper )Posted Image and then into a scrubber to clean them. They are ground , mashedPosted Image , and spread on a porous cloth with the ends of the cloth folded.Posted Image A press is used to extract the apple juice. Posted Image This apple cider Posted Imagegoes into the donut dough and baked/fried. Posted Image Crunchy on the outside/ soft on the inside.

An American Idol Eats His Way Through NH
The Laconia Pumpkin Festival and four local farms to star in an episode of Taylor Hicks’ “State Plate”


So, let’s be real. When it comes to any kind of rich culinary identity, New Hampshire doesn’t exactly boast the same kind of storied, symbolic snacks seen in our sister states.

Maine has lobsters and blueberries. Massachusetts, its chowder. Vermont, its maple syrup.

Here? The folks at New Hampshire Public Radio recently embarked on a quest to determine our signature food, only to find that — perhaps appropriately, given our place in the middle of the region — it’s mostly a mishmash of other New England cuisines.

Of course, any local could tell you that what we lack in originality we make up for in quality.

And that’s just what Taylor Hicks (yes, that Taylor Hicks, the 2006 “American Idol” champion) set out to capture when he visited with the crew of his new food-focused roadshow, “State Plate.”

Airing on INSP (formerly The Inspiration Network), each episode showcases a distinctive plate of food from a single state: an appetizer, an entrée, two sides and a dessert.

New Hampshire’s episode won’t air until early 2018. While Hicks’ tour took him to an array of local farms, his agenda also included a stop at the Laconia Pumpkin Festival to sample something made from the state fruit. One takeaway from that detour: “I didn’t realize there’s a lot of different varieties in which you can prepare a pumpkin.”

And on the whole, his tour left him enamored with New Hampshire’s tapestry of tiny towns and general stores stocked with stuff grown right down the street.

“It’s truly a farm-to-table state,” says Hicks.

That said, the Birmingham, Alabama, native was also impressed — and surprised — by New Hampshire’s apparent reverence for at least one seemingly ubiquitous deep-fat-fried food.

“I didn’t realize how many doughnut shops there were,” laughs Hicks. “I grew up with a Krispy Kreme around the corner, but you guys take the cake — no pun intended.”

“It’s interesting how there are all of these little doughnut shops that are so local and fresh, and all of a sudden you guys can’t get enough of it — so Dunkin’ Donuts has to put 100 stores in New Hampshire,” he adds. “I love it.”

And fear not, “Idol” fans: When he’s not filming his TV show, Hicks has hardly given up his musical career. He still performs live shows and debuted a new single, “Six Strings and Diamond Rings,” in September. In fact, the way he sees it, these pursuits are complementary.

“The way you prepare a dish is like the way you prepare a song,” says Hicks. “Hopefully you put a lot of love in it, and people will like it.”

This article appears in the December 2017 issue of New Hampshire Magazine

Appetizer:Posted Image
Entree and Sides :
Posted Image


1. Taylor trying to "rustle " up some deer

2. Stage deer horns with fuzz are used for medicinal purposes in the old days. Posted Image
3. The pumpkin is a member of the Cucurbit family and is the State fruit of N.H.
4. Yogurt is sour milk .
5. Posted Image
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WEEK TEN: April 2, 2018 7:30 EST


We, the people of the United States, in order to delight the taste buds, do ordain this mouthwatering menu from The Constitution State.

Nicknamed The Constitution State, Connecticut knows how to start traditions. On this episode of State Plate, Taylor Hicks gets schooled on classic eats with Connecticut flare! First, Taylor eats a piece of apizza, a Connecticut take on an Italian staple that swaps sauce for seafood. Next, he’ll snack on a cold sandwich with a temperature twist, as he dives into a hot lobster roll. Then, he’ll chow down on a burger so unique that it’s picking up steam – the steamed cheeseburger. Finally, he’ll cool down with an ice cream float and learn that this sweet treat has a history as flavorful as Connecticut’s. So come explore new traditions and one-of-a-kind treats on this episode of State Plate!

1. Ted’s Restaurant in Meriden featured on ‘State Plate”
Taylor Hicks, the host of “State Plate,” visited Ted’s Restaurant in Meriden for his April 2 show. Courtesy of Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks, the host of “State Plate,” visited Ted’s Restaurant in Meriden for his April 2 show. Courtesy of Taylor Hicks

March 24, 2018
By Bailey Wright, Record-Journal staff

MERIDEN — Ted’s Restaurant will be featured on a new “State Plate” episode on April 2.

