I was thinking this morning about how much I love my friends.
And not just because they let me hump their legs. Or drink their alcohol. Or hump their legs while drinking their alcohol.
Thanks guys, by the way.
It never fails to amaze me how ridiculously talented they are. They write intriguing stories, create beautiful paper art, take care of injured animals, sling drinks like bad-ass mo fos, act their asses off in TV and film, crochet and knit better than most grandmothers, draw beautiful pictures, assemble movie sets, cook delicious food, create gorgeous pottery, take amazing photographs and inspire me to do and be better every day.
They’re also crack me up by making inappropriate jokes at inappropriate moments; they’re hilarious. And kind. And supportive. And they’re all really fucking efficient which is something I can totally get down with.
I’m nothing, if not effectual.
There’s been some pretty huge lifestyle changes happening in my world but we’ll get to the details of those another time. And not a single one of my compadres or comadres have let me forget how much they love me. I haven’t had a full day to myself in a month, and I adore them for it.
And I return the favour by drinking their alcohol. And humping their legs.
It’s a give and take relationship I have with my friends. Clearly.
I love them. I also love jam. And appetizers. And shrimp and grits. Now put all those things together and you have Shrimp and Grits with Avocado & Hot Mango Salsa with Salt Spring Kitchen Co’s Hot Mango Jam. And damn good company.
Which is how we like it, around here.
Salt Spring Kitchen co. is a quality small batch, artisanal preserve company run by Melanie Mulherin located on beautiful Salt Spring Island here in B.C. And her jam is TOTALLY my jam! Even the non-jam. Like the Pear & Ginger Chutney or Candied Jalapeños (seriously) or Meyer Lemon & Lavender Marmalade.
Last year we created the Winter Wonderjam Whiskey Smash together (holla!) and it was a boozy bourbon filled success. So when she asked if I’d create a savoury recipe using one of her all natural, anti-additive jams I instantly thought holiday appetizer.
Christmas. Canada Day or a Fourth of July BBQ. Tuesday afternoon.
…What? Tuesday isn’t a holiday in your household? Note to self: Put the tequila away.
Inspired by the sweet heat of her Hot Mango Jam, I created a recipe you can make any time of year when you want something fun, fresh and supa’ fly. And by supa’ fly, I mean super delicious. I know there’s 3 separate parts to this recipe but don’t be scared – it all comes together in about 30 minutes!
This holiday season, I highly recommend you order some of Melanie’s jam (you’ll thank me – they’re seriously too legit to quit). Invite some good company over to share some food (thank each other for your friendship). And then hump their legs (they’ll thank you).
Note: Any leftover jam should be eaten as quickly as possible (because yum!) on a cheese plate, tucked into puff pastry, or on a spoon with a flight path directly to your mouth. Because Melanie’s jams are that efing good.
I’m gonna steal a line from Melanie (much like I steal booze from my peeps)… Peace, love, and jam, my friends.
Shrimp and Grits with Hot Mango Salsa (In Holiday Appetizer form)
For the hot mango corn cakes:
- 1 C white all-purpose flour
- 3/4 C fine ground cornmeal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 C fresh corn kernels (approx 2 medium ears of organic, non-GMO corn)
- 2 Tbsp Salt Spring Kitchen Co Hot Mango Jam
- 2 large pastured eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp milk
For the prawns:
- 24 large sustainably caught prawns
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice of half a lime
- Coarse sea salt + fresh cracked black pepper
For the hot mango salsa:
- 1 C mango, diced
- 1 C avocado, diced
- 1 C red pepper, diced
- 1/2 C red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 C cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tbsp lime juice (approx 2 limes)
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees F.
- Grab two mixing bowls - a large one and a smaller one. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the large bowl. Place eggs, milk and jam in the smaller one, whisking until well combined. Set aside.
- Pulse corn several times in a food processor until coarse chunks form - you don't want puree.
- Transfer the corn to the dry flour mixture, followed by the egg mixture. Whisk until just combined.
- Pre-heat a splash of your preferred cooking oil (vegetable, olive, coconut) in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, drop batter by tablespoonfuls into the skillet, but be careful not to over-crowd the pan or they won't cook properly. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown and transfer to a cookie sheet to keep warm in your pre-heated oven until all the cakes are ready to be served.
- Once the cakes have finished cooking, drop the butter and garlic in the pan. Add the prawns and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes per side until pink and cooked through. Remove from the heat and squeeze with lime.
- For the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl just before serving and mix well, season to taste.
- Serve cakes topped generously with the salsa and topped off with a prawn.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
* Contest open to Canadian mailing addresses only and who have reached the age of majority in the province, state or territory in which they reside.
PRIZE: A ridiculously delicious variety pack of 6 savoury preserves from Salt Spring Kitchen Co!
MANDATORY ENTRY: Simply leave a comment below and tell me your favourite appetizer!
BE SURE to click the widget options below for both mandatory and optional entries because you can’t be entered to win if the widget doesn’t know you’ve done it! Your email address is ONLY used to contact you if you’ve won, not for any other purpose, and is never made public. I swear to the jam gods.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Salt Spring Kitchen Co DID provide me test and review product at no cost and I was compensated for the work I did developing a recipe and taking the pictures for this post. Regardless, I only recommend, giveaway or share products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions, words and information here are entirely accurate and a reflection of my true experience and were not influenced, in any way, by the above mentioned products or companies. Opinions and views are my own. Because that’s how I roll, yo. I’ve never been one to shut my mouth – I’m not going to start now.