It's no secret I love Southern food. Fry it, dye it, and flip it to the side I'll eat it - as long as it's served with hot sauce, Texas Pete specifially. Recently, I had two drips to the South - one to Memphis/Southaven, Mississippi and the other to Spartanburg, South Carolina. Both trips were a culinary delight for me - there were some hits and some misses, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experiences. I was inspired - how so? Here's the menu:
Fresh salmon cakes with a lemon butter drizzle, a quick corn chowder with maple smoked bacon and oven roasted rosemary potatoes, and the star of the show...a buttermilk biscuit with a sweet tea syrup. Yes, you read correctly...a syrup inspired by the drink of the South...sweet tea! The best part was this was simple and easy enough to do as an everyday meal.
Let's get cooking!
Quick Corn Chowder
5 strips of maple smoked bacon
1cup of chopped onion (half of a large onion should do)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 large potatoes, diced
2 table spoons of olive oil
3 ears of corn, shucked
2 cups of unsalted/low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1/4 cup of white wine
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When ready mix potatoes, salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil together. Roast on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, or until tender and crisp around the edges. In a pot, cook bacon until almost done. Add onion, celery, garlic, corn and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and white wine. Check seasoning and if need be add salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until reduced over high heat. Once reduced, add cream, sugar, and cornstarch. Reduce heat and add roasted potatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes and serve.
2 5-ounce salmon fillets, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup of minced onion
1/4 cup of minced celery
1 minced garlic clove
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of milk or cream
1/4 cup of corn meal
salt and pepper
Saute onion, celery, and garlic until almost transparent and tender. Add to a mixing bowl. Add salmon, egg, cream, corn meal, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Form into small cakes and cook on one side over medium heat until golden brown. Flip over and immediately put pan into a 400 degree oven for 6 minutes. When done drizzle with a mxiture of melted butter and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Sweet Tea Syrup
2 cups of unsweetened tea (regular Lipton will do the trick, this works best if you brew it yourself)
2 tablespoons of water
1/2 teaspoon Cornstarch
Fresh lemon juice
In a small sauce pan add tea and sugar. Taste the mixture for the desired sweetness. Cook over medium heat until tea reduces to a sweet sticky syrup. Add two tablespoons of water and whisk in the cornstarch until incorporated well. Finish the syrup with a sqeeze of fresh lemon juice. Top this with your favorite biscuit recipe and enjoy.
Diced potatoes - ready for roasting.
Freshly shucked corn!
Fresh salmon fillets - cubing them for the cakes!
Lemon and seafood...a perfect combination!
The salmon cakes - notice the cast iron skillet!
The quick corn chowder bowled up!
The plating...notice the sweet tea syrup.