Southern Inspiration

As I mentioned last week, Mama and I took RF to Frog Hollow Tavern for a little belated birthday celebration while visiting family in Augusta, GA.  Over the past four days, we’ve indulged in many of my favorite Southern foods, and the meal at Frog Hollow was no exception.

The three of us shared the appetizer special: fried okra.  This true Southern treat was made gluten-free with a salty rice-flour batter.  Delish!  Then, I had the heirloom tomato salad with pickled Vidalia onions to start and shrimp and grits with lardons and andouille sausage.  Unexpectedly, the tomatoes on my salad were halved cherry tomatoes, but their size went well with the little chunks of goat cheese.  Of course, the pickled sweet onions were the true piece de resistance.  They could’ve just brought me a bowl of those and I would’ve been happy.  Overall, my only complaint about the meal was that the shrimp and grits were over-salted.  With bacon and andouille, you don’t need to add much more.  Yet, I still managed to clean my plate, so it couldn’t have been all bad.

RF had a traditional wedge salad with blue cheese dressing (my daddy’s favorite) and an extra-thick cut pork chop with peach butter and a cornbread panzanella salad.  Mama had a peach carpaccio and the grilled swordfish special with succotash, all of which the chef kindly modified to be dairy-free.  I tried a taste of everything, as you should, and can’t report a bad choice.

Since I’ve been letting the South do the cooking, I thought I would share three recipes inspired by our time here.  I’ll have to give them a try myself soon.

Gluten-Free Oven-Fried Okra
I rarely make fried foods because I can’t stand the splatter.  I think this recipe from Fat Free Vegan is the answer!

okra

Pickled Vidalia Onions
Any sweet onion will do here – back in Seattle, I will opt for Walla Walla Sweets instead.

Pickled Onions 01

Spicy Peach Chutney
Peach chutney has that perfect balance of sweet fruit and spicy peppers that I love.  It’s just as great for glazing or finishing meats as it is on top of crackers with cream cheese.

peach chutney

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