Thanksgiving Recipes from the Lowcountry
Missing the beach? Add some of these coastal Carolina staples to your holiday meal and relive your summer vacation.
Thanksgiving in the Lowcountry, that wild stretch of coastline that runs from North Carolina through South Carolina and into Georgia, is celebrated with an enthusiasm specific to those steeped in the art of Southern Hospitality. On any given day, meals are communal, plentiful and everyone is welcome, and no more so than at Thanksgiving. If you love the Lowcountry lifestyle but are temporarily exiled elsewhere, you can still celebrate like a local by serving some of these traditional coastal treats:
Pimento Cheese SpreadSoutherners go through pimento cheese spread like it’s going out of style. You’d be hard pressed to find a party or even a sandwich in the south that doesn’t revolve around this creamy, addictive spread.
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 ½ teaspoons powdered mustard
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons pimentos
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with crackers, French bread or use as a spread on leftover turkey sandwiches.
Charleston Sweet Tea
In the South, the concept that sugar isn’t good for you is perceived as a conspiracy—or at least a terrible rumor. Like everything else in the South, this tea has to be made slowly.
2 large Luzianne tea bags
1 gallon warm water
3 cups simple syrup (two cups of sugar in three cups of hot water)
Mint sprigs to garnish
Corn and Crab QuicheCorn and crab are a Lowcountry staple. If you’re in the north you can easily substitute freshly caught crab with high quality canned crab.
6 oz ounces lump crabmeat
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 sliced tomato
2 ears corn sliced from cob
2 tablespoons fresh basil
5 oz evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees then grease a 9-inch pie plate. Layer cheese, peppers, onion, tomato, corn and crab. In separate bowl whisk eggs with the evaporated milk then add salt, pepper, and basil. Pour the cheese mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until center is firm.
Sea Island Pickled ShrimpSoutherners will pickle anything. These pickled shrimp are an excellent appetizer, but they’re even better perched atop a spicy Bloody Mary.
1 ½ pounds cooked shrimp
1 sweet onion sliced thin
1 lemon sliced thin
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup capers with juice
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Splash of hot sauce
Toss all ingredients together, cover and refrigerate at least overnight. Serve chilled. Recipe keeps for a week.