Author : Tee Mayberry
Blake Shelton is one of the most popular country artist on the scene today. He’s a triple threat artist, he’s a writer, singer and he even dabbles a bit in TV as a judge, for four seasons on NBC’s talent show,” The Voice.” While following his career I have realized that Blake and his songs are very relatable. I was just listening to one of his songs “Boys Round Here” the other day and in one part of the song he asks a female counterpart does she know how to “Dougie” which is a popular dance made prevalent in the Hip Hop community by artist Cali Swagg District. When Blake referenced a dance from a genre of music that’s the polar opposite of the music he performs, he instantly earned major cool points in my book. You don’t find many artist that can do that. Either they are too afraid to stray away from the typical lyrics of the genre of music they sang or they fear they will lose their fan base due to non-relatable content. I can assure you Blake didn’t lose one fan by referencing a “non-country” dance, I’m quite certain, he gained a few.
Blake was born in Ada, Oklahoma. He began singing and learned to play the guitar at age 12. By the time he was 15, he had written his first song. Within a year he was recognized as one of the top artist in his home state. At age 17, he moved to Nashville Tennessee to pursue a music career. After several years in Nashville, he signed with Giant records. Blake made his debut to the country music scene in 2001 with the release of his red hot single and self-titled album “Austin” which stayed number #1 on Billboard’s top 100 Country Songs for 5 weeks. Since the release of “Austin,” Shelton has released 3 albums and one collaboration effort in 2013. Believe it or not, each album that has been released, has done absolutely well to where he has reaped 12 No.1 singles from the hard work sewn into each project. His 2013 collaboration effort “Healing the Heartland” was a Relief Benefit Concert which was dedicated to the Oklahoma tornado victims this May in an effort to raise money. Blake was joined by his peers in the music industry such as artists Usher Raymond, members of Rascal Flatts, Ryan Tedder of One Republic, his wife Miranda Lambert and a handful of other artists from different genres of music. The one hour concert raised over 6 million dollars for the tornado victims. I guess in addition to Blake being a successful country artist and a judge on a successful TV show we can add to his list that he’s also a philanthropist.
Now on to the food. Since Blake grew up in the south it would only be right that we dedicate a down home southern recipe to him. I’ve learned that Blake likes anything that’s fried. I’ve been told that his taste pallet craves a spectrum of fried foods from fried golden cheddar battered chicken fingers with a side of fried green tomatoes all the way across to fried pickles. It appears that the median factor in Blake Shelton’s eating equation is batter it, fry it, and eat it.
Hillbilly Bone Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders with Mini Fried Green Tomatoes with Creamy Dipping Sauce
Ingredients for Chicken Tenders
– 1 egg
– 1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
– 1/4 cup Corn Flake Crumbs
– 1/2 Finely Shredded Cheddar
– One 3 ounce package of Pre-cooked Bacon Bits
Ingredients for Fried Green Tomatoes
– 3 medium, firm Green Tomatoes ( I got mine from my mom’s garden super fresh !)
– 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
– 1/2 cup Buttermilk
– 1 egg
– 1/3 cup Cornmeal
– 1/4 Vegetable Oil
– 1/2 cup Italian Dry Bread Crumbs
Ingredients for Cream Sauce ( condiment for both chicken and tomatoes )
– 1 cup Sour Cream
– 3/4 cup Mayo
– 2 teaspoons Fresh Dill
– a pinch of salt
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1) Heat oven to 400°F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise, salt , dill and lemon juice. Mix well and place in the fridge to chill while you cook the remainder of your dish.
2) In shallow bowl, beat egg. In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, place bread crumbs, cheese and bacon. Dip chicken into egg. Place in bread crumb bag; seal and shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet.
3) Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once half way through cooking, until chicken is no longer pink in center and bread crumbs are golden brown. Set aside
4) Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs, seasoning and cornmeal.
5) In a medium frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Dip tomato slices in the buttermilk-egg mixture and allow the tomatoes to sit in the mixture for a couple minutes , then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the pan, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown.
6) Serve tomatoes and chicken with cream sauce and ENJOY !!