I love coming down to the beach with this group of friends. They’re all great cooks – and we agree we can cook better, for cheaper, with less hassle than eating out.
Saturday we went for a drive over to Pensacola Beach – then stopped at Joe Patti’s on the way home. There we picked up some shrimp and a few other goodies. Next stop was the grocery store where we finished provisioning for our feast.
Arriving home, we seasoned the T-bone steaks and let them age. Next we rubbed olive oil on potatoes and stuck them in the oven. A few vodka cranberries out on the porch later, we came inside and made roasted red-pepper and hazelnut oil dip and a prepped a baking dish of bar-b-que shrimp for appetizers. While the coals burned down to a red glow we threw together a Doe’s Eat Place Salad and set the table. When the steaks went on the grill we put the shrimp under the broiler. The boys brought those medium-rare hunks of meat upstairs and we were ready to stuff ourselves. We toasted our birthday celebrating hostess – and then quiet descended around the table. Soon the sounds of clanking of silverware and tinkling of wine glasses being placed on the table were replaced with audible groans. Unable to put another bite in our mouths, we pushed back from the table and cleaned up.
We did such a spectacular job that night we decided to cook again on Sunday night. This time our appetizer menu included spinach artichoke dip, fried oysters and creamy shrimp dip – served alongside a crisp white wine. Dinner was blackened grouper and Amberjack with another Doe’s Eat Place Salad. This night we left room for little slivers of homemade chocolate pecan pie.
This morning we stuck a huge ham in the oven – basted it with pineapple juice – and finally glazed it with brown sugar and mustard. While the guys sat out by the pool – the girls drove up to Fairhope and wandered in and out of bookstores and other time wasting establishments.
At lunched at Andree’s. Mindful that we’d been little pigs so far we stuck to half sandwiches and cups of Santa Fe Chili. IH824 had the Spring Chicken Salad with grapes and pecans and I had the Chicken Salad Afrique (currie, almonds, and green peppers). Lunch completed we poked around Fairhope some more then headed home in time to catch this spectacular sunset and join in the first round of Margaritas.
The dinner theme for tonight was grazing hors d’oeuvres. Our Memphis guests shared slices of their homemade spicy Italian sausage that we dipped in yellow mustard. We made mini-ham salad sliders and oyster po’ boys. A package of Harry and David’s smoked salmon was opened and garnished with grated red onions, cream cheese, and toasted baguette rounds. Because we’re trying to eat up the leftovers, we also warmed up the spinach dip and placed onion/pepper crackers around the roasted red-pepper dip.
Tomorrow half the crew will depart. We will assuage our sadness with another trip to Joe Patti’s to stock up on the freshest seafood for the journey north. Perhaps we’ll take it easy and let Doc’s or the Shrimp Basket do the cooking.