The steamed cheeseburger venue will be one of five Connecticut eateries visited by “State Plate” host Taylor Hicks, a recording artist who won the fifth season of American Idol. The show airs on INSP Network.

“Anytime they choose you for any of these shows it’s always really cool and really neat,” said Bill Foreman, owner of Ted’s Restaurant.

The more-than-50-year-old family-owned restaurant has been featured worldwide, in magazines, newspapers, and other TV shows, including “Hamburger Paradise” and “Burger Land” on The Travel Channel and “Man vs Food” with Adam Richman.

“State Plate” premiered in 2016 and recently announced a third season, which will complete the show’s tour of all 50 states.

“What we wanted to do is showcase a plate of food that’s iconic to that state,” Hicks said. Episodes air every Monday at 7:30 p.m.

“I loved Connecticut because it’s a state with land and sea,” Hicks said in an interview with the Record-Journal last week. “So we’re able to cover anything from lobster rolls to steamed cheeseburgers.”

Among the “iconic” Connecticut cuisine featured is Noank Aquaculture Co-op’s oyster on the half shell in Groton, Ford’s Lobster Restaurant’s hot lobster roll in Noank, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana white clam pizza in New Haven, and Avery’s Beverages’ ice cream soda in New Britain.

‘State Plate’ and Taylor Hicks put spotlight on CT’s food
by mchaiken • March 30, 2018

Taylor Hicks won the hearts of America as the last singer standing on “American Idol.”

Now Hicks is traveling into the heart of America on the INSP food show, “State Plate.” And on April 2, Hicks’s visit to Connecticut will make its debut on the cable network.

“State Plate,” according to press materials finds Hicks “on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous, and tastiest foods… as he travels from coast to coast visiting farms, ranches, markets, and festivals in order to uncover the stories and legends behind each state’s unique food traditions.”

Although the appointed leader of Idol’s “Soul Patrol” may be known for his musical talent, Hicks’s credential as a foodie are pretty solid.

“I had been touring a lot as a kid touring through Alabama,” said Hicks, who grew up in the southern state.

During his time on the road as a musician, Hicks said,“We would visit all these places (restaurants and food establishments)… We would pretty much go on a food tours.”

Plus, Hicks said, his upbringing gave him no choice but to learn indulge in food. “Being in Alabama and the South,” the host of “State Plate” said, “you could not have a palate for food.”

Besides loving the taste of food, these days, Hicks also delivers the food to the mouths of America as co-woner of Sawe’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, Ala.

Food is a “great outlet for me,” said Hicks. “It fits my personality being from the South and being a fan of barbecue.”

Prior to arriving as host of “State Plate,” Hicks already was aiming to be at the helm of a food show. He said he had been pitching ideas to networks that placed him in the role of a host of a food show.

And then, Hick said, “The stars aligned. ‘State Plate’ was looking for a new host.”

Hicks said he liked the idea behind “State Plate.”

Being someone from Alabama, Hicks said, he often wondered what people liked to eat in other states. And he was sure the feeling was mutual for people who lived in other states as well. Additionally, he liked the educational aspect of the show and the culinary exploration involved.

In his travels of the United States, Hicks said one of the aspects of the culinary spectrum across the country he noticed the most is the importance of the small farmers who bring the food to the table that Americans love. “I have much respect for farmers and small farmers.”

Along his travels, which have taken him to 36 states in two seasons, Hicks also said he has learned to love all of the regional delicacies. But he has developed a special affinity for wild asparagus from Minnesota. “Wild asparagus is something I never tried before.” He said he already loved asparagus. But wild asparagus, he said, “takes it to another level.”

The April 2 episode of “State Plate” will put the focus on Connecticut food. So, on that episode, Hicks visits Mystic Oysters in Mystic, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria in New Haven, Avery’s Beverages in New Britain, Ford’s Lobster Restaurant in Noank, and Ted’s Restaurant in Meriden.

“Connecticut is such a beautiful plate of food,” said Hicks.

“The state of Connecticut has such a great local flavor. It’s a neat experience because you have land and sea,” said Hicks. When the food matches the landscape, Hicks said, it “can make for a euphoric feeling.”

When audiences tune into “State Plate” to learn about Connecticut’s food scene or the food landscape of any state, Hicks said he hopes the show inspires them to take the time to take a visit to those states and try the local favorites.

And, ultimately, he said he would like to see his audience expand their palate. “I definitely have a bigger palate (since doing the show),” said Hicks.

