Huck and Lilly’s Yumbo Gumbo and Mama’s Homemade Sugar Cookies


serves 8

Hint From Ken:

After last week’s episode of “I Love Kellie Pickler” on CMT featuring Huck and Lilly, I thought it would be fun to post a couple of recipes inspired by Huck and Lilly songs from their album, “There’s A Tree Growing In My Room” which is available on iTunesYumbo Gumbo can be made the day before, refrigerated (or even frozen) and then reheated… No Problem. The flavors will come together more and more in the pot as they sit. You can add more or less stock depending on your own preference for thickness of gumbo.

Huck & Lilly‘s “There’s A Tree Growing in my Room is available on iTunes!

What you’ll need:

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 medium to large white onion diced

1 half of large green bell pepper diced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes sliced half-wise

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

2 dashes of cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon of each of the following: salt, pepper, garlic powder and creole seasoning

1 lb 30 count peeled and deveined wild shrimp

1 lb of small fresh wild scallops

1/2 lb fresh white fish such as maui or grouper cut into bite sized pieces

1 lb Andoullie sausage sliced in 1/4 inch slices

1 cup of diced fresh okra (can use frozen if fresh is unavailable)



32 oz organic chicken stock (may substitute for vegetable stock or seafood stock)

1 cup white rice

2 cups chicken broth

pat of butter

file powder

1/2 cup fresh chopped green onions


In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven on medium low heat, melt the butter then add vegetable oil…Then add flour and and stir constantly for 15 or 20 minutes until a browned paste (roux) is formed…Next…Add celery,onion, bell pepper and tomatoes and stir until covered with roux… then add okra, parsley, tomato paste, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, powder, creole seasoning and stock.


Use a whisk or fork to get rid of any lumps in flour…Add sausage, bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low… simmer for 45 minutes…

While waiting, prepare your rice…

Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil.

Add 1 cup rice and pat of butter.

Cover and reduce to med low to low heat. After 20 min,

Remove pot from heat and let sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork and leave loosely covered

Back to the gumbo…

Raise heat to medium and stir in fish, shrimp and scallops and cook uncovered for 5 minutes then bring to low…

Simmer 15 minutes.

Ladle gumbo into bowls and top with a spoonful of rice sprinkled with file powder and chopped green onion.

Serve with crusty buttered french bread.

And if you care for dessert… And you know you do…

Sugar Cookies


Cream until foamy:

2 sticks of butter

1 C. Sugar

1 egg and 1 egg yolk

Then add:

3 C. flour sifted

1 t. vanilla

1/8 t. salt

Very Important Step: Leave dough in the fridge for 5 hours.

Roll dough and cut with a cookie cutter, sprinkle with sugar and place cookies on buttered cookie sheet.

Cook at 375˚ until golden brown. These also can be dropped with a nut or jelly put in the middle.

Original recipe by Mrs. S. W. Reese

Be sure to listen to Huck & Lilly’s “Sugar Cookies” while you bake! Because They are just bound to come out better! Get it on iTunes here:  While you are cooking watch Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, Allison & Dave Baker and Ken and Andi Zack-Johnson (AKA: Huck & Lilly) here!

Watch KP and the gang making sugar cookies here : )
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This week’s interview with Phil The Fiddler Crab and Kellie & Kyle…watch here : )

© Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016

Curried Butternut Squash Bisque


Hint From Ken

The butternut squash is often skipped over sitting there in it’s thick khaki skin in the produce section looking all boring but… it’s what’s on the inside that counts right? The bright yellow-orange flesh of the butternut squash is healthy and delicious and very versatile in the kitchen. Next time you are in the store grab a couple and make one of my favorite Hillbilly Supper Club recipes for this time of year. This week I am making a big pot of curried butternut squash bisque for my fellow cast members of I Love Kellie Pickler and a few other friends who are stopping by. I recommend pairing with a cold Good People Pale Ale and a football game!

What you will need:

2 butternut squash (halved and seeded)

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tart apple (peeled, cored and chopped)

1 medium white onion (diced)

1 celery stalk (chopped)

1 clove garlic (chopped)

5 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4 teaspoons yellow curry powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

To Make:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Arrange halved squash on a roasting pan lined with parchment paper or tin foil and brush with olive oil

IMG_3398 (1).jpg

Place in oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.


While squash is in the oven…

Heat butter in a stock pot, on medium high setting.

