BRC's Oyster Devils
Chef Lance Fegen serves up these oyster devils at Houston’s BRC Gastropub, which give a simple deviled egg recipe a major kick from a crunchy fried oyster and a slice of bacon on top. The idea of an indulgent deviled egg gets taken to a whole new level with these bad boys.
- 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, cut in half, and yolks mashed in a bowl
- 1/4 Cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped pickles
- 1 Teaspoon mustard
- 4-6 cooked slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 12 oysters, soaked in buttermilk for a few hours
- 1 Cup flour
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 Teaspoons chili powder
- 1 Teaspoon paprika
- Canola oil, for frying
- Smoked paprika, for garnish
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
A pristine oyster on the half shell, unadorned, fresh, cold and briny, is a near-perfect thing. A properly shucked littleneck clam, alone, or with a drop or two of lemon and Tabasco, will make you say mmmm, every time.
But just because these shellfish are so good raw doesn’t mean we shouldn’t cook them too. Properly cooked shellfish is a wonderful thing. The cooking intensifies and transforms the flavor. Oysters especially change completely when cooked, seeming rich and fatty in the best way, while in the raw state they are anything but.
You’ve got to be careful when cooking either type of shellfish, though. When overcooked, neither is good, so mind the time and temperature.
The initial preparation is the same for raw and cooked. You need to find a good source to buy from and most likely pre-order to get exactly what you want. Clams and oysters will come from the vendor with tags, stating when and where they were harvested. Look for shellfish that has been harvested within the last four or five days.
Once you get them home, keep them refrigerated or on ice in a cooler that has a drain. Keep them covered with wet paper towels, a damp newspaper or seaweed when storing them in the fridge.
Oysters and clams need to be washed well before any type of preparation. I like to place them in a sink with crushed or cubed ice and enough water to nearly cover them. Use a wooden spoon to stir the ice water vigorously for several minutes. The ice will serve as an abrasive, removing most of the sand and debris from the surface of the shells. Any that remains can be removed with a bristle brush.
This process will also deeply chill the shellfish and make them a bit easier to open. You will need a clam knife for the clams and an oyster knife for the oysters. Remember, opening clams and oysters is not a test of strength and actually requires very little physical effort. The best shuckers make it look easy, and it often is, but you will need to do it often to become proficient.
Baked shellfish dishes rely heavily on the freshness of the clams and oysters, so you will need to find the best that you can. Open the clams and oysters just before you are ready to prepare the dish.
Oysters Rockefeller is a recipe that we all know by name. A Rockefeller is basically an oyster topped with spinach that has been cooked down with fennel, Pernod and a bit of cream and butter.
The deviled oysters are even more simple to prepare and equally delicious. Once shucked, the oysters are glazed with sauce, some white bread crumbs and a little butter before being baked. They are finished under the broiler to create a crispy crust. The oysters are garnished with some red jalapeño and sliced scallion. Both recipes should be served hot from the oven with shellfish forks. Once you’ve eaten the oyster from the shell, you’ll want to slurp the juice and scrape the crusty bits from the shells.
The baked clam dish relies on the flavor of a compound butter to which you will add bread crumbs and a bit of panko crumbs. You will need to roll out the butter thinly and evenly before placing it in the freezer overnight. Once chilled, the butter is cut into a shape that is similar to the size of the clam. Simply pop the butter on top of the shucked clams, bake for three minutes and then broil them until they are well browned and bubbly.
Eat them immediately and drink the broth from their shells, repeating often. You’ll find that a half-dozen or so will do for most people, or you might want to serve them at a cocktail party as passed hors d’oeuvres. Mind your fingers and try to keep the guests out of the kitchen. Go ahead, try.
This briny oyster soup brings the smells and tastes of Louisiana’s coast to your table
This recipe makes a pot of soup big enough to feed a crowd and can be scaled down as needed. In her cookbook, “Mosquito Supper Club,” Melissa M. Martin, the owner of the New Orleans restaurant of the same name, describes the soup as one handed down from her grandmother, Velma Marie.
“My grandmother’s oyster soup tastes of salt pork and briny oysters, of sweet tomatoes and alliums," Martin writes. "It resembles a tomato-forward bouillabaisse and smells like the oyster beds of Louisiana. The salt pork comes from our Acadian salt-curing roots it mellows the acidity of the tomatoes and mingles perfectly with the salt from the sea.”
