South Carolina where Barbecue is a Social Event

While folks up north tend to think of Barbecue as a way of cooking foods, head south and it takes on a whole new meaning. Barbecue is an outdoor gathering. Folks get together, cook over a fire pit, smoker or outdoor grill, swap stories and recipes and even are known to get down to the business of discussing the issues of the day. We couldn’t celebrate South Carolina without a proper barbecue. We’ll get to that in a minute.

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. Yet there is so much more to this state than it’s dark past. It’s been a long road, with a long way to go, yet from the ashes of destruction comes greatness, determination and fortitude.

We could wallow in our oppressive past or we could choose to acknowledge it and move on. Personally, I choose to do the latter. Did you know . . .

South Carolina houses a colony of free-range Rhesus Monkeys. Morgan Island, also known as Monkey Island, is home to an estimated 3,500 monkeys. It’s a private island and the monkeys are truly wild. Federal law prohibits unauthorized persons on the island, but some tour companies do take the curious off-shore in hopes of a glimpse of the monkeys. It’s just as well. The monkeys are used in medical research such as AIDS.

On John’s Island, just south of Charleston, grows an oak tree believed to be over 500 years old. It is one of the oldest living things east of the Mississippi. Angel Oak Tree shades an area of 17,000 square feet with its enormous limbs.

Spanish explorers in the 1500s had the nasty habit of bringing wild hogs with them. There is a whole host of theories as to why. These hogs continue to be a problem in the South Carolina today. Wild hogs pray on wildlife and livestock alike. The hogs contribute to the spread of tree disease and hinder attempts at reforestation with rooting and nesting behavior that promotes soil erosion. The problem is so great that in South Carolina Hog Only hunting is permitted year round.

Smyrna, South Carolina is the smallest town in the Palmetto State. At last count, the population was 45 people. The entire town is only around .7 square miles, and yet this tiny town manages to straddle two counties; Cherokee and York counties.

Charleston, South Carolina has earned the nickname “The Holy City” because there are more than 400 places of worship representing a multitude of denominations throughout the city. It is only fitting that the tallest building in Charleston is St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.

South Carolina Barbecue
Refreshments –
Southern Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs
Sweetly Spicy Southern Pecan Chex Mix
Hilton Head Ice Tea

Southern Barbecue –
Barbecue Smoked Ribs with South Carolina Mustard Sauce
Three-Bean Southern Barbecue Baked Beans
Southern Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter
Southern Green Beans

Sweet Conclusion –
A la Mode Bread Pudding with Candied Pecans and Bourbon Sauce

Southern Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs
14 hard-boiled large eggs
3/4 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, finely shredded
3 tablespoons diced Pimientos, drained
1 Shallot, finely minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Place eggs in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water reaches a full boil, remove from heat and cover pan with a tight-fitting lid. Let eggs steep in the hot water for 14 minutes.

Remove eggs with a slotted spoon, crack the shells and plunge in an ice water bath. Let eggs sit in the ice water for 20 minutes. Remove and peel under cold running water.

While the eggs cook and cool, shred cheese using the smallest holes of a cheese grater. Freshly grated cheese is best for this recipe. Set cheese aside. Drain Pimientos, dice and set aside. Peel and finely mince the shallot and garlic, set aside.

Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks, reserving whites on deviled egg trays or serving platters.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse yolks into tiny pieces. Transfer yolks to a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, mayonnaise, 1-1/2 tablespoons pimientos, onion, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into reserved egg whites. Sprinkle with remaining pimientos and cheese. Refrigerate, covered, until serving.

Sweetly Spicy Southern Pecan Chex Mix
3/4 cup Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
4 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 cups Corn Chexs
4 cup Rice Chexs
2 cups Wheat Chexs
2 cups Roasted Pecans

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with waxed paper, set aside.

In an extra large microwave safe bowl, microwave the butter for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and salt and microwave for 1 minute until smooth. Add the Chex to the bowl and toss until they are all well coated.

Microwave for 4 minutes in 1 minute intervals, stirring well after each minute. Toss the mixture with the pecans and spread in a single layer on the prepared pans. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Fill small snack bowls with mix when ready to serve.

Hilton Head Ice Tea
1 Orange, cut into rounds
3 Lemons, divided
Ice as needed
8 fluid ounces Beer
6 fluid ounces Orange Juice
1 fluid ounce Peach Vodka
1/2 fluid ounce Gin
1 fluid ounce White Rum
1 fluid ounce Silver Tequila
1 fluid ounce Triple Sec
Cola Soft Drink as needed

Cut orange into rounds, place in a large pitcher. Cut 2 lemons into rounds, place in the same pitcher. Cut remaining lemon into wedges for garnish, set aside.

Add beer, orange juice, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec to the pitcher; stir gently.

Fill hurricane glasses with ice. Pour drink mixture into each glass. Top each drink off with cola. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a straw. Sip and enjoy.

Barbecue Smoked Ribs with South Carolina Mustard Sauce
Mustard Sauce
1 cup Yellow Mustard
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Honey
2 tablespoons Ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon White Pepper

In a bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, black pepper, and white pepper. Transfer the mustard sauce to an airtight container and set aside until ready to use.

Note: Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to month.

Rib Rub
1/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Raw Sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Celery Salt
2 teaspoons Dried Minced Garlic
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Mustard Powder
2 teaspoons fresh Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Onion Powder

Mix together brown sugar, raw sugar, paprika, kosher salt, celery salt, garlic, chili powder, mustard powder, black pepper, cumin, and onion powder in a small bowl. Whisk well to fully blend. Set aside until ready to use.

Barbecue Smoked Ribs
2 racks St. Louis-cut Spare Ribs
1/3 cup Yellow Mustard
2 cups Apple Juice
2 fist-sized chunks Medium Smoking Wood (Oak or Pecan)

Remove membrane from back of each rack of ribs and trim meat of excess fat.

