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The Beach House Cookbook

The Beach House Cookbook

by Mary Kay Andrews
The Beach House Cookbook

The Beach House Cookbook

by Mary Kay Andrews


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The Beach House Cookbook is the perfect gift for creative chefs looking to expand their summer cuisine.

You don’t have to own a beach house to enjoy Mary Kay Andrews’ recipes. All you need is an appetite for delicious, casual dishes, cooked with the best fresh, local ingredients and presented with the breezy flair that make Mary Kay Andrews’ novels a summertime favorite at the beach.

From an early spring dinner of cherry balsamic-glazed pork medallions and bacon-kissed Brussels sprouts to Fourth of July buttermilk-brined fried chicken, potato salad, and pudding parfaits to her New Year’s Day Open House menu of roast oysters, home-cured gravlax, grits 'n’ greens casserole, and lemon-cream cheese pound cake, this cookbook will supply ideas for menus and recipes designed to put you in a permanently carefree, coastal state of mind all year long.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250130440
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 198,347
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

MARY KAY ANDREWS is The New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders, Beach Town, Save the Date, Ladies’ Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. A former journalist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Atlanta, Georgia

Date of Birth:

July 27, 1954

Place of Birth:

Tampa, Florida


B.A. in newspaper journalism, University of Georgia, 1976

Read an Excerpt

The Beach House Cookbook

Easy Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent

By Mary Kay Andrews

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2017 Whodunnit, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-13045-7


Summer Solstice Dinner

Here in the Deep South, it's usually already plenty steamy by the time the official start of summer rolls around. Even if it's not hot enough to fry an egg on the hood of your car where you live, why not plan to have a lovely, cool dinner that doesn't require firing up the oven in the heat of the day? My tomato pie can be made in the morning, preferably using dead-ripe local tomatoes, and served at room temperature. We usually snag our tomatoes from the garden of our Ebbtide neighbor, Tompkins, but he's probably going to notice if all of y'all do that, so better head to your local produce stand to buy your own 'maters. The chicken salad, one of my most-requested recipes, showed up in Little Bitty Lies, in which the protagonist, Mary Bliss McGowan, fakes her missing husband's death to cash in on his life insurance policy.



James T's Secret Iced Tea
Zucchini Vichyssoise
Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad
Tomato Pie
Ritualistic Pimento Cheese
Trailer Trash Dessert

James T's Secret Iced Tea

My friend James T. Farmer of Perry, Georgia, is a landscape architect by training and a Southern lifestyle authority by birthright. He is also the author of several beautiful and indispensable gardening, cooking, and entertaining books, including A Time to Celebrate, Dinner on the Grounds, A Time to Cook, and others. We became fast friends over a shared lunch of fried chicken on the porch at Ebbtide, at which time he revealed the secret of his world-famous iced tea. Two words: Earl Grey. The black leaves in Earl Grey tea have been flavored with the oil of bergamot orange, giving it a lovely, distinctive floral flavor, that in turn elevates James T's iced tea to something very special.

3 family-size tea bags
1 Earl Grey tea bag
1 cup sugar
Peach wedges, mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the tea bags, remove from the heat, and let steep for about 5 minutes. Pour the tea into a 1-gallon pitcher, reserving the tea bags in the saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and 2 cups water in a separate medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, and let stand until cooled.

3. Add the sugar syrup to the tea in the pitcher. Add water to the tea bags in the saucepan. Add to the tea in the pitcher, continuing the process until the mixture measures 1 gallon. Serve over ice, garnished with the peach slices and/or mint sprigs if desired.

Zucchini Vichyssoise

Cold soups, I've learned, are pretty much an acquired taste. I love 'em, but others in my family? Not so much. I love traditional vichyssoise but wanted to change it up a little. I think the addition of zucchini is a happy choice, and the pale green color is divine. Just be sure to use only the pale green and white parts of the leeks to eliminate the possibility of any bitterness. Not a fan of zucchini? Heck, just leave 'em out for a velvety smooth cold soup.

&#189 cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium zucchini, sliced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ to 1 cup half-and-half
Chopped chives for garnish

1. Melt the butter and oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, and sauté until tender and translucent. Add the potatoes, zucchini, broth, salt, and pepper.

2. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Let stand for 15 minutes.

3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender (be sure to remove the center of the lid to allow steam to escape). Stir in ½ cup half-and-half, adding additional half-and-half, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency. Let cool completely, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. Spoon the soup into serving bowls, sprinkle with the chives, and serve.

Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad

The recipe for this divine chicken salad was shared with me after I attended the wake for a dear friend's father. It was the inspiration for the recipe included in Little Bitty Lies, in which the protagonist mourns the death of her best friend's mother — especially since the mother passed away before revealing the recipe for her heavenly creation. In the book, Mary Bliss imagines the recipe is handed down to her from beyond the grave, hence the name. This has become a staple at baby showers, bridal showers, and yes, funeral receptions.