Note: Martin offers this tip for finding oyster liquor (also known as oyster water): Ask an oyster supplier, seafood market or an oyster bar if they will save some oyster liquor for you. If not, here’s a tip from her oyster purveyor: Take 6 shucked oysters and blend them with 1 quart of water, adding 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, then strain the liquid and use it in place of the oyster liquor. Taste your oyster liquor: If it’s not salty, add 1 teaspoon of salt, or more as needed, to bring the brininess up. Use immediately.
What Is Salsify?
What looks like an ugly brown stick, tastes like an oyster, and is related to a dandelion? Give up? It's salsify&mdashand it's about to become your favorite root vegetable.
Salsify, also occasionally called oyster plant or oyster root, was once a popular vegetable, beloved by folks from Victorian times. Slowly, however, it fell out of fashion, and now it&aposs rare to find this long, skinny black root anywhere aside from your market stand. But this member of the dandelion family is coming back in vogue – and it&aposs time to dig in.
You&aposll recognize salsify by its unique appearance. Two varieties exist, one black, one white. Either way, it&aposs long and thin, sometimes with leaves attached to one end. You&aposre most likely to find it in season, between October and January. In a pinch, you can find it online or even grow your own. Choose salsify that&aposs firm and smooth once peeled, either black or white varieties will reveal a stark white interior.
Salsify is a superfood worthy of the name, rich in fiber as well as nutrients like iron, vitamin C, thiamin, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. It has a mild flavor that some compare to oysters (thus its nickname). Others say it&aposs closer to the flavor of asparagus or artichoke, while still others find it more similar to the nutty Jerusalem artichoke. See who you agree with – try it out for yourself.
For a simple preparation that will provide perhaps the best introduction to salsify&aposs mild flavor, peel the root well, cut it into small lengths, and cook in boiling water seasoned with a bit of lemon juice until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Next, drain it well and, in a pan over medium-high heat, glaze it in butter or olive oil with just a touch of salt and pepper until golden brown.
For a special treat, consider deep-frying salsify. Par-cook the root as above, then coat the bite-sized pieces in beaten egg. Next, roll the in breadcrumbs seasoned with Old Bay and deep-fry in oil. Serve hot with lemon wedges or homemade tartar sauce. Salsify can also be pan-fried in ghee with pepper and dill orਊir-friedਊnd served with a tasty vegan mayonnaise.
Like many other root vegetables, salsify also makes a delicious purພ. Thisꃎleriac purພ recipe will be just as tasty with salsify, seasoned with just a touch of lemon and spicy cayenne. Serve alongside roast chicken or pork chops.
For something a bit more creative, consider using salsify in a simple gratin. Slice the salsify thinly with a knife or mandoline and lay in a greased casserole dish. Top with cream infused with garlic and black pepper, and top with a layer of nutty gruyere cheese before baking an hour, until the salsify is tender and the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. It can also be combined with other root veggies in this seasonal gratin recipe, which also boasts a touch of nutmeg.
And while salsify is, of course, delicious cooked, it can also be eaten raw. Julienne it finely and swap it for cabbage in your favoriteoleslaw recipe, or toss it with remoulade sauce for a unique play on a typical French recipe usually made with celery root.
No matter how you slice it, salsify is sure to soon become a welcome guest in your kitchen.
For the angels
Working in batches, cook the Guanciale over medium-low heat in a large frying pan, turning once, until translucent and just barely golden in spots, but still pliable, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle each oyster with a pinch of the togarashi. Wrap a half slice of guanciale around each oyster. Secure with a toothpick. Transfer wrapped oysters to a foil-lined rimmed baking pan and broil until the guanciale is golden, flipping halfway through, about 1 minute total. Watch carefully, as they can burn in an instant. Squeeze some lemon juice over each. Transfer each angel to a rice cracker and remove the skewer. Garnish with some furikake and serve hot.
For the devils
Soak the dried plums in the plum wine for 30 minutes, then drain. (Save the plum wine and add it to sparkling water or champagne or vodka later, if you’d like.) Meanwhile, working in batches, cook the guanciale on medium-low in a large frying pan, turning once, until translucent and just barely golden in spots, but still pliable, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Preheat the broiler. Stir the zest and cayenne into the cream cheese transfer mixture to a small (snack-size) resealable plastic bag. Push the mixture down to one bottom corner and snip off that small corner of the bag. Wiggle a chopstick (or skewer) lengthwise to bore a hole through the dried plum to make some space for the filling. Stick the cut tip of the bag into the bored holes of the dried plums and squeeze gently to stuff with the cream cheese mixture. Wrap a slice of guanciale around each dried plum. Secure with a toothpick. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking pan and broil until the guanciale is golden, flipping halfway through about 1 minute total. Watch carefully, as they can burn in an instant. Transfer each to an almond cracker and remove the skewers. Garnish each with a kumquat slice and a pinch of the chopped nuts. Let cool slightly before serving.
