Category Archives: North Carolina

Moravian Sugar Cake – North Carolina

Pennsylvania to North Carolina is a damn long walk. But 15 Moravians (German speaking Protestants who were followers of

Moravian Sugar Cake - North Carolina

Czech priest and philosopher Jan Hus) took this walk in 1753 to begin their settlement of Bethabara, located where present day Winston-Salem sits. The Moravian Church continues to thrive, and this cake, often made during Christmas and Easter, is a wonderful Moravian treat.

Moravian Sugar Cake - North CarolinaDewey’s Bakery in Winston-Salem has been around for over 85 years and they make one of the finest. The fun part is poking the indentations in the dough with your finger, all the better to catch that wonderful buttery-brown sugar topping.

History comes alive at Old Salem Museum and Gardens, which presents an authentic view of early Southern life with a special emphasis on Moravians.

Dewey’s Bakery Moravian Sugar Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For dough:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons mashed potatoes
  • 3 teaspoons powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 4 packages dry yeast (1 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup warm water

For topping:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

For dough: In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg, shortening, salt, milk, mashed potato and sugar. With paddle attachment, mix for 4 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, then add 2 types of flour. Continue mixing. Add yeast mixture and mix another 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

Grease a 12 x18 sheet cake pan with sides.  Punch dough down and roll it out so that it can fit into the pan. With a fork, poke holes into the dough. Shape into the pan, making sure the dough touches the sides of the pan.

For topping: In a small saucepan, combine, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat until boiling, then remove from heat. With a finger, poke indentations into the dough, making sure not to poke all the way through to the bottom of the pan. Pour the topping all over the dough, spreading with a brush, making sure it is evenly distributed. Let dough rise again, until doubled in height, about 30 minutes.

To finish cake: Bake in a 350 degree oven. At the 10 minute mark, check for bubbles. Pop any bubbles and continue baking for another 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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True Grit: Shrimp and Grits – North Carolina

Grits are about as synonymous with the South as sweet tea and pulled pork barbeque. For those unfamiliar, grits are made with stone-ground cornmeal. Think of them as the southern version of polenta.

Shrimp and grits North Carolina

 

Grits are a carb that can be dressed up sweet — with a little pat of butter and maple syrup — or like in this recipe, savory — with cheese. The quintessential pairing of shrimp and grits is one that you will find in kitchens from Wilmington to Charlotte with tons of variations in between. We like this version, which is slightly adapted from Saveur. Just don’t use instant grits which are gluey and bland. To quote the 1992 film classic My Cousin Vinny, “no self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits.”

Wilmington is home to the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, April 6-10, 2016. Celebrate spring with arts and crafts shows, entertainment, kids’ activities, a street fair and live music.

Shrimp and Grits

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white stone ground grits
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 lb. medium peeled shrimp (about 30)
  • 6 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in grits. Cook on low, whisking frequently, until grits are cooked through and are tender and creamy, about 30-40 minutes. Add cheeses and 1 tablespoon butter. Salt to taste. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a medium skillet until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towel. Set aside. Reserve the bacon fat.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Using the same pan over medium-high heat, cook the shrimp until pink and no longer opaque. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Lower heat to medium. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Return heat to high, add broth. Scrape browned bits from pan and then let liquid reduce by about half. Return shrimp to pan, then add lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and hot sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve, divide grits into 4 portions. Add shrimp and sauce. Top with bacon and scallions.

All Hail the Power of the Pig: Pulled Pork Barbeque – North and South Carolina

If you live in the Southeast or have traveled there, you have some understanding of the popularity of pork on the lunch or dinner menu. And the way to prepare this little piggy? Why, barbequed, of course.

Pulled BBQ - North & South Carolina

We’re talking slow-cooked – often over a fire – ‘til the meat is tender and falls off the bone. The Carolinas sit right on the Barbeque Belt of the Southeast U.S. by virtue of history and tradition, bringing to the table distinctive variations that foster nothing short of regional fealty. The eastern region favors a vinegary pepper sauce, while barbeque lovers farther west incorporate more ketchup or tomato bases to their sauces. South Carolina meanwhile, adds an additional twist in the form of a mustard-based sauce reflective of the German immigrants who settled there. We offer a recipe for oven-roasted pork – a little easier for many of us than finding an outside pit – with your choice of Carolina finishing sauces.

You can find barbeque fests and competitions all over the Carolinas virtually every month. A couple of upcoming ones include the 6th Annual Bands, Brews and Barbeque competition in Port Royal, SC, February 27-28, 2015 and the 37th Annual Pig Cookin’ in Newport, NC, March 27-28, 2015.

North or South Carolina Pulled Pork Barbeque

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For rub:

  • 2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  • 3/4 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 5- to 7-pound pork shoulder
  • Hamburger buns

For North Carolina sauce:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

For South Carolina sauce (recipe courtesy of the South Carolina Barbeque Association, used with permission):

  • 1 cup mustard
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (white, apple or wine)
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tablespoon sorghum or molasses

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all spices for rub in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the pork, covering meat completely.  Roast meat until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees and meat is falling off the bone, 3 to 4 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. With clean hands, pull pork from bone and shred meat with two forks. Add North or South Carolina Barbeque sauce. Serve on hamburger buns with coleslaw.