Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 8 wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 package quinoa & wild rice mix (can substitute just quinoa or just rice)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Beating the summer heat requires nothing more than a blender, ice, and fruit — and, if you’re looking to kick things up, a little bit of alcohol. And good frozen drinks start with good ingredients, so here are a few suggestions to help make sure what goes into your blender is the best it can be:

Lowcountry boil goes by several other names, like Frogmore stew or Beaufort boil. But no matter what it’s called, it’s a local favorite made of four readily available ingredients: shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. Add a sprinkling of seasoning and you’re set. It’s not a dainty dish, but it appears everywhere — at food festivals, church fundraisers, family reunions and black-tie weddings. Often, it is served on newspaper and eaten by hand with cocktail sauce and melted butter for dipping, plus hot sauce for those who crave more heat. This version of a Lowcountry boil makes it a manageable meal on a smaller scale and alters the presentation just a bit. 

Michael and Lauren Cirafesi are the owners of OMBRA Cucina Rustica in The Village at Wexford. They are pictured here in their restaurant with their sons (from left to right): Paul, Kurdt, Tim, David, Laer and Salvatore.

VIVA LA FAMIGLIA!

For Lauren and Michael Cirafesi, running their award-winning restaurant OMBRA is all about family. And for them, family includes not only their six sons, but also their staff and guests.

An interview with host and chief executive foodie Jesse Blanco

QUESTION. What’s your take on the food scene on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton?
ANSWER. The food scene in Hilton Head Island has always been a few steps ahead of anything else in this area. It is a large part of what made the island so popular. It's nice to have a big beautiful house on the beach or a place to play golf, but unless there are great restaurants, then it’s just not the same. What is going on in Bluffton, meanwhile, is nothing short of amazing. So much good food popping up there. No surprise really with the number of people moving there. I'm even hearing about restaurants in Savannah expanding to Bluffton. That will tell you how they feel about the area.

signeSigne Gardo, proprietor of Signe’s Bakery & Café, is now serving complete take-home dinners. The individually prepared, take home service has generated a loyal following. A new menu is emailed each Monday with the choices for that week. Dishes vary widely from Chicken Piccata with pasta to Teriyaki Glazed North Atlantic Salmon. Dinners cost $10.95-$15.95. Email signesbakery@yahoo.com 

salmon2ADD FRESH PRODUCE TO YOUR DIET AND COMMUNITY

Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”

“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up, or they just weren’t cooked properly,” Forberg said. “It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.”

Cocktails

A new state law allows distilleries in Beaufort County to serve cocktails out of their tasting rooms, which was previously prohibited. The law went into effect in late June. Local businesses Hilton Head Distillery and Daufuskie Island Rum Co. have said they planned to offer visitors the option of buying a cocktail during tastings. 

Brandon CarterBrandon Carter, chef-owner of Farm Bluffton, recently was invited to collaborate on sevencourse dinner coordinated by Certified Master Chef Richard Rosendale at Down Island, a fine dining eatery in Vineyard Haven, Mass. Carter made a heirloom tomato and chanterelle tart. In May, Carter also participated in a dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. At his restaurant in Bluffton, Carter crafts an everevolving menu that supports local farmers, producers and artisans. 

chickenA new fried chicken map showing more than 300 locations in South and North Carolina went on sale in July— on National Fried Chicken Day.

For $9.99, the graphic design firm E.D.I.A. has created a map that gives fried chicken lovers details about where to find stand outs among the many types of fried chicken served in the two states.