Make-ahead foods and snacks for your next big trip.
It’s not hard to find a good restaurant in Beaufort County. Once you travel outside of our bubble, however, all bets are off. Don’t take a chance on that shady-looking restaurant just off the Interstate. A brazen move like that could quickly have you speeding to the nearest rest area. Play it safe by making and packing a few car-friendly foods and snacks. Here are a few suggestions from local chefs and restaurants.
Cool as a cucumber
Beat the heat with this chilled soup from the team at Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar. Pack it in your favorite thermos and keep it in your road trip cooler for easy access. It’s a refreshing snack for hot road trip adventures.
Alexander’s –Chilled cucumber soup
4 English cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Directions  Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a blender in batches and puree for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until very smooth.  Once everything is pureed, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Chill in fridge ideally for 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh dill, and drizzle olive oil.
Granola is a fantastic treat for road trips. It’s easy to make, it packs well in any container and is best enjoyed with hands. This recipe from the team at Sprout Momma is made with gluten-free and organic ingredients with up to a cup of local honey.
Sprout Momma – Banging granola
4 cups gluten-free, organic and long-cooking rolled oats
2 cups unsweetened organic coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds, slightly ground
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup organic coconut oil, melted
1/2 to 1 cup local honey, depending on sweetness preference
1 cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit of your choice)
Nuts, if desired
Directions  Heat oven to 400 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Mix all ingredients together, with the exception of any dried fruits.  Pour all mixed ingredients onto prepared baking sheet. You’ll want a thin layer, so you might need two pans.  Bake for 15 minutes and stir once. Bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool for one hour and then add dried fruits. Store in an airtight container.
Great granola ideas
- Top baked fruits
- Stick on apple slices
- Mix into oatmeal
- Mix with peanut butter
- Coat a honey-covered banana
- Add to pancake or muffin batter
- Sprinkle over salads, pudding or yogurt
This Sicilian cauliflower fritter recipe from Nunzio Patruno is perfect to pack for the road to be enjoyed warm or cold. It’s an instant snack for the kids, a tasty appetizer or a dish to accompany the main course, usually pasta.
Nunzio Restaurant + Bar – Polpette di Cavolfiore
1 head cauliflower
1 cup stale bread, soaked in milk and squeezed
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese
Fresh nutmeg, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Canola oil for frying
Directions  Break down the cauliflower into florets and steam or boil for 3 minutes. Place them on a sheet pan and allow the vapor to evaporate.  Once cool, chop up the florets into pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add soaked bread, parmigiano cheese, garlic, parsley, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper and three eggs. Mix together with your hands, creating a mushy batter.  In a large frying pan, bring the oil to 375 degrees. Gently spoon a drop of batter in the oil. Fry on each side for two minutes. The smaller they are, the faster they’ll cook.  Remove and place them on a paper-toweled surface. Serve with spicy marinara sauce.
Switch it up
If you don’t like cauliflower or just want to experiment with different flavors, you can make this recipe with broccoli,
thin asparagus, artichoke or eggplant.
Kind of a big dill
Get yourself into a pickle by making this large-batch sweet dill recipe from the team at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks. Give extra containers to family and friends, or just enjoy them yourself, wherever you go. With so many great pickle pairings (chicken salad, grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, etc.), they will go fast.
Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks – Sweet dill pickles
10 pounds baby cucumbers
16 cups water
8 cups white vinegar
8 cups white balsamic vinegar
1 cup pickling salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pickling spice
1/2 pound fresh dill
8 garlic cloves, whole
4 jalapeños, whole
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup mustard seeds
Directions  In a sauce pot add the water, vinegars, salt, sugar and pickling spice. Place the pot over heat and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and let the liquid cool to room temperature.  In a separate container place the dill, garlic, jalapenos, mustard seeds and coriander seeds.  Add the cucumbers to the container then place the cooled liquid on top. Cover the container and place cucumbers in a refrigerator for one week.
Sip a pickleback
Wondering what to do with all of the leftover juice after you’ve eaten a jar of pickles? Drink it after your favorite shot, of course! Pickle brine makes a great alcohol chaser, instantly neutralizing the burn of bourbon, whiskey, tequila and more. Loaded with sodium and potassium, it could also help decrease hangover symptoms the next morning.
Snap to it
After a day of driving, reward yourself with this ultimate summer fish dish from the team at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana. Flaky red snapper is topped with a refreshing tomato and watermelon salsa, creating a unique and amazing blend of flavors.
Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana – Snapper with tomato and watermelon salsa
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 (6 ounce) skin-on red snapper fillets
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Basil and pine nuts (for garnish)
Directions  Stir tomatoes, watermelon, red onion, hot pepper, cilantro, mint, lime juice, 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.  Pat fish dry with paper towels. Cut 3 shallow slits into the skin side of each fillet. Sprinkle fillets with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over high heat. Add fillets, skin side down, and cook until skin is browned and crisp (about 5 minutes).  Turn fillets and cook until lightly brown and done (about 1 to 2 minutes).  Serve fish immediately, skin side up, topped with salsa. Garnish with basil and pine nuts.
How to catch red snapper
From local fisherman Collins Doughtie: “For tackle, I prefer a medium-heavy rod (20-50 pound class) and reel with 40-60 pound test line. The rig is simple. Use a 3’-4’ of 60-pound test fluorocarbon leader with a stout swivel on top and a 5/0 or 7/0 Owner Muto Circle hook on bottom. Above the leader, depending on current and depth, anywhere from an 8 ounce to 14 ounce sliding egg sinker. Dead squid and cut fish will work but live bait like pinfish or menhaden are the ticket. When a snapper hits, do not set the hook! Instead, let the fish pull the rod tip down to water’s surface and simply reel like crazy. A fairly heavy drag setting is suggested because a big snapper is so strong it can take a grown man to his knees.”
Hot spot for fresh produce
Find fresh ingredients called for in these recipes at the Bluffton Farmer’s Market, held noon to 5 p.m. each Thursday in Old Town. Frequent farmers at the market include Otis Daise Farm, Shuler Peach Company, Tuten Farms, Adams Farm and Fili-West Farms. Learn more at farmersmarketbluffton.org.
What’s fresh in June
- Green beans
- Sweet corn