Just like fragrances, specific foods can invoke strong memories; for me, this is especially true for peanuts. Peanut butter reminds me of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after school. Peanut butter is a comfort food for me, and will always have a place in my pantry! So, when I learned that there is an entire month devoted to it (National Peanut Month is March) and that there was a Georgia company holding a tasting for their newest line of peanut butters, I was more than happy to attend this event.
Atlanta-based Georgia Grinders is best known by Oprah and friends for their NaturAlmond hand crafted line of almond butters. After two years of great success, a natural next step was to branch into creating other nut butter varieties. Jaime Foster, founder of Georgia Grinders, was surprised to learn that there weren’t any other nationally-distributed, hand crafted, small batch peanut butter companies based in Georgia,” the “peanut capital of the world.”
Recently Ryan Smith, Executive Chef of Southbound restaurant, presented a variety of dishes and desserts using Georgia Grinders small batch, premium peanut butter.
As soon as I arrived at Southbound and walked through the door, I was entranced by the scent of bacon.
I just knew that I would enjoy this tasting. The menu included Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Steamed Spinach Goma-ae with Sesame Sauce, Grilled Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwiches, Peanut Butter Brined Pork Belly with an Apple Peanut Compote, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Truffles and a signature drink, the Georgia Grinder Peanut Butter Cup. Everything was delicious! Other than Pad Thai, I was not aware of the many ways that peanut butter could be used in cooking.
Georgia Grinders Tasting
Each dish was full of flavor and several had a slight spice to them. My three favorites were the Chicken Satay, Steamed Spinach Goma-ae and the Peanut Butter Brined Pork Belly with Apple Peanut Compote. These three dishes were little parties in my mouth and I had to restrain myself from going back for thirds and fourths! The heat of the ginger and red pepper paired with the smoothness of the peanut butter dip and sesame oil on the chicken satay was divine. The spinach goma-ae was so light and refreshing, I felt like I could just keep eating it and never get tired of the silky texture and smooth flavor.
Georgia Grinders teamed Spinach Goma-ae with Sesame Sauce
Finally, the dish I kept calling Peanut Bruschetta, the peanut butter brined pork belly and apple compote, was sweet, smokey and a meal in itself. Served atop a slice of french bread, this dish was a complete meal in itself and I really enjoyed it.
Peanut Butter Bruschetta
Georgia Grinders Peanut Butters are available in both Creamy and Crunchy varieties and are made with two simple ingredients – Non-GMO Georgia grown peanuts and sea salt. This makes for a peanut butter that is far less sweet and more pure in peanut flavor than I was used to as a child. Paired with my favorite strawberry jam or grape jelly, I am sure that this peanut butter will not dissapoint – the only choice to make is crunchy or creamy?
Georgia Grinders Peanut Butters are available now in regional Whole Foods, Sprouts farmers markets, Central Market Stores abd hundreds of gourmet specialty shops, as well as online at http://www.naturalmond.com/buy-it. The peanut butters retail from $5.99 to $6.99.
Eboné Smiley is a California Girl with a Southern twist, UGA graduate, personal stylist, business coach, social media enthusiast and fashion loving foodie. When she isn’t hosting pop-up shop style sessions, she can be found listening to a self-help audiobook while she flips through a travel magazine. She lives and works in Atlanta, but her motto is “Have Style, Will Travel! ” Her closet is fuller than her refrigerator and she will soon launch her eponymous blog Empty Fridge, Full Closet. Keep up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
I have to confess, this is my first time making biscuits from scratch! On a recent Sunday morning, we whipped up pancakes for breakfast using Bisquick, and we had a side of bacon. Afterwards we had a ton of bacon leftover so I found this recipe for bacon and cheese biscuits. It’s so simple that even even if it’s your first time baking biscuits y’all will be just fine. Here’s our recipe for Pretty Southern Biscuits with Bacon & Cheese
- 1 package bacon (cooked and chopped)
- 1 cup cheese (we used the shredded Mexican mix)
- 3 c. Bisquick
- 3/4 c. water
Mix cheese, bacon, Bisquick and water together in a big bowl. Knead until all the ingredients come together. Roll out onto a floured cutting board until the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with small biscuit cutter or juice glass. Top with a bit of shredded cheese then bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove immediately from pan and set on a rack to cool.
Lauren Patrick is a native Southerner, UGA graduate, and the editor of Pretty Southern.com. Y’all can find her writing, wining, dining, and working out in Atlanta. She’s a member of the Atlanta Blogger Network and Atlanta Food Blogger Society. Keep up with her & Pretty Southern on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Thanksgiving dinner from BLT Steak
Don’t feel like cooking this year? Sometimes the best thing to be thankful for is a clean kitchen, and that’s why some of Atlanta’s top restaurants and retailers are providing Atlantans some delicious dining alternatives for Thanksgiving. Ranging from buffets to multi-course dinners and take-away options, below is a savory sampling of offerings this holiday.
