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Monday, February 21, 2011

southern roots...

What can I say I do love the South (USA that is)... I kicked off my first tablenosh dinner this year with a few southern classics and some new recipes out of a recently purchased cookbook from the best Chefs in Charleston.  Hopefully the Australian diners were not too overwhelmed with new flavors, foods and concepts!

For example 'grits', what in the world you ask are 'grits'?  They are basically the inside of the corn kernal also called hominy and very similar to polenta.  They are a traditional southern food and often served for breakfast alongside eggs.  Over the years the chef's of Charleston, South Carolina and other places have come up with creative and delicious ways to serve this simple food.  I imported some grits back with me this trip and cooked them up for last night's dinner.  The featured Main Dish for the evening was called 'Low-country Shrimp & Grits.'   Which is basically a cajun shrimp dish, with onions, tomatoes, peppers, bacon and spicy sausage peices.  I think most people enjoyed it.

Mint Julep Martini
As for the rest of the menu...the evening started with a 'Mint Julep Martini' and Truffled Risotto Balls w/tomato jam.  A 'mint julep' is a popular southern drink made with mint infused sugar syrup and bourbon.  I squeezed in some orange juice, added a few drops of vanilla vodka, triple sec and topped it off with tonic.  Delish!
Truffled Risotto Balls w/ Tomato Jam
I served a Strawberry Salad w/baby spinach, carmelized walnuts and feta for the entree along with some buttermilk biscuits.  And for dessert we had blueberry peach cobbler with vanilla bean custard cream (that was the best part).

I think this year will be about recipes I love as well as experimenting and I have a feeling this new cookbook could be the inspiration for more than one Tablenosh dinners, so I hope the Aussies grow to love my southern roots!

The next tablenosh event will be a Tablenosh Re-launch/Birthday Party!  Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Yay! Thanks Leila,
Had a lovely night and really really enjoyed the 'prawns and grits' and the awesome risotto balls.
Can't wait to do it all again.
Ally <'v'>
P.S How cool. My word verification is OVENA. Very appropriate.

Kirsten said...

The whole dinner was great, but I agree that the cobbler was the highlight! Thanks again!


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