Local Recipes for Brunswick Stew, Tomato Pie & Low Country Boil

Along the Georgia coast, we're as proud of our delicious local cuisine as we are of our beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets. With recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, these are just a few of our Southern staple meals that you're sure to find on the menu throughout many Golden Isles restaurants. Enjoy the flavors of the Georgia coast at home with these easy-to-prepare recipes. We're proud to share the time-honored recipes for these low-country favorites.

Georgia Black Bass with Boiled Peanut Succotash

Local black bass, boiled peanuts and sweet corn are time-honored regional staples. This dish balances its richer components, like organic blue corn grits, with a relief of acidity and heat in ingredients like pickled red onions. This recipe is courtesy of Sea Island.

Sea Island Bass

Black Bass
6 6-ounce portions black bass, skin on
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh herbs, for garnish

Separate the fish into two batches. Dry the skin side with a paper towel. In a hot, non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it reaches smoking point. Season the fish with salt and place it into the pan, skin side down. Allow the fish to cook for 4–5 minutes over medium heat, gently pressing down until the skin side is very crispy. Use the 70/30 method: cook the fish 70 percent of the time on the skin side to ensure it is crispy, then turn it over gently and finish the other 30 percent.

Boiled Peanut Succotash
Chopped bacon
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
3 cups fresh corn kernels, separated into 2 cups juiced and 1 cup steamed
1/4 cup fava beans, shelled
1/2 cup boiled peanuts, shelled
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a sauce pot over medium heat, gently sweat the bacon until it has rendered the fat. Do not brown. Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper into the pot and sweat the onion until tender. Add 1 cup steamed corn kernels, fava beans, boiled peanuts and stock. Cook 3–5 minutes. Add juiced corn and increase the heat to bring mixture to a boil. This will thicken the succotash. Add more stock, as needed. Remove the pot from the heat. Add tomatoes, butter and dill. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir until the butter has melted completely and the texture is creamy. Reserve warm for plating.

Low Country Boil

It's true that no Southern gathering of family and friends is complete without a Low Country Boil! Whether it's the holidays, a birthday party, a tailgate before a big game, or simply an excuse to be together with those you love most, Low Country Boil is a tried-and-true crowd-pleaser. In a traditional Low Country Boil, you'll find a mixture of corn on the cob, sausages, shrimp, onions, and potatoes.

Shrimp Boil

For the ultimate experience, clear off a clean table surface and cover with newspaper or a disposable waterproof tablecloth. Once the Low Country Boil is ready and has been drained, simply scatter contents down the center of the table. Prepare separate condiment bowls with cocktail sauce, melted butter, and hot sauce, just to name a few. And when you're finished, gather up the newspapers or tablecloth and discard corn cobs and shrimp shells. 

Recipe courtesy of Frederica Fare cookbook.

1/2 lb. cooked smoked Kielbasa sausage per person (cut into 3-4 inch pieces)
1/2 lb. shrimp per person (in shell)
1 ear corn per person (shucked and cut in halves or thirds)
2 onions per person 
3 new potatoes per person 
1 box shrimp boil per 2 lbs. shrimp
1 t. vinegar per lb. shrimp
1/2 t. Tabasco per lb. shrimp
1 t. red pepper per 4 lbs. shrimp
1 t. black pepper per 4 lbs. shrimp

Fill a large pot about ¾ full of water. Add potatoes and all spices, bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and bring back to boil for 5 minutes. Add onions and boil 5 minutes. Add corn and boil for 5 minutes. Check all ingredients for doneness, especially potatoes. Add shrimp and boil until shells begin to separate from shrimp. Turn off heat and let stand for a few minutes. Drain and serve.

Brunswick Stew

Originally created right here in Brunswick and enjoyed all over the world. (Did you know you can see the first Brunswick Stew pot on display at our I-95 Welcome Center?) Brunswick Stew is a savory and hearty stew that especially sticks to your bones during the cooler winter months. A delicious tomato base is complemented by a mixture of vegetables, meat, and spices. This recipe is easily customizable to suit your palate and preferences. 

Double the recipe and freeze your leftovers to enjoy at a later time or share extras with a friend in need of a home-cooked meal! Cornbread is an excellent accompaniment to a big bowl of Brunswick Stew.

Makes one gallon. Serve with barbecue or seafood (boiled or fried shrimp, oysters, crabs) from local waters.
1 3-lb chicken        1 lb. lean pork
1 lb. lean beef        3 medium onions, chopped
Place meat in large, heavy pot. Season with salt, pepper. Add onions and cover with water. Cook until meat falls from bones (several hours). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Tear meat into shreds and return to stock.

   4 cans (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
   5 T. Worcestershire sauce
   1 1/2 bottles (14 oz.) catsup
   1 T. Tabasco
   2 bay leaves
   1/2 bottle (12 oz.) chili sauce
   1/2 t. dry mustard
   1/2 stick butter
Cook one hour, occasionally stirring to prevent sticking.
   3 T. vinegar
   2 cans (16 oz.) small lima or butter beans (frozen limas or butter beans work, too)
   2 cans (16 oz.) cream-style corn (frozen corn works, too)
   1 can (15 oz.) small English peas (frozen peas work, too)
  Optional: 3 small potatoes, peeled and diced, and a box of frozen, sliced okra

Cook slowly until thick. Enjoy with saltines, oyster crackers, or homemade cornbread!

