At my supper club's last installment on Sunday night, we went Caribbean. Our host, Ric, cooked up some amazing dishes including roasted banana salsa, jerk chicken, and tres leche cake. I brought a ceviche made with local creek shrimp, watermelon, navel oranges, and red onion. The other main cook, Jeff, brought his rice cooker and some coconut oil to make up a fragrant pot of white grains to go with the savory black beans Ric had slow-cooked to perfection in his awesome Colombian bean pot. We also brought some avocados, mangoes, and arugula and threw together a salad on the spot. Supper clubs are a great way to experiment in the kitchen, eat awesome food, and save big bucks on entertaining and eating out (no babysitters needed).
It was our first get-together in a while. We started the club a few years back, with the intention of having monthly dinners. It went pretty well for about a year, and each month — depending on who was hosting the dinner — new friends would add to the culinary adventure (except for Paige, who can't cook but still gets invited because she's fun. We usually give her tasks like "go buy three bags of pita bread" or "find us a bottle of Greek olive oil").
Sometimes, we're able to snag a chef to come hang out with us for the night. We totally lucked out when Scott Stefanelli (a.k.a. Chefanelli) of 181 Palmer at the Culinary Institute took us up on an invite to German night and made some amazing spaetzles with butternut squash. He hasn't been back, but we still have hopes he'll return and teach us a trick or two.
If I've learned anything from my supper club, it's to be open and ready for anything, which is why I'm thinking we should enter the Lee Brother Your Supper Club sweepstakes and try to win a visit from cookbook authors Matt Lee and Ted Lee. The giveaway is sponsored by the State Dept. of Agriculture and aims to put the focus on buying local and supporting the Certified S.C. program. To enter, all you have to do is visit the website and register your club. Each week until July 31, they'll give away cookbooks and T-shirts to winning registrants. The grand prize winner will be able to host a supper club dinner cooked by the Lee Brothers in August with a maximum of 50 guests.
It's guaranteed to be a fun and tasty night of Southern fare.