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My Southern My Kitchen Southern Kitchen

SHRIMP, SHRIMP, COLLARDS COLLARDS GRITS GRITS

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Shrimp, Collards & Grits Southern Lifestyle Series MY SOUTHERN KITCHEN VOLUME II


My Southern Kitchen

SHRIMP, COLLARDS GRITS

&

Recipes, Stories and Fine Art from the coastal southeast. MY SOUTHERN KITCHEN VOLUME II

Magic Hour, oil on canvas by Michael B. Karas.


The South is a place where nightfall beckons us to gather on the porch and sit a spell, while tree frogs serenade us from their woodland home. Wicker rockers invite us to linger awhile over glasses of sweet tea. Everyone is darlin’, strangers say “hello” and someone’s heart is always being blessed.


My Southern Kitchen Shrimp, Collards & Grits Lifestyle Series Recipes, Stories and Fine Art from the Coastal Southeast Copyright Š 2016 by Branning Publishing, Inc; original written content & photographs only. www.branningpublishing.com

All artwork copyright remains with the artists. Additional photographs provided by Adobe Stock Images. International Standard Book Number: 978-0-9896340-4-5 Second Printing All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise-without prior written permission from the publisher, except as provided by United States of America copyright law. More Information about our series: www.shrimpcollardsgrits.com Printed in China.


TABLE OF CONTENTS COVER ARTIST MICHAEL B. KARAS  8

CAROLINA OKRA BEIGNETS  54

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  11

OKRA WITH TOMATO GRAVY  55

WELCOME TO MY SOUTHERN KITCHEN  12

GRILLED CORN WITH CHILI-LIME BUTTER  56

A MOTHER’S COOKBOOK  14

CARROT - FRUIT SALAD  57

A PLACE CALLED HOME  17

SPAGHETTI SQUASH VEGGIE BAKE  59

WELCOME TO THE LAND  20

SUMMER PEA SALAD WITH MINT DRESSING  60

COME ON IN  23 RASPBERRY LIMONCELLO PROSECCO  24

MAMA’S POTATO SALAD WITH FRESH DILL  62 FARMER’S MARKET PASTA SALAD  63

GEORGIA PEACH COCKTAIL  24

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S  64

SMOKED SALMON AND HERBED CHEESE PINWHEELS  25

S.N.O.B. CORN BREAD  65

BROWN SUGAR BACON PARTY BITES  27

GARDEN VEGETABLE FRITTATA  66

EGG SALAD PARTY BITES  28

AWENDAW SPOON BREAD  67

BEEF TENDERLION BRUSCHETTA  30

CHARLESTON ARTIST RHETT THURMAN’S

WELCOME TO GEORGIA’S GOLDEN ISLES  32

TABLESCAPE  69

J.P. MORGAN CRAB MELTS  34

RISE AND SHINE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS  70

SEA EAGLE CLAM APPETIZERS  37

CRANBERRY–ORANGE BREAD  74

MINT JULEP ICED TEA  38

“OLD TIMEY” PEACH BREAD  75

CRAB-STUFFED MUSHROOMS  40

CRÈME BRULÉE FRENCH TOAST WITH

PECAN PRALINE BAKED BRIE  41

STRAWBERRIES  77

FARM STAND VEGGIES  42 OLD FASHIONED TOMATO SALAD  44 HEIRLOOM TOMATO & VIDALIA PIE  47

PIMENTO CHEESE BISCUITS  78 PIZZA DOUGH MADE SIMPLE  80 PIMENTO CHEESE FRITTERS  82

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES G  49

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD  85

SALTWATER GEECHEES OF SAPELO  50

JOHN CARROLL DOYLE  86

GEECHEE CORN SALAD IN VINAIGRETTE  53

LEMON BUTTERED JUMBO LUMP CRAB  88

Sun Bathed, oil on canvas by Betty Anglin Smith.


CALABASH STYLE FRIED FLOUNDER  89

SWEET DREAMS  127

DOWN SOUTHERN ROADS IN SWEET CAROLINA  90

COLLETON RIVER STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH

CAROLINA-STYLE DEVILED CRAB  93

GRANITA  129

CRAB CRACKING ON EDISTO

  94

SPRING ISLAND CRAB CAKES  96 SHRIMP BISQUE   97 SEARCHIN’ FOR BLUE CRAB   98 SEARED SCALLOPS WITH BACON JAM  99 GINGER SHRIMP SALAD  101 BOWENS ISLAND RESTAURANT   102 CHARLESTON WRECKFISH   105 HATTERAS FISH TACOS WITH LIME GUACAMOLE  106 SEA ISLAND SEAFOOD POT PIE  107

IMPOSSIBLE PEACH PIE  130 PLUFF MUD TART WITH SWISS MERINGUE  132 CRAZY- GOOD CHOCOLATE TUILES  134 BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE  135 ON BEING SOUTHERN  137 COCONUT – MANGO WHITE CHOCOLATE TART   139 STRAWBERRY – RHUBARB ALMOND CRISP  140 SAVANNAH FRUIT SALAD  141 ARTIST BIOGRAPHY  142

SOUTHERN HEROES  108 AHI TUNA WITH NAPA CABBAGE 110

SUPPER IN THE SOUTH  112 STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH DIJON SAUCE   114 MRS. WILKES FRIED CHICKEN  115 THE SEARCH FOR THE WILD FLUSH  116 GRILLED POMEGRANATE MARINATED QUAIL SALAD  119 GRILLED SIRLOIN AND OYSTER MUSHROOMS  121 SORGHUM GLAZED HAM  122 SEA ISLAND FLANK STEAK  124

Autumns Red Skies, oil on canvas by Betty Anglin Smith.


COVER ARTIST MICHAEL B. KARAS “Master of Lowcountry Landscapes.”

I

t’s tempting when viewing a Michael B. Karas

wind through endless Lowcountry marshes. He is drawn

the nearby town of Rockport. Both of these have thriving

painting to insert yourself into the frame — so

to dramatic cloud formations, the sea and the majesty of

artist colonies, where artists run their own galleries. There

adept is he at nailing a moment, a mood and what

our sunrises and sunsets across the water.

he learned he could make a living selling art and has done

a landscape feels like. Those of us who feel transfixed or

so successfully since high school.

more likely transported by Karas’ creations

Michael’s routine includes working in his

have plenty of company. His works have been

home studio on Callawassie Island, a private

exhibited in museums across the country, and

sea island in coastal South Carolina. Here the

nearly 3000 of his paintings are included in

sweeping expanses of marsh, winding estuaries,

private and corporate collections worldwide.

vast pristine tidal waters and the abundance

The paintings of Michael B. Karas transcend

of bird and wildlife provide the creative

both time and place with a sincerity of

heartbeat of his Lowcountry paintings.

execution that lock the images into our minds

When not at work, Michael enjoys inshore

forever. His southern works have catapulted

saltwater fly fishing. Why fly fishing? “There

him into the ranks of the most renowned

is a pleasing aesthetic in the way the rod and

artists of the Lowcountry and beyond.

line move through the air when making a

Recently I had the privilege of visiting

cast, which propels the nearly weightless fly

Michael at his studio. “I don’t try to paint a

to silently land near it’s quarry. Then, when

‘portrait’ of a scene,” he said, “it’s the essence

a fish is hooked, the long rod bends in the

of the scene I’m after.” Rather than to simply

most graceful arch.”

represent the outward appearance of the

Michael adds, “The places where I fish are also

landscape, his paintings evoke a certain emotion

the places I paint. Time spent fishing gives me

revealing a deeper inward significance.

the perfect opportunity to observe my subject.”

This region, perhaps as much as his native New England,

When I asked him, “Who are your heroes?” he quickly

And whenever time allows, he and his wife Fern, both

has unleashed a creative force within him that has led to

replied “Frederick J. Waugh”, the great marine painter and

Disney enthusiasts, love going to Walt Disney World in

the creation of many highly acclaimed landscape paintings

the acclaimed master painter, John Singer Sargent.” He was

Orlando, Florida. Beyond the rides, they enjoy the amazing

expressing his passion for nature and the natural world

inspired by their works early on. Karas grew up on Boston’s

environment of outstanding design, creativity and attention

around him. He loves the low light of early morning and

North Shore, a few miles south of Cape Ann, Massachusetts,

to detail. They delight in just strolling around the parks or

late afternoon for painting the serpentine creeks that

which consists of the historic seaport city of Gloucester and

sitting on a bench, soaking in the magic.


Michael B. Karas is represented by The Red Piano Art Gallery of Hilton Head, S.C.

Beach Morning, oil on canvas by Michael B. Karas.


Anticipation, oil on canvas by John Carroll Doyle.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I

wish to thank all dear friends and family who have

And Lindsay Gifford, who teaches me to be organized and

And finally, a toast to all the home cooks and dear friends

gathered through the years to eat, laugh and enjoy

turned my office wall into one giant grid of pages and chapters.

who inspire my culinary imagination and work with me

my Southern kitchen. And all who read and enjoy

Thank you for your brilliant creative guidance and energy.

to ensure cooks everywhere have recipes they can easily

my books, thank you for reminding me what is best about

Thank you to Robert Wysong, John Soulia, Matthew

master in their own kitchens. They deserve a clinking

living in and loving the South. To stop and chat with any

Roher, Jeff McKinney, Patrick Alford and Leslie Rohland

together of a goblet of very good cabernet. But there’s

one of you is as restorative as a sunset over the salt marsh of

for bringing your own style and creativity to the project.

more to it than that. Together we have created dishes that

the May River in all its burnished golden splendor.

A warm and special thanks to each of you for sharing

are deeply satisfying to eat; recipes that are simple, soulful

From the time I was a very young girl, I loved writing

your knowledge, insight and great sense of design and

and Southern. May you love and enjoy each one as much

stories and it’s continued throughout a lifetime. I don’t

encouraging me to develop my own. Your passion and love

as we do.

know why I feel compelled to do this, I only know that

for locally sourced, great food and quality preparation was

writing and storytelling has always been as essential to

a constant inspiration.

me as breathing. I especially thank my dad for always encouraging this endeavor.

To my team of artists—there is a very deep heart felt acknowledgment. Charleston’s art scene embraces the

A special thanks to my husband, Cloide, for his continuous

best of both tradition and modernity. The magnificently

encouragement and enthusiasm, mixed with a healthy

preserved antebellum architecture, rich colonial and

appetite for tasting and critiquing all the recipes.

Civil War past hide another side of the city — one that’s

My gratitude to the creative team that helped put this book

sophisticated and thrumming with cultural energy. May the

together; it is as much theirs as mine. A most special thanks

high art of the Lowcountry shine through these pages in

to Andrew Branning, my son, for dedication, wit, endless

all its glory.

intellect and countless hours behind the camera — thank

Thank you, Angela Stump, manager of the John Carroll

you. All the amazing photographs and design of this book

Doyle Gallery on Church Street in Charleston, for steadfast

would not have happened without you—you bring such

courage and for always going above and beyond. You are a

style and fun to the project. I can’t imagine writing books

constant source of help and encouragement.

without you. Without question, your technical support and business expertise are constantly taking us to new levels.

And lastly, but certainly not least, I wish to thank our cover artist, Michael B. Karas, master of the Southern landscape.


WELCOME TO MY SOUTHERN KITCHEN “Simple, Soulful, Southern.”

S

hrimp, Collards and Grits celebrates My Southern

and sit a spell while tree frogs serenade us from their

mouthful of down-home simple, soulful, Southern comfort.

Kitchen with recipes, stories and fine art capturing

woodland home. Wicker rockers invite us to linger over

Our farm vegetables have come to symbolize for me the

life below the Mason-Dixon line — simple,

glasses of sweet tea. Everyone is darlin’, strangers say

essence of what it means to live in and love the South. If

“hello” and someone’s heart is always being blessed.

you get off the interstate just about anywhere south of the

soulful, Southern. Welcome to the land of Shrimp, Collards and Grits—

You’re invited to step through a creaky screen door into my

Mason-Dixon line and follow the fence line out into the

an extraordinary place rooted in love and tradition;

Southern kitchen, where fresh-from-the-farm ingredients

countryside, you’ll find a pick-up truck on a dirt road loaded

where nightfall beckons us to gather on the porch

and dedicated preparation make every bite a succulent

with vegetables, which pretty much ensures their authenticity.

Local Produce, watercolor on linen by Shannon Smith Hughes.

Roadside stands with primitive handmade signs invite us to pull off the road and explore the rows of vegetables. Tons of fertile soil turned again and again to face the torrid sun and time produce crops of the sweetest watermelons, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Men in straw hats and bib overalls on tractors plant them each year with great faith and promise and harvest them with love and hope. Southern peas, field peas, crowders and black-eyed peas are the beloved peas of the South displayed on rickety old carts and wooden stands. They show up at church picnics and family reunions and come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. After the peas are passed around our southern table, pepper vinegar is not far behind, followed by the corn bread. Plump red, yellow and green heirloom tomatoes overwhelm us with their brilliant colors while baskets of fresh herbs intoxicate amidst rows of cascading heads of light and leafy lettuces. All these humble ingredients, prepared masterfully together in our home kitchens, formica diners and barbecue huts produce the elixir that tastes and feels like home in the South.

12


There’s a tradition in the South—great flavors, soulful colors and light so magical it stirs artists to greatness. Surely the cup of life overflows on our sun-splashed islands, sometimes desolate and pristine. Sandpipers, plovers, oystercatchers, ruddy turnstones, laughing gulls and scores of feathered species live here. But it’s our Southern food that takes center stage these days — why a country ham and the person who smoked it are as revered as a new Pat Conroy novel. We’re serious about our food wanting to know who made it and where it came from. Celebrities are now writing cookbooks, politicians are bragging about their cooking skills, while young entrepreneurs are opening grass fed burger chains. Homemade sausage used to be the stuff eaten by peasants, now it’s the new luxury food. Farmers’ markets have gone from being precious playgrounds for the elite to weekly fixtures on the town square. In fact, a farmers’ market in the South is a bona fide tourist destination and the number is growing by leaps and bounds, cropping up everywhere, including church parking lots. Our barbecue is legendary and our peach pie, grits, fried green tomatoes and buttermilk biscuits are more than just shared dishes; they are the things that bind us together. Let’s raise our glasses in harmony as we celebrate the Southern table. Linger awhile and prepare to be enchanted.

Battery Stroll, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas.


A MOTHER’S COOKBOOK SHARES MORE THAN RECIPES “I am constantly inspired by my mother’s (Louise Anderson) hand written recipe cards; often adapting and improving them.”

W

eathered rolling pins, rustic wooden mixing bowls, floral dish towels faded

bottom of the card a note that says, “use this for cocktail parties.” They are the total sum of

and worn from years of use and that old wooden recipe box with dozens of

the cooking life of a women who fed her family every day for a very long time and loved to

little cards in mother’s flowery script—welcome to my Southern kitchen!

bring out the monogrammed silver, linen and fine china when the time came to entertain.

The simple act of tying on an apron connects us to generations of Southern women who

These cards and scribbled notes on random bits of paper, have a unique ability to transport

have shown love to their families with delicious home-cooked meals. Every recipe card—

me back to those family dinners and times of special celebrations. As our kitchen adventures

splattered and yellowed with age—is a treasured keepsake, connecting us to our mothers,

increasingly get recorded in sleek digital files, these precious beat-up cards and marked-up,

grandmothers and cherished friends. It’s not so much the recipe, its the connection to the

dog-eared, splattered cookbooks become more valuable, both personally and historically.

people and memories of times shared together.

How a cookbook is marked, by handwritten notes or physical evidence, shows a recipe was

Recipes filed away on index cards in a beautiful box passed down from my mother are held together with thin rubber bands and carefully placed into categories. Sometimes there is a name in the upper right hand corner of the card noting who gave the recipe, or at the

prepared over and over and tells much about the intent and life of the cook. I know which recipes are good from the dirty pages and buttery dough splattered cards.


Corn Field, watercolor on linen by Jonathan Green.


A PLACE CALLED HOME “Magical place rooted in love, history and memories.”

F

rom its graceful, ancient live oaks and dignified

Many historic structures and homes remain nestled among

But mostly, I see gentle golden Labs. Here and there, I’ve

historical architecture, to its crested ocean waves,

lofty, moss-bearded, live oaks, little bungalows, tin-roofed

noticed a spunky little longhaired dachshund just like our Barry.

sandy shores, and extraordinary food scene, there

cottages and 1950’s ranch houses. I see local people who

Oyster roasts and picnics along the bluffs of the May are

cherish their yards, plant secret kitchen gardens out back

legendary. Parties on the sandbar, crabbing, fishing, and

There’s something about Old Town Bluffton, a perfect

and line their walkway to the front door with gardenia

swimming are the stuff summer dreams are made of. No

place made of dreams; a drowsy village on the banks of

bushes. Gardens come alive each spring with daffodils and

more beautiful sight is there than that of the May River

the May River tucked in just north of Savannah, a little

Carolina jasmine. Centuries old Magnolias produce white

on a chilly autumn night with a harvest moon lighting up

south of Charleston and just a short hop from Hilton Head

blossoms as big as giant platters. Their sweet scent fills the

the coastline.

Island’s sparkling ocean waves.

air — a sure sign, you’re in the South.

are countless reasons to adore the Lowcountry.

Living here, I’m surrounded by world-class chefs, seafood

Preservation efforts are expanding and evolving. There is

shacks, shrimpers, crabbers, oystermen and plenty of small-

value in the modest, common and nondescript. Tiny prayer

scale local farmers. Here, there is a whole generation of

houses are now seen as deserving pieces of history that need

chefs dedicated to serving quality, locally grown food from

saving and have advocates who fight for them. Remnants of

farmers and purveyors.

history remain scattered everywhere, reminders of the days

In Old Town, I often stop by the Bluffton Oyster Company,

It wasn’t long before I started to enjoy art walks and

the state, and while there pick up local grouper, mahi

Thursday farmers’ markets. I never miss the local parades

mahi, shrimp or the catch of the day. There’s something

and festivals that are organized throughout the year. Taking

for everyone. To satisfy a sweet tooth, I visit the Midnight

up a new life in Bluffton was easy.

Bakers and pick up a peach pie and some blueberry muffins.

My list of reasons for loving this place is long and ever

And relaxing on the porch at the Cottage on Calhoun with

growing. I love the friendliness. Unless you’ve lived

a tall glass of sweet peppermint tea offers respite from the

elsewhere, you have no idea it can be so rare. just Anywhere, USA and I thank the preservationists, civic

discovering the many artists, craftsmen and writers

leaders and local business owners who retain and develop

who have taken up residence here. What a caché of

its character and authenticity.

and a place with a strong sense of history. Broom Grass, watercolor on linen by Jonathan Green.

