Today is an exciting day in coastal Georgia. It’s finally shrimp season! My style of cooking is Southern coastal cuisine with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients, so naturally, I love cooking with wild Georgia shrimp and I would be crazy not to. Continue reading “Wild Georgia Shrimp Recipe Round-Up”
Shrimp Scampi is one of the easiest and most flavorful ways to cook with shrimp. It’s a meal that feels a little fancy, and is special enough to serve to company. I made it for my husband, Kurt and I, on Friday night and served it with crispy french bread and a salad to round out the meal. The red pepper flakes add a little kick and the sauce is killer! Continue reading “Shrimp Scampi for the Win”
Some of you will know that feeling when you get a new cookbook and you just can’t wait to sit down and steal away a few minutes to get to know its pages. My mom found herself in that boat recently as we sat on the fishing pier at one of our favorite and most peaceful places. Despite the wind coming off the ocean, we flipped through the book as the sun rested on our backs. We came across a recipe for shrimp creole, and I knew I had to make it. It is the best shrimp creole I’ve ever eaten and I’m sharing the recipe with you today. It’s too good to keep to myself! Continue reading “The Best Shrimp Creole I Ever Ate”
I grew up in a rural neighborhood on the outskirts of Augusta, Ga. To get to any beach was at least a three-hour ride, but somehow, my soul has always been at home on the water. One of the highlights of my summer was at long last, getting to go Shrimpin’ on the Lady Jane with my handsome new husband, and what an excursion it was! I’ve read so many novels about shrimpin’ (check out Mary Alice Monroe’s Last Light Over Carolina), and have long dreamt of climbing aboard a real shrimp boat and casting my net. On a rainy August day, thanks to Credle’s Adventures, that dream became a reality.
For just $40 a ticket, we got to spend the afternoon cruising the St. Simons Sound, taking in the picturesque views of the Georgia coast and relishing in the wonderment of under-sea life. If I hadn’t gone to school to study marketing and public relations, I would seriously have considered becoming a marine biologist. The creatures that swim below the ocean absolutely fascinate me! Don’t be fooled by the name of the outing–we caught way more than shrimp! Jeffery, the naturalist and guide on our boat, quickly told us that “Shrimp are actually one of the most boring things we catch.” Our cast net reeled in everything from two varieties of shark, angel fish, squid, butterfly rays and the most bizarre little creature, called a hog choker. See for yourself!
You can just hear the excitement!
This guy has a great job!
We cast our 20-foot net twice during the 2-hour event. It stayed down for 16-20 minutes each time. Among the things I learned? How to de-head and de-vein a wild Georgia Shrimp fresh from the Atlantic, that a marine estuary is a mix of fresh and salt water to make brackish water, and all about the oyster beds along the coastline.
Now that I live on the South Carolina coast, I’ll be doing a lot more of this!
The beautiful green grass along the boarder of the water is called Spartina and surprisingly enough, this plant gives the water its color. It’s the base of the ecosystem’s food chain, and uses salt water to survive.
If you’ve never held a real, live shark in your bare hands, it’s an experience to remember! Even though this guy was only 2-3 feet long, he had me at his mercy.
I’d recommend this outing to anyone! View the slideshow below for more fun photos from our trip.
Y’all know how much I love my Georgia coast, and a good shrimp. One of my favorite ways to cooks these babies is to pile them high on a bed of Southern, buttery grits. Get my recipe for Wild Georgia Shrimp & Grits here.
Thanks to Captain Larry and his crew for a really memorable, fun and great day on the water. We can’t wait to go Shrimpin’ again!
Bowens Island Restaurant
Charleston, South Carolina
In my short six months as a Charlestonian, I’ve learned one very accommodating notion about the food scene: The Holy City offers a dining experience for every frame of mind. Without a doubt, diners will find their every hearts’ desire–Want high-end fare, served with keen attention to detail on white tablecloths to the tune of jazz music? How about brunch in a funky roadside dive or on the porch of a historic Victorian home-turned-culinary delight? Maybe it’s serenity you seek in the natural surroundings of the Lowcountry–a place where you can gaze upon the marshlands while sinking your teeth into the ocean’s bounty. Chucktown has it all.
While hand-crafted cocktails and perfectly plated entrées are a luxury, sometimes just the taste of crunchy fried shrimp or a good hush-puppy dunked in cocktail sauce and chased by a cold glass of sweet tea does the trick. On a warm Friday night recently, I found such a place: Bowens Island Restaurant. Down home and casual as can be, you’d never know it existed (the restaurant has no website or Facebook page) unless you had a little insider insight.
Just as traffic breaks free on the way out to Folly Beach, visitors will notice a large spray painted sign which points the way down a washed out dirt road to 1870 Bowens Island Rd. Take this road slowly, not just to avoid a flat tire, but because you won’t want to miss the glorious mansions on each side of the road, flanked by shade trees and grandiose Southern porches.
