Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday night

Last night we had grilled pork chops, grilled asparagus, and rice with fresh parsley for dinner.

For whatever reason, I'm not a huge fan of pork chops. They always seem to be a little dry and lacking in flavor.

These, though: Jeffrey injected them with red wine and topped them with a compound butter of unsalted butter and fresh rosemary. The pork chops were wrapped in bacon. Basically, you got your pork, butter, and more pork in the form of bacon.

It's a winner.

Friday, May 21, 2010


For dinner Monday night Jeffrey seared tuna steaks. He rubbed them down with a bit of olive oil, then topped them each with a bit of redfish seasoning and Greek seasoning, then seared them in a pan of hot olive oil and a bit of butter.

I made Parmesan Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts that I saw at Ezra Pound Cake's website. It was really tasty; I'll make it again. My eight-year-old son gobbled it up.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Citrust Shrimp with Parmesan Vermicelli and Grilled Green Beans

Saturday in between baking and decorating a cake I marinated shrimp for dinner. I used the recipe Jeffrey came up with last summer.

Jeffrey grilled skewers of shrimp and a grill-pan of green beans tossed with olive oil and Cavender's Greek seasoning.

I cooked vermicelli and tossed it with softened butter, freshly grated Parmesan, cracked black pepper, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley from our garden. It was really tasty. Something about that shrimp went so well with the pasta. I was hoping we'd have some leftover green beans I could put on a salad this week but we ate every last one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mom's Birthday Cake

We celebrated my mother's birthday with a big Sunday dinner. We had Shrimp and Gravy over Asiago cheese grits.

For dessert I baked and decorated a cake. After the last time, I made a box from a mix. And it was good.

While the cake cooled, I mixed up the icing:

1 stick butter, room temperature
about 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
a few tablespoons of milk

I creamed all that together.

After the cake was completely cooled, I coated the cake with a thin schmear of icing. This is the crumb coat.

It's not pretty but it is effective.

After I got it on, I put in the fridge to set up. The icing hardens a bit, making the cake much easier to thoroughly frost.

I sketched out an idea of how I wanted the cake to look.

Mixed up frosting in various colors - love that part - and got to decorating.

It's far from perfect but it made Mom happy and tasted pretty good.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shrimp and Gravy for Supper Club

I emailed a friend and mentioned we were hosting supper club. The friend lives in Naples, Florida. Geographically, Florida is southern. Obviously. Every other way, it's really not; I shouldn't have been surprised when she emailed back and asked, "What's a supper club?"

Our supper club gets together about once a month. One couple hosts the dinner party and prepares a meal for the guests, about 20 people.

For our turn, we had Smoked Catfish Pate and fruit and cheese for appetizer. Good thing, too, because everyone arrives about 7:00 and we had so much fun visiting and catching up that it was 8:45 before we sat down at the table to eat. (Bad hosts! Bad! Note to self: next time, ask everyone to get there around 6:00.)

We had a green salad with brown-sugared pecans and sweet and sour vinaigrette.

The main course was Charleston-Style Shrimp and Grits over Asiago-Cheese Grits with Caramelized Onion.

Rhodes's rolls with honey orange butter

were on the table and lemon cheesecake with coffee for dessert.

Shrimp and Gravy
The Husband found this recipe online and we made a few adjustments to it.

3 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup chicken stock
1 green onion, chopped

Fry bacon over medium heat and remove to paper towels to drain. Add the butter to the bacon grease. (I ask you: were any prettier words ever written? Add butter TO the bacon grease!) When the butter melts, sprinkle 3 tablespoons of flour over it and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the roux is dark brown. Reduce heat if it starts to scorch.

Add the chopped onions and bell pepper when the roux is dark brown. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the shrimp in a large bowl with the seasonings and remaining flour. Pour in to the pan with the onion and bell pepper, stirring frequently for one minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and reduce heat to low. Cook just long enough to thicken the broth, being careful not to overcook. You don't want the shrimp to get tough!

Spoon out grits onto a plate and top with a ladle-full of the shrimp and gravy. Top with crumbled bacon and chopped green onion.

Asiago Cheese Grits wtih Caramelized Onion

Also known as: the bomb.

Asiago Cheese Grits with Caramelized Onion

1 medium yellow onion, sliced
Olive oil
4 cups water
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups grits
1/2 pound asiago (or fontina) cheese, grated

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook onion on medium until brown. Add salt and pepper, cover, and reduce heat. Let cook until good and golden brown.

In a large pot, over medium heat, combine the water, milk, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.

Stir in the grits.

Cook for 1 hour and about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Remove the pan from the heat

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cheese, and onions.
Serve immediately or spoon into a greased 9x13-inch casserole dish. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for several days. To serve let come to room temperature, and heat at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with paprika before serving.