By Vera Stewart | Photography by Brent Cline
May and June in Augusta are filled with many reasons to entertain. It’s the perfect time of year for weddings, graduation celebrations and family reunions. Our homes and gardens are at their peak performance, having just been “toured” by our out-of-town guests during the Masters Golf Tournament.
It’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of food recipes that display beautifully inside and work well for snacking outside. Mix classic and contemporary tableware to add creative display options to your occasion.
Sweet Little BLTs
A delicious staple of any summer dining experience in the South is that long awaited bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. As a professional caterer, I have the opportunity of going back to the archives to reimagine an old recipe. Not only for the sake of prepping, but from the standpoint of a two-bite option for passing through a crowd, I’ve reinvented the classic BLT. Bread rounds can be cut and toasted a day in advance along with the scrumptious spread. The bacon can be candied and put in an air-tight container. When passing appetizers, one should always have plenty of cocktail napkins, shown by Julie Voegtlen.
Don’t throw away those glass votives after a party. Soak them in hot water, remove the excess wax and run them through the dishwasher. Again, creativity and style sets your next event apart and some of the prep can be done well in advance. Coat the votive rims with Tony Chachere’s Seasoning, drop in a celery top and a small skewer of your favorite olive or pearl onion and you have a fun presentation of the Low Country. Add in a thin bread stick or pretzel and guests might finish off all the cocktail sauce! Always have someone circle back to get the empty glasses on the table — my pet peeve — to keep the event tidy!
Ham Poppyseed Sliders
This recipe is called “Now Famous,” as everyone seems to have a spin on it. I’m partial to the bottom bun resembling a Krystal hamburger, a little on the soggy side. The twist here is to arrange them on bamboo plates, add some extra grainy mustard to the side and then a variety of colorful french fries for a fresh take. I love to brush the top bun with melted butter and sprinkle it with grated Parmesan cheese. Keeping these warm is a cinch if you have a warming drawer, but if not, place about a dozen in a basket with paper towels so you can zap them in the microwave to get them moist and warm again.
Pecan Havarti Quesadillas
This recipe puts a Southern twist on a traditional quesadilla. The melted Havarti cheese covered with fig preserves is easy to make and stands out as a good appetizer for entertaining in any setting, inside or out. Maddie Miller represents what we love to say at VERA:
“Surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you coming!”
Twin Gables: Home of Therese and Brian Rhodes
Landscape Design: Rob Smith, Above & Below Ground Services
Floral Design -: Design Images
Catering : VERA
Appears in the May 2022 issue of Augusta Magazine.