You’ll stand in line to place your order. It can be a long line, because people are willing to wait for good food. I met some friends there around 7 p.m. on a weekend, and we waited about 10-15 minutes.
Views of boats motoring up to the docks, the smell of fresh-caught seafood and the sun setting over the water will keep you pretty entertained. Not to mention the anticipation of at least 10 local brews on tap.
There’s not a bad seat in the house–or outside “the house” for that matter. Take your pick of where to rest your weary bones: Indoor dining room, indoor bar, or outside on the deck facing the water. Should you pick inside, be forewarned, there’s no air conditioning. Ceiling fans and the natural sea breeze keep the air circulating. The dining room is a bustling place. Waiters come barreling out of the kitchen with trays of hot fried seafood, hollering the name on your order.
Orders are served in recyclable cartons with plastic utensils. A big roll of paper towels sits on each table. The menu has everything from fried and boiled shrimp to in-season oysters and fried chicken tenders. The food is well seasoned, hot upon arrival and for those blessed to have eaten a lot on the coast, familiar. Unlike a large percentage of Charleston dining establishments, there won’t be an item on this menu you can’t pronounce or an ingredient you have to question. Hush-puppies, french fries and coleslaw come with just about everything. The “Big Ol’ Seafood Platter” is the most expensive thing on the menu, coming in at $19. Simple, and Some Kinda Good!
If your idea of a night on the town is a laid back, no fuss Lowcountry experience, this is your spot. Open six nights a week from 5 – 10 p.m., you can bet I’ll be there again soon, sipping on a cold Corona.
Now based in Charleston, South Carolina, Georgia native Rebekah Faulk 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, Faulk’s 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.
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!
- 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
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.
Sting Ray’s Seafood Restaurant
Tybee Island, Georgia
It’s the kind of place you drive by and think, “We have to go there!” Maybe it’s the sound of live beach music that lures you in or the colorful umbrellas and white lights. For me, it was the idea of strolling over from the beach, sun-kissed and sandy to enjoy some wild Georgia shrimp on the patio in the ocean breeze.
Around 7 p.m. on a Saturday night following a great day at the beach, we joined the crowd at Sting Ray’s Seafood Restaurant located just across the street from the Atlantic ocean.
Wearing a little powder and lip gloss, dressed in my swimsuit cover-up and sparkling flip-flops, I ordered a cold glass of white zinfandel and enjoyed the music. The casual, laid-back atmosphere is such a nice change of pace from the everyday office environment.
I wish y’all could reach through your computer screen and taste one of these. They were the most plump, succulent shrimp I’ve ever eaten. Served with melted butter and seasoned with Old Bay, the shrimp were swimming in the Atlantic just two days before they were served to me. Fresh at its finest. I squeezed the lemon juice right over the top and dunked them in cocktail sauce.
I don’t know this fellow’s name, but he entertained everyone well with classic beach tunes: Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere…you get the idea. Jam on my friend, jam on.
After dinner, we took a walk on the pier to listen to the waves crash and say goodbye to the Atlantic one more time. It really wasn’t goodbye though, only see you later–because I’ll be back soon, and very soon.
Check out my video to see us cooking, but be forewarned, we are not professional videographers, there’s a lot going on and I was really excited…LOL!
View the photos below to see how the rest of my birthday bash went down:
For weeks, I anticipated the celebration keeping in mind simplicity, coastal inspiration and rustic elements. I covered the tables where guests would eat with burlap, then placed silver pails on top for discarding shrimp hulls. Yellow flowers popped, and votive candles, sprinkled throughout, illuminated the evening.
I found this nautical fabric and just had to incorporate it in the party! I made silverware bundles with it using rope to keep with the theme of things. It’s all in the details!
If I had to think of one meal that expressed exactly who I am, without a doubt, a lowcountry boil it would be. Potatoes, shrimp, corn and sausage with Old Bay seasoning…does it get any better? Poured out on a newspaper-covered table, it’s everything I am…laid back, delicious and colorful. HA! I really can’t think of any other combination of ingredients that says “Let’s Party!” more.
Much like a cocktail without a garnish, no lowcountry boil is proper without Charleston Benne Wafers. On a recent trip to the Carolina Lowcountry, I picked up some crab dip mix and a package of the popular cookie at the Charleston Market. Learn more about my trip by checking out my post, Carolina Lowcountry Classics with My Best Friend. Also pictured above: Mom’s cheese ball with jalapeno pepper and pineapple served with Ritz crackers, coconut cupcakes with coconut-cream cheese frosting, garnished with toasted coconut and lime cheesecake pies.
