Tag Archives: GA Grown

Tomato & Bell Pepper Relish. Yum!


Tomato & Bell Pepper Relish

Chef Jennifer Booker Cookbook


Summertime in Georgia means lazy days by the pool, picnics at the park, and gardens, gardens, gardens! For all of you avid gardeners, it’s time to reap the rewards of all of the hard work you’ve put into your gardens this year! Not a gardener?  Not to worry, there is enough seasonal bounty to go around! I’m talking about crisp bell peppers, spicy onions, sweet and juicy tomatoes, and everything in between.


Chef Jennifer Booker Cookbook


With tomatoes and bell peppers in season, this canned Tomato & Bell Pepper Relish recipe is the ideal way to capture summer in a jar! It’s delicious now and the perfect way to preserve summer vegetables and enjoy them all year round. I also LOVE the fact that this recipe is extremely versatile. My family enjoys it on hotdogs, over peas and beans (pinto beans are my favorite), and even as a zesty addition to Southern style potato salad.

Chef Jennifer Booker Cookbook


So the next time you harvest veggies from your garden or make a trip to your local farmer’s market, be sure and take a copy of this recipe with you and pick up everything you need to make Tomato & Bell Pepper Relish. And be sure to take a peek at all of the fresh and inviting recipes listed on ProduceBites -You’ll be glad that you did.

Tomato & Bell Pepper Relish

Yields 8-10 pints

Relish Ingredients:

  • 4 cups onions, rough chopped
  • 1 large cabbage, cored and rough chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 4 cups green tomatoes, cored and rough chopped
  • 4 cups green and red bell peppers, rough chopped into ¼ pieces
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup pickling salt
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup Pickling Spice

Pickling Spice Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper corns
  • 1 teaspoon dried mace
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 dried bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 6 whole cloves

To Prepare Picking Spice:

  1. Add all ingredients to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Seal tightly and shake to combine.
  3. This spice mixture will last about 3 months when keep in a cool dark place.

Relish Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the onions, cabbage, green tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic and salt.
  2. Cover with a clean cloth and let stand room temperature overnight or at least 12 hours. Transfer vegetables to cheese cloth lined colander or sieve and drain well. This may take up to 2 hours.
  3. Place vegetables in a large stainless steel stock pot and add sugar, vinegar, water and Pickling Spice.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Pack into hot sterilized pint jars, wiping the rim of the jars clean.
  5. Seal and process in a pot of boiling water, making sure the water covers the jar tops with at least 2 inches of water, slowly bring water to a boil, and process for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove pot from heat and allow jars to cool to room temperature while in processing water.
  7. Remove from water, wipe dry and make sure all jars are tightly sealed. You know that they are sealed when you are able to press the center of the lids without getting any bounce back.
  8. Store unopened jars in a cool dark place for a year or more-so long as the jar remains tightly sealed.
  9. Enjoy on hotdogs and burgers, over beans and greens and even in potato salad!

For other delicious  & seasonal recipes, go to ProduceBites, A Blog For People Who Love Georgia Grown Fruits And Vegetables.

Photo credit to Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Collard Green Salad w/ Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Yum!

~Enjoy this Georgia Grown ‘ Pick Keep Cook’ crop in a Fresh New Way~


Collard Greens Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

recipe by: Chef Jennifer Booker
Serves: 4

1 bunch collard greens, washed
1/2 cup Pecan oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves raw garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. black pepper

De-stem and chop the collard greens into long strips. Place strips in a large bowl. Pour Pecan oil on collard strips and sprinkle on salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips with your hands until all pieces are well coated. Whisk together apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ground pepper. Pour apple cider vinegar dressing over the collard green strips. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours, but overnight is best. Serve chilled or room temperature.



Georgia Honey Rocks!!

Georgia Honey:  Nature’s Energy Booster

Honey combThe benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. Its natural sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar.

Try this Delicious recipe featuring Georgia Honey, Yum!!

Honey & Lime Chicken Strips

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

4 servings


2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Georgia honey

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 jalapeño, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons Pecan oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice + 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons grated lime zest + 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

12 chicken tenders or 2 large chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 tablespoon Georgia honey


Lime wedges, for serving



Preheat the electric grill to 400*F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, ginger, jalapeño, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, Pecan oil, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, and lime zest.

Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat.

In a small bowl, mix the honey with the remaining lime juice and lime zest. Set aside.

Add the chicken to the grill and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes; turning after 3 minutes. The chicken’s internal temperature such reach 165*F.

Remove the chicken from the grill and drizzle with the lime honey.

Serve the chicken with fresh lime wedges.


Crush Crave interviews Chef Jennifer Booker

Table talk with chef Jennifer Booker…

Posted on September 2nd, by Greedy Girl in Food News. No

Mother, chef and entrepreneur, I had the great pleasure of chatting with Jennifer Booker. Founder and operator of YRGYour Resident Gourmet, Jennifer has her hands in just about everything mixing up a big pot of success. With roots in Mississippi Jennifer knew she would pursue cooking at an early age. Brought up in a family of great cooks, early years of peeking in the kitchen and tasting family recipes would lead to a delicious journey.

Le Cordon Bleu training combined with dishes and techniques passed down from generations makes up Jennifer’s knowledge and style of cooking. Well rounded in the kitchen Jennifer can make a mean Scotch Egg then take it back to the south with recipes such as Blacked Eyed Pea Salad, Sweet Potato Muffins and Fried Catfish just to name a few.

Away from the stove Jennifer provides culinary therapy at The Cottage in Mountain Creek, a center for adults with mental illness. On the heels of her cook book debut; Field Peas to Foie Gras we talk inspiration and recipes all while having a little fun of course.

Where did your love and interest in the culinary arts begin?

Jennifer – Growing up cooking was a part of every occasion, I come from a family of great cooks. At a younger age being able to help out in the kitchen here and there definitely developed a passion and interest for cooking.

What was the inspiration behind the launch of Your Resident Gourmet?

Jennifer – Your Resident Gourmet stemmed from a need. I was living in Germany at the time and not able to work the restaurant scene. As a solution and to be able to continue to cook the company began. It started as me being a personal chef, I would go into the homes of my clients and cook and it has grown into the company that it is today.

That’s awesome, when did the company begin?

Jennifer – Officially, the company has been going for 21 years.

So let’s get to this cookbook, was a book always a part of your plan? 

Jennifer – Subconsciously I knew there was more in addition to my company. As for the cook book it was something that I’ve always carried in my heart. I felt the need to honor my family, heritage and legacy by putting my recipes on paper. I’ve always said that I would eventually publish, even if I had to self publish. It’s been such an honor to be a part of the Pelican Publishing Family.

That has got to be exciting, what types of thoughts go through your mind when prepping for a book release?

Jennifer – I am so excited, it’s weird it’s like if you have a baby. No one will ever tell you, you know your baby’s ugly. (laughing) When you have a cookbook, it’s like your baby and people will comment. So, I’m nervous that people will look at my baby and be like ewwwwww (laughing).

What type of cuisine can readers expect in the cookbook? 

Jennifer – Some of the recipes are very traditional southern recipes while others will have a french twist due to my studies in France. There are two chapters in the book dedicated to cocktails as well as canning and preserving which has sort of become a lost art. I love butchery and charcuterie which is also present in the book.

What are your favorite recipes from the book Field Peas and Foie Gras?

Jennifer – I love love love the white coconut Christmas cake, this is a family recipe passed down from my grandmother. My entire family makes it. There’s also my take on the apple pie. In the book the recipe is for an apple, peach pecan galette I use ingredients sourced locally from Georgia.

Well before I let you go let’s have a little fun. Deserted island 3 items, a vegetable, protein and seasoning what do you need? 

Jennifer – Beef, Brussels sprouts and garlic!

Learn more about Jennifer Booker on her company website Your Resident Gourmet. Field Peas to Foie Gras; Southern Recipes with a French accent Jennifer’s debut cookbook is in storesOctober 1st .

Quick, Easy and Berry Delicious!

Berries, Berries and more Berries! 
This week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter  is focusing on those fresh delicious berries that are currently in season and bursting with vibrant flavor, healthy nutrients, and toxin reducing antioxidants!

