Mouthwatering chicken, dumplings from star chef

One of the hottest chefs in the country graced the "Early Show on Saturday Morning" kitchen, as Andrea Resuing accepted our "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge.

The James Beard Foundation named Andrea Best Chef of the Southeast on Monday. She's only the third chef from North Carolina to ever receive the prestigious honor. Andrea's following that up by appearing at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival next week.

She truly believes in the title of her new cookbook, "Cooking in the Moment," a compilation of recipes she cooked in her home kitchen.

Andrea is a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement and feels strongly that cooking and eating seasonal vegetables can be the foundation of a full life.

She's owner and chef of the Lantern Restaurant, in Chapel Hill.

As our Chef on a Shoestring, Andrea attempted to prepare a delectable, seasonal three-course dinner for four on our stingy $40 duget.

On the menu:

  • Spring Vegetables with Garlic Mayonnaise
  • Chicken & Dumplings
  • Crushed Strawberry Sundaes

Our "Shoestring" chefs are automatically entered in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition, in which the one with the lowest ingredients cost gets invited back at year-end to make our holiday feast and gets to make whatever he or she wants and spend as much as it takes!

And viewers have a role in our "Chef on a Shoestring" segments, as well, getting to vote each week on the main course you want the following week's "Shoestringer" to whip up. To cast your vote for next week, click here.

FOOD FACTS (Source: Epicurious.com)

Fennel: There are two main types of this aromatic plant, both with pale green, celerylike stems and bright green, feathery foliage. Florence fennel, also called finocchio, is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean and in the United States. It has a broad, bulbous base that's treated like a vegetable. Both the base and stems can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in a variety of methods such as braising, sautéing or in soups. The fragrant, graceful greenery can be used as a garnish or snipped like dill and used for a last-minute flavor enhancer. This type of fennel is often mislabeled "sweet anise," causing those who don't like the flavor of licorice to avoid it. The flavor of fennel, however, is sweeter and more delicate than anise and, when cooked, becomes even lighter and more elusive than in its raw state. Common fennel is the variety from which the oval, greenish-brown fennel seeds come.

Bay leaf: Also called laurel leaf or bay laurel , this aromatic herb comes from the evergreen bay laurel tree, native to the Mediterranean. Early Greeks and Romans attributed magical properties to the laurel leaf and it has long been a symbol of honor, celebration and triumph, as in "winning your laurels." The two main varieties of bay leaf are Turkish (which has 1- to 2-inch-long oval leaves) and Californian (with narrow, 2- to 3-inch-long leaves). The Turkish bay leaves have a more subtle flavor than do the California variety. Bay leaves are used to flavor soups, stews, vegetables and meats. They're generally removed before serving. Overuse of this herb can make a dish bitter. Fresh bay leaves are seldom available in markets. Dried bay leaves, which have a fraction of the flavor of fresh, can be found in supermarkets. Store dried bay leaves airtight in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Leek: Looking like a giant scallion, the leek is related to both the garlic and the onion, though its flavor and fragrance are milder and more subtle. It has a thick, white stalk that's cylindrical in shape and has a slightly bulbous root end. The broad, flat, dark green leaves wrap tightly around each other like a rolled newspaper. Leeks are available year-round in most regions. Choose those with crisp, brightly colored leaves and an unblemished white portion. Avoid any with withered or yellow-spotted leaves. The smaller the leek, the more tender it will be.

RECIPES

Spring Vegetables with Garlic Mayonnaise

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 to 4 quarts of washed and trimmed raw vegetables such as:
  • Small carrots
  • Small fennel
  • Radishes
  • Baby turnips
  • Baby beets
  • Hearts of butter lettuce
  • Sweet scallions or spring onions

MORE:

  • 2 yolks from large eggs, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 to 2 anchovy fillets, to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

METHOD:

Put the yolks in a wide-mouthed jar and pulse for about 30 seconds with a stick blender. Add a good pinch of salt, the garlic, the anchovy, the lemon juice and pulse again. While pulsing, slowly drizzle in the oil. Pulse until the mixture is emulsified. Taste for salt and thin with a little water if necessary.

For Andrea's recipes for Chicken and Dumplings and for Crushed Strawberry Sundaes, go to Page 2.