H-E-B Creekside in The Woodlands got everyone in the mood for Mardi Gras last Friday with a 6-course dinner and wine pairing called "A Night in the Bayou." If you shop at H-E-B then you are familiar with the Cooking Connection set up between the bakery and the meat department. Featured products are used to demonstrate easy meal ideas and samples as well as recipe cards are passed out to interested shoppers. Creekside H-E-B takes its demonstration to a whole new level thanks to Cooking Connection Manager Dominic Dawkins.
Each month, Dawkins designs a five course themed menu with complimentary wine samples. Dinners are typically $25 and can accommodate 16 to 24 guests. The really cool thing about these dinners is that products to make them are all found at H-E-B. Not only do you get a delicious meal, but you come home with new ideas for dinner and wines to pair with them. The wines are very reasonable and ranged in price from $10 - $20.
The evening started out with Oysters Rockefeller paired with Passimento Romeo & Juiet Prosecco, Itlaly. I love drinking sparkling wine with oysters. This light bodied wine had just enough acidity to balance the salinity of the dish. Next up was Shrimp & Grits paired with Fall Creek Headwaters Chenin Blanc, Texas. The shrimp was tossed with Bayou Brothers BBQ Shrimp Mix. The third dish was Tilapia Creole served over wilted kale and paired with Sacha Lichine Rose, France. The fish had a perfectly seared blackened crust and the kale was lightly sauteed with HEB Relish That Corn.
You can't have a night in the bayou without gumbo. Chicken and sausage gumbo was paired with Bending Branch Red Blend, Texas. Now I'm a traditionalist when it comes to gumbo and I like to make my own roux. For gumbo in a pinch, Cookwell & Co. 2 Step Gumbo Starter made a believer out of me. Just add shredded chicken and sausage to the starter and you have a super easy meal! Next up was Boudin Stuffed Pork Terderloin wrapped in bacon served with okra and tomato Ragu, dirty rice, and sweet pepper confit paired with Conn Creek Herrick Red Blend, California.
The final course was a sinfully delicious dessert. Bananas Foster Bread Pudding topped with Bayou Brothers Bananas Foster Sauce and HEB 1905 Vanilla Ice Cream was paired with 19 Crimes 'The Warden', Australia. My crime for the evening....eating every last crumb.
For more information on H-E-B Creekside Cooking Connection or to get on the email list for monthly dinners email Dominic Dawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
I like eating, traveling, and enjoying liquid libations. I'm all about great wines, signature cocktails, and local brews.