Georgia Brunswick Stew

Georgia Brunswick Stew

Today marks the day that I institute some changes for my blog. Lately I have been very inspired to learn more about the history of Southern cuisine, which forms the basis of my food history and influence.

I cannot list one specific reason as to the inspiration, but a slew of events accumulated over the last few months that pushed me here. Getting an invite to the private screen of Netflix’s Chef’s Table episode on our local chef, Mashama Bailey, was the starting point.

Next came the discovery of the Southern Foodways Alliance (here is there website) which documents the history of southern cuisine. I quickly became a proud member.

Not long after I visited with my dad and my Uncle Dusty (who is Cajun) and naturally fell into conversations about food of each of their regions. It seems as though I always fall back on or lean towards making food that has roots in the south.

Finally, I have realized that as a food writer in Savannah, I should educated myself more on the food I am writing about as to bring my readers some knowledge of their region.

To implement this change, I am going to start with a dish that I ate all the time growing up. When you live in certain parts of Georgia, semi-rural, there are only so many restaurants available. Most are chain restaurants like Long Horns or McDonalds, so the legitimate food selection is scant at best.

Birthdays and certain holidays resulted in eating out at the ‘fancier’ restaurants or the local mom and pop restaurants that the entire family loved. On our short list of go-tos was Wallace Barbeque, a shack of a BBQ restaurant that serves pulled pork by the pound with a bowl of vinegar-based barbeque sauce on the side. It is loved so much by my family that anytime my Uncle Dusty visits Georgia from his home in Louisiana, Wallace Barbeque is his first stop.

Like any good Georgia barbeque restaurant, Brunswick stew is readily available on the menu. As a result I have eaten gallons and gallons of Brunswick stew in my lifetime.

Brunswick stew is a hunter’s stew which combines any meat that is available, sometimes even squirrel, with any vegetables that are locally available. The result is a bone sticking stock that is chock-full of sustenance.

It is also important to note that Brunswick stew recipes change by the region. Georgia’s versions is traditionally sweeter due to the use of a barbeque sauce poured in the stock. Virginia’s version just uses a tomato base.

A good point of reference for the difference in each region’s Brunswick stew is the Southern Floodway Alliance’s Community Cookbook. It lists a recipe for North Carolina Brunswick Stew. I could not find one for Georgia. Instead of using a sweet barbeque sauce like in my recipe below, the recipe calls for the combination of ketchup, vinegar, and sugar.

Regardless of the region, the modern Brunswick stew features two meats, pork and chicken. Gone are the days where most southerners used what they caught or what was readily available on the farm to cook. The surplus of local supermarkets has made placed cheap meat in every home.

The recipe below is merely a starting point. I based my recipe on the countless bowls of Brunswick stew I ate growing up. You can switch out the vegetables, lookup versions from other regions or just throw in anything that suits the moment.

A big pot of hearty brunswick stew and slices of bread

Georgia Brunswick Stew

On overhead view of the big pot of stew and bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of Smoked Pork Shoulder
  • 4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 16oz Bag of Frozen Lima Beans
  • 2 32oz Boxes of Chicken Stock
  • 1 Sweet Onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 14oz Cans of Stewed Tomatoes
  • 2 14oz Cans of Creamed Corn
  • 3 Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Cup of Sweet Barbeque Sauce, or more to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. I start this recipe by saying that everything is to taste. Add more barbeque sauce at the end if you preferer a sweeter more pungent barbeque flavor. As for the chicken stock, I start with one box then add more towards the end of the recipe to get the stock thickness I desire.
  2. Place a heavy bottom soup pot or a Dutch over over medium heat, and pour in one tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee the onion until caramelized and translucent.
  3. Place in your chicken thighs, then pour over enough chicken stock to cover the chicken.
  4. Bring the chicken stock up to a boil, then reduce the heat down to medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and cook the chicken thighs for 30 minutes.
  5. After the chicken has cooked, pour in your remaining ingredients. Turn up the heat as long as necessary to bring the stew back up to a simmer. Once at a simmer you can reduce the heat back to medium-low.
  6. Add as much chicken stock as necessary to get the stew to your desired thickness.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. I cook the stew for at least one hour to allow the potatoes to soften. The longer you allow it to cook the better it gets.
  9. Serve with sliced white bread or cornbread.
  10. *For an even easier version, combine all of the ingredients into a crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours.
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If you do not feel like making stew at home, here is my recommendation on a good local bbq spot.

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Ultimate Cornbread

Ultimate Cornbread

Officially, it is the time of year for parties, potlucks, family gatherings, and anything in-between. Fall is the time of year that I love most, mainly because all of the festivities gives me an excuse to cook – as if I needed one. For most cooks, the love of cooking comes from sharing your finished dish with others.

