What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Grilling, Corn and More

What's cooking in Carolina this week? With the garden coming in it isn't hard to guess. We are getting tomatoes, corn, butter beans, pink eyed purple hulls, eggplant, bell pepper, cucumbers and antelope.

We received the new Gourmet Magazine in the mail and they had a recipe for breaded grilled pork chops that looked good, so we tried it. We had not had breaded pork chops that were grilled before and were surprised how well the coating held as well as how juicy the pork chops were. I feel certain that you can get the recipe for them on the Epicurious website. Epicurious We had it with grilled eggplant and the quinoa salad, corn, scallions and mint from the same article. It was all good!

We had a wonderful broiled Salmon in a roasted tomato sauce from the July Cooking Light. The tomato sauce was very close to my recipe for roasted tomato basil soup and turned out quite well. We had it with an Israeli Cous Cous Salad with bell pepper and onion and corn, caprese salad and cukes, like most other meals.

We've also had some wonderful blueberry buttermilk pancakes.
We're getting a bumper crop of blueberries this year and freezing lots for later use. Yum!

Eat well while the crops are rolling in! Swank Recipes

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More Crab, More Corn on the Cob and Summer Food

We really have been eating a lot of crab lately. There was the aforementioned crab and corn chowder and crab cakes. Last weekend we had some young visitors. We had fajitas with chipotle chicken, cheese, onions, peppers (from the garden) and the roasted corn, black bean and bell pepper salad, with homemade guacamole on Friday night. On Saturday night, I planned to have coconut shrimp with lime dressing along with a caprese salad, butter beans and corn on the cob. One of the guests just loves seafood, having been raised in Baltimore and in school in SC. She claimed she had
never had good crab cakes outside of Maryland. Then another visitor told us she had never had crab cakes at all. SO there was my challenge and I just happened to have a pound of crab meat left over from the last event. So we added crab cakes to the menu and the recipe to the website for all to access. It was a hit.

Since then we have had flank steak rolled with 5 cheeses and spinach, braised and finished in the oven. We have also had pasta (homemade of course) with pesto, eggplant parmesan and sliced tomatoes.
What could be better! We also had some smoked pork butt with cole slaw, Cajun sautéed potatoes and corn on the cob.
Yes, we're eating a lot of corn too! Those little stove top smokers are wonderful for small quantities. On our website you can click thru to chef's where they are available. If you're into smoked food, it is a must have.

Lots of these recipes are on our website. Check it out! Swank Recipes

Enjoy summer food!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Crab Cakes, Corn and Crab Chowder

Bushels of corn coming in and what to do you cook other than corn on the cob? Well, we've had boiled corn on the cob, roasted corn on the cob, and a few nights ago we made a corn and crab chowder that turned out great.
The recipe is on the website because I want to document what I did. Swank Recipes Link It was a great combination of flavors. We also need to make the corn, black bean and roasted pepper salad. It's great too.

We made a quick trip up to Norfolk for a big 90th birthday party for my father-in-law. We collectively agreed on crab cakes as a main course, partly because it is a perfect accompaniment to summer vegetables and second, everyone on the family loves them. So we showed up to cook them dinner starting with crab cakes and served with corn on the cob, butter beans, new potatoes, green beans, cucumbers and a huge bouquet of sunflowers, all from the garden (well, not the crab). And for dessert we made a chocolate cake with a mocha mousse filling and a chocolate ganache icing. We had enough leftover ganache to make a few chocolate truffles too.
I didn't get pictures of the food but I did get a picture of the flowers we brought and thought you might enjoy.

Until next time, enjoy the fruits of your garden!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Summer Garden, Fish and Shrimp

We're cooking in Carolina in every way! It's been in the mid 90s and very humid ! And we're still cooking on the grill to keep the kitchen from getting so hot. Last night, everything was grilled: shrimp, corn, squash, green onions, corn on the cob and peppers and everything but the shrimp and onions came from the garden.

Last weekend, my mom brought some vegetables from her garden in Virginia that I don't grow, so I also made a wonderful roasted beet salad with red onions, olives and a garlic sauce to die for!

We are also trying to eat up last years frozen food to make room for this years. We had flounder that my brother caught at the coast that was really good with peas and a fresh salad. Even though the lettuce is bolting it is still pretty and very tasty. We usually have it with a balsamic vinaigrette. Our recipe can be found on the Swank website Swank Recipes

That's it for now!

Eat, drink, love and laugh!

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