The Best of Lowcountry Southern Cooking
Along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia lies a stretch of coastal plains, marshlands, swamps, and Sea Islands known as the Lowcountry. Here, French and West African culinary traditions came together to build a cuisine based on rice and the area's abundant seafood. Frogmore stew, for example, is a culinary creation credited to African-Americans of West African heritage known as the Gullah. If you use words like "goober" (for peanut) and "gumbo," you're speaking a bit of Gullah. Let's look at the best of Lowcountry cooking.
Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits
This traditional Lowcountry dish features tender shrimp simmered with flavorful andouille sausage, bacon, and colorful bell peppers. Enjoy your saucy shrimp served over creamy, cheesy grits.
Gullah Red Rice
This simple baked rice dish features bacon and sausage baked with rice in a flavorful tomato sauce. "Charleston red rice is one of Charleston, South Carolina's Gullah dishes," says LadyV. "Being from the Sea Islands of Charleston, this is a go-to dish passed down!"
This fried rice with okra, bacon, and onion is a terrific Lowcountry-inspired side, but it's filling enough to be a satisfying main dish. CharlieSandra rates it 5 stars: "Went right by the recipe and it turned out great. Being from the Low Country of SC, I think I will add some fresh shrimp next time. With or without shrimp, it's a meal all by itself. Ya'll enjoy."
Okra and Tomatoes
Here's a simple, comforting side with a Lowcountry sensibility. It's okra sauteed in bacon grease with onion, green pepper, celery, and stewed tomatoes. "This is one of my favorite recipes," says nammacooks. "I make this dish often in the summer when we have okra from the garden and I use frozen okra in the winter."
Dave's Low Country Boil
It's not just dinner, it's an adventure! With sausage, shrimp, crab, potatoes and corn, it's an all-in-one pot all-you-can-eat buffet. "Famous in the Low Country of Georgia and South Carolina, this boil is done best on an outdoor cooker," says Lisa.
Lowcountry Shrimp and Cheese Grits
How Lowcountry can you go? Shelled shrimp are sauteed with diced tomato in olive oil and butter and served over garlic cheese grits. "This is the best and easiest shrimp and grits recipe!" says Carol. "I have also added andouille sausage sometimes for a different flavor excellent."
Lowcountry Tomato Pie
Buttermilk biscuits create the crust for a tasty savory pie of tomatoes, sauteed vegetables with a cheesy Cheddar topping. "This is a classic Southern recipe from Charleston, South Carolina," says solemn chef. "Decadent, easy, and delicious!"
Husband's Grandmother's Shrimp Gumbo
"My husband's grandmother taught me this recipe," says ranch_maven. "She actually cooked for Cajun festivals. She used 40-gallon trash cans for her stock pots. People would line up for this authentic Cajun specialty. This recipe serves eight but multiplies well. Serve gumbo over cooked white rice."
Red Rice and Sausage
This simple savory dish goes from stovetop to oven. "Red rice and sausage is a Charleston favorite," says AUTUMNJON. "I like to use turkey sausage, another good alternative is Italian sausage."
Tender, salty boiled peanuts are a Southern treasure. And all you need to make them at home are raw peanuts in their shells, salt, and water. Claudette raves about them! "If you have never tried boiled peanuts stop whatever you're doing right this minute go out buy peanuts and get started (smile)," she says. "You will not be let down. To Die For!"
Hearty Hoppin' John Stew
Hoppin' John, it's not just for New Year's Day! This simple skillet meal features pork sausage, rice, and Cajun-seasoned black-eyed peas. "I've made Hoppin John for years with many recipes and different ways (crock pot etc.) and this is my favourite," raves Michelle Renee. "It was so easy (no soaking the peas overnight) and fast and just delicious."
Aunt Margie's Sweet Potato Pone
This Southern stand-out recipe features shredded sweet potatoes baked in a buttery orange sauce. "This is what our Southern family has had on the Thanksgiving table for at least 3 generations," says Christina Kennedy. "Great Aunt Margie (pronounced MAH-gee) was born in 1902."