Cooking with friends on a Saturday night is a great way to spend relaxed time together. Instead of dealing with crowded restaurants and rush hour traffic, plan a casual dinner at home or at your friends’ house. Your group can decide what the menu should be, who should buy what, then come together and cook.
Saturday night our friends Cathy and Bill invited us for dinner. They returned from Charleston with restaurant North of Broad’s recipe for shrimp and grits for us to try. So Cathy picked green tomatoes in her garden, we divided the grocery list, put on our aprons and cooked that recipe along with fried green tomatoes! Their little girl, Olivia, put her apron on and joined us. Our husbands took pictures of us and kept the Prosecco chilled and flowing.
Olivia helped me salt and coat the green tomatoes. She did an amazing job. She was so focused and really got into it. Then we sautéed them in a large flat skillet until brown on both sides. We placed the finished ones on towels on a rack in a 200 degree warming oven.
Meanwhile, we sautéed 2 chopped pieces of bacon, 1/8 tsp. minced garlic, and 2 mild andouille sausages, chopped small, until brown. Then lightly sautéed18 shrimp and a half pound of sea scallops. Barely cook these because they can overcook and continue cooking when taken off the stove. As soon as the scallops and shrimp cook about 30 seconds, then add 1/4 cup of fresh diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup of fresh cut green peppers. When added to the meat sauté, these bright red and green colors pop. It’s beautiful together.
In another pan, we had cooked stone grits from a Charleston brand of hearty corn meal that came out perfectly. They were slow cooked for 40 minutes then 1 Tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup of cream was added at the end to finish them. These were the best corn homily grits I’ve tasted!
On the dinner plate, place 3 fried green tomatoes, spoon a hearty serving of stone grits in the middle, and top grits with sautéed meat. Ladle a little gravy on top of the meat and grits. It is a heart, spicy, tasty meal that is perfect for summer. Try it and share it with people you care about! Get in the kitchen and try! Bon Appetite!