But with all of the doing and making everyone gets a bit tired, which is where quick and easy recipes come into play. A home cook can never have too many delicious quick recipes, the kind you lean towards when in a pinch or too busy to really put work into a dish.

A homemade batch of cornbread can easily fill in the gaps for any potluck or gathering. For me, the problem is that making perfect cornbread is not something I have mastered – until I came up with this recipe.

There are many schools of thought on cornbread; some like is sweet, some like it course, some like it filled with things, etc. Personally, I love the sweet version that comes straight from a box. I grew up eating sweet skillet cornbread, so anything short of what I grew up with was was never good enough.

Until this recipe, I did not know out how to make sweet cornbread that stayed together when sliced. And because everyone has their own preference in cornbread, I wanted to include as much in one recipe as possible…creating the ultimate cornbread.

My version uses honey as one of the sweeteners along with fresh sweet corn on the cob stirred right in. To balance everything out, fresh jalapenos are added for a little heat. Finally, smoked cheddar cheese is grated over the top to add a final layer of umami. As the cornbread cooks, the cheese becomes bubbly and browns on the top of the bread.

The best part, the dish takes only 15-20 minutes to mix together and bake – perfect for anyone in a pinch or just plain overworked.

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Ultimate Cornbread

Ultimate Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 1 Cup of Cornmeal
  • 1 Cup of All Propose Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup of Honey
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2/3 Cup of Milk
  • 3 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 Corn on the Cob, kernels removed from the cob
  • 4 Ounces of Smoked Mild Cheddar, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare a medium cast-iron skillet or 9x9 pan by greasing it.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together all of your ingredients except for your cheese. Mix until fully combined.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
  5. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of your batter.
  6. Bake the cornbread, on the middle rack, for 15 minutes.
  7. Slice and serve warm.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/11/06/ultimate-cornbread/

 

Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

My mother and my uncle (her brother) have an extremely green thumb. If a green thumb is something you can inherit, they definitely got it from my great grandmother.

As for me—well, my thumb is probably kind of that weird color in-between yellow and light green.

For the last couple of years I have been planting a summer garden. I have done okay, but I would dub my prowess less than masterful. Each year has yielded different bounties with some crops more successful than others. I will add, the heat of Savannah makes it much more difficult to be successful. I am practically watering my garden twice a day.

This year I added Swiss chard to my list of plants, which have always included tomatoes, peppers, and squash. As it turns out, Swiss chard is rather easy to grow other than having to water it a bit extra that most of the other plants.

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Once one of my chard crops was too large for its spot, I decided it was time to cut it and cook it. I have found that my favorite part about summer, aside from the ample time at the beach, is the summer bounty that is available. Every single fruit and vegetable at the store tastes so delicious and fresh.

This recipe takes a plain old pizza dough and spruces it up with bacon (because everyone loves bacon), fresh summer corn, and swiss chard from my garden.

I use bread flour for this recipe because it creates a thinner, crispier crust. If you do not have bread flour you can use regular all purpose, but be aware your crust will be slightly chewier…but still delicious.

If you do not want to make your own dough, pop by your local pizzeria and buy a ball or two from them (it is better than the frozen version).

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Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 and 1/2  Cups of Room Temperature Water
  • 4 1/2 Cups of Bread Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine your yeast and water. Let sit for 3 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
2. In your stand mixer, combine flour and yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
3. Add your olive oil and salt, then mix to combine.
4. Attach your dough hook, and knead the mixture on medium-low for 4-5 minutes or until dough comes together and looks smooth. If mixture absolutely does not come together you can add a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
5. Place your dough in an oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
6. Let sit on the counter for one hour, or until doubled in size.
7. Gently turn out the dough and divide into two balls for use.
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Swiss Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Package of Thick Cut Bacon
  • 2 Ears of Fresh Corn
  • 2 Cups of Swiss Chard
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare your bacon first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place bacon in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the bacon for 30-45 minutes or until it has reached your desired doneness.
  4. Remove bacon from oven and drain on a paper towels, set aside.
  5. Turn oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat your grill.
  6. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Stir until fully combined. Set aside.
  7. Rinse, remove the stems, and coarsely chop your Swiss chard.
  8. Heat a small skillet over medium with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  9. Cook Swiss chard in the heated skillet until very lightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Rinse your corn, then cut kernels away from the core. Set kernels aside.
  11. Prepare your pizza paddle or baking pan with a heavy amount of flour or semolina flour to allow dough to slip off easily.
  12. On a floured surface, turn out one of your pizza dough balls.
  13. Stretch, toss, or roll your pizza dough to your desired size. Each dough ball could fairly stretch up to 8×8.
  14. Place the stretched dough onto your prepared pizza paddle or baking sheet.
  15. Lightly drizzle your dough with olive oil.
  16. Spread two tablespoons of garlic mayonnaise over your prepared pizza dough.
  17. Sprinkle dough with salt and pepper.
  18. Spread 1/4 cup of your mozzarella over the pizza dough.
  19. Next, spread 1/2 of your corn, 1/2 of your Swiss chard, and 1/2 of your bacon over the pizza dough.
  20. Top the pizza with 1/4 cup of mozzarella.
  21. Repeat the process for preparing the pizza with the second pizza dough ball.
  22. Once you have both pizza prepared, cook on the grill or in the oven until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Georgia Hotdogs + Low Country Boil Corn

