Summer Palate

09 May 2022

A Bounty of Seasonal Flavors

Photos and Recipes by

Kaitlin Gooding

Summertime.  It’s another word for “fun in the sun” for Southerners. Beach trips, camping and backyard cookouts are here or on the way and we’re sharing some of our favorite Southern summer dishes to serve to our guests. Sink your teeth into this fried chicken sandwich where you’ll taste the hot honey sauce brushed on while it’s still sizzling. Pick your freshest produce to cook up this okra salad topped with blue cheese crumbles and prosciutto. The sweet and savory blackberry bourbon baked beans provide a new spin on a traditional favorite. You must include these sweet cornbread biscuits at your next cookout. Pair them with some peach curd if you want them to steal the show. Wash down all this deliciousness with the refreshing lemon smash that delivers a slice of summertime with each sip. Now your only decision to make is which recipe you’ll try first!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Makes four sandwiches


4 chicken breasts

1 cup buttermilk 

1/2 cup flour

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp Panko bread crumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

Hot Honey Sauce

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup honey

1 tbsp smoked paprika

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use more if you would like it spicier) 

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Favorite sandwich condiments to add: mayonnaise and arugula


1. Add the chicken breasts to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the buttermilk over top, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.

2. Mix the next four ingredients for the coating in a large bowl. Remove the chicken from the fridge and dredge in the prepared coating. Place the chicken onto a baking tray or large plate. Meanwhile, make your hot honey sauce by mixing all the ingredients together and set aside.

3. In a large pot, pour oil until it covers about 2 inches of the pan bottom. Increase the temperature on the stove until the oil is hot, around 335 degrees.  

4. Fry the chicken without crowding the pan for about 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on it, and maintaining a high temperature. Flip the chicken about halfway through.

5. Remove the chicken from the frying pot and lay to rest on a cooling rack. Check the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees to ensure it is fully cooked.  

6. Brush the hot honey sauce over your just-fried chicken. Add the chicken to your bun of choice along with any favorite condiments. I chose mayonnaise and arugula to top it off.

Okra Salad

Makes 4 side servings


2 ears of corn, cut from the cob

1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

2 cups okra, cut into quarter-inch rounds

Olive oil to taste

5-6 slices of prosciutto


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add corn and okra into a bowl together and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. Place the okra mixture onto a baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven once they are browned and crisp. Tear the prosciutto into pieces and into a bowl with the corn and okra, tossing together. Top it off with the blue cheese crumbles and enjoy. 

Blackberry Bourbon Baked Beans

Makes 4-5 servings


2 cups blackberries (fresh is best but frozen will work)

2 cans white beans

2 strips bacon, chopped

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup white onions, diced

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup BBQ sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Simmer the berries in a pan on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes with the syrup, bourbon, vinegar, Dijon, BBQ sauce, and spices. Once the berries are soft, mash them into the sauce.

3. While the berries are simmering, cook the chopped bacon with the onions in a separate pan until onions are translucent.

4. Drain the canned beans and add to a cast iron pan. Drip the blackberry mix through a mesh strainer over the top of the beans to remove most of the seeds.

5.  Mix in the bacon and onions once they have finished cooking and pop the cast iron into the oven. Bake the beans for 30-35 minutes or until the sauce is thick.

Remove from the heat and serve while warm.

Sweet Cornbread Biscuits

Makes 10-12 biscuits


1 1/3 cups cornmeal

1 egg

1/3 cup honey

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

12 tbsp butter

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the butter two tablespoons at a time into the flour until it is well combined into crumbles.

3. In a small bowl, mix the egg, honey and buttermilk together.  Add it into the dry ingredients bowl until you have a thick mixture. You can add more flour if it is too runny or a dash of water if it is too thick.

4. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Use a spoon to dish out a sizable biscuit on to the paper and use your hands to form into a round biscuit shape. You should have 10-12 biscuits.

5. Bake the biscuits for 12-15 minutes until nice and brown.

Lemon Smash

Makes one drink


Lemon Sugar Rim:

2 tbsp sugar

Zest of one lemon


6 oz of light beer

1 ounce simple syrup

1 ounce lemon juice

3 ounces soda water

Garnish: lemon slice or mint sprig


1. Make the lemon sugar for the rim by combining lemon zest and sugar on a plate. Rim your glass with a slice of lemon to make the sugar stick.

2. Roll the rim of a beer glass or Mason jar through the lemon-sugar.

3. Pour in the simple syrup, lemon juice, soda water, and stir.  Add the beer over top and gently stir until combined. Garnish with a sprig of mint or slice of lemon.

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