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Neelys’ down home cookin’

Each week, more than four million viewers tune in to watch the Neelys cook recipes

Down Home with The Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook by Patrick and Gina Neely encompasses all the great menu items that have made Neely’s BBQ a destination for barbecue aficionados around the world, as well as signature recipes from their history-making show (which had the highest rated premiere in TVFN’s weekend block)

Each week, more than four million viewers tune in to watch the Neelys cook recipes that have made them so admired and loved, including: Get Yo’ Man Chicken, Barbecue Spaghetti, Sock-It-to-Me Cake, and their famous Cheesy Corkscrews with Crunchy Bacon Topping (which can feed a family of four for under ten dollars and was recently featured on NPR’s All Things Considered).

For Pat and Gina Neely, the secret to their success is in the familial approach to everything they do. They have raised a family in the kitchen and built a successful business as a husband and wife team and Americans have responded to their story and their food with gusto.

Metro nabbed those famous corkscrews and some naughty cupcakes, to give you some down home cookin’:

Cheesy Corkscrews with Crunchy Bacon Topping
Pat: “When I was growing up in Memphis, everyone had their own special mac-­and-­cheese recipe. Traditionally, the matriarchs used elbow noodles, but my girls love experimenting with different pasta, and we fell in love with cavatappi, because its tubular spiral shape holds plenty of cheese sauce, making every forkful a delight (of course, old-­fashioned elbows will also work just fine).

A piquant, cheesy white sauce and a crispy topping made from potato chips and bacon creates the best — and most indulgent — version of mac and cheese that we have ever tasted. Served alongside roast chicken, or with a simple green salad and a glass of great red wine, this is the ultimate comfort food.”

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS:
• 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
• Kosher salt
• 1 pound cavatappi (or other tubular pasta)
• 1/2 cup all-­purpose flour
• 4 cups whole milk, warmed
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
• Dash hot sauce
• Dash Worcestershire sauce
• 4 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
• 11/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Crunchy Bacon Topping:
• 11/2 cups crushed potato chips
• 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
• 5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

METHOD:

Heat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-­quart casserole dish.

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk, and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly (the mixture will thicken as the heat increases).

Stir the dry mustard, salt, black pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce into the thickened milk. Stir in 3 cups of the cheddar, and the Pecorino Romano, until the cheeses melt.

Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce, and toss to combine. Pour the cheese-­apalooza mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

Make the topping: In a medium bowl, combine the potato chips, Pecorino Romano, crumbled bacon, parsley, and the remaining cheddar. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the macaroni and cheese, and bake for 35 minutes. For a crunchier topping, finish under the broiler for 3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Behave Yourself Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Pat: “Cupcakes bring out the kid in everyone. They certainly bring out the kid in me, and my girls will tell you that I love these cupcakes as much as they do. Who can blame me? They are impossible to resist. The combination of cake flour and buttermilk gives them a tender crumb and a slightly tangy flavour, and the thick, rich cream-cheese frosting — made with melted chocolate chips — puts them over the top. These cupcakes starred in the “If Pat’s a Good Boy” episode of our show. Talk about inspiration to behave!

Gina often doubles this recipe so we have enough around to feed a crowd for a party or picnic, because even when folks are on their best behaviour these have a way of vanishing ...

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS:
• Twelve 21/2- inch paper muffin- cup liners
• 2 cups cake flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 11/3 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 11/3 cups well-shaken buttermilk
• Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12- cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until fluffy. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and the buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated. Pour the sifted dry ingredients slowly into the batter. Mix until just combined and smooth. The batter will appear light and fluffy.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, and bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing


INGREDIENTS:

• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• One 8- ounce block cream cheese, softened
• 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (see note)
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon milk

METHOD:

Beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add the melted chocolate, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk, and beat until the icing is smooth and creamy.

• Note: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a metal bowl placed over a saucepan of gently simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water).