So simply expect it and you’ll find it.

I love that we have a distinct sense of place. This is not

As soon as the boxes were unpacked, I set about

talent. I’m drawn to a town where creativity thrives

friendliness of the South is real. I expect fun at every turn.

when planters grew rice, then indigo and cotton.

the only remaining hand-shucking oyster operation in

summer heat and plenty of good food and fellowship.

Southerners know how to enjoy the moment and the

By now, I’ve walked every street and taken note of all front porch dogs — Labradoodles, Jack Russells, and retrievers.

Author Pat Branning with our family longhaired dachshund Barry.


Edisto Estuary, oil on canvas by Betty Anglin Smith.


WELCOME TO THE LAND OF SHRIMP, COLLARDS & GRITS “Salute to Artist Jonathan Green, a son of the Lowcountry whose art is a love song to his past.”

N

o other artist of our time portrays the land of

by plantation owners. Rice made Charleston the wealthiest

engaged in work and leisure, all reflecting their heritage.

shrimp, collards and grits more vibrantly than

city in the nation prior to the Civil War.

He paints his memories—the past, people he grew up with

Jonathan Green, who uses the most brilliant

colors of his palette.

I’ve always wanted to meet Jonathan Green and when the

who remain dear to him and the landscapes around him.

day finally dawned, I was a little nervous as I approached

He conveys the simplicity, dignity and beauty of an

Southern novelist, Pat Conroy, says of Jonathan Green,

his home and studio on Daniel Island. I feared he might

individual human engaged in everyday life, especially as it

“he is an artist who glorifies the Lowcountry in every way

be “standoffish” and private. Instead I encountered a man

relates to the Gullah culture.

I only wish to.”

every bit as warm and welcoming as the exuberant, sun-

Art touches our soul and teaches in ways words cannot. It’s a universal language for all people, cutting across social, racial and economic barriers.

drenched landscapes his figures inhabit. I can’t think of anyone, with the exception of Pat Conroy,

As a result of his tremendous and prolific talent, Green’s paintings may be viewed in museums and private collections around the world.

who has focused his entire career on capturing the essence

Shrimp, Collards and Grits pays tribute to this beloved

The art of Jonathan Green, not only touches our soul, but

of the South Carolina Lowcountry. He is truly the pride of

region and speaks to its timelessness rooted in love, history

transcends time and allows us to see his ancestral roots that

the little town of Gardens Corner, South Carolina where

and memory.

run deep into the heart of South Carolina, going back 300

he grew up. Jonathan is dedicated to showing the world his

years. His family is the driving force behind his paintings—

deep and enduring roots.

“The Gullah people depicted in Jonathan Green’s

they are his inspiration. His relatives are the descendants

We were standing in the kitchen when Jonathan began

of those who brought the rice culture from West Africa

pulling canned goods from one of the cabinets. “This is

to the Lowcountry, creating the enormous wealth enjoyed

what I’m proud of; these vegetables were canned by my

rainbows. His art is a love song to his past.You

family in Gardens Corner, where most of my relatives still

imagine him singing as he paints, an ode to joy

live.” Jonathan went on to say, “Our farming community is strong and every meal goes best with a side dish of Carolina Gold Rice. Without it, I question a plate being an authentic Southern offering, as rice has been a staple for over 200 years here.” Then he added, “I’m still a member at the Huspah Baptist Church back home and make it over there every other Sunday. “ Through his signature elements of bold color, he brings a passion to the canvas as he paints African Americans Lowcountry Blue House, watercolor on linen by Jonathan Green.

world look like they got dressed while staring at

and the bright astonishment of memory.” - Pat Conroy, Southern Author


Shrimping, watercolor on linen by Jonathan Green.


COME ON IN “Join me as I pour a glass of my favorite blend and toast to the joy of seasonal cooking.”

W

elcome to my Southern kitchen. Screen

Outdoor barbecues and cool salads of shrimp, crab, and

doors and skillet cornbread are part of what

vegetables are the order of the day. It’s difficult to pay

make my kitchen uniquely Southern. A

enough respect to such a delicious cornucopia of flavors.

screen door with that unmistakable creaking is the sound of

Once winter has retreated it’s time to enjoy a culinary

a sultry summer day in the South. It keeps mosquitoes out,

world of inventive fish dishes, glasses of tea infused with

lets fresh breezes in and serves as a gateway to my Southern

garden goodness and lovely summertime feasts.

kitchen. When I reflect upon the things that made me

My recipes are simple, soulful and Southern leaning toward

feel the most secure and happy as a child, the memory of

a hands-on approach to food preparation and serving. I am

our back porch with its rickety, squeaky screen door and

suspicious of plastic pouched, processed and fast foods and

mama in the kitchen with the aroma of skillet cornbread

enjoy a return to a farm-to-table approach. I like taking

browning in the oven comes instantly to mind.

foods from the farmers’ market, to the chopping block, then

For me, warm weather cooking commences with the June rush of summer vacationers and long summer days. Beach time becomes important, while humid days and

on to the table. Join me as I pour a glass of my favorite blend and toast to life, to blessings and the joy of seasonal cooking.

climbing temperatures dictate the menu. Lots of chopping

Slip into something cool and casual and join the poolside

fresh produce and ingredients for cool cuisine from the

party. These savory little appetizers tote easily to the pool, an

refrigerator are made in order to avoid turning on the oven.

afternoon beach excursion or an outing on the boat. So dive

Cravings for the bounty from our nearby farms and

in and enjoy the fun!

waters are satisfied by the huge influx of our crops and abundance from the sea. Sliced beefsteak tomatoes with basil in simple vinaigrettes, peach and blueberry breads and casseroles, bowls of Southern lady peas and fresh string beans, delicious cucumbers and yellow squash all find their way into our picnic baskets for suppers served on blankets at the beach and around backyard pools and docks.

Redfish Flats, watercolor on board by William Rhett III. COME ON IN

23


RASPBERRY LIMONCELLO PROSECCO “A perfect cocktail that goes together in just 5 minutes!” RECIPE 3 cups prosecco, chilled 1 cup limoncello liqueur, chilled 1 cup frozen raspberries 6 sprigs fresh mint In a large pitcher, whisk together prosecco and limoncello. Serve over raspberries and garnish with fresh mint.

GEORGIA PEACH COCKTAIL “The Jekyll Island Club Hotel on Jekyll Island in Georgia shares its signature cocktail, keeping the sweet and iconic taste of Georgia peaches in mind.“

RECIPE ¼ cup premium vodka 2 tablespoons peach schnapps 1 tablespoon Cointreau fresh orange peel for garnish Mix vodka, peach schnapps and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker. Garnish with fresh orange peel.

24 COME COMEON ONIN IN


SMOKED SALMON AND HERBED CHEESE PINWHEELS “Makes a lovely presentation for a gathering.” RECIPE 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons red onion, diced 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped 2 teaspoons fresh snipped chives ¼ teaspoon white pepper 8 ounces sliced smoked salmon 2 tablespoons capers, drained 1 seedless cucumber, with peel, sliced into rounds In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, red onion, chives, white pepper and basil until completely blended. On a piece of parchment paper, arrange smoked salmon slices in a rectangle about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. Overlap each piece just a little. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture on the salmon, sprinkle with capers and roll up, similar to a jellyroll.

W

hether you were born and raised here or

time for meals in the traditional sense. Instead, nibbling

came later in life as a stranger, our sun-

and tasting savory morsels on a whim from picnic baskets

splashed sea islands will capture your heart

and at patio parties is the perfect way to breeze through

and imagination with a hold that can never be broken. Life along our coast is often enjoyed with natural spontaneity and guiltless abandon. Summertime means

Place in the freezer for 15 minutes until firm, then cut into ½ inch slices. Place each pinwheel on top of a cucumber round. Serve chilled and enjoy!

summer. The recipes that make up this versatile collection were born out of many years of a life well-lived on our sun drenched sea islands.

plenty of warming rays of bright sunlight to absorb, cresting ocean waves to ride and sandcastles to build with little

COME ON IN

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26 COME COMEON ONIN IN

Carrying Oysters, oil on canvas by Jonathan Green. Howard Bound, oil on canvas by Diana Munkittrick.


BROWN SUGAR BACON PARTY BITES “Delightfully decadent!”

RECIPE 8 slices thick-cut bacon 3 tablespoons maple syrup freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup mild grated cheddar ½ cup grated Gruyere ¼ cup grated Parmesan ¼ cup mayonnaise 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped fine 1 whole grain baguette

Slice baguette at an angle into ½ inch slices. In a bowl, combine bacon, cheeses, mayonnaise and scallions. Spread on bread slices and place on a large baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake until toasts are golden brown and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes.

I

t’s the good ol’ summertime and the livin’ is easy. A late afternoon gathering on the dock or in the garden is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. With an array

of thirst quenching beverages and tasty appetizers close at hand, party-goers can sip and nibble—just keep the food and fellowship flowing and a good time is sure to follow.

Preheat oven to 400°. For the bacon, place a wire rack inside a large baking sheet and arrange bacon slices in a single layer. Bake until bacon begins to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. During the final few minutes of cooking, remove the pan from oven and drizzle a little brown sugar and maple syrup over each bacon slice. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake until sugar caramelizes and bacon is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined platter to cool. Crumble bacon, reserving some crumbles for garnish. Sprinkle with pepper. COME ON IN

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EGG SALAD PARTY BITES “Great for either sandwiches or appetizers.”

W

hat would a Southern–style gathering be without our hands-down favorite egg salad sandwiches? These savory treats get a

little extra kick from Dijon mustard and a whole lot of deliciousness from green olives.

In a large bowl, place eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, olives, vinegar. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread egg salad on slices of multi-grain bread and garnish with chives. Cut into quarters, wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

RECIPE 8 eggs, hardboiled, peeled and finely chopped 1

⁄4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 10 pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped fine 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives Salad may be refrigerated up to 1 day ahead in an airtight container.

Blue Beauties, oil on canvas by Jennifer Black. 28 COME COMEON ONIN IN


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29


BEEF TENDERLION BRUSCHETTA “Luscious blue cheese melting over rare tenderloin.”

RECIPE

BEEF TENDERLOIN

3 (12–inch) baguettes extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

3 pounds beef tenderloin, center-cut, silver skin removed and tied at even intervals

3 pounds beef tenderloin (see recipe right)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-3 baskets red and yellow cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425°. Make sure tenderloin is at room temperature before roasting. Adjust oven rack to uppermiddle position. Pat tenderloin dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

4 cloves garlic ¼ cup fresh basil 3 shallots 1 tablespoon lemon juice sea salt and black pepper 5 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled Slice baguettes at an angle into ½ inch slices. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toast lightly under the broiler. Chop tomatoes, garlic, basil and shallots. Toss with lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Layer each baguette slice with a slice of beef and top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola. Serve warm from the oven or cool.

The Bluff, oil on canvas by Nancy Ricker Rhett. 30

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Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Brown tenderloin on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, about 10 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the center registers 125° on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn roast halfway through roasting time. Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest 30 minutes before slicing into ¼ inch pieces.


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WELCOME TO GEORGIA’S GOLDEN ISLES “The Golden Isles are defined by four barrier islands; little Saint Simons, Saint Simons, Sea island, Jekyl Island. “

F

ar more precious than gold itself are Georgia’s

area is defined by four barrier islands—St. Simons, Little

Atlantic, keeping their world a secret from us.

Golden Isles. Spanish explorers originally settled

St. Simons, Sea Island, Jekyll Island—and the adjoining

We know mother turtles return to the beach many years

along the Georgia coast after discovering the

mainland. Along with the beautiful landscapes and history,

after being born and bury eggs just as their mothers did,

beauty of its windswept beaches, pristine rivers teeming

the Golden Isles are also known for their population of sea

but what happens in between? Once hatchings return to

with wildlife and the splendor of vast stretches of

turtles that return to nest each year.

the Atlantic and start growing into adults, we know little

marshland. They appropriately named it the Golden Isles.

Part of our fascination with sea turtles lies in the fact that

about where they go and what they do. One thing we do

Now, more than four hundred years later, this region

they are one of the earth’s most ancient creatures. In fact,

know is that once males hit the water, they never again set

continues to enchant all who venture here. Tucked just

they’ve been around for 110 million years, since the time

a flipper on land.

above Jacksonville, Florida and south of Savannah, Georgia,

of the dinosaurs. Sea turtles soar like birds, dipping and

According to Karen Clark, adviser for the Network for

it is a place that continues to inspire daring adventure. This

recovering, sinking deep into the black shadows of the

Endangered Sea Turtles in N.C., “some paddle upward to

Turtle Hatchling, watercolor on linen by Nancy Ricker Rhett.

Cape Cod, while others migrate south and hang around in the Gulf of Mexico or the Bahamas. Some, floating in the currents of the ocean, make their way to the coast of Africa and back.” One beautiful night we set out to search for sea turtles nesting on the beach at Jekyll Island. It was an August evening during nesting season and I set out on a search for the rare chance to see one, perhaps even laying her eggs. The search required arriving late and staying on the beach until the wee hours of morning. The moon and stars were bright, making the search for telltale signs of the loggerhead, such as scrape marks from the waters edge to the dune line, easy to find. It was late summer and the nesting season soon would end so perhaps this night would be our last chance. There’s always a sense of mystery and adventure on Jekyll. We chose the night because nesting is more likely to occur during a full moon when tides are at their highest, allowing the turtles to exert less energy crawling on land to find

32 COME COMEON ONIN IN


their nesting site. Loggerheads will nest on average between 4 to 6 times in one summer at intervals of about 14 days. Then she will not return to nest again for 1 to 3 years. Each turtle can lay up to 150 eggs each time, essentially burying the ocean’s nutrients on shore. A turtle deep into nesting is, in a sense, paralyzed. She will not move once her eggs begin to fall. We hoped to be fortunate enough to witness a turtle in the process of nesting. Beneath the August full moon, marsh grasses and water glistened silvery white. We walked up and down along the dunes, then down by the surf in our search. We kept patrolling until about 3 a.m. when we spotted a scrape mark running up to the dunes. Quietly, we approached a massive sand dune. There she was—one of earth’s most ancient creatures, weighing as much as 300 pounds with a shell covered with barnacles and shells. The smell was earthy, organic and salty. She sat perfectly still laying her eggs. Slimy wet eggs were slowly dropping into a hole as tears seeped from her eyes. We later learned that all sea turtles “cry,” not just nesting females. Actually, it’s not really crying but simply a way the turtles rid their bodies of excess salt. This was her dune, for a turtle always comes back to lay eggs where she hatched. It is truly one of the wonders of nature. No one has ever understood how sea turtles accomplish this miraculous navigation. We stood in wonder as she finished, covered the eggs with her flippers, then dug another hole, and covered it to confuse the masked bandits of the night—raccoons. We see the hope of a mother concealing her babies like a secret under the sand. Incubation lasts about two months, then babies will burst from the earth and make their break for

Majestic Morning, oil on canvas by Michael B. Karas.

the ocean, just like their mothers did. They chase the same

afraid for them, but at the same time had hope that there

moon light over the waters where its ancestors traveled, for

will be some that will return home one day.

millions of years before them, long before humans set foot on these shores.

Thoughts of summers on Jekyll Island bring back memories of al fresco dining on the patio of the grand

We watched as she slowly made her way back into the

Jekyll Island Hotel. Its crisply manicured lawn is a favorite

surf and quickly disappeared beneath the dark, cresting

place for croquet players, dressed in white, to gather each

blue Atlantic. We stood in awe of what had just taken place

evening, reminiscent of the movie The Great Gatsby.

before us. Our hours combing the beach proved worth every minute for an experience never to be forgotten.

At the turn of the century, tycoons, politicians and socialites flocked to Jekyll Island to revel in their own

Survival rates are low for baby sea turtles, with only about

luxury and America’s wealth. Dubbed “The Millionaires’

one out of every 4,000 making it to adulthood. We felt the

Club” Jekyll Island Club Hotel was the winter playground

impossible hope of the tiny creatures yet to be born that

for the Northern elite. Its impressive members included

must push their bodies into the vast, deep ocean from the

such luminaries as J. P. Morgan, William Rockefeller and

safety of sea grass or away from the sharp teeth of predators,

Vincent Astor.

rolling in the warm currents of the Gulf Stream. We were COME ON IN

33


J.P. MORGAN CRAB MELTS “Named for well-known banker J.P. Morgan who was a frequent visitor to Jekyll Island.“

T

hese crab melts are inspired by the ones still served at the hotel, situated on this unhurried, unspoiled barrier island along Georgia’s coast.

These make great make-ahead party appetizers, perfect for any time of the year.

Remove any cartilage or shells from the crabmeat and set aside. Lightly toast English muffins, set aside. Preheat broiler. In a bowl, combine all remaining ingredients, except muffins. Taste and adjust seasonings. Gently fold in crabmeat and spread evenly on muffin halves. Place under the broiler until lightly browned and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.

RECIPE ½ pound fresh crabmeat 6 English muffins, split in half 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ¾ cup Dukes’ mayonnaise, a distinctly Southern spread 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ cup green onion, sliced ½ teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped ¼ cup garlic powder ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning ½ teaspoon cayenne a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce hot sauce to taste 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice kosher salt to taste

Homeward Bound, oil on canvas by Dianne Munkittrick. 34

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May River Oyster Pickers, watercolor on linen by Sandra Roper. COME COME ON ONIN IN 35


36 COME COMEON ONIN IN


SEA EAGLE CLAM APPETIZERS “Inspired by Craig Reaves, Sea Eagle Market, Beaufort, S.C.”

S

couting the many creeks and estuaries around the Lowcountry, you’re sure to find just the right spot to set a shovel in the sandy muck and dig. I still get

excited over the sight of a brownish-gray clam shell down in the pluff mud. If there’s one—others are not far behind and these tasty clam appetizers become inevitable. RECIPE 4 dozen clams 12 slices bacon, each slice cut into 4 pieces garlic salt Place clams in the freezer or in warm water just long enough for the shells to open slightly. Open clams and discard the top shell. Place clams on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Sprinkle with garlic salt and top with a small piece of bacon. Broil just long enough to cook the bacon. Serve with small forks and enjoy!

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37


MINT JULEP ICED TEA “The South is bourbon drinking country!�

RECIPE 8 mint leaves 1 lemon, sliced 1 lime, sliced 1 cup bourbon 3 cups cold sweetened tea crushed ice sprigs of mint for garnish Combine mint leaves, sliced lemon and lime in a two quart glass pitcher, pressing with the back of a spoon to crush mint. Stir in bourbon, tea and crushed ice. Add sprigs of mint in each glass to garnish and serve.