Sauté garlic for 30 seconds then add onion, celery and apple

Stir in chili powder and curry powder… continue to cook until onions translucent (about 6 to 7 minutes)


Scoop the roasted squash out of it’s skin with a spoon and add to pot with cooked apple onion mixture and stir

Then add broth to pot

Bring to a quick boil then immediately reduce to medium low setting

Let simmer for 30 minutes


Use an immersion blender to puree into a bisque. You can puree in a blender on a low setting if you prefer then transfer back to pot

While continuing to simmer on low heat, add cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and fresh thyme and stir well.

Transfer to bowls, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh tarragon leaves.*

*Try adding a dollop of Daisy Sour Cream


Hillbilly Supper Club pickin’ party after Kellie and Kyle cooked us up a delicious vegetable soup on last week’s I Love Kellie Pickler
KellieKyle want to cook a Hillbilly Supper Club dinner? –Ken Johnson & Allison Baker on I Love Kellie Pickler on CMT
Kimberly from Little Big Town teaching Kellie and Kyle how to “bohl” water and then put something in it.

Ken Johnson

© Hillbilly Supper Club 2016

End of Season Homemade Tomato Sauce




Hint From Ken

Every year about this time, thanks to Andi and Kellie’s garden, we have a bounty of tomatoes because we want to pick everything before the first frost. These end of season vegetable-ish fruits seem to pile up and take over.  At our house they are sitting around the kitchen, ripening in window sills or on the kitchen and dining room tables in big bowls.  A few late bloomers are still showing up on yellowing vines. They are everywhere… and kinda in the way. Though they may be a nuisance now, soon enough, we will really be missing our precious summer tomatoes. What a shame it would be not to do something with them. This is a sauce I make for Andi to then “can” in Mason jars so we can enjoy a taste of summer again when the winter comes. If you are not growing your own, go to your local tomato truck and buy them up to save some summer for yourself.


What you will need:

5 lbs of tomatoes (peeled and  quartered) * See below for peeling technique

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves (chopped)

1 medium white onion (chopped)

1/4 cup of chopped fresh oregano leaves

about 25 whole fresh basil leaves

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon of sea salt

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar (The sugar is a small amount but it is there to reduce acidity not to sweeten)


fresh oregano 


To Make:

Heat olive oil in a stock pot, on medium high setting.

Saute garlic for 30 seconds then add onion and continue to cook until onions translucent (about 6 to 7 minutes)

Add quartered tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.

Continue to cook for 30 minutes stirring every few minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper  and sugar.

Cover and simmer on low for 1 hour – stirring every 15 minutes.

Tomatoes should slowly break down as sauce simmers.


Very important to remove bay leaves and discard because they can be a choking hazard.



Add basil leaves and stir in to sauce.

Toss your favorite pasta with desired amount of sauce…add fresh grated parmesan reggiano cheese and you have the perfect comfort food!


Canning is an excellent way to store for the winter.


* To peel tomatoes easily…

Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside.

Slice green tops off of tomatoes.

Boil a large pot of water. place tomatoes (4 at a time)  in boiling water for 30 seconds at a time.

Remove and immediately submerge in ice water for 5 minutes.

Remove from icewater and tomatoes should be easy to peel by hand.

At Hillbilly Super Club on Season 2 of I Love Kellie Pickler on CMT

Ken Johnson

© Hillbilly Supper Club 2016


Chicken Fried “Riced” Cauliflower



Hint From Ken

Once you prepare all of your ingredients and set them out on the counter in front of you, you can make this fairly quickly and easily. “Riced” cauliflower is the result of grating a head of raw cauliflower on the side of a box grater (like you use for grating cheese). You get a large portion of what looks like white rice and when used in place of rice, can work well in some recipes. If you cook it first it will lose it’s firmness but if you mix it with hot stir-fried chicken and vegetables right before you serve it, it will be just right. This is a very flavorful and healthy way to get your asian food fix without so many carbs or heavy oils and you get a good dose of raw vegetables. I know it’s hard to believe but you won’t miss the rice. I don’t use cauliflower just because it is a rice alternative and low carb… I use it because it is good! I make this for my family all of the time. At Hillbilly Supper Club this is brotha Kyle‘s favorite dish but Kellie and some of our other guests don’t eat meat so I substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and set aside some of the vegetable and cashew stir fry with the honey/soy sauce mixture before adding the chicken so that there are options for everyone. Try it yourself and let me know what you think!

Pepper and garlic from Andi‘s parents farm in Oliver, B.C.

