Here at Unicoi Preserves, we talk about connections a good bit. Our business started out of a desire to produce a product from things we could source locally. It is important to have a connection to where your food comes from. That holds true in our products, but also in our lives as well. When we aren’t slinging jelly, I am personally involved as the project coordinator for Yonah Preserve Trails, a proposed 20+ mile natural surface, multi-use trail system that our volunteer group, Northeast Georgia SORBA is building in our adopted home county. We are currently building out Phase 1 and Phase 2, which will give us our first 7 miles of trail. Since I am the coordinator on this project, I have had the pleasure of working very closely with our professional trail builder, Preston York, of Flowmotion Trail Builders. He is an avid outdoorsman, and recently went to Alaska on a trip. He of course went fishing while he was there, and happened to bring back some delicious wild caught salmon.
This is where I come in. Since Preston is working here and calls Alabama home, he is a bit out of his element when it comes to cooking things. He has happily discovered my love of our Big Green Egg, and has asked me on several occasions to prepare things he provides, which I am more than happy to do. Preston brought us several pieces of beautiful salmon, which I prepared for dinner for all of us.
I used a rub from Meat Church to season the fish called Honey Hog. It is has honey powder and some spice that pairs well with fish. I also have a connection to the owner of this particular rub company, as he comes to Atlanta to teach BBQ classes at Big Green Egg Culinary Center and I have helped with his classes and have become friends with Matt through those classes.
I placed the salmon on locally sourced Western Red Cedar planks from my good friend Tommy Joe Conner, who owns Pappy’s Cooking Planks and also happens to be a hell of a guitar player and singer.
Once the salmon were almost done, I glazed them with some of our Apple Cider Pepper Spread and allowed that to caramelize a bit. While I was cooking these, it hit me that I had a personal connection to every part of the dish. I know everyone behind each of the products used to make the meal. Preston provided the fish, Matt provided the rub, Tommy Joe provided the planks, and I provided the spread. It’s these kind of connections that we try to demonstrate through the ingredients we choose to put in our spreads, and sometimes it just happens to work out in other ways as well. I encourage you to give this simple recipe a try, it is beyond delicious.
Our good friends at Lane’s BBQ originally posted a recipe for a double smoked ham glazed with a glaze featuring our Salted Caramel Peach Spread. It was too good not to share, so with Ryan’s permission, I tweaked his recipe a bit and included tips for cooking on the Big Green Egg. You start with a pre-cooked, spiral sliced ham, add rub and smoke, then glaze with a delicious glaze that forms a beautiful crust. The end result is a smoky, slightly spicy, sweet ham that your family and friends will devour and crown you the king of the grill. Cooking your holiday ham on the Big Green Egg frees up your conventional oven for casseroles and other tasty things. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Firecracker Salmon is our patriotic themed dish this year. We used our Apple Cider Pepper Spread to glaze cedar planked salmon and jalapeno poppers and cooked it on our Big Green Egg. We used a western red cedar plank from our friends over at Pappy’s Cooking Planks. We served this with cream cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers that we cooked on a separate plank. We glazed the poppers too, because why not?
We are excited to present our newest flavor, Strawberry Vanilla Spread. Suzy & I have been working on getting the recipe dialed in, and trying to keep it under wraps. Fortunately, we have a great group of friends that we can bounce flavor ideas off of and trust them to keep whatever we share with them a secret until we are ready to reveal it.
I personally lobbied for this to be our next release because I have fond memories of Strawberry Preserves as a child. They were my condiment of choice growing up. My sister loved grape jelly, but I always reached for the jar of strawberry when making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or looking for something to spread on my morning toast. My Dad owned a tire store and every year at Christmas, he would order gift boxes to give to his customers. Inside of each gift box were two stoneware crocks. One was filled with a cheddar cheese spread, the other with a delicious Strawberry Jam. I always secretly hoped he would have one or two left over that he would bring home for us to enjoy. My Mom was always conscious of what we ate, and most things with processed sugars were off limits. Cheerios were an approved cereal choice, but I knew better than to ask for Froot Loops or Cocoa Puffs. Somehow, jelly and jam were not considered evil, so there was usually a jar in the fridge. Mom approved of this recipe on a recent visit, as a matter of fact. Like all of our products, it is naturally low in sugar, and like our Salted Caramel Peach recipe, fruit is the first ingredient.
I wanted to pay homage to these fond childhood memories, but with our own spin on it. So, the flavor is at once familiar, yet different. There are vibrant notes of strawberry right off the bat and then notes of rich vanilla finish on your palate. I’ve had a really hard time actually putting it on anything. I seem to just keep sticking my empty spoon back in the jar for another quick taste, but it pairs well with your morning toast, lunch time peanut butter and jelly sandwich and your evening appetizer board with a nice aged cheddar. We would love to hear your feedback on our newest addition to the family, so leave us a comment and help us spread the word!
Unicoi Preserves Salted Caramel Peach Spread and Country Ham make a delicious and easy gourmet pizza on the Big Green Egg. Use a Stonefire flatbread pizza crust to make this an easy weeknight meal!