Wild Georgia Shrimp & Summer Corn Chowder

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Wild Georgia Shrimp & Summer Corn Chowder

All summer I’ve been wanting to make Shrimp and Corn Chowder, and today, I did it. Aside from peeling the potatoes and shucking the corn, the recipe requires little to no effort other than stirring and simmering. Pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay, turn on some good music and settle into your kitchen. For me, eating a meal like this with vegetables that are in season and locally sourced, is ultimately satisfying. Some recipes suggest frozen potatoes and corn, but I find I appreciate the meal so much more when I’ve worked a little to make it happen. The crunch of summer’s sweet corn with salty bacon and starchy potatoes come together in complete harmony with wild Georgia plump shrimp. Creamy and pleasing to the eye with great texture, this dish epitomizes Some Kinda Good!

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Potatoes simmer on the stove top with sweet corn, celery, Vidalia onions, green onions and herbs.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of hardwood smoked bacon
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches of green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 large baked potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 ears of fresh, summer corn, sliced off the cob
  • 3 sprigs lemon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart 2% milk
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Old Bay, for seasoning shrimp

Directions

In a large skillet with a high rim, cook bacon on medium-high heat. Remove the bacon, but leave the grease. Stir in the celery, green onions and Vidalia onions, potatoes and corn. Add the thyme, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the milk, then cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

Season the shrimp with Old Bay. Stir in the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with green onion and chopped bacon. Serve with Italian bread.

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The Best Crab Cakes in The World

Some folks say “Yum!” Some let off a long, low “mmmmmm.” Me? I praise the Lord. I mean, I have church. It’s the perfect bite that brings it out of me. It can happen anywhere–in a restaurant, at my mama’s table. When I taste it, the words just naturally roll off my tongue. Crunch. Thank you holy Jesus. Taste. Glory to your name Father. Swallow. Halleluiah. It’s not every time I eat, but when it happens, you’ll know. I raise my hands in praise and get the oddest looks from those around me. When I made these crab cakes, it happened.

This is what a crab cake should be. This my friends, is the best crab cake in the world. If heaven were a taste, you’re looking at it. Made up of lump crab meat and a few spices with only an egg white to bind everything together, the flavor of crab meat is the main event. No saltines, no breading–this is a true crab cake. Inspired by the King of the Lowcountry himself, the late beloved writer Pat Conroy, this recipe comes from “The Pat Conroy Cookbook.”

Any good cook will tell you, a beautiful meal starts with the finest ingredients. Prosser’s Wholesale Shrimp is a hidden gem in Brooklet, Georgia. It’s where the locals go to get wild Georgia shrimp, crab legs, crab meat and all the fixin’s for their lowcountry boils. It’s where I went to get my crab meat. Even while I shopped, the owner’s father was shrimping on the Southern seacoast.

At the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market, I picked up some homegrown hot peppers and a bunch of garlic chives. I seeded and chopped the pepper, and it gave my crab cakes a nice kick and punch of color.

Combine one pound of lump crab meat with chopped pepper and garlic chives, then season with cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.

Beat one egg white lightly and pour over the crab mixture.

Fold everything together gently. Once the crab meat has absorbed the egg white and is sticky to the touch, sift one tablespoon of all-purpose flour into the mix.

The recipe makes eight cakes. They are very fragile. To form the cakes, divide the crab mixture into eight balls. Then flatten each one slightly with the palm of your hand. Season each one with a little more kosher salt. Refrigerate the cakes for at least an hour.

Combine a teaspoon of peanut oil and about a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and let it get hot. This is the secret to a beautiful, crunchy crust.

Gently lay the crab cakes in the skillet. I put my first one in the pan as if it were a hamburger and it immediately crumbled. It’s all good though, because you’ll have eight chances to get it right. When you flip them, a small flat spatula will make the job easiest. Keep them very close to the bottom of the pan and be as delicate as possible. Not going to lie, flipping crab cakes is a stressful experience. Here’s the good news: they’re edible no matter what their shape. 😉

Serve them on a bed of greens with lemon wedges, a side of grits and a cold glass of sweet tea. It’s sure to be a lowcountry experience no matter where you live.


