Traditional Low Country Recipes

by Tim Harkleroad

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Introduction


Welcome to this, my tiny collection of Low Country recipes. I just want to point out that I’m not a chef, but these recipes are not only delicious, but very easy to make. Below is a small dissertation on the Low Country and its many charms and amenities. There is also information that tells how to make perfect rice and spice mixes. So, tie your apron strings and enjoy!


Tim Harkleroad


A word about the “Low Country”


There is something almost mystical about the region known as The Low Country. Located in southernmost part of South Carolina and Georgia, the Low Country has a great history of food, legends, and Southern hospitality.

Of course, since seafood usually the prime ingredient in these wonderful dishes, their origins might have been from the Gullah, Cajuns, and even Caribbean islanders. These were passed down from generation to generation. Some of these recipes may have originated from slave kitchens of the area’s old plantations. Please enjoy these great dishes of the Low Country.


Cooking Perfect Rice


Many of these recipes contain rice, many of them are great when accompanied by rice. Cooking rice can be difficult, especially for beginners. Here’s an easy way to prepare tasty, fluffy, cooked rice. Now, you can always follow the cooking time and water amounts listed on the back of the rice package, I have tried many ways, but this is the absolute easiest, fool-proof method I have found.


Like cooking pasta, you start with several quarts of water. Add a dash a salt and a few tablespoons of butter. The idea is to use more water than you’ll ever need. Bring this to a boil and add 2 or 3 cups of rice. Cook at a rolling boil for about 20 mins. until rice is tender. You’ll need to actually taste a few grains to check for doneness.


When tender, strain the rice through a colander or sieve. Rinse the rice thoroughly with very hot water. Replace the rice into the still-warm pot and let it finish absorbing all the traces of liquid for about 10 mins. Fluff it with a fork and enjoy!


Savory Spice Mix


4 tbs salt

2 tbs black pepper

2 tbs white pepper

1 tbs cayenne pepper

1 tbs paprika

2 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs onion powder

2 tbs dried thyme

1 tbs dried basil

1 tbs dried oregano 


Mix all ingredients in a sealable plastic container.  You can use this mixture when the recipe calls for Savory Spice Mix.



Seafood Muddle


1 dozen small clams 

1 16 oz can diced tomatoes 

1 dozen small mussels 

1/2 lb med shrimp

2 medium potatoes (diced) 

1 lb mild fish in 2-inch squares 

6 cups fish stock (or 3 cups chicken stock plus 3 cups clam juice) 

2 large onions (sliced)

kosher salt and pepper to taste 

2 medium carrots (diced) 

2 tbs vegetable oil 

1 celery stalk (sliced) 

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic (minced)

1/4 cup fresh parsley (minced)


Heat oil in a large Dutch Oven on MED\HI. Sauté onions, carrots, celery, and garlic until softened, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often.


Stir in tomatoes and potatoes. Reduce heat to MED/LOW, cover and cook until the potatoes are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and increase heat to HI. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to MED, and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Simmer until potatoes are completely cooked. Don’t be in a hurry, let the flavors blend.


Add clams and cook until they start to open, about 5 minutes. Add fish, shrimp and mussels. Cook about 10 minutes longer until fish is opaque, shrimp are pink, and clams and mussels are fully opened. Discard any clams or mussels that remain unopened. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.


Murrel’s Inlet Scallops


1 lb fresh scallops

1 tbs Savory Spice Mix

6 tbs butter 

1/2 cup onions, finely diced 

1 tbs garlic, finely minced 

4 tbs flour 

1/2 cup clam juice 

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp dijon mustard 

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 cup grated parmesan

2 tbs Italian parsley, minced 

kosher salt and pepper to taste


First, melt 4 tbs of the butter in a saucepan. Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Whisk in the flour to make a blond roux, cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the clam juice, then the cream. Add the dijon, cayenne and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook about 5 mins and remove from the heat. Whisk in the parsley and 3/4 of the cheese. Season to taste with salt & pepper.


Season the scallops with the Savory Spice Mix. Sear them lightly until done, in 2 tbs of butter in a MED hot skillet. Remove from heat.  Arrange scallops closely in individual baking dishes, and top with sauce and remaining cheese. Bake in a 400º oven until brown and bubbly.


