Virginia Willis Blog

Secrets of the Southern Table TV Series

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Secrets of the Southern Table™

I am thrilled to announce I am partnering with public media powerhouse WGBH-TV for the development of “Secrets of the Southern Table™: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South” to air nationally on public television stations. (more…)

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Cooking with Citrus: Spicy Chicken with Clementines

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Cooking with Citrus

Earlier this week I was in the local co-op experiencing a bit of a conundrum regarding planning this week’s meals. After seemingly months of rich, holiday foods followed by a few days of delicious – but somewhat drab – field peas, winter greens, and cornbread, I felt ready for something bright, clean, and fresh. This time of year that trifecta can be hard to come by – it’s not exactly the description that comes to mind when thinking of bitter greens and earthy root vegetables. Citrus, however, is all those things, which led me to this recipe for Spicy Chicken with Clementines. Cooking with citrus is a great way to blow away the winter blahs. Problem solved! (more…)

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Happy New Year: Vegetarian Hoppin’ John

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Hoppin’ John

Eating black-eyed peas and rice in the form of a dish called Hoppin’ John and Stewed Greens on New Year’s Day is a Southern tradition. Folklore says the combination will bring luck and money in the upcoming year. Typically, the dried peas are black-eyed peas and there is generally a hunk of meat bobbing in the pot. This year, I wanted to mix things up and create a recipe for a Vegetarian Hoppin’ John. (more…)

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Christmas Traditions: Old-Fashioned Yeast Rolls

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Christmas Traditions

Every family has at least one culinary Christmas tradition. In our family, at the top of the list of our Christmas traditions are Old-Fashioned Yeast Rolls. These Old-Fashioned Yeast Rolls are light, buttery, golden-brown pillows — perfect for sopping up gravy, dipping into salty, smoky potlikker,  or for making a sandwich the next day with the leftover turkey, crown of pork, or roast beef. (more…)

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Southern Sweet Tooth: Peppermint Fudge Recipe

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Peppermint Fudge

The Southern Sweet Tooth is a powerful force. Sugar is more than an ingredient in the South. It falls somewhere between a condiment and a food group. During the holiday season its status is even more prominent with tins of homemade mints, brittle, and fudge on every sideboard. It’s nearly obligatory serve a sweet treat to guests or to take as a gift for a party host. But, yikes! Time seems to accelerate this time of year and the to-do lists grow longer and longer. Who’s got time to make homemade candy? You do! My recipe for Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge fits the bill. (more…)

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