Appetizer: Mystic Oyster on the Half Shell Posted Image
Posted Image
Noank Aquaculture Co-Op

Oysters are farmed on the Mystic River with a floating tractor . Posted Image The babies are grown in the winter in hatcheries. By summer they are put into the estuary ( intertidal waters of salt and fresh waters ) Posted Image

In 18 months they are ready to harvest . Rakes are attached to the "tractors" and in shallow water are dragged to bring up the oysters. Posted Image

Open them and eat them plain ( with juice ) or with lemon , horseradish sauce .

Entrée: Steamed HamburgerPosted Image

Ted's Restaurant. Meriden, CT · A unique twist on fast food, the steamed cheeseburger, endures at this tiny '50s-era counter serve.Posted Image
Mike and I are going to be on the show State Plate with Taylor Hicks! Lol We went to get steamed cheeseburgers at Teds in Meriden and they were filming for the show! We got to meet Taylor Hicks too, he seems like a nice guy. Apparently they liked the way we ate our cheeseburgers! Who would have thought my big TV break would be me stuffing my face with a cheeseburger?! It was pretty delicious actually! Lmao!

In the early 1900's , steamed cheese was used for food for the railroad workers,Posted Image but they needed more protein. Beef patties were added to enhance their diet.
A steam cooker is used .Posted Image Well done Beef is formed into a big patty, when steamed , it is put onto a hot bun . Melted white cheddar cheese is put on top and you can add lettuce, pickle, onion if you want. Posted Image

Side 1: Hot Lobster RollPosted Image
Ford’s Lobster Restaurant
Posted Image
The Connecticut lobster roll is butter based while the Maine lobster roll is mayonnaise based. Butter poach the lobster , add to a hot buttered bun, sprinkle with fresh parsley. Posted Image

Side 2: White Clam PizzaPosted Image

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana - Frank Pepe knew in 1925 that only coal burns hot and dry, and doesn’t give off steam like a wood fire. He knew that only a coal fire could give his “tomato pies” their famous crisp, charred, chewy crust.

Roll out pizza dough; add fresh clams with some of their juices , sprinkle with fresh minced garlic and fresh grated parmesan cheese , oregano and olive oil. Bake for a few minutes in a hot, hot , hot pizza oven. Posted ImagePosted Image

Dessert: Ice Cream SodaPosted Image

Avery’s Beverages - In 1906, Benjamin Silamen, a Yale Prof. brought soda to New Britain Conn and established Avery's, the oldest soda company in CT.
Put pure cane sugar in a vat and add water to form syrup for 1 1/2 hrs. The flavoring for the soda is added to the syrup ( cola, lime, cherry , etc ) . The soda syrup is put into bottles and carbonated water is added to the bottle and capped.Posted Image There is a separation between the syrup and the carbonated water so the bottles have to be rotated sideways three times . Posted Image ( The secret of Avery's sodas )

Put ice cream into the soda , add a straw and sip this delicious concoction.

Appetizer: Posted Image

Entrees and Sides : Posted Image

Posted Image


1. Those lobsters bite:
2. Connecticut did not ratify prohibition in 1919 ( Rebel with a cause , maybe ) Posted ImageYou can't call a pickle a pickle unless it can bounce .Posted Image Connecticut is just strange that way.
3. The more oysters the better for the environment. ONE adult oyster @ 65 degrees can filter 30 gallons of water a day. This makes for pure water and yummy oysters. Posted Image
4. The longer the antenna on a lobster the fresher and if there are barnacles growing on the shell,Posted Image the meat will be dense as this lobster has not shed it's skin.
5. Pizza in Connecticut is Apizza , pronounced A-Beetz
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WEEK ELEVEN: April 9, 2018 at 7:30


Some enchanting deliciousness from The Land of Enchantment!

It’s a hot, hot, hot episode of State Plate! Taylor travels to New Mexico to chow down on chiles galore. He’ll turn up the heat in Hatch, a town famous for green chiles and their classic stew. Then, he’ll spice it up in Chimayo where he’ll make chile powder and eat carne adovada. Then, he’ll see how much heat he can stand, when this kitchen cooks up two savory side dishes: calabacitas and sopaipillas. Finally, he’ll chill out with brittle made from a native nut that’s hard to pick but worth the effort. We’re packing the ultimate heat in the land of enchantment on this sizzling episode of State Plate.


1. Daily Post
Submitted by Carol A. Clark on March 26, 2018
In State Plate, Hicks tastes his way across the United States on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous and tastiest foods. He samples crab cakes in Maryland, chili in Texas, potatoes in Idaho, and other delectable dishes as he travels from coast to coast visiting farms, ranches, markets and festivals in order to uncover the stories and legends behind each state’s unique food traditions.
It’s a heaping helping of America’s most intriguing cuisine, rich in history, folklore, and flavor. After two seasons of State Plate, Hicks will have documented the most popular foods from 36 states in the U.S.
When many think of New Mexico they imagine the magnificent caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the Native American history at the Pecos National Historical Park or the stunning landscape of Valle Vidal in Carson National Forest; but what about the food?
Hicks travels the state discovering all the delectable dishes the state has to offer. He visited Sante Fe and Albuquerque and filled his plate with delicious food from each of these areas.

2. State Plate’ to sample New Mexico
By Adrian Gomez / Journal Arts and Entertainment Editor
Saturday, April 7th, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Taylor Hicks has come a long way since winning “American Idol” in 2006.
He’s kept his music career going.
bright spotBut he’s also made the jump into TV and hosts the successful show, “State Plate with Taylor Hicks.”
Hicks tastes his way across the country on a quest to assemble plates that represent each state’s most historic, famous and tastiest foods.

He samples crab cakes in Maryland, chili in Texas, potatoes in Idaho, and other delectable dishes as he travels from coast to coast visiting farms, ranches, markets and festivals in order to uncover the stories and legends behind each state’s unique food traditions.
Taylor Hicks is the host of "State Plate with Taylor Hicks
Taylor Hicks is the host of “State Plate with Taylor Hicks.” The show will feature New Mexico cuisine on Monday’s episode. (Source: INSP)
After two seasons of “State Plate,” Hicks will have documented the most popular foods from 36 states in the U.S.
The latest episode, which airs at 5:30 p.m. Monday, brings Hicks to the Land of Enchantment.
Hicks says when many think of New Mexico they imagine the magnificent caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the Native American history at the Pecos National Historical Park or the stunning landscape of Valle Vidal in Carson National Forest.
“But what about the food?” he asks.
Hicks spent a few days in Santa Fe and Albuquerque filming the episode, where he samples local favorites like Hatch chile stew, carne adovada, calabacitas, sopaipillas and piñon nut brittle.Posted Image
Hicks had a stuffed sopaipilla at The Sopaipilla Factory in Santa Fe, as well as carne adovada from Chimay Chile Bros., green chile stew from The Blue Heron Restaurant at Sunrise Springs Resort and Spa and calabacitas from the Santa Fe School of Cooking.
He also visited Jericho Nursery in Albuquerque where he had piñon brittle.

“It was a good trip,” he says. “There’s a lot of planning that goes into each episode. Our producers are looking for suggestions from viewers about what to highlight. We’re looking for the best and coolest type of food that we can get.”
For the trip to New Mexico, there was one thing Hicks has to eat – green chile.
“Chile is big in the state,” he says. “It’s just amazing how diverse the plate is for New Mexico.”
Hicks and crew turn over an episode every five days, which means there wasn’t a lot of time for sightseeing.
“We like to cover a whole lotta the state,” he says. “It’s a lot of work but being able to tell these stories and give some perspective to a wider audience is fun.”
“State Plate” recently got the green light for a third season and Hicks is looking forward to hitting the goal of all 50 states.
“I get to try everything and my palate is overextending,” he says with a laugh. “This show is my life and the food is what fuels me.”

Appetizer: Green Chile StewPosted Image

Before cooking or using chilis , torch them until they are blistered and blackened. Posted ImagePosted Image Wrap with plastic wrap over a bowl to stream and peel when cooled. Remove seeds and chop .

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and brown the stew meat, New Mexico uses rib eye and the onions until onions are translucent; about 5 minutes.
Pour in the diced tomatoes, potatoes , chiles, beef broth and chile peppers. ...
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add some sour cream to cut the hotness.

The Blue Heron Restaurant at Sunrise Springs Resort & Spa

Entrée: Carne Adovada Posted Image

In its simplest form, raw pork is cut into strips or cubes and placed in a large plastic bag with New Mexico red chili powder or minced red chili peppers (Hatch or Guajillo chili peppers), garlic, oregano, cumin, lime/lemon juice and/or vinegar, and salt, then mixed and refrigerated over night.Posted Image The dish is cooked by baking at low heat wrapped completely in foil or in a covered dish like a casserole dish to keep the meat moist: about 4 hours.