As an added bonus-enjoy this quick, easy, and berry delicious Mixed Berry Sauce recipe. My family loves this fresh and fruity sauce with their breakfast on pecan waffles, as a spread on turkey sandwiches, and as an ice cream topping for dessert.
However you decide to enjoy your fresh berries-do it quick, they won’t be in season for long!

Bon Appetit!

Chef Jennifer
Pre-order your copy Chef Jennifer’s cookbook, Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent at Amazon.com

Follow Chef Jennifer on Facebook
Chef Jennifer Booker
and Twitter


Mixed Berry Sauce

This is a great fat free alternative to pancake syrup. Try it on your whole wheat waffles, gluten free pancakes, and even as a topping for your ice cream and yogurt!

original recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Makes: 8-½ cup servings


1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 pinch sea salt

1/4 cup brown sugar, optional


Rinse berries, discarding any unripe or spoiled berries.

Combine all the ingredients into a medium-sized, heavy bottom sauce pan.

Bring up to the first boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Simmer the mixture until the blue berries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools.


Meet Chef Jennifer Booker . . .

Getaways for Grownups: 21plus Travel

Chef Jennifer Booker

Chef Jennifer Booker

Meet one of the ten chefs who will compete in the 3rd Annual Golden Onion

By Hope S. Philbrick

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, owner and executive chef of Your Resident Gourmet in Lilburn, Ga., was named a Georgia Grown Executive Chef in 2013. She writes a weekly newsletter, is a contributing columnist and recipe developer for several magazine titles, and hosts Basil Radio Show. She partnered with Hard Rock Café-Atlanta for its culinary series, served as a culinary expert for Williams-Sonoma, and taught at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-Atlanta. A member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Booker is co-chair of its farm and garden initiative. After earning a B.A. from The University of Tulsa, she completed Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee’s Culinary Arts program and later earned a Cuisine de Base Certificate from Le Cordon Bleu-Paris. She led Grayson Technical High School’s efforts to earn accreditation through The American Culinary Federation, making it the first school in Georgia to boast such honors.

Her new cookbook Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, is set to be released by Pelican Publishing House on September 1—and is already available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

Have you ever competed in a cooking competition before?
I have done several. In culinary school we had mystery baskets and it was much harder than the rules for Golden Onion in that we didn’t know what ingredients we’d get so we couldn’t prepare. Also, when I was teaching at Le Cordon Bleu I liked doing competitions with other chefs, just hanging out as friends.

You’ll be competing in Golden Onion for the first time this year. What motivated you to enter?
A couple of different things. As a Georgia Grown Executive Chef I wanted to get in there and promote one of our state commodities. Plus I have friends who have competed previously and they had nothing but good things to say about it. I think it will be lots of fun.

You’ll be preparing “Vidalia Onion, Wild Mushroom & Gruyere Tartlet.” What considerations went into creating your recipe?
My cookbook will be out later this year and I want to showcase some things in the cookbook and also bring in Vidalia onions and show how versatile they are no matter what cooking style you’re using. I’ll show the sweetness of the onion by caramelizing it then pair it with the meaty richness of mushrooms. I’ll also show how a Vidalia onion can be a pickle. The pickling acid will balance that sweetness and cut through the fat.

How long did it take you to develop the recipe, which must include a Vidalia onion and be prepared in an hour at the competition?
Technically since it’s from the cookbook maybe a year, but to think up what I wanted to do for Golden Onion I knew within 15 minutes that I’d do the tartlet.

The day before the competition, how will you prepare? Will you find it hard to sleep that night?
The day before I’ll be doing some cooking demonstrations at an expo, so I’ll need to pack up two days before the competition. What I do is run through everything in my mind—unpacking, setting up, cooking, plating, judges’ tasting and winning. I’ll be prepared that way. I’ll be excited but fine. I know the value of sleep.

Tell me more about Your Resident Gourmet.
I founded Your Resident Gourmet in 1995 while living in Germany as a way to continue cooking while we were overseas and it has grown into a culinary company with cooking classes, demonstrations, menu consulting and now a cookbook. We do personal chef services and intimate catering—we could do a couples’ anniversary dinner, a girls’ night out, but generally not weddings [or other large events].