T

he Charleston Tea Plantation, home of American

plantation contains row after row of tea bushes. They offer

Classic Tea, the only tea grown in America,

trolley rides to tour the plantation and educate on the

is located on Wadmalaw Island just south of

process of tea making. Their tea is rich in flavor and makes

Charleston. This area provides the perfect environment for

for the perfect cocktail for those hot southern afternoons.

propagating tea with its sandy soil and sub-tropical climate. As shown in the picture above; they have a special custom designed tractor for collecting the tea leaves. This beautiful

38

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Enjoying the Plantation Gift Shop with daughter Margaret Cooke.


COME COMEON ONIN IN 39


CRAB-STUFFED MUSHROOMS “Enjoy the taste of the sea with every bite.”

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Preheat oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, combine crabmeat, cream cheese, parsley, garlic, green onions and ParmigianoReggiano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Wash mushrooms thoroughly, but gently. Remove tough stems from shitakes. Use a damp paper towel to wipe caps from the center towards the edges. Scrape out dark black gills, if using shitakes. It’s best to pry them out with the tip of a spoon and discard.

RECIPE

Stuff the mushroom caps with crabmeat mixture and top with breadcrumbs. Spray tops with nonstick spray to create a nice golden brown. Bake 20 minutes until filling is hot and melted.

10 white mushroom caps or three large shitake mushrooms

Magnolias, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas.

1 cup crabmeat ½ cup cream cheese ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped ½ cup green onions, chopped 4 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano kosher salt freshly ground black pepper to taste pinch of garlic

½ cup panko breadcrumbs


PECAN PRALINE BAKED BRIE “Enjoy some fireside bites!” Preheat oven to 350°. Once oven is hot, lightly spritz baking sheet with cooking spray. Place pecans on baking sheet and toast just until they are aromatic, about 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully as they burn easily. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine brown sugar and stir for a minute until the sugar almost completely dissolves. Whisk in heavy whipping cream and gently stir until mixture starts to bubble around the edges.

Allow it to bubble without stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in baking soda and take mixture off the heat. Allow to cool 20 minutes. It will thicken during this cooling time. Bake brie for 15 minutes until it feels like the inside is melted when you gently push on the top. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish. Arrange apple slices and crackers around wheel of brie. Brush apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning. Place pecans on top of the wheel and pour praline sauce over top. Serve any remaining sauce over ice cream or brownies for a decadent dessert.

RECIPE 1 (8 ounces) wheel brie cheese ½ cup pecans, toasted, chopped ¼ cup butter ¾ cup brown sugar ½ cup heavy cream ¼ cup baking soda apple wedges and crackers for serving

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41


FARM STAND VEGGIES

T

he best food is that which celebrates the seasons. I am a cook who rides the ebb and flow of our local markets. It’s easy here when all across

the countryside we find pick-up trucks on dirt roads loaded with vegetables. Roadside stands with their rugged handmade signs beckon us to stop and linger awhile over rows of plump red, yellow and green tomatoes and baskets of fresh herbs, cucumbers and squash. While I will never suggest that you give up bacon, barbecue or fried chicken, it’s impossible to ignore that the South is bringing vegetables from field to table like never before. Chefs are putting produce on the front burners, growers are bringing never-before-tried varieties to market and home cooks are doing what we Southerners do best—making memorable dishes out of humble ingredients. Never mind if there happens to be a little pork fat in the pot now and then. The hardest part about writing this chapter was resisting the urge to include a whole book’s worth of recipes just for sides. Southerners have always had a special fondness for sides. For example, I was first introduced to the ubiquity of meat-and-threes at Harry’s restaurant on Bay Street in Beaufort, S.C. back in the 70s. This was a meal where the main component on the plate — the meat — was overshadowed in volume and popularity by the three sides that would accompany it. A typical meat and three might have as many as twenty vegetable sides to choose from, not to mention the ever popular “vegetable plate.”

42 FARM FARMSTAND STANDVEGGIES VEGGIES


Some of my favorite food memories growing up include Sunday dinners at our house where there were always at least six or seven vegetables on the table, all inspired by local gardens and the best of the season. Such meals were not limited to Sundays. Often weeknight dinners would include nothing but vegetables such as corn on the cob, butter beans, fried okra and platters of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet onions. It doesn’t matter which vegetables you choose, only that you use the freshest, best ones you can find. I have a very old copy of Sea Island Seasons, a famous old Beaufort cookbook, handed down to me from my mother. It wears a magnificent kitchen patina and threatens to come apart if not handled with due respect and great care. I love this book dearly. It’s not just the recipes contained in the yellowing pages — it’s the handwriting on the pages, noting slight adjustments to the recipes here and there, that ultimately helped me understand that recipes, no matter how simple, are just guidelines for the cook. Her notes are written in faded pencil and on faded bits of newspaper stuck amongst the pages. It’s a wonderful little piece of personal history.

Culling Tomatoes, oil on canvas by Shannon Smith Hughes.


OLD FASHIONED TOMATO SALAD “Burrata cheese is an incredible ingredient that can shine on its own. The cheese’s exquisiteness means that, for the most part, you want to keep the recipe simple.” RECIPE 4 large heirloom tomatoes kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon dried oregano ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar several pieces burrata or mozzarella cheese per plate mixed greens Cut tomatoes into wedges and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Crush oregano to release the flavor and sprinkle on tomatoes. Add the basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and toss gently. Allow to stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally. If using mozzarella, combine with the salad ingredients.

I

love our mystical barrier islands. Our fertile, loamy

So if we’re lucky, we can sometimes have tomatoes until

soil produces the juiciest tomatoes, tastiest okra, bell

the first frost in November. Enjoy mixing and matching

peppers, watermelons and squash. Scents of sea salt

colors and shapes with the many varieties found at our local

and honeysuckle perfume the air everywhere, shore birds fly overhead and our lighthouses send out their beacons to ships at sea as they have for over 300 years. Simple and refreshing tomato salads are what I crave on hot summer days in South Carolina when I cannot bear the thought of turning on the oven. Tomato season begins in early summer here and quite often a fall crop is planted.

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FARM STAND VEGGIES

farmers’ markets. Remember that no tomato should ever see the inside of a refrigerator. When stored at below fifty degrees, a tomato’s cellular structure begins to collapse and its aroma and sweet flavor are lost.

If using burrata cheese, add on top of salad. Drizzle with a little dressing from the bowl and garnish with additional basil leaves and serve. Serves: 4


Sunflowers, oil on board by STAND Williams Means Rhett. FARM FARM STANDVEGGIES VEGGIES 45


“A SLICE OF THE SOU TH WITH EVERY BITE!”

46

FARM STAND VEGGIES


HEIRLOOM TOMATO & VIDALIA PIE “Inspired by Leslie Rohland, The Cottage on Calhoun, Bluffton” Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and let stand for 10 minutes. This will remove excess liquid from the tomatoes. Preheat oven to 400°. Press pie dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Line it with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely and reduce oven temperature to 350°. Sprinkle corn meal on the crust. While pie shell is cooling, sauté Vidalia onion with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in olive oil over medium-heat about 3 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent. Set aside.

Mix the herbs, Gruyere cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, mayonnaise, egg, vinegar and hot sauce together. Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel. Begin assembling the pie by layering the tomatoes and onions into the pie shell, seasoning each layer with remaining salt and the other teaspoon of pepper. Spread the herb and cheese mixture over the top of the pie.

RECIPE 1 homemade deep dish pie crust or store bought 9- inch pie crust corn meal for dusting the bottom of pie shell 3 large heirloom tomatoes, different colors 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1 small Vidalia onion, chopped

Bake 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and serve warm. Serves: 6-8

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons basil 2 tablespoons parsley 2 tablespoons thyme ½ cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ½ cup cheddar ¼ cup mayonnaise 1 egg 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar dash of hot sauce cherry tomatoes for garnish

FARM STAND VEGGIES

47


Sweet Basil – Queen of Herbs Whether leaves are flat or ruffled, green or purple, basil adds sweet spiciness to savory summer dishes. It’s truly the royal herb anyone can grow and love.

48 FARM FARMSTAND STANDVEGGIES VEGGIES


FRIED GREEN TOMATOES WITH GREEN GODDESS DRESSING “Green Goddess Dressing revered for tangy comforting taste.”

O

ne of the South’s most revered dishes, crisp and

RECIPE

tangy fried green tomatoes, are the ultimate

4 large green tomatoes, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick

Southern comfort food. Growing up, I was

1 bag sour cream and onion baked chips

the youngest of 12 grandchildren and loved visiting my

1 cup all-purpose flour

grandparents in North Carolina. Their roots were deeply

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

embedded in the rural life of the deep South. It was a life

2 eggs, slightly beaten

where my mother spent hours “putting up” pickles, canning

1

⁄2 cup buttermilk

tomatoes, freezing corn, blueberries and strawberries. Little

11⁄2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

jars of rhubarb jam, fig preserves and blackberry jam filled

a few dashes Tabasco sauce

the pantry. It was from this world that I first tasted the

canola oil for frying

richness of a garden fresh fried green tomato. We’d go out to the garden and pluck tomatoes just before they ripened. Because mother was wise enough to have several plantings of tomatoes, staggered to lengthen the season, we could harvest green tomatoes throughout the growing season. We’d find the ones with very tights skins and no signs of yellow. Since we used only the heart of the tomato and not the top or bottom, we’d get just a few slices from each one. When time came for Sunday afternoon dinner, vegetables always took center stage, not the protein. Fried green tomatoes, fried okra with southern style peas and Silver Queen corn were all traditions.

Place chips in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Pour onto a large dish. Place flour on another plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, Dijon mustard and Tabasco sauce together. Season egg mixture with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slice tomatoes ¼ inch thick and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.

medium-high heat until a small amount of flour dropped into oil begins to sizzle without sinking or turning dark immediately. If it sinks, it’s not hot enough and if it runs dark immediately, it is too hot. Using a pair of tongs carefully place the slices into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on one side. Do not crowd the pan. Turn and do the same with the other side. Remove from oil and drain on the cooling rack. Serve hot. To keep them warm until all are finished frying, place the cooling rack on a baking tray in a 150° oven. These are delicious served on a bed of mixed greens and drizzled with a little homemade Green Goddess dressing. GREEN GODDESS DRESSING 3

⁄4 cup Dukes’ mayonnaise

½ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Line up 4 dishes: one with sliced tomatoes, then seasoned flour, egg mixture and finally the chip crumbs, in that order. Place a large cake cooling rack in a baking tray and lay tomatoes on the rack once they’ve been breaded. This will prevent them from getting soggy.

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Working one at a time, dip tomato slices into seasoned flour and shake off excess. Place into egg mixture to coat and shake off excess before finishing by placing tomato slices into crumbs and coating completely with mixture. Shake off excess crumbs and place on cooling rack.

Yields: about 2 cups

¾ cup sour cream Place mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add sour cream and blend until just combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When tomatoes are nearly all breaded, pour oil into a 12 -inch sauté pan to a depth of about 1⁄2 inch. Heat over FARM STAND VEGGIES

49


SALTWATER GEECHEES OF SAPELO ISLAND, GEORGIA “Barrier Island where 300-year-old African American culture exists to this day.“

S

apelo Island, a tangle of salt marsh and sand,

the site of vast sugarcane and cotton plantations. A hauntingly

growing moon, not the waning.” Another added, “We plant

reachable only by boat, holds a proud people who

beautiful stretch of seascape, it remains positively primeval.

when the moon is full and the tide is coming in.” There’s one

call themselves the Saltwater Geechees. Separated

On most any summer day, its salty air can feel as thick

tradition that holds true for everyone there—Geechees wait

from the mainland by Sapelo and Doboy Sounds, these

as sorghum. Ghosts and haints are as common as time-

to plant after the pecan trees flower. No more cold weather

open waters give way to bottomless pluff mud and spartina

worn wooden shrimp boats. Descendants of slaves weave

after that. And we all know pecan trees never lie.

grass nearly seven feet tall.

sweetgrass baskets and grow red peas on this land as they

A pristine underdeveloped area with soulful colors and mystical light, it was claimed by the British in 1757 and was Traditions, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas.

have for centuries. Their culture is a fragile one, sometimes referred to as

the doctor away.” At least, that’s what they say at Lula’s. Sea Island slaves produced long-staple cotton by day and

who have inhabited the southeast coast for more than two

tended to their small garden plots. They grew the very first

centuries. Now a shrinking community of around fifty, this

commercial strain of sugar cane in the United States. Okra,

moss-shrouded little village named Hog Hammock, is the

red peas, sweet potatoes, and rice provided them with tastes

last true “Gullah Geechee” barrier island community on

of their native home in West Africa. The combo of peas and

the east coast in the only private land left on the island.

rice gave birth to dishes like Reezy Peezy and Hoppin’ John.

Almost 97 percent is now owned by the state and given

Over the generations, the community’s population has

over to nature preserves, marine research projects and an

dwindled as many have followed opportunity off the island.

old mansion built in 1802.

But recently, there has been a dedicated team of off-islanders

Built on the backs of their ancestors, who were forcibly

who have joined forces with some locals to bring back the

brought here across the Atlantic, the Reynolds Mansion was

heirloom crops that once sustained the island. Their plan is

named for Richard Reynolds, heir to the tobacco empire.

to return Sapelo to its roots by bringing farming back on a

Reynolds Jr. bought the mansion and most of the island

scale big enough to get the attention of the rock star chefs

during the Great Depression, forcing the Geechees who

in Charleston and Atlanta. This just might lure back some

owned the rest to move to the swampy inland acres of Hog

of those who left.

historic cemetery, a dusty general store and a little restaurant called Lula’s Kitchen. Time creeps as slowly as a wisteria vine and because of their isolation, customs haven’t changed very much.While stopping in at Lula’s Kitchen, one local told me, “We plant on the FARM STAND VEGGIES

greens and sweet potato pie. “A sweet potato a day will keep

Gullah, but on Sapelo, they say Geechee; a proud nation

Hammock. Today this is a collection of little houses, an

50

While at Lula’s we had Geechee Gumbo, corn salad, collard


Follow that Egret, oil onSTAND canvas VEGGIES by Doug Grier. FARM 51


52 FARM FARMSTAND STANDVEGGIES VEGGIES

Conference on Church Street, oil on canvas by John Carroll Doyle.


GEECHEE CORN SALAD IN VINAIGRETTE “Inspired by Lula’s Kitchen, Sapelo Island, Georgia”

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes. Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking process and set the color. Once cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting as close to the cob as possible. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Stir in farro and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Cook until farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

RECIPE

VINAIGRETTE

6 ears of corn, shucked

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1

⁄3 cup red bell pepper, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1

⁄3 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ cup red onion, diced small

Blend ingredients well.

½ teaspoon sea salt 1 clove garlic, minced

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and vinaigrette. Just before serving, toss in the fresh parsley, farro and arugula. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

¼ cup sugar freshly ground black pepper parsley 1½ cups farro 1 cup arugula

FARM FARMSTAND STANDVEGGIES VEGGIES 53


CAROLINA OKRA BEIGNETS “These remind me of the famous Okra and Shrimp Beignets served at the Hominy Grill in Charleston. Feel free to add some chopped shrimp, if desired.” Rinse okra, remove stems, and thinly slice pods. In a bowl, combine okra, onions and bell pepper, toss until well blended. Add flour, bread crumbs and salt, toss again. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, halfand-half and Tabasco until well blended. Pour over the okra mixture, stir until well blended, and let stand for about 30 minutes. In a large, heavy skillet, heat about 1-inch of oil to 375° on a deep-fat thermometer. Drop okra mixture by tablespoons into hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a towels to drain. serve piping hot sour cream sauce

slotted spoon to paper Sprinkle more salt and with a side of cilantro for dipping.

RECIPE 1 pound small, firm, fresh okra 2 medium onions, minced ½ small green bell pepper, seeded and minced 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour ¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs ½ teaspoon salt 1 large egg 1 tablespoon half–and-half ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce peanut or vegetable oil for deep-frying cilantro cream sauce

CILANTRO SOUR CREAM SAUCE 1 small bunch cilantro, washed and chopped lime, zested and juiced 1¼ cup sour cream Combine ingredients in a bowl.

Okra flower blooming.


OKRA WITH TOMATO GRAVY “Inspired by Anson Mills, Columbia, S.C.” In a skillet, melt butter over medium-heat. Add the minced shallots and sauté. Stir with a wooden spoon until softened and In a skillet, melt butter over medium-heat. Add the minced shallots and sauté. Stir with a wooden spoon until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Take off heat, add flour and stir until incorporated.

RECIPE

Return skillet to medium-heat and cook the roux, stirring constantly, about ½ minute. Pour stock into the skillet and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until reduced, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 3 tablespoons tomato juice and return to a simmer.

4 tablespoons tomato juice

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften slightly, about 3 minutes. If the gravy seems too thick, add the rest of the tomato juice. Stir in the cream, thyme, cayenne and ¾ teaspoon salt and simmer until sauce thickens enough to cling to the spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm while preparing the okra.

1 pound tender young okra, stems trimmed but left on

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons shallot. minced 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose four ½ cup chicken stock 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons heavy cream 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped pinch of cayenne pepper sea salt spring water

1 recipe Carolina Gold Rice or stone ground grits

In a stockpot, bring ¼ cup water to a simmer. Add the okra and ½ teaspoon salt, cover and steam until okra is bright green, tender and has absorbed the water, about 4 minutes. To serve, stack the okra on a warm platter and ladle on the tomato gravy. Serve over grits or rice.

FARM STAND VEGGIES

55


GRILLED CORN WITH CHILI-LIME BUTTER “Try this for amazing flavor enhanced by grilling.”

RECIPE ½ cup butter, softened 2 tablespoons lime zest 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice 6 ears fresh corn 2 teaspoons sea salt 3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese 1 tablespoon chili powder freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil

G

etting lost in a sea of green six and seven-foothigh corn stalks swaying with the weight of plump, tasseled cobs is one of summertime’s

greatest pleasures. Take one off the stalk, pull back the husk and silks, and take a bite of fresh corn, raw and milky — an experience beyond compare.

