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Tag Archives: Low Country

Mrs. Wilkes Cracklin Cornbread – More Savannah Pictures

I love the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia and consider it to be heaven on earth.  Today, I am sharing some more pictures of Savannah and a cornbread recipe.  I had forgotten how unique the cornbread and biscuits are at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House because they are cut into squares.  I know that isn’t that unusual for cornbread but it does seem unusual for biscuits.  There are two reasons why I am sharing her recipe.  First of all, I enjoy her cornbread so much and second I wanted to incorporate a cracklin cornbread recipe in this post. Cracklin cornbread was prepared in my home many times and I think cracklins were available this time of year because it was a time when the hogs on the farms were slaughtered.

What in the world are cracklins?   I found this great explanation..

Cracklins, or cracklings, are pieces of pork fat and skin that have been deep fried so that they turn crispy and golden. There are numerous preparation techniques for this food, with slightly different end results, ranging from very heavy, greasy chunks to light, fluffy pork skins. Typically, communities that continue to raise and slaughter their own pigs will also produce cracklins, which are sometimes treated as regional delicacies. It is also sometimes possible to find them at a market or butcher’s, depending on where a person lives.

Food historians believe that cracklins probably emerged around the 1800s, in the British West Midlands, although they may well be older. They likely originated in attempts to render fat, because one traditional method for preparing cracklins also produces a large amount of lard, as the fat renders off while they cook. Typically, the end result will keep well at room temperature for a surprising amount of time, and most people eat cracklins as snack foods, although they may also be baked into breads, especially cornbread in the American south.
Here is Mrs. Wilkes Recipe:
cracklin bread

I my have shared some of these pictures earlier in the week; however, Savannah is such a pretty city that I think they are worth a second look.

Street Scene - Savannah

Street Scene – Savannah

Downtown Savannah

Downtown Savannah

Riverfront -n Downtown Savannah

Riverfront -n Downtown Savannah

Waving Girl - Riverfront

Waving Girl – Riverfront

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Street Scene Savannah

Street Scene Savannah

Riverfront - Savannah

I always think of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia as being more sophisticated places to live than the foothills of North Carolina.  It was very surprising for me to read the food column in the Island Packet on the Sunday of our vacation and see a recipe for Cracklin Cornbread. I think that is one of the reasons why I love the Low Country.  There are many new sophisticated Southern traditions mixed with some very old Southern traditions.

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Savannah – Mrs. Wilkes and Fried Chicken

Last week, I shared with you my experiences at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina during our vacation week. However, I did not mention my visit to one of my favorite cities, Savannah.  Actually, we visited Savannah twice.  We left our home in North Carolina on Friday evening and drove for about three hours and spent the night in South Carolina.  We got up on Saturday morning and only had to drive two more hours to Savannah. They have a farmers market every Saturday morning and we arrived just in time to visit it.

We browsed through downtown and River street, ate lunch and ice cream at Leopolds and then headed for Hilton Head Island in the afternoon.  We returned to Savannah on Wednesday and ate lunch at Mrs. Wilkes.  I will share some of my experiences in Savannah this week but I must start with my favorite place, Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House.

We arrived at Mrs. Wilkes at around 11:30 and there was a line waiting for a table.  The food is served family style and can be a curiosity for someone that has never eaten there before.  We met a couple from New Jersey while waiting in line and told them how this restaurant evolved.  Mrs. Wilkes ran a boarding house in downtown Savannah and fed her boarders. That eventually evolved into a restaurant.  The food is so good and I have eaten there for over 20 years and never been disappointed. It is served family style and now I am a little more selective about what I eat there.  I always have a biscuit with her gravy because it is so good.  I eat lots of southern vegetables including rutabaga, yams and greens. Last week she had succotash and it was absolutely delicious. Of course, I always look forward to her fried chicken and I think it is my favorite.  It is crisp, non-greasy and flavorful.

This is  a picture of the street scene from Mrs. Wilkes while I was waiting in line.  I love the old homes in Charleston and Savannah.  In some ways they are so similar and in some ways they seem different.  I think there are more brick homes in Savannah than in Charleston.

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Of course, I wanted to prepare fried chicken when I came home.  However, if you read my blog post the other day when I tried to fry okra, you can understand why I decided to bake the chicken this time. I have posted Mrs. Wilkes recipe for her fried chicken on my blog before and here is a link to that post. http://sodoesthatmeaniamsouthern.com/2011/09/19/mrs-wilkes-fried-chicken/

Below is another view of Jones Street in Savannah.

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When I returned from Savannah, I saw the recipe I am sharing with you today on my facebook page.  It was posted by my friend Dixie and I thought I would give it a try.

Oven Baked Chicken

baked fried chicken 002

1 pound of chicken breast tenderloin strips

Place the thawed chicken breast in a shallow bowl or pan and cover with milk.  Let soak for 20 to 30 minutes.  I used 1/2 milk and 1/2 evaporated milk

In a gallon freezer bag, combine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon season all or Adolph’s

3/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup flour

2 tsp. paprika

(I added 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper to the mixture)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut 1/2 stick of butter into a few pieces and place in a 9 x 13 pan.  Melt butter in pre-heated oven. Swirl the butter around the bottom of the pan.

Remove the chicken from the milk and shake any excess milk off the chicken.  Completely coat each piece with the seasoning mix. You can either shake the chicken in the bag, until coated, or dip each piece in the mixture until coated.

Place the chicken in the pan.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Turn each piece and continue cooking for 20 more minutes, or until cooked through.

We really enjoyed this chicken.  It had good flavor and was very moist.  If you like crispier chicken, you could put it under the broiler for just a few minutes on each side to make it crispier.

Happy Monday to You and I am looking forward to sharing more of my Savannah visit with you  this week.

Hilton Head Island – One More Time – Blackened Grouper with Tuffle Butter Cream Sauce

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blackened grouper truffle butter

Today, I am sharing a recipe for grouper with truffle oil from the Experience Hilton Head publication from our trip last week. The recipe is shared by ELA’s Blu Water Grill located in at the Shelter Cove Marina.  I do like the taste of grouper as it is a mild fish.  When I saw the use of truffle oil in the recipe, that really did intrigue me as I love the flavor of truffle. I keep white truffle butter in my fridge to combine with pasta.  (Ina Garten shared that recipe in one of her books and it is absolutely wonderful.

I could just go on and on about the many wonderful experiences I have from Hilton Head Island, SC and I may include more experiences in the future.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the beginning of fall on Sunday.

My Favorite Place – Hilton Head Island, S.C. – A Favorite Restaurant’s Fried Oysters

As you read this, I have just returned from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. We spent an entire week in beautiful Sea Pines Plantation. I have many different experiences and pictures I want to share with you this week.

Today, I am sharing a recipe I saw in one of the brochures that featured a favorite restaurant, The Old Oyster Factory. The restaurant is in a beautiful setting on Broad Creek and the food is so delicious. I thought the recipe for fried oysters was the perfect way to start the week. Although, I am not a great lover of seafood, I do enjoy eating fried oysters sometimes.

fried oysters

Included with the recipe is the history of the site on Broad Creek where the restaurant is now located.

Below is a picture of Skull Creek on Hilton Head and I have many more picture, recipes and experiences to share with you this week.  Happy Monday Everyone!

Skull Creek - Hilton Head Island, SC

Skull Creek – Hilton Head Island, SC

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