For the chicken salad:
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 large onion, quartered
1 tsp. seasoned salt
2 chicken bouillon cubes
5 lb. bone-in chicken breasts
½ cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. honey
For the dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup bottled Italian salad dressing
1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 ½ tsp. celery seed
? tsp. salt
Pinch of paprika

1. Bring 2 quarts water, the parsley, the onion, the seasoned salt, and the bouillon to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the chicken.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is done.

3. Remove the chicken from the water, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and bones. Shred with forks, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate.

4. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour 1 cup of the dressing over the shredded chicken. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Combine the remaining dressing with the sour cream and honey. Add the mixture to the chicken, stir to combine, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tomato Pie

While preparing a tomato pie as my contribution to a party hosted by my friend Susie, I spied a tub of store-bought pimento cheese in my fridge and decided to try freestyling my recipe. The results were immediate: empty pie pan! The pie is fantastic with my Ritualistic Pimento Cheese, but a good-quality commercial brand like Palmetto is a great standin.

4 large ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 refrigerated pie crust (or frozen deep-dish pie crust)
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup cooked, crumbled bacon
8 basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus basil leaves for garnish ional)
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup Ritualistic Pimento Cheese

1. Place the tomatoes on several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle generously with the salt, and let stand for about 1 hour. Pat dry.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Unroll the pie crust and fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold and crimp the edges. (Skip this step if using a frozen crust). Prick the dough with a fork, line with parchment paper, and fill with uncooked beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the beans or rice and paper, and set aside.

3. In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Brush the mustard all over the baked pie shell.

4. Arrange one-third of the tomato slices on the bottom of the pie crust and sprinkle with half of the bacon, half of the sliced basil, and half of the pepper. Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over the tomatoes. Arrange half of the remaining tomato slices over the mayonnaise mixture and sprinkle with the remaining bacon, sliced basil, and pepper. Spread the pimento cheese evenly over the tomatoes, and then arrange the remaining tomato slices on top.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges begin to bubble. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with the basil leaves, if desired, and serve.

Ritualistic Pimento Cheese

Being the superstitious type, I have strict rituals I observe when I run away from home to work on my novels. I always burn my favorite red currant aromatherapy candle while writing. I always plot longhand on a yellow legal pad with a fine-tip Sharpie. And I always have the same thing for lunch, which I make at the beginning of the week and then eat every day. Sometimes it's tuna salad. Sometimes it's egg salad. Often, it's this pimento cheese, which I like slathered on thick white bread topped with slices of ripe tomato. I really like to tuck one of these sandwiches wrapped in wax paper in my jacket pocket, as a treat after a beach walk. Be sure to use good-quality Cheddar that you've shredded yourself. The preshredded cheese is coated with a stabilizer, which makes for an inferior sandwich spread.

4 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (7-oz.) jar diced pimentos, drained
2/3 cup mayonnaise (we tested with Duke's)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Generous dash of hot sauce
Freshly ground pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Trailer Trash Dessert

There are dozens of variations of this recipe on the Internet, but my family refers to this easy ice cream bar dessert as "Trailer Trash" because the ingredients are, well, not exactly gourmet. Still, it's the perfect recipe for a beach house vacation, because even if your summer rental kitchen isn't equipped with a 9-by-13-inch pan, you can always pick up a disposable foil pan when you're buying the rest of the ingredients. And it's so easy, kids can assemble it themselves. Plus, you won't heat up the kitchen! You can usually find the toffee bits in the baking aisle where chocolate chips are sold. If not, buy several candy bars, place them in a zip-top bag, and crush with a rolling pin. (Or a heavy cast-iron skillet!)

24 ice cream sandwiches
1 (11.75-oz.) jar hot fudge topping
1 (12-oz.) jar caramel topping
2 (8-oz.) containers whipped topping, thawed
1 (8-oz.) package chocolate-toffee bits, divided

1. Unwrap 12 ice cream sandwiches and arrange in a single layer in a 9by-13-inch baking pan. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the ice cream sandwiches.

2. Microwave the hot fudge topping and caramel topping according to the package directions.

3. Drizzle about one-third of the hot fudge topping and caramel topping over the sandwiches, frost with one container of whipped topping, and sprinkle with one-third of toffee bits.

4. Repeat the layers once. Drizzle the remaining hot fudge topping and caramel topping over the whipped topping. Sprinkle with the remaining toffee bits. Cover and freeze until firm. Cut into squares and serve.