COMPOUND BUTTER Combine the butter, lime zest, lime juice, chili powder and Pecorino Romano cheese in a small bowl and shape into a log. Wrap in wax paper and chill for 1 hour. Get ready to grill: Preheat the grill. Remove and discard husks and silks from corn. Rub corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill corn, covered with grill lid, over high heat for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice. Slather on flavored butter and serve warm. Serves: 6

56

FARM STAND VEGGIES


CARROT - FRUIT SALAD “Recipe inspired by a visit with Chef Robert Wysong of Colleton River Plantation, Bluffton, S.C.�

I

like to make this salad in the spring, when you can find heirloom carrots, like Yellowstones, Purple Dragons and Yayas. Blanching crispy vegetables like

carrots is a way of flash-cooking them just long enough to unlock some of the flavor, enhance the color, and give vegetables a nice, tender and crisp texture. The technique is

RECIPE 6 ounces carrots, divided 4 ounces red grapes 1 Granny Smith apple Belgium endive lettuce 1 ounce shallot, minced

simple. Plunge carrots in boiling water until bright in color

6 ounces grape juice

and barely tender; strain and transfer to a large bowl of ice

2 ounces olive oil

water to stop the cooking process.

salt and pepper

Wash and peel carrots, reserving half. Chop, blanch, and refresh half of the carrots. Simmer the minced shallots in grape juice, reduce by half and reserve liquid. Set aside to cool. Wash, trim and quickly roast the grapes on an ovenhot sheet pan until tender and split. Wash, trim and slice endive and apple. Peel the remaining carrots down to the core for a ribbonlike texture. Combine the cooked and ribbon style cut carrots, endive, apple, oil, shallots and reserved liquid, toss to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves :4

Heirloom Carrots harvested at a local farm.


58 FARM FARMSTAND STANDVEGGIES1 VEGGIES


SPAGHETTI SQUASH VEGGIE BAKE “Dress up strands of spaghetti squash with this luscious, rich homemade sauce.” RECIPE 1 whole spaghetti squash 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 red pepper, diced 1 yellow pepper, diced 1 zucchini, diced 1 carrot, shredded 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tomato, diced 16 ounces tomato sauce 2 -3 tablespoons fresh basil 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese ¼ cup shredded Parmesan

I

defy you to find a church supper or a covered dish dinner of any kind in the South that doesn’t include at least one of these golden-brown gratinlike squash

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Place squash face down in a pyrex dish. Add ¾ cup water and bake for 45 minutes.

casseroles. I’ve decided to change it up a bit and use a whole spaghetti squash instead of the usual zucchini and yellow squash suspects. The mild, sweet squash flavor and creamy texture will win the hearts of the pickiest eaters.

Opposite Page Sunday Dinner, oil on canvas by Jonathan Green.

While that’s cooking, add the oil, garlic, peppers, zucchini, and carrots to a medium skillet, cooking over medium heat for about 8 minutes until vegetables are tender. After 45 minutes remove the squash and with a fork, scrape the flesh from the peel. It should flake off easily in strings and should look like spaghetti. Place the spaghetti strings in a 9 x 11 casserole dish. In a bowl, add the cooked veggies, diced tomato, tomato sauce, basil and most of the cheese, thoroughly combine. Transfer ingredients to the baking dish and spread on top of the spaghetti strings. Sprinkle leftover cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes until nice and bubbly. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve. Serves: 6-8 FARM STAND VEGGIES

59


SUMMER PEA SALAD WITH MINT DRESSING “Truly a different taste sensation that comes together in minutes. Inspired by Chef Robert Wysong, Colleton River Plantation.”

I

love the pure, refreshing taste of this simple salad.

RECIPE

MINT DRESSING

One of the greatest things about shopping at farmers’

4 ounces fresh peas, shelled

3 ounces fresh mint, washed

markets and some gourmet groceries instead of your

2 ounces pea tendrils

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

average supermarket is the many vegetable varieties you

2 ounces select baby greens

6 ounces water

encounter. It is estimated that there are over 600 varieties of

1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 ounces light oil

mint in the world today. Peppermint, spearmint and exotic

mint dressing (see righr)

1 ounce white wine or rice wine vinegar

chocolate are among the more familiar but then there are the fruit flavored types with apple, orange and pineapple flavors. Have fun experimenting with different varieties as you put together this flavor packed salad.

Wash, dry and trim lettuce, tendrils and fresh peas. Combine with mint dressing and serve chilled.

salt and pepper to taste Pick the mint leaves and reserve. Make a simple syrup with the stems, sugar and water by simmering on the stove until all sugar is dissolved, 15 minutes. Set aside and reserve until cooled. Strain, add mint leaves and purée. Blend together oil, vinegar and 2 ounces simple syrup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves: 2

Lowcountry Still Life, oil on canvas by Jennifer Black. 60 FARM FARMSTAND STANDVEGGIES1 VEGGIES


FARM STAND VEGGIES VEGGIES1 61


MAMA’S POTATO SALAD WITH FRESH DILL “Potato salad is a staple of Southern tradition.”

RECIPE 3 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes kosher salt 1 medium red onion, diced very small 1 cup mayonnaise ¼ cup buttermilk 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped freshly ground black pepper 4 hardboiled eggs, chopped

Place potatoes and 2 tablespoons kosher salt in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Potatoes are tender when pierced easily with a fork. Drain potatoes in a colander. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

62

FARM STAND VEGGIES

Cook eggs until hardboiled. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in small pieces. Once eggs are cooked, dice them and combine with potatoes in a large bowl. While still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss gently and refrigerate several hours. Serve cold. Serves: 6-8


FARMER’S MARKET PASTA SALAD “Here’s the pasta salad you’ll be making all summer.” the vinaigrette to coat. Top with thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish. VINAIGRETTE ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 clove garlic, minced ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

F

1

⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1

⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1

⁄3 cup canola oil

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, minced garlic and brown sugar.

rom the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the

RECIPE

shores on Amelia and beyond, our region’s dining

2 cups orecchiette pasta, cooked

has no bounds. Southern food may come in the

1 cucumber, thinly sliced and cut into half moons

form of a pork belly sandwich in a deep-fried bun, a sweet

2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons

potato biscuit with country sausage and collard greens

1 small red bell pepper, diced

stacked high, shrimp fritters, hush puppies or this simple mix

12 marinated fresh mozzarella balls, halved

of farm to fork vegetables and pasta with a light vinaigrette.

2 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, halved

I’ve been known to sprinkle in a few benne seeds from time

½ cup green onions, thinly sliced

to time to pay homage to heritage grain revivalist Glenn

1

Slowly add canola oil and olive oil, whisking until emulsified. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Just whisk again to re-emulsify.

⁄3 cup fresh basil

Roberts of Anson Mills, who reintroduced benne and other

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

traditional ingredients back into the Lowcountry larder.

vinaigrette (see right) Combine all ingredients except pasta in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste and allow to stand 10 minutes. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta to the vegetable mixture and toss gently with FARM STAND VEGGIES

63


BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S “I’ll never forget how my mother mixed her biscuits right on the countertop, no bowl in sight, by forming a little well with the flour to catch the buttermilk.”

H

eading down to the dock, the beach or into

Southern breads are everywhere—after all, hot bread is

your backyard with a movable feast and

the hallmark of Southern meals. Buttermilk biscuits, spoon

cool-down cocktails is the best way to spend

bread, corn sticks and hush puppies are the beloved breads

summer evenings. Gentle breezes blow away all tensions of

of the South. Like most of the South’s revered dishes, corn

the day, while bright sunshine and azure blue skies linger,

bread has roots that run deep into Dixie, all the way back

making us feel as if we are on one long luxurious vacation.

to Native Americans who dried and ground corn into

Once darkness falls across the land, constellations peak

cornmeal. Native American corn bread was simple, just

out from behind billowy clouds while lights from shrimp

cornmeal and water cooked on hot flat rocks in the fire and

boats flicker across the horizon. Whether we are in the city,

often called ash cake.

mountains or the seaside, we become more carefree. Good

Historically, corn has had a huge impact on our region.

times are casual and spontaneous. I love this time of year, a

When wheat flour was too expensive for bread making,

time for stargazing and moonlight swims. Simplicity is the

cornmeal was the cheaper substitute, therefore, becoming

key. Our farm stands and local markets now overflow with

the bread of choice for daily sustenance. My dad’s family

the goodness of the season. Languorous, lazy days make us

lived in Virginia and ate corn bread at nearly every meal—

crave comfort food and carbohydrates.

in the morning with sorghum syrup and often at lunch

Quick breads make baking simple and fast. Peach bread

with a bowl of vegetable soup. A favorite snack was a hot

and recipes like deep South buttermilk biscuits slathered in

wedge of crumbly corn bread dunked in an ice-cold glass

sorghum butter, honor the spirit, history and especially the

of tangy buttermilk, a true Southern tradition.

taste of the classic Southern table.

While there are as many variations of corn bread as there are cooks, there is one thing that remains constant: corn bread needs to be warm, fresh from the oven and slathered with real butter.Take two and butter them while they’re hot.

Slightly North of the Broad, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas. 64

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S


S.N.O.B. CORN BREAD “Inspired by Chef Frank Lee and Gerald Henderson.”

T

here’s no limit to the variety of corn bread found in Charleston but there’s one that earns rave reviews again and again by locals and

visitors alike. It’s a sweet, cake-like variety at Slightly North

Whip ingredients together until light and fluffy. Scoop onto plastic wrap or divide the mixture in half. Roll the plastic wrap around it to form a cylinder then twist the ends closed. Wrap in parchment, twist ends and tie with twine. Freezes well.

of the Broad, a favorite dining spot located downtown on Bay Street. We have Gerald, their dishwasher to thank for these

RECIPE 5 eggs

delicious wedges—he’s been making corn bread there for

4 ounces butter, melted

over 12 years. He’s the man and the legend behind the

1 cup sugar

coveted treat. This corn bread has a generous amount of

2½ cups yellow cornmeal

sugar, which normally is not found in Southern corn bread,

2½ cups flour

making this a delicious light, soft and sweet corn bread.

1¾ tablespoons baking powder

Compound butters are flavor packed. Once you master the

1 heaping teaspoon salt

butter basics, you’ll never buy the store brands again. Make

½ cup canola oil

them in pats, whipped or creamy in little dishes or rolled

2 cups milk

and use as spreads for toast and baguettes or make savory

Preheat over to 350°. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, butter and sugar together. Mix in dry ingredients, oil and milk. Pour batter into greased 11 x 9 inch pan. Bake for one hour and 10 minutes.

ones for steaks. HONEY PECAN BUTTER ½ cup butter ½ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped 2 tablespoons honey Allow pecans to thoroughly cool. Stir together butter, pecans and honey. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to a month. HONEY ORANGE BUTTER 2 sticks butter 1 teaspoon orange zest 2 tablespoons local honey 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

HERB LEMON BUTTER 1 stick butter 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest salt and freshly ground black pepper Mix until thoroughly combined and roll in plastic wrap to form a log. Refrigerate until ready to use.


GARDEN VEGETABLE FRITTATA “This colorful frittata is the perfect holiday breakfast to serve at Artist Rhett Thurman’s elegant table.” RECIPE 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 1 sweet onion, diced 3 red potatoes, diced small 1 zucchini, cut into ½ inch rounds 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced 1 cup firmly packed fresh spinach, stems removed 10 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup cream cheese 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat olive oil and butter in a 12inch, oven-proof skillet over medium–high heat. Add the potatoes and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy. Stir in zucchini and red bell pepper and cook for several minutes until zucchini is lightly cooked and still crunchy. Add the spinach and stir. Cook another minute until spinach wilts.

66

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Gruyere, salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables. Remove the skillet from heat and gently shake the skillet to distribute the eggs evenly through the vegetables. Divide the cream cheese into little pieces and distribute on top of the egg mixture. Sprinkle with thyme. Bake about 15 minutes, uncovered, just until the eggs set. Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.


AWENDAW SPOON BREAD “Adapted from Anson Mills, Columbia, S.C.”

A

combination of eggs, grits and cornmeal mixed

RECIPE

with liquid and baked creates a delectable

2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for greasing

treat—spoon bread. Called “Awendaw” in

3 large eggs

Charleston, after the Awendaw Indians who lent their name

1

to the river and the area 15 miles up the coast, it’s closer

2 cups water

in consistency to Yorkshire pudding than it is to bread and

11⁄4 teaspoons fine sea salt

absolutely delicious! Historically, throughout the South, spoon bread was made when guests were invited over and corn bread was just not special enough. Undeniably beautiful when pulled from the oven, it remains lushly rich and impossibly light at the same

1

⁄2 cup stone ground grits

⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups whole milk 1 cup cornmeal 11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder 1

⁄4 cup heavy cream

time. To reheat, cover tightly with foil and heat in a 300° oven for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°. Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with butter and set aside. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, whisk them lightly and set the bowl aside. Place the grits in a heavy bottomed saucepan and add the water. Stir once. Once the grits have settled, tilt the pan and skim off any bits floating on the top with a fine strainer. Set the pan on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the grits are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the butter, salt, pepper and then whisk in the milk. Cover the pan and bring to a simmer, whisking often. Whisk in the cornmeal and remove the pan from the heat.

Ladle a cup of the hot grits mixture into the beaten eggs and whisk to warm them. Pour the egg mixture back into the prepared skillet and smooth the surface. Spoon the cream over the top and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 375° and continue to bake until the spoonbread is nicely browned, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and serve.

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

67


68 BREADS, BREADS,BRUNCHES BRUNCHES&&FIXIN’s FIXIN’S


CHARLESTON ARTIST RHETT THURMAN’S TABLESCAPE “This tablescape totally reflects Rhetts’ palette and her personality; bright, cheerful and eclectic.”

Artist Rhett Thurman

R

Brunch, oil on canvas by RhettThurman.

hett Thurman’s paintings will take you along

Rhett Thurman has been a gift to the city for over 40 years.

Charleston’s fabled cobblestone streets where

She spent 25 years teaching studio art at the Gibbes Museum

people often dine al fresco, take you to rooftops

and has encouraged numbers of fresh-faced novice artists into

“Even after 40 years of painting in Charleston, I am still

where you gaze at towering church spires, peer out across

establishing an art community that is flourishing now. With

challenged daily to capture bold, brilliant tones, light and the colors

the harbor and view transcendent sunsets in all their brilliant

the exception of a few frame shops, Charleston’s art scene was

that move me to pick up the brush and paint again.”

splendor — pinks, reds, yellows and burnished golds. You’ll

nonexistent in the early 1970s when Rhett arrived.

find beach scenes where children play in sand and surf while

“For me, it’s about dazzling light and what it does to color —

mothers lounge under brilliant striped umbrellas, keeping a

that is my absolute passion,” she explains. Rhett is drawn to her

careful watch. There is so much more.

vivid colors and brings an energy to her subjects and magically

projects it onto the canvas. The results keep her pieces flying off the walls of the Sylvan Gallery on King Street.

Truly, Rhett Thurman is one of Charleston’s finest treasures.

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

69


RISE AND SHINE BUTTERMILK BISCUITS “Discover the secrets to the perfect Southern biscuit.”

RECIPE 4 cups all-purpose White Lily flour, plus more for kneading 1 stick butter cut into small pieces at room temperature ½ cup cream cheese, room temperature 1 ½ cups buttermilk ½ cup melted butter for brushing on Preheat oven to 500°. Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a large wide bowl, place 4 cups of flour. Sprinkle pieces of butter and cream cheese on top of the flour. Cut in shortening with your fingers, a pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbs are the size of peas. Texture should resemble coarse meal. Make a well in the center and gradually add buttermilk, stirring with a fork, until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Do not over mix. The secret to tender biscuits is messing with the dough as little as possible.

G

od has blessed the Lowcountry with lucent

as anchor points to our past and reminders of this regions

blue skies filled with cumulus clouds, graceful

rich culture and history. Buttermilk biscuits are as much a

old live oaks that shade, endless crested ocean

part of our Southern culture as anything. For the very best

waves to ride and a sun that shines bright and often.

southern buttermilk biscuits on the planet, look no further

Twisted country lanes and cobblestoned streets captivate

than Callie’s Charleston Biscuits! Here’s the secret.

while stately historic homes throughout our towns stand

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough to ½-inch thickness. Do not knead the dough. Cut using floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Do not twist the cutter or the biscuits will not rise as well. Place on prepared baking sheet with every biscuit touching. When biscuits are clustered together, not only do they push each other to rise higher, but they also cook more evenly. Brush tops with butter. Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temp to 450°. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the pan once. Remove from oven and brush with butter again. Note: Be careful not to overwork the biscuit dough. A light touch will produce light biscuits.

70

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S


King Street, oil on canvas by&& Simon Balyon. BREADS, BREADS, BRUNCHES BRUNCHES FIXIN’S FIXIN’s 71


“IN THE SOUTH, TREASURES ARE JUST

Edisto Island, South Carolina.

72 BREADS, BREADS,BRUNCHES BRUNCHES&&FIXIN’s FIXIN’S


A SIMPLE TURN DOWN A DIRT ROAD””

Oyster Factory, oil on canvas by Doug Grier.

BREADS, BREADS,BRUNCHES BRUNCHES&&FIXIN’S FIXIN’s 73


CRANBERRY–ORANGE BREAD “You’ll find sorghum butter irresistible on hot corn bread, griddlecakes, biscuits and quick breads.”

RECIPE Delicious as bread or muffins and totally nutritious, these make for a great breakfast on the go. 1 cup Grape Nuts cereal 1 cup uncooked regular oats ½ cup whole wheat flour 1

⁄3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup buttermilk ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 large eggs 1 tablespoon grated orange rind ½ cup orange marmalade ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and make a well in center of mixture.

I

f you like honey butter, you will absolutely love

SORGHUM BUTTER

sorghum butter. Sorghum is to the South as maple

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

syrup is to the North. Sorghum is a dark, sweet

3 tablespoons sorghum syrup

seductive syrup you will want to pour on everything. But unlike maple syrup, sorghum syrup is processed from a crop and has the flavor diversity of great wine.

74

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

pinch of sea salt Beat butter until fluffy. Add sea salt and drizzle in the syrup until combined.

In separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil and eggs. Add to dry mixture, stirring just until moistened. Gently fold in grated orange rind, marmalade and cranberries. Spoon into a lightly greased 8½ x 2½ inch loaf pan. Bake 375° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.


“OLD TIMEY” PEACH BREAD “Inspired by the South Carolina Peach Council.”

W

hen I find my kitchen counters laden with peaches, I try to come up with easy, creative ways to use them. This simple, quick bread is the best you’ll ever eat.Why not make two and stash one away in the freezer for unexpected

guests? I love to serve this delicious treat with some handmade peach ice cream. RECIPE 2 cups peaches, mashed 1 large egg, slightly beaten 2 tablespoons, melted butter ½ cup raisins 2 cups flour ½ cup sugar ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1

⁄8 teaspoon salt

glaze (see below) Drain peaches and discard juices. In a bowl, combine peaches with beaten egg and melted butter. Stir in raisins. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugars, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to peach mixture, combining well. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Let it rest 20 minutes. Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes. Allow to cool in pan. Once cool, drizzle with glaze. GLAZE 1 cup powdered sugar 2 teaspoons lemon juice Mix ingredients together. Taste for flavor and add more juice if needed. Drizzle over cooled peach bread.

