I want to start by start by saying how blessed I am to have been invited back to cook for 12 wonderful ladies during their annual lady’s retreat. The hostess defiantly has the most-est when it comes to planning the perfect weekend for these deserving lucky ladies to relax and unwind from the prior year’s ups and downs. From gifts to karaoke, poems making the ladies feel special to on demand food for b-fast lunch and din din with wine pairings. She even schedules a masseuse, named donna that lives out in Destin Florida, to come and give massages in a room with a view! My client really knows how to show her gratitude. I’m taking notes.
I have been the ladies’ chef for, now, 4 years running! How cool is that!? Want to know something cooler!?
I started with them when I was living in Atlanta between 2013-2016 through a recommendation of a mutual friend.
While living in Atlanta, I played for an all-girls flag football league, and had a blast doing it, but in May 2016, I tore my Achilles tendon having that same blasty blast I was just talking about. Having torn a very important walking element, I had surgery and had to move back to San Antonio Texas, which is where I grew up, and my father still lives. So even though I up and had to leave Atlanta, the hostess of the ladies retreat still wanted my food service experience, so she booked my flight to do just that. And for that…. I am extremely humbled and grateful for the confidence she has in my art!
Now about la comida (the food)
This year we had some returning dishes, including my infamous cajun shrimp and cheddar grits with andouille sausage, peppers and onions.
In my version, I adapt the cheddar grits and make them into cakes. If you want to compare, then it’s like polenta cakes. But that’s only because they are one in the same. Polenta is Italian grits and the grits most people I know are southern American.
This trip I made it a point to showcase my RubOn! Spice Blends and use them in different ways, in as many dishes as possible. Because I use that ish on EVERYTHING! Another huge hit was the crab boil.
Put those bad boys in a pot of super flavorful liquid with quartered onions, whole garlic cloves, lemon halves, andouille sausage, and corn. I then threw some crab legs, shrimp and mussels in at the last 10 minutes. And when they were done I tossed them in my RubOn! Cajun Spice and RubOn! Garlic Salt . with some drawn butter, with, you guessed it, my RubOn! Cajun Spice, for those that love dippin things. I also roasted the baby potatoes separately in a 400-degree oven, with my RubOn! Salt Free Cajun Spice as well as my RubOn! Garlic Herb Salt, and olive oil. Doing my potatoes this way gives one more texture and level of flavor.
However! Out of all the food I made over the weekend I would have to say the most talked about dish was, hands down, my un-fried chicken and homemade sweet potato waffles.
I used a basic Belgian waffle recipe I got from www.thekitchenwhisperer.net
I also added 1 mashed sweet potato
1 cup flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used ½ cup buttermilk+ heavy cream… had to improvise)
1 egg, room temp, separated
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients
Beat egg whites until stiff peak, set aside
Mix wet ingredients
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, add the wet in the middle, blend with whisk
Fold in egg whites, do not whisk
Let rest 30 minutes before putting in waffle maker.
Un-fried chicken tenders
1 pack chicken tenders, seasoned with RubOn! Garlic Herb Salt , with ligament removed (I hate those things)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
Bread the chicken in order
Bake in oven 400-450 for 20 mins, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly