Saturday, May 14, 2022

ABRAMS Dinner Party Spotlight: Gullah Geechee Home Cooking...Featuring Shrimp Salad #GullahGeecheeHomeCooking #shrimpsalad #summerfood #noovencooking #seafood #shrimp

The next featured cookbook for the ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group is Gullah Geechee Home Cooking. This encyclopedic collection of Gullah Geechee recipes is authored by Emily Meggett, the 89-year-old matriarch of South Carolina's Edisto Island. The history of the Gullah and Geechee people goes back hundreds of years, when enslaved members of the community were historically isolated from the rest of the South due to their location on the Sea Islands of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. This Lowcountry community now represents a direct link to traditional culture, language, and foodways of their West African ancestors. Ms. Meggett has lived on Edisto Island her entire life, and her house is a place of pilgrimage for anyone with an interest in Gullah Geechee food. 

Meggett’s Gullah food is rich and flavorful, although it's often lighter and more seasonal in nature than typical Southern cuisine. Heirloom rice, fresh local seafood, regional game, and in-season vegetables are key to her recipes for regional delicacies like fried oysters, collard greens, and stone-ground grits. So many recipes caught my eye, including Ms. Meggett's Shrim and Grits with Gravy, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Baked Cheese Grits. Ultimately, I opted to try her simple recipe for Shrimp Salad. This versatile creamy salad can be spooned into toasted buns for shrimp roll sandwiches. If you're watching your carb intake like I am? This cold Shrimp Salad is very delicious as the centerpiece of a crisp vegetable salad. 
Shrimp Salad
from Gullah Geechee Home Cooking
Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings):
  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) small or medium shrimp
  • 1 cup (100 g) chopped celery, covered with ice water and refrigerated overnight for crispness
  • 1 scallion
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2/3 to 1 cup (120 to 240 ml) mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann's
  • 1 to 2 TBS mustard
  • Celery salt, to taste
Step 1: Peel, wash, and devein the shrimp. Remove the tails. Bring 8 cups (1.9 L) water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and boil until they turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and allow the shrimp to cool. Set aside. 

Drain the celery, Place the celery on a paper towel and pat dry. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, celery, scallion, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and mustard to taste. Add celery salt to taste and stir. 
Refrigerate to chill before serving. I served this creamy shrimp salad on a salad of organic salad greens and seasonal Summer vegetables. It was light and refreshing.
This Shrimp Salad is proof that recipes with a few simple ingredients are delicious -- especially when you use locally sourced seafood and the best-quality additions. I loved this seafood salad, and I plan to make it often during the long Texas Summer! 

Gullah Geechee Home Cooking is an amazing cookbook that every food lover should add to their collection. In addition to many delicious homestyle recipes and beautiful accompanying photos, it also provides important historical information about the Gullah Geechee people in this country.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Gullah Geechee Home Cooking as part of the ABRAMS Publishing Dinner Party blogging group. All opinions shared are solely my own.

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