Carolina Gold, oil on canvas by Pat Forsberg.


76 BREADS, BREADS,BRUNCHES BRUNCHES&&FIXIN’s FIXIN’S


CRÈME BRULÉE FRENCH TOAST WITH STRAWBERRIES “Inspired by the Fat Hen, John’s Island, S.C.”

I

’ll have a sweet tea at the Fat Hen, please. I love

RECIPE

weekend trips to Charleston, home to some of

The total prep time was only 15 minutes and it cooks in less than 1 hour.

the best restaurants in the country. Just as we were

heading out for Sunday brunch, a friend suggested we stop in at John’s Island and experience the Fat Hen. Why not, with a name like that it had to be good! From the minute we drove up, we felt at home. It even looked like home with a screened in front porch and a friendly staff who immediately brought sweet tea to our table in little Mason jars. If a Lowcountry spring morning could be assembled on a plate, it would take the form of Chef Fred Neuville’s crème brulée French toast with strawberry topping. It’s a place where Lowcountry French meets farmhouse

1 loaf Challah or Brioche Bread, sliced into 11⁄2 inch thick slices 1 stick butter, unsalted 5 eggs, extra large 3/4 cup brown sugar 3

⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream

3

⁄4 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons corn syrup 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (no imitation) 1

⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons Grand Marnier

chic. “We’re a family-owned, family-run business and we

powdered sugar

love what we do.” Neuville says. He’s the founding chef

STRAWBERRY TOPPING

behind some of Charleston’s favorite restaurants, including

1 quart strawberrries, hulled and sliced 1⁄4-inch thick

39 Rue De Jean. Now that he’s in the farm belt, fresh

1

⁄4 cup powdered sugar

ingredients are delivered to his door daily. The family raises

1

⁄4 cup Grand Marnier

their own chickens and the chef points with pride to his smokehouse located out back where they smoke everything from meats to walnuts. It was hard to choose from the delectable selections but with the first bite, I was sure I had made the right decision.

For the topping: combine the ingredients and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

FRENCH TOAST Take out a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Place the bread slices on top of butter and sugar mixture in one even layer. In a bowl, place the eggs, cream, milk, pure vanilla extract, salt and 2 teaspoons of Grand Marnier. Whisk together until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread slices.Tightly cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for at least 8 hours. Preheat oven to 350°. Let the dish come to room temperature before cooking. Bake until the french toast is golden and puffed about 30 to 40 minutes. Serves: 6-8 Top with strawberry mixture and a little whipped cream for a beautiful presentation.


PIMENTO CHEESE BISCUITS WITH PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD “It’s a Southern Thing” PIMENTO CHEESE DROP BISCUITS 2 cups White Lily self-rising flour 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper ¼ cup mayonnaise 1 cup whole milk 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons diced pimentos melted butter for brushing Preheat the oven to 450°. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or parchment paper. Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir in mayonnaise and milk until the flour is moistened. Stir in cheese and pimentos. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter.

F

PIMENTO CHEESE 6 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese

laky, buttery biscuits are the cherished cornerstone

Two of my favorite words are “comfort” and “food.”

of cooking in the deep South. Whip up your very

“Pimentocheese” is almost one word in the South and

8 ounces cream cheese

own batch with one of my all-time favorite, no

comforting it is! Perhaps the most exposure pimento cheese

¾ cup mayonnaise

fail recipes. This simple blend of freshly shredded cheddar,

receives is its yearly appearance as a popular sandwich

1 teaspoons cayenne pepper

hand-mixed with pimentos and spices is about as Southern

choice at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

1 (7 ounces) jar pimentos, drained

as it gets. Whether served with a vine ripe tomato and crisp

In Atlanta, where I once lived, it’s famously used as a

bacon, or slathered with butter, the taste is extraordinary!

topping on hot dogs and hamburgers at The Varsity fast food restaurant located beside Georgia Tech.

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BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

In a food processor, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth. Add pimentos and pulse until mostly smooth, leaving some large pieces for color.


Hulling Home Rice, watercolorBRUNCHES on linen by & Jonathan Green. BREADS, BREADS, BRUNCHES &FIXIN’S FIXIN’s 79


PIZZA DOUGH MADE SIMPLE “This recipe is simple, delicious and virtually fool-proof!”

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix warm water with yeast and allow to sit 5 minutes while yeast proofs. Combine water and yeast mixture with honey or sorghum, then add olive oil into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups flour, salt and mix. While mixing, add another cup of flour or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling with flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking to the bowl. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand a dozen times until smooth and elastic. Cover the inside of a bowl with oil using a paper towel. Place the dough in the bowl and turn several times to make sure the oil covers dough completely. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 to 6 equal parts and roll each one into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Dough may keep in refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Allow to come to room temperature before baking. Roll and stretch each ball into a rough circle and place them all on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Place pizzas onto a hot grill and cook on 1 side for 1 minute. Turn pizzas over and brush with olive oil and continue to cook until nicely browned.Top pizzas with your favorite things, piling them high. If using ingredients that need to be softened by cooking such as squash, onions, broccoli or bell peppers, be sure they are cooked before adding them to the pizza. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put the lid on the grill and cook 5 more minutes until the crusts are crisp, cheeses are melted and the toppings are hot. 80

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

Tomato Ray, oil on canvas by Jennifer Black.

RECIPE 1 ¼ cups warm water, 100° to 110° F 2 packages dry yeast 1 tablespoon sorghum or honey 1 tablespoon kosher salt 4 cups all-purpose flour 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

81


PIMENTO CHEESE FRITTERS WITH GREEN TOMATO JAM “Fritters are small cakes consisting of a portion of batter or breading with added ingredients and fried.”

T

ucked away in an elegantly restored Victorian

RECIPE

GREEN TOMATO JAM

house in the heart of Charleston, Poogan’s Porch

2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese

3 large green tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced

is a culinary mainstay in the Holy City. The

2 cups grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese

scant ½ cup brown sugar

restaurant boosts some of the finest signature Lowcountry

1 cup cream cheese

½ cup cider vinegar

cuisine. Chef Daniel Doyle has taken this beloved Southern

heaping 1⁄3 cup jarred pimento peppers,

¼ cup honey

appetizer to a whole new level of deliciousness.

seeded and finely diced

1½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

¼ cup sour cream ½ bunch chives, finely chopped ¼ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon onion powder salt and white pepper to taste 1 cup flour, seasoned with onion powder, salt and pepper

salt to taste ½ sheet gelatin Combine green tomatoes, brown sugar, cider vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper and salt in a heavy sauce pan over low heat. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

1 cup milk 1 cup panko bread crumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper Peanut oil for frying Combine the white cheddar, yellow cheddar, cream cheese, pimento peppers sour cream, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and white pepper. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball in the seasoned flour, then dip in the milk. Roll in panko bread crumbs and place on a parchmentlined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining balls. Freeze the fritters for at least an hour. Pour 3 inches of oil into a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Heat to 350°. Working in batches, fry the fritters until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Be sure that the temperature of the oil returns to 350° before frying a new batch.

82

BREADS, BRUNCHES & FIXIN’S

While the jam cools, add the gelatin to a bowl of cold water and let soak for 10 minutes. Transfer the jam to a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Remove the gelatin from the bowl and squeeze gently to remove excess water. Add to the puréed jam and whisk to dissolve. Refrigerate until needed.


Green Tomatoes, oil on canvas by Jonathan Green.


84 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD

Oyster Bucket II, oil on canvas by Michael Harrell.


SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD “Shrimp may be the backbone, but crab and oysters are the heart and soul of our coastal cuisine.”

W

aters along the southeastern seaboard are

can be steamed, smoked, stewed, sautéed and pickled. But

it in its most spectacular way. Go with the flow. When soft

teaming with an amazing array of sea life.

according to expert, author John Martin Taylor, shrimp may

shells are in, you have only two or three weeks to cook and

Freshwater marshes and tributaries join

be the backbone, but crab and oysters are the Lowcountry’s

enjoy them. Create your menus around the most pristine,

heart and soul.

impeccable fish you can find — and that means a trip to

and mix with the sea, creating pools of varying salinity and unique ecosystems.

How fortunate we are that we can wade out into our

your local fish market. Be willing to be flexible. If you’re

With our spring tides, rivers fill almost to overflowing

creeks with cast nets when shrimp are running and return

planning a dinner party around swordfish but grouper is

with migrating fish traveling into fresh-water rivers and

home with a net full. On almost any summer day we can

being featured at the market and it’s some of the best — go

creeks to lay their eggs. The majestic blue crabs shed their

go crabbing off the docks with chicken necks and pull in

with it and change your menu!

shells and transform into delicacies that bring even the

enough blue crabs to fill a big bucket.

loftiest of gourmands to their knees. Shad surrender their

Lowcountry boils, crab boils and oyster roasts have

eggs and become one of the grand delicacies of the sea

become the most sought after of all our social invitations.

while cobia provide steaks for our grills delicious enough

Even winter’s chilling blasts, when it’s cold enough to make

to cause the angels to sing.

our Magnolia leaves shiver and curl, do not deter us from

Shrimp are the backbone of the Lowcountry seafood

Fishing, watercolor on linen by Jonathan Green.

attending these grand occasions.

scene. As Bubba observed in Forrest Gump. “Shrimp is

Keep in mind that the appearance of certain seafood is

the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it,

fleeting.When you hear that the cobia are running along the

bake it and fry it.” Bubba also mentioned that shrimp

coast, jump at the chance to purchase some and showcase

“To describe our growing up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation, scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud, open an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say, ‘There. That taste. That’s the taste of my childhood.’

- Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

85


JOHN CARROLL DOYLE “He painted his passion for the authentic Lowcountry into our very souls. 1942 - 2015”

O

ur featured painting for this chapter, “In

dressed in his customary black shorts and black T-shirt,

Southern Seas”, is the last completed piece

mild-mannered and reserved. As we sat down, he began to

of art by Charleston’s internationally known,

talk about growing up in Charleston and his struggles with

well-loved artist, John Carroll Doyle. It is my privilege to

addiction and agoraphobia. It wasn’t until sometime in the

publish it as a lasting tribute.

1980s that he became prolific, often producing as many as

John Carroll Doyle, ended his journey on this earth

five paintings in a week. Perhaps best known for producing

November 12, 2014 at the age of 71. I first met John in

iconic pieces from memories and stories of Southern

2012 on a visit to his gallery on Church Street. He was

culture, he brought back to life the fishmongers, “Mosquito Fleet” fishermen and the Gullah flower ladies. But John’s most popular works were the beautifully designed light and energy filled canvasses of billfish and wading birds.

John with Pat Branning & Angela Stump ‘Gallery Director’.

He was generous enough to give me permission to reproduce many of his works in the Shrimp, Collards and Grits Southern lifestyle series. I will always feel honored that John created such stunning pieces of art and allowed me to use many of them as illustrations of our Southern way of life. Generosity is clearly a legacy of John Doyle. A great artist is a gracious artist and when my first book came out in 2012, John agreed graciously to accompany me to a book signing at 82 Queen, where many of his

“Although I have no formal education as a painter, Charleston, in its romantic light, was my first art teacher. Charleston was my art school. In fact, Charleston is my Paris and my Italy.” - John Carroll Doyle

early works are displayed. Memories of his sincere kindness, generosity and gracious spirit are what I will hold most dear. He leaves a vigorous legacy, having painted his passion for the authentic Lowcountry into our very souls.

Opposite Page In Southern Seas, oil on canvas by John Carroll Doyle. John Carroll Doyle signing our first book years ago.


SUMPTUOUS BREADS, SOUTHERN BRUNCHESSEAFOOD & FIXIN’s 87


LEMON BUTTERED JUMBO LUMP CRAB WITH CRISPY POTATO CAKES “Inspired by Chef John Soulia, Berkeley Hall, Bluffton, S.C.”

CRAB 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat 4 tablespoons softened butter juice and zest of 1 lemon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup sour cream 4 tablespoons chives Combine butter, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper in a saucepan and gently melt. Sauté crab with lemon butter mixture, just until hot. Pile crab on top of potato cakes and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives. Serves: 4-6

Bake potatoes at 350° until cooked through. Cool and shred with a mandolin or a box grater. Purée scallions and onion in a food processor. Place in the center of a clean towel and twist to drain as much liquid out as possible. Combine eggs, flour, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk. Add scallions, onions, potatoes and combine. Portion cakes out to desired size. Heat ½-inch of vegetable oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove and place on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Cakes may be prepared ahead of time and warmed in a 350° oven until ready to serve.

RECIPE 6 Idaho baking potatoes ½ cup scallions, sliced freshly grated black pepper and sea salt 2 eggs ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 small onion

Saute Lump Crab Meat with grape seed oil.


CALABASH STYLE FRIED FLOUNDER “Succulent morsels with a crispy outside.”

M

ost chefs keep it a close secret, but soaking

RECIPE

filets in buttermilk for 2 hours keeps fish

4 medium flounder fillets

moist and will add a slight tangy flavor.

½ cup cornmeal

Remember to place a lid on your marinating dish, you don’t

1 teaspoon sugar

want other flavors being absorbed from the refrigerator. I

1

⁄3 cup flour

Fry fillets one at a time for three minutes on each side. Serve with malt vinegar and tartar sauce. Serves: 4

just use a gallon zip-lock baggie to marinate the fish, easy

1

⁄3 cup bread crumbs

TARTAR SAUCE

and no clean up.

2 eggs, beaten

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat. Dip dried fillets in egg mixture, then cornmeal mixture, then egg mixture again and lastly, the bread crumbs.

salt and pepper

Once you try this, you’ll never go back to store bought tartar sauce again. Yields: 1½ cups

oil for frying

1 cup mayonnaise

tartar sauce and malt vinegar

1 tablespoon capers

Blend eggs and two teaspoons of water in a flat dish. Combine cornmeal, sugar, flour, salt and pepper. Place bread crumbs in a separate flat dish. Place cornmeal mixture in a third flat dish. Serves: 4

3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish 3 tablespoons puréed olives 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon hot sauce 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1½ teaspoons dried dill pinch of cayenne Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed together.

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

89


DOWN SOUTHERN ROADS IN SWEET CAROLINA “Welcome to the Seafood Capital of the World, Calabash, North Carolina.”

W

hat a wonderful time of year to drive along

Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, the waterfront here is alive

beach bound state roads. I love the sound of

day and night. Every evening, Calabash’s population swells

But there’s more here, something unique. It possibly lies in

cars and trucks whizzing by and the briny

from folks who come from all over for the seafood. This

the fact that when in Calabash — you know the seafood is

tiny town has a row of restaurants near the waterfront that

local, fresh and served with a whole lotta love and tradition.

smell of the sea as we approach the coast. A sign along the highway say: “Welcome to the Seafood Capital of the World, Calabash, North Carolina.” As far southeast as you can go in North Carolina, there’s a small town with a whole lot of seafood and a legendary

has given it the distinction of being the Seafood Capital of the World. It’s a place for crab pots, fishing rods, crab nets, clam rakes, reclining beach chairs, and coconut- scented sunscreen.

appeal that will capture your heart and make you stop

What exactly is Calabash style cooking? Is it characterized

and look around. Located on the coast, tucked in between

by its seasoning, the makeup of its breading or the oil in which it’s fried?

Final Cast, oil on canvas by Shannon Smith Hughes.

It’s about a sense of place and people who know how to take off their shoes and work their feet into the mud to feel for clams, catch a blue crab with

Shrimp and flounder are most popular and they’re coated

a chicken neck, cast a shrimp net

in cornmeal instead of flour or batter, usually with a

into the river and use their hands

peppery spice added. Most chefs keep it a close secret. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure they soak it in buttermilk

to pull oysters from a reef. Whether

first, sometimes adding a little hot sauce. Then it’s lightly

you’re returning home or just visiting –

and quickly fried. It’s almost always served with coleslaw

Calabash makes you feel like a local.

and hush puppies and it’s a sure thing the portions will be generous. All it takes is one turn onto River Road and you’ll be right in the middle of it all. On most any summer day, trawlers haul nets full of shrimp and fishing boats bring in lines of fish. Back at the docks, a few old timers can be found leaning on the railing outside of Captain Nance’s Seafood, waiting for the fleet. Just a couple hours before supper, the boats will come home. Once the sound of the first shrimp boat is heard coming up the Calabash River, you know the rest will follow, one after another. Each one ties off at the dock and the aroma of sweet 90 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD

ocean shrimp is everywhere as men unload their catch.


OysterSUMPTUOUS Shuckers, watercolor on linen by Roper. BREADS, SOUTHERN BRUNCHES SEAFOOD &Sandra FIXIN’s 91


92

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

Lowcountry Splendor, oil on canvas by Michael B. Karas.


CAROLINA-STYLE DEVILED CRAB “Inspired by the master himself, James Beard.” RECIPE 1 cup celery, finely chopped 1 green pepper, finely chopped 1 cup green onions, finely sliced ½ cup parsley, chopped 2 pounds claw crabmeat 3 cups cracker crumbs, coarsely crushed 1 teaspoon salt 1½ teaspoon dry mustard dash Tabasco sauce ½ cup heavy cream 1 cup butter, melted Preheat oven to 350°. Combine celery, green pepper, green onions and parsley in a mixing bowl. Add crabmeat, 2½ cups cracker crumbs, salt, dry mustard, dash of Tabasco sauce, heavy cream ½ cup butter.

O

ver the years deviled crabs have been served

There are various types of blue crab starting with the

with elegance across the Lowcountry of South

“colossol crab” which, as its name suggests, consists of the

Carolina. The word devil means to add some

largest nuggets of crabmeat. It is luxurious, perfect for salads

pizzazz by adding spicy ingredients like red pepper flakes

and by far the most exquisite. Lump crabmeat consists of

and Tabasco. They once were a specialty on Daufuskie

smaller shreds of crabmeat that require very careful picking

Island in South Carolina, where we used to stop by on our

to remove shells and cartilage. This makes good crab cakes

boat and pick up a dozen or so for lunch.

but the claw meat is most often used for deviled crab.

Crab in South Carolina means blue crab. The harvest hits its peak as the waters begin to warm each spring, usually in April,

Toss well. Spoon mixture into a buttered baking dish or individual shells, then top with remaining cracker crumbs and brush with remaining melted butter. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until crumbs are delicately browned. Serve at once.

Basically, it’s shell free and comes from the claws. It’s darker and has a distinctly great flavor and is the least expensive.

and continues through late fall, before temperatures drop.