Brush top side of each rack with a layer of yellow mustard, this will adhere the rub to the meat. Generously season ribs all over with rub mixture. Set aside until ready to smoke.

Heat smoker or grill to 225-degrees. Once temperature is reached, add chunks of smoking wood. Once the wood has ignited and begins to produce smoke, place the ribs in smoker or grill, meaty side up. Smoke ribs to a deep mahogany color, about 3 hours of smoking time. Add wood as needed to maintain smoke.

Place apple juice in a clear spray bottle. Spray ribs with apple juice; continue to smoke for about 2 hours longer, spraying the ribs with apple juice every 45 minutes. Ribs are done when they bend slightly when lifted from one end. Begin testing at 2 hours, continue to cook until this is achieved.

Remove ribs from smoker and brush with mustard sauce. Slice and serve ribs immediately.

Three-Bean Southern Barbecue Baked Beans
1 lb Ground Beef
6 slices Hickory Bacon
1 (28 oz.) can Pork-n-Beans, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can Country Style Baked Beans, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can Red Kidney Beans, undrained
1 cup Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce

Heat the oven to 350-degrees. Spray a large baking dish or foil pan with non-stick spray.

Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, breaking apart as it cooks. While the ground beef cooks, stack bacon and cut into thirds. Set aside.

Drain ground beef, place in a large mixing bowl. Add the beans to the ground beef. Top with barbecue sauce. Gently stir everything together. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Top beans with bacon. With the handle of wooden spoon, poke some of the bacon down into the beans.

Cover dish tightly with foil. Place in the heated oven and let bake for about 1 hour. Uncover, continue to bake another 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked through.

Serve and enjoy.

Southern Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter
4 teaspoons Bacon Drippings
1 1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal, preferably stone ground
1/2 cup Flour
2 tablespoons Sugar (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
1/2 cup rapidly boiling Water
1 cup Buttermilk
1 large Egg, beaten lightly

Note: A “must” for this bread is a hot cast-iron skillet. Although the bread can be made in a cake pan or square casserole dish, that would just be too “Yankee” to do the bread justice. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set 8-inch cast iron skillet with bacon fat in it to heat oven.

Measure 1/2 cup cornmeal into medium bowl. Set aside.

Mix remaining 1 cup cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in small bowl; set aside.

Pour boiling water all at once into the 1/2 cup cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. Whisk in buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps until smooth. Cornmeal mush of just the right texture is essential to this bread. The mush must be smooth without overworking the batter. Don’t rush the buttermilk and you’ll have less lumps to break up. Once the mush is ready, add the egg.

When oven is heated and skillet very hot, stir dry ingredients into mush mixture until just moistened. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Pour hot bacon fat into batter and stir to incorporate, then quickly pour batter into heated skillet.

Place skillet back into the oven and immediately lower the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees.

Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and instantly turn cornbread onto wire rack; cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

While the cornbread bakes and cools, make the honey butter.

Honey Butter
1 cup Butter, soft
1/4 cup Honey

Mix together butter and honey until smooth and well blended. Taste and adjust honey to personal preferences. Mound in a small crock. Set aside until ready to use.

Just before serving cornbread, poke a few holes in the top of the bread with a fork. Spread a little honey butter over the top of the cornbread and let it seep in.  Serve remaining honey butter on the side to smear as desired.

Note: Any remaining honey butter can be stored in the refrigerator for future use. Let come to room temperature for easy spreading consistency.

Southern Green Beans
6 strips Bacon
2 lbs frozen Green Beans
3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Water

Place green beans in a colander, rinse under cold water to thaw. Inspect beans, trim as necessary for uniform size. Set aside.

Stack bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, break apart and set aside.

In a large cast-iron skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, brown sugar and water. Stir gently; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until beans are crisp-tender, 15 minutes. Remove to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon.

A la Mode Bread Pudding with Candied Pecans and Bourbon Sauce
Candied Pecans
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg White
1 tablespoon Water
1 lb Pecan Halves

Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

Separate egg, reserve yolk bread pudding. Whisk egg white and water together in a bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture. Add sugar mixture into pecan mixture. Toss until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet.

Bake in the heated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned.

Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Southern Bread Pudding
3 cups stale French Bread
4 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Milk
2 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
1 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 cup Golden Raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole baking dish and set aside.

Cut bread into 3/4-inch cubes, set aside. Melt butter, allow to cool slightly.

Place stale bread in a bowl with milk. Work the bread with your hands until well saturated with milk. Set aside.

In another bowl,beat whole eggs, egg yolk and sugar on high speed until thick and pale. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and raisins to the egg mixture. Add the soaked bread crumbs to the egg mixture and stir well. Let stand for 10 minutes. It is important to allow enough time for the bread to absorb the egg mixture or the bread crumbs will float to the top during baking, leaving a layer of custard on the bottom of the dish.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake until firm, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let it slightly cool in the dish.

Near the end of the bread pudding bake time, make the bourbon sauce.

Bourbon Sauce
2 Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Bourbon Whiskey

With an electric mixer, beat egg yolks until thick and pale. In a saucepan, melt the butter and sugar. Pour the buttery sugar mixture over the egg yolks, beating constantly with the mixer, nicely thickened. Stir in bourbon by hand. Keep warm.

For Serving
1 pint French Vanilla Ice Cream
Powdered Sugar as desired

To serve, cut warm bread pudding into squares. Place pudding squares in shallow bowls or rimmed dessert plates. Top each serving with a scoop of ice cream.

Spoon bourbon sauce over the ice cream and pudding square. Garnish with a scattering of candied pecans and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Serve and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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