Monthly Archives: September 2012

Greetings from Tasmania!

Hello! I’m away on holiday in Tasmania this week. My handsome husband and I are cruising around, taking lots of pictures, eating lots of seafood and having lots of fun!

So, whilst I’m away, why don’t y’all mosey on over to The Littlest Anchovy where I’ve got a guest post up this week!

http://www.thelittlestanchovy.com/2012/09/guest-post-from-mi-casa-su-casa-milan.html?m=1

Enjoy! I’ll be back soon with lots of details about the prep for our second Mi Casa-Su Casa preview dinner… this one’s for a group of fellow food bloggers! Eep!

And so it begins…

Last Saturday we hosted the first “preview night” for Mi Casa-Su Casa.  And it was brilliant!

I supposed we could have just jumped right in and opened our doors to new people without ever testing out our concept and practicing how the evenings will flow… but that’s not our style.  Oh, no.  I’m approaching this whole speak-easy supper club in a MUCH more Type A manner… massively long run sheets, dishes and cutlery washed and laid out way in advance and a freezer full of tasty contingency-plan-food in case I drop the whole meal on the floor.  It might be nice to be one of those easy-breezy hostesses who effortlessly throw together stunning meals for one and all, but that’s SO not me.

The table is laid… awaiting the first guests.

Guests enjoying the cocktail hour with spiked sweet tea and Pimento cheese on homemade bread.

And, on Saturday night, all my preparations paid off very nicely.  We began by inviting six close friends to dinner.  I wanted to start by hosting our friends, many of whom have been SO supportive of this crazy idea, in order to get a feel for how things would work in a fairly relaxed environment.  We even sat down to eat with our friends on Saturday, which we won’t be doing when we’re hosting dinner for real.  It was a very “soft opening” and everyone had a great time.

The menu consisted of:

Nibbles on arrival- Pimento cheese spread on homemade bread, dill pickled carrots and spiked sweet tea with mint and rum.

Starter- “Redneck caviar” with sautéed prawns.

Main- BBQ beef brisket with homemade “slap yo mama” BBQ sauce, sweet potato hash, coleslaw with buttermilk dressing and chow chow.

Dessert- Old fashioned Southern banana puddin’

I was afraid that I’d made too much food (I’m a hopeless over-caterer) but because Mi Casa-Su Casa WILL have a second-helping policy (basically, if our guests are still hungry and we’ve got more food, seconds are encouraged!) we ended up eating almost everything.  I’ll take that as a compliment to the chef!

The starter is served! “Redneck caviar” with sautéed prawns.

There was lots of chatter and laughter between courses.

At the end of the night we sat around sipping wine, eating one last spoonful of pudding and discussing ways that I might improve the process for future diners.  I got some great feedback from my friends that I believe will make our second preview dinner (which will take place with some fun blogging pals on 6 Oct) even THAT much better.

Topping the Old Fashioned Southern banana puddin’ with freshly whipped cream.

I think I was having as much fun as the guests… I love hosting dinners!

Dinner on Saturday night was a wonderful way to begin this adventure of ours and made me even more confident that we’re going to have a blast with all of our diners.

If you’d like to book in for a dinner once we’re formally up and running, we’ve got seats available for dinner on 3 November and for a Thanksgiving themed meal on 24 November.  Just email me and let me know how many seats you’ll need!  I hope to see many of you soon!

 

Cheese and thank you!

Awwww… you guys!  Your response to my announcement of the opening of Mi Casa-Su Casa, our speak easy supper-club, was SO incredibly kind.  I appreciate all of your good wishes and support and I really hope that we can have each and every one of you over for a meal in the future.

Our opening night booked out in less than 24 hours!  Can you believe it?  It seems we’re not the only people in Sydney who believe in the power of good old fashioned Southern food to bring people together around a table!

So, I’ve gone ahead and scheduled our next dinner!  It will take place on Saturday, 3 November.  We can seat 10 people.  The meal will be 3 courses and it’s BYO.  If you want to book for this meal, please email me on sarahkate@micasa-sucasa.com.au.  Can’t wait to cook for y’all!

