Chef Ryan Parrott will cater a special Valentine's feast made from locally sourced ingredients and handcrafted cocktails, overlooking the beautiful Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Cocktail hour is 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, with assorted cheeses. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. with mixed greens with green goddess vinaigrette, and farmers market vegetables. Next is sweet potato ravioli with sage brown butter. Main course is a choice of free-range roaster chicken filled with goat cheese with mashed potatoes and sauteed broccoli raab or handmade pasta primavera with rigatoni from chef Chris Becker's Della Terra Pasta company. Dessert is an orange chiffon cake. Special wine pairings will be included for $65 for Myriad Botanical Gardens members and $75 for nonmembers.
Parrott's dinner marks the beginning of a schedule of quarterly chef dinners at the Myriad Gardens. Space is limited. Call 445-7080 for reservations.
Food with soul
The annual Soul Food Festival returns Friday at Grace Living Center, 1921 NE 21, in celebration of Black History Month.
Food is served from noon to 3 p.m. at the home with a menu including fried chicken, catfish, pork chops, oxtail, ribs, meatloaf, pigs feet, dressing, greens, breads and homemade desserts.
Margaret Wright, dietary manager of the home for 35 years, and head cook Hazel Goode lead the effort, coordinating the menu and efforts of so many. The Rev. Howard Hodge lends a large smoker upon which they slow-cook 1,400 pounds of meat.
E and E Blues Express will provide music. The meal is free and dine-in only. Donations are accepted for those willing to help the home's residents with special needs and activities.
If you can't make it out Friday, you can try these recipes from Wright and her staff at home.
Most importantly, they are easy to make.
The Grace NE 21st Street Meat Loaf
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup chopped bell
½ cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup Ro-Tel
½ cup tomato sauce
• Mix all together and shape in loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours. Drain and cover with warmed tomato sauce or brown gravy.
Grace NE 21st Street Country Fried Chicken
8 pieces of chicken
½ cup garlic powder
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon onion
2 cups flour
• Wash chicken and pat dry.
• Mix eggs, garlic powder, seasoning salt, pepper and onion powder in bowl.
• Dip chicken in mixture and dredge in flour.
• Deep fry over medium-high heat, turning over often, until golden brown and chicken has an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 10 to 15 minutes.