Make It Local While on Vacation
Published Feb 17, 2017
One of the benefits of staying in a vacation home is that you have access to beautiful gourmet kitchens and starter cooking supplies. Many of our guests are really enthused by this because they view the ability of having a meal or two in the home as a real money-saver. No doubt it is. We’ve all been on vacation before and noticed how having to eat every meal out really drains your wallet. Making meals at home also aides in the ability to take Savannah in at your own pace, without the need to rush off to dinner reservations or finding the right place. You can enjoy views from the porch of your home, taking in the sunny weather, and feeling the togetherness of eating together right from your vacation home.
While planning your meals, why not attempt to make it special by incorporating some wonderful flavors of Savannah? There are plenty of local goods which you can easily pick up while you’re here to add some special Savannah qualities. For this blog, I’d like to offer some recipes which you can make easily at in the vacation home that will help you save some dough and still experience some fine southern flavors.
Savannah Fresh Catch Seafood has what you need. They can help you pick out just what you need to make your own Low Country Boil – (or for $40 pick up a premade boil because, well, it is still vacation! Still a money saving option.)
All the ingredients are relative to your liking. Don’t like red potatoes? You can dice Idaho or Yukon Potatoes. Or add some crab legs or switch up the kielbasa. Totally choose you own adventure here, just like a classic southerner.
Here’s the basics:
4 pounds small red potatoes
5 quarts water
1 (3-ounce) bag of favorite crab boil seasoning (check local stores!!)
4 tablespoons favorite Old Bay seasoning (check local stores!!)
2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage
6 ears of corn, halved or quartered
4 pounds large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined if you like (I do)
4 lemons, halved as garnish
Cocktail sauce or Hot Sauce
Add potatoes to large pot, then add 5 quarts of water and seasonings. Cover pot and heat to a rolling
boil; cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are
Add shrimp to stockpot; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain. Serve with cocktail sauce.
Serves about 12. That’s simple, huh?
Low country boil is best with beer. My preference is pairing it with a light, summer-y and citrus-y beer. A great example is Scattered Sun from Southbound Brewing Co. which is local to Savannah and easily available in our grocery stores in cans. Although, if you plan on going strong on the hot sauce, choose a beer with a mellow bitter hop to even out the heat. You can grab Southbound’s popular Hoplin IPA, readily available as well.
While we have fantastic and world renowned bakeries in Savannah, you can also try your own hand at baking some locally inspired treats. Especially if you’re hosting larger groups, baking can save everyone some money from buying little treats throughout the day! So one of my favorite shops on Broughton Street is the Spice and Tea Exchange and what I love to buy here is locally-harvested dried lavender flowers.
Here in Savannah, we love lemon bars. So here’s my twist on the local favorite any time of year.
For the crust:
1/2 pound butter (shortening), I have used butter flavored Crisco to enormous benefit
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated Meyer Lemon zest (4 lemons) (If you can’t find Meyer lemons, regular one will do.
Check the Brighter Day and the Forsyth Park Farmers market for the Meyer’s though)
1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon juice
1 cup flour
Cinnamon Stick for shaving
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the flour and salt gradually, until it’s a rough
pea sized mix. Form dough. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten
the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch
edge on all sides. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust
and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. 2 minutes before you plan on taking it out of the
over, place on cooling rack and sprinkle dried lavender flowers over the filling. No more than a small handful, just for a light sprinkling. Return to oven for remaining minutes.
Dust with confectioner’s sugar and shave just a pinch of cinnamon over the top. The pinch of cinnamon will bring out the flavor of the lavender a bit more and help it play with the lemon. Some recipes want you to use corn starch of the filling but I find it unnecessary. Let cool to room temperature. And boom(!) you have a perfect Savannah treat to “enjoy for the duration of your vacation”! I should copyright that saying!