What you will need:

2 boneless raw chicken breasts (diced)

4 boneless and skinless raw chicken thighs (diced)

1/4 cup of low sodium Kikkoman© brand soy sauce

2 tbsp of honey

1 14 oz can chicken broth

5 fresh red chili peppers

1/2 cup of fresh ginger root (peeled and sliced into chunks)

4 whole garlic cloves (crushed)

1 bunch fresh cilantro (divided in 2)

4 garlic cloves (sliced and divided in 2)

2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 red bell pepper chopped

1/2 green bell pepper chopped

1 medium white onion cut into 1/2 “ pieces

2 fresh carrots (chopped)

1/2 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)

small can of sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup unsalted cashews

1 large head cauliflower (green leaves removed)

3 green onions chopped

3/4 tspn salt

1/2 tspn pepper


To make:

In a small pot… combine chicken broth, ginger root, 5 fresh red chili peppers, 4 whole crushed garlic cloves and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce to low and simmer… This will create the spicy garlic ginger broth to add later…

After 15 minutes remove 5 fresh red chili peppers and set them aside to cool and then add add 1/2 bunch of cilantro

Leave broth on low heat to keep heated

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium high heat and add *1/2 of diced chicken and brown until just cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to plate and set aside. Next, cook the remaining raw chicken the same way… Transfer that chicken to same plate.

In same skillet add 2 of the chopped cloves of garlic and saute for 30 seconds… then add onion, red and green bell pepper, carrot, and cashews… (add more sesame oil if needed) Stir fry vegetables and cashews until softened but not too much… (carrots should still have a little crunch to them)


Next, Stir in green peas, water chestnuts and green onion… pour in (through a strainer if needed) 1 cup of spicy garlic ginger broth and reduce to low.



Using the small cheese grating side of a box grater, grate all of raw cauliflower and set aside.


Take reserved 5 red chili peppers and chop into very small pieces… place chopped red pepper in a small mixing bowl with soy sauce and honey and remain 2 cloves of chopped garlic…whisk until well blended.

In a skillet on medium heat, combine chicken, remaining spicy garlic ginger broth and honey/red pepper/soy sauce mixture… coat chicken well and heat until steaming then mix with vegetables to combine all cooked ingredients.



Mix in grated raw cauliflower and remaining cilantro (chopped) and serve immediately.


*RE browning the chicken… Cooking all of the chicken at once in the skillet may make chicken a bit gummy and rubbery. If you cook 1/2 at a time there will be more room in the skillet it should brown nicely and have a better flavor. This is the case many times with proteins. Don’t crowd the skillet for better results.


Ken Johnson

© Hillbilly Supper Club 2016

Rosemary and Fennel Roast Pork Loin with Carrots, Squash and Swiss Chard


This week we are in the incredible Okanagan Valley wine country of beautiful British Columbia, Canada, where my wife Andi grew up, promoting “I Love Kellie Pickler” on CMT Canada. With the tremendous bounty available here this time of year on Andi‘s family farm, I thought it would be fun to bring some Canadian influence to Hillbilly Supper Club. The cuisine here reminds me in many ways of  where I grew up in the south. Many of the same ingredients are used in the cooking and getting together around the table with family and friends after a hard day’s work like we do in the south is a big tradition here too. Yesterday, we  explored the farm to see what herbs and vegetables were available to us. I hope you will enjoy making all three of these dishes that are a result the inspiration that always seems to come from a walk in the garden.

Hint from Ken

I prepared the pork in the morning and placed in the refrigerator so that it would have time to absorb the flavor of the rosemary, fennel and garlic and to get the prep work out of the way so it would be ready to go in the oven later.The carrots and the chard will heat up again nicely if you want to make them ahead of time and refrigerate. This is a great meal for the beginning of Fall! We also determined without a doubt that this goes really well with a glass (or two) of good red wine.

Rosemary and Fennel Roast Pork Loin


1 to 2 lb boneless pork loin (Ask butcher to wrap in twine netting if preferred but fine without)

2 tbsp of fennel seed (crushed)

2 tbsp of fresh chopped rosemary leaves (finely chopped)

6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Combine 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 2 tbsp of crushed fennel seed, 2 tbsp of chopped rosemary leaves, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt

and 1 tsp pepper in a mortar and pestle then crush into a paste. (You can also cut dry ingredients very finely with a sharp knife and then add olive oil and stir if you do not have a mortar and pestle handy)

Place pork on a plate and rub herb and herb and garlic paste all over meat until completely covered.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Remove Pork from fridge and let sit on counter for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place roast in baking dish and place in preheated oven (uncovered) for 45 min.

