Have you ever been a part of a progressive dinner party? They used to be hugely popular when I was younger but they’re not something I hear of much any more. Typically a dinner party with successive courses prepared and eaten at the residences of different hosts, they were always fun and because everyone cooked and several people hosted it kept all of the work spread out between multiple parties; what’s not to love about that? The last one I was a part of was the most memorable; I remember making Beef Wellington that took three days to complete and it was so good I almost cried when someone took that last bite! But still, such great fun and I thought it would be equally fun to start a group to do virtual Progressive Dinners; hence was born Progressive Eats.
I’ve invited some great food bloggers to join me in holding these monthly events and they offer a wide range of experiences and focus on food including Southern, pastry, French, make it from scratch, canning, cocktails, baking, Indian and more with a total of twelve members posting each month. We’re already scheduled for a full year of events and we promise to provide diverse and tasty food that I think everyone will be able to take something from. I hope you’ll visit each of their blogs too…you won’t be sorry I promise!
Never Enough Thyme – Creole Style Smothered Chicken
The Heritage Cook – Old Bay Shrimp Boil Skewers
Stetted – Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Tomato Basil Aioli
Savvy Eats – Jalapeno Cornbread + How to Store Cornbread
Miss in the Kitchen – Creamy Coleslaw
Life’s a Feast – Shrimp, Grilled Peach and Quinoa Salad
Spiceroots – Maque Choux Soup
Creative Culinary – Bacon and Caramelized Onion Creamed Corn
Pastry Chef Online – Spicy Succotash
Healthy. Delicious. – Watermelon Lemonade
Barbara Bakes – Key Lime Pound Cake
That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Banana Cream Cheesecake Pie
Our first event is being hosted by my friend Lana, the completely Southern Never Enough Thyme. Lana shares traditional Southern dishes and many with tips on how to make a dish easier with some modern conveniences. I’ve known Lana for years in the blogging world and she really does just ooze Southern Charm; her choice of Summer in the South for a theme was beyond perfect. I remember one of our members wondering what that meant she was so far removed from the South but when given some examples of Southern dishes she saw it’s just good food. Period. Nothing fancy or too complicated; I spent 10 years in the South and gained a wealth of experience cooking those dishes and love many of them to this day. I hope you’ll find something in this mix you’ll enjoy too and let any of us know if you try these dishes; we would love to add you to the Pinterest board we’ve started for #ProgressiveEats!
I wanted to make something with corn. Fresh corn is starting to show up in Colorado markets from Olathe, CO and it is so good I’m happy to have nothing but corn and tomatoes for dinner a couple of nights a summer. Still I had seen a recommendation for a creamed corn dish that originated in Texas and I thought that perfect even if it did call for frozen corn. Big Mistake. As Julia Roberts would say, ‘Huge.’ When your mind is currently enamored with Colorado fresh corn, making something with frozen corn just had no chance. It was OK but in a move that is not typical for me I just knew I would have to try again. More than just butter and cream cheese would be required too and so I had a plan formulating.
With a bit of irony and a lot of providence, the cookbook A Loving Kitchen showed up at my front door that had a recipe that brought together everything I was craving. Some bacon, some onion and most importantly…just a bit of heat. Oh. it didn’t shy away from the cream cheese either but the flavor was just amazing. I had a friend here last night and gave her the last of the leftovers. I think she is still sitting at my counter drooling…and that was last night! A Loving Kitchen from LeAnn Rice; a food blogger herself at LeAnn Cooks, promises ‘Downright Delicious Southern Recipes to Share with Family, Friends and Neighbors.’ If everything in this book lives up to that promise I know I’ll love even more recipes.
To be honest fresh vs frozen corn is not a fair fight…but the extra accouterments sure did not hurt either! This is a rich, decadent dish that is absolutely redolent of my years in the south. Talk about barbecue perfection…just make sure you hide some for yourself; I know it will disappear.
Since I do a cocktail every week for Friday Cocktails I’m going to devote the Friday after our dinners to one that would be a great fit for our theme. So come back and enjoy a Texas Bourbon Punch with Grapefruit and Mint this coming Friday. Wish I had some now!
Bacon and Caramelized Onion Creamed Corn for ProgressiveEats
- 7 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cups fresh corn cut from the cob (5-6 ears) (or frozen corn, thawed)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Dash (or two!) of cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup cream (the original recipe calls for water but I had cream and well, it is supposed to be creamed corn)
- 3 ounces cream cheese cut into cubes
- 2 tsp snipped fresh chives
- Fry the bacon in a deep skillet over medium high heat; when crispy remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Set a couple of Tbsp of bacon aside.
- Remove all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the onion to the skillet cooking for just a couple of minutes until they just start to turn brown.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the corn, bacon (except that set aside for garnish), black pepper, cayenne pepper and cream to the skillet.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until the corn is just tender.
- Add the cream cheese pieces and continue to simmer until the cheese has melted and is incorporated into the cream sauce.
- Remove from the pan and put into a serving bowl; garnish with chopped chives and bacon.
Absolutely make this with fresh summer corn. It is amazing!
I was provided with a review copy of The Loving Kitchen however all commentary is my own.