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Old 09-07-2004, 09:04 AM   #1
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She Crab Soup and Shrimp and Grit Cakes w/7-Pepper Jelly

Here are two pretty 'famous' traditional Charleston recipes:

CHARLESTON SHE-CRAB SOUP

1 small onion, minced
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound crabmeat (about 12 crabs)
1 quart milk
2 cups light cream
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup orange crab roe*
Rind of 1 lemon, grated

Sauté onion gently in the butter, add crabmeat, and set aside. Heat milk and cream in the top of a double boiler, add crab meat and onion, seasonings, and sherry. Cover, and let steep over very low heat for 30 to 45 minutes.
Beat the egg yolks, pour a little of the hot liquid into them, and then stir the yolk mixture slowly into the soup. Put a spoonful of roe in each soup bowl, ladle in the soup, and sprinkle the top with grated lemon rind.
Serves 4 to 6.

* Crab roe is pretty hard to find these days, as everybody throws the 'jennies', or female crabs, back; if you can't find it, don't worry about it.

Shrimp and Grits Cakes with Seven Pepper Jelly

Makes 24 cakes

6 cups water
2 1/2 cups quick grits
5 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 bunches scallions, white and pale-green parts only (save greens for garnish), minced to equal 1/2 cup
12 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
Vegetable oil, for sautéeing
1/2 cup seven-pepper jelly *

1. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Butter a 13-by-18-inch baking pan. Slowly sprinkle grits into boiling water, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium, and stir constantly until the mixture is thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, and stir in cheese, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and scallions.

2. Pour the mixture into prepared baking pan, and smooth out to a 1/2-inch-thick layer. Using a 2 1/2-inch-round cookie cutter, lightly mark out 24 circles in the grits. Press a shrimp half into each circle. Cover with plastic wrap, press down lightly to smooth, and refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours.

3. Combine flour and cornmeal in a small bowl. Using a cookie cutter, cut the grits along the marked lines into rounds, keeping the shrimp centered in each circle. In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon butter and enough oil to cover the bottom over medium-high heat. Dredge the cakes in the flour mixture, and sauté, 8 at a time, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Wipe out the skillet, and repeat, adding more butter and oil, until all cakes are cooked. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Top with a scant teaspoon of seven-pepper jelly and scallion greens; serve

* Sub regular jalapeno jelly, or ‘hot pepper’ jelly.

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