After 45 minutes…

Remove and flip meat over and spoon pan juices over top

Insert meat thermometer if desired and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

Remove from oven and transfer meat from pan to platter but reserve juices in pan

Loosely cover with sheet of tin foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes


While pork rests… scrape very flavorful bits from bottom of baking dish… Add a pat of butter to pan juices and stir in until melted.


Slice pork diagonally into 1” slices, transfer to seeing platter and pour pan juices over meat

Pureed Carrots and Butternut Squash with Cream











1  lb of fresh carrots (halved)

1 cup of cubed butternut squash

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

3 cloves fresh garlic

5 tbsp heavy cream

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3/4 tsp salt


Peel carrots, cut in half and set aside…

Peel butternut squash, scrape out seeds – cut into 2″ cubes – set aside 1 cup for this recipe

In a pot, combine broth, garlic cloves and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium/low heat, add carrots and squash and cover.

Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until soft.

Add heavy cream, nutmeg and butter and puree with an immersion blender or electric mixer.

Serve hot.


Top carrots and squash with chopped green onion

Swiss Chard with Stewed Tomatoes

Farm fresh veggies and a good farm dog named Jackson.

10 to 15 fresh swiss chard leaves (chopped in to 4” pieces)img_3156

2 large tomatoes (quartered)

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 tsp of fresh lemon juice

8 oz tomato juice

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

In a 2 quart pot, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat until butter completely melted

Add green onions and tomatoes and stir occasionally

Heat until tomatoes break down then add tomato juice

Heat and stir 5 more minutes then add swiss chard, lemon juice and salt and pepper

Stir in with tomatoes and cook until greens are wilted and reduce heat to low stirring occasionally until ready to serve

Wadman Farms in Oliver, British Columbia

After having access to Andi and Kellie’s garden all summer and now a whole farm, I am a little spoiled on fresh produce! The grocery store trip was a quick one after gathering most of what we needed right out of the back yard. These are all simple ingredients so that you can taste the food itself for what it is. Like they say… “God don’t make no junk” and these simple gifts from the farm will taste as fancy as the city when you invite your family and friends to the table.  Just smile when they say “I don’t know how you do it”. The simplicity part can be your own little secret.

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016


Plantain Crust Pizza



Hint From Ken:

I know it sounds weird – but… Trust me… It is really, really good. I came across this
approach to homemade pizza by accident. One night, Andi and I were
trying to make a healthier, baked version of “patacones ticos”, a Costa Rican version of fried plantains… While it didn’t taste anything like what I was going
for, Andi pointed out that it tasted like pizza crust. It was crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. So… we had to experiment to see if we could make a guilty pleasure
like pizza a little less sinful. The lower carb aspect is a bonus but now we make it this way often! Kind of a Carribean take on an Italian favorite!
Baking this crust a little longer than traditional flour crust is important to give it the right consistency. It’s different and a big hit at Hillbilly Supper Club. You can find most of these
ingredients online if not in local store. The crust freezes well too for future use. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

What you’ll need:

2 GREEN plantains (make sure they are green and not soft like a banana)
1 packet of active dry yeast
2 tspn honey
¼ cup warm water
3 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tspn of salt
1 egg (beaten)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tspn apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp corn meal
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Parchment paper


To Make:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1. Dissolve the yeast ¼ cup warm water, then stir in honey and let it sit a few minutes until a bit of foam appears…
2. With a knife, remove peel from plantains and chop them into 5 chunks per plantain.
3. Place only the chunks of plantain into a food processor or powerful blender and blend until smooth.
4. Place the pureed plantain in a large bowl. Add the coconut flour, tapioca starch and salt and stir till well blended.
5. In a separate bowl, combine egg, oil and vinegar and mix, then pour over the plantain and flour with the water and yeast mixture. Combine ingredients well to create pizza dough.
6. Place a large piece of parchment paper on counter top. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of corn meal in center of parchment… Place the dough on top and push into a circle
turning and kneading. With a rolling pin, roll out very thin. Lift parchment paper with flattened dough and set on top of baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and carefully flip over on to a fresh piece of parchment… Return to oven for 15 minutes.
8. Remove from your oven and top with your favorite sauce, cheese and toppings… Return to oven directly on the rack for 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbling hot.


