While the Masters golf tournament in Augusta is all about the golf, our RBC Heritage the following week is all about the party. Don’t let your guests down by serving up Lil’ Smokies and half-empty bags of Lay’s potato chips. Make your gathering special with one, or several, of these appetizer and drink recipes, provided by local restaurants.
Savory Potato Cakes
1 pound cold mashed potatoes
3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 bunch chopped green onions
1 1/2 ounces panko bread crumbs
1 small egg
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a mixer and combine at low speed. Form into 3 1/2 ounce cakes. Coat cakes with bread crumbs. In a hot, well-oiled sauté pan, sauté cakes until golden brown on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and finish in oven until hot all the way through. On 12-inch plate, place a pinch of mixed greens in center of plate. Lay 1 cake flat on greens and another cake leaning off of the flat cake. Dollop sour cream on top center of cakes. Drizzle thin stream of balsamic reduction on cakes. Sprinkle cakes with chopped parsley.
Blackened Jumbo Scallops
6 U-10 scallops, abductor mussel removed
2 tablespoons blackening spice
2 cobs of corn, grilled
6 ounces andouille sausage, small dice
1 1/2 ounces red onion, chopped fine
1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
8 heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 ounces pickled okra, seeds removed small dice
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine
2 ounces white wine
2 tablespoons butter
Ingredients (Pico de Gallo)
8 heirloom cherry tomatoes, small dice
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon jalapeño; roasted, seeds removed and minced
2 tablespoons blended oil (75% canola oil, 25% EVOO)
The juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
 The pico de gallo can be made in advance. Simply combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cilantro can certainly be added in the place of parsley.  Press one side of the scallops into the blackening spice. In a medium sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Once the pan starts to smoke slightly, add the scallops spice side down. Adjust the heat down to medium. Allow to cook for one minute. Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe the pan out with a towel.  Return the cleaned pan to the stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Once the pan begins to smoke slightly, add the scallops to the pan on the non-blackened side. Next add the onion and andouille, cook for 30 seconds, and add the garlic. Then add in the tomatoes, okra, corn, parsley and wine. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute and remove from the heat.  To serve, place the vegetables at the base of your serving dish and the scallops on top. To finish, garnish with the pico de gallo on top of the scallops. Serve immediately. Happy cooking!
THE PEARL KITCHEN + BAR
Jumbo lump crab cake with chow chow relish and sweet corn puree
Ingredients (Crab Cakes)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 pound jumbo lump crab
1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons cajun spice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 cup scallions, minced
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 ounce micro cilantro (for garnish)
Combine all ingredients and mix gently. Coat formed crab cakes with panko breadcrumbs then fry until golden brown.
Ingredients (Corn Puree)
3 cobs of corn; boiled, then cut off the cob
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper
Blend in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.
Ingredients (Chow Chow)
6 poblanos; roasted, peeled and seeded
2 green tomatoes
1/4 head Napa cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1/2 green bell pepper, medium dice
1 yellow onion, medium dice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
Handful thyme, wrapped in butchers twine
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients except poblanos in a large saucepot and cook til tender. Adjust with sugar and salt/pepper. Once cooled, add poblanos and serve chilled.
1 ounce peach puree
2 ounces vodka
Dash fresh lime juice
Drop of Grenadine, spooned
For peach puree, boil cut up peaches and let cool (without seeds). Puree in a blender.
In a high ball glass, pour 1 ounce of puree. Fill with ice. Add dash or squeeze of lime juice. Add 2 ounces of vodka. Fill with club soda. Spoon in hint of Grenadine. Garnish with a wedge of peach.