Sep 5th, 2015

Recipes from The Garden Cafe

pimento cheese and crackers

Garden Cafe Pimento cheese and housemade dill and sea salt crackers.

Yesterday on the blog, you got to meet the Garden Cafe’s Chef, Anne Maury Haapala. Today, you get to see the recipes she shared with me!  We get many, many requests for recipes from the Garden Cafe each year. I’d say these two are the most frequently asked for. Enjoy!

Meriwether Godsey Pimento Cheese


1 Cup Mayonnaise

4 Tbs Margarine (at room temperature)

½ Cup Roasted Red Peppers (pureed)

1 tsp Salt

¼ tsp Cayenne

4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

4 Cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese


With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer blend the mayonnaise and margarine until smooth.

Add the pureed roasted red peppers and seasonings and mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes.

Add the shredded cheese and mix until all ingredients are combined

Chef Anne Maury making the famous Meriwether Godsey Roasted Red Pepper and Crab Soup

Chef Anne Maury making the famous Meriwether Godsey Roasted Red Pepper and Crab Soup. A tray of warm, house-made dill and sea salt crackers sits nearby.

Meriwether Godsey Roasted Red Pepper and Crab Soup

Yield: 12 – 8 oz Servings


6 oz Unsalted Butter

5 oz Diced White Onion

1 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1 Quart Fish Stock

1 Quart + 1 Pint Whole Milk

1 ½ Cups Half & Half

6 oz Backfin Crab Meat

½ Cup Roasted Red Peppers (pureed)

1 tsp Salt

½ tsp Pepper

¾ tsp Cayenne


Saute onion in butter until translucent

Add flour and cook on low heat about 10 minutes, stirring often

Add fish stock and whisk thoroughly.  The base will be very thick, use spatula to stir and scrape bottom of the pan often.  Cook for 20 minutes.

Add milk and ½ & ½, mixing well.  Cook on low heat for ½ hour, again stirring often.

Add pureed roasted red peppers and seasoning to soup and simmer an additional 15 minutes or until it reaches 180-190 degrees.  Do not boil

Turn off heat and stir in the crab meat and serve.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Melon garnish for this needs to be small no larger than ¼”

Makes approximately 10 cups, or 80ea 1 ounce soup shots
○ 4 cups seedless watermelon, roughly chopped
○ 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, roughly chopped
○ 1 cup each of red & yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
○ 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
○ 1 cup red onion, roughly chopped
○ 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
○ 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
○ 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
○ 1/4 teaspoon salt
○ 1 cup seedless watermelon, diced to ¼”

1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT final 1 cup of finely diced watermelon.
2. Puree using an immersion blender or standard blender. Chill for several hours.
3. Garnish with finely diced watermelon just before serving.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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