Weekend in Corpus Christi

Not another food lover’s blog. Oh, no, but this one is different. It is from a southerner, rooted in Texas, who knows how good the local cuisine can be, casual or upscale. It is not going to be about the ubiquitous barbecue, although there is certainly a place for it when talking about food in the south. Instead, I am devoted to the finest fare we can offer at the highest levels of society. The world is full of diehard foodies and I want to give them some fodder to contemplate. When I travel and tell people what I love, I get smiles of approval. People from all backgrounds can appreciate the amazing flavor, delightful texture and elegance with which southern style dishes can be presented for fine dining. It is my goal to present the finest in southern cooking for your consideration.

What will make this blog unique is that I will talk about cooking and eating in different contexts. Today it is about time at the beach in Corpus Christi. I had a weekend free to travel with friends and enjoy the lovely scenery. While we planned to savor the best of local eateries, I wanted to be sure to have plenty of sunshine on the sand under my favorite umbrella. It has been sitting in the closet way too long and needed some airing, just like me!

Now as an avid food lover, and giving you what I promised, I have to describe what I took with us for our midday meal. It had to be room temperature although I toted my large cooler. I wanted something suitable for hot weather that included protein. I decided on a fried chicken salad. I hope this is new to you. Sure, we could munch on drumsticks accompanied by Cole slaw; but I opted for a special southern version that is gourmet to a tee. The chicken is made with a well-seasoned batter with two coats of flour for extra crispiness. The trick is to fry smaller pieces and coat them in honey before placing them atop selected greens.

Bibb lettuce is the bed for this fine creation which could be on the menu of any Texas restaurant. In the midst of the cupped shapes lie slivers of fennel, a sprinkling of cooked fresh corn and a good dash of homemade dressing. It should be a savory blend of vegetable oil and red wine vinegar, with no sugar to compete with the honey nuggets dancing on top. Along with the hearty salad, I served light biscuits with orange marmalade jam. It is all about taste and appearance, and I gave my friends both.

Eating outside under a beach umbrella makes everything taste better, although the ingredients would certainly stand on their own. It was casual yet refined and perfect for the laid back day. Food looks good on colorful paper plates so don’t forget to pack the best brand. Matching napkins never hurts. A good meal has all the accoutrements. It is a very important point!