Try with Hillbilly Supper Club Basil and Kale pesto from Andi & Kellie’s Garden (click here for recipe), sliced whole milk mozzarella cheese and sliced grilled chicken breast!


From left to right: A very serious looking Hillbilly Supper Club discussing Ken Johnson‘s fear of cotton balls (Sidonglobophobia), Kellie & Kyle looking concerned at the dinner table, Ken‘s special desert for Kyle in retaliation of Kyle trying to get Ken to jump into a cotton ball pit and the girls of course having a fun time taking a selfie…(KellieCarolineJenAllison & Andi)

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016

Bruschetta Bar


Hint From Ken


It is typically chopped fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and vinegar, served on toasted slices of French or Italian bread. This is a great example of a recipe for bruschetta but you can put whatever you like on your bread and mix it up a bit.


I came up with the idea of doing a sort of do it yourself “Bruschetta Bar” while trying to think of good ways to accommodate a group that includes vegetarians, carnivores and a few food allergies here and there… This is a good way to have something for everybody and a fun way to do something a little different for dinner or just to put something out for a party that is a little more substantial than chips and salsa. Use whatever accoutrements you like. Here is my version for Hillbilly Supper Club. Cooking can be very therapeutic. Get yourself a sharp knife and a cutting board, put on some good music, pour yourself a nice glass of wine and enjoy putting all of this together for your friends and family.

1. Just prepare each item (as listed) one at a time and place on table or counter in it’s own dish. Put out small plates and forks. Your guests can prepare their own plate however they like.

2  loaves of rustic French or Italian bread sliced into 3” x 3” or so pieces… (drizzle with sea salt and olive oil and toast in 350 degree oven for 15 min and set aside)

1 lb of  grilled filet mignon sliced thin (room temp is fine)

1/2 lb of thin sliced prosciutto or chopped sliced crispy bacon

1 lb chopped bruschetta tomatoes (marinate in 1/4 cup of olive oil , a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 5 chopped basil leaves, 1/4 onion chopped, 1 garlic clove chopped and a 1/2  tspn salt

2 cups of Hillbilly Supper Club Basil and Kale Pesto (for recipe visit


1 red onion halved and sliced thin marinated for at least one hour in olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice…

1 cannellini beans prepared for crostini – (drain beans… in skillet heat olive oil and saute garlic then add beans till broken apart and add salt to taste…)

1/2 cup chopped kalamata and green olives

1 lemon cut into 8ths

1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese

2- 4oz balls of fresh mozzarella sliced thin and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Fresh parsley chopped


Fresh chopped garlic and rosemary on my Selma Drye by Kellie Pickler Tennessee cutting board…

*The cannellini beans may seem a little out there to some but don’t skip… It may be the best thing on toasted bread out of all of the others listed! Try spreading on toast and sprinkling with salt, fresh chopped garlic and rosemary and drizzle with olive oil. We learned of this while taking cooking classes in Tuscany where it is a staple.


The fabulous ladies of CMT’s “I Love Kellie Pickler” at Hillbilly Supper Club with fabulous friends…from left…Donna Montana, Naomi Cooke, Kellie Pickler, Allison Baker, Andi Zack-Johnson and Jen Wayne

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016

Blue Crab Fritters with Corn and Jalapeño


Hint From Ken:

When I make this for Hillbilly Supper Club I like to use the freshest crab meat possible. In Rosemary Beach filming CMT’s I Love Kellie Pickler last year we caught our own crabs to do just that!


crab trap

They can be hard to come by inland though so if you need to use canned crab you can still do so with good results. You can also substitute 1 lb of fresh grouper, snapper or scamp or even mahi and it works great. Just bake or steam fish plain till flakey and pull apart till it has appearance of crab meat and let cool then add to mix instead of crab. Kellie doesn’t eat meat besides fish and shellfish and Kyle is allergic to shellfish so when I am doing the cooking I will usually make both. I like to serve this dish with with red skin smashed potatoes, remoulade sauce and a light salad with lemon and olive oil. Save leftovers and add a little mayo, bacon, lettuce and tomato with crusty french bread and make crab cake sandwiches.


