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Kurt Wickiser's South Carolina Style Brunswick Stew

Many chef recipes call for long lists of exotic foods but Kurt Wickiser of the Creekside Bar-Be-Que in Anderson SC makes his famous Brunswick Stew with only four ingredients.

It's a comfort food that anyone can throw together at home, yet so filled with complex aromas guests won't guess how easy it is. Kurt learned the technique in his grand-daddy's kitchen in the Carolina mountains and never had reason to change. People flock to his restaurant for real barbecue, stone-ground grits, heaps of creamy slaw and bowls of his smooth, spoon-able Brunswick Stew.

Wickiser's recipe starts with 350 pounds of beef chuck, a barrel of ham hocks and two cases of vegetables, and the meats are put through a grinder after hours of cooking, but here's a counterfeit version so simple you can cook it at home or over the campfire. To get the real McCoy, of course, you'll have to travel to South Carolina. Kurt claims he uses only salt and pepper for seasoning, so that's up to you. Keep in mind that ham hocks vary brand to brand and they add salt, sweetness and smoke.

 

2 pounds lean ground beef chuck

2 or 3 meaty ham hocks

2 cans, 15 ounces each, cream-style corn

2 cans, 15 ounces each, diced tomatoes

Salt, pepper to taste

 

Fry out the ground beef until it's browned and broken apart, then add ham hocks and a little water. Cover and cook over low heat until ham hocks are tender enough to shred. Remove ham hocks, cool, and shred the meat after discarding bone, fat and gristle. Stir in vegetables and simmer over low heat until flavors are well blended. Ladle into soup bowls. Serves 10.




ALL ABOUT MANGO!

Mango is the signature tropical fruit of South Florida. The only mainland area of the United States where this fragrant fruit can be grown, Florida shows off a great number of mango varieties including the following most known:

Angie, Batchelor, Bailey's Marvel, Cushman, Brooks, Gogshall, Carrie, Duncan, Early Gold, Edward, Florigon, Ford, Jean Ellen, Joellen, Irwin, Haden, Torbert, Tommy Atkins, Van Dyke, Z80, Zill, Parvin, Osteen, Smith, Sensation, Springfels, Sunset, Jubilee, Keitt, Kent, Lily, Lippens, Rosigold, Ruby, Saigon and Pillsbury.

Mangos come in a wide variety of color, shape, flavor, texture, aroma and uses. Many of the mango varieties are best just as they come off the tree, fresh and tasty – the perfect summer snack. Others are at their best when combined with other ingredients and served as salads or a side with a main dish.

Because mangos come in a rainbow of reds, yellows, oranges, and greens, color is not the best way to determine ripeness. Selecting the proper ripeness of the fruit is best done with your hands or with your nose. As to ripening, providing a warm room temperature for the perfect conversion of starch to sugar.

Tips for serving from the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden:

A delightful way to serve a mango is to have an exquisite Indian mango as a 'Dusehri' served whole, with the skin peeled back. It can be placed in an elegant cup or just simply held in the hand like a lollipop; kids will love it.

Recipes courtesy of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden website

Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Mangos – diced
  • 1 inch piece of Ginger- grated
  • Cilantro-bunch (about ½ cup)
  • Purple onion-1/2 large
  • 2 jalapeno peppers-seeded and finely diced
  • Dash salt
  • Lime juice-to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve with corn chips

Mango Smoothie

  • 1 cup of mango pulp from fresh ripe mangos
  • 1 ½ of ice
  • 2 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients in the blender. Chill the smoothie if you wish, then serve in tall glasses.

Mango Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Ripe " Tommy Atkins" mango
  • 4 cups green mango
  • ½ cup apple vinegar
  • 1 ½ pounds brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 large onions- diced
  • 3 tsp. de mash garlic
  • 4 tsp. Allspice seeds (cinnamon, cumin, mustard, paper)
  • 2 fresh green jalapenos - quartered
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup dark raisins

Mango: hard, ripe, peeled, seeded and sliced. Place all ingredients in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for about 12 hours. Again bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

How to freeze mangos – Tips from the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

One of the advantages of preserving fruits is to have them available for consumption over a longer period of time. By freezing mangos, one is able to utilize all of the fruit in a single season.

Procedure:

  • Select quality fruit: Select firm, ripe fruit. Carefully wash and peel the fruit.
  • Cut the fruit into lengthwise slices
  • Poor the pulp in plastic bags.
  • Freezing

Freezing mangos is accomplished by storing fruit at temperatures bellow 32F. This limits the enzymatic breakdown of the fruit. Mangos can be frozen without any special treatment except washing, while some fruits need to be peeled or seeded. Frozen mango pulp looks and tastes very similar to fresh fruit. The pulp can be used in smoothies, jellies, chutney, bread, ice cream and more. After a year it may change the color, but the flavor still good, and perfect to make mango chutney.

Courtesy of The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (Miami).

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