Georgia On My Mind

Every now and then, my “southern” side finds its way into my culinary ventures (the kale recipe I just posted, for example). Yet more often than not it takes the passenger’s seat in my posts, so I thought I would finally give it the spotlight it deserves. Southern food is often labelled as “comfort food,” and that was just the type of food we needed to fend off the terribly cold weather (I believe it reached the high “teens” that night…not the type of temperatures my Georgia self is built for). Wanting a hearty meal that was would break the cold (but not the bank), I decided to make Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Bourbon Orange Coriander Barbecue Sauce.
This sauce is amazing! I was somewhat wary of the orange, but Joy’s insistence (at Joy the Baker) had me convinced that this was a must-try sauce. Oh.My.God was she right! A beautiful union of citrus and spice, with just the right amount of sweetness, has easily made this a favorite in my book. You can serve it with any recipe that calls for barbecue sauce. I decided to shred chicken (what I had) and serve it on hamburger buns – even the sight of these wonderful sandwiches brought back warm memories of backyard, summer picnics back in the South. Click HERE to see how make these amazing sandwiches!
In addition to  the sandwiches, I thought a side salad would add a nice touch (as well as a healthy alternative). Broccoli salad is a classic in Southern dish, but its major flavor components are mayonnaise and bacon. Now I have no objection to bacon (as my next post will demonstrate), but the thought of a salad relying wholly on mayonnaise wasn’t the most appetizing affect. So I used a lighter version combined with the goddess of healthy cooking: Greek yogurt. With grapes, almonds and raisins, this Lighter Broccoli Salad was the perfect complement to a Barbecue dinner – click HERE to lighten up this Southern classic.
For pairing this meal, I wanted to showcase a composer whose nostalgia for home is equally as prominent in his music – that led me Béla Bartók. A Hungarian-born composer and pianist, his music is well-known for its incorporation of traditional folk melodies. He traveled all across Central Europe to track down folk musicians, collecting numerous songs through field recordings and/or transcriptions. His thorough analyses and collections of folk music helped institute the field of ethnomusicology. It wasn’t until World War II that Bartok left his beloved country and came to the U.S – though he never truly became acclimated to the culture (much like I will never become accustomed the grueling Northeastern winters), he managed to compose several masterpieces while in the States. The Concerto for Orchestra is one that is well-known and loved, but I was too extravagant for this meal, so I chose his Sonata for Solo Violin – the extent Hungarian influences make it the perfect pairing for a dinner that feels like home. Though I’ve paired the entire piece, I thought the nostalgic taste of the Melodia movement was appropriate to include – enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UKOKN8VL0w

Sources Cited:
“Béla Bartók,” Wikipedia.com

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