A Southern Valentine’s Day Dinner Party

I’m so excited that I was selected to participate in Foodbuzz’s February 24×24. This is a Foodbuzz event showcasing 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publishers hosting dinner parties around the globe in a 24 hour period.

My dinner party is Valentine themed –

A Southern Valentine’s Day Dinner Party

 

We are in Alabama, The heart of the south ♥

Let’s get started…

We had cocktails –

Mint Juleps with Bourbon

2 1/2 oz Bourbon

1 tsp powdered sugar

4 mint sprigs

1/4 cup club soda

…with heart shaped ice cubes, no less.

Also, we had-

Pink Martinis

1 oz Vodka

1/2 oz Whipped vodka (whipped cream flavored vodka)

1/2 oz Triple sec

Splash cranberry juice

Cherry, for garnishing

Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms

1.5 lb white mushrooms, caps removed

1/2 lb chorizo, cases removed, crumbled and cooked

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup Fontina cheese, shredded

2 tbsp dried parsley

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

12 eggs, hard boiled

3/4 lb (or 6 oz.) Pimento cheese

3 tbsp mayo, (not low fat!)

1 tbsp fennel fronds (you could also use fennel seeds, about 1 tsp)

1 tsp mustard seeds

Dash dry mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Crab Stuffed Roast Beef

4-5 lb Eye of Round Beef Roast

Salt

3/4 pound crab meat

2/3 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup mayo

1 egg, beaten

1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

Trim the beef of excessive fat – but keep in mind you do want some fat left on it; this will flavor your roast. I just can’t stand all that extra unnecessary fatness. Rinse and pat dry.

Place your roast on a large sheet of plastic wrap, then salt the heck out of it. You want to cover the entire roast with one layer of salt. You can use regular salt or sea salt. Either will do the job. Cover tight with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. If you can’t wait that long, at least give it a few hours. The salt will draw the carbohydrates from the center and makes your meat very tender.

Meanwhile, make your stuffing. Mix together the bread crumbs, mayo, egg and Old Bay; fold in the crabmeat. Cover and refrigerate until time to stuff the roast.

Rinse the salt off of the roast, pat dry and slice it lengthwise about 1 inch from each end, making a pretty deep cavity. Preheat oven to 500°.

Gently spoon the stuffing into the cavity, packing it in as you go. Tie closed with twine – continuing to push the stuffing in as you go to keep it as neat as you can.  I did four evenly spaced ties.

Place the meat in a large pan and roast for about 1 1/2 hours until meat thermometer registers at least 125 (medium rare), 140 (medium), up to 160 (well done). I took mine out of the oven at 145° and everyone seemed to happy with the done-ness.

Slice and pour the juices from the pan over the roast.

Mini Mac N Cheese Cups

8 oz dried macaroni, cooked and drained

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (I used my food processor)

1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

1 cup mild cheddar, shredded

1/2 block cream cheese, softened

1/2 stick butter, melted

1/2 stick butter, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350° and spray two mini muffin pans with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine the sharp cheddar, Ritz crackers and melted butter. Press mixture into muffin tins to form a crust.

Whisk together the eggs, milk and sour cream; set aside.

When the macaroni is done, combine that with 1/2 cup of mild cheese, softened butter and cream cheese. Add the egg mix to the macaroni and stir to combine.

Evenly divide the macaroni mix to each muffin cup. I sprinkled a little extra bread crumbs on top before I baked them.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until slightly brown on the tops.

Southern Collard Greens with Prosciutto and Vidalia Onion

2 1/2 cups fresh collard greens, washed

1 Vidalia onion, washed and sliced thin

4 thin slices Prosciutto, cut into 1/4 size pieces

1-2 dashes hot sauce

1 tbsp salt

Place greens and onion slices in a dutch oven and pour enough water over them just to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce to low and cover. Simmer for an hour and add hot sauce and salt. Simmer for about 20 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the prosciutto.

Grits with Gorgonzola

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup old-fashioned grits (not quick cooking)

4 oz Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 block cream cheese

Bring broth to a boil; add grits. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes until thickened; stirring occasionally. Add cheeses; stirring for about 1 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for another 3 minutes.

Chicken Meatballs with Remoulade

1 lb ground chicken

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tbsp onion powder

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 tsp dried parsley

3 tbsp Mayo

2 tbsp Creole mustard

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp Ketchup

1 tbsp horseradish sauce

1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine chicken, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, Lawry’s, onion powder, salt and parsley. Form into golf ball sized meatballs. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Mix together the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use for the meatballs.

…And for Dessert

Valentine Cake Pops

Adapted by Willow Bird Baking

Go here for the recipe, but keep in mind I didn’t include the cheesecake middles.

Ready for party pics?

 

Yours truly.

My guests – L-R: Mark (husband), Ben (cousin’s BF), Meighan (cousin), Katelyn (daughter), Mother (obvious), Miles (step-father), Lishia (friend/fellow nurse), and Brantley (son).

All of my guests eating. It appears like it’s silent but I can assure you that didn’t last long.

The husband.

My best/fav cousin/sister Meighan.

 Lishia!

Katelyn and Lishia.

The Table.

My mother (aka Mimi) enjoying a cake pop.