1 lb of jumbo lump crab meat

2 jalapeño peppers (seeded and finely diced)

1/4 quarter red bell pepper diced

1/2 cup chopped scallion/green onion

1 fresh ear of corn cut from the cob

1/2 cup of Ritz brand cracker crumbs

1 egg (beaten)

1/4 cup of mayonaise

1 & 1/2 tspn of salt

dash of garlic powder

dash of onion powder

dash of paprika

dash of red or cayenne pepper

2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup of flour

1/4 cup of corn meal

Peanut oil

Fresh parsley chopped

crabcake prep



1. Mix all of the ingredients except for corn meal, flour and peanut oil in a bowl.

2. Mix flour and corn meal in a bowl.

3. Heat enough peanut oil to cover bottom of skillet on medium heat.

3. Form patties one at a time and lightly coat with flour and corn meal mixture.

4. Place in hot oil and cook a few minutes on each side flipping only once…

crabcake cooking


5. Place on paper towel for 3 minutes, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Crabbing is a lot of fun when you are on the coast. We like to use a flashlight with a net and a bucket and walk the beach just after dark or leave a trap out in the bayou over night. It takes about 10 blue crabs to produce 1 lb of meat so if we don’t have at least 10 we let them go.

Sometimes you find out you are getting let go because you are the only crab in the trap and not worth fooling with, so you put your pinchers in the air and praise Jesus because you are going back to the bayou.

Crab Praise God 2

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016

Truffled Mac & Cheese with Basil and Kale Pesto



Hint From Ken:

The truffle oil should be a quality brand and can be found at higher end grocery stores or online. It is expensive but a little goes a long way and it is worth it and not something you wanna substitute or omit in this dish. Creme fraiche is a kind of a fancier better version of sour cream. It has a lower viscosity and a higher fat content and is no doubt decadent. If you can’t find it in the store look online for very simple recipes to make your own. It takes only a few minutes to make but does have to sit in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before using.

1 lb of elbow macaroni

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup fresh grated Vermont cheddar cheese

1/2 cup of goat cheese

1 1/2  cups of creme fraiche

1/2 cup of cream cheese

1 cup half and half

1 tbsp. truffle oil

salt and pepper

Breadcrumb mixture for topping

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup crushed Ritz brand crackers (place in a zip lock bag and lightly hammer till crushed fine)

1/4 stick of butter

1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon of white or black truffle oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Start by preparing the topping and combine all BREADCRUMB MIXTURE ingredients except butter and parsley.

2. Melt butter in skillet on medium heat.

3. Add breadcrumb mixture to melted butter and toast while stirring consistently for a few minutes with a wooden spoon.

4. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley to mixture. Set Aside…

1. In a large pot, boil salted water and prepare pasta. Identify al dente cooking time on box or package and let it boil 1 min longer then that.

Drain and immediately return to empty pot while pasta is still hot.

2. Add goat cheese, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, creme fraiche and cheddar cheese… Stir into hot pasta till melted and well blended.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of truffle oil and half and half (add more if necessary to make creamier).

Salt and pepper to taste. Add more truffle oil if preferred.

4. Add 3/4 cup of HillBilly Supper Club Basil and Kale Pesto (see recipe HERE) and stir in to pasta mixture.


5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a casserole dish with butter or cooking spray…

6. Transfer pasta mixture to greased casserole dish. Cover w tin foil and bake for 15 minutes

7. Remove from oven and discard tin foil. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top and return to oven for 15 minutes.


8. Remove and let sit for 5-10 minutes then serve.

The cast of CMT‘s “I Love Kellie Pickler” at one of their Hillbilly Supper Clubs

Pictured left to right: Ken Johnson, Kellie Pickler, Dave Baker, Cale Dodds, Allison Baker, Kyle Jacobs & Andi Zack-Johnson

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016

Hillbilly Supper Club Basil and Kale Pesto


Hint From Ken:

Be sure to use decent olive oil and fresh basil and kale which can usually be found in the store even when out of season. I like to make plenty in the summer when Andi and Kellie’s garden is producing like crazy.


It’s fun to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends listening to music, sipping on something and canning…


We can tomatoes, squash, okra or pickles, beets etc and my pesto. Canning is worth learning about. It is very rewarding and It’s nice to still be able to enjoy the bounty of the garden later in the winter months.

2 cups fresh packed basil leaves

2 cups packed chopped FRESH kale

4 average size garlic cloves

1/2 to 3/4 cup of walnuts

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano, Parmesan or Romano cheese

Juice of a half of lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste.

1. Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth. Store in air tight container. Keeps in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Chickens Laverne & Shirley and Goldie in The Champagne Garden

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2016