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"Down South" Delights on a Shoestring

For brothers Jamie and Bobby Deen cooking is a family affair. They've released a new book called "Take It Easy: Quick and Affordable Meals the Whole Family Will Love" (Ballantine Books), and they say that's exactly what the recipes they shared on "The Early Show Saturday Edition" are . .. easy.

Read an excerpt from "Take It Easy"

Together Jamie and Bobby have hosted the Food Network hit "Road Tested" and are co-owners of Savannah's famous The Lady & Sons Restaurant with their mother, Paula Deen.

As "Shoestring" chefs, the Deen brothers strived to prepare a three-course meal on our budget of just $35.

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Their menu includes:
• Baby Buttermilk Biscuit Pizzas
• Quick Braised Chicken with Rosemary & Potatoes
• Blackberry Cream Pie

FOOD FACTS:

New Potatoes: These are simply young potatoes. They haven't had time to convert their sugar fully into starch and consequently have a crisp, waxy texture and thin, undeveloped wispy skins. New potatoes are small enough to cook whole and are excellent boiled or pan-roasted. Because they retain their shape after being cooked and cut, new potatoes are particularly suited for use in potato salad. (The Food Lover's Companion)

Blackberries: The blackberry is the largest of the wild berries. Purplish-black in color, it ranges from 1/2- to 1-inch long when mature. Blackberries are widely cultivated in the United States and are available, depending on the region, from May through August. Look for plump, deep-colored berries sans hull. If the hulls are still attached, the berries are immature and were picked too early; the flavor will be tart. (The Food Lover's Companion)

RECIPES:

Baby Buttermilk Biscuit Pizza

Rather than making pizza dough from scratch, patting out biscuit dough for mini pizzas is a quick, fun shortcut that older kids, like our eleven-year-old niece Lauren, will enjoy joining in on. And the kids can top their own pizzas, too, if they like, piling on the cheese and pepperoni or, if you've got a strange kid who likes them like Bobby always did, with sliced olives.

INGREDIENTS:

One 12-ounce can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups shredded mozzarella (8 ounces)
4 ounces thinly slices pepperoni rounds (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough to ¼-inch in thickness. Divide the sauce evenly among the biscuits, top with a pinch of the oregano, then layer the mozzarella, pepperoni (if using), and Parmesan cheese.

Bake until the biscuits are golden and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Allow the pizzas to cool slightly and serve warm.

Quick Braised Chicken with Rosemary and Potatoes

Drumsticks are always our favorite, but Mama always likes the thighs, so we make it so that everyone can get what they want. Rosemary really complements the new red potatoes and gives them a hearty garden flavor, and using dark meat keeps the dish juicy. We love this with a light side salad like our crunchy iceberg lettuce salad with blue cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 pounds chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks (or just use one or the other)
1 pound small new red potatoes cut into eighths

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and rosemary.

Place the chicken in a large broiler-proof baking pan and season with the additional salt and pepper. Add the potatoes to the pan. Pour the rosemary mixture over the chicken and potatoes and toss to coat.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and transfer to the broiler. Broil, 4 inches from the heat, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pricked with a fork. Serve hot, with the pan juices spooned on top.


For a Ten-Minute Blackberry Cream Pie recipe, go to Page 2.

Ten-Minute Blackberry Cream Pie

This is an easy-to-assemble pie that really takes us back to our childhoods. Blackberries grow wild all over Georgia, and coming from a family of great pie bakers, we were always motivated to pick them.

INGREDIENTS:

One 10-ounce package fresh or frozen blackberries (thawed if frozen)
3 tablespoons blackberry jam
One 8-ounce tub Cool Whip whipped topping
One 9-inch store-bought graham cracker piecrust

METHOD:

Place the blackberries in a bowl and mash with a fork until broken up. Add the jam and mix until combined.

Spoon the blackberry mixture into the crust. Top with Cool Whip and serve.


So how did the Deen brothers do in our "How Low Can You Go" competition?

Biscuit Pizzas
Buttermilk biscuits $2.39
Tomato sauce $.99
Oregano $1.49
Mozzarella $2.99
Pepperoni $1.50
Parmesan cheese $2.25
Total $11.61

Rosemary Chicken
Garlic $.39
Lemon $.59
Rosemary $1.49
Chicken legs $7.47
Red potatoes $.99
Total $10.93

Blackberry Pie
Blackberries $3.99
Blackberry jam $2.79
Cool Whip $2.39
Graham cracker piecrust $1.49
Total $10.66

TOTAL:$33.20

Our current leaders:

1. Robert Carter $32.24
Peninsula Grill

2. Paul Liebrandt $32.35
Corton

3. George Mendes $32.49
Aldea

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