Recipe Recap
Excerpted from “The Pat Conroy Cookbook” by Pat Conroy copyright © 2004

Pat Conroy’s Crab Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over and cleaned, with all shell fragments removed
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten (until just foamy, not stiff)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely snipped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • Lemon wedges

Cooking Directions

Place the cleaned crabmeat in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the egg white over crabmeat slowly, stopping occasionally to mix it through. When the crabmeat has absorbed the egg white and feels slightly sticky to the touch, sift the flour over crabmeat and sprinkle the chives, black pepper, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon of the salt evenly over the top. Lift the crabmeat from the bottom of the bowl, turning it over gently, to mix the ingredients without overhandling.

Separate the crabmeat into 8 equal portions and gently roll each between the flattened palms of your hands to form loose balls. Flatten slightly and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle both sides liberally with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking.

Line a baking pan with paper towels. Fry the crab cakes in two batches to ensure a crisp crust. Using a small (8-inch) heavy skillet that conducts heat well, melt half the butter and oil together until the mixture is foamy and begins to brown. Carefully place the crab cakes in the hot fat and fry until a crust forms, turning only once, about 2 minutes per side. (The fat should be sizzling hot, enabling a crisp crust to form before the crab absorbs the cooking fat. This is the Southern secret to perfect crab cakes.) A small pastry spatula (with a thin tongue) will make lifting and turning the delicate crab cakes a lot easier. Remove the crab cakes and drain in the prepared pan. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm while you make the second batch.

Carefully pour off the cooking fat from the first batch, wipe out the pan, and return it to the heat. Prepare the second batch of crab cakes using the remaining butter and oil.

Serve hot with lemon wedges. Makes 8 crab cakes.


New to Some Kinda Good?

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Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. A Season 2 Contestant on ABC’s “The Taste,” she is the former Statesboro Herald food columnist and past host of the television program “Statesboro Cooks.” From 2012 – ’14, she appeared regularly as Celebrity Chef at the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market and wrote as a guest blogger for Visit Savannah and The Local Palate. In addition, her work is published in Moments magazine and Connect Statesboro. Her culinary accomplishments are recognized in two publications: She is a featured alumna in Georgia Southern Magazine (Spring ’14) and the “Go Girl!” in Moments magazine (March 2104), a tabloid for moms and modern women. To learn more, visit RebekahFaulk.wix.com/RebekahFaulk.

Sunday Brunch Dockside

The Black Marlin Bayside Grill
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 

Nothing says vacation to me like Sunday brunch dockside, and The Black Marlin Bayside Grill in the Carolina lowcountry delivers. Breakfast is a meal I don’t make time to enjoy often, so when I do, it’s a real treat. After a weekend of lounging in the sun, The Black Marlin with its casual, welcoming atmosphere was just the place to dine.

 A wide variety of menu options are available with very reasonable prices.

A good drink always has a proper garnish. On the left, this isn’t just any old Bloody Mary. This is a Cucumber Bloody Mary made with Effen Cucumber Vodka. It was peppery and smooth and everything I had hoped it would be. At right, a refreshing Mimosa.

I ordered the Dulce De Leche French Toast with bacon. Dulce De Leche literally translates to “candy of milk,” I later learned. It’s basically a caramel sauce. The french toast was garnished with passion fruit. How awesome it that? Definitely a step up from your average french toast dish. The bread was the perfect thickness and no syrup was needed.

I also enjoyed coffee with cream. I had it all!

Every table was packed. Even my Shih Tzu, Ewok, was welcome to sit on the deck!

The Black Marlin has a self-serve Bloody Mary bar! How cool is that? You basically order a Bloody Mary, then you bring your drink over to the bar and flavor and garnish it however you like. Very cool.
This is the hurricane bar which opens for lunch and dinner.

After a delicious brunch, Ewok and I took a stroll on the Palmetto Bay Marina to admire all the yachts. We will definitely visit The Black Marlin again!!

Do you have a favorite restaurant or brunch spot on Hilton Head Island? Given the chance, what would you order for brunch?

Black Marlin Bayside Grill on Urbanspoon