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Beaufort Soused Corn and Shrimp Lunch



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Lighthouse in a Park, Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort, South Carolina, USA
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In the course of my research for great summer recipes, I turned, as I often do,
to one of my favorites - a jewel called “Glorious American Food”. I would have
bought the book just for Tom Eckerle’s phenomenal photography and the
stunning prose, but was delighted to find that it actually contains some pretty
darned good recipes as well. So. Rather than trying to figure out a different
twist on barbecue, or a picnic by the lake, I’ve decided on a menu I would
dearly love to play around with myself this weekend…

 Unless otherwise indicated, the source for all recipes in this feature is

Glorious American Food icon

by Christopher Idone, 1985, Random House

Published in hardcover in 1985 and out of print for the past several years,
this brilliant cookbook is being reissued in paperback for the first time.
Hailed as the first book to showcase regional American food, this volume
is indispensable for anyone who likes to cook.
275 recipes. 250 full-color photos.


Beaufort Soused Corn and Shrimp Lunch

Suggested Wine: Kendall-Jackson Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

 “Vichyssoise is one of the most refreshing soups in warm weather, and it’s
certainly substantial. This soup, first served at the Ritz in New York, really is
no different from potato soup, and seems elegant just because it’s been puréed
and doused with cream. Waters off the Carolina coast harvested some of the
best shrimp available, and Beaufort is a small port that once was crowded with fishing boats. The shrimp industry has dwindled to a handful of boats, but in
that area, shrimp dishes and pies are still very popular. I took the shrimp and
the corn out of the pie shell, and soused them with a vinaigrette; it’s lighter
than a doughy pie. Cobbler is usually blanketed with biscuit dough; here a
rich buttery crust is rolled out to fit the skillet, all baked into a lighter version
of traditional cobbler.”


Curried Buttermilk Vichyssoise

Serves 8 to 10

4 medium leeks
4 medium potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 quart chicken stock
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1 quart buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Discard the green tops of the leeks and split the leeks lengthwise. Wash
in cold running water to remove all sand. Drain and finely chop.
Peel and slice the potatoes. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the leeks
and sauté over moderate heat, until wilted. Add the curry powder and
cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to
low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender.
Purée the mixture in a food processor [or use a hand-held immersion
blender]. Cover and chill.
When ready to serve, whisk in the buttermilk. Check the seasonings.
Serve in chilled bowls, with a sprinkling of the chopped chives and a
grind of black pepper.


Beaufort Soused Corn and Shrimp

Serves 8

5 pounds medium shrimp, peeled
with tails intact
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns
1 lemon, halved
12 ears sweet corn, cut from the cob
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 lemon, thinly sliced

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice [If you really want
this dish to be soused, substitute vodka
for a portion of the lemon juice!]
1/2 cup [best-quality] olive oil
[We cannot resist adding a clove or
two of garlic, minced, and a dash or
so of Tabasco.]
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

[This salad is gorgeous garnished with cherry
tomatoes and red and/or yellow bell pepper strips.]

In a large saucepan, place the shrimp in 2 quarts of cold water. Add the
bay leaf, peppercorns, and the halved and squeezed lemon. [For extra
spiciness, toss in a bag of dry crab boil, such as Zatarain’s.] Bring to a
boil over moderately high heat. Add the corn and remove from the heat.
Drain and turn into a serving bowl.
Remove and discard the halved lemon and bay leaf. Fold in the scallions
and lemon slices.
Make the vinaigrette and pour over the corn and shrimp, tossing to coat.
Let stand for 15 minutes.


To me, this menu absolutely cries out for potatoes of some sort. If potato salad,
then a very simple one, please (such as Jacques Pepin's French Potato Salad).
Or you may prefer to give one of these a try!

If not potato salad, why not something simply wonderful
from Emeril Lagasse’s

Every Day's a Party:
Louisiana Recipes for
Celebrating with Family and Friends

by Emeril Lagasse with Marcelle Bienvenu and
Felicia Willett, 1999, William Morrow and Co.


Roasted Potatoes

Makes about 12 servings
[It’s always a good thing to have too many potatoes…]

24 new or small red potatoes
(about 2 1/2 pounds),
washed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
[Obviously, you may feel free to kick these up a notch if you wish,
by adding garlic and the minced fresh herbs of your choice plus a
dash of cayenne.]

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment
In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil [and garlic and minced fresh herbs if you are using them]. In a small bowl, combine the
flour, salt, and black pepper and stir to mix. Sprinkle the potatoes evenly
with the mixture and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the potatoes on the
prepared pan and roast for 1 hour.


Fried Green Tomatoes

My apologies to Christopher Idone. Nothing personal, sir. It’s just
that I must use one of my all-time favorite Southern recipes, from

Craig Claiborne's
Southern Cooking

by Craig Claiborne, 1987, Times Books

Yield: 4 servings [You may want to double this recipe!]

1 1/2 pounds green tomatoes
Tabasco sauce to taste
6 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons cornmeal
Coarse salt to taste, if desired
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper [or to taste]
3/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil, approximately

1. Cut the tomatoes in slices about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the slices
with Tabasco.
2. Combine the flour and cornmeal with salt, black pepper, and
cayenne pepper. Put in a plastic bag. Add the tomato slices, a
few at a time, and toss to coat with the four mixture. Shake
off the excess.
3. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet and fry the tomatoes, adding
them a few at a time, without overcrowding, until golden brown
on each side. Drain on paper towels.
4.  Serve immediately. If kept, the tomatoes will turn soggy.


[Skillet] Peach Cobbler

Serves 4 to 6

Cobbler Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound [2 sticks] unsalted butter,
cut into chips and chilled
3 tablespoons ice water

12 large ripe peaches
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar [or to taste, depending on
sweetness of peaches]
[Feel free to add a bit of spice, such
as cinnamon,  if you wish.]

1 tablespoon sugar, for the top of the crust

Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Tools: 10-inch cast-iron skillet or shallow baking dish

Prepare the dough: In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and work in
the butter with your fingertips or with an electric mixer until the mixture is
a mealy consistency. A little at a time, add the ice water until the dough
sticks together. Do not over-mix. Shape into a ball, wrap in waxed paper,
and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Prepare the filling: Mix the filling ingredients together and place the
peaches in an ovenproof skillet or shallow
baking pan.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to fit the pan. Place the
dough over the peaches. Dust with the sugar. Bake for 45 minutes,
or until golden brown.
Serve warm, with heavy cream or vanilla ice cream.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Lemon Zucchini Vichyssoise
Lunch Under the Trees at
Edgewood (Natchez)

Shrimp and Corn Salad
Shrimp Maque Choux Salad
The Tantalizing Tomato
Bourbon Peach Cobbler
Cherry and Peach Cobbler
Granny Manning's Peach Cobbler
Peach, Plum and Blackberry Cobbler

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