Jarred pimentos (smalled roasted red peppers) give Pimento cheese a smoky and slightly spicy flavour.

And, in the meantime, did you know that there’s A LOT of work required in opening your home to the food-loving community??  There are dishes and glasses to buy.  There are extra sets of cutlery to find (because OBVIOUSLY our lovely cutlery, which we shipped here from America, only has 8 place settings and we need 10… ugh!) There are menus to craft and, most deliciously, there are recipes to test.

Gorgeous little pimentos!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been dusting off a lot of our very favourite traditional Southern recipes here at Mi Casa-Su Casa.  I’ve been trying to modernise some of the recipes, substituting ingredients here and there, attempting to find Australian versions of pantry staples that are so easy to find in Georgia and almost impossible to locate here (hello, grits!) and generally making sure that I’ll be serving our guests fantastic food.

All the ingredients are ready and waiting for the cheese!

And here’s a recipe that I’ve been working on this week… Pimento cheese!  Oh, Lord.  Pimento cheese is as common as pickup trucks in the South.  We eat it as a sandwich spread or as a dip for veggies and crackers and the salty richness of Pimento cheese goes perfectly with a cold glass of Southern sweet tea.  I’m just saying.  I actually grew up HATING Pimento cheese, but as I’ve aged, and as I’ve learned to make Pimento cheese to my own tastes, it’s become a favourite.

The final dish… ready to be enjoyed with some cold sweet tea.

It’s pretty… AND delicious!

At Mi Casa-Su Casa I’ll be serving Pimento cheese, along with triangles of homemade white bread, as a nibble when people arrive for dinner.  It’s a perfect snack to hold you over while the chicken fried steaks are cooking!

Pimento cheese
Makes about 1 cup

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4-5 pimentos, drained and finely chopped (I used the Goya brand from Norton Street grocer, but you could use almost any roasted and jarred pepper)
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
2 tsp English mustard
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  The Pimento cheese will begin to look darker orange because of the pimentos.  Place in the fridge, covered with a layer of clingfilm touching the top so no skin forms, for at least an hour.  Serve with veggie sticks, crackers or toasts.  Pimento cheese also makes a fantastic filling for grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

Announcing the opening of Mi Casa-Su Casa!

It’s time! I’ve spent weeks getting ready for this moment… recipe testing, apartment decorating, networking and sometimes just freaking out. And now I’m ready.

I’d like to announce the opening of Mi Casa-Su Casa, Sydney’s newest in-home dining experience!

Our first dinner, the Grand Opening if you will, takes place on 20 October, 2012 at 7pm. We can seat 10 diners.

Think speak-easy. Think supper club. Think new friends, home cooked food and Southern hospitality.

Because that is what we’re going to be about. We’re opening up our apartment to people who love food and who want to enjoy themselves in a laid back, relaxing and fun atmosphere. This format works very successfully in cities all around the world, and we think it’s high time that Sydney gets in on the action!

I’m not a professional chef. I’m a very good cook and the food will taste great. We’re not professional restauranteurs. We’re enthusiastic hosts and we love to meet new people.

The food we serve will mostly be Southern-style American food, but I’ll throw some Mexican cooking in there as well. I can accomodate most dietary requirements.

Here’s how it will work. If you’d like to book a seat at dinner, simply email me at sarahkate@micasa-sucasa.com.au. I will then reply and let you know our address and how to find us. We’re based in the Eastern Suburbs, about a 10 minute walk from Edgecliff Station. I’ll also send you the menu for the evening about a week ahead of time.

When you arrive, you’ll be happily greeted with a welcome drink and a few little nibbles. Dinner will be three courses and it’s BYO during the meal. After dinner, feel free to hang around chatting and enjoying the company of the new friends you’ve made. There will be a donations bucket and a suggested donation amount. Any contribution that you make to help us cover the cost of the food will be appreciated.

And… that’s it! It’s that simple.

I do hope that you’ll join us, and tell your friends about us. In fact, feel free to share this post with anyone that you think might be interested in what we’re doing.

Looking forward to seeing y’all soon!