We had a fantastic time!

Enjoy!

~Dixie Chik~

Many thanks to Foodbuzz for the fabulous dinner party, and for your endless promotional efforts aimed toward the foodblog community; also a special thanks to Eva!

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Home Fries

There are a few dishes that my husband is definitely in charge of in the kitchen. They are:

Chicken Parmesan

Matzo Ball Soup

Eggs Over Medium

Home Fries

Home Fries is one of those personal, you-can-do-it-in-your-sleep type recipes that maybe every now and then you play with – add a little of this or a little of that – but the end result usually comes out about the same. I love these and if I’m in a kitchen-sharing mood I’ll ask him to make these for breakfast, or as a side for dinner.

Or if I just want them.

Home Fries

3 lb. Russet potatoes, washed and diced (we have used red potatoes before and they are just as good)

1 medium size onion, chopped

1-2 sticks butter

Garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

Melt the butter over high heat and add the potatoes.

Stir to combine, and when they get a slight brown crust turn the heat down to medium high heat and flip them around a few times.

Add the onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat until golden brown, the onions are caramelized and potatoes are done all the way through. ← My husband wants you to know that he loves to cook on high heat. It seems to work for him, but I’m not crazy about keeping the heat cranked way up unless it’s absolutely necessary.

I think it makes him feel like a rebel.

But he’s a sweet rebel.

My husband doesn’t measure the last three ingredients, he just does it according to taste. With the garlic, it’s probably close to the equivalent of one clove. He typically uses 1-1/2 sticks of butter, but you may find that you need more as you’re cooking.

I like mine with ketchup….

~Dixie Chik~

 

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Jalapeno Corn Souffle

A few years ago, my in-laws came to town for a visit and my step-mother-in-law made what she called corn souffle. I had never heard of such a thing.

And I’m from the South!

This is kind of like a spoon bread, and really versatile as far as ingredients go if you like changing things up.

This is my take on hers – of course I had to add some heat 😉

Jalapeno Corn Souffle

Ingredients

  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 jalapeno, washed and minced
  • 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9X9 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Combine everything in a large mixing bowl and pour into baking dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes until slightly browned on top and bubbly.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/jalapeno-corn-souffle/

The longer you bake this, the firmer it gets, so depending on your preference you could make it soft and mushy or firm and bread-like.
I like to add a little extra sour cream with mine (because I usually add a little extra jalapenos).

~Dixie Chik~

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Maple Bacon Biscuits

This is a recipe I found on Eat, Play, Love via Pinterest when I was having a big 3-hour long Pin Fest last Friday night.

Don’t judge- you know you spend hours on end pinning too. It’s crack-like.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have… (keep in mind these are not my pics – they’re “pins”)

Made my own beach spray:

DIY

Found a fantastically easy way to shred chicken:

Discovered that I definitely need to check my teenagers’ rooms/bags/friends for innocent looking gummy bears:

How To: Make Vodka Spiked Gummy Bears

Made my own Christmas Wreath:

Pinned Image

And finally, discovered (and still continue to discover) a ton of great recipes including this one…

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Adapted from Eat, Play, Love

2 cans biscuits, regular size (not Grands)

1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped into little pieces

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven according to biscuit instructions, and grease a 9″ round cake pan.

Combine all ingredients except biscuits in a mixing bowl, stirring several times to incorporate everything together. Pour and spread into the cake pan.

Tear the biscuits into pieces (I tore them into 2 or three pieces per biscuit, some I even left whole) and layer on top of the syrup.

Bake according to biscuit directions. Flip the pan onto a serving plate, so the syrupy bottom is on top.

Bacony, biscuity, and sweet at the same time.

Yum…

What have you found on Pinterest??

TGIF!!

~Dixie Chik

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Orange Salsa Verde

Of all the foods I love, Mexican cuisine is right up there at the top of the list. So many things to love about it; all the different peppers used, slow cooked meats, cheeses, tortillas…but I really love how versatile salsas and picos can be.

I discovered Salsa Verde (or tomatillo sauce) about 10 years ago at a mexican restaurant. It’s not that I hadn’t seen it before; I just never gave it enough thought to try it. Once I did, it instantly became one of my favorite flavors. I think it’s the tanginess I like so much.

I actually intended on making a classic salsa verde, but once I had my tomatillos prepared I realized I was out of limes. However, thanks to my family’s love of oranges, I had plenty of those, so I thought why not – It’s a citrus, right? It works so well!

Then I googled it and discovered I’m not the first genius to sub orange juice for the lime into this yummy salsa.

I’m still proud of it 😉

Orange Salsa Verde

10 tomatillos, peeled of husks and chopped into chunks

1 large orange, juiced

1 small onion, quartered

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos

Handful of fresh cilantro

1 tbsp salt

Combine everything into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Salt to taste.

Feel free to adjust the ingredients however you want. More jalapenos? Sounds good to me! This made a large jar that I’ve kept in my fridge for a couple of weeks, but it’s dwindling!

 Dip with tortilla chips or pour over enchiladas, burritos, or nachos.

Enjoy!

~Dixie Chik~

P.S. Check this recipe out, along with lots of other recipe links on Kelly The Kitchen Kop.

 

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