So what better challenge for "The Early Show on Saturday Morning" to give our "Chef on a Shoestring" than to whip up some traditional dishes served at Churchill Downs on Derby day?
And who better to tackle it than Doc Willoughby, executive editor of both Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen?!
Doc's menu: Mint Juleps (naturally!), Kentucky Burgoo -- a stew that's been a staple at Derby parties dating back to the 1930s -- Cheesy Grits and, for dessert, Lemon Chess Pie -- great offerings for any Derby party!
As our "shoestring" chef, he had to try to make it all on our slim budget of only $40. And he was automatically entered in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition. The shoestringer whose ingredients total is lowest will be invited back to whip up our year-end holiday feast.
"Early Show" recipes galore!
Mint Julep: One of Kentucky's claims to fame, the mint julep is an alcoholic drink made with fresh mint (sometimes muddled with sugar), bourbon and plenty of crushed ice. It's traditionally served in an iced silver or pewter mug at the running of the famous Kentucky Derby. However, it's a refreshing favorite on any hot day. (Source: Epicurious.com)
Muddle: To mash or crush ingredients with a spoon or a muddler (a rod with a flattened end). Usually identified with the preparation of mixed drinks, such as when mint leaves and sugar are muddled together for a mint julep. . (Source: Epicurious.com)
Grits: Though it's now commonly used to mean "hominy grits," the term "grits" actually refers to any coarsely ground grain such as corn, oats or rice. Most grits come in a choice of grinds - coarse, medium and fine. Grits can be cooked with water or milk - usually by boiling or baking - and eaten as hot cereal or served as a side dish. . (Source: Epicurious.com)
Kentucky Burgoo: Also called Burgoo , this thick stew is full of meats (usually pork, veal, beef, lamb and poultry) and vegetables (including potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, sweet green peppers, corn, okra, lima beans and celery). Early renditions were more often made with small game such as rabbit and squirrel. Burgoo is popular for large gatherings in America's southern states. Originally, the word "burgoo" was used to describe an oatmeal porridge served to English sailors as early as 1750. . (Source: Epicurious.com)
Dutch Oven: A large pot or kettle, usually made of cast iron, with a tight-fitting lid so steam cannot readily escape. It's used for moist-cooking methods, such as braising and stewing. Dutch ovens are said to be of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, dating back to the 1700s. . (Source: Epicurious.com)
Chess Pie: This is one of the South's favorite pies, with a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter and a small amount of flour. Chess pie can be varied by adding flavorings such as lemon juice or vanilla, or substituting brown sugar for granulated sugar. . (Source: Epicurious.com)
For Doc's recipes, go to Page 2.