Last Thursday night, Corks and Forks Supper Club was at it again; and like always, Chef Cassie and Domke Market owner Brooke Goff knocked it out of the park. Their “Parading Through Mobile’s Palate” Mardi Gras dinner party was a perfect way to kick off the beginning of this Mardi Gras season.
The Mobile Carnival Museum was an ideal venue for this sumptuous ride through Mobile’s culinary history. Serenaded by a fantastic saxophone player, we began with some classically Mobile and oh-so-Southern hors d’oeuvres: freshly fried pork rinds with pimento cheese and cornmeal-fried oysters with remoulade.
IMHO, there’s only one way to fry an oyster, and that’s after you batter it in cornmeal. The pork rinds were crisp and ethereal. Brooke paired our apps with a 2017 Milbrandt Reisling–as Chef Cassie noted in her introduction to our dinner, the slight sweetness cuts beautifully through the salt and the fat of the food.
We then moved on to course two. It was a crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside grit cake atop a smear of sweet corn puree, adorned with popcorn. One of the best things about Corks & Forks is the history lesson that comes with each dinner. As we learned on Thursday evening, in the early
There’s something wonderful about knowing exactly where your food comes from, and in this case, dining with the farmers who raised it. Jolly Roger Ranch, from Vancleave, Mississippi, provided the pork for our third course. Chef Cassie smoked it, braised it with collard greens, and topped it with a tangle of crispy, fried shoestring winter squash. A glass of 2011 LAN Rioja Reserva, a mini buttermilk biscuit and a dollop of heirloom tomato jam completed a dish worthy of a (Mardi gras) queen.
A parade through Mobile’s palate would not be complete without some gumbo, and we would not be disappointed. Served with a glass of 2016 Ancien Carneros Pinot Noir, this shrimp and sausage gumbo was rich and satisfying–a perfect transition to dessert.
I’m not sure if there’s a dessert more southern than pecan pie. This one was in slab form, which means it was crunchier and more pecan-laden (
As if the five courses weren’t enough, Cassie and Brooke sent us home with a little lagniappe (French for “something extra”): a homemade banana moon pie. Graham cookies sandwiching homemade marshmallow with a subtly-banana flavored coating? A much-needed snack the day after.
Corks and Forks opened up to new