If you can’t get Guanciale, substitute with Pancetta. Unroll each slice of pancetta and cut into 5½-inch long strips. Working in batches, cook the pancetta on medium-low in a large frying pan until mostly cooked but still pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
40 Very Charleston Dishes
No other handwritten roadside sign brings us to such a screeching halt. Many non-Southerners are startled at first by our love for damp peanuts so tender they eat like beans (peanuts are legumes, after all). But once you’ve acquired the taste for this hot, salty, messy, slow-simmered snack, it’s nearly impossible to put down the bag. Click here for recipe.
2. Henry’s Cheese Spread
Many decades ago, long before Charleston’s restaurant scene exploded, a big night out involved Henry’s on Market Street, where white-jacketed waiters swooped in with trays of iced crudité, including this malty cheese spread that’s so addictive, it’s tempting to eat it by the spoonful. Try Matt Lee and Ted Lee’s adaptation of the spread (published in their 2012 The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen), and it’ll quickly become a party favorite. Click here for recipe.
3. Benne Wafers
Proust’s madeleine has nothing on Charleston’s benne wafers in the taste-memory department. We’ve been baking these paper-thin, chewy-crisp, salty-sweet, buttery-nutty cookies for centuries, using toasted benne seeds introduced by African slaves during Colonial times (“benne” is Bantu for “sesame”). Hugely popular as souvenirs, benne wafers are said to bring good luck to those who eat them. Click here for recipe.
4. Cheese Straws
Crispy, salty, spicy, cheesy, these baked crunchy munchies are ubiquitous at downtown cocktail parties and tailgates. We can’t say cheese straws are unique to Charleston (the small country of Guyana asserts a claim), yet somehow they’ve marched into our tradition of Southern hospitality. Many locals keep a frozen log of cheese dough at the ready to slice and bake when company comes.Click here for recipe.
5. Pimiento Cheese
Pronounced fluidly “pimenta-cheese” and nicknamed “Southern caviar,” this signature piquant-creamy spread nestles into crustless finger sandwiches, tops burgers, and gussies up fried green tomatoes. Most of us just hoover it up on crackers, especially Nathalie Dupree’s recipe. Click here for recipe.
6. Jerusalem Artichoke Relish
Truth be told, Jerusalem artichokes are neither from Jerusalem nor are they artichokes. These small, native sunchoke tubers with a water chestnut-like consistency slice, dice, and pickle beautifully. Typically served over cream cheese as an hors d’oeuvre, a little artichoke relish can also brighten any plate. Buy Mrs. Sassard’s by the jar (it’s truly delicious) or make your own with John Martin Taylor’s tried-and-true recipe. Click here for recipe.
7. Ice-Box Pickles
A sweet-tart way to preserve and punch up the humble cucumber, ice-box pickles make a cool, crunchy summertime snack or delicious burger topping. If you’re willing to brave the line at Jestine’s Kitchen, you can enjoy these finely sliced beauties alongside corn bread. But there’s really no reason not to make them yourself and tweak them to your liking with garlic, herbs, or hot peppers. Click here for recipe.
8. Spiced Pickled Shrimp
Many local dishes feature the Lowcountry’s ubiquitous crustacean, but pickled shrimp has been a longtime cocktail-party staple for good reason—it’s delicious and easy. Prepare a batch a day in advance, serve over ice with toothpicks, et voilà—a light and bright yet complex and crave-worthy appetizer. Make Lavinia Huguenin’s mid-century receipt or mix it up with your favorite flavors. Click here for recipe.
9. Pickled Okra
Heat-loving okra falls into the category of bigger-is-not-better. You want to pluck the pod while still young and tender about the size of your pointing finger. Pickling the veggie with varying degrees of heat makes it available year-round, perfect for cocktail party munching or garnishing a Bloody Mary. Click here for recipe.
10. Charleston Okra Soup
Matt Lee and Ted Lee have asked hundreds of chefs why Charlestonians have historically flavored okra soup with rich, dark, bone marrow. No one has an answer, apart from, “Because it tastes good.” Head up to Bertha’s Kitchen for an intensely soulful version of this silky, meaty, tomato-based staple, or try your hand at the Lee Bros.’ recipe. Click here for recipe.
