Charlene Peters writes writes about her travels to The King and Prince and St. Simons Island on WickedLocal.
Taste of Travel: Reigned in by the King and Prince Resort
By Charlene Peters /Wicked Local Marblehead
Posted Apr 19, 2011 @ 03:36 PM
Swampscott —All the hype leading to the royal marriage between Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales is likely to evoke the need for a bit of grandeur in your own life. So, if you’re in need of getting the royal treatment, there’s an affordable destination with a five-star golf course and staff that will treat you like crowned royalty — and you’ll be in surroundings fit for a king.
Lined with oak trees over 200 years old, it’s the Spanish moss that will grab your attention. Draped on limbs that “bough” down to greet you with southern hospitality, and streets dotted with blooming azaleas, roses and more floral landscape, St. Simons Island in Georgia spans 18 miles along a salt marsh that keeps sweet Georgia shrimp happily fed and spawning. Although peaches are what come to the minds of most when this low country Southern state is mentioned — on St. Simons Island, it’s all about shrimp. In fact, Georgia has the largest marshland in acres and is the largest producer of seafood on the eastern coast.
Shrimp with grits, peel ‘n’ eat boiled shrimp, fried shrimp — whatever y’all are in the mood for, you can get it at St. Simons. If you’re not sure how you want your shrimp prepared, or want to try other seafood tastes of the area, such as grouper or flounder, head to King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, a family-friendly, affordable spot on the island for the Friday night seafood buffet; you’ll be guaranteed to get your fill of seafood, as well as prime rib and an assortment of desserts, such as peach cobbler, of course.
Paula Murphy, sous chef at KP, knows her grits (acronym: “girls raised in the south”). Murphy advises seasoning grits as you cook them — don’t wait until they’re fully cooked or “they won’t work,” she says. Cooking lessons are part of KP’s offerings, held in spacious rooms with windows that overlook the sea. During high tide, the beach disappears and all you see is water (you’ll feel as if you’re on a cruise ship, but without the seasickness).
A walk, bike or Lighthouse Trolley ride off-resort will lead you to the Left Bank Art Gallery, where owner, Millie Huie Wilcox, upon request, will regale you with stories of her life, including her past fashion modeling career in New York City, as well as how she came to own an art gallery on St. Simons Island. The artwork, some of which features artists from France, hosts plenty of talented regional artists (my personal favorite: Jane Smithers of North Carolina). Following a fill of culture, be sure to take time to explore the fantastic shopping districts for women, and take a break at Palmer’s, the newest breakfast and lunch eatery, a must-stop for visitors who want to experience a taste of the south. Try the Southern poached eggs with collard greens accompanied by a ham and buttermilk biscuit topped with pot licker gravy, or Mary’s chicken salad sandwich with the hollowed Hoagie filled with ricotta cheese and sun dried tomato chicken salad. Hey, even the Texas-cut French toast stuffed with a strawberry cream will more than satisfy the ficklest of foodies.
Until you reign at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, here are a few shrimp recipes that will catapult you down south.
Shrimp and Grits
– recipes courtesy of King and Prince Resort
1 lb. shrimp (26-30 count)
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup julienned red pepper
1/2 cup julienned green pepper
1/2 cut julienned onion
8 beef bouillon cubes
1 quart water
Dash of salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
4 oz. Burgundy wine
Sauté onions, mushrooms and peppers in butter. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add salt and cayenne pepper, re1duce heat. Add shrimp and simmer for 5 minutes. Add beef bouillon cubes and mix well, add water and bring to a boil. Thicken with half cornstarch and half water mixture.
2 cups stone ground grits
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart milk
1-1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup water
Bring chicken stock and milk to boil. Add grits, cook for 5 minutes. Add cheese, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add butter, stir well and cook for 10 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8
Shrimp & Crab Seafood Lasagna
2 cups wild shrimp (preferably from Georgia), medium size, defrosted and dried off on paper towels (you can also use/add crab, scallops, etc.)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 scallions cut in 1/2-inch pieces (greens included)
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups béchamel (when making sauce, use only 1 cup)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
Few threads saffron
Cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
3/4 cup Fontina, provolone and mozzarella cheese mix, shredded
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
8 lasagna sheets, cooked “al dente”
Salt and ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, sauté the garlic until transparent — do not brown or burn. Add the shrimp and toss over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add scallions and parsley, stir and continue cooking until shrimp lose their transparency. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the béchamel using just 1 cup of milk as you will be adding the cream and white wine to it. When the béchamel is ready, stir in the cream, wine, saffron, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Blend thoroughly and remove the sauce from the heat.
Spread about a third of the sauce over the bottom of an 8- by- 10-inch round pie pan. Sprinkle half the cheese mixture (Fontina/mozzarella) over the sauce. Scatter about half the shellfish evenly over the cheese. Cover with half the lasagna sheets. Repeat the layers finishing with the last sheets of lasagna. Cover with the remaining sauce and Parmesan and a few threads of saffron (and some ground pepper if you wish).
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown (keep an eye on it — you don’t want the top to burn). Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 4 to 6
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