Friday, April 08, 2016

Celebrate the Flavors of spring in Northeast Arkansas

Celebrate the Flavors of spring in Northeast Arkansas
In Northeast Arkansas spring is a time for being outside, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the freshness in the air. 

In Blytheville, AR. spring means it is time for the Farmer’s Market.  Several years ago Blytheville started looking for ways to draw people to Main Street.  A once thriving place, where most of the city’s businesses resided, was then sparsely lined with business among empty buildings and the sidewalks were empty.
Sitting on the west end of Main Street is a blue building prominently displaying a vertical sign with lighted letters, identifying the building as the Grey Hound Bus Station.  The city and Main Street Blytheville organization has diligent worked to restore the building to its original grander.  The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is believed to be only one of three of a kind still in existence. Built in 1939, the building houses the local tourist information center, headquarters for Main Street Blytheville, and now Saturday morning Farmer's Market.
Not as large as some Farmer’s Market, Main Street Farmer’s Market in Blytheville is a taste of small town Northeast Arkansas. You can buy fresh vegetables, locally baked goods, and craft items.  On almost any Saturday morning, there will be coffee and homemade tamales available.  

I love to go and buy fresh vegetables. This time of year, fresh green spinach is available.
Being a vegetarian in a family of carnivores, I often try to cook recipes that will bring my meat eating family members over to the Vegetarian side.  One of my family's favorite recipes is fried spinach artichoke balls.  My boys never make fun of my vegetables served up southern fried.

Fried Spinach Artichoke Balls.
9 ounces fresh green spinach, sautéed with a pinch of salt and pepper
1 (6.7 ounce) jar artichoke hearts (drain and pat dry)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 loves minced garlic
1 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 lemon, cut into slices
1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups vegetable oil


Sautee the green spinach in a skillet lightly coated in vegetable oil add a pinch of salt and pepper cook till wilted.  Drain well on a paper towel.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, Parmesan, mayonnaise, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Place bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm.

Place the panko, eggs and flour in 3 small bowls.

Roll the spinach mixture into 1-inch balls. Lightly roll in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip each ball in the egg wash, then lightly roll around in the panko breadcrumbs.

Fry in hot sunflower oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes total.

They are ready to serve.  

If you ever in Blytheville, Arkansas stop the Grey Hound Bus Station.  We would love to have you visit our little corner of Arkansas.  

~ Connie ~

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