Fried Chicken & Biscuits


3 cups plain flour 

2 cups whole buttermilk 

2 tbs Tabasco sauce 

1 fryer (cut up)

1 qt cold water 

2 tbs kosher salt 

1 tbs black pepper 

1 tbs cayenne pepper 

1 tbs garlic powder


Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and cover with cold water with one tbs of salt, and let it sit in a refrigerator for about an hour. Remove chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Roll chicken pieces in plain flour and place on a plate, shaking off the excess flour.


In a paper bag, combine the remaining flour, salt, black and cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. In a bowl, combine the buttermilk with the Tabasco and dip the floured chicken pieces in it. Make sure each piece is covered and, again, shake off the excess buttermilk mixture. Place these pieces directly into the bag with the flour mix.


Shake these pieces around making sure they’re well coated and then transfer them onto a plate or a piece of wax paper for a few minutes. Meanwhile pour about an inch of cooking oil into an iron skillet, or an electric skillet, and bring it up to 375º, this is easier with an electric skillet with a temperature control.


Place the larger pieces in the skillet first, like the breast or thigh, since they will need a bit longer cooking time, and then continue until the skillet is full. Don’t overcrowd the skillet as the temperature of the oil will go down. Cook each piece of chicken, evenly on all sides, turning often, for about 10 mins. Be sure to cook chicken good’n done before serving I like mine really brown with a nice crispy crust.


If cooking in batches, keep chicken warm, covered in foil, in a 150º oven until all is done. Serve it with these wonderful biscuits.


Creamy Biscuits


3 cups self-rising flour 

1 pinch of kosher salt 

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 

4 tbs butter (softened)


In a bowl, combine the flour and salt with a fork. Gradually stir in the cream until it is fully incorporated. Add about half of the butter being careful not to mix it to death. Transfer dough onto a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin, about a half inch thick. Spray non-stick spray on a cookie sheet and, using a biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place them on the sheet. Dot each biscuit with a pea-sized dollop of soft butter, and bake them at 400º until browned on the top. For a real treat, mix a tablespoon of butter into 2 tablespoon of molasses, and use these light fluffy biscuits to sop it up!


Purloo


5 slices thick sliced bacon (diced) 

1 lb chicken pieces (cut up small, in pieces or bites, or use legs) 

2 cup uncooked rice 

1 cup onion, (diced) 

4 cups of chicken stock 

1/2 cup green pepper, (diced) 

1 cup diced, canned tomatoes

1/2 cup celery (diced)

1 tsp thyme 

1 cup thinly sliced okra 

1/2 tsp each kosher salt & pepper 

1 clove garlic, (minced) 

1/2 tsp basil 

1 cup smoked ham or smoked sausage(cubed) 

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


In a cast iron Dutch Oven, or similar vessel, cook bacon on MED until done, brown the chicken done and remove. drain fat all but 2 tbs. Stir in onion, pepper, okra, celery, and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add ham, chicken, continue cooking 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the rice, tomato, thyme, salt & pepper, basil and cayenne pepper. Bring back up to a boil, and stir to make sure the rice doesn’t stick. Boil for 5 mins. and turn down to LOW simmer for 20 mins. with the lid tightly on.


Remove the lid, stir the rice to let it steam. If rice isn’t quite tender, place it in a 300º oven for 10 mins. or so. Garnish with crumbled bacon.Some recipes call for using cooked rice, but like Jambalaya, cooked rice doesn’t absorb all the other flavors. This is sort-of a Low Country Jambalaya variation.


Frogmore Stew Low Country Boil


4 lbs med. shrimp (shell on)

2 lg onions (quartered) 

3 lbs smoked sausage (slices 1 in.) 

1 bulb garlic (halved crossways) 

8 ears corn (cut in 2 in pieces)

1 tbs each kosher salt and pepper 

3 lbs red skin potatoes (quartered) 

1 lemon (quartered) 

3 lbs blue crabs 

1 pkg Old Bay Seasoning


In a huge stockpot, preferably outdoors, bring a few gallons of water to boil. Add corn, potatoes, sausage, onions, garlic, lemon, and seasonings. Check the water for enough salt or spices. Cook until potatoes are done, then add shrimp and cook until they turn pink. Turn off heat and serve with a slotted spoon. Serve with the cornbread featured below.


