West Virginia recipes from beloved Mountain State dining institutions.
famous west virginia recipes for your recipe box
We love West Virginia recipes! Vivid memories, important life events, and memorable meals have happened at many of the Mountain State’s most beloved establishments. Some restaurants serving fan favorites are still at it—and, as the restaurant business goes, some are a thing of the past, taking revered recipes off into the sunset with them. WV Living asked readers which closely guarded recipes they would love to have from restaurants now-shuttered or still in operation. Here, we grant as many of those wishes as we possibly could.
COTTAGE CHEESE SOUP – THE RED FOX OF SNOWSHOE (1982-2006)
SPINACH SPIN BALLS WITH DIJON SAUCE – MAXWELL’S OF MORGANTOWN (1975-2013)
PUMPKIN PIE – capon springs and farms (1833-present)
SPICY CABBAGE SOUP – st. alban’s river’s edge (1986-2004)
CINNAMON ROLLS – elkins’ 1863 tavern/grill (1950-2015)
the red fox of snowshoe (1982-2006)
“Anytime I mention Snowshoe to someone, it seems that the beloved restaurant Red Fox comes up in conversation. Folks would travel from around the country to eat there. And inevitably Margaret Ann’s Cottage Cheese Soup is mentioned.” Nikki Bowman Mills
Cottage Cheese Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 cloves garlic chopped and smashed into paste
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh chives finely chopped
- 24- ounce container large-curd cottage cheese
- Melt butter in a pot over medium heat and gently sauté garlic for a few minutes until cooked and fragrant. Add flour and whisk constantly to cook off the raw taste of the flour and allow the mixture to thicken, forming a roux.
- Whisk in chicken stock to blend, then stir in heavy cream. Season with black pepper and fresh chives, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until soup starts to thicken.
- Add cottage cheese and stir until melted.
maxwell’s of morgantown (1975-2013)
“I went to Maxwell’s soon after coming to West Virginia for grad school, and it was a frequent stop. That place had so much personality and was delish to boot.”Laura Rye
Spinach Spin Balls with Dijon Sauce
For Spinach Spin Balls
- 2 1/2 medium onions
- 3/4 cups celery
- 1 cup margarine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons basil
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 12 eggs
- 3 1/2-4 cups bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 pounds frozen chopped spinach
For Dijon Sauce
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
- 1 1/4 cups Dijon mustard or honey Dijon mustard
- 5 cups half and half
For Spinach Spin Balls
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt margarine and pour into a large bowl. Finely chop onions and celery and add to the bowl.
- Add all remaining ingredients except spinach, bread crumbs, and eggs. Make sure spinach is completely thawed, and use a clean bar towel to squeeze the remaining liquid from the spinach. Add to mixture. Mix. Add eggs and bread crumbs.
- Use a small scoop to scoop out spinach rounds onto a greased sheet pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
For Dijon Sauce
- Melt margarine over a double boiler. Add Dijon mustard, heat.
- Add half and half gradually, stirring often.
- Heat until thickened. Serve.
capon springs and farms (1833-present)
“This is an original pumpkin pie recipe credited to Capon’s first kitchen and housekeeping manager, Pearle Kump. Her version of pumpkin pie is a little different than most served today because it features the use of orange extract.”Capon Springs and Farms
For 9-inch pie crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup lard
- 2 tablespoons ice water
For pie filling
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 eggs, beatened and strained
- 1 3/4 cups cooked pumpkin canned or fresh
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk or half and half
For pie crust
- Sift flour and salt together.
- With a pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut lard into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas.
- Add just enough ice water to mix. Too much working results in a tough pastry.
- Lightly flour counter and rolling pin. Roll crust out to 1/8-inch thickness. Size circle to allow for a 1-inch overhang.
- Place crust in a 9-inch pie pan.
- Trim and crimp the edge. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Do not bake before adding filling.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Add beaten eggs, mixing lightly.
- Fold in cooked pumpkin and gradually stir in evaporated milk or half and half. Mix well.
- Pour in unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake additional 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
st. alban’s river’s edge (1986-2004)
“I could write an entire cookbook with old recipes I would like to have from different restaurants around West Virginia. I luckily now have the chef’s recipe, but I know many people would love to know how to make the River’s Edge Spicy Cabbage Soup. It is perfection!”
Spicy Cabbage Soup
- 1/2 medium-sized cabbage or enough to fill about 1/3 of the pot with chopped cabbage
- 5-6 stalks celery enough to cover the top of the cabbage
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 8 ounces tomato juice
- 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- A few sprinkles of crushed red pepper
- Rinse and chop cabbage into 1-inch squares and place in bottom of 6-quart stockpot.
- Clean and chop celery into 1/4-inch slices. Put into stock pot on top of the cabbage. Fill pot up with water to about three-quarters full.
- Place pot on burner and bring to a boil. Reduce heat just enough to keep from boiling over and cook until cabbage and celery are tender but still firm, approximately 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
- Adjust salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Stir and serve.
elkins’ 1863 tavern/grill (1950-2015)
“I love the ooey-gooeyness of these cinnamon rolls. They are so yummy and remind me of past Mother’s Day brunches with my Nana and Mom.”Savannah Carr
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon non-diary creamer powdered
- 2 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 2 2/3 cups hot water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast about 1 packet
- 2/3 cups hot water
- 2/3 cups vegetable oil
- 8-12 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pound 4 sticks margarine
- 3 cups brown sugar loosely packed, for filling
- 1/8-1/4 cup cinnamon for filling
- Dissolve non-dairy creamer, salt, and sugar in hot water. Then add cold water to bring it to luke-warm temperature (approximately 90 degrees).
- Add yeast and vegetable oil and let sit 10-15 minutes so the yeast can activate.
- Add flour in 1- to 2-cup increments until dough achieves desired consistency.
- Cover bowl with a towel and leave in a warm place to proof for about an hour. While dough is proofing, melt margarine in a saucepan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- After dough is finished proofing, roll out to approximately 1/4-inch thick. Brush generously with about half of the melted margarine and sprinkle it with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll the dough and cut to desired size. Pour margarine to a depth of 1/2 inch into your baking pan and fill with cinnamon roll slices. Don’t worry if they are swimming in margarine—that’s part of the magic of this recipe.
- Proof for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until they have doubled in size. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and flip the pan out onto a piece of foil (like you would an upside-down cake). Best enjoyed warm.