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Monday, May 25, 2009

Low Country Goodness!!

I was watching Anthony Bourdain's visit to South Carolina on his show No Reservations. He went to some of the best of the best restaurants in Low Country and the food had me practically drooling! I wanted to do shrimp and grits, but of course Virginia, the confused "southern" state doesn't have the real grits. Only instant and quick-cooking and that's just not what you use for real shrimp and grits. I was amazed at how close the food was to a lot of West African dishes! I had no idea how different South Carolina's cuisine was and how varied it was even within that very state. SO, I was really into the Gullah food, too, of course. They made this one dish called Frogmore Stew, also known as Beaufort Stew, that looked delicious!! No frogs, all flavor! It has shrimp, crabs, red potatoes, sausage (I used regular smoked turkey sausage), and corn on the cob, celery, onions, garlic, and a can of beer. It was sooo tasty!! The crab boil seasoning was absorbed into the sausage and made it nice and spicy! Everything blended well and was so flavorful!

Here's the recipe
Frogmore Stew
4.5 quarts of water
1 12 oz bottle of beer
2 lbs of sausage (cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces)
6 ears of fresh corn (cut into thirds or quarters)
4 lbs red potatoes scrubbed then quartered
3 lbs unpeeled shrimp (I prefer jumbo or extra jumbo for the sweeter flavor but we had mixed sizes in ours (extra jumbo, jumbo, and medium), mostly jumbo)
generous 1/4 of Old Bay seasoning
1 head of celery chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 onion diced into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic smashed

Cover pot filled with water and Old Bay, garlic, onions, and celery until it reaches a rapid boil. Once it reaches a rapid boil, leave uncovered for remainder of time and start by cooking the potatoes for 10 minutes. Then cook the corn and sausage together for 10 minutes. Next, take 2 or 3 minutes to cook shrimp (don't add shrimp until potatoes reach desired tenderness). To eat this boil, simply use a slotted spoon to serve yourself the meat and veggies without the water. Serve with yellow mustard for dipping the sausage and potatoes in (I like my shrimp in it, too). ENJOY!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Richmond Summer Food Festivals!!

Summer festivals that have already passed:

Asian-American Festival April 27

A Taste of India (

25th Annual Lebanese Food Festival
Location: St. Anthony Maronite Church
4611 Sadler Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060
When: May 15-17 10a-10p
More info:
What?: Lots of great home-made Lebanese food (shwarma's, stuffed grape leaves, meat pies, and more!), Lebanese treats, cook books, products from Lebanon for sale, cultural performances
Cost: free entry, parking, and performances, buy food from vendors

33rd Annual Greek Festival
What: cultural performances, Greek jewelry, rugs, and knick-knacks for sale,
cathedral tours, and huge menu of Greek food (more than just souvlaki,
spanakopita, and dolmades)with drive-thru from 11a to dusk daily.

When: May 28-31
Thursday May 28: 11:00am - 9:30pm
Friday May 29: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Saturday May 30: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Sunday May 31: 12:00pm - 7:00p
Where:30 Malvern Ave
Cost: free and purchase food
Payment methods accepted: cash, checks, master, and visa
More info:

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
What: and I quote: It's a full day, as they say, of "beer sippin', bourbon tastin', music listenin', cigar smokin' and barbeque eatin.'"
When: Saturday May 31 noon to 6p
cost: starting at $25, 12 and under free
Where: Richmond Raceway Complex
More info: 800-830-3976

Stone Soul Music and Food Festival
Location: Brown's Island
Performers: Gospel and R&B artists such as God's Image, SOS Band, James Fortune, Case, Trey Songz, Eric Benet, Twista, Joe, and many more!
Food: Soul Food!!
Food Vendors: None other than Hawk's BBQ and Croaker's Spot, my friends, among others
Cost: $20 in advance ***Corrections on ticket locations***(buy at DTLR, BK music, or Praise 104.7 radio station
More info:

Broad Appetit Festival
When: June 7
What: sample food from 25 of Richmond's hottest chefs! Great food, culinary artists, and traditional art
Where: Broad St between Monroe and Adams streets
Cost: free admission, purchase food
Vendors: Savor, Strawberry St Cafe, 1 North Belmont, and more!
More info:

Saint Joseph Italian Festival
Saturday and Sunday June 13th and 14th
Location: 828 Buford Road, 23235
When: 11a - 8p
What: food, history, music, and cultural performances
Cost: free entry, purchase food
More info:

Richmond Vegetarian Festival
what: food, music, local businesses, and fun for whole family
When: Saturday June 21 noon to 6p
Rain date July 11
Where: Azalea gardens at Bryan Park
Cost: free entry, buy food

4th Annual Filipino Festival
August 8, 2009 10a- 8p with drive-thru from 11a to 6p
Location: Our Lady of Lourdes Church
8200 Woodman Road, 23228
What: food and cultural performances!
Food: lechon (roast pig), lumpia (eggrolls), and more!
More info:

Carytown Watermelon Festival
When: Sunday August 9th, 2009 10a - 6p
Where: Carytown in Richmond, VA
Estimated Attendance: 100,000 +
cost: free (i am pretty sure)and purchase food from vendors

Bonus suggestion:

Safeway 17th Annual BBQ Battle in DC
What: National BBQ championship
When: June 27 11a-9p, June 28 11a-7:30p
Where: Pennsylvania Ave in DC
Admission: $10, $5 kids 6-12, under 5 free
Why?: Tons of BBQ! Battle to be National Pork BBQ Champion
More Info:

DC Caribbean Carnival
What: tons of concerts from famous performers, huge Caribbean parade, lots of food and dancing, tons of parties the whole weekend all over the DC and Maryland area
When: June 27 and 28
Where: Washington, DC
Admission: $10
More info: