Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Okra and Tomatoes


serves 8

Hint From Ken:

Try to find “dry packed” scallops because they need to be dry when they are cooked. Many places soak them in a liquid solution to preserve their color.

 They are fine but will need to be patted dry with paper towels before preparing. They have a small muscle on the side of them called an adductor muscle or “foot”. This needs to be removed because it is chewy. If it’s still there you can’t miss it – just tear it off.

What you’ll need:

 16 Fresh Wild Sea Scallops (adductor muscles removed)
Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 lb of fresh okra

 1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 shallot sliced

 1/2 medium sweet onion

2 cloves of garlic chopped

 1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 teaspoon of herbs de Provence

 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper

 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

1 pat of butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees


Lightly apply Kosher salt to both sides of DRY scallops and set aside.

Cut okra and onion into 1 or 2 inch pieces and combine in a mixing bowl with tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, herbs de provence, 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt.

Toss together to coat evenly with oil and herbs…

Pour onto a shallow, parchment paper covered baking pan and bake…set timer for 30 minutes.


With 15 minutes left on timer heat iron (or regular) skillet to medium high heat with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

 Make sure to evenly coat bottom of skillet. With tongs, place scallops one at a time in skillet.

DO NOT TOUCH them for two minutes. Otherwise you won’t get that golden brown crust. After that turn for two more minutes then remove to a plate to rest and loosely cover with a piece of tin foil just set on top of it.

Do in batches of five or six at a time so as not to over crowd the pot…otherwise you will steam them instead of searing them.

It’s important not to over cook them or they will be rubbery. They should still be a bit translucent in the center. Remember they will continue to cook a bit once you remove them.


Continue reading “Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Okra and Tomatoes”

Baked Stone Ground Cheese Grits

serves 8

Baked Stone Ground Cheese Grits3

Hint From Ken: The quality of grits does make a difference! Cooking with the chicken broth instead of water adds a richer flavor as well.

If you are cooking for vegetarians just substitute vegetable broth for chicken. Sharp cheddar cheese is good as well if gruyere is not an option.

What you’ll need:

2 cups of good quality stone ground grits

6 cups of chicken broth

1 stick of unsalted butter

2 eggs beaten

1 1/2 cups of grated gruyere cheese

1/2 cup of grated parmesan

1/2 cup half and half

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 cup chopped green onion


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

With a cold stick of butter rub a 4 quart casserole dish to grease.


Prepare grits… Bring broth, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a boil.

Put grits in a bowl of cold water and stir. Scrape off floating hulls and such that float on top.

Discard excess water and gently add grits, whisking into boiling broth and reduce heat to low… Stir often until grits are ready… between 25 and 40 minutes.

Add milk a little at a time along the way if gets to thick.

Baked Stone Ground Cheese Grits1-2


Add gruyere cheese, butter, half and half and green onion… stir.

then add eggs and stir till well blended…

Pour grits into casserole dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the top…

Bake uncovered at 425 for 40 minutes.

Baked Stone Ground Cheese Grits2

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2015

Supper Club Summer Salad

8 servings

Supper Club Summer Salad 1 - Ken Johnson (1)

Hint From Ken:

You can certainly use canned corn if fresh isn’t available but it’s worth the extra effort if it is and you have time. This salad is best served cold and tends to be more flavorful after a few hours marinating in your refrigerator. Enjoy as an accompaniment to grilled fish, pork tenderloin or smoked chicken.


What you’ll need:

1 lb package of frozen lima beans

8 ears of fresh corn
1/2 medium red onion

2 pints of cherry tomatoes (multi color makes for a nice presentation)

 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

 1 small handful of fresh oregano leaves (chopped)

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp sugar

Supper Club Summer Salad 3 - Ken Johnson (1)

In a small bowl…

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar…

Set aside


Fill large pot with cold water. Shuck corn and place ears in cold water…


Turn heat on to high setting…

As SOON as water comes to a boil remove corn and drop in bowl of ice water…


Slice red onion into very thin 1 inch pieces, rinse cherry tomatoes and slice half wise using a sharp knife, carefully and evenly cut corn off of cob.

Mix beans, corn, onion and tomatoes in a bowl…

Whisk vinaigrette again and pour over bowl…

Toss together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Supper Club Summer Salad 2 - Ken Johnson (1)

Iron Skillet Green Onion Corn Bread

serves 8

Iron Skillet Green Onion Corn Bread

Hint From Ken:

The bacon does what bacon does – makes it better… but it’s still great without and if you have vegetarian guests then you may want to leave it out.
Try adding a half cup of rinsed and dried black eyed peas, chopped red bell pepper or chopped fresh seeded jalapenos.

What you’ll need:

2 strips of bacon (optional)
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of chopped green onion
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 1/4 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cup of stone ground cornmeal 1 cup of all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup of buttermilk
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil


In a mixing bowl… crack egg and beat gently… add vegetable oil and buttermilk and whisk together…
Then add baking powder, salt, green onion, cornmeal and

flour and stir until well blended… Set aside.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Fry 2 strips of bacon in an iron skillet
Remove bacon and eat it when no one is looking
Add butter to bacon grease and melt while being careful not to get to close to possible popping grease…


Pour batter into hot skillet and place in oven for 20 to 25 minutes
Remove and let cool slightly… Cover hot handle with oven mitt.

Cut into wedges and serve from skillet

Iron Skillet Green Onion Corn Bread2

©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2015

Buttermilk Barbecued Chicken

serves 8

BBQ Chicken2

Hint From Ken: 

The buttermilk marinade seems to really work well with chicken and is excellent with bone in chicken too… Grilled or smoked. This thick marinate keeps chicken from drying out on the grill. The two sauces blend well together with this method. There are a lot of ingredient so to simply the process just place everything out pre-measured before you start. Remember not to put chicken on the grill cold right out of the refrigerator. Let it sit out a little (not too long) before cooking for better results. When done, slice one piece to make sure meat is cooked through. Juices will run clear when properly cooked.

What you’ll need:

1 cup buttermilk

8 boneless chicken breasts

1 cup mayo

1/2 cup sour cream

1 clove fresh garlic minced and mashed

kosher salt

cup buttermilk

3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

3 tbsp fresh chopped chives

1/2 white vinegar

dash hot sauce

1 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

I cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

1/3 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup of honey

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp red pepper flake

1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp granulated garlic

BBQ Chicken BBQ Chicken w_ Grits & Summer Salad


In a bowl… Combine buttermilk mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, 1 tsp kosher salt, parsley, chives, vinegar, paprika, hot sauce, cayenne and black pepper…

Mix ingredients together well… cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


In another bowl… Combine apple cider vinegar, ketchup, tomato paste, 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, salt and 1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, honey and sugar…

Mix all ingredients except for sugar and honey and mix together well… Transfer to stove top in a pot on medium heat and bring to a simmer… Gradually stir in honey and then sugar… and whisk well… remove from heat and cool.

Next… Place chicken in a large plastic food storage bag with all of buttermilk mixture and 1/4 of the apple cider bbq sauce mixture… Seal tight and shake to evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let flavors develop.


Build remove chicken from refrigerator and set aside… Build a charcoal fire with coals on one side of grill. When coals are ready, grill chicken over direct heat with grill top loosely closed and vents open for two minutes per side (monitoring for flare ups). With tongs, place chicken one piece at a time in a bowl with 1/2 of the remaining apple cider sauce… Coat chicken and return to the side of the grill without coals. Grill with top on and vents 80% closed for another 10 minutes… Baste chicken with remaining apple cider sauce and place chicken on a serving dish… cover loosely with tin foil. Let chicken sit to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing…


©Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2015