Shrimp, Collards and Grits:

Pimento Cheese, Caviar of the South!  and Carolina Pickled Shrimp Recipes courtesy "Shrimp, Collards & Grits: Recipes, Stories and Art from the Creeks and Gardens of the Lowcountry," by Pat Branning,

Pat Branning's "Shrimp, Collards & Grits: Recipes, Stories and Art from the Creeks and Gardens of the Lowcountry" is a cookbook, an art book and a story book. It is also an inspiring, deeply touching compilation of memories, reflections and invaluable kitchen tips amassed by a charming, gracious lady whose memories of childhood meals in her grandmother's North Carolina kitchen are as splendid as those spent at oyster roasts and southern barbecues in the lowcountry - the culturally rich coastal area of South Carolina, which includes the central and southern counties of Georgetown, Charleston, Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper. With a deep reverence for both the land and sea, the traditions of the past, in particular the Gullah culture and its direct connection to West African slaves, "Shrimp, Collards & Grits" presents  many authentic regional recipes for dishes such as Louise Miller's "Mullet Stew," Dye Scott-Rhodan's Gullah-style "Old Country Pound Cake (Suga Cane)," and "Gullah Lowcountry Shrimp Pilau," by Anita Singleton-Prather, aka Aunt Pearlie Sue, who has a Gullah culture website you surely won't want to miss at Besides more than 200 fine recipes,  the book also contains 150 full-color plates of paintings by regional artists such as  Joe Bowler, John Carroll Doyle, Ray Ellis, Nancy Ricker Rhett and Betty Anglin Smith, to name but a few. Branning's background as Women's Editor for WSB, Atlanta, and hostess for South Carolina ETV had her literally rubbing elbows with great chefs from around the country, an experience, no doubt, as gratifying for them as it was for her. Currently working as a freelance writer, cookbook author and food editor for the, Branning can be located via her website at, where she is pleased to share more recipes, art, stories  and how-to-purchase information for one of the most beautiful cookbooks I have ever experienced.

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at

Pimento Cheese, Caviar of the South!

"This recipe has been handed down through the years and is delicious
in a sandwich, on toasted wheat bread, on a hamburger or veggie burger
in place of sliced cheese or simply served on a cracker." - Pat Branning

One 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
4 tablespoons pimentos, crushed
3 teaspoons grated onion
cayenne pepper (optional)

Using a food processor or a mixer, beat cream cheese until it is smooth and fluffy. Add all the remaining ingredients and beat until well blended. Keep in the refrigerator.

Carolina Pickled Shrimp

"Shrimp season runs from mid-June until mid-January. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources determines specific opening and closing dates each year. Oysters, clams and mussels are in season from mid-September to mid-May. Crabbing is done year round." - Pat Branning

4 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined and boiled
8 large sweet onions, peeled and sliced thin
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups white vinegar
1/3 cup capers, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup prepared horseradish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper

In a very large glass container, place a layer of shrimp and a layer of onion rings, alternating layers until all are used. In a bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, capers, tomato paste, sugar, horseradish, salt and pepper and red pepper until well blended.  Pour all the sauce over the shrimp; cover the jar and refrigerate overnight.  Pickled shrimp will last up to one week in the refrigerator.