Friday, August 26, 2011

An Epic Send-off and the Journey to

 Ok, I have NOT been keeping up...well it seems like that, but really I've been cooking up a storm and photographing like mad! Lies, you say?! Clearly you're asking for a breakdown of My Life in Cooking since Wednesday...right? Well that's what I heard so here we go..

On Wednesday, I had the little sister over, she tweeted me afterward actually, but I didn't have anything new posted embarrassing!! Well, she only had a little bit of time before she and my dad went boating on her laser-aka mini sailboat-so I made her the Smokin' Golden Apple grilled cheese from Tuesday night's post...she KILLED it! I made it up and slapped it down in front of her, she stopped mid-inhale to announce that "there's apple in this sandwich! Ohmygod, how'd you get the apple to taste so good in a ham and cheese sandwich?!" ...Magic little's magic...
Later that night, I discovered that anyone can submit pictures to, naturally it has become the driving force to my life. I eat, dream, and live Foodgawker! I'm sure it goes without saying, at this point, that I am literally driving The Roommate and Work Friend crazy with my new obsession. However, they're taking the progressive madness very well and Work Friend even suggested I get a variety of Fancy plates at Good Will...I have done so and would like to say Thank You to both The Work Friend annnd Good Will! Credits aside, let's continue our adventure on to Thursday...

Thursday was The Going Away Party of the century!! One of my closest friends is in school to be a Physician Assistant and she's headed back to school this weekend. Naturally, Foodie Friend, The Roommate, and I had a meeting of the minds to design the ultimate going-away dinner for our PA Friend. It's only fair, as one day she'll be making bank and we'll all be her charity cases. After much deliberation, we decided on;

Shrimp and Grits (my contribution)-and yes, the picture is seriously weak...
Greek Salad (a regular of Foodie Friend)
Raspberry Mojitos (The Roommate bringin on the party)
Angel Food Cake Roll-filled with whipped cream and strawberry slices (Foodie Friend is a baking genius!)

Let's get down to the di-rections, shall we?

Shrimp n' Grits 5-8 servings
Adapted from

            2c chicken stock
            1c white cornmeal
            1c heavy cream
            1Tbsp butter (if salted, no need to add additional salt)
            Salt and Freshly-ground Pepper
            2 Tbsp olive oil
            1 medium white onion, minced
            1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
            1 lb Andouille sausage, chopped into chunks (any spicy sausage works)
            2 Tbsp All-purpose flour
            2c chicken stock
            2 bay leaves
            2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined-tails off
            Salt and Pepper

To make grits, bring chicken stock to boil in med saucepan over med-high heat. Slowly, whisk in cornmeal. When the grits begin to bubble, turn heat down to med-low and simmer-stirring with wooden spoon. If you have any trouble with grits becoming too dry, adding water to maintain their smooth texture won't hurt anything. Allow to cook 10-15 min, until mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and butter, season with S&P.

To make the shrimp, heat olive oil in deep frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 2 min. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until brown and there is a noticeable amount of fat in the pan. Stir in flour, stirring to avoid lumps, to form a roux. Slowly pour in chicken broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Drop in bay leaves. When liquid begins to simmer, add the shrimp. Allow shrimp to cook in simmering gravy, about 2-3 mins, until firm and pink-feel free to stir shrimp around every so often so they pink evenly.

To serve, put grits in serving bowl, then mix in shrimp and gravy. Serve immediately.

Lettuce-Free Greek Salad 

     1 large cucumber, chopped
     4 roma tomatoes, chopped
     3/4c Kalamata olives
     1/2c peperocini rings
     1 red onion, sliced thinly
     1/2 - 3/4c Feta cheese, crumbled
     3/4c extra virgin olive oil

Toss all ingredients together, for best flavor allow salad to chill for 30-60mins before serving. It's even more delicious the next day for leftovers as all the flavors get a chance to meet and mingle. Good.Situation.

Raspberry Mojito 2 quarts
     1/2c lime juice
     1 packet Crystal Light Raspberry Ice drink mix (enough for 2qts of fluid)
     1/2c fresh mint leaves
     1c white rum (we used Bacardi)
     ice cubes

In 2 qt pitcher, add drink mix to lime juice and stir until dissolved. Muddle mint leaves into lime juice mixture. Add rum and finish with enough seltzer to hit 2 qts of fluid. Serve over ice, serve immediately. 

Ok, I know you're all dying to see the angel food cake roll, but as everyone knows-you always have to leave em wanting more...and that's just what I'm about to do! I mean why buy the cow if you get the milk for free?! Stay tuned for the delicious update!!

I have submitted another picture to Foodgawker and have no doubt it will be rejected, so to give you a preview...this is my next submission...

I think I've done almost everything I could, it's not artsy, it's in a pretty bowl, it's cropped perfectly squarely...what more could they possibly want from me?!