11. Shrimp & Grits
Many restaurants riff on this beloved combo of sautéed shrimp over “hominy” (as it used to be called). ACME Lowcountry Kitchen, for example, offers jerk shrimp over coconut grits with pineapple salsa. Old-schoolers keep it simple, allowing fresh, local shrimp and quality, stone-ground grits (like Geechee Boy’s or Anson Mills’) to speak for themselves. Nathalie Dupree, who literally wrote the book on the subject with Charleston food editor Marion Sullivan (Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp & Grits Cookbook), recounted its humble beginnings as a recipe in Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking (1930). We suggest you prepare that simple “Shrimps & Hominy,” then make it your own. Click here for recipe.
12. Shrimp Paste
Don’t be fooled by shrimp pastes laden with mayonnaise or cream cheese. Charlestonians have been grinding shrimp into smooth pastes for centuries. Served cold or as a warm mousse, shrimp paste relies on little more than butter, a dash of spices, perhaps a hint of sherry. Savor it on crackers, thin toast, or finger sandwiches (crusts removed, of course). Click here for recipe.
13. Shrimp Pie
This popular casserole-style dish dates back to the 19th century, and two versions were included in Sarah Rutledge’s 1847 cookbook The Carolina Housewife. As household help typically had Sunday afternoons off, the cook would assemble this savory “pie,”and the lady of the house would simply slip it into the oven before supper. Rutledge’s “Baked Shrimps & Tomatoes”calls for layers of crustaceans, stewed tomatoes, spices, and rich buttery goodness that marry well in the fridge before baking. Just watch the salt, as the shrimp will add natural brine. Click here for recipe.
14. She-Crab Soup
An elegant, lightly creamy bisque loaded with chunks of blue-crab meat and spiked with a touch of dry sherry, she-crab soup is credited to William Deas, the cook for Mayor Goodwyn Rhett who first prepared it for President William Taft. Astute chefs know to seek out female crabs with faint orange shells that signify the presence of precious, briny roe within. Click here for recipe.
15. Cream Oysters
Let’s face it: anything that calls for two cups of heavy cream promises to be delicious. The natural liquor from the oysters themselves thins out this classic preparation. Published in 1847’s The Carolina Housewife by venerable Charleston lady Sarah Rutledge, cream oysters are ideal when ladled over puff pastry. Click here for recipe.
16. Roasted Oysters
No cool-weather outdoor gathering is complete without a bushel of local oysters, roaring fire, long table, cooler of beer, and ample oyster knives. The bivalves are best roasted on a flat surface for even cooking, steamed under cover of a damp burlap sack, and cooked just to the point of opening (overcooking will dry them out like raisins). Grab a knife, pop the hinge, and slurp ’em down. Click here for tips on how to throw an oyster roast.
17. Oyster Dressing
Thanksgiving dressings often celebrate regional treasures. Take, for example, East Texas’ venison dressing, Tennessee’s sausage dressing, or Georgia’s pecan dressing. In the Holy City, we turn to corn bread and oysters to complement our bird. Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill offers her decadent version with stone-ground white cornmeal, Parmesan, and three dozen oysters. Click here for recipe.
18. Fried Oysters
Biting into a perfectly fried oyster is a voyage of discovery: The delicately crisp casing gives way to the creamy, mineral-rich prize within. Master that fry technique, then perch them atop deviled eggs like Macintosh chef Jeremiah Bacon does, and you have a marriage of Southern favorites made in heaven. Click here for recipe.
19. Shad Roe
The running of American shad, the largest herring, is a Lowcountry rite of spring, with local chefs and old-school cooks alike seeking out the prized sacks of roe from the dark-fleshed, bony fish. While it’s been ages since the Eastern seaboard was lined with seasonal herring shacks—they were shuttered one by one as river dams impinged on the fish’s annual migration—Crosby’s Seafood still manages to get a hold of shad and its roe. Cook them in the traditional manner (wrapped in bacon, pan-fried, and served over grits) for a rich and creamy Lowcountry delicacy. Click here for recipe.
20. Crab Cakes
We don’t credit our Colonial ancestors with much (British food gets such a bad rap), but we must admit that crab patties, or croquettes, were a great idea—we just spiced them up a bit. Most agree that the best crab cakes feature the meat itself with very little binder, are lightly breaded (if at all), and fried to a golden brown. Click here for recipe.
