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$50. One farmer's market. Three meals.

june_11_farmers_market_mainI love my food, but more importantly I love the food I can find right here. There’s nothing like farm- and dock-fresh seasonal ingredients for the beginnings of a great meal, and with that in mind I set off last month to our very own Farmer’s Market of Hilton Head Island at Honey Horn with the goal of selecting ingredients for a fresh, local dinner for under $50. I found seafood, artisan breads, cheeses and pastas — all from local farmers and merchants. I even found new things I’d never seen in a grocery store, such as casevs cheese, cue and eight ball squash. In short, I found more than enough to work with, so let’s get cooking! (Each recipe serves at least four.)

Read more: $50. One farmer's market. Three meals.

Taste of the Season chefs create the perfect holiday meal

Three local chefs. Four recipes. One perfect holiday meal.

Taste of the Season

Looking for a little holiday culinary inspiration? Look no further: In October, Monthly asked three Taste of the Season chefs for their favorite holiday dishes and assembled them into one perfect holiday dinner you can make at home — assuming you have the time and considerably more cooking abilities than we do.

Consider this also a sneak preview of the cuisine you can sample from more than 35 of the Lowcountry’s top chefs at the 21st annual Taste of the Season, taking place Dec. 3 at the Marriott Resort & Spa on Hilton Head. The event finds chefs competing for the honor of “Best Cuisine” and confectionery artists vying for the top honor of “Best Cake.”

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Wine: Unexpected American reds

Unexpected American RedsMost wines produced in the United States are made as single grape (varietal) wines from a rather limited number of grapes.

But as wine drinkers become more adventurous, wineries are exploring less-frequently planted grapes to create blends — a common practice in Europe, but one that’s still relatively unusual here. This month’s column concerns both types; these wines will often be found under the “Interesting Reds” label.

The grape Blaufränkisch (“Blue Franc”) is grown mainly in Austria. But the Steele Winery in California has a 2008 Shooting Star Blue Franc that’s nice example — and a better value than an Austrian import. It’s a light red, scarcely oaked to make it appealingly fruity, and with light tannins that lead to a clean, dry finish. It’s ideal for salmon or chicken.

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Wine: Iberian summer whites

Iberian Summer WhitesSummertime brings the pleasure of lazing on the deck with a cold bottle of wine in easy reach and another waiting for dinner. For this month, a lighter wine for sipping and something with a bit more character for the meal.

Wine has been produced on the Iberian Peninsula, now occupied by Spain and Portugal, for more than four millennia, but many of the region’s wines were not very widely distributed until the last couple of decades. Things changed dramatically after the two countries joined the European Union: There was a major influx of capital into the wine industry, and techniques in the vineyards and wineries were improved rapidly. The white wines produced on the Atlantic coast, just north or south of the border between Portugal and Spain, have benefited from these developments, are particularly suited to the summer, and are achieving a deserved popularity.

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Red, white and bubbles for the 4th

At least for the moment, we may be crawling out of the financial crisis, so the nation’s birthday calls for cautious celebration, best accomplished with wines made in the U.S.A.  

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New dining options on HHI

In the past year, new upstart restaurants have made waves on the island and some old hands are new again.

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Red wines for the grill


Memorial Day is the official opening of grilling season, at least for those living in less hospitable Northern climates, so the four wines this month are designed to be drunk around the grill.

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Rib, barbecue fest spices up May


Every year in May, the Kiwanis Club sponsors Hilton Head’s a barbecue event at the Coastal Discovery Museum.

This year, the 14th Annual Rib Burnoff and Barbecue Fest will be held from noon-4 p.m. on May 15 at Honey Horn, rain or shine.
Hundreds of residents and visitors join the Kiwanis Clubs to raise funds for local children’s charities, listen to some down-home music and to enjoy some of the South’s best barbecue.

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What wines go best with shrimp?

0510_shrimpwineWe discovered the docks where the shrimp boats unload when we first visited the island in the ‘70s, and were ruined for any shrimp that was not wild and had not just been landed forever after.

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