Shrimp and Crab Casserole


1 lb shrimp (cooked and peeled) 

1 tbs dijon mustard 

1 lb crab meat 

1 tbs Tabasco 

1 cups onion (diced)

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce 

1 cups celery (diced) 

1/4 tsp nutmeg 

1/2 cup green pepper (diced) 

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 

1 tsp minced garlic 

kosher salt and pepper to taste 

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs 

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar 

1 egg

1/2 stick melted butter

2 tbs mayonnaise 

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 cup cracker crumbs (I prefer the Captain’s Wafers variety)


Preheat oven to 350º. Saute celery, green pepper, onion, and garlic in butter until onions are transparent. If you’re using fresh shrimp, peel and boil them for 4 minutes and drain. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese. Pour mixture in casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs and remainder of Cheddar cheese. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it set for a moment before serving. This dish is wonderful!


Collards and Hog Jowl


2 lbs collard greens 

2 tsp kosher salt 

6 to 8 slices of smoked hog jowl 

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 

4 to 6 cups water 

1/2 tsp Savory Spice Mix 

1/2 cup chopped onion


Wash collard greens thoroughly until no sediment remains in greens or in bottom of sink. Remove any thick stalks or ribs with a knife. Cut into 1/2-inch strips, or chop coarsely.


Dice the hog jowl, or bacon, and fry in a skillet to render some of the fat, discard all but 2 tbs of fat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until transparent. Add water, bring water to a boil, and add cooked bacon or hog jowl, salt, cayenne, and other seasonings. Add greens, cover, and simmer over MED/LOW for 1 hour, or until greens are tender.


Low Country Cornbread


2 cups cornmeal (self-rising)

1/4 cup lard or shortening 

2 cups whole buttermilk 

1/2 tsp Savory Spice Mix 

1 egg 

1/4 tsp kosher salt


Spray a large, cast-iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place it on MED heat. Measure the lard or shortening into the skillet and let it melt. In a bowl, mix the cornmeal, buttermilk, egg, spice mix, and salt. When the lard or shortening has melted, (don’t let it smoke) swirl it around in the skillet, then pour and whisk it into the cornbread mix. Once combined, pour into hot skillet and place it into a 425º oven for 25 mins. Let bake until top and edges get brown.



Braised Barbecue Pork Roast


2 lg onions (coarse chop) 

2 tbs Worcestershire sauce 

5 ribs celery (1/4 in. slices)

1 tbs Liquid Smoke

 2 cups diced tomatoes

2 tbs dried garlic chips 

6 - 7 lb lean pork or beef roast 

3 bay leaves 

1 tbs black pepper 

2 cups barbecue sauce (see below) 

1 tsp cayenne pepper 

4 cups Chicken Stock 

1 tsp thyme (dried) 

2 cups water


Preheat oven to 275º. In a 7 to 8 qt. Dutch Oven, or similar kettle, sauté onions and celery in a tsp of oil for 5 minutes, stir in tomatoes, all spices, Worcestershire, Liquid Smoke, then cook 2 more minutes.


Add the chicken stock, barbecue sauce and blend them all together. Carefully lower the roast into the mixture. Add the garlic chips and bay leaves, and enough water to just reach the top of the roast. Place lid on and slide into middle rack in 275º oven. Leave roast in oven for at least 6 hours, I let mine go for 7 hours in all. After turning the oven off, let relax for about another half hour.


If you’d like to make an unadorned, tender roast, make a dark roux from 1 cup of oil, and 1 cup of flour. Add the onions, celery, tomatoes, spices, stock, and 4 cups of water. Cook for the same amount of time. Basically you omit the barbecue sauce and Liquid Smoke.


Blackwood Barbecue Sauce


5 cups ketchup 

1 1/2 cups molasses

1 1/2 cups honey 

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 

1/2 cup yellow mustard 

1/4 cup liquid smoke 

1/4 cup oil

2 tbs Tabasco sauce 

1 tbs Savory Spice Mix 

1 tbs each black & cayenne pepper 

1 tbs garlic powder 

1 tbs vinegar


Mix all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, stirring and being careful not to allow it to burn. Store the sauce in airtight jars or bottles. Use liberally, it’s so easy, you can always make more.