21. Deviled crab
Crabmeat hand-mixed with seasonings, nestled back into the open shell from whence it came, topped with buttered bread crumbs, and baked to glory—for many years, the former Henry’s on Market Street was the place to go for this special dish. These days, you can find deviled crab at The Wreck on Shem Creek, made up by none other than Skipper Shaffer, great-grandson of Henry’s founder. Health codes red-flag the actual shells, so they’re served up in aluminum ramekins. Not quite the same, but still delicious. Click here for recipe.
22. Fried whiting
Whiting, or southern kingfish, is plentiful on our shores, cruising beneath surfers on Folly and anywhere waves are breaking. It’s common to see anglers load up coolers full of them, destined to be deep fried and served with hot sauce, as has been the traditional preparation, especially among African-American cooks. In their 2012 cookbook The Lee Brothers Charleston Kitchen, Matt and Ted celebrate the sweet, mild flavor of this tasty panfish with a lighter skillet approach. Click here for recipe.
The word “barbecue” is said to have been derived from the West Indian “barbacoa,” for the slow-cooking meat over hot coals. Around here, it means pork, usually a whole hog, cooked low and slow, and a long night of tending fire. And while most pitmasters guard their secrets, Jimmy Hagood of BlackJack Barbecue shares a Boston butt grill recipe that even novices can master. When the meat takes on a buttery tenderness, shred it up on slices of Wonder Bread and watch the crowd form. Click here for recipe.
24. Charleston Rice
Most Charlestonians don’t consider a meal complete without rice on the plate. Our city was, after all, built on the wealth of rice exportation. Dedicated members of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation have worked hard to restore the aromatic antebellum grain to our pantry. Cooked in the traditional Charleston rice steamer, each fluffy and never-sticky grain holds its own and requires little more than butter and a pinch of salt—though gravy is always welcome. Click here for recipe.
There are as many variations on preparing as there are in pronouncing this antebellum rice-based dish, but locals generally say “purr-LO.”A medium for veggies, seafoods, or meats, it’s basically rice cooked in a rich stock until tender. The toasty layer that forms at the bottom of the pot is part of the charm, so mix it in before serving for a little crunch. Click here for recipe.
26. Frogmore Stew
New Orleans has crawfish boils we have frogmore stew (named for the little town of Frogmore, down the coast on St. Helena Island). It’s the same principle: seafood, sausage, potatoes, corn, and spices, only we feature shrimp, sometimes throwing in stone crab claws from local waters for good measure. Click here for recipe.
27. Hoppin’ John
A peas-and-rice dish eaten year-round but always on New Year’s Day for good luck, hoppin’ John features the humble field pea (and if you eat it the day after New Year’s, it’s called “skippin’ Jenny”). Petite Sea Island red peas are ideal, as is aromatic Carolina Gold rice for superior flavor and texture. Some insist the peas and rice be cooked together, others say separately and then combined. Charlotte Jenkins, author of Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea, shares her recipe, cooked together with ham hocks, onion, and thyme. Click here for recipe.
28. Red Rice
Not to be confused with Creole dirty rice, red rice is essentially tomato pilau, as John Martin Taylor notes in his seminal Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking: Recipes and Ruminations from Charleston & the Carolina Coastal Plain. Sometimes sweetened with a touch of sugar and flavored with diced bacon, salt, and pepper, red rice has been satisfying Lowcountry denizens since well before the Civil War. Click here for recipe.
29. Chicken Bog
Chicken bog is, well, boggy—i.e. moisture-retaining but not soupy (picture the damp floor of a low-lying cypress grove for boggy inspiration). A stick-to-your-ribs rice dish slow simmered in chicken stock and laced with tender shredded meat, Matt and Ted Lee call it “a close cousin to the classic Lowcountry pilau” in their 2006 The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. Chef Louis Osteen, who moved to the Lowcountry from Atlanta in 1979, learned his recipe from Dickie Creighton, “a legend in Pawleys Island,”he says. “I’ll never forget the comfort of its warm simplicity.” Click here for recipe.
30. Fried Green Tomatoes
You’ll find fried green tomatoes jazzed up all over town: with pork-belly croutons and feta at Cru Cafe, tomato chutney and country ham at Magnolia’s, comeback sauce and goat cheese at Southerly. No matter the sidekick, these crispy-tart slices are the star. Click here for recipe.
31. Sweet Potato Pone
The ladies who contributed to Charleston Receipts grated their sweet potatoes and sweetened their pone with molasses or dark cane syrup, as did Gullah chefs (from whom the Junior Leaguers probably learned the “sweet tada pone” receipt in the first place). James Beard Award-winning chef Robert Stehling of Charleston’s beloved Hominy Grill sticks to brown sugar and stays true to the citrus-cinnamon signature of this hot, rich dish. Click here for recipe.
