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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cooking Lately

I can't say I have been most inspired in the kitchen lately...when life gets busy or hectic I tend to resort back to what I know and what I can make without a recipe and my slow-cooker.  However, I did have a few friends over for dinner last week and did a bit of a southern (USA) menu.

For starters I made hushpuppies with a spicy aioli and baked brie w/ maple syrup & walnuts.  Hushpuppies are basically fried cornbread, another southern favorite (so yummy).  I can't say they are very good for you but they sure do taste good!

The main dish was a South Carolina favorite 'shrimp and grits'.  Most Australians have never seen or tasted grits so I thought this would be fun to make.  I think they liked the taste and texture okay, but my portion sizes were a little large so I don't think anyone managed to clear their plate.  Sorry my pictures aren't great but basically it is sorta like a gumbo which you serve on top of the grits, which is like a creamy corn based porridge (savory).

I think our dessert may have been the best of my absolute favorite pies - keylime pie, although I could not find 'key' limes here in Australia so I just had to use regular limes and go figured I picked now when they are extremely expensive.  I think my 5 limes cost about $10... but the pie sure was good so I figured it was worth it.  It is also one of the easiest pies to make here is the recipe for anyone interested:

Key Lime Pie Recipe

1 pack of plain cookies/graham crackers (about 2 cups)
1/2 walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
125 grams melted butter (one stick)
Puree the first 3 ingredients until you have fine crumbs, then stir the butter into the mixture with a fork.  Mixture should be wet enough to then press into your pie dish or you can use a spring form pan.  Once you have formed the crust, bake it in the oven for 10 minutes.

4 egg yolks
1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)

Simply whisk these ingredients together until nice and smooth and pour into the crust.  Bake for 15-20 minutes on 180C/375F until pie has set.  Let the pie cool and then refrigerate.

For the topping I think fresh whipped cream is the best option mixed with a little mascarpone cheese and a couple of teaspoons of sugar.  Or I also tried mixing lemon curd in with the cream and it was divine.  You can also serve this pie with fresh berries and sprinkle with lime zest.



Aimee said...

mmm...shrimp and grits.... PH has been on a work trip back to the US and I'm missing all the food he keeps telling me he is eating. (*sob)! Do you just use a polenta mix or do you source the grits base particularly for this dish?

Leila Nelson Gunning said...

Aimee...I used the last of my grits that I imported from the US last could probably use polenta, not quite the same but might be okay.

Spencer said...

Loving that key lime pie. It looks amazing.

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