Charleston Recipes: Four Southern Recipes You Must Add to Your Collection


Our local Charleston resident chef Gabriella has awakened our senses and warmed our hearts with four mouth watering Southern Homemade Recipes to overflow?the heart and fill the stomach.? Next time you are in the kitchen and want to make the whole family happy, whip up some of these treasures (Coca Cola Ham, Collard Greens, Hummingbird Cake and Shrimp and Grits).? Believe me, they will love you for a long time, or until they take a nap from all the food.

Coca-Cola Ham


  • 1 (4 -5 lb) bone-in ham
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut in 1/2
  • 1 (2-liter) bottle coca -cola

For the Glaze:

  • 1 handful cloves
  • 1 heaping tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


Peel and cut 1 onion in half. ?In a large pot, place ham and the onion and pour the 2 liter bottle of coca-cola over top. On a medium-high heat, allow to cola to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover, not tightly with lid, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 hours. It is 1 hour for every 2 pounds.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
For the Glaze:

Pull the ham from the pot and allow to rest on a cutting board reserving the cooking liquid. Using a sharp knife, trim the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat on the ham. Using the knife, score the fat diagonally into large diamond cut. In each diamond pierce the fat with 1 clove. Spread the molasses over the meat. Gently pat the powdered mustard and sugar around the meat so it sticks to the molasses. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Gently place the ham in the roasting pan. Cook the ham for about 10 minutes or until glaze is burnished and bubbly.
For braising the ham in advance and then letting the ham cool, take ham from the refrigerator, glaze it according to the recipe, and give it 30 to 40 minutes to sit at room temperature. Place in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, then turning up the heat if prefer?a crispier exterior.


Collard Greens


  • 1 pound smoked ham or turkey wings
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ? tsp pepper
  • ? tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco, franks, or sriracha)
  • 1 large bunch collard greens
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 tsp vinegar (apple cider, white or balsamic)


Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add meat, salts, pepper, garlic powder and hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour.
Wash, trim and slice greens into 1/2 to 1-inch slices. Add greens and butter to stock. Cook on medium for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar and more salt and pepper to taste.



Hummingbird Cake (for a cake or cupcakes)


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup vegetable, corn, or canola oil
  • 1 ?1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 – 8 ounce undrained can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium sized bananas)

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound box (about 4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ? cup chopped pecans
  • Shredded coconut (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter, or spray with a non-stick spray, two – 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. If you are making cupcakes, line tin with cupcake liners.
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop finely.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Then stir in the chopped pecans.
In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, and mashed bananas. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and then cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese, on medium-low speed, until very smooth. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on medium-low speed, until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and then beat (or stir) in the finely chopped pecans.
To assemble Cake: Place one cake on your serving platter. Spread with about a third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake layer on top and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Pecan halves as a garnish is optional. If not serving immediately, refrigerate the cake. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Cupcakes: Frost when cool and top with pecan halves. Note from chef Gabriella: I also like to sprinkle them in toasted coconut.


Shrimp and Grits (stolen from Chef Mike Lata when he was Executive Chef of Anson House Restaurant)


? 2 cups milk (with some extra for during?the cooking process)
? 1 cup fresh white grits
? 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
? Salt and freshly ground pepper


? 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
? 3 tablespoons finely diced onion
? 3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
? 2 ounces diced country ham
? ? cup shrimp stock (make this from boiling the shrimp shells in 1 cup for water for 10 minutes)
? 3/4 cup heavy cream
? 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
? 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives or parsley
? 6 dashes of hot sauce (Tabasco or Franks)
? Salt and ground pepper



Grits: Bring the milk just up to a low boil over medium heat. Add the grits and stir constantly for 1 minute. Turn the heat to low. If there are any hulls, skim and remove them using a slotted spoon. Add the butter and stir frequently for the first 10 minutes, then stir every 10 minutes until grits are done, about 1 to 1 ? hrs. Add more milk?if the grits are becoming too coarse. Cover between stirrings. When creamy, add salt and pepper to taste. May need about ? tsp salt.
For the shrimp:

Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottom fry pan or enamel skillet. Add the onion and red pepper, cooking till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ham and sauté briefly. Stir in the stock, scraping the sides and bottom of the skillet to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil, and cook till the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream, bring to a boil, and reduce the liquid making a loose sauce. Add the shrimp, stir, and cook till the shrimp turn pink. Add the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the grits among four plates, top with the shrimp and some of the sauce and serve.

We at Charleston Daily have gotten to try these recipes ourselves, and they were delish! ?Now, onward to our naps! ?We’ll get the dishes later.