South Carolina Barbecue Sauce


3 cups yellow mustard 

1 cup molasses 

1 cup honey 

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 

1/4 cup liquid smoke 

1/4 cup cooking oil

2 tbs Tabasco sauce 

1 tbs Savory Spice Mix 

1 tbs each black & cayenne pepper 

1 tbs garlic powder


Again, mix all the above ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil being careful to not let it burn. This sauce, like the one above, will store for quite a while. Be aware the mustard-based, South Carolina sauce is a bit more tart than the other one, and a little goes a long way.


Hoppin’ John


1 lb dried black-eyed peas 

1 jalapeno pepper (minced)

1 smoked ham hock 

1 15 oz. can Rotel® Tomatoes* 

1 cup uncooked rice 

2 tsp Savory Spice Mix 

2 medium onions 

1/2 tsp thyme 

3 large cloves garlic (halved) 

3/4 tsp kosher salt 

1/2 cup red pepper (diced) 

1 bay leaf 

1/2 cup green pepper (diced) 

4 green onions (sliced) 

1 cup celery (sliced)

8 1/2 cups distilled water


In a large Dutch oven or kettle, combine the black-eyed peas, ham bone or ham hock, and 6 cups water. Cut one of the onions in half and add it to the pot along with the garlic and bay leaf.


Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to MED/LOW, and simmer gently until the peas are tender but not mushy, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the ham bone or hocks, cut off the meat; dice and set aside. Drain the peas and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaf, onion, and garlic.


Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 10 to 12 mins.


Dice the remaining onion and sauté it in a skillet along with the red and green bell pepper, celery, and jalapeno pepper. After the vegetables are wilted, add them to the rice along with the peas, Rotel® tomatoes, and their juices. Savory Spice Mix, thyme, and salt should be added at this time.


Cook until the rice is tender, 10 minutes. Stir in the green onions and reserved diced ham. I let mine sit for a few minute before serving.


*Rotel® tomatoes are diced tomatoes with spices, garlic, peppers, and probably cilantro. You can find them either with the canned tomatoes or in the International food row, with the Mexican food products.


Fried Crab Rice


2 pounds crab meat

1/2 cup green pepper (diced) 

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice 

1/2 cup onion (diced)

2 1/2 cups chicken stock 

1 tablespoon garlic (minced) 

3 thick slices of bacon 

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 

1/4 cup oil 

kosher salt and pepper to taste 

1/2 cup celery (diced)


In a Dutch Oven bring the chicken stock to a boil. Rinse the rice about 2 or 3 times, and add it into the stock, boil for about 5 minutes and stir to insure the rice doesn’t stick. Cook at MED/HI for about 20 mins.


Fry the bacon until crispy in a 12-inch skillet; when the bacon is done, remove it from the pan, set aside, and crumble when cool. Add the oil to the bacon fat in the skillet and heat. Add the celery, green pepper, onion, and garlic.


Stir-fry until the onions are clear; then add the crab and cook until the crab browns, another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the crumbled bacon, cooked rice, and garlic powder, along with salt and pepper to taste, cayenne, and stir constantly until evenly combined. Cover the mixture and simmer for at least 10 minutes.


The Gray Man’s Oyster Stew


2-3 dozen small oysters 

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 

3 cups water 

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup diced celery 

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup diced onion 

2 cups milk 

1/2 cup diced green onion 

1/4 cup butter

1 tbs melted butter 

1/2 cup plain flour 

1/2 tsp minced garlic 

1/4 tsp white pepper 

1/4 tsp dried thyme 

1 tsp kosher salt


Boil water in a saucepan, add oysters, and cook for 3 mins. Remove from heat and strain the oysters from the liquid, reserving 2 1/2 cups of liquid. In a cast iron dutch oven, saute the onion, green onion, and celery in 1 tbs of butter, until tender. Add the reserved liquid you cooked the oysters in. Add the garlic, thyme, cayenne, and bay leaf. Bring this to a boil. Stir in whipping cream, turn down the heat, and simmer for 5 mins. Add milk, raise heat and return to a simmer.


