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