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

93


CRAB CRACKING ON EDISTO “A sub-tropical barrier island just south of Charleston.” There’s a mobile kitchen trailer in front of picnic tables under tents out back with a handwritten specials board announcing “Garlic Blue Crab, $30.00/dozen. We placed our order for sweet tea, boiled peanuts, fried shrimp, hush puppies and garlic blue crab. Sitting down at one of the tables we began our feast with garlic steamed crab, cracking the claws one after the other revealing the juicy, succulent meat within. The shrimp was fried just right and the little hush puppies had fresh corn inside every satisfying bite. Everything was fresh from the sea and delicious. It doesn’t get any better than this feast beneath the live oaks beside the tidal creeks at a no frills roadside stand. Next time you’re up that way, give it a try. If you can’t get over to Flower’s Seafood, here’s the secret to fixing your own for a down home Lowcountry crab crackin’.

A

trip to Edisto Island is never complete without

a cornmeal muffin. We lingered awhile, stocked up on grits,

GARLIC BLUE CRABS

a stop at Flowers Seafood Company. Edisto

purchased a large box of tomatoes picked that morning from

6-8 blue crabs

Island is a flat sub-tropical barrier island just

the fields out back, and headed down the road.

3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

south of Charleston — a place of majestic live oaks, heavily

We hadn’t traveled much further before we spotted a little

laden with Spanish moss, that form cathedral-like canopies

blue shack right off Highway 174 with a giant crab painted

½ cup fresh garlic, chopped

over winding sandy roads. Oysters crowd the creek banks

on the side. Vincent Flowers himself was at the counter, a

kosher salt

and shrimp, blue crab and mullet are there for the taking

man whose family has been earning a living by hauling in

for anyone with a cast net. Most of the land is a jungle of

fresh seafood for generations on Edisto Island. After briefly

tangled oaks, magnolia trees, palmettos and yuccas standing

introducing ourselves, I asked, “What changes have you

high above a woodland floor.

seen over the years?” In his rich, flowing old Edisto accent,

Approaching the island on Highway 174, Geechee Boy

he replies, “We’s down from 23 to just two local shrimp

Market and Mill is situated on the right. Stopping here on a

boats. Foreign shrimps been hurtin’ us, but we ain’t leavin’

sultry June afternoon we picked up a cup of fresh coffee and

and we ain’t quittin.”

1 cup butter

In a large pot with a basket, bring water to a boil, place crabs in boiling water, making sure the water covers all crabs. Sprinkle in Old Bay seasoning and kosher salt. Continue steaming crabs until they are red, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Crack crabs down the middle into two sections, removing lungs and leaving claws attached. In a skillet melt butter with chopped garlic, then add the crabs. Opposite Page A Fisherman’s Legacy, watercolor on linen by Sandra Roper.


SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

95


SPRING ISLAND CRAB CAKES “Inspired by Executive Chef Jeff McKinney, Spring Island, S.C.”

RECIPE 1 pound lump crabmeat 1 pound colossal crabmeat 2 eggs 1 ½ cup mustard sauce (see below) 1 cup panko breadcrumbs ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning salt and freshly ground black pepper In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients together very gently, being careful not to break up any pieces of crabmeat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes . Form into 8 pieces and pan fry in canola oil until golden brown. Serve with a side of mustard sauce. MUSTARD SAUCE 1

⁄2 cup good mayonnaise

½ cup Dijon mustard 1 cup sour cream juice of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Combine all ingredients and serve. Yields: 8 (4 ounce crab cakes)

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SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD


Return of Leo, oil on canvas by Doug Grier.

SHRIMP BISQUE “I just can’t get enough of this creamy bisque. Serve it with a salad and some crusty bread.” Sauté vegetables with 4 tablespoons butter. Add thyme, bay leaf and parsley and cook until softened. Add white wine and 1 cup chicken broth, simmer about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and blend in a blender until smooth.

RECIPE 2 sticks butter, divided 1 large carrot, sliced 1 medium onion, chopped

Prepare white sauce by melting 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add salt and flour, whisk until well blended. Add half and half and 1 cup chicken stock, stirring until thickened. Sauté shrimp in 6 tablespoons butter until heated. Do not overcook. Blend ½ of the shrimp in a blender with a small amount of chicken broth. Combine all ingredients and heat thoroughly. Serves: 6-8

2 sprigs thyme 1 bay leaf 6 sprigs parsley 1 dash brandy ½ cup dry white wine 2 cups chicken stock, divided 1 cup half and half 6 tablespoons flour ½ teaspoon sea salt 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined


SEARCHIN’ FOR BLUE CRAB

L

ittle feet, golden brown from the summer sun, dangle over the edge of our weathered wooden dock as my granddaughter tosses a crab line into

the salt water below. I couldn’t help but smile as I saw her delight when the line pulled taught and she started to slowly pull in the line with the raw chicken-neck at the other end. It seemed like just a few days ago that I watched as her mother did the exact same thing with her grandfather down by the dam on Ladys Island. Back then they’d catch so many crabs, they had to give them away. “Be real still and pull it in really slowly,” said Papa, “now swoop in with the net and scoop it into the bucket.” On this day Charlie, our yellow lab, danced around the bait bucket hoping for a piece of the poultry. A salty breeze swept across the marsh, offering a slight respite from the unforgiving heat and humidity that afternoon. Now my shirt was wet and clinging to me from the scorching sun. “Who’s ready for popsicles,” I asked. Without hesitating she dropped her line into the five gallon white bucket and scurried up the dock towards the house with Charlie on her heels. Popsicles on a marsh front porch on a sultry afternoon offered more than refreshment — it’s the stuff Lowcountry memories are made of.

Steaming Blue Crab, oil on canvas by Shannon Smith Hughes. 98 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD


SLOW-COOKER BACON JAM Spread this savory, to-die-for bacon jam on burgers, breads or spoon onto a bowl of creamy grits and slather it on these delicious bay scallops for a memorable dinner. Truly outstanding! 1½ pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces 2 medium onions, diced small 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup apple cider vinegar ½ cup dark brown sugar ¼ cup pure maple syrup ¾ cup brewed coffee

SEARED SCALLOPS WITH BACON JAM “Bacon jam is great on more than just scallops; try it on grits, burgers & breads.”

O

ne of the great joys of the Lowcountry is

RECIPE

to dine on seafood, feast on boiled peanuts,

1 pound sea scallops, dry

drink sweet tea, listen to hand-clapping

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Gullah spirituals and touch crumbling tabby ruins dating

2 teaspoons olive oil

back two centuries.

kosher salt freshly ground black pepper

Perfect pan-seared scallops take just minutes to cook. But one of the secrets to ensuring that wonderful golden,

Add butter and oil to a 12-inch sauté pan on high heat. Salt and pepper scallops.

caramelized color is to make sure that the scallops are completely dry before you begin to sear them. If the scallops are wet, they won’t brown in the pan.

Once fat begins to smoke, gently add scallops making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1½ minutes on each side. The scallops should have a ¼ inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Top with a little bacon jam and serve hot.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring until fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and reserve. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a 6 quart slow cooker and cook uncovered on high, until liquid is syrupy, 3½ to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cook, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks. Yields: 3 cups


100 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD


GINGER SHRIMP SALAD “By far the best shrimp salad ever inspired by an afternoon on Spring Island with Chef Jeff McKinney.” RECIPE 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon plus a pinch cayenne pepper 2 pound boiled shrimp, diced 1 cup celery, finely chopped 1

⁄2 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped 1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped 2 teaspoons lemon juice 18 romaine leaves 2 cups julienne carrots 2 cups julienne cucumbers 6 teaspoons minced pickled ginger, for sprinkling ½ cup sweet chili sauce, for drizzling ½ cup sweet soy sauce, for drizzling Combine shrimp, ¼ teaspoon salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper and celery in a bowl and toss to combine. Combine mayonnaise, remaining salt, cayenne, green onions, parsley, lemon juice and blend. Add to shrimp and chill. Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and ½ teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.

HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE

Whisking constantly, add ¼ cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes.

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Gradually add remaining ½ cup oil in a very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes. Cover and chill. Can be made 2 days ahead. Yields ¾ cup Opposite Page Daddy’s Girls, oil on canvas by Michael Harrell.

1 large egg yolk 11⁄2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste ¾ cup canola oil, divided

Arrange 3 romaine leaves on each plate. In each leaf place a 1½ ounce scoop of shrimp salad. Top with cucumbers and carrots. Sprinkle minced pickled ginger over plate and drizzle with sweet chili sauce and sweet soy sauce. Serves: 6-8

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101


BOWENS ISLAND RESTAURANT “Folly Beach, South Carolina”

S

everal summers ago, my son Andrew and I were

It all started in 1946, when May Bowen offered to fry up

driving back home after a day in Charleston, when

the catch from locals fishing off her pier. The place soon

we turned off Highway 17 and headed out toward

became a favorite spot for those looking for fresh-off-the-

Folly Beach. It’s always a hectic drive with afternoon rush-

boat oysters and shrimp. Before the humble cinderblock

hour traffic. Noticing a sign that said “Bowens Seafood” we

fish camp burned down, it was covered in decades worth of

turned westward onto a dusty dirt road with dense trees on

graffiti scrawled by local customers. In July 2010, Bowens

either side. With the windows rolled down, we could smell

reopened in a large, screened-in room on 18 foot stilts with

the pungent aroma of the salt marsh just ahead. Nothing

the best marsh views around.

says “home” more than the scent of the marsh, salt water

Known for its basic, great service, creek side sunset views,

and pluff mud hanging in the air at low tide on a hot July

graffiti-covered walls and oyster room where steaming

afternoon. We pulled up under a canopy of live oaks, got

mollusks are shoveled directly from the fire pit onto rough

out and walked toward the docks beside the restaurant.

wooden tables, the restaurant won the prestigious James

Views stretched for miles across the waters, filled with

Beard Foundation Award in 2006. It was named one of eight

crabs, shrimp and all varieties of fish.

“American Classic Restaurants” that boasts timeless appeal

Once there we met folks who told us about owner Robert

and quality food that reflects the history and character of its

Barber and the history of Bowens Island Restaurant. Over

community. Owner Robert Barber accepted the award in

a span of six decades, it has earned its reputation as one of

New York City, wearing a tuxedo and white shrimping boots.

the Lowcountry’s truly great seafood institutions and has become famous for its stupendous oyster roasts.

Heading Home, oil on canvas by Doug Grier. 102

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD


SUMPTUOUS BREADS, SOUTHERN BRUNCHESSEAFOOD & FIXIN’s 103


104 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD


CHARLESTON WRECKFISH WITH ALMOND PESTO AND PARSLEY ROOT PURÉE “Inspired by Chef Robert Wysong of Collecton River, Bluffton S.C.” PARSLEY ROOT PUREE 12 ounces parsley root, washed and peeled 1 large potato, washed and peeled 4 ounces soft butter 6 ounces heavy whipping cream kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Simmer peeled parsley root and potato until very tender. Drain and allow mixture to drain. Pass ingredients through a rice mill to achieve smoothness. Heat butter and cream. Add to parsley mixture and season as you would a mashed potato. ALMOND PESTO 2 bunches Italian parsley, washed and stems removed 2 ounces sliced almonds, toasted 2 peeled garlic cloves 4 ounces olive oil 1 lemon, juiced

D

Charleston Battery, oil on canvas by Simon Balyon.

eep down on the ocean bottom in caves and

RECIPE

amongst shipwrecks you’ll find the natural

1½ pounds skinless Wreckfish fillets, cut into 4 portions

habitat for Wreckfish. Any firm white fish is

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

fine for this recipe, but Wreckfish is a real delicacy when you can find it. Each summer when Chef de Cuisine Robert Wysong puts this recipe back on the menu at the Colleton River Club in Bluffton, it’s like the opening of football season.

Purée the parsley, toasted almonds, garlic and oil together until smooth. Season with a touch of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Plate the purée and place the fish on top. Garnish with almond pesto and fresh parsley leaves. Serves: 4

light oil Sear fillets in hot oil until a nice crisp edge is achieved. Carefully turn them over once and reduce heat, cooking until done, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

People flock to the club for dinner for what has become known as the perfect seafood dish. SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

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HATTERAS FISH TACOS WITH LIME GUACAMOLE “A popular local specialty.” RECIPE 2 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled ¼ cup sour cream 1 small jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced 2 tablespoons red onion, minced 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 small head of napa cabbage, shredded 2 pounds mahi fillets with skin, cut crosswise into ten 2-inch strips (7-inch flour tortillas) warmed 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced hot sauce for serving

A

lime wedges

long the saltwater edge of North Carolina, lies Hatteras Village. The Ocracoke Ferry docks here and it’s just a short hop over to beautiful

In a medium bowl, mash avocados, sour cream, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro and 3 tablespoons of lime juice. Season guacamole with salt and pepper and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole. Set aside.

Ocracoke Island. Here a narrow two-lane ribbon of road, NC 12 winds its way across the Outer Banks — ­ a string of barrier islands about 200 miles long standing off the coast affording protection for the mainland. Paved in 1950, this historic roadway links towns and communities and people. It’s the path to crab cake and fried fish dinners, reclining beach chairs, fishing rods and lazy summer days. Flanked by lush tidal marshes and crystal clear sounds on one side and the wide-open Atlantic on the other, it’s truly a seafood lover’s paradise.

In a large bowl, toss the shredded cabbage with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Brush fish with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat until lightly charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter and remove skin. To assemble each taco, spread a dollop of guacamole on a tortilla. Top with a piece of fish, a few tomato slices and a large spoonful of cabbage slaw. Serve with hot sauce and lime wedges.


SEA ISLAND SEAFOOD POT PIE “Inspired by Leslie Rohland of the Cottage on Calhoun, Bluffton, S.C.”

RECIPE 4 slices bacon 1 cup yellow onion, chopped 1 cup red potato, chopped ½ cup celery, chopped ½ cup carrots, chopped 2½ cups chicken broth, divided 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped kosher salt freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup whipping cream 3 tablespoons dry sherry 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved 1 pound lump crab meat Preheat oven to 400°. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on a large rimmed baking sheet. The bowls should hold about 1½ cups. Set aside. In a heavy bottomed skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and reserve rendered fat in pan. Allow bacon to cool, then crumble. Add onion, potato, celery and carrots to pan. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

sherry and shrimp. Cook until shrimp just begins to turn pink about 6 minutes. Stir in crab gently, trying not to break up any lumps. Stir in cooked lobster meat and simmer until thoroughly heated. Spoon mixture evenly amongst the 6 bowls.

½ pound cooked lobster meat 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme

Unfold pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry into 6 rectangles. Roll each rectangle into a 5½ inch square. Place pastry squares over bowls and cut 2 (1-inch) slits in each square. Bake approximately 15 minutes until pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving. Top with crumbled bacon and garnish with thyme. Serves: 6

In a bowl, place flour and whisk in remaining ½ cup broth. Stir flour mixture into vegetable mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in cream, SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

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SOUTHERN HEROES “Thinking light thoughts in pluff mud does not work.”

L

oving the shores of our beloved Lowcountry

We tossed Andrew a line, he pulled himself up out of the

means getting outside and getting a little pluff

muck and hoisted himself onto the bow. The sigh of relief

mud between your toes — it’s part of what defines

could be heard across the river all the way to Old Town

us. It’s gooey, smelly and pulls the topsiders right off your

Bluffton. Now caked with grey gunk that soon sun-baked

feet. Or as our photographer Andrew Branning discovered,

onto the boat everywhere it touched, he smelled like rotten

it will suck you right into its mucky, smelly clutch. You’ll

eggs, a smell that penetrated every crevice of everything.

know you’re a true lowlander when you take a deep breath and say, “wow, now that smells like home.”

Once safely in the boat, we listened for the clammers. After about an hour, one appeared through the thicket of

This day we were on a search for clams. But with a single

grass with an orange basket. It was full of clams. Covered

step off the boat, Andrew sunk down deep — the more he

with mud and exhausted from the sheer super-human

struggled to get out, the deeper he went down. We arrived

strength it took to get the basket through the boggy marsh,

a little late and Craig Reaves, owner of Sea Eagle Market

to the shoreline, he set it down, gave us a nod and turned

in Beaufort, S.C. and his men were already a quarter mile

around going back for the next load.

into the thickest part of the jungle-like marsh grass. No

We spotted another man, literally leap frogging a basket. It

doubt in my mind that Southern food is serious business.

was so heavy he couldn’t carry it but a few steps at a time. He put it down, lifted it, took a few steps and put it down again, until reaching the edge of the marsh. Not too long after that, Craig appeared through the spartina grass, crawling on hands and knees on the mud banks heading back to his boat. He’s dug clams in these estuaries, boggy tubes and rivers for as far back as he can remember; hunted with the generations of men and women in his family who withstood the scorching sun and heat and inherent dangers on these shores. Leave it to a real South Carolina boy to know how to navigate the perils of clamming in pluff mud.

CAPTAIN CRAIG REAVES Photographer Andrew Branning pulling himself from the pluff mud.


“I clammed all the time with my grandmother who dug down into the mud, put the clams in her bathing suit and kept on searching for more,” says Craig. “Clams bury down in the mud. If they’re not up close to the top, you’re probably not going to find them. Even clams just under the surface of a mud flat can be tough to spot because they’re always up on their edge, just one edge of the shell showing,” he said. Next time you’re out dining on a plate full of succulent Clams Casino, think about our local heroes and what it takes to get clams from shore to table. Try it for yourself and slip onto the shore and dare to lose a flip-flop or two to its gooey grasp. It’s all just part of livin’ and lovin’ the Lowcountry.


AHI TUNA WITH NAPA CABBAGE AND GINGER DRESSING “Photographer Andrew Branning’s favorite meal.”

A

hi tuna steaks are mostly grilled or seared to

RECIPE

GINGER DRESSING

bring out their excellent meaty flavor. Look

1 (6 ounce) tuna steak

¾ cup rice vinegar

for deep red sushi-grade tuna steaks with firm

1 Napa cabbage

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

SPICE MIXTURE

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon garlic salt

1-2 tablespoons grated ginger root

14 teaspoons black pepper

4 cups shredded Napa cabbage

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ cup cilantro leaves

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

½ cup scallions, thinly sliced

flesh, avoiding those that look mottled or pale in color.

Coat tuna steaks with spice mixture on all sides. Pat seasoning into the tuna on all sides. Allow it to come to room temperature before cooking. Heat your skillet or grill to a medium high temperature. Once hot add 1 tablespoon canola oil and heat until the oil just begins to smoke. Sear tuna on both sides for about a minute on each side. This will keep the inside rare and the outside nicely browned. If you prefer tuna that is not so rare, leave it on the heat for extra time. Serves: 2

The Mills House, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas. 110

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

½ cup carrots, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 (8 ounce) can baby corn In a large bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger. Add cabbage, cilantro, sesame seeds, scallions, carrots and baby corn to the mixture. Toss to coat and set aside while searing ahi tuna steaks. Divide cabbage mixture between the two plates. Cut tuna into thin slices and arrange on top of salad.


