Monday, February 18, 2008

The Supper Club

This past Saturday night I was invited to my friend Katie's house to join her Supper Club. She and a group of friends started a club where they gather about once a month and all cook on a theme. Apparently it all started with something called Pork Chop Friday and has grown into quite a production. The theme this month was Southern food with Chicken and Waffles being the centerpiece dish. Katie asked me to bring cheese grits (an amazing recipe from my mom that has been in our family forever). I was happy to say that they were a big hit.

It's really fun to cook communally and so much more satisfying than going out to a restaurant.
Here are some photos of the full spread:
Roasted Chicken

Waffles (notice the PBR, I thought it was a nice touch)

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

My delicious Spinach and Arugula salad with green apple, chopped prunes and ricotta salata. Oh, and with a champagne, shallot, and dijon vinaigrette

And there were some crudite and hummus, and some gravy for the chicken as well. And collard greens too, I'm not sure how I missed those but I sure ate them.

After setting up the food and serving ourselves, we sat around in Katie's living room, balancing plates and wine glasses on our laps and on the coffee table. Good music, good conversation and great food was had by all. And Katie's roommate Kate is a baker at Tartine (a fabulous San Francisco bakery if you don't know it) and she made an Apple Brown Betty. It was perfectly cooked and oozing with cinnamon, yum.
I have been missing my cooking mojo recently and I think that I am slowly getting it back. I think it is partly to do with the fact that I don't really have anyone to cook for, and I am never motivated to put much effort into cooking for myself. But I am going to start hosting dinner parties again and that should get me back into experimenting in the kitchen, something I am excited about doing. Hmmm, what should I make next?

Grits a la Romaine-
not the healthiest thing in the world but truly the best. Indulge yourself once in a while with these, you won't be sorry!
(form my mother, Kristine Kelley)
Bring 1/2 gallon of 2% milk to a boil, being careful not to scorch it. While heating up add 1/2 lb. of butter (NO substitutions). When melted add 2 c. of Quick Grits (not instant or regular),cook til thick stirring constantly.
Remove from heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl and beat hard for 5 minutes with an electric mixer. Add 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper while beating.
Pour into a 9x13 pyrex and let set in the fridge (takes about 25 minutes, doesn't have to be cool, just set). Then cut into domino size rectangles and lay like fallen dominoes in a casserole.
Grate 2 c of jack cheese and sprinkle over grits. Add 2/3 cup of parmesan and sprinkle.
Bake 30-35 minutes at 400F, until browned.

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