The South’s Sugary Indulgence

Take a walk around the Holy City and chances are your senses will lead you to the sweet scent of pralines wafting down the street.

King and market street signPralines can be traced back to early 17th century French history when a diplomat’s personal chef happened to create this tasty sweet treat.

The diplomat had Praslin in his name, which is where the treats’ name comes from, legend has it.

Some say the chef stumbled upon his apprentice just as he knocked over a container of almonds into a vat cooking caramel. Others claim Praslin asked his personal chef to create an irresistible treat that ladies would not be able to deny. He packaged the sugary nuts into little parcels marked with his name, and the name pralines stuck.

In America, pralines first came to Louisiana from the French in the early to mid 1700’s. Almonds were in short supply in the area, and the nut was substituted with pecans, which are local to the region.

Whatever the story, the praline is a sweet confection of pecans and sugar that we can’t get enough of in the South. Pecan pralines spread rapidly throughout the port city of New Orleans and quickly to other Southern cities like Charleston, becoming a popular treat.

We asked Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ryan of Belmond Charleston Place to share his traditional recipe for this Southern indulgence.  These sugary, nutty sweets are the perfect treat to make when you’re missing Charleston.

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Chef Ryan’s Traditional Pecan Praline Recipe

Butter, unsalted 4 tablespoons
Heavy cream ½ cup
Bourbon (or liquor of choice) Splash
Granulated (white) sugar ½ pound
Brown sugar ½ pound
Pecans, pieces 1 pound

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients except pecans in a pot, with liquid ingredients in bottom of pot. Cook over high heat. Once ingredients come to a boil, bake pecans in oven at 350 degrees to toast for approximately 8 minutes. Using a candy thermometer, measure

praline mix temperature. Remove from heat when mixture reaches 240 degrees. Add pecans to pot. Stir lightly. Use wooden spoon or ice cream scoop to portion pralines onto parchment paper. Allow pralines to cool.

Tip: If you have a sweet tooth and are visiting Charleston, pick up a pound of your favorite pralines from one of the local candy shops and take a piece of the South home with you!

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Chef T’s Southern Style Wings

The Super Bowl is days away, and just as important as the game is the food you have available. Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day in American food consumption, after Thanksgiving. With 1.25 billion chicken wings alone eaten on game day, there is no bigger crowd-pleasing party food.

Chef_T_MatM Executive Chef Tarquino Vintimilla (Chef T) of Meeting at Market shares his recipe for this game day favorite. Whether you tune in for the big game, the commercial lineup, or are in it for the fare, we’ve got you covered on what to eat while you watch.

Chef T’s Homemade Habanero Maple Buffalo Sauce:

Your favorite brand of hot sauce 1 cup
Maple syrup ½ cup
Onion ½ sliced
Habanero peppers 2 sliced
Garlic 4 cloves
Apple cider vinegar ¼ cup

 

Instructions:  Sauté the habanero peppers, garlic and onion in a pan. In a blender, add the sautéed mix with the apple cider vinegar and blend well. Pour blended mix into a bowl and add the maple syrup and hot sauce. Mix well. Toss the wings in the sauce or serve o the side.

Blue Cheese Dressing:

Mayonnaise 1 cup
Sour cream 1 cup
Chives 2 tablespoons, chopped
Garlic 1 tablespoon, chopped
Blue cheese 1 cup, crumbed
Shallots 1 tablespoon, chopped
Salt and pepper To taste

 

Instructions: Add all ingredients to a bowl. Mix well. Serve on the side for dipping.

These wings are sure to kick your party up a notch. Whether you’re at home or plan to catch the big game at Meeting at Market, you’ll love Chef T’s sweet and spicy take on a game day classic.

Please share your Super Bowl photos with us on Instagram at @MeetingAtMarket and Facebook at Meeting at Market.

 

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The Conductor Holiday Cocktail

The holiday season creates an enchanting atmosphere at Belmond Charleston Place. With festive decorations and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) train display, the hotel magically comes alive. Located on the lobby level, the Thoroughbred Club features special holiday drinks, available for a limited time. The Conductor, created in honor of the hotel’s VSOE train display, wraps the sweet smell of holiday treats into a must-try drink.

The Conductor:

  • 1.5 oz. Wild Turkey American Honey, infused with vanilla bean and cinnamon
  • 1 oz. Hoodoo Chicory liquer 
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 round lemon slice, for garnish
  • Granulated sugar, for garnish

Rub a lemon slice along the rim of a martini glass, then dip the glass into a dish of sugar. Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Stir,  then strain liquid into the glass.  Garnish with lemon slice.

For the bourbon infusion: Place one vanilla bean and and one cinnamon stick in the Wild Turkey American Honey bottle and let it infuse for at least a week. Strain before using. 

With an intimate setting and live music, the Thoroughbred Club is the perfect spot for a group gathering or to cozy up with a loved one. Stop by to indulge in this holiday drink or create it at home for your next holiday party. Toast to the season!

ConductorCocktail

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