SUMPTUOUS BREADS, SOUTHERN BRUNCHESSEAFOOD & FIXIN’s 111


SUPPER IN THE SOUTH

“A time to bring families and friends together and celebrate the South’s heritage of hospitality.” vibrantly-hued landscape canvasses for over thirty years. Catching up with her at this coastal haven, it’s easy to see she lives her life much like she paints — full of vibrant color, boldness and spirit. Her Thanksgiving table was just one more extension of that bold spirit. It’s a table set in earthy shades of inviting textures that beautifully bridges summer’s spirit with autumn’s promise of plenty. A vintage quilt, tattered with age, woven together with loving hands by the generations of women who came before her graces the table. Their names stitched into the fabric with love and pride remain visible to all who gather ‘round. Handmade chenille pumpkins add an unexpected touch of textured elegance. Her grandmother’s crystal vase holds Artist Betty Anglin Smith’s back porch overlooking Wadmalaw Sound, S.C.

P

arts of our beloved South feel suspended in time,

Smith at her studio on the Wadmalaw Sound. Betty has

so extraordinary, steeped in legend, history and

been represented all over the country, from New York

tradition. White columned plantation houses still

to San Francisco and points in between. But here in

languish beneath canopies of ancient live oaks dripping

Charleston she has her own gallery, Anglin Smith Fine

with Spanish moss and on our sun-splashed islands of the

Art which features her work alongside that of her equally

great Atlantic, wild horses abandoned by 16th century

talented triplet children, painters Shannon Smith Hughes

Spanish explorers still roam free across the dunes.

and Jennifer Smith Rogers and photographer Tripp Smith.

As fall approaches and the weather turns as crisp as a

About 10 years ago, Betty moved her studio from her home

mountain apple, farmstands signal the commencement of

in Mount Pleasant to a small 1920s cottage in the village

our winter harvest with collard greens, turnips and kale.

of Meggett, just south of Charleston.” I came down here

Autumn in the Lowcountry — a time when all of nature

to take some photographs for a painting commission I was

celebrates with splashy shows of color. Thoughts naturally

working on and fell in love with this place,” she explains.

turn to Thanksgiving. On a recent fall afternoon we visited

“I love the meadows, the rural farmland, the marshes and

Charleston’s renowned and beloved artist Betty Anglin

sky.” Betty has been coloring the Lowcountry with her lush,

antique hydrangeas while bowls of pink depression glass contain hot tomato-basil soup. Heirloom sterling silver awaits the guests, charming turkeys hold violas and handmade pottery plates just right for luscious servings of turkey, dressing and cranberry complete the scene nostalgic and celebratory. “I love to hit flea markets and antique shops so I’m constantly picking things up. I don’t even worry about where something is going to go, I just pick things that I love and find a place for them when I get home,”says Betty. One of Betty’s favorite things about this place is its ability to bring family together. When you’re here, you’re in the moment. Holidays and special occasions with children, grandchildren and friends all are better here on the banks of the Wadmalaw Sound, overlooking the vast expanse of marshlands. A heritage of hospitality lives here — and the best is yet to be.


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113


STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH DIJON SAUCE “The herb and garlic stuffing is balanced by the sweetness of dried currants.” RECIPE 1 whole pork tenderloin 1 teapoon sea salt freshly ground black pepper 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped 1 egg, beaten 1

⁄3 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil pinch of cayenne 2 tablespoons dried currants or chopped raisins kitchen twine

Dice pieces of meat that were trimmed and place in a bowl. Add the filling ingredients to the bowl, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together with a fork to combine. Spread the stuffing evenly on pork using wet fingertips, leaving at least 2 inches bare on the top edge. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the pork up firmly, but without pressing out stuffing. Once rolled up, make a tie every inch or so with kitchen twine. Season the outside with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Place a few rosemary sprigs under the twine for extra flavor. Brown in a hot pan, in vegetable oil, for 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a 9 x 12 inch baking dish and roast in a preheated 375° oven for 45-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Internal temperature should be 165°. Remove and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

SAUCE ¾ cup chicken broth 1 tablespoon horseradish 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard pinch of cayenne pepper ¼ cup cream 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into think slices Trim silver skin from tenderloin, trim off ends and set aside. Butterfly pork by cutting about 2⁄3 of the way down into the tenderloin, lengthwise, from the larger end to the tail end. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Open tenderloin and place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Flatten with a meat pounder to about ½-inch thick. Remove the top piece of plastic and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Roll up, wrap in plastic and refrigerate while preparing the stuffing.

114

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

Cloud Crossing, oil on canvas by Jennifer Smith Rogers.

Combine Dijon mustard, horseradish, cayenne pepper, cream and 3⁄4 cup chicken stock into a bowl and add to the hot pan. Scrape up any caramelized juices in the bottom with a spatula. Whisk until the mustard mixture is incorporated, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Boil for about 5 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Turn off the heat and add the cold butter. Adjust seasonings to taste. Pour into a small serving bowl. Untie the pork, cut in ½ inch slices, and serve with mustard pan sauce. Pork will be slightly pink in color if cooked properly.


MRS. WILKES FRIED CHICKEN “Known as the best fried chicken in Dixie!” PAN GRAVY The quintessential accompaniment for Southern fried chicken. A well-made carefully seasoned, pan gravy is the best sauce imaginable. Rich with the essence of the food just made, it greatly enhances without smothering. Yields: 1½ cups 1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced 2 tablespoons of the frying fat 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 1½ cups chicken broth 1 teaspoon parsley, finely minced sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

I

West End of Sullivan, oil on canvas by Shannon Smith Hughes.

f you’re searching for authentic southern fried

RECIPE

chicken, you need go no further than Mrs. Wilkes’

1 (2½ pound) fryer chicken, cut up

Boardinghouse in Savannah, Georgia.

salt and pepper

Want to know how to get there? Ask anyone who has

Sauté shallot until translucent. Whisk in flour until it browns. Gradually stir in broth and bring to a simmer, scraping to loosen any browned bits that may be in the pan. Continue to simmer, add parsley and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a heated gravy boat and serve at once.

2 tablespoons evaporated milk

been there and they’ll tell you: “Walk along West Jones

2 tablespoons water

Street until you smell the fried chicken.” Fortunately for

all-purpose flour

you, Mrs. Wilkes gave me the recipe.

vegetable oil Sprinkle fryer chicken parts with salt and pepper. Pour milk and water over the parts and marinate for about 10 minutes. Dip in a bowl of all-purpose flour. Shake off excess flour. Heat oil to 300° and deep-fry the chicken. Make sure chicken is covered with oil at all times. Fry until golden brown and crispy. If you’re crazy for gravy, here’s a simple pan gravy you can whip up in minutes. SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

115


THE SEARCH FOR THE WILD FLUSH “A day of hunting in history’s footsteps at Turkey Hill Plantation, Ridgeland, South Carolina”

I

t’s late February on one of the coldest days anyone

the handsome white brick plantation house. We proceeded

can remember in South Carolina, but our excitement

through the pines to Log Hall where we met up with

ran high as we turned off the main highway. We

plantation manager, Canada Smith, an affable man whose

were headed to our first quail hunt and our mission was

roots are deeply entrenched in the South Carolina soil.

to capture the allure of the sporting South. I had high

Immediately, I’m at ease in his company and start talking

expectations for what was about to take place. Another

about bird dogs and other essential things.

turn or two and the road narrowed as we approached a

A crackling fire in the stone fireplace at one end of the

sign that read Turkey Hill Plantation. Ahead was a dirt road

room warms us as we talk about the afternoon ahead. A

under a canopy of live oaks leading up to the plantation

massive deer mount with a heavy rack hangs over the

house. This is a private plantation, now entering its third

mantle decorated with a stuffed beaver, a skunk and a red

generation in the Millbank family. We pulled through the

fox holding a squirrel in its mouth. A stuffed coyote sits

gates and continued down the road until we came upon

silently on the hearth. Hardwood floors and overstuffed


Once our retrievers, Lucy and Moose, were rounded up and on board the wagon we headed out to the fields with Canada and Reggie on horseback taking the lead along with Lemon and Bea, the white haired pointers. Pointers Ben and Dot remained behind in the wagon. They’d play their part later on that day. A single whistle from Canada and it’s game on. They take off and don’t stop until they locate quail. Then they go on point. This is quail hunting as it’s been done in the South for generations.You’ll find deer, doves, ducks and turkeys, too. But it’s the quail hunting that is the stuff of legend.

Hunters ride on a buggy with their favorite companions.

furniture are in keeping with the rustic nature of this place.

On this day Canada has an assistant, Reggie, and wagon

Sporting traditions, conservation and history are sacred on

driver, Bubba, who’s had three decades of hunting this land.

the plantations of South Carolina. We’re about to embark

Wagons hold hunters, dogs, extra gear and guns, water for

on a full-scale bird hunt that begins and ends with a certain

the dogs, extra pointers, two retrievers and refreshments.

attitude, a style that has less to do with money than with

The four hunters, Marlene and Joe Toot, Toby Hatfield and

hunting etiquette and respect for a tradition in which all

John Oliver were already seated in the wagon when we

participants are part of something larger than a day in

arrived down by the kennels.

the field. At Turkey Hill these time honored traditions far

Turkey Hill, a sprawling spread of 17,000 acres has some

transcend the mere act of pulling the trigger. Here lives are

of the best quail habitat in the state. Longleaf and loblolly

measured in the passage of hunting seasons and time spent

pines offer variety to the landscape as does the wire grass,

outside with friends, guns and good dogs.

little bluestem and broomsedge grasses that come after

In true Southern style, we hunt at the direction of Canada,

controlled burns.

our hunt master who learned at the feet of some of the best. SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

117


118 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD

Mule Wagon, watercolor on linen by Michael Harrell.


GRILLED POMEGRANATE MARINATED QUAIL SALAD “Courtesy of Chef Jeff McKinney, Spring Island Club, Spring Island, S.C. Memories of bird dogs, mule drawn wagons and lowcountry splendor last long after the last bite is taken.”

A

fter a day of hunting in history’s footsteps, enjoy

RECIPE

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

the flavors of this perfectly seasoned quail salad.

6 quail semi-boneless, butterflied

3 cups loosely packed baby arugula

Memories of bird dogs, mule drawn wagons and

½ cup pomegranate molasses

¼ cup basil leaves, julienned

¼ cup red wine

VINAIGRETTE

1 teaspoon shallot, minced

3 garlic cloves, peeled

some get restless for the first early signs of spring, but many

1 teaspoon garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

in the South live their lives, at least in part, for the beginning

2 Teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

of bird hunting season. Flushed, wind-burned faces gather

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons juice from 1 large, juicy lemon

Combine all ingredients and marinate quail for 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

Mince garlic cloves and toss into a small bowl. Add Dijon and lemon juice, stir briskly to combine. Slowly add olive oil to emulsify. Turn the farro into a large mixing bowl. Add red onion, bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, eggplant, lemon zest and toss to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Pour the vinaigrette directly onto the salad. Add arugula and basil, toss to combine. Taste for seasoning, adjusting as you like.

Lowcountry splendor last long after the last bite is taken. Some eagerly await opening day of football season and

around the healing glow of an evening fire to celebrate the day’s success in the field.

FARRO 4 cups Anson mills farro piccolo 12 cups filtered water 2 teaspoons fine sea salt Combine the farro and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the farro is just tender, about 15 minutes, stirring in the salt halfway through the cooking time. Remove from heat and let farro cool in the saucepan. Drain in a fine-holed footed colander and shake lightly to dry.

Grill marinated quail till done and top salad with quail. Serves 6.

4 cups cooked farro 3 tablespoons (1 ounce) minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes and drained 1 cup roasted red bell pepper, diced 1 cup peeled carrot, minced 1 cup eggplant grilled, cooled and diced 2 cups tiny broccoli florets, blanched, drained, and chilled 2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

119


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SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD


GRILLED SIRLOIN AND OYSTER MUSHROOMS “Inspired by Robert Wysong, Colleton River Plantation, Bluffton” RECIPE 11⁄2 pounds beef hangar or Tri-Tip sirloin steak sea salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil 12 ounces oyster mushrooms, trimmed 3 ounces shallots, peeled and sliced 2 ounces mixed garden herbs such as oregano, chives and parsley 2 ounces soft butter olive oil for sautéing kosher salt and freshly ground pepper In a hot skillet, sauté sliced shallots until lightly caramelized. Add sliced oyster mushrooms and sauté until tender. Season with soft butter and salt and pepper to taste. Prepare the grill for the sirloin. Season beef for grilling by brushing with olive oil and seasoning liberally. Sear on a very hot grill about 4 minutes per side until a char is developed and desired doneness is achieved. Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.

D

Mira Mural on Brick by David Boatwright.

avid Boatwright’s mural on Queen Street

Among the notables in the mural are Nathalie Dupree,

in Charleston celebrates many well-known

the Lee Brothers and Chef Mike Lata. To his credit are the

people in the Holy City’s culinary community.

murals at Hank’s, Hominy Grill and Amen Corner among

His murals are so iconic, they’ve become an integral part

Place mushrooms and sauce in the center of the plate. Slice sirloin and arrange carefully among the mushrooms. Garnish with garden herbs. Serves 4

others.

of Charleston’s city landscape–especially in the food and beverage world, where many of the city’s most celebrated eateries boast one of his works.

SUMPTUOUS SOUTHERN SEAFOOD

121


SORGHUM GLAZED HAM “This delicious ham is courtesy of Chef John Soulia, Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, S.C.”

S

orghum is the hallmark of this delicious ham and a

RECIPE

DIPPING SAUCE

delightful Southern twist. Sorghum is a plant very

½ cup orange marmalade

3 tablespoons stoneground mustard

similar to sugar cane, grown in the deep South for

¼ cup sorghum

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

generations. A glorious glazed ham with a stack of mile-

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

high cornmeal biscuits is the perfect fare for a picnic on the

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

beach. Slice the ham the fill each biscuit–and don’t forget

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

the sauce!

3 tablespoons bourbon

Combine ingredients and blend well. Spread on biscuits or serve the biscuits arranged around the dipping sauce on a platter for serving.

1 (12-14 pound) Smoked bone-in ham, room temperature Preheat oven to 350°. To make the glaze: Whisk marmalade, sorghum, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, butter and bourbon in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside. Place ham on a rack in a large roasting pan and add several inches of water to prevent drippings from burning. Score fat in a crosshatch pattern, cutting about ½-inch deep. Bake ham until center registers 100° on an instantread thermometer, 1 to 1½ hours or about 10 minutes per pound. Sweet Grass & Oysters, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas.

Use a brush to glaze the ham and baste, using about 1⁄3 of the glaze, about the first 30 minutes and tent with foil, if needed. After the first hour, baste again with another 1⁄3 of the glaze. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham should register 135° after about 1 ½ hours. Remove ham from oven, transfer to a cutting board, and brush entire ham with remaining glaze. Let ham rest, loosely tented with foil, for 15 minutes before carving.

122 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD


Evening Stroll Down South Battery, watercolor on linen SEAFOOD by& Sandra SUMPTUOUS BREADS, SOUTHERN BRUNCHES FIXIN’sRoper. 123


SEA ISLAND FLANK STEAK WITH MUSTARD BEARNAISE SAUCE “Flank steak is tender, once marinated and enhanced by this delicious sauce.”

RECIPE

MUSTARD BEARNAISE SAUCE

1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ cup red wine

¼ cup champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¼ cup white wine

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

3 large egg yolks

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 sticks melted, hot butter

1 (2 pounds) flank steak

kosher salt and pepper

½ teaspoon garlic salt In a small bowl add wine, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Whisk to combine. Pierce the flank steak all over with a fork and place in marinade. Spoon some marinade over top, cover and refrigerate. Turn at least once in 24 hours. Allow to come to room temperature before cooking. Cook over a medium-hot grill. Turn once and baste with reserved marinade until nicely browned and medium rare, about 8–10 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the steak. Carve steak into thin slices on the bias and serve with Mustard-Bearnaise sauce, if desired. Serves: 4-6

124 BREADS, SUMPTUOUS BRUNCHES SOUTHERN & FIXIN’s SEAFOOD

Using a small saucepan, combine champagne vinegar, white wine, 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Place the cooled mixture with the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt into a blender and blend for a few seconds. Turn blender back on and slowly pour the hot butter through the opening in the lid. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves and Dijon mustard and blend a couple seconds. If the sauce appears to be too thick to pour add a little more white wine. Allow it to remain in the blender until ready to use, then blend just a few seconds before serving.

Rainy Day on East Bay, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas.


SUMPTUOUS SumptuousSOUTHERN SouthernSEAFOOD Seafood 125


126

SWEET DREAMS


SWEET DREAMS “The south is rich with hospitality and gatherings on the porch where everyone is always welcome!”

P

arty like a Southerner! When it comes to

I like porches made cozy with hanging baskets of trailing

Southern hospitality, it’s not all about the fine

pink geraniums and colorful cascading impatiens. They are

china, sterling silver and cut crystal.

such ideal settings for the delightful enjoyment of simple

The recipes in this chapter reflect those enjoyed as we

Southern hospitality isn’t always fancy. It doesn’t need

beverages. We hold our glasses, jugs and cups high to toast

gathered ‘round on my big front porch after dinner for

white monogrammed linens and lace, polished antique

a life where sipping and savoring is woven into the very

some sweet indulgence.

family silver and porcelain teacups. It doesn’t always wear

fabric of our lives.

white gloves or remove its hat. It just needs a place where people, when they come there, feel at home. My wide wrap-around front porch is not an address–it’s a place where those I love gather with ice-filled glasses of

thunderstorm and listen in the dark to sounds of bullfrogs in the pond and the cadence of cicada from the depths of the forest nearby. It was on the porch where I tasted my very first

watch the sun go down. Through the years the location

homemade strawberry ice cream, and ate the greatest

has changed but the love of those who gather around

tomato sandwiches ever, on soft white bread, slathered

has remained steadfast. Being welcome on the porch is

with Dukes mayonnaise.

a treasured gift, filled with soothing assurance that you

It was on the porch where my mother first held my brand

are part of a family of friends. Not simply made of brick

new baby girl, Elizabeth, when we arrived home from the

and mortar, but rather crafted of treasured times together,

hospital and later watched her as she took her first steps.

silent moments of prayer and reflection.

