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Monday, July 12, 2010


by Wendy Swat Snyder

Farm to table philosophy finds delicious expression in the offerings of Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s Restaurant in Charleston, S.C. Winner of the 2010 James Beard Best Chef Southeast award, Brock is committed to sustainable culinary practices and stocks his kitchen with fresh ingredients from his own plot at Thornhill Farm.

A passionate advocate for the preservation of crops near extinction, Brock also grows a number of indigenous antebellum crops including James Island Red Corn, Benne Seed and Sea Island Red Peas. “The sea island red peas tell a wonderful story,” says Brock, “and have such a wonderful, earthy flavor.”

Brock shares his recipe for Baked Sea Island Red Peas – one of his favorites – for great summertime eating with anything cooked outside on the grill.

Baked Sea Island Red Peas


1 cup of diced Benton’s Bacon
1 large Onion, medium dice
1 large Anaheim pepper, medium dice
5 pickled ramps, rough chop
1 pound dried Sea Island Red Peas (soaked overnight)
½ cup Medjool dates, rough chop
1 cup Western North Carolina BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons sorghum
3/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
2 bay leaves
Salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, hot sauce, Worcestershire and dry mustard to taste

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, render the diced bacon. When the bacon is rendered of all it’s fat turn up the heat and crisp the bacon. Add onions and pepper and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Place remaining ingredients into the pot and place in the oven for two hours at 250F. Stir every half hour or so to make sure they aren’t sticking.


Green Grocer Farm
George Albers
2463 Leadenwah Drive
Wadmalaw, SC 29487

Anson Mills
Glenn Roberts
1922C Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201

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