In Savannah, it seems there’s a new and exciting restaurant opening on every cobble-stoned street and square these days. Our guests are having delicious dining experiences, and are returning to the inns with great reports from the food and wine scene downtown. If you’re planning a visit with us, let the Concierge staff at East Bay Inn, Olde Harbour Inn, The Marshall House, Eliza Thompson House, Kehoe House and The Gastonian help with dinner recommendations and reservations for your next stay.
Meanwhile, if you enjoy a traditional taste of Savannah, consider these four favorite Southern-style recipes from The Gastonian.
Vidalia Onion Bites
Our Onion Bites are incredibly easy to make, and taste gourmet! They work for any occasion, from formal to football, and are sure to impress.
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Onion
This recipe can be modified to any amount, so long as you use equal parts mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and onion. It is a very simple recipes, so we recommend playing with seasonings and additional toppings to keep this recipe fun. We often mix in Red Pepper flakes, or bacon, as well as green onion or chives, whatever we have We try to use Vidalia onions because they are the sweetest.
Mix these ingredients and spread on your favorite sliced bread without the crusts (white or wheat seem to work best). Cut into bite size pieces and bake on 380 degree for approximately 10 minutes or just until light brown.
Mashed Potato Cakes
A little bit more specialized, this recipe is a Southern-fried twist on an old classic.
1 lb. Yukon Gold or other waxy yellow potatoes, unpeeled, quartered.
(you could also use leftover mashed potatoes, about 2 cups, but omit the butter and milk if you’ve already enriched the potatoes with that.)
2 T. unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 T. milk
½ small yellow onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ t. salt
½ t. ground pepper
1-cup fine dried breadcrumbs
Place potatoes in saucepan with lightly salted cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 10 -12 minutes. Drain well. Puree the potatoes by pressing them through a ricer placed over a bowl, or peel the potatoes, place in a bowl and mash until smooth with a hand held potato masher.
Stir in butter, then add the milk, onion and eggs and stir until blended. Add the Parmesan, slat and pepper and stir again until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is well chilled and firm, at least 2 hour or for up to 24 hours.
Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate. Heat fry pan with some butter. Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop up a portion of the potato mixture and set it atop the crumbs. Pat it down to a thickness of about ½ inch and turn to coat evenly with crumbs on both sides. Transfer the potato cake to the griddle and cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Continue with the rest of the batter till complete.
You don’t get more LowCountry than Shecrab stew. This Blue Crab and sherry based bisque is a local favorite, and exemplifies the depth and warmth of food from this region.
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced green onion
1 cup minced celery
1 tablespoon minced carrot
6 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups milk
2 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup sherry
1 pound claw crabmeat
Fresh parsley or mint leaves for garnish
Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan. Add onion, celery and carrot and cover. Steam 5 minutes or until tender. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and broth. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Add nutmeg, white pepper, cayenne pepper, cream, sherry, and crab. Garnish and serve immediately.
Shrimp and Grits
2 cups Water
4 tsp. butter
1 cup grits
2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
2 oz. cream cheese
½ cup fresh shrimp, shelled, deveined and cleaned
Fine chopped green onion
Combine one cup water and add seasoning salt and simmer on low. Bring one cup water to boil. Add grits, and cheese; simmer on medium heat until approximately halfway cooked. Once half cooked, drop temperature to low and start prepping shrimp. Cook to consistency. Add butter to taste, if desired.
Sautee shrimp (after deveining, shelling, and cleaning) in butter over medium heat. This should only take a few minutes. Season shrimp to taste. Add in your green onion at the last minute, to wilt, but be wary to not overcook shrimp.
Add sautéed shrimp and onion to top your grits, letting just a bit of the butter from the pan on top of the grits. Present with shrimp on top.