Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cuisine of the Deep South - July 2012

Diva: Hallie

Drinks: Erin
Summer Shandy

pink lemonade
bud light


Appetizer: Ashley
Cornbread cups with Spicy Crab or BBQ chicken

Make 2 batches of cornbread in a mini muffin pan.  Use just the tops upside down. 

Spicy Crab mixture:
2 cans lump crabmeat, drained
½ c sour cream
½ T of chili oil
2 tsp chipotle powder
salt to taste
cayenne for garnish

BBQ chicken mixture:
shredded chicken mixed with bbq sauce to taste. Topped with chopped sweet pickles

Salad: Lovina
Southern BELT (bacon, egg, lettuce, and tomato)

Mixed greens
Hard boiled eggs
Crumbled bacon
Tomato wedges
Fresh tarragon

Balsamic vinaigrette:
¼ c minced shallot
¾ c olive oil
¼ c chopped fresh parsley
½ c balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Soup: Mary Ellen
Chilled Watermelon Soup

One ripe, seedless watermelon
4 T lime juice (or to taste)
Fresh mint
8 T apple sauce or apple juice (or to taste)
Ground ginger (a couple shakes)
Honey (optional, if more sweetness is needed)
Plain yogurt

Blend first 5 ingredients in food processor or blender. Chill for at least one hour. Serve with plain yogurt and fresh mint. 

Entree: Hallie
Tender Pork Spare Ribs

1 c brown sugar
½  c Old Bay seasoning
2 T Hungarian sweet paprika
2 racks pork spareribs, fat trimmed
1 c beer
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T honey
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T prepared brown mustard

Mix the brown sugar, Old Bay seasoning, and paprika in a bowl. Rub both sides of the pork spareribs with the brown sugar mixture. Place the spareribs in a 9x13-inch baking pan; cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Whisk together the beer, garlic, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a bowl. Set aside.
Tear off 2 large sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil and lay them shiny-side down. Place a rack of spareribs on each sheet, meaty-side up. Tear off 2 more sheets of foil and place them on top of the ribs, shiny-side up. Begin tightly folding the edges of the foil together to create a sealed packet. Just before sealing completely, divide the beer mixture evenly into each packet. Complete the seal. Place the packets side-by-side on an 11x14-inch baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the ribs are very tender, 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours. Carefully open each packet, and drain the drippings into a saucepan. You may only need the drippings from one packet. Set ribs aside. Simmer the drippings over medium-high heat until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Brush the thickened sauce over the ribs.
Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Place the ribs back into the oven and broil until the sauce is lightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes.
Let the ribs rest at least 15 minutes before cutting them up.
adapted from

New Orleans Shrimp Boil

Boil 4 lbs of shrimp with a packet of Zatarains New Orleans seafood boil spices and one lemon cut into quarters.

Side Dish: Aven
Roasted Red Pepper Grits

2 medium red bell peppers
1 large onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup quick-cooking grits
4 cups whole milk
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

Roast and peel bell peppers. Finely chop onion.
In a food processor or blender purée roasted peppers until smooth. In a large heavy saucepan cook onion in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in grits and add 2 cups milk in a stream, stirring. Simmer mixture, stirring, until milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 cups milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in water and gently simmer (do not cover), stirring occasionally, until grits are soft and thickened, about 35 minutes.
Stir in roasted-pepper purée, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste. Grits may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered, in a buttered 11-inch gratin or other shallow baking dish (about 6-cup). Reheat grits in a 400° F. oven until hot, about 15 minutes.

adapted from

Dessert: Stacey
Old Fashioned Root Beer Float Cake

1 c butter
2 c sugar
3 c flour
1 ½ T baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 ½ tsp water
4 eggs
1 T root beer extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c milk

Vanilla Frosting:
7 ½ c powdered sugar
2 ½ c butter
3 to 5 T heavy cream
3 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter; then add the sugar and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the water and eggs to the butter mixture until blended. Mix in the root beer extract and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to form a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until just set, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, and then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting: In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the confectioners' sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended; then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed to reach spreading consistency.
To decorate the cake: Place 1 cooled cake layer on a cake stand, frost the top surface, and chill for 15 minutes (or freeze 5 minutes). Place the second cake layer on top, inverting it to create a flat top, and push down on it slightly. Frost the sides and top with a thin layer of frosting to hold in any crumbs (called a crumb layer), and chill 30 minutes or freeze 15 minutes. Apply a second layer of frosting to finish off the cake, swirling the frosting a bit.

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