Fettuccine and Roasted Vegetable Cream Sauce with Fresh Grilled Wild Mahi

I have had a lot of people ask me what recipes are the biggest hits at Hillbilly Supper Club so this week I am throwing back to one of our favorite dishes from Season 1 of “I Love Kellie Pickler”.

screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-10-00-16-amFettuccine and Roasted Vegetable Cream Sauce with Fresh Grilled Wild Mahi and Oregano Lemon Butter and Sautéed Asparagus…

serves 8

Hint From Ken:

It’s a good idea to plan on putting pasta in boiling water about the time you put the fish on the grill so that everything ends up ready together…

The texture and temperature of food will be more on point as well as the appearance. This dish may seem like a lot of work but is actually quite simple if you have your ingredients out and ready and someone to share a glass of wine with while you cook. Might be helpful to give the recipe a good read through first to familiarize yourself with the process.

As always…Buy the freshest and best ingredients you can afford. Note that this recipe serves 8 so adjust accordingly for fewer servings. Serve with fresh crusty bread and *salted rosemary butter…

This dish is a favorite at Hillbilly Supper Club.

What you’ll need:

-3 lb. of Fresh Wild Mahi (Ask ahead of time to find out when it comes in to your local market to buy at it’s freshest)

-Good extra virgin olive oil

-Balsamic vinegar

-1 lemon

-1/2 cup dry white wine

-1 stick of butter

-Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

-32 oz fettuccine pasta

-1 large red bell pepper

-1 large green red bell pepper

-2 pints of cherry tomatoes (Any kind will do but pick

what ever is freshest)

-1 large red or white onion (A white onion tends to be

milder if you prefer)

-6 peeled garlic cloves

-2 peeled shallots

-1 cup of half and half

-1 cup of fresh grated parmesan – reggiano

-1 handful of fresh oregano (about 2 tablespoons of

leaves separated from stems)

-1 handful of fresh basil (about 15 Leaves)

-1 large bunch of fresh asparagus

-1 tablespoon of sugar

Sauce for pasta:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large cutting surface, slice peppers and onions into about 1 inch pieces and place in large bowl. Next, slice shallots and garlic cloves in half and add to bowl along with tomatoes. Drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil over vegetables then sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper and and equal amount of kosher salt. Using 2 wooden spoons, toss everything in bowl together with and pour contents onto a flat baking pan layered with a sheet of parchment paper…

(Can use a non-stick pan if you don’t have parchment paper but parchment makes for a no stick easy clean up)

Bake for 40-45 Min…(set aside bowl)

When vegetables are roasted and nicely browned transfer from oven back to bowl…

Add 1/2 of oregano and all of basil and toss…


Next, spoon vegetables in to food processor or blender along with half and half and 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar…


Puree mixture into a cream sauce. Transfer to stovetop in a pan and add salt and pepper to taste…


Keep on low to medium low heat until needed stirring occasionally.



Prepare grill…(Preferably wood or charcoal fire but a clean, evenly heated gas grill is fine)

Lay fish out on a flat baking pan skin side down. Very lightly drizzle olive oil over the fish…and then rub over meat to coat with clean hands.

Add fresh ground pepper and Kosher salt but use sparingly. (You want to taste the fish not the salt.)

Next, grill 6 to 8 inches over hot coals skin side down with grill top closed for about 2 minutes. (Monitor for flare-ups because of olive oil.)

Next, gently slide metal spatula between skin and fish and carefully flip.


(With a fork remove grilled skin and discard.)

Grill for 2 more minutes with grill top closed…(based on a 3inch thick filet…Maybe a min longer if thicker but do not over cook or will be dry…Try not to flip more than once)

Transfer fish to pan and loosely place a sheet of tin foil over…

Let rest for 5 minutes.

Sauce for fish:

In a skillet melt butter on medium heat and add juice of fresh squeezed lemon, white wine and other half of fresh oregano. Whisk together and keep warm on medium low heat.



Wash asparagus and gently bend one at a time until they break. Discard tough ends. In a deep enough bowl, mix sugar and cold water…soak asparagus for at least 30 minutes to return fresh taste. Remove and pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pat of butter on medium/high heat…



Sauté asparagus for 5 minutes stirring often and reduce to low heat.

Squeeze a lemon over top of asparagus and salt lightly…


Prepare al Dente in large pot with lots of well salted water. Strain and drain pasta and then transfer servings to wide shallow bowls or plates…add a scoop of vegetable cream sauce over top of pasta…

In a skillet melt butter on medium heat and add juice of fresh squeezed lemon, white wine and other half of fresh oregano. Whisk together and heat.

Next plate fish with salt and peppered side up on side of pasta and vegetable sauce…Sprinkle parmesan – reggiano over top of cream sauce and spoon lemon butter sauce over fish and serve hot. Accompany with fresh crusty bread and salted rosemary butter.

Throwback to behind the scenes from Season 1 of “I Love Kellie Pickler”

Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2015


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