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I recently posted a review of Tupelo Honey Café: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Author Elizabeth Sims and her collaborator, Chef Brian Sonoskus, have compiled a second volume of dishes representing the lively fare of the Tupelo Honey Café chain. Spread across the mid-South, the cafes greet you with biscuits and a menu replete with Southern-inspired gems.

Well, some of the inspiration comes from places other than the South. Chef Brian has a professional culinary background which he combines with his deep understanding of Southern cuisine. A graduate of Johnson and Wales, Brian loves to play with Southern ingredients combined in new fashion. Here’s a positively brilliant idea that you won’t find in any Chinese restaurant. But you can at Tupelo Honey!

There are recipes galore here: the egg rolls, sweetly pickled onions, roasted garlic puree and oil, smoked jalapenos, and smoked jalapeno sauce. There’s a solid Sunday afternoon here for you, making, tasting, and ultimately enjoying.

Appalachian Egg Rolls with Smoked Jalapeño Sauce, Pickled Bnions, and Pulled Pork

Makes 12 rolls


  • 1½ cups (about 8 ounces) pulled pork, preferably grilled or roasted Boston butt
  • ¼ cup Smoked Jalapeño Sauce (recipes follow)
  • 2 teaspoons Roasted Garlic Oil (recipe follows)
  • ¼ pound mixed greens (kale, spinach, bok choy, or a combination of these), thinly sliced (about 3 packed cups)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup Sweetly Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows)
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground mustard


Combine the pork and Smoked Jalapeño Sauce, mixing well, and set aside. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the Roasted Garlic Oil, heating until hot, but not smoking. Add the mixed greens and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until just tender. Add the soy sauce and water and sauté for about 30 seconds, or until the liquid evaporates. Set aside and allow the greens to cool.

Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time, lay the wrapper on a work surface with a corner facing you. Brush a little water around the outer edge of the wrapper to make it sealable as you roll it. In the center of the wrapper layer 2 tablespoons pork, 1 tablespoon greens, 1 tablespoon shredded carrots, and 1 tablespoon pickled onions. Fold the bottom corner over the filling, tucking the tip of the corner under the filling. Fold the left and right corners over the filling. Tightly roll the filled end toward the remaining corner and gently press the edges to seal. Repeat the process with the remainder of the egg roll wrappers and place them on a wax paper–lined baking sheet.

Refrigerate the egg rolls until you are ready to fry them.

Pour the canola oil in a Dutch oven to a depth of 3 inches and heat the oil to 375°F. Fry the egg rolls in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Mix the Dijon and coarsely ground mustards and serve with the egg rolls along with additional Smoked Jalapeño Sauce.

Sweetly Pickled Red Onions

These pickled onions are delicious as part of our Appalachian Egg Rolls (recipe above) or as a topping for salads and sandwiches.

Makes 4½ cups


  • 4 medium red onions (about 2 pounds), sliced ¼ inch thick and separated into rings
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine the red onions, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a 3½- to 4-quart saucepan. Press down on the onions with a wooden spoon and add water to barely cover the onions, about 2 cups. Bring to a boil, stirring gently until the sugar melts. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Let the mixture cool. Lift the onions from the cooking liquid with tongs or a large fork and pack the onion rings into jars. Spoon the liquid over the onions and cover tightly. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Roasted Garlic Puree and Roasted Garlic Oil

Another basic in our pantry, roasted garlic puree is the end product of simmering 12 to 14 garlic cloves over medium heat in 1 cup olive oil in a saucepan for about 20 minutes, or until the garlic turns golden brown. Strain the oil, reserving the garlic, and use the oil for sautés, salad dressings, and marinades. Puree the garlic cloves in a food processor until it forms a smooth paste. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Smoked Jalapeños

Makes 6 to 8 smoked jalapeños


  • 1 cup hickory chips
  • 6 to 8 jalapeño peppers

Line the inside of a 9 by 13-inch springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, enabling the pan to hold water. Place the hickory chips in the pan and cover them with water. Let the chips soak for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drain the hickory chips and spread them in a single layer in the pan. Place a piece of foil on top of the chips and arrange the jalapeños on top of the layer of foil. Cover the pan tightly with an additional piece of foil, sealing it to the top edge of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250°F. Continue to bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the peppers to cool before removing the stems, seeds, and membranes. Store the jalapeños in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Smoked Jalapeño Sauce

Here’s a versatile smoky sauce that’s just the right equation of spicy and sweet with a touch of heat.

Makes 1½ cups


  • 1 Smoked Jalapeño (recipe above)
  • ½ cup V8 juice
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup tupelo honey
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons Roasted Garlic Puree (recipe above)
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro


Combine the smoked jalapeño, V8 juice, orange juice, honey, orange marmalade, lime juice, Roasted Garlic Puree, cornstarch, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and sea salt in a blender container and process just until smooth and blended. Pour into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Allow the mixture to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


All recipes from Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains by Elizabeth Sims and Chef Brian Sonoskus, Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013