Saturday, June 5, 2010

Shrimp & Grits

I've called Florida my home for 14 years but I'm not a G.R.I.T.- meaning  a " girl raised in the South."  Truth be told: I don't even like grits. They feel grainy in my mouth,seriously-- gritty is the right word.

However, while staying at The King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island in coastal Georgia, I attended an elegant dinner featuring Shrimp and Grits.  I've got to admit, the dish was sinfully luscious and I devoured it. 

Chef Robyn Gomez prepared the recipe in front of the guests and he changed my mind. Grits are worthy of royalty- at The King and Prince.

King and Prince Shrimp and Grits
Serves 6 to 8 people

Burgundy Gravy
2 ounces water
1 pound shrimp - 26-30 count
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup julienned green pepper
1/2 cup julienned onion
8 beef bouillon cubes
1 quart water
Dash of salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
4 ounces Burgundy wine

Sauté onion, mushrooms, and peppers in butter.  Add wine and bring to boil.  Add salt and cayenne pepper, reduce heat.  Add shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add beef bouillon cubes and mix well, add water, and bring to boil.  Thicken with a 1/2 cornstarch and 1/2 water mixture.

Cheese Grits
2 cups stone ground grits
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
1/4 cup water

Bring chicken stock and cream to boil.  Add grits, cook for 5 minutes. After grits cook, add the 1/4 cup of water.  Add cheese, reduce hear, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add butter, stir well and cook for 10 minutes. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fresh Mango or Peach Oat Muffins and Recipe

A Night of 1001 Mangos describes the theme of a five-course spectacular Mango dinner matched with wines being held in the posh Jade Mountain Club at Anse Chastanet on St. Lucia.  Would I love to attend? You bet!  But, guess I'll have to go in spirit. 

The Mango Madness Festival is being held in St. Lucia  from June 11-15, hosted by Chef Allen Susser, a James Beard award winner.  Susser is the author of The Great Mango Book and considered the definitive authority on this remarkable (and my favorite) fruit.

How I wish I could crash the Mad Mad Mango cocktail party and partake a St. Lucian Rum Mango Mojito.  Sounds sweet! Additional events include a mango farm tour, a cooking class, special exotic fruits breakfast and a lunch grilled under the palm and mango trees. 

I visited St. Lucia in November 2008 and must admit I reveled in many excitingl adventures, but mangos were not in season, nor on the menu. (Click here to read about my trip.)
Just thinking about all these marvelous dishes nudged me to make one of my favorites- Fresh Mango Oat Muffins.  The recipe may not be as stunning as Chef Susser's, but I guarantee these are exceptional breakfast treats. 

Fresh Mango (or Peach) Oat Muffins
From Debi Lander's files

1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 1/3 cups buttermilk  (I use low-fat buttermilk)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cups melted butter or vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
12 oz. almost ripe mango or peaches,
 cut in large chunks

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Put the rolled oats and the buttermilk in a large bowl and let soak for 10 minutes.  Add the beaten egg, melted butter or oil, and sugar and mix well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices onto the soaked oat mixture and stir briefly.  Quickly fold in the chopped fruit.  Do not beat or overmix; the batter should look slightly streaky.  Spoon the mixture into well greased muffin pans, filling each 2/3 full.

Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.  Let cool in the pan for 1 minute, then turn out onto a wire rack.  Eat warm or within 24 hours.  When thoroughly cooled, the muffins can be wrapped then frozen for up to 1 month.