Avoid holiday stress and join BLT Steak as family comes first this Thanksgiving. For guests interested in a Thanksgiving meal with a fine dining twist, BTL Steak Atlanta will open its dining room from 1pm to 7pm on November 27. A specialty pre fixe menu prepared by Chef de Cuisine Joseph Macy will include everyone’s favorite traditional dishes, but with BLT Steak flare. Look forward to starters such as the kabocha squash risotto with saffron, pumpkin seeds and pecorino, and the Gem Salad with parsnip, squash and cider vinaigrette. As a main course, select from the roasted turkey with chestnut sausage stuffing, cranberry-grenadine sauce and rosemary gravy, dry aged roasted prime rib with confit garlic jus and caramelized onion bread pudding, or striped bass with Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and cranberry. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without indulging in desserts such as the cranberry spiced bread pudding with walnuts and cranberry coulis, a pumpkin tart with maple ice cream, or velvet chocolate rocky road with vanilla anglaise and hazelnuts. The prix fixe menu starts at $50 for adults and $35 for children.
High Road Craft Ice Cream, made by chefs for chefs and ice cream enthusiasts, is moving from its original location in Chamblee, Ga., into a new and larger factory in Marietta, GA. After four years of growing a loyal following around the country as well as hometown Atlanta, the time was right for High Road to upgrade to a new facility that will be able to accommodate their increased production.
“We can’t wait to welcome our family, friends, and fans to our new headquarters,” says High Road’s founder and CEO, Chef Keith Schroeder. “The need for a more appropriate space was a long time coming.”
Now, in addition to buying their favorite High Road flavors at select grocery stores and online, ice cream lovers will be able to visit the new factory to pick up popular flavors — such as Pistachio Honey Ricotta, Bourbon Burnt Sugar, and Vanilla Fleur de Sel — and get sneak previews of brand new flavors before they hit shelves. High Road’s new factory is primed to become both a local attraction for Atlanta-area residents as well as an entertaining and delicious travel destination for ice cream enthusiasts all over the nation.
The pairing of food and drink is quite possibly older than marriage itself. So when the time came to select a theme for the 2014 Taste of Atlanta’s Friday night kick off party, the team decided to “marry” chefs with cocktails, ingredients, and style to create a harmony for the palette.
Here are just a few foodie moments from Culinary Matrimony at Taste of Atlanta 2014.
Saltyard’s executive chef and partner, Nick Leahy, proffered an oyster trio which was our favorite tasting of the evening. This trifecta included a raw oyster in champagne shooter, fried oyster with slaw, and oyster chowder. Leahy shared his inspiration for the oyster shooter – right after he and his wife said “I do” on their wedding day, the first thing they ate was an oyster and a glass of champagne. Note the adorable picture of Mr. & Mrs. Leahy on their wedding day, which was on display at Saltyard’s booth. Now that’s culinary matrimony.
Speaking of matrimony – for the first time in our relationship of six years, my husband ate collards and liked them! Of course, it was thanks to chef EJ Hodgkinson of JCT Kitchen (where we said “I do” four years ago) with his grilled chicken in a “White Alabama Sauce” topped with the collard greens salsa verde. Kudos to Burge Organic Farm for the tasty ingredients.
Ford Fry’s restaurants brought their A-game to Taste of Atlanta. It was great to see our pal, Chef Craig Richards, executive chef of St. Cecilia, and sample his grilled octopus with chorizo and lemon-bay kale oil. We first met chef Craig back in his days at Ecco when he showed us his rooftop garden. For Culinary Matrimony, the fresh kale came from Tucker Farms a local purveyor of produce and hydroponic greens.
Ron Eyester of Rosebud, The Family Dog, Timone’s, and now Top Chef fame presented a crowd favorite. Our pal Arianne Fielder said it was her favorite dish of the night. Also, apparently she kept sending over shots of Four Roses Bourbon to “The Angry Chef” but he was in the zone. The man has already mastered shrimp & grits, so of course he was going to rock a lobster stuffed twice-baked potato was with chunks of fresh lobster, grain mustard and saffron aioli.
Culinary Matrimony was an awesome way to kickoff the 2014 Taste of Atlanta. The tasting tent was packed with people noshing on tasty treats and sipping bubbly and cocktails. We told y’all a few of our favorites, and we’d love to hear about your foodie moments. Please sign our “guest book” below.