In another small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter, add flour, blend together and whisk for 4 or 5 mins until smooth. Add this roux to the other pot, whisking it into the liquid. When combined and smooth, add oysters, salt and white pepper. Cook until the oyster’s edges curl, slightly. Oyster Stew was my Father’s favorite, he had a hard time making it without breaking down and eating the oysters raw.


Oliver’s Fried Flounder


5 - 6 flounder filets (skinless) 

1 cup corn meal 

2 eggs (beaten)

1 cup plain flour 

2 cups whole buttermilk 

2 tbs Savory Spice Mix 

1 tbs Tabasco, Crystal, etc. 

peanut oil for frying


In a bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and Tabasco sauce. Add the flounder filets and let them soak for 15 mins. In a separate bowl, combine the corn meal, flour, and Savory Spice Mix.


After the filets have soaked in the milk/egg mixture, remove them and slightly shake off the excess mixture. Place them in the dry mix and coat them thoroughly. Some like to use a plastic or paper bag for flouring the filets.


In a deep fryer, deep cast iron skillet, or dutch oven, pour enough peanut oil to come 2-3 inches up from the bottom. Heat the oil to 350º, and place the filets in two or three at a time. Fry them until golden brown and cooked done. You can keep the cooked fish in a 150º oven to keep them warm. Do not overcrowd the fryer as it brings the temperature of the oil down and the fish will not fry properly.


You can use this recipe for shrimp, oysters, scallops, catfish, or soft shell crab. Soft shell crab is my absolute favorite like this. If you are lucky enough to find them in season.


Hushpuppies


1 cup flour 

1/4 cup minced green onions 

1 cup cornmeal 

1 beaten egg 

1 tbs Baking powder 

1/2 tbs Savory Spice Mix 

1/2 tbs kosher salt 

1/4 cup whole buttermilk 

1/2 tbs Baking Soda


Combine all the ingredients to form a batter. Using a large tablespoon or ice cream scoop, place dollops of batter into the hot oil. You can roll them out by hand, or use a pastry bag to pipe them into the oil.


Extreme Tartar Sauce


2 cups mayonnaise 

1/4 cup minced onions

1 tbs Tabasco Sauce 

1/4 cup dill relish

1 tbs creole or yellow mustard 

1 tbs Savory Spice Mix

1/2 tbs minced garlic 

1 tsp horseradish

1 tbs lemon juice 

1 tbs malt or apple vinegar


Combine ingredients and keep refrigerated. If it’s too strong, add more mayonnaise. Use dill relish, instead of sweet pickle relish, as it makes the sauce too sweet.


 She Crab Soup


1/2 cup butter 

1/2 cup flour

2 cup heavy cream

2 cups milk

2 cups seafood stock 

1 lb crabmeat (picked over) 

1 cup celery (diced) 

1 cup onion (diced)

1 tsp garlic (minced)

1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)

1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tbs hot Sauce

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbs parsley (minced) 

kosher salt and pepper to taste 


Saute the celery, onion, and garlic in 1 tbs of the butter until wilted. Remove the vegetables from the pan, add remaining butter, melt, and add flour. Make a light roux by stirring the flour in the butter until no more lumps are present. Once the roux reaches a light tan color, whisk in the stock, when incorporated add back the sautéed vegetables, milk, cream, spices, sauces, and the optional sherry. Bring to a boil, reduce, then add the crabmeat and roe. Garnish with parsley and serve.



Pawley’s Island Crab Cakes


8 Ritz crackers (crushed)

3 tbs mayonnaise

1 lb pound lump crab meat

2 tsp fresh lemon juice1 egg (beaten)

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp finely minced garlic

1/2 tsp Tabasco

1 tbs finely minced onion

1/2 tbs Savory Spice Mix

1 tbs chopped parsley 

2 tbs butter for frying


Place all ingredients, except the crab meat, into a bowl and combine with a whisk. Next, fold the crab meat into the mixture, being careful not to break up lumps of crab. Let set for about 5 mins., then form into 4 large patties, or 6 medium ones.


