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Recipes and Stories

30 June 2020: Lowcountry Summer in a Bowl

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Okra

 

Three quintessential ingredients of a lowcountry summer table are tomatoes, okra, and local creek shrimp. And nowhere is the eclectic blending that defines our cooking better illustrated than when those three are combined in the pot.

 

Though they've found their way into gardens and pots the world over, tomatoes are believed to have originated in Central America. Okra, while now common in the Atlantic Rim's African Diaspora and in Southeast Asia, has its roots in Africa. And although dozens of varieties of shrimp are found in every part of the globe, our local brown creek shrimp have a unique sweetness thanks to the grassy marshes where they've thrived for thousands of years.

 

When all three come together in the same pan, however, their sum speaks solely of the coastal plains of the South and subtropical Caribbean,  Read More 

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12 June 2020: Rising to the Occasion—Cream Biscuit Raisin Cinnamon Rolls

Cream Biscuit Cinnamon Raisin Rolls, here finished with a dusting of powdered sugar

 

Probably the biggest challenge to comfort baking during the pandemic quarantine has been the shortage of basic ingredients. Early hoarding made flour scarce, but now, while it's still not plentiful, it is available; leavening, on the other hand, continues to be in very short supply. The yeast and baking powder shelves at most markets have been empty for weeks now, and while mail-order sources haven't dried up, on-line ordering is expensive and usually means ordering more than most of us can use.

 

One fall back alternative is self-rising flour, which is regularly, if unevenly, available. But self-rising flour can't be used for yeast baking, for thickening, or for most pastry,  Read More 

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5 June 2020: The Comforts of Poached Eggs

Uova alla fiorentina, or Eggs Florentine-style

 

Many of us have been indulging ourselves a lot through the pandemic period of quarantine with favorite comfort foods, paying scant attention to saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and other alimentary bad-boys that make eating as worthwhile as they make it dangerous. But it shouldn't follow that the only comfort food is something that is a coronary waiting for a place to happen.

 

One of my favorite comfort foods is poached eggs. They can be served up any way from simply seasoned with salt and pepper to nestled on a toasted Holland rusk (or English muffin) that's topped with sautéed Canadian bacon or aged ham, then lavishly blanketed under a fluffy, lemony hollandaise. But my hands-down favorite is uova alla fiorentina. Read More 

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