Grits and Bluegrass and Tomato Cobbler!

Grits are delicious. That is my opinion but I would guess that those who think they don’t like grits, just haven’t had real grits. Real grits are stone ground and are ground at old mills that have been around forever. I used to get my Sis to send them to me all the way from Charleston but have since found them in many other little towns in Virginia- along the Blueridge Parkway and near the Shenandoah Valley. We have some in Tennessee from Falls Creek that I plan to try next. Also, Anson Mills in South Carolina is famous for their stone ground grits! You can order those online here. Anyway, it is important to have real grits I think. As I’ve blogged about before, one of our favorite ways to eat grits is Shrimp & Grits, a low-country specialty. I also LOVE grits for breakfast. My favorite way to eat them is a little odd but really delicious…

The grits are slow cooked with either some butter and/or cheese (add when almost done). Then I like to pour hot sauce and maple syrup over them (I somehow always feel like Will Ferrell’s character in Elf when I do this step!), then top with a fried egg and a turkey sausage. Yum!

Then the next morning I sauteed onion, yellow squash, and tomato to eat on the left over grits and then shredded Parmesan Reggiano on top! It made for a perfect brunch.

Sunday was another Red Barn Round-Up party and we finally had some bluegrass with Off The Wagon who are amazing. You can catch these guys at the Station Inn once a month usually and you can hear more of their music here. They are super nice fellas, too, and some of them happen to live in the neighborhood so we were delighted to have them play. Derek Hoke opened.

Here’s a clip of Derek and Off The Wagon from The Station Inn a couple months ago:

Sunday, lots of music-loving friends brought some yummy food and a great time was had by all.

So, I have been totally inspired by all of the amazing heirloom cherry tomatoes this summer. My favorites are the ones from the Habegger farm, a Mennonite family run farm, in Scottsville, KY which I buy at The Turnip Truck. They taste like candy!

I have these tomatoes on my mind quite often lately. I was probably thinking about them when I read an email from a friend who mentioned making cherry cobbler. For some reason, I thought she had written cherry tomato cobbler. When I realized I had read it wrong, I couldn’t stop thinking about cherry tomato cobbler! So, I mulled it over in the back of my brain for a few hours, thinking of course that it was an original idea. I made sure to establish exactly how I wanted to do it before googling to search for other recipes. Of course it has been done before but I made it my way anyhow. It went something like this…

First I placed the cherry tomatoes in an oven-safe dish with some olive oil and roasted them for 20-30 minutes at 375. Meanwhile, I sauteed some vidalia onions in olive oil and then added sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and some fresh basil and rosemary. I pulled the tomatoes out and combined those with the onion mixture and added in one teaspoon of flour. These tomatoes are so amazing on their own that I did not want to add many more flavors. Next I made some biscuits (2 cups self rising White Lily flour, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 2/3 cup buttermilk- see previous post for directions) and added in freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano and black pepper. I then dropped the dough by spoonfulls over the tomato mixture, leaving a few tiny gaps between. I baked this for about 40 minutes when the biscuits were golden brown and the tomatoes were bubbling up!

We served this with some grilled okra which was tossed with olive oil, sea salt and pepper and grilled pork chops which Grant brined with some fresh sage leaves and then slathered with homemade pesto. This meal was a super delicious summer meal! (Except that it was so incredibly hot outside that my camera lens steamed up as I went outside to photograph Grant’s grilling methods!)

I’ll end with a sweet musical note here… last night we saw the incredible Desert Rose Band with the original line-up at the Belcourt Theatre. They are all amazing musicians and their harmonies are as smooth as butter. They made me so happy. This was truly comfort music to my ears! Musical guests included Emmylou Harris and Brad Paisley.

It was another amazing musical night in Nashville.