Chimayo Chile Brothers Posted Imagechimayo chilies

Side 1: Calabacitas Posted Image

In summer, when everything is fresh, the winning Three Sisters Posted Imagecombination is a version of calabacitas that's made with a base of fresh corn, summer squash and string beans (or other beans ) Add onions and chilies.
Cooked in a HORNO ovenPosted Image ( Pueblo Indian oven ) in a micaceous clay pan Posted Image

The Santa Fe School of Cooking

Dessert 1: Stuffed Sopaipillas Posted Image

Stuffed Sopapillas are delicious fried fluffy sopapilla dough for a truly memorable dessert.

The dough is made from flour, baking powder, salt and shortening --- it is rolled out. The bread is fried and it puffs up. Posted Image Add a stuffing (beans, rice and chilies for a savory sopapilla or berries or apples for a sweet sopapilla ) Posted Image

The Sopaipilla Factory

Dessert 2: Piñon Brittle Posted Image

The New Mexico alternative to peanut brittle.

Look for cones that are opening as they are riper. Posted Image Shake the cone to release the seeds. There may or may not be nuts in the seeds. Posted ImageIt is a painstaking process that is done by hand. Posted Image

To make the brittle, boil sugar and corn syrup with the nuts in the mixture. Posted Image Add butter and spread out on a sheet pan to dry. When it is dry, smash into brittle pieces. Posted Image

Jericho Nursery

Appetizers: Posted Image
Entrees and Sides :Posted Image
Posted Image


1. Hatch chilies are harvested in the Fall ( Sept. ) New Mexico is the Hatch ( green ) chili captial Posted Image
2. There are green chilies and red chilies . The green are just unripened reds. Spaniards Posted Imagefrom Mexico brought the chili to New Mexico in the 1600's .Posted Image
3. Chimayo chili is grown on holy ground in sacred soil. The church and religious statue where the ground is holy.
Posted Image Posted ImageThe spring water has healing powers according to the people which is transferred to the chilies. These are the smallest chilis , they are curly and are used ground for chili pepper. Must hold your breath when processing them. Posted Image
4. Pinon seeds sell for $30.00 to $40.00 a lb. Looking for pinon pine trees Posted Image
5. The pinon is the official State Tree of New Mexico
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WEEK TWELVE: April 16, 2018 at 7:30


Origin of the ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET, Nevada's Las Vegas and Reno shine as the places to fill up with gourmet delights. Posted Image

Hang onto your silverware! A bountiful banquet awaits…in The Silver State!

It’s no gamble that you’ll find fabulous food in Nevada! On this episode of State Plate, Taylor Hicks goes big, tasting his way through The Silver State’s legendary buffets and more. First, he’ll sample Nevada’s favorite appetizer, the shrimp cocktail. Then, he’ll find the biggest, baddest buffets to pile on the prime rib, crack open some crab legs, and savor a tsunami of sushi all along the Vegas strip. Finally, he’ll loosen his belt and feast on gateau Basque, a flaky dessert that’s as old as Nevada itself. Get ready for all you can eat episode of State Plate!

Viva Las Vegas:

Appetizer: Smoked Shrimp Cocktail Posted Image

Libertine Social Restaurant Mandalay Bay, MGM Resorts, International James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain challenges diners to free their minds from preconceived notions about Las Vegas restaurants and get ready to eat, drink and liberate at Mandalay Bay’s latest hotspot, Libertine Social. The next-generation gastropub will stimulate the senses with New American bar food by the renowned chef, a pioneering cocktail program by Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim and a range of compelling atmospheres to fit diners’ motivations.

At the Mandalay, the shrimp are smoked Posted Image before marinated in olive oil, chili pepper, onion powder , sugar and lemon.Posted Image Sprinkle sea salt on them and grill for 8 minutes . You can resmoke them Posted Imageor just serve with sauce and lemon. Serve cold on ICE.

Here is the recipe from the Mandalay : or check out food facts below

Entrée: Prime Rib Posted Image

Bacchanal Buffet, Caesars Palace Posted Image Millions of people each year frequent the Caesars Palace Buffet for their succulent Prime Rib.
Season the ribs and roast for 2 1/2 hrs. at 200 degrees. Then you can grill to the desired doneness .

