Archive for November, 2011
For an authentic experience while at St. Simons Island, head to the Lady Jane, a refurbished shrimp boat, for a trip on through the calm (no sea legs required) salt marshes for a price of $39.95/person. Captain Larry Credle and son Cliff pull a trawl net behind the boat that captures a bevy of sea life from the estuary. The Credle family has a long history at sea, even claiming the infamous Blackbeard as a distant relative. Cliff, an aspiring marine biologist, identifies the haul as it’s pulled in and spread out on a metal table.
On a recent trip, the catch included a rare green sea turtle, which is carefully documented for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, then released. Click here for a video of the catch (fast forward to second 00.48 if you’re antsy). All creatures are spared, except for shrimp that are saved for a boiled snack you’ll have at the end of your journey. The flavor of the Georgia wild shrimp is sublime; with supple flesh and a sweet spartina taste added by the native marsh grass, a member of the same family as sugar cane. You’ll be “hooked” in no time!
Getting to know local food artisans in Georgia! Savannah Bee Company honey – Black sage and Winter White have made me a believer! From 1:00: Sourwood, Orange Blossom, Black Sage, Winter White!
Sun sets at one of my centers of the universe: St. Simons Island in GA. Marshland smells, susurrus of waves, sunset over sea. History at the Coastguard Maritime Museum yesterday, shrimp and grits culinary demo at the The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort last night along with Georgia cheese, wine, and distilled spirits. Things have moved on a bit since we left GA 15+ years ago!
On the eleventh green at the King and Prince golf course – marsh holes coming up! This golf course is near to my heart because it is environmentally correct (marsh holes are on natural hillocks) and incredibly beautiful at the same time. As you address the holes, you sense that you are floating across the marsh grass. Incredible.
A serious foodie visit to St. Simons Island must include a stop at Southern Soul, a celebration of protein located at the epicenter of the island’s more populous south end. Co-owner Griffin Bufkin declares “you want to go to a barbeque place with wood out front” and so it is at Southern Soul. The restaurant’s three smokers, all set at different temperatures according to the type of meat to be cooked, burn about $300 of wood per week. The Weekday Worker Special offers a pulled pork “Que” sandwich with fries and a large soda for $6.50. For a more eclectic sample, go for the $15 Southern Soul Sampler with two meats, Brunswick stew, and a side (bring your eatin’ clothes). Try the lovely two-toned smoky brisket and classic pulled pork. For directions and a menu, click here.
Those rascally wild white Georgia shrimp! They don’t stray far from home, and their sweet feral flavor outshines their farm-raised distant cousins. A culinary demo at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort showed a new twist on shrimp and grits with cream and cajun seasoning, along with Tasso ham (similar to Italian speck) prepared by locally-born chefs Dwayne Austell and Paula Murphy!
Vinny d’Agostino, new head of the food and beverage program, updates the menu with fresh, artisanal fare that respects the food roots of the island. He shares the Shrimp and Grits recipe here that shows dedication to tradition, along with some Italian twists of Vinny’s own:
King and Prince Shrimp & Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Tasso ham
1/4 cup kernel corn
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1/2 cup wild georgia shrimp
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1/4 cup Asiago cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preparation: In one saucepan, saute the Georgia shrimp with Cajun seasoning using olive oil. In another pan, saute Tasso ham, corn, tomatoes, and green onions; add heavy cream and Asiago cheese; let simmer two minutes. Add shrimp and serve over stone ground grits of your choice.