In a skillet, melt the butter and fry the crab cakes on MED heat until browned lightly on both sides. Don’t flip these babies too many times, I let mine sear on one side and try to flip it only once. This keeps them from breaking up Use non-stick spray when frying these. You might also want to add a bit of oil to the butter to keep it from burning. I will sometimes sauté the onions and garlic in a pan before adding them. Add a few tablespoons of water to the onions just to wilt them and take the crunch out of them.


This mix could also be used to make Crabmeat Au Gratin by adding a mixture of grated cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs on top, and baking in an “Au Gratin” dish in the oven at 400º. Use this mixture for crab ravioli, stuffed or “deviled” crab, or even stuffed lobster. For a treat, try rolling a scoop of crab mixture into a ball, rolling it in flour, dipping it in egg wash, then into breadcrumbs. Deep-fry these and enjoy.


Backbones and Rice


3 lb pork back bones (boneless)

8 cups chicken stock

2 cup onion (diced)

2 cup celery (diced)

4 cups raw white rice

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1 bunch remaining onion greens 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbs worcestershire sauce

3 bay leaves

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tsp each kosher salt and pepper


Backbones, are sometimes known as country-style ribs. They sure are tasty, especially with rice. In a stockpot, saute the onion, celery, and backbones in the butter, add all spices, and cook until the meat is brown, and onions have turned transparent. Add the water, bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and cook on a low simmer for 1 hour.


Add the rice to the pot and return to a boil, stirring well. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat, add green onions, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes or until rice is done. Place in 350º oven for 3045 mins., meat will fall apart inside the savory, wonderful rice.


Shrimp and Grits


1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)

1 tsp garlic (minced)

2 cups shrimp or chicken stock

1 tsp kosher salt and pepper

5 thick slices bacon (diced)

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup onion (diced)

1 tsp Savory Spice Mix

1/2 cup green pepper (diced)

1 batch of Creamy Hominy Grits


Sprinkle shrimp with 1/2 tsp. of Savory Spice, dust with 1/2 of the flour, set aside. In a skillet, fry bacon until crispy, remove all but 3 tbs of the grease, and saute the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Add the flour and stir on MED heat until it turns a tan color. Add shrimp, spices, and cook until the shrimp turn pink. Whisk in stock, a bit of parsley and diced green onion, and cook for 15 minutes. Serve over grits.


Creamy Hominy Grits


1 cup course ground hominy grits

4 cups water

2 tablespoons butter

kosher salt and pepper to taste


Into a saucepan, place the salt and water and bring to a rolling boil. Gradually whisk in the grits. Reduce the heat to low and let the grits simmer until they start to thicken.


The boiling should continue for an additional 35 min., during which time you can add the butter and pepper. As an option you can add some cheese or ground smoked sausage. You can substitute 2 cups of Half & Half for 2 cups of water, for creamier tasting grits.


Fried Grits


2 batches Creamy Hominy Grits 

2 tbs butter 

2 cups plain flour 

2 tbs oil


In a large casserole dish, sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray, pour the cooked, hot grits and place these in the refrigerator overnight. After congealed, run a knife around the edge of the dish, and dump the grits “loaf” out onto a plate.


Slice the loaf in half-inch slices. Sprinkle them with a bit of salt and pepper, and set aside. Be careful though don’t make them too salty.


Sift the flour into a dish or bowl and roll each slice in the flour. Dust off the excess flour and fry them in a skillet on MED in the butter and oil. Let them fry until they’re brown on each side. My Dad used to make these fried grits and they are wonderful. Crispy and tasty.


Vidalia Onion Pie


2 large onions (sliced thin)

1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

1 tsp garlic (minced)

2 eggs

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup Italian dressing

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp sage

2 tbs of butter 

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp Savory Spice Mix

Pre-made pie shell


Using a fork, prick the bottom of pie shell. Bake until lightly brown in a 400º oven, allow to cool. In a pan on MED, melt butter, add the onions and garlic, cook until they’re tender, add Italian dressing, and cook 2 mins. more.


Fill the pie shell with 1/2 the cheese and add onion mixture. Meanwhile in a bowl, beat the eggs, cream, remaining cheese, sage, salt and pepper, then pour over onions. Bake 35 mins. until golden brown.