Side 1: Crab LegsPosted Image

Season the boil with a sachet of spices . Posted Image Put crab into boil for 5 minutes . Serve hot .
Paradise Buffet Fremont Casino ( check below in food facts )

Taylor had some trouble with the spices put into the boil......Posted Imagea coughing fit ensured. Posted Image

Dessert 1: Rainbow Sushi Roll Posted Image
Makino Sushi & Seafood Buffet Posted Image

Originating from Japan, sushi has become a staple in America.

A rainbow roll was given its name because of the pop of color from the sashimi and avocado topping the roll. Spread sticky rice onto
seaweed paper used to hold sushi together. This paper is called nori. Flip it over and add cucumber, crab, avocado. Roll using a MAKISU . Posted Image Place the sashimi ( raw tuna, yellowtail, shrimp, mackerel , albacore, and/or salmon ) on top. Cut to desired size.

Dessert 2: Gateau Basque (Basque Cake)Posted Image
Gâteau Basque is a traditional dessert from the Basque region of France. The Basque culture is prevalent in Northern Nevada. Taylor enjoyed playing guitar with the locals. Posted ImageTypically Gâteau Basque is constructed from layers of an almond flour based cake with a filling of either pastry cream or preserved cherries.

Basque Ogi Deli -

1/2 cup sugar.
1/4 cup cornstarch.
Pinch of kosher salt.
2 cups whole milk.
4 large egg yolks.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
1 tablespoon brandy./cognac

Scald milk and reserve. Posted Image Make a custard from sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, corn starch . Add the scalded milk and cool.
To make the crust: Add, butter, eggs , sugar, vanilla, and cognac to flour. Roll out. Posted Image
Place a layer of dough in a cake or pie pan.
Add a layer of custard
Place another layer of dough onto the custard.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Appetizer: Posted Image
Entree and Sides: Posted Image
Posted Image


1. 40 million visitors to Las Vegas consuming 60 thousand lbs. of shrimp cocktail a day.Posted Image
2. The Golden Gate Casino in the early 1900's had the first shrimp cocktail Posted Image
3. In 1956 at the Fremont Hotel, the Paradise Buffet began serving snow crab. 2400 lbs a week
4. In the 1940's at the Last Frontier Casino, a prime rib dinner with sides went for $1.50.Posted Image
5. Sashimi is thinly sliced raw meat—usually fish, such as salmon or tuna—that is served without rice. Sushi is not raw fish, but rather vinegared rice that is mixed with other ingredients, which may or may not include raw fish.
In some countries, the terms "sashimi" and "sushi" may be used interchangeably, but this is incorrect usage. Raw fish is one of the traditional ingredients in sushi but sushi may also be made without meat or with cooked seafood as long as it uses vinegared rice. Sashimi, on the other hand, always contains fresh raw meat or seafood.
6. Mandalay shrimp recipe : The Shrimp
1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, deveined, with tails on
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (or parsley if you like a milder flavor), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or 2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
Salt (Kosher or Sea Salt)
Cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Optional if you like extra spices

1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin powder
For brushing shrimp on grill

4 tablespoons butter, melted or extra olive oil
Citrus Sauce

1 cup ketchup
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 teaspoons of canned chipotle chiles, minced, plus 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce or chipotle juice from the can
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons white onion, diced
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine

1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated

Start with the cocktail sauce

Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and whisk until mixed. At this point you may divide the sauce into individual smaller bowls, or do this later.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prep the shrimp

Rinse, clean and blot dry the shrimp.
In a mixing bowl, toss the shrimp with cilantro (or parsley), chipotle and sauce or juice, salt and pepper. When combined, stir in olive oil and lime juice.
Let marinate for 15 minutes.
Place shrimp on skewers, 2 to a skewer, leaving room between the shrimp and at either end of the skewer.
If you’re smoking…

Lightly oil the rack.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up your smoker.
Preheat to 225 degrees to 250 degrees F.
Add wood according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Place the rack with the shrimp in the smoker and smoke until the shrimp are firm and bronzed. This can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Keep a careful eye on the shrimp.
At the 20-minute mark, baste with butter or 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
If you’re grilling…

Preheat your grill to a high setting of 450 degrees F.
Place wood chunks or smoking chips on the coals. You can put the chips in aluminum foil, but cut a few slits into the foil to all the steam to escape.
Direct grill the shrimp for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. They should be sizzling and brown on the outside, and if you have a thermometer, the internal temp should reach at minimum, 120 degrees F.
Turn the shrimp over once during cooking, at which point, baste with oil or butter.
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