Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunday at Sea Water.

Shrimp and GritsHaving discovered Sea Water Grill, we thought we would like to eat there. However, it turns out the outside pier is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, don’t think we’ll have much time on Friday next, so figured we would go this Sunday afternoon. Luckily we got there early as it got extremely crowded at the end. We ended up having Shrimp Taco for Matt and Shrimp Shrimp Tacoand Grits for me. Actually the shrimp and grits was not like the usual dish served, however, it was delicious.  We had actually started eating when dummy that I am, I remembered to take pictures. Matt had to build the tacos from all the goodies he received, the tacos are under the tin foil. As for my grits, they were in a cake under the spinach and sauce. Tasty. Sitting eating and looking out to sea was delightful. Quite a few boats had pulled up to have their lunches too. We decided to get some more She Crab Soup to bring home for supper again.

Monday we found another restaurant that someone recommended so will talk about that one tomorrow. Circa 81.

Having mentioned She Crab Soup in my last post, I decided to find a recipe for it. This one carries a history of the soup as well. The soup we had was much more orangey from the roe than the one shown in the picture.

Charleston, South Carolina is known for their elegant She Crab Soup. A cross between a bisque and a chowder, made with their famous blue crab meat. In elegant society, terrapin, oyster, or crab soups were the accepted preliminary to a sumptuous banquet. This soup/bisque/chowder is considered the city's signature dish. Local restaurants offer their own version, and in many Charleston restaurants, the soup du jour is often She Crab Soup. With the abundance of blue crabs available in the coastal Carolina waters, this soup became very popular.

Culinary historian John Martin Taylor, author of Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking, credits the Scottish settlers who arrived in the Carolinas in the early 1700s with bringing their famous seafood bisque recipes called partan-bree, a crab and rice soup, to the area.

The addition of the crab roe, or crab eggs, is credited to William Deas, a butler and a cook to R. Goodwyn Rhett, mayor of Charleston. According the local legend, William Howard Taft (1857-1930), 27th president of the United States, was being "wined and dined" by Mayor Rhett at his home. The exact date seems to be lost in history, as President Taft visited the Rhetts in their home, the John Rutledge House Inn, several times between 1908 and 1912. Supposedly, the Rhetts asked their butler to "dress up" the pale crab soup they usually served. The butler added orange-hued crab eggs to give color and improve the flavor, thus inventing the Charleston delicacy know as She Crab Soup.

She Crab Soup Recipe - How To Make She Crab Soup

Recipe Type: Crab, Soup, Chowder, Cream SheCrabSoup
Cuisine: Charleston, South Carolina
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min


2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups half & half cream
4 teaspoons finely-grated onion
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest (rind)
1 1/2 pounds flaked blue crab meat*
1/4 cup crab roe**
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon finely-chopped fresh parsley leaves

* If you live in parts of the country where blue crab is not available, other types of crabmeat, such as Dungeness, snow, king, or rock crab, may be substituted.

** Two crumbled hard-cooked egg yolks may be substituted for the crab roe.


In a large, heavy pot over low heat, melt butter; add flour and blend until smooth. Slowly add milk and half & half cream, stirring constantly with a whisk; cook until thickened.

Add onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, white pepper, mace, cayenne pepper, and lemon zest. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, add crabmeat and crab roe or crumbled hard-cooked egg yolks; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes (if the soup appears about to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a minute or so, then return).

Remove from heat and add sherry, stirring to mix. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.

To serve, pour the soup into individual heated soup bowls, dividing the crabmeat and roe equally into each bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Have a great day



  1. You couldn't be in a better place to enjoy seafood!

    1. So true Alex, that's why we liked living here. Although the waiter was telling us the restaurant buys their salmon from Canada.

  2. Hey Jo, hope all is well with you. I could definitely do with some of the fresh sea food, it looks delicious, will have to give the crab soup a go! blessings, Amanda

    1. Wish I could send you some Amanda. At least you can get crab in the UK, more difficult when we get to Ontario.