In addition to booking a private party, how might readers get a taste of your cooking?
We have a product line, Jelly’s Jams & Condiments—my daughter’s name is Janelle and her nickname is Jelly. Right now we have a cranberry orange relish which is wonderful on sandwiches as well as roasted and grilled meats. We also have a red onion confiture, a sweet and sour pickle relish. You can just click on over to YourResidentGourmet.com and pick them up.

We’re switching over to organic ingredients and I’m retesting the recipes with the organic produce.

That’s interesting. You need to retest the recipe?
When switching suppliers I test for quality and flavor profile. In my experience, it will be better. Organic produce tends to be fresher and have brighter color.

Is there any dish that you’re most known for?
I get credited for healthy cooking and ‘farm to table,’ which I call ‘local and seasonal.’ I don’t know if I’m known for a dish as much as a style of cooking, which I call Floridian cuisine—with lots of tropical fruits, vegetables and fish—and classical French.

Chef Jennifer BookerAs a Georgia Grown Executive Chef, how do you define ‘local’?
Local to me is within a 100-mile radius. I try to do my very best to shop and eat local as well as seasonal. Remember with seasonal you’re able to can, preserve or freeze products in season so you can enjoy them when they’re out of season—like Vidalia onions.

What do you most like about cooking with Vidalia onions?
The versatility. I can add them to a dish for sweetness, pickle them to add sourness, I can eat them raw—and I love that fact, I love them chopped on top of beans and greens. And they don’t make you cry!

Vidalia onions add a great flavor to every savory dish without the bite or bitterness of other onions. I look at Vidalia onions as a delicacy because I can only get them while in season and only from Vidalia, Georgia. I make a point of using them and have created specialty dishes just so I can use more Vidalia onions.

Aside from Vidalia onions, what are your favorite Georgia ingredients?
I definitely love pecans and I’m very excited about our Georgia Grown olive oil.

When you’re at home, after a long day, what’s your favorite thing to eat?
I’m a country girl at heart, so I love beans—pinto beans, Northern beans and more. I love slow-cooked savory beans and ham hocks or greens with chow chow on top.

More Information…

Your Resident Gourmet
Lilburn, GA

Chef Jennifer to compete for the Golden Onion!!


Chefs reveal recipes for Golden Onion contest in Vidalia

Golden Onion trophy

04/15/2014 01:56:00 PM
Coral Beach

Courtesy Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau

For the third year, Georgia chefs are scheduled to compete for the Golden Onion traveling trophy at the Vidalia Onion Festival.  Ten Georgia chefs who are competing this year for the Golden Onion traveling trophy at the Vidalia Onion Festival have revealed the recipes they will prepare for the contest.

Ranging from chickpea and Vidalia onion pancakes to halibut studded with Vidalia onions, the recipes all showcase the Georgia state vegetable, according to a news release from the Vidalia Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is a sponsor of the April 27 festival.

Chefs will have one hour to prepare recipes and are required to provide eight plates of their entry dish. Five plates will be presented to judges, one reserved for photography, and two plates will be raffled off for spectators to taste, according to the release.

Recipe booklets featuring recipes prepared in the third annual golden Onion contest will be available at the festival in Vidalia, Ga., for $10 each.

Dishes will be judged on the basis of taste (50%), oral presentation (5%), visual presentation (10%), creativity (15%), overall use of Vidalia onions (15%), and following the recipe submitted during the application process (5%).

The winning chef earns bragging rights and the traveling Golden Onion trophy, as well as $500 cash. Second place takes home $250 and third place receives $100.

The chefs competing this year and their announced recipes are:

Chef Costanzo Astarita, executive chef at Baraonda Ristorante & Bar in Atlanta, will prepare “Georgia shrimp Vidalia onion remoulade, chickpea Vidalia pancake, Vidalia onion fennel slaw, and Vidalia onion ginger oil.”

GA Grown Executive Chef and  owner and executive chef of Your Resident Gourmet, Chef Jennifer Booker, of Lilburn, will prepare “Caramelized Vidalia Onion & Wild Mushroom Tartlets.” Chef Jennifer will caramelize Vidalia onions adding them to meaty wild mushrooms that have been finished with fresh cream and placed in a flaky crust. She plans to top this delightful tartlet with wild greens and pickled Vidalia onions!

