This Saturday America's oldest sporting event — the Kentucky Derby — is taking place. To celebrate, round up some friends for a horse-race watching party. At the afternoon affair serve a lunch menu with dishes that are inspired by the South.
Start things off with ham biscuits and pimento cheese toasts. For the first course, serve a green salad with roasted asparagus. After the race invite everyone to join you at the table for shrimp and grits.
To take a look at these delectable recipes,
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small chunks, plus softened butter for spreading
3/4 cup milk, plus more for moistening
Pure maple syrup, for spreading
6 ounces thinly sliced dry-cured country ham or prosciutto
- Preheat the oven to 475°.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add 3/4 cup milk and combine using a fork. Add more milk as necessary to form a firm, not sticky, dough.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick.
- Using a small cookie cutter or juice glass, cut out biscuits; discard the scraps
- Place the biscuits an inch apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- Split the biscuits and layer with softened butter, syrup and the ham.
- Breads/Crackers, Appetizers
10 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (4 cups)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely diced bottled roasted red pepper (rinse and pat dry first)
- Preheat broiler.
- Stir together all ingredients, except baguette, plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper and salt to taste.
- Slice baguette crosswise 1/3 inch thick and spread bread thickly with cheese mixture.
- Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until cheese is bubbling and browned, about 2 minutes.
Makes about 36 hors d'oeuvres.
Make ahead: cheese spread can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.
- Crostini, Appetizers
1 pound medium asparagus
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
10 ounces mixed spring lettuces
One 1 1/2-ounce piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved into curls with a vegetable peeler
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for about 8 minutes, until just tender and the tips begin to turn brown.
- In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the mustard and the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the lettuces with all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Arrange the salad on plates and top with the roasted asparagus and cheese curls. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the asparagus and serve.
- Salads, Greens
- North American
For the shrimp:
2 tablespoons Louisiana-style Cajun seasoning, preferably Tone's
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, preferably wild Georgia shrimp
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon miced garlic
For the grits:
Two 0.4-ounce chicken bouillon cubes, preferably Knorr
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup quick-cooking white grits
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 1/2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, preferably Texas Pete
1 slice center-cut sugar-cured country ham, 1/4-inch thick, trimmed
- Prepare shrimp: in a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning, paprika, Italian seasoning, and a pinch of pepper. Add shrimp, and toss until well combined; set aside.
- Prepare grits: fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Add bouillon cubes and butter; bring to a boil.
- While whisking, gradually add grits. Cook, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cream, and cheese. Continue cooking, whisking, until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Cook shrimp: melt butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to a medium bowl; set aside.
- Prepare sauce: stir flour into remaining butter in skillet that shrimp was cooked in.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and medium-tan in color, 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock and cream; let cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce; set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add ham and cook, turning once, until browned. Transfer ham to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-by-1/4-inch pieces.
- To serve, divide grits evenly among 6 plates. Top with shrimp, and drizzle with sauce. Serve garnished with ham.
- Shellfish, Main Dishes