Georgia Hotdogs + Low Country Boil Corn

Today, you get two recipes in one post. Thanks to none other than my fried and fellow blogger: A Common Connoisseur.

A few days ago, she asked that I come by, spend the day cooking, and take pictures of what we made. What we came up with were funky grilled hotdogs, a side to go, and of course a dessert. She has a pool at her house, so we were naturally drawn to hanging out by the pool while making yummy food.

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I wanted to go with all things southern because I am slightly obsessed with southern food, and her portion was a bit more tropical. Both flavors are perfect for grilling on a lazy summer day lounging by the pool while avoiding turning on the oven.

Hotdogs (and hamburgers) are the perfect summer food, but we did not want to make just any old hotdogs with ketchup and mustard. For this recipe, we take hotdogs up a notch by topping them with simple, delicious, and unique ingredients.

My topping pays homage to my home state, Georgia, with the use of fresh peaches and Vidalia onions. To take the dog over the edge, bacon and a creamy buttermilk mayonnaise were added.

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The side, corn, is inspired by elote, the delicious Mexican street corn, and Savannah’s favorite party food — low country boil.

For those that have never had low country boil, let me explain the basics of what it is. Most of the low country has a favorite food that they love to serve at parties, mainly because it feeds a ton of people and highlights the coast’s sweet local shrimp. Low country boil is comprised of a huge batch of corn on the cobb, sausage, shrimp, and potatoes all boiled together in Old Bay seasoning or something the like. After it is cooked, the entire batch is dumped out onto a table that is covered in newspaper for everyone to gather around and eat with their hands.

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Maria went with a bahn mi inspired hotdog, which turned out absolutely yummy due to the use of a homemade peanut sauce. She also took care of dessert, which was a no churn ice-cream layered with fig and orange jam. The crazy part, she made it into an adult ice-cream float by topping it with sparkling rosé.

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Here recipes can be found here.

As for the photos, some of hers can be found on this post as well as all of mine!

Low Country Boil Corn

Yield: 6

Low Country Boil Corn

Ingredients

  • 6 Ears of Corn on the Cob
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Juice from 2 Lemons
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesan
  • 3 Tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning Powder
  • 1/2 Cup of Fried Onions, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter

Instructions

  1. Low Country Boil Corn
  2. Ingredients:
  3. • 6 Ears of Corn on the Cob
  4. Prepare and heat up your grill.
  5. While the grill heats, combine your mayonnaise, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then set aside in the fridge.
  6. Next, clean the corn cobs by removing the husks. Coat the corn with your melted butter to prevent sticking on the grill.
  7. Grill the corn until there is a light char all around each ear.
  8. Immediately after removing your corn from the grill, brush each ear of corn with the mayonnaise mixture. Be sure to coat all sides of the corn.
  9. Next coat the corn with your parmesan, followed by your old bay seasoning, and finish by topping with the chopped fried onions.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/07/23/georgia-hotdogs-low-country-boil-corn/

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Georgia Hot Dogs

Ingredients:

• 12 Hotdogs
• 12 Hotdog Buns
• 2 Peaches, halved
• 1 Vidalia Onion, sliced with the rings in tact
• 1/2 Package of Bacon
• 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
• 3 Tablespoons of Buttermilk
• 3 Tablespoons of Fresh Parsley, chopped
• Salt and Pepper to Taste
• Olive Oil

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Directions:

1. Prepare and heat your grill.
2. While the grill heats, in a small bowl whisk together your mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of parsley, buttermilk, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in the fridge.
3. Grill your bacon to your desired doneness. Remove bacon from grill once cooked and drain on a plate covered with paper towels
4. Lightly coat your onion and peaches with olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill the onion and peaches until they have light char marks.
5. Remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
6. While the peaches and onion cools, grill your hotdogs.
7. Chop your onion, bacon, and peaches into large chucks then combine together. Set aside.
8. Remove your hotdogs from the grill, and lightly grill your hotdog buns.
9. Prepare your hotdog by placing the hotdogs into the hotdog buns, topping each hotdog with your peach and onion mixture, then pouring your mayonnaise sauce over the peaches.
10. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.