Sharon Thompson: Food Network declares a Benedictine sandwich one of country's best

swthompson@herald-leader.comAugust 15, 2012 

Sharon Thompson

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF — mcornelison@herald-leader.com

The Benedictine sandwich served at The Cheddar Box in Louisville was named the single must-try sandwich of Kentucky in the September issue of Food Network Magazine.

The Benedictine is featured in the article "50 Sandwiches, 50 States." On the sandwich, the editors wrote: "This lunch-only spot serves a Kentucky favorite (cucumber mixed with cream cheese) as the base for an amazing BLT."

The sandwich is $7.50 at the restaurant, 3909 Chenoweth Square. Go to Thecheddarbox.com or Bit.ly/Qb9q3b. Catch some of the best on the Cooking Channel at 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Benedictine cucumber spread was created by Jennie Benedict, one of Louisville's most celebrated caterers. Benedict operated a tearoom and soda fountain, and published several editions of The Blue Ribbon Cook Book, although none contained her recipe for Benedictine.

Benedict began her career in 1893 from her family's home at Third and Ormsby streets. She began making fruitcakes, then she sold chicken salad sandwiches to students from a pushcart. Before long, her sweet and savory dishes became the centerpieces of parties, including Derby events.

Here's a recipe for Benedictine from Ronni Lundy's Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken.

Benedictine spread

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons cucumber juice (see note)

1 tablespoon onion juice (see note)

1 teaspoon salt

Few grains cayenne pepper

2 drops green food coloring

Mix all ingredients with a fork until well blended. Using a blender will make the spread too runny.

Note: To get juice, peel and grate cucumber, then wrap shavings in a clean dish towel and squeeze juice into a dish. Discard pulp. Do the same for the onion.

Beard dinner on Sept. 15

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour comes to Kentucky on Sept. 15. The dinner, sponsored by Cane Ridge Cattle Co., will be at Glenwood, home of Landon and Lavinia Clay, at 1806 Cane Ridge Road, Paris.

The dinner begins with a lawn reception at 6 p.m. featuring celebrity chefs Jeremy Ashby from Azur Restaurant in Lexington; Aaron Butts of Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, Ind.; Jeff Newman of Boone Tavern in Berea; and Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room in La Jolla, Calif. Tickets are $140. Call (860) 803-2969 or go to Bit.ly/OP3elb.

The Celebrity Chef Tour began in 2004 as a way to bring the unique experience of dining at New York City's historic James Beard House to cities around the country. At each tour dinner, some of the nation's top chefs come together to create a multiple course dinner paired with premium wines, beers and spirits.

Big Green Egg grill fest

Housewarmings, 2312 Palumbo Drive, is having an EggFest on Saturday featuring the Big Green Egg grill. The event, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature items prepared on the Big Green Egg: beef brisket, chicken kebabs, brick oven-style pizza, pulled barbecue chicken, baked beans, blue cheese sliders and pineapple upside down cake.

Tickets, $8 in advance and $10 at the door, are available at the store or at Myhousewarmings.com. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. Call (859) 231-0005.

Learn about wine, cheese

Wine + Market, 486 West Second Street, is offering wine and cheese classes this month. The wine class, 6 to 7:15 p.m. Monday, will highlight the history, regions and main grapes of Chile and Argentina. Cost is $10.

The cheese class, 6 to 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, will feature international cheeses. Cost is $12. Call (859) 225-0755.

It's a culinary Olympics

Olympic athletes were in the spotlight this month, but in the fall, culinary students will be competing for gold.

Four students from Sullivan University's Baking and Pastry Arts Program will go to Germany for the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung Culinary Olympics, also known as the International Exhibition of Culinary Art, in Erfurt.

Students selected for Sullivan University's Olympic culinary team under the leadership of Derek Spendlove, director of the baking and pastry arts program, are Kendall Knies of Celestine, Ind.; Jordyn Moseley of Utica, Ky.; Halie Raymer of Tupelo, Miss.; and Kelsee Newman of Evansville, Ind. All team members earned medals at the American Culinary Federation, or ACF, competition at the Midwest Culinary Institute in Cincinnati in April. Newman and Raymer also won gold medals at the ACF competition at Dorsey Culinary School in Pontiac, Mich. in January. Go to Sullivan.edu.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com

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