32. Corn Bread
A thoroughly New World creation, the once plain hoecakes of cornmeal, fat, and water have evolved across the country with the addition of sugar or molasses, dairy, and leavening agents. Here in Charleston, you can get savory skillet breads with cracklin’ at Husk or sweet cake-like squares at S.N.O.B. If you make your own, be sure to splurge on quality cornmeal such as the coarser, stone-ground varieties available through Anson Mills or Geechee Boy Mill in nearby Edisto. Pitmaster and Food for the Southern Soul owner Jimmy Hagood shares his savory cast-iron skillet corn bread sweetened only by a kiss of cane syrup. Click here for recipe.
33. Fried Okra
In her classic Gullah cookbook, Bittle en’ T’ing’, Maum Chrish’ refers to fried okra as “buckruh ok’ry” (white people’s okra). She insists okra be cooked so tenderly it doesn’t require chewing but acknowledges that some like it fried. Anyone who’s ever eaten raw okra straight off the vine knows how satisfying the crunch can be, and frying is a great way to seal in flavor. Click here for recipe.
Succotash is as it sounds: a free-form collision of ingredients. But in actuality the word derives from the Naragansett Indian “msickquatash,” translating to “boiled ear of corn.” Sweet corn parties with butter beans or field peas, tons of fresh herbs, garlic, and butter. Any veggies will do, perhaps even a little smoked ham hock or bacon drippings for a Southern charge of flavor. Click here for recipe.
35. Collard Greens
A field of collards is a beautiful sight—bundles of large, dark-green, bitter leaves waiting to be stewed into submission. The process of rendering them takes hours on a stove top (an acquired smell that, like pluff mud, conjures sense of place), usually involving salty pork broth. Cookbook author Charlotte Jenkins learned her recipe from generations of women in her Awendaw-based family. Click here for recipe.
36. Lady Baltimore Cake
Celebrated author of Mrs. Whaley’s Charleston Kitchen, the late Emily “Cheeka” Whaley was a local grande dame of entertaining, though she always considered herself a country girl at heart. She managed to lure the recipe for Lady Baltimore cake from the originator’s granddaughter. (A favorite at the Ladies Exchange, it was made famous by the 1906 novel Lady Baltimore.) A firm white layer cake interspersed with sherry-soaked raisins, nuts, and hard icing, it was highly popular at weddings and birthdays. Click here for recipe.
37. Huguenot Torte
An incredibly sweet confection, somewhere between apple-pecan pie and a spongy blondie, this torte was for years attributed to the Huguenots, who still hold services in French behind their pale-pink church at the corner of Church and Queen (the congregation dates to the 1680s). Food historian John Martin Taylor did the research and busted the myth, however, revealing that a chef at the former Huguenot Tavern sourced an Ozark pudding recipe, tweaked it, and introduced it to Charlestonians in the 1940s as “Huguenot Torte.” It remains one of the city’s most famous desserts. Serve with a generous dollop of unsweetened, freshly whipped cream for a dreamy balance of flavors and textures. Click here for recipe.
38. Coconut cake
A longtime favorite on the Southern dessert table, this layer cake became a Charleston sensation when Peninsula Grill first served its frothy-light, 12-layer version in 1997. Soon, cake lovers across the country began ordering them for a whopping $130 a pop plus shipping costs. Although we can’t share that recipe, the kind folks at Square Onion offer theirs for six layers of true indulgence. If you want to stay true to old Charleston cookbooks, use freshly grated coconut. Click here for recipe.
The name alone is worth reviving, yet this old-school Colonial dessert has fallen out of fashion. That needs to change. A delicious end to a full meal, syllabub is a light, airy blend of fortified wine, cream, and lemon. While earlier recipes, notably one from The Carolina Housewife (1847), contained more alcohol, ours has been tamed to suit modern tastes. Click here for recipe.
40. Groundnut Cakes
Culinary sleuth and author Dr. David S. Shields notes that penny groundnut cakes were sought-after confections of peanuts and molasses sold on Charleston street corners and along wharves until health officials put the clamp on vendors in 1918. Brothers Matt and Ted Lee share their recipe for these bronzy, sweet, crispy nuggets. Click here for recipe.
LUNCH & DINNER MENU
Roast beef, ham, turkey & two cheeses with lettuce, tomato & mayo on a sub roll.
