Nov 18, 2010

The Junior League Project- Charleston

Today we turn to Charleston- Charleston Receipts Repeats to be more particular.  and if we're going to talk about the Junior League of Charleston, one must always be particular.
Now, the food I made inland on a cold November night is rather different than the food I associate with Charleston. 

Summer after freshman year at Georgia, myself and four dear friends loaded up our cars and zoomed off for a summer in Charleston, lucking into an amazing place downtown.  Our furniture consisted of mattresses, folding chairs, and various items purloined from the street or Goodwill.  Our jobs were menial and rather hilarious- a couple girls worked at a restaurant that had a suspicious backroom where mafia types met, while random college students ate pizza out front.  I toiled at a well known tourist trap, where I entertained myself by telling grits-ignorant Ohioan tourists that our premises on Market was a former well-known whorehouse frequented by the likes of Rhett Butler.  No one questioned the authenticity of my ludicrous claims- not even to note that Rhett is, in fact, a fictional character.

Between our arduous schedule of hostessing duties, going to parties, hanging at Washout, and exploring what bars would let us in with out rather dubious forms of identification, we cooked.  The seafood market on the way home from the beach, along with the roadside vegetable stands were our main sources of sustenance (along with Bert's hot dogs).  I have never been so skinny as I was that summer.  Sigh, glory days.

Anyway, back to the present.  So, this is the sequel to the first legendary Charleston Receipts cookbook.  I needed something a little more current after the soup and eggs experiment.  I love this cookbook!  You can tell by its dog-eared nature- I loved to read it when I was a child, and peruse the menus and beautiful illustrations of south of Broad life.

First- a Cheese Soufflé (a misnomer, it's really more of a strata, delicious either way)
Take four pieces of high quality white bread- or the rough equivalent of French bread, which is what I did, and a heaping half-pound of freshly-grated sharp cheddar. Layer a slice of torn up bread, and a fourth of the cheese.  Repeat 3 times.

Mix together the following:
  • 3 eggs separated and beaten.  I don't know why you separate them, because it all goes in together- you don't beat the whites until they are stiff, and fold them in like you would for a soufflé.
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • sprinkle of red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mined onion (I cheated here and used about a tablespoon of onion)
Pour the egg-milk mixture into your casserole dish.  Now let sit in your fridge for a least 5 hours, or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 325, then place your soufflé in a larger baking dish full of water.  Carefully put the whole shebang in the oven (cooking the soufflé in the water mollycoddles your custard to just the right consistency), for an hour and a half.

Okay, we have much more coming.  My mouth is drooling just thinking of this soufflé, and I have two other recipes to share with you readers.  However, blogger is being a hater, and refusing to upload any pictures.  Y'all have to see this gooey cheesy yumminess to understand how much I love Nancy Jane, and her not-actually-a-soufflé Cheese Soufflé. So, to be continued, and a souffle cliffhanger.

Spoiler- it turns out delectable.


  1. It's impossible to go wrong with that combination of ingredients!

    I adore your Rhett Butler story.

  2. Your Charleston Summer sounds very familiar...
    I heart the cheese "souffle".

  3. I am loving this series!! Inspires me to go back and look through my JL and small town church cookbooks. A good reminder that while there are some doozies, there are also some gems. Happy weekend!


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