Chef Brian Justice, chef and owner of Tasteful Temptations Café in Brunswick, who was awarded second place during the second annual Golden Onion competition, will prepare “pan-seared ahi tuna on a bed of pickled Vidalia onions and fresh ginger topped with avocado aioli and thin-sliced Vidalia onion sprouts served with a baby green bundle wrapped with a cucumber sash on top of a red pepper emulsion, dressed with Vidalia onion and Georgia peanut dressing and garnished with soy foam, sesame and wasabi crusted pecans, and crispy sweet Vidalia tobacco onions.”

Chef Pano Karatassos, executive chef of Kyma in Atlanta, will prepare “Vidalia onion studded halibut,” which will have a Vidalia onion crust and be slow poached in Vidalia onion infused olive oil and accompanied by Vidalia onion stew, and a Vidalia onion salad.

– See more at: http://www.thepacker.com/fruit-vegetable-news/Chefs-reveal-recipes-for-Golden-Onion-contest-in-Vidalia-255368401.html#sthash.5smH7IDf.dpuf

Your Resident Gourmet’s Pimento Cheese Spread, Yum!

I recently catered a Legislative Spouses luncheon in the GA Grown test kitchen. I had a blast and my Pimento Cheese Spread was a big hit-so I decided to share!

Enjoy!-Chef Jennifer

Your Resident Gourmet’s Pimento Cheese Spread


This Southern inspired cheese spread is perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches, as a dip with fresh cut apples or just smeared on a cracker!


Yields 4 cups




1 ½ cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup hickory smoked bacon, cooked and cut into ¼ pieces

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 large garlic clove, minced OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/4 cup minced onion OR ¼ teaspoon onion powder

1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimento, drained

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste



Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and using a rubber spatula, mix until well combined. You can also mix your pimento cheese spread with an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Georgia Organics: It’s NOT Your Mother’s Garden Club!

Last weekend I attended my very first Georgia Organics Conference, which was held on Jekyll Island, located on the coast of south-east Georgia. There on a scholarship courtesy of Les Dames d’Escoffier International-Atlanta Chapter, I was determined to go and do my best to learn something new about organically raised food. But, I’ll be honest with you-I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would there be a bunch of tree huggers spouting the dangers of eating meat? Would farmers and legislators have a battle royal over the use of the word ‘organic’? Would I be allowed to eat white bread without getting dirty looks? I’m glad to say that it was nothing like I feared and everything I had hoped for; everyone from farmers, to chefs, to educators, to legislators who have made it their life’s mission to get naturally grown food from the farm- to the table -to us, coming together for that one common goal.  As a GA Grown Executive Chef, that is something I can get behind.

So, what is Georgia Organics? It is a member supported, non-profit organization connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. They believe that food should be community-based, not commodity-based, and I happen to agree with them.  So if you want to know how your food is grown and where it comes from before you put it in you mouth-then check them out. It’s worth the effort.

Contact them at:                                                                   

Fax: 678.702.0401
200-A Ottley Drive,
Atlanta, GA 30324


Tune in: Taste of Atlanta meets The Weather Channel!!

The Weather Channel

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker and Farmer Chef Matthew Raiford will represent Taste of Atlanta in a live segment to discuss the positive impact of the farm-to-table movement on the environment and the importance of supporting locally grown fruits and vegetables and eating seasonally.

Taste of Atlanta

Segment Topic: Eating The Alphabet

The 12th annual Taste of Atlanta food festival is next weekend, and attendees get to not only taste a variety of flavors from the city’s best restaurants, but they also get to learn how food is harvested, prepared and served! Chef and Farmer Matthew Raiford and Chef Jennifer Hill Booker will be presenting the “Eating the Alphabet” seminar in The Family Food Zone.

Eating locally
Why it’s important – supporting the locally grown fruits and vegetables
Eating seasonally
What is in-season?
Why eat in-season?
Environmental Impact
Positive impact on the environment
Taste of Atlanta
The Taste of Atlanta food festival is next weekend, Oct 25-27, and there are tons of cooking classes and flavor seminars that teach attendees about the culinary craft. Chef and Farmer Matthew Raiford and Chef Jennifer Hill Booker will be presenting this “Eating The Alphabet” seminar in more detail on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Food Zone.