Our 1/4 lb. hot dog first fried, then grilled and served with grilled onions and fries.
Fried or sautéed in butter.
$2499 1/2 lb. shrimp, 1 cluster crab legs.
$2599 3 oysters, 3 clams, 1/4 lb. shrimp, 1 cluster crab legs.
$4299 3 oysters, 3 clams, 1/4 lb. shrimp, 1 cluster crab legs, 6 oz. lobster tail.
Broiled w/ bacon, cocktail sauce & Parmesan.
Broiled w/ bacon, cocktail sauce & Parmesan.
Broiled w/ garlic butter, sweet peppers & bacon.
Broiled w/ garlic butter, sweet peppers & bacon.
Sautéed shrimp over linguini with a rich, creamy Parmesan cheese sauce.
Sautéed shrimp and scallops over linguini with a rich, creamy Parmesan cheese sauce.
6 oz. filet with a 6 oz. lobster tail.
Shrimp and lump crab broiled in white wine garlic butter.
6 oz. filet & your choice of Oysters, Shrimp, Clam Strips, Crab Cakes, or Soft Shell Crabs.
Tomato-based with lots of crab and veggies.
Tomato-based with lots of crab and veggies.
Thick and creamy New England style.
Thick and creamy New England style.
$1099 Grilled or blackened chicken
$1199 Grilled or Blackened Tuna
with cheese $10.49 Bacon and Cheese $10.99
Your choice of cheese, piled high with ham.
Your choice of cheese, piled high with ham.
$1199 Awful's Tuna Bites with a cajun kick.
$999 A basket of bite-sized, golden-fried taste of the islands, served with a side of chipotle aioli
6 simple recipes to showcase clams, mussels and oysters
Bivalves — clams, mussels and oysters — can seem intimidating if you’re not used to cooking them. But they don’t have to be: Simple recipes and bold flavors below can help grow your confidence in getting this shelled seafood from the store to the plate whether you’re an experienced seafood-confident cook or a total novice.
Remember to head to our Recipe Finder for even more recipes featuring bivalves.
Classic Mussels Mariniere. Food writer Martha Holmberg put together a guide to cooking mussels that can put any trepidation to rest. With her simple how-to, you’ll be able to get this classic French dish on the table quickly, and Holmberg provides a couple of flavor twists to play with when you’ve mastered this recipe. Then you can even try letting your oven do the work for Oven-Steamed Mussels.
I made it this afternoon, it's cooling now.
1.) I like it. The flavor is good. It is very different from store-bought mainly because of the absence of sugar, and the difference is good. The oyster taste is definitely more pronounced.
2.) It's easy to make.
3.) When I make it again I will omit the salt. I used low sodium soy sauce, and it was still a bit salty for my taste. That's just me. When I add some rice vinegar and some broth to make sauce, the salt flavor will dissipate.
4.) It seems a bit extravagant. 8 oz. of shucked oysters cost me $5, and I end up with about 4 oz. of oyster sauce (there would be maybe 1 oz. more if I liquified the oysters instead of mincing them). But now that I've done this, what else can I do but go on making it? Go back to that bottle of corn syrup and msg I have on the shelf? Ugh. And anyway, the actual cost of the store-bought stuff is not low.
5.) Being able to make it a few days in advance is a convenience.
The hardest part of this recipe was not eating the oysters raw, before I had a chance to cook with them.
Eddie, you are welcome. Great to see that you made the recipe :) Thanks for spending time writing down the detailed comment that certainly will help other users.
I think it's definitely not a cheap recipe to make. But like what you said, this homemade stuff is pure oyster sauce, unlike store-bought bottle is packed with corn syrup, salt, msg and preservatives. Glad to hear you like it.
Hope you will enjoy more Chinese stir-fries from now on :)
Hi, thank you for the recipe.