Hours after the death of my mother, I held my father’s hand on the porch as we sat through the night and cried

Imagine a group of women in the kitchen stirring,

until no more tears would come. I’ve grown a lot on the

whisking, laughing, all while keeping time on the oven.

porch—loved, laughed and experienced so many defining

Then they sit a spell, some in wicker rockers while another

moments in my life.

lounges on a Pawley’s Island hammock tucked somewhere

Now the porch is where my grandchildren eat watermelon

in the corner. If you listen closely, you can hear the ice

and popsicles and crawl up on laps to rest after a long day

cubes clinking in their glasses. Here tales are told that

at the beach. This is where we steam oysters on chilly

linger long after the last bite has been taken.

winter afternoons and spread newspapers across the table

Opposite Page Entrance to Turkey Hill Plantation, Ridgeland, S.C.

call it “Lowcountry Boil. “

This is where we watch the sky darken just before a

sweet tea or sit back and relax with a good chardonnay and

grand celebrations, times of deep loss and renewal and

in anticipation of Frogmore Stew or as the “come-lately’s”

Sweet Tea, oil on canvas by Jennifer Black.


128

SWEET DREAMS


COLLETON RIVER STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH GRANITA “Special thanks to Chef Robert Wysong, Colleton River Plantation”

BISCUIT SHORTBREADS 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup shortening ¾ cup whole milk 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling Preheat oven to 450°. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk while stirring with a fork and mix until dough is soft and moist. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and toss with flour until not sticky. Roll dough out into a ½-inch thick sheet and cut with a floured cutter. Re-process until dough is all used. Bake on ungreased sheet pan until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar. STRAWBERRY-MINT COMPOTE 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 navel orange, zested and juice reserved The Red Door 2, oil on canvas by Angela Trotta Thomas.

A

mong

a

stunningly

beautiful

landscape,

RECIPE

graced by pristine waterways, Colleton River

1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and trimmed

Plantation is the essence of the South Carolina

1 tablespoon honey

Lowcountry–a place to enjoy the moments that matter. Here, days are measured by the rhythm of the tides and filled with good times of adventure and discovery.

6 ounces water Process all together in a blender, strain and freeze in a shallow pan overnight.

2 ounces fresh mint leaves, washed and stems removed 2 tablespoons granulated sugar Combine sliced strawberries, sugar, zest, juice and sliced mint and allow the flavors to mingle. To serve: split the warm biscuit, fill with marinated strawberry mixture and some of the juice. Garnish with the frozen Granita and whipped cream.

SWEET DREAMS

129


IMPOSSIBLE PEACH PIE “You know that summer is in full swing when peaches start blushing with pride and showing up at farmers’ markets. The date varies, but usually it’s the middle of June. ” STREUSEL 1 tablespoon butter ¼ cup Bisquick 2 tablespoons sugar 1

⁄3 cup almonds, slivered

Heat oven to 375°. Grease 10-inch pie plate. Pat peaches dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and toss. Spread evenly in plate. Beat remaining ingredients; cream, eggs, sugar, and baking mix together until smooth, about 20 seconds in blender on high. Pour into plate. Using a separate bowl, prepare streusel by cutting butter into Bisquick and sugar until crumbly. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle Streusel on top of peaches. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Serve warm and top with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. Peaches & Sweet Grass, oil on canvas by Pat Forsberg.

M

other served this pie for many years for bridge

RECIPE

club, dinner parties and family get-togethers. It’s

3½ cups sliced fresh peaches

simple, fast, always delicious and is my all-time

1 teaspoon cinnamon

favorite-straight out of that time worn wooden recipe box.

¼ teaspoon nutmeg 1 cup whipping cream 2 eggs ¾ cup sugar 2⁄3 cup Bisquick

130

SWEET DREAMS


Sumptuous Southern SWEET DREAMS Seafood 131


PLUFF MUD TART WITH SWISS MERINGUE “Insanely delicious! It’s equally as good with a crust made of shortbread cookies, peanut butter sandwich cookies or vanilla wafers.”

T

here’s nothing quite like a tart or pie topped with

RECIPE

billowy clouds of golden Swiss meringue. Perfect

3 cups crushed graham crackers

MERINGUE TOPPING

meringues depend on totally yolk-free whites.

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 large egg whites

Be sure to start with a clean bowl. Also, any oil or residue can

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

prevent the egg whites from beating into fluffy perfection.

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1½ cups sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup melted butter Preheat oven to 375°. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients and mix together. Press into a 10inch tart pan. Bake 8-10 minutes at 375° until set. Allow to cool before adding filling. CHOCOLATE FILLING 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and partially melted 1 cup butter, melted 2½ tablespoons sugar 4 eggs 5 egg yolks 1

⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine chocolate and butter. Stir to finish melting the chocolate. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Whisk to medium firm ribbon stage, about 3 minutes. Fold egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Scrape filling into baked graham pie shell. Bake 6-8 minutes, until filling is set. Note: When a whisk moves through the mixture it leaves a trail, like a ribbon, that is visible for a few seconds. That is a medium firm ribbon stage.

132

SWEET DREAMS

Put egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water, being careful not to let the bottom of bowl touch the water. Using a hand-held mixer, beat until sugar is completely dissolved and egg whites are warm to the touch, about 8 minutes. An instant read thermometer should register 120°. The mixture will appear pale and opaque. Rub a little of the mixture between your fingers to make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add vanilla and, starting on low speed, whip egg whites, gradually increasing speed to high, until topping is glossy and forms stiff peaks, 5 to 7 minutes. Then loosely pile topping on top of tart using an offset spatula. Swirl it into big, luscious swirls. Toast topping lightly with a kitchen blowtorch, if desired. Best served the same day, but will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, if covered.


Sumptuous Southern SWEET DREAMS Seafood 133


CRAZY- GOOD CHOCOLATE TUILES “Elegant and delicious crispy wafer cups filled with decadent ice cream, chocolate mousse or pudding of your choice.”

Stir together butter, sugar and corn syrup in a pot over low heat. When butter has melted, stir to combine with sugar and corn syrup. Add ground almonds, cocoa, flour, salt and vanilla. Stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. This may be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 months.

RECIPE

CHOCOLATE - ALMOND MOUSSE FILLING

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups heavy cream

½ cup sugar

4 large egg yolks

⁄3 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons sugar

½ cup almonds, finely ground

1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with a silpat. Form 4 or 5 small, 1-inch balls and place on silpat, allowing several inches between each one. Dampen your finger and flatten each ball into thin disks. Bake about 5 minutes.

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

7 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1

1 tablespoon flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To shape tuiles, transfer cookies immediately to small glass bowls and allow to drape over the sides. Gently press to shape, and allow to cool completely. Store in refrigerator or an airtight container until ready to use.

In a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat ¾ cup cream until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl and thoroughly combine. Add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and cook over low heat while stirring. Stir until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160°. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in almond extract. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, stirring often. Once melted, whisk custard into chocolate until smooth. Allow to cool. Beat remaining 1¼ cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it holds stiff peaks. Whisk a little of the cream into chocolate to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently. Spoon mousse into tuile cups, chill covered for several hours. Allow to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

134 Sumptuous SWEET DREAMS Southern Seafood


BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE “This cake contains a rich, luscious layer of blueberries throughout the middle - fabulously moist and delicious!”

Preheat oven to 375°. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat into the butter mixture. Sift all dry ingredients together and add to the creamed ingredients alternating with the sour cream. TOPPING ¾ cup sugar ¾ cup chopped slivered almonds 1½ tablespoons cinnamon FRUIT 3½ cups fresh blueberries Use either a bundt pan or a tube pan. Spread half the batter into the pan. Combine fruit with half the topping and place in the batter. Spread the balance of the batter over the fruit mixture. Sprinkle the remaining topping over the batter. Bake 55–65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

M

y tattered but comfortable wooden rocker that

RECIPE

catches the first morning rays of sunshine has

¾ cup butter

a table next to it with a slice of this luscious

1½ cups sugar

blueberry sour cream coffee cake. Sinking into the soft

3 eggs, room temperature

interior of this freshly baked coffee cake is as satisfying as

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

a siesta under my beach umbrella. It’s extravagant in its use

3 cups all-purpose flour

of blueberries, but can we ever have too many blueberries?

1 teaspoon baking powder ½ tablespoon baking soda ½ tablespoon salt 1 ½ cups sour cream SWEET DREAMS

135


136 Sumptuous SWEET DREAMS Southern Seafood


ON BEING SOUTHERN “This is the land of ‘a gracious plenty’ where everyone is “darlin’ and someone’s heart is always being blessed.”

S

Southern Mama, oil on canvas by Rhett Thurman.

outhern women are different. That is a fact of life.

Being a Southern woman is a privilege. It’s more than where

We are taught to sit up straight, say “yes, ma’am” and

we’re born. It’s more than talking with an accent, saying

“yes, sir,” listen more than we speak, monogram our

things like “y’all” and “bless your heart”, knowing how to

towels, bed linens and stationery, or anything else that sits

tell a good story, rocking on the front porch, loving fried

still long enough, write thank you notes and never leave the

chicken, football, Bear Bryant, bourbon and country music.

house without wearing lipstick and a string of pearls.

It’s having the gift of hospitality, being devoted to porches,

Growing up, I watched my mother gracefully invite guests

magnolias, moon pies, Coca-Cola and each other. Perhaps

into her home with open arms, offering them something to

we’re a bit old fashioned, but that’s okay. We know who we

drink just as they crossed the threshold, followed by a plate

are and we’re mighty proud to be called Southerners.

of homemade confections and savory morsels. So now I

Forever I will be thankful to be a spirited Southern woman like

greet guests with open arms in my own home, rush around making sure I have on lipstick, my hair is combed just right and the candles are softly glowing. One thing for sure, people remember, not so much how you look but how you

the great women who came before me, who knew how to handle a cast iron skillet, wear pearls, high heeled shoes, Lily Pulitzer dresses, wide brimmed hats and fill monogrammed glasses with

make them feel when you open the door and greet them. Southern women make you feel loved and comforted as

sweet tea. Long live the legacy of the Southern woman.

you enter their home.We make sure you have plenty of food and let you know we’ll be there in any crisis with enough casseroles to fill your entire freezer and enough biscuits and banana puddin’ to satisfy the most hearty Southern appetite. To be born a Southern woman is to be made totally aware of our distinctiveness. And with it, the rules of conduct. We must be able to serve ice-cold sweet tea at a moment’s notice, be resilient and meet all challenges.

Opposite Page Beach Buddies, oil on linen by Dan McCaw. SWEET DREAMS

137


138 Sumptuous SWEET DREAMS Southern Seafood

Early Morning Husking, oil on canvas by Jonathan Green.


COCONUT – MANGO WHITE CHOCOLATE TART “Special thanks to my dear friend Chef Pat Alford for working with me to create this magnificent tart.”

W

ith every change of the seasons comes a fresh crop of mouth-watering ideas. Some of my favorite dessert ideas have come from

Spread coconut onto a baking sheet and bake in a 350° oven until just browned, about 10 minutes. Divide in half and spread ½ the coconut flakes onto the bottom of the pie shell. Set the rest aside.

Saturday morning strolls through farmers’ markets. Ripe mangos, sweet peaches, blueberries, juicy oranges and so much more–how inspiring to find bushels and baskets of such lovely things right at your fingertips, just waiting to be prepared into something wonderful. RECIPE 1½ cups crushed graham crackers 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons white sugar

Gently melt white chocolate chips and cream together on very low heat, stirring constantly. Purée the mango. Beat in the cream cheese, mango purée and coconut extract. Spread over coconut in the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours. Slice a mango for garnish and sprinkle with a few blueberries and chocolate shavings. This is best eaten the day it is made. If you can’t find mangos, substitute peaches.

2 tablespoons brown sugar 1

⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup butter, melted In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour melted butter over the top and mix together. Press into a 10-inch tart pan and bake 10 minutes at 375°. Set aside to cool. FILLING 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes 1 (10 ounces) package white chocolate chips ¼ cup whipping cream 1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese ½ cup mango puree ½ teaspoon coconut extract Sliced mango, blueberries and white chocolate shavings for garnish Sumptuous Southern SWEET DREAMS Seafood 139


STRAWBERRY – RHUBARB ALMOND CRISP “The perfect combination of warm, juicy berries and crunchy oatmeal topping.”

For the topping: Mix the first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add butter, rubbing it with your fingers until moist clumps form.

TOPPING

FILLING

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 pound fresh rhubarb, cut into ½ inch thick slices

1 cup almonds, chopped

1 pound strawberries, halved

For filling: Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir to blend. Allow to stand until juices form, about 15 minutes.

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1

Pour fruit mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over the mixture. Bake until topping is golden brown and crisp and filling is bubbling thickly around edges, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1½ sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

⁄3 cup orange juice

FRUIT CRISP IN A JAR Make it easy to transport by making little individual servings in mason jars. Divide the fruit mixture among the jars. The number of jars will depend upon their size. Evenly space the jars on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the topping is dark golden brown and crispy and the liquid is bubbling around the edges of the jar, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving. May be refrigerated, if covered, for up to 4 days. Serves: 8

140

SWEET DREAMS


SAVANNAH FRUIT SALAD “Beautiful salad to layer in a trifle dish!”

W

e Southerners love our after dinner desserts

LEMON-POPPY SEED DRESSING

in a rocker on the front porch. This

2

lemon-poppy seed dressing is the perfect

½ cup sugar

⁄3 cup vegetable oil

compliment to summer’s bounty. The combination of sweet

1

mint and basil is absolutely delicious and refreshing.

1½ tablespoons poppy seeds

⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons onion, finely chopped 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard RECIPE 13 cups cantaloupe, cubed 4 cups watermelon, cubed 3 cups fresh sliced strawberries

1

⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Process oil, sugar, lemon juice, poppy seeds, onion, Dijon mustard and salt in a blender until smooth. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

2 cups blueberries 3-4 tablespoons sliced fresh basil Fresh blueberries, sliced basil and mint leaves, for garnish Gently toss cantaloupe, watermelon, and basil with ¼ cup lemon-poppy seed dressing. Layer watermelon, cantaloupe mixture, blueberries and strawberries in a large glass trifle dish or tall glass bowl. Chill up to 8 hours. Garnish and drizzle with a little more dressing just before serving.

SWEET DREAMS

141


ARTIST BIOGRAPHY SIMON BALYON

her people. Andrew’s work may be viewed at Kelly Caron

DAN MCCAW

Paintings may be viewed at the Ella Walton Richardson

Design on the Promenade in Bluffton, S.C.

American expressionist painter born and raised in Montana.

Fine Art Gallery in Charleston. Born in 1965 in The Hague,

A solid foundation of design, color and value distinguishes

Netherlands, Simon grew up in an artistic environment and

PAT FORSBERG

McCaw’s expressive paintings and provides a starting point

developed a passion or painting at an early age. His love and

An award-winning artist who lives and paints in Charleston.

for an exciting exploration of new ways to look at familiar

devotion for nature is evident in his work whether painting

She studied art at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota,

objects. “I believe that everyone has an inherent desire for

in his studio or plein air, his compositions reflect the beauty

Florida and has studied with esteemed artist, Elizabeth

original thought, and as an artist I find a passion to visually

of nature.

Bronson, for several years.

express something within myself that cannot be defined but have faith that it exists.”

JENNIFER BLACK

DOUG GRIER

Has lived and worked in Charleston on and off since 1976.

Lives on Edisto Island, South Carolina with his wife, Debbie,

DIANNE MUNKITTRICK

Jennifer’s work has won numerous awards such as the

where he has painted the joy and beauty of the wetlands

Lives with her husband in a rural area of South Carolina

Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition and the prestigious

since 1975. Doug is totally self-taught and is represented in

on the shore of a small secluded cove of Lake Marion. The

Mayor’s Award. She calls her work “impressionistic realism”

a network of selected galleries along the coastal regions of

abundant wildlife and gorgeous scenery provide her with

and is inspired by the unique Lowcountry subjects that

the Southeast.

endless inspiration. Dianne paints the things she loves–

surround her. Jennifer’s paintings come to life in her studio on the Ashley River marsh.

nature and wildlife. MICHAEL J. HARRELL One of the great masters of the coastal regions of the Eastern

RHETT FAMILY

DAVID BOATWRIGHT

Seaboard. A native of Florida, Michael received his BGA

Nancy Ricker Rhett, Williams Means Rhett and their son

Raised in Hopkins, South Carolina, he studied painting

in graphic design from from the University of Georgia.

William Rhett III are all self-taught artists. Their gallery is

at San Francisco Art Institute, then worked as a filmmaker

Following graduation, he was a freelance illustrator for

located on Bay Street in Beaufort, S.C. They represent five

and screenwriter. Today, more than 20 of his murals grace

MasterCard, American Express and Paramount Pictures and

generations of artists and many local family connections

spaces throughout the Lowcountry.

exhibited with the Society of Illustrators at the Museum of

with names like Elliott, Heyward and Pinckney.

American Illustration in New York. Harrell moves quietly ANDREW BRANNING

among the timeless moods of coastal living, recording real

SANDRA ROPER

Publisher and photographer, Andrew’s images of oystermen

people in real environments with a depth of perception

Is a native of South Carolina whose work is displayed at

and clammers on the rivers of South Carolina are aesthetic

well beyond his years.

Charleston’s Lowcountry Artists’ Gallery, located at 148

tributes to a vanishing Southern tradition. His photographs

East Bay Street. Sandra is a member of the S.C. Watercolor

are the vision of one who set out to preserve the cultural

Society and her work is displayed in numerous other

history of the Lowcountry through the photographs of

galleries and corporate locations throughout the Southeast.


SMITH FAMILY

ANGELA TROTTA THOMAS

While they have traveled the world to paint, it’s their home

The only artist ever to be licensed by famed toy train

— Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry, that inspires

manufacturer Lionel Trains, and has held that honor for many

most of their work. Betty Anglin Smith, Jennifer Smith

years. Her work has been featured on the cover of numerous

Rogers and Shannon Smith Hughes have been capturing

national magazines and exhibited in the Smithsonian and

the Lowcountry’s coastal wetlands, historic architecture and

Everhart museums, as well as the Sardoni Gallery in Kings

energetic spirit on canvas, each in their own distinctive way,

College. Her Rockwell like paintings have earned her the

for many years. Each work has a uniqueness that lets you

title of “The Train Lady.” Angela’s paintings of Charleston

know right away that it’s a “Smith.”

take us on a journey through the Holy City, capturing the interplay of light and color so indicative of her work.

Pre-hunt meeting before our quail hunt at Turkey Hill Plantation, Ridgeland S.C.


Unique platform used to work and repair a shrimp boat’s outriggers. Wadmalaw Island, S.C.

Shrimp, Collards & Grits Volume 2 (Book)  

Recipes, Stories & Art of the Lowcountry (Book)

Shrimp, Collards & Grits Volume 2 (Book)  

Recipes, Stories & Art of the Lowcountry (Book)