Southerners adore their appetizers, and this collection of 60 recipes—served up with a healthy dose of Southern hospitality—shows why. Smoked pecans on the sideboard, cheese straws on the coffee table, an array of hot dips on the dining table, and pickled shrimp on the porch are just some of the myriad of dishes found in this volume that prove food is the life of the party. Tips on creating the ideal party flow, being a gracious host, arranging flowers, sending out invitations, and planning the perfect menu ensure any event will go off without a hitch. Both a lovely hostess gift and a party-planning idea book, Southern Appetizers is all anyone needs for a successful gathering with Southern style. (more…)
Recently, a lunch was had at Allium Restaurant to honour my birthday. It instead turned into an occasion to celebrate the birth of a most wondrous creation—a Fried Chicken Sandwich. Picture it. Crunchy and fantastically moist chicken topped with crispy bacon, a savoury cheddar spread, a slathering of hot honey, crunchy parmesan-kale salad, all held together by two warm and chewy waffles. Choruses of “Oohs,” “Aahs” and “Mmms” were heard, my birthday was almost forgotten and more napkins were requested.
After having left the restaurant and struggling to unlock the secrets to this delicious wonder, I reached out to the restaurant as well as to the Chef who produced this masterpiece. What I received in return was stone-cold silence. Rude? Annoying? Smart? It seems that Allium was hell-bent on keeping the secret to their mystical sandwich on the down-low. And, who can blame them? The sandwich is innovative, dramatic and tummy pleasing. And, it was the best thing I ate this month.
I received more than a few puzzled stares when I announced that I had just dined on chicken and waffles at Hooch Bourbon House restaurant. For hardcore obsessives of Southern cuisine, there is nothing more heroic than these two combinations. Where today, most chicken is served devoid of bones or skin, this Cornish hen is proudly dished-up bone-in, skin-on and artfully displayed on its cutting board canvas. A perfect tribute embodying the soul of the south in the dead of winter. The smokey-sweet chipotle maple emulsion provides a compelling counter to the soft, chewy buttermilk waffles and tender crispy chicken. This is a stunner of a dish. A simple, good thing elevated to symphonic heights. And it was the best thing I ate this month.
Hooch Bourbon House restaurant is located at 180 Rideau Street in Ottawa.