|Photo by Katie Guymon|
Two nights ago, I hosted a southern dinner party for five of my girlfriends. This was an item on my summer vacation to-do list, so I am so thankful that we were all able to get together. The only thing missing was a bell to call them all to dinner. Not to toot my own horn, but toot! toot! The food was delicious, and if my leftover intake is any indication, you will probably like it, too.
Here is the menu (with recipes!) for a southern dinner party.
Hard Lemonade [recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson]
What's more southern than a frosty glass of lemonade spiked with vodka? I doubled the batch and used some Minute Maid lemonade to supplement the freshly squeezed juice. A girl can only juice so many lemons, y'all.
Crab Dip [recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman]
Catherine was kind enough to bring over this delicious crab dip for an appetizer on Wednesday night. And, she kept with the southern theme! But, I'm not surprised. Girl knows how to work a theme.
Barbequed Shrimp [recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse]
The first time I ever tasted these shrimp was at a Viking Cooking School class. Let me tell you, this recipe is not good for you, but it is heavenly. I went to Bob's Seafood for the first time to buy the biggest shrimp I could find. Although I'm not a huge fan of peeling and deveining, it is so worth it to get the 20 count shrimp versus the little guys at your local grocery store.
Goat Cheese Grits
Okay, this recipe isn't really good for you either, but hey, special occasions are always diet-defiant. If you are a grit girl (or boy) like I am, this is dedicated to you.
-3 cups whole milk
-3/4 cup stone-ground grits
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-1 4-5 ounce log fresh chervre
-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
-salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Heat milk in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat; bring to bil. Whisk in the grits and reduce the heat to a low simmer.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits are soft and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
3. Stir in cream, goat cheese, thyme, salt and pepper. Add more milk if grits are too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Fresh Corn Salad [recipe courtesy of Barefoot Contessa]
I've written about this Barefoot Contessa recipe before. It is seriously the stuff that corny dreams are made of. Now that basil is in abundance, it's the perfect time to make this salad.
Marinated Asparagus [recipe courtesy of Paula Deen]
My mom and I discovered this recipe when we were in a "We heart asparagus, but what else can do with it?" phase. This preparation is perfect. It's easy. It's served cold. It's made the night before. And it's really very tasty.
Honey Cornbread Muffins [recipe courtesy of The Neelys]
Cornbread from scratch. Yum, yum, gimme some. And that's all I have to say about that.
I had never made this exact recipe before, but since I've been on such a rhubarb kick this summer, I wanted to try it. The only step I did differently was to swap out the lemon and add freshly squeezed orange juice. As my friend Courtney described it, "It's the perfect combination of sweet and tart." I completely agree. Top it with some homemade whip cream, and it's perfect.