When all the food was ready, the table looked amazing–especially combined with a yard full of friends and family, and our Bourbon and Blenheim signature cocktails. The menu also included fresh bread and my mom’s amazing crab stew made with sherry. I found the perfect bowls for serving the stew at a local restaurant supply store.
This is my good friend Patrick, and our bartender for the evening. Our signature cocktail, called a B&B featured high quality bourbon and Blenheim, a spicy ginger ale from none other than Charleston. Garnished with fresh mint, the beverage was a refreshing palate cleanser. Iced tea, bottled water, Coke, wine and beer, along with boiled peanuts, also were served.
That was one heck of a party, if I do say so myself! A GIANT thank you and shout out to my mom, dad, brother Joey and sister-in-law Sarah, and my friends Patrick, Angela and Levi for help with set up and break down, cooking, cleaning and bartending. 😉 It certainly takes a team to pull off a party like that and I couldn’t have done it without y’all!
As I looked around the fire that night, I realized that I’ve had the same friends since I was 12 years old. Birthday after birthday throughout my life, they’ve all been there. In addition to that, there were new faces too and I couldn’t be more blessed. To each one that made my birthday special, I am thankful for you everyday.
Now, if only I can top that party for the big 3-0!
What’s for supper? That’s always the ultimate question. This recipe for Creole Shrimp Skewers for Mardi Gras was just the ticket on Fat Tuesday, especially since I already had all the ingredients on hand. I came across it while scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed. Thanks for posting it and inspiring me Food Network!
To make creole seasoning, mix these ingredients together in a small bowl. Not pictured: Onion powder.
Man alive, this is some good stuff y’all. It’s hot, but LAWD, it’s good. I couldn’t stop tasting it.
Melt 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
Thaw, devein and peel 1 pound of shrimp (you can always purchase the shrimp ready to cook to save time).
I like to use metal skewers. I find that they are much easier to thread than wooden ones, plus, you don’t have to soak them. Spray them with a non-stick spray before skewering the shrimp. I had large skewers, so I put about 4 shrimp on each one.
I failed to get a picture of the seasoning and butter melted because I was just too excited. However, these are the shrimp after they’ve been basted in the delicious creole seasoning and butter, all ready for the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, grease and place the skewers on the pan to go into the oven. Roast for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.
I made brown rice to go alongside the creole shrimp, then drizzled a little extra butter right over top. Seriously delicious–I mean restaurant-quality good. Definitely going to keep this recipe around!
Iguanas Seafood Restaurant
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Though I’ve been going to St. Simons Island my entire life, I discovered Iguanas Seafood Restaurant just last year. If you’ve ever spent any time in the Golden Isles on the Georgia coast, you know there are many good places to dine, and my family has always had their favorites. Being the creatures of habit that we are, we typically always visit the same places. Last summer though, we tried somewhere new and I’m so glad we did.
With its colorful island-inspired walls, sail boat and fishing net decor and fun bar scene, Iguanas Seafood Restaurant is located in the heart of the village among all the great little shops near the St. Simons Island Pier. This year, we had New Year’s Eve dinner there. It was funny seeing the place decked out in Christmas lights and faux snow.
I ordered the shrimp and scallops dish, blackened, with grits. I don’t usually get scallops but I thought I’d give them a try. The shrimp was delicious, but I didn’t find the scallops to be that flavorful. Have you ever had scallops? I get the sense they must be like tofu in a way, taking on whatever flavor in which they’re cooked. The texture was spongy and just didn’t do much for me. Grits are the perfect accompaniment to shrimp any old time. The hushpuppies were crispy on the outside and succulent in the center, perfect for dipping in their house remoulade sauce (pictured left above).
My cousin Justin is a fan of my food blog, and when he saw me get out my camera to snap a shot of my dish, he excitedly offered his up and said, “Rebekah, wanna blog about this?” He ordered the special of the evening…soft shell crab with french fries. I’m pretty sure he cleaned his plate.
The great thing about eating dinner and shopping in the village is walking out on the newly renovated St. Simons Island Pier afterwards. I probably have at least one picture from each year of my life out on it, and I’ve often said it’s one of my favorite places on earth. I love to walk out to the end of it and watch the porpoises swim and see the shrimp boats in the distance. I’d like to be on one of those shrimp boats one day.
While out walking on the beach and at the pier, I met several folks from up North. One couple from Massachusetts and another group from Connecticut. They had each rented a condo for 3 months on the island to escape the cold weather in their hometowns. I don’t blame them!
This is the whole New Years crew, with our dogs, after breakfast the next morning. That’s me in the middle, on the far left between Brad and my cousin Justin, who’s holding my precious puppy Ewok. My good friend Patrick is next to him and the couple with the two labs–Constance and Justin, are great friends from college.
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the first day of the New Year.