My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Benedictine Spread

Many Kentucky communities had their noted confectioneries and restaurants. Of them all none are more highly regarded than Miss Jennie Benedict's in Louisville, Ky. Miss Jennie began her culinary career as a cateress but in 1900 took over a forty-year old business on Fourth Street and opened her own dining room and soda fountain. In 1911 her business had grown to such an extent that she moved to larger quarters on the same street, where her meals were rivaled only by her "decorative candy" pieces and her cakes, which were shipped to all parts of the United States and many foreign countries. Discerning vistors thought their stay in Louisville incomplete without luncheon or dinner at Miss Jennie's, and many a housewife relied upon her Blue Ribbon Cook Book, first published in 1904 and reissued in revised edition.

This recipe originated in the 1920's by Jennie Benedict. The spread became a regular feature at cocktail hours and weddings, and still is, and a must have for an appetizer at your Kentucky Derby Party. You can use this as a dip, but traditionally it is used as a filling for finger sandwiches.

It is said that Miss Jennie's mayonnaise was made of three ingredients, lemon juice, olive oil, and egg yolk. I'm more along the line of Hellmann's.

Benedictine Spread
print recipe

Grate on the large holes of a box grater
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2 medium onion
1 small green onion

Measure 1/4 cup each of the cucumber and regular onion and combine in a medium bowl. Add in the chopped green onion. Wrap in cheese cloth or towel and squeeze to remove excess moisture.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon good mayonnaise
Pinch of ground red pepper (1/8 of a teaspoon)
Salt and pepper to taste (white pepper is nice)

Combine with wooden spoon or process.

Cut crust off bread, spread with Benedictine Spread, cut into 4 ribbons per sandwich. Make sure you have good bread, homemade or a good bakery bread.

COOK'S NOTE: You will find recipes calling for a dab of green food coloring. That's fine for St. Patrick's Day, but not for Derby Day. Miss Jennie would just die.

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