Fried Yellow Squash


1 lb yellow squash (sliced thin)

1 cup corn flour

2 eggs

1 tbs kosher salt 

2 cups whole buttermilk

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbs hot sauce

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup corn meal

1 tsp garlic powder


Slice the squash into thin pieces, about a quarter of an inch. and set them aside while you combine the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a bowl. Dip the pieces into the mixture. In another bowl, combine the corn meal, corn flour, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder.


Take the slices from the buttermilk mixture and dredge them in the cornmeal mixture. For heavier breading, you can repeat this process, I prefer not to. Fry these in a skillet on MED until both sides are done. Mom would let these drain on a plate covered with paper towels. You can also use this same recipe for okra, zucchini, or dill pickles.


Boiled Peanuts


4-5 lbs green, raw peanuts 

6-8 qts purified or distilled water 

1 1/2 cup kosher salt


In a large stock pot, bring the water to a boil, add salt, peanuts and boil for 6 to 7 hours, or until the peanuts are done. The only way to tell is to taste them. The consistency of the peanuts should be that of a cooked bean, just this side of mushy. The freshness of the peanuts to begin will help determine if they’re done or not. You can add garlic powder or cayenne pepper to the mix for a taste variation. Be sure to use kosher salt to keep your peanuts looking fresh. Iodized salt will turn the peanuts black. You might have to add water as they cook.


Benne Wafers


1 cup sesame seeds (toasted) 

3/4 cup butter (melted)

1  1/2 cups packed brown sugar 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1 cup plain flour 

1/4 tsp kosher salt 

1 egg (beaten) 

1/4 tsp baking powder


In a preheated 375º oven, toast your sesame seeds on an ungreased baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes or until they turn light brown.


Mix the brown sugar, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, flour, salt, baking powder, and toasted sesame seeds together until well combined in a large mixing bowl. Drop cookie dough by half-teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Make sure that at least 2 ins. Separate them as they spread quite a bit.


Bake at 375º for about 5-6 minutes or until edges become light brown. They will appear a little puffy when you take them out. Let them sit for a bit. Be careful using a spatula to ease them off the cooking sheet as they are brittle.  Let them cool and enjoy this Savannah, GA favorite.


Corinne’s Rich Pecan Pie


3 eggs (beaten) 

1 tsp. vanilla (or Brandy)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar 

2 tbs melted butter 

2/3 cup med. Karo syrup 

1/4 tsp kosher salt 

1/3 Steen’s Pure Cane syrup 

2 cups pecans(or light molasses) 

9-inch ready-made pie shell


Pour pecans into pie crust, place in oven for 10 mins. Mix egg, brown sugar, Karo syrup, Cane syrup, vanilla, butter, and salt in a bowl and pour over pecans after they’ve cooled. Place into pre-heated 350º oven for 55 to 60 mins. This recipe is from Corinne, a true Southern Belle.


Mrs. Frances’ Fruit Cobbler


1 cup self-rising flour 

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 cup sugar 

1 stick butter 

1 cup whole milk

1 large 20 oz. can of blackberries

1/2 tsp vanilla or peaches (include syrup)


Mix the flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a flat casserole dish, melt the stick of butter in the oven. Pour the batter in the bowl, and pour the entire can of fruit, making sure to evenly spread it with a fork. Bake in a 400º oven until the batter folds over the fruit and becomes brown and crispy on top. Serve with homemade vanilla ice cream. This recipe is close to the cobbler we used to get with our plate lunches at Mrs. Frances’ place, Prince’s Palace, in Myrtle Beach, SC. Mrs. Frances was a great lady, and an incredible cook.


Pecan Brittle


1 cup light corn syrup 

1/4 tsp kosher salt 

1 cup granulated sugar 

2-3 cups shelled pecans

1 tbs butter 

1 heaping tsp baking soda


Cook corn syrup, sugar, butter, and salt on medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Add pecans, stirring constantly until mixture reaches 290º on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add baking soda, stirring vigorously. Pour out on a greased cookie sheet to cool. This pecan brittle is best when slightly thick. Be sure to use fresh baking soda. Break the brittle up and enjoy. Of course you can use peanuts or cashews in this wonderful Southern favorite.