PHOTO GALLERY: Eating Our Way Through Charleston

 

My Top 5 Bites in Charleston, South Carolina (described in 3 words)!

My husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this year by road tripping around Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. With only one night in Savannah, we didn’t have too many opportunities to eat, but our favorite was dinner at the historic Olde Pink House. Along backroads we found local breweries, beach shacks serving Lowcountry cuisine, and much more. This list is dedicated to all the rich, sumptuous Southern food we savored in the lovely city of Charleston — and trust me, it was difficult narrowing it down to only five dishes!

 

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#5 — Frogmore Stew: Steamy. Succulent. Hands-on.
at Bowens Island Restaurant

 

 

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#4 — Local Clams Stuffed with Deviled Crab: Creamy. Juicy. Spicy.
at McCrady’s Tavern

 

 

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#3 — Chopped Brisket Sandwich: Tender. Smoky. Vinegary.
at Home Team BBQ

 

 

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#2 — Ricotta Gnocchi alla Bolognese: Pillowy. Meaty. Saucy.
at FIG

 

 

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#1 — Sunrise Shrimp & Grits: Packed. With. Flavor.
at Poogan’s Porch

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Wok It Out: Chicken Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry Bowls

Here’s a low-carb, guilt-free option for when you have a hankering for Asian food. A wok works really well, but you can feel free to sub it out for a large skillet. This is one of those recipes that I just threw together one night without measuring everything. It’s a go with the flow … add your favorite ingredients … type of recipe. And it’s altogether super tasty.

Chicken Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry Bowls
Serves 2-4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ tablespoon ginger, minced
½ small white onion, chopped
1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
7-ounce package fully cooked grilled chicken strips, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 batch broccolini, stems removed
10-ounce bag riced cauliflower
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
green onions, sliced for garnish
Sriracha hot chili sauce, to taste

Directions
Heat sesame and sunflower oils in wok over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until just set. Remove eggs and set aside in a bowl.

Add a bit more oil to the hot pan, if needed. Add onion, mushrooms and carrots to the wok. Stir constantly, cooking about 3-5 minutes until tender. Add cooked chicken, broccolini and cauliflower rice. Sprinkle soy sauce and rice wine vinegar over mixture, stirring until combined. Cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes until the broccolini is crisp-tender.

Separate mixture into bowls, top with green onion slices and Sriracha before serving.

Born on the Bayou: Cajun Brown Jambalaya

In November 1984 I was born along the Bayou Teche in the tiny town of New Iberia, Louisiana. Since then my love for Cajun cooking has flourished. You might remember my recipe for Mardi Gras Jambalaya that I posted a while back. It was my go-to recipe for the New Orleans version (see: tomatoes) of the Louisiana rice dish.

But recently I’ve had a hankering for the brown Cajun-style jambalaya, and after a lengthy search, including asking my family and New Iberia locals on Facebook, I pulled together this fantastic recipe. One of the key components is the “gravy” made from browning the meats (be sure not to let it burn!) and I love how the parboiled rice is a bit fluffier than some wetter jambalayas you’ll find.

This recipe was an instant hit with my husband, who claims it’s the best jambalaya he’s ever had (aw, he’s so sweet). I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it’s certainly the best jambalaya I’ve made in my home kitchen.

 

 

Cajun Jambalaya
Serves 10-12

Ingredients
1.5 pounds andouille sausage, sliced
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
1 (8-10 ounce) ham steak, cubed
2 large onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups chicken broth
2.5 cups parboiled long grain rice
¾ tablespoon whole fresh thyme leaves
¾ tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon curly parsley, chopped
1.5 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, or to taste (I use Tony Chachere’s)
Chopped green onions, for garnish

 

Directions
In a large cast iron or heavy bottom pot, cook sausage and ham over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. (You may need to add a small amount of water if it sticks too much.) Take meat out, set aside.

Brown onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic in the pot over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Add chicken pieces and brown on all sides for about 10 minutes. Add sausage and ham back into the pot and add chicken broth. Simmer this mixture over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Then add herbs and Cajun seasoning, mix well. Add rice and stir well for a minute or two to make sure it doesn’t stick on the bottom. Cover with a lid, turn down the heat as low as possible and simmer for 25-35 minutes until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Turn heat off and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before fluffing. Garnish with green onions before serving.