It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing My Carolina Kitchen for four years. They say time flies when you’re having fun and it’s certainly true about blogging. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in what I had to say, but before I knew it I was making friends all over the world with those of you who shared my love and passion for good food. You’ve made my world richer and my life fuller and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.
Blogging for me is about friendship and of course the food. I love reading your blogs and I’ve learned so much from you. Meakin and I are fortunate to have met many of you and hopefully many more in the coming year.
Low Country Shrimp & Grits, recipe here, has by far been my most popular post if I look at my stats from internet searches. As much as we like it, I don’t cook dishes like shrimp & grits very often anymore. For me it’s too heavy and rich except for special occasions.
I hope when you think of My Carolina Kitchen you think healthy, elegant, and delicious. I like to call it “food with a flair.”
Here are some of our favorite dishes. To see the recipe, let your mouse hover over the title.
Pan fried tilapia with tomato basil sauté - dinner in under 30 minutes
Secrets on how to make great crab cakes
Pickled shrimp – a popular make-ahead appetizer that men love
The easiest and most successful way to cook salmon – broil it
Arugula salad tossed in a truffle oil vinaigrette – a French salad that’s looks fancy, but super easy to make
Salad with cherries, goat cheese and pistachios – perfect for showcasing fresh cherries in season
Baked Chicken with Lemons & Olives – my prepare in advance, go-to dish for dinner parties
And don’t forget my love for French food and everything associated with Provence that includes winter dishes such as Beef Daube,
Short Ribs Provencale, Braised Lamb Shanks de-fatted and made healthier
French Orange Salad with Olives, and Chicken Marengo, one of my oldest recipes and still a comforting dinner favorite. And of course I couldn’t leave out the scrumptious French seafood stew reminiscent of bouillabaisse that we ate in the old port city of Marseilles.
But you also know how fond I am of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I’ve posted adaptations of many of her recipes, including Mexican chicken soup,
Prime rib sandwich with truffle butter, baked ham, and of course her very popular lemon roasted chicken.
One of our most popular dinner party desserts at our house is a specialty of Meakin’s - an adaptation of Ina’s crème brûlée. Meakin has lightened it just the right amount, but managed to keep all of the creamy flavor.
That’s Ina’s baked shrimp in the lead picture at the beginning of the post from her Back to Basics cookbook, served with Meakin’s famous red cocktail sauce. Meakin makes his red sauce by whisking together 4 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons bottled chili sauce, juice from a ½ of lemon or lime, a heavy teaspoon bottled horseradish, 2 dashes or so of hot sauce and the same with Worcestershire in a bowl and voila, a fabulous cocktail sauce that is so much better than store-bought. Sometimes he’ll add a teaspoon of finely ground chilies in adobo sauce or a couple of pinches of smoked Spanish paprika. It’s an easy sauce to play with. Repeat after me, I will never, ever buy the bottled red cocktail sauce ever again as long as I live.
Ina’s roasted shrimp cocktail has pretty much taken the place of boiled shrimp at our house. It’s so easy you can do the recipe out of your head and the roasted shrimp have an incredible depth of flavor compared to simply boiling them. Toss peeled and deveined shrimp with some extra virgin olive oil, generously salt and pepper, and spread them in one layer on a sheet pan and roast for 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, taking care not to overcook. You might want to make a note in her Back to Basics cookbook a little trick we’ve learned – that is to turn the shrimp over midway through for best results so they’ll cook more evenly. To finish, sprinkle with a little finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley to make it look pretty and that’s it – foolproof.
|Look inside at Amazon|
Speaking of foolproof, Foolproof is the name of Ina’s newest cookbook. I have all of Ina's cookbooks and each is fabulous in its own way. Back to Basics is my favorite so far.
As a way of saying thank you for your loyalty to following My Carolina Kitchen, I want to give a copy of Ina’s new cookbook to one of my followers.
Actually I’m giving away two cookbooks to followers– Ina’s Foolproof plus Savoring the Hamptons, a cookbook devoted to the food and wine of Long Island’s East End where Ina lives in the Hamptons with her husband Jeffrey. The first person drawn will receive Ina’s newest cookbook Foolproof and the second person will receive Savoring the Hamptons.
|Look inside at Amazon|
The cookbook give-away is open to all followers, including those who follow by email. To qualify just leave a comment saying you are a follower and a way to get in touch with you if your profile doesn’t have an email address with it. If you want extra chances to win, share it on Facebook or tweet it, but be sure to say so so I’ll know how many entries to include for you.
If you have a favorite recipe from Ina, please tell us. It will be fun to see what recipes of hers you enjoy the most.
Good luck to everyone and thank you again for four wonderful years. The give-away will end next Sunday night and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 19, 2012.
Here’s one of the most popular recipes I’ve done of Ina’s for internet searches– “what to serve house guests for breakfast” – Ina’s breakfast crunch.
This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.
Good luck to everyone and thank you again for following and reading My Carolina Kitchen. The cookbook give-aways will end next Sunday night and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 19, 2012.