Southern Soul Sandwich

Southern barbeque is very popular in the Golden Isles, and this delicious dish features pork shoulder cooked low and slow over local oak wood coals, hand-pulled and served on a toasted bun with pickles and housemade sauce. This recipe is courtesy of Southern Soul Barbeque

Southern Soul BBQSoul Dust Rub
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup salt
1 cup black pepper
1 /2 cup paprika
1 /2 cup chili powder
1 /4 cup garlic powder
1 /4 cup onion powder
1 /4 cup cumin
1 /4 cup dried thyme Instructions

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Using a bone-in pork shoulder, rub all sides of the meat and cook on smoker at 225 degrees until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees. A thermometer inserted in the meat should slide easily as if going into softened butter. Wrap the pork in two layers of aluminum foil and rest in a small cooler for 3–4 hours. Unwrap, and remove the fat cap and bone. The meat will shred easily. Add the meat to a toasted bun with dill pickle slices. We recommend serving this with any four of Southern Soul’s house-made sauces.

4th of May Tomato Pie

If you've been visiting St. Simons Island for years, you'll likely remember the iconic 4th of May restaurant, which sat at the entrance to the famous St. Simons Island Pier Village. Owned by three close friends with the same birthday (you guessed it... May 4th), the 4th of May was a favorite among locals and visitors for its true comfort food menu filled with classics like meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, and of course, tomato pie. Although the 4th of May closed several years ago, its legacy lives on through the recipes lovingly passed down from its owners. You can find the 4th of May Cookbook at local bookshops.

Recipe courtesy of Flo Anderson
Serves 8

2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 large onion, sliced & sautéed
1 box Ritz crackers
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 T. basil, fresh chopped

Sauté the onion in a skillet over medium heat until tender, about five minutes. Blend Ritz Crackers in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Place half the crumbs in the bottom of a greased 9” x 13” baking dish. Pour one of the cans of diced tomatoes, with the juice, evenly over the crumbs. Spread half of the onion slices over the tomatoes. Sprinkle half of the remaining crumbs over the tomatoes and top this with the second can of diced tomatoes and juice, and the remaining onions. In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, both types of cheese and basil, and smooth this mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top and bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes until hot and browned.

Tripletail with Mango Chutney

This dish really showcases the unique flavors of the Golden Isles and the time-honored traditions of fresh low country cuisine. This recipe is courtesy of The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island

Olive oil
Fresh chopped chives

Rub fish with olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper and sprinkle with fresh chopped chives. Pan sear in a nonstick skillet on high heat, roughly two minutes on each side.

Fresh Mango Green Onion Compote
2 cups fresh Alfonso mangos, diced
1 cup green onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup red onion
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste 

Place all ingredients in a bowl and lightly toss. Serve with a creamy risotto or rice.

Catfish with Tasso Gravy and Pea Salad 

The Golden Isles is known for fresh seafood. This delicious recipe is courtesy of Georgia Sea Grill, a restaurant that puts a fresh perspective on coastal classics. 

CatfishPotlikker Pea Salad
2 cups Potlikker red peas (or any other)
1 tablespoon minced parsley
3 Bay leaves
1/4 cup small diced sweet onion
1 cup small diced green tomato
1/2 cup small diced red pepper
1 jalapeño minced without the seeds
Juice from half a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the peas and place into a medium-sized pot. Cover peas with water by about 2 inches. Salt the water. Add a shot or two of your favorite hot sauce (Chef Lensch likes Crystal Hot Sauce). Add bay leaves. Using medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer until soft. Turn off the heat and let them soak for 30 minutes. Drain, cool and mix with the rest of ingredients. Serve over rice, fish, grits or anything else you can think of.

Catfish fillets
Hot sauce
Celery seeds
Fish fry breading

Cut cleaned catfish fillets into strips and marinate in buttermilk with hot sauce and some celery seeds. Using your favorite fish fry breading, fry until golden brown and cooked throughout. (We fry in canola oil at 350 degrees F)

Tasso Gravy
1 cup Tasso ham, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 cups heavy whipping cream

In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add canola oil, celery, onion, red pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes, lightly sweating the vegetables. Add Tasso and cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add heavy cream and simmer until Tasso is tender. Let cool before transferring to a blender and blending until smooth. Add more cream if needed or to obtain the consistency you are after.

Whole Fried Flounder

This dish is especially tasty when made with Georgia-caught flounder and locally bought produce and ingredients. This recipe is courtesy of The Wharf restaurant on Jekyll Island

The historic wharf on Jekyll Island has been converted to a casual waterfront seafood restaurant1 1/2 lbs flounder, headless
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons pepper
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons paprika
1 gallon fry oil

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a deep cast iron skillet or fryer. While oil is heating to temperature, mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Score flounder on both sides. Once the oil has reached the proper temperature, dredge flounder in flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour. Fry until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Drain excess grease on a paper towel or drain rack. Serve with your favorite sides.

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