Low Country Boil

In late summer and early fall, local shrimp and blue crabs are abundant in the sounds, tidal rivers, and creeks that surround our beach house on Tybee Island, and sweet corn is available, too. Last year, we celebrated our son Andy's thirtieth birthday with a Low Country Boil at Ebbtide, inviting some of his oldest friends to gather to mark his big day. Not everybody adds blue crab to their Low Country Boil, but when the traps we dropped off our friend's dock yielded four dozen specimens in about an hour, they were added to the pot. In addition to the seafood component, it's traditional for the menu to include Savannah red rice, a spicy local specialty, and for an easy green vegetable, fried okra cakes are convenient because they can be made in advance and served at room temperature. A peach and blackberry or blueberry cobbler rounds out a meal that emphasizes local gifts from the garden and the sea. (And a scoop of ice cream on top of warm-from-the-oven cobbler never hurt.)

Low Country Boil
Savannah Red Rice
Fried Okra Cakes
Peach and Berry Cobbler

Low Country Boil

Low Country Boil is a meal — and an event! Here's how it works. You invite some friends over, and you grab the biggest stockpot you can find. If you have one of those nifty outdoor cookers with a propane tank and a stand for your stockpot, that's swell, but a stovetop works well, too. Spread newspapers over your table and put out some nutcrackers and cocktail picks for the blue crabs (if you've been able to procure them), cocktail sauce and lemons for the shrimp, melted butter for the potatoes, plenty of ice-cold beer, and lots of wet naps or paper towels. Here's what you'll need to feed ten to twelve eager pals.

1 (12-oz.) can beer
1 cup Old Bay seasoning
2 lemons, quartered, plus lemon wedges for serving
½ cup white wine vinegar
3 lb. medium-size red potatoes, unpeeled, halved
4 lb. spicy sausage (such as kielbasa or andouille), cut into 2-inch-pieces
2 large Vidalia onions, quartered
8 ears corn, shucked and cut in half
1 dozen live blue crabs
3 lb. large shrimp, unpeeled
Cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, melted butter (optional) for

1. Bring 4 gallons of water, the beer, the Old Bay, the lemon quarters, and the vinegar to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat.

2. Add the potatoes; cook for 5 minutes. Add the sausage and onions. Return to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the corn; cook for 5 minutes. Add the blue crabs. Return to a boil, and cook for about 6 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and the potatoes are tender.

3. Drain the seafood boil in a large colander, and serve with the cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, and melted butter, if desired.

Savannah Red Rice

One of the first friends I made as a newlywed and a newcomer to Savannah was Jacky Blatner Yglesias. Luckily, Jacky likes to go "junking" just as much as I do, so we've spent many happy hours together treasure hunting. Jacky taught me how to head shrimp and how to make red rice, which is a mainstay at the outdoor seafood extravaganza known as a Low Country Boil. Once, we went to jail together in Metter, Georgia, after a late-night car breakdown. But that's a story for another time.

4 slices bacon

½ cup chopped onion
1 (28-oz.) can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups white rice
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish and set aside.

2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving the drippings in the skillet. Crumble the bacon.

3. Sauté the onion in the bacon drippings until tender. Add the tomatoes, rice, broth, salt, pepper, and crumbled bacon. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fried Okra Cakes

When I joined the features staff at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1983, Thelma's Kitchen on Techwood Avenue was a favored lunchtime destination for cops, AJC reporters, and staff from nearby Grady Memorial Hospital. Thelma's was a soul-food flavored meat-and-three-vegetable luncheonette, and her okra cakes were legendary — especially for me, since I'd never particularly liked the slimy texture of cooked okra before. Thelma's recipe was a closely guarded secret, but I think this version comes pretty close to hitting the key nutty-salty component. Choose small-to-medium tender okra pods and chop them finely by hand, discarding the tough tops and tips. And do use the bacon grease added to the frying oil. About six slices of bacon yields the amount needed for this recipe. I can't prove that using a cast-iron skillet makes a better-tasting okra cake. But it does.

1 lb. okra, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup plain cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
Canola or peanut oil for frying
¼ cup bacon drippings

1. Place the okra, onion, ½ cup water, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Stir the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the okra mixture and stir until well combined.

3. Heat about 2 inches of oil plus the bacon drippings in a cast-iron or heavy skillet with high sides until the temperature reaches 350°F.

4. Drop the okra batter into the hot oil by heaping tablespoonfuls and cook, in batches, until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.


Excerpted from The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay Andrews. Copyright © 2017 Whodunnit, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Summer Solstice Dinner 1

Low Country Boil 15

Fourth of July Dinner 25

Lazy Weekend Brunch 39

Beach Picnic 51

Book Bash Cocktail Party 59

After a Day at the Beach 79

Catch of the Day 91

Full Moon Party 103

Game Day Dinner 119

Souper Supper 139

Thanksgiving at the Beach 155

Christmas Brunch 179

New Year's Day Open House 197

Valentine's Day Sweetheart Dinner 209

Easter Lunch 223

Epilogue: And Then There Were Biscuits 235

Acknowledgment 241

Index 245

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