Try these pickled shrimp — what a treat!

Published 12:05 am Saturday, June 6, 2015

We have just returned from a wonderful three days in Charleston, S.C., enjoying the Spoleto Festival.

We try to go every year and try new venues and new restaurants.

We did some different things for shows this year.

Our first treat was the Globe Theatre performance of Romeo and Juliet.

They had a little different take on this play and we did notice all the players had tattoos!

Lots of tattoos.

Now, I guess that is not the thing to notice but all-in-all it was entertaining.

We then went to see the Scottish Ballet perform “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Now, you wonder how a ballet could interpret this play.

Just let your imagination go wild and you can figure this out! It was very well done, actually.

The only dialogue was the one word—Stella!

On a milder note, we spent Saturday visiting eight gardens in downtown Charleston and they were beautiful and well-groomed. It was a cooler day than usual so a treat to be walking in the Holy City and visiting these gardens.

We spent Sunday afternoon listening to the Westminster Choir from New Jersey.

We do this venue every year but really did not like the music they had chosen this year, but the choir was still a joy to listen to.

Now the restaurants were the most fun of all for me.

We did two old and two new and the two new were the real treat. We revisited the Charleston Grill at Charleston Place and they had been nominated for best service for the James Beard Award. It was a wonderful meal and the service was perfect.

We had seared foie gras (you can rarely find it on menus) served with a small apple turnover and some sautéed apples, which made the dish a little too sweet.

For our main course we had a black sea bass served with a small pasta (cannot remember the name of the pasta) in a red wine reduction.

We were served a side dish of roasted cauliflower with a sauce of butter and Meyer lemon and capers. A delicious dish!

We had a very nice drink called “The Bitter End,” which was much like a Negroni.

Signature cocktails are all the fashion these days and some are really delicious with their various concoctions.

Our great find was Edmund’s Oast.

I had read about this restaurant and all reviews were good.

It is about 2 miles from downtown, but well worth the drive.

The name came from Edmund Egan, who was an English-born brewer who came to Charleston in the 1760s and started producing beer soon after.

He had great success and donated large amounts of money to the American Revolution, earning him the name “The Rebel Brewer.”

Oast is an old European term for a kiln used in drying of hops.

Together the two make the name Edmund’s Oast.

The restaurant is known for its craft beers but the food is outstanding.

We got to sit at the chef’s table up front where all the cooking was done so this was delightful for us.

Our waitress told us that the kitchen was always quiet and no shouting between chefs, and we never saw anyone get upset but just a smooth moving machine of cooking and serving.

Despite this being a micro-brewery they have their crafted cocktails also.

I had a Tchoupitoulas (a bit like a Sazarac) and my husband had an ‘earthy’ gin concoction called a Forrest Floor.

For our first course we chose a Surryano ham, creamy feta, favas, squash, and herb dish.

The squash was very tiny but raw.

What was also nice; the menu had the source of all the food.

Our ham came from Edward’s Virginia ham.

We chose three small dishes for our main course.

One was braised lamb meatballs, with dried fruit, Argus cider, and mint. Another dish had fresh ricotta, charred broccoli, Meyer lemon served on EVO Bakery semolina bread.

Our favorite dish was pickled shrimp served with aïoli on EVO Bakery rye bread. I decided I could duplicate this one.


Pickled Shrimp

Serves 10-12 as an appetizer

3 pounds shrimp small to medium cooked and peeled

2 medium onions, quartered and very thinly sliced

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1 cup chopped celery, thinly sliced

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

4 dried hot chili peppers

1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

¼ cup white wine vinegar

½ cup fresh lemon juice

Dill for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Pack everything into a large glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to come together.



Makes 2 cups

You can use this like you would mayonnaise

2 large garlic cloves

Pinch of Kosher salt

2 large egg yolks

1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tablespoons tepid water

Juice of ½ lemon, to taste

Small pinch of cayenne pepper

In a mortar, using a pestle, grind the garlic with the salt to a paste. Add the egg yolks and stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Transfer to a larger bowl if necessary and whisk in one-fourth olive oil drop by drop. Add the remaining in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with the lemon juice and cayenne and taste to adjust the seasoning. This will keep for 5 days, covered and refrigerated.

To assemble: Toast the rye bread, top with the aïoli and then cover with the pickled shrimp and garnish with several sprigs of dill.