I really wanted to make my own oyster sauce. I am very happy to have found your recipe, and I will try it, but I found it after I had to guess how to make my own. If you don't mind I would like to share how I did it. I read the ingredients on abottle of oyster sauce. I bought two Coquit oysters at Whole Foods, (cost $ 3.98 US). I was stressing about having to shuck them, since it's not something I do often. I had visions of cutting myself. So, at the last minute I threw them in a pot in the shell with about 1 cup of water. (Didn't measure anything, just eye balled it and kept tasting). after they opened, I removed them form the shell and put them back in the water. Then I put in a little ginger and a little garlic and waaaay too much soy sauce, approximately 1/2 cup, a little salt and a little pepper. It was extremely salty, so I adjusted with more water. Then I added in some Demerara sugar (brown whole sugar with all the minerals, etc.). Boiled it some more. Gently. Then I dissolved enough arrowroot in some water and thickened it. Thought about putting in a bit of rice wine, but I didn't have any. Then I buzzed it all up (oysters and all) in a very powerful blender. It came out tasting amazing, much better then the store bought, no chemicals and actually nutritious. It had a pleasant just a hint of oyster. It was delightful! Next time, however I will use way less soy sauce. I would also like to try it making oyster soup and just letting it reduce and caramelize, as the old story goes. Thanks again for your recipe and for providing a guideline of how much soy sauce to use.
Wow, thanks for spending the time and sharing your homemade oyster sauce experiment :) It sure required some work, but the result was so worth it. So glad you found that the recipe was helpful. Happy Cooking :-)
I've never bought oysters before. Is buying frozen and letting them thaw work just as well? The Asian store by my house sells frozen farm raised oysters from Korea. Are they okay to eat (farm raised salmon I would not but I think oysters are different, not sure) or should I get wild caught?
Dear Sr. I do not know how to cook at all, but after 3 months in Thailandia, I ate so much Fried Vegetables with Osther Sauce, that I decided to make it, so I bought all ingredients. Now I want to try to make my own osther sauce, following your recipe. I am a Brazilian living and working in Mexico. Right here, I just learned how to caught the osther in front of the Lab I work, and after many trialls I will let you share with you. Thanks for the recipe. I am sure now the Fried Vegetable will be much tastefull.
Devil’s Purse Brewing Co. to Release Intertidal Oyster Stout Made w/ Chatham Shellfish
(SOUTH DENNIS, MA) – Freshly harvested oysters from Chatham, Mass., are featured in the latest batch of Intertidal Oyster Stout from Devil’s Purse Brewing Company scheduled for release just in time for the holidays.
While oysters may appear to be an odd ingredient to add to beer, Devil’s Purse co-founder and brewer Mike Segerson explained that the addition of this storied shellfish enhances the flavor of this hearty, yet easy drinking, stout recipe.
“When we set out to make this stout we envisioned using oysters in the boil which not only captures the salinity of the oyster liquor but also extracts the calcium from the shell,” said Segerson. “This minerality from the oyster adds a truly unique layer of complexity to the beer.”
The initial batch of Intertidal Oyster Stout was brewed with shellfish from East Dennis Oyster Farm and released this past September with great response from customers visiting the brewery and terrific feedback from local pubs where the beer was pouring on tap.
“With each batch of our Intertidal Oyster Stout we hope to feature shellfish from different growers around Cape Cod and tweak the recipe to compliment the character of the different oysters,” said Segerson.
For the latest version of Intertidal Stout Devil’s Purse approached Stephen Wright, general manager of Chatham Shellfish Company, to secure some oysters.
“As the only commercial oyster farmer in Chatham I was excited when Devil’s Purse asked me for some oysters to use in one of their beers,” said Wright. “This is certainly a fun and unique way to promote Chatham shellfish.”
The latest Intertidal Oyster Stout recipe uses six-dozen Chatham oysters placed in a mesh sack added to the boiling wort. The grain bill consists of Maris Otter, roasted barley and de-husked roasted barley.
The first kegs of Intertidal Oyster Stout will be ready later this month and available at the brewery as well as select draft accounts on Cape Cod and the South Shore.
A special holiday beer and oyster tasting event at Chatham Bars Inn is scheduled Dec. 29 and will be open to the public. Guests will be able to taste the Intertidal Oyster Stout and other beer styles brewed by Devil’s Purse. A raw bar staffed by Chatham Shellfish Company will shuck local oysters. A $10 charge will cover initial beer and oyster tastings. Sacred Cod Tavern dinner specials will also be created to pair with Devil’s Purse beers.
“We are committed to using locally sourced ingredients and the beers from Devil’s Purse and the oysters from Chatham Shellfish Company continue to receive accolades from our guests,” said Richard Carroll, director of sales and marketing for Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa.
“Chatham Bars Inn remains a great partner with Devil’s Purse and the resort is the perfect venue for celebrating our latest batch of Intertidal Oyster Stout,” said Devil’s Purse co-founder Matthew Belson. “What better way to finish the year than drinking a delicious locally brewed stout paired with delicate local oysters in an elegant location that is a centerpiece of Chatham during the holidays and first-night celebrations.