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Men Who Cook: Roderick Heath

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View photos of Roderick in the kitchen »

A successful brother who knows his way around the kitchen is a great catch indeed (pun totally intended). ESSENCE.com is excited to feature men who love to cook. This week's chef is a southern gent who doesn't mind sharing his secret to the perfect bbq sauce.

Missed one? Catch up on all the interviews and recipes of our featured chefs in our Men Who Cook Roundup »

Name: Roderick Heath
Occupation: Fatherhood Coordinator
Age: 28
Hometown: Monroe, North Carolina

ESSENCE.COM: What do you love most about cooking?
HEATH:
I love to cook because it's my way of showing my love for family and friends. Nothing makes me happier than to see family members fighting for that last bite or empty dishes after the meal. My grandmother showed me that cooking warms the heart and brings African-American families together with laughter, memories and lots of smacking and finger licking (laughs). Plus, being a male cook will teach my future kids that cooking is not only a woman's job, because real men do cook. One of my biggest memories is when my grandmother would bake cakes—I couldn't wait to lick sweet cake batter off the spoons of the blender.

ESSENCE.COM: How did you learn to cook?
HEATH:
As a young boy my grandmother would always ask me to open can goods for her. Then it went from opening can goods to rolling pie crusts, adding spices to dishes, and setting the right oven temperatures. So I began to watch her cook family meals for a household of 17 people every day.

ESSENCE.COM: What's your best cooking tip?
HEATH:
Never walk away from your stove. Always stir and season your food while it's cooking. This keeps the food from burning, and you will also have food that is well blended. I love to use Mrs. Dash and black pepper. I'm not a fan of salt.

ESSENCE.COM: And what's your signature dish?
HEATH
: Definitely my barbeque chicken, greens, stuffed chicken breast in gravy, pinto beans, bake macaroni and butter milk corn bread.

Heath's Signature Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Barbeque sauce of your choice
½ tbs of Absolute Vodka (If you drink)
3 teaspoons of sugar
3 teaspoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of brown sugar

Season 8 to 10 legs of chicken the night before in black pepper, lemon pepper seasoning, Mrs. Dash. Then refrigerate. Mix above ingredients to make special sauce and marinade, before chicken before cooking.

 

Heath's Buttermilk Cornbread

1/4 pound butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Heath's Stuffed Chicken Breast

Six boneless chicken breast
One box of prepared Stove Top stuffing or stuffing of choice
Chicken gravy of choice

Take boneless chicken breast and boil for about 20 minutes. Then, cut a pocket into each piece of chicken. Use box of prepared Stove Top stuffing or stuffing of choice and stuff the chicken. Bake for about 20 minutes before adding the chicken gravy of choice. Let the chicken cook for about 20 more minutes at 350.

Check out Rodericks other recipes:

Macaroni and Cheese »

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