Calhoun's Taste of Tennessee

Wanna eat some great BBQ in Knoxville? Try Calhoun’s Taste of Tennessee! This is no ordinary BBQ restaurant. It sits right on the Tennessee River in the heart of downtown Knoxville.

Curtis Gibson, Director of Operations, was kind enough to host several events for the National BBQ Association convention last month. He definitely has the hospitality chip. He furnished us with some of the recipes from the restaurant. Thought you might like to try one. This is for a large quantity, so save it for when you have a party…or cut it down….

Spinach Maria


41/2 C Milk

1/2 Yellow Onion (medium)

1 t Ground Mustard

1 t Granulated Garlic

1 3/4 t Crushed Red Pepper

1/8 Lb and 1 T Butter (melted)

3/8 C Flour

8 oz Cheddar Cheese

4 oz Monterey Jack Cheese

8 oz Velveeta Cheese

(5) 10 oz Boxes Frozen Chopped Spinach

1 1/2 C Grated Monterey Jack Cheese (for topping)


  1. Heat milk and spices in a 4 quart sauce pan on medium heat to just below a boil (190*). Then reduce and simmer.
  2. Finely chop onion, saute’ in 1 T butter on medium heat for 5-8 minutes, add to sauce pan.
  3. Combine the 1/8 Lb melted butter with the flour in a small saute’ pan. (This is the first step of making a Roux which will thicken the sauce.) Mix until completely blended, cook on low heat 3-4 minutes to make Roux. Add Roux to sauce pan and mix well. Continue to cook until sauce thickens.
  4. Cut the Velveeta, cheddar, and Jack cheese into small cubes, add to sauce pan. Continue to mix until all the cheese is completely melted and blended into the sauce (be careful not to burn the sauce while the cheese is melting). Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Slow thaw the spinach in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Squeeze as much excess water as possible out of the spinach. Add spinach to cheese sauce, mix until completely blended. Transfer to an 11x9x2 casserole pan and top with grated Monterey Jack Cheese. Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.

**This will yield 12 servings.

Let The General know what you think after you have tried this recipe!!

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