Mary’s Memo #2209

     Many readers have been to Hilton Head in Beaufort County, I’m sure, but how many of you have been to historic Beaufort, founded in 1710? Our hosts at Hilton Head took us there February 28 for lunch at the Beaufort Inn and afterwards a carriage ride around the antebellum city where Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks was filmed. Our lunch at the Beaufort Inn was outstanding and the house bread was fresh baked popovers. They were so good I’ve resurrected my popover pan from the basement to make them at home. From the menu Fried Green Tomato-Bacon-Lettuce Salad screamed try me, try me! Like Daddy, born in Knoxville, TN, I love fried green tomatoes! In fact I still drool when I think about how good the salad was and the lovely presentation. Entree prices in my opinion were also reasonable.

     The carriage ride proved to be equally enjoyable with a young lady with lots of personality as our guide and led by an obedient Duke, the world’s tallest horse. Duke formerly called home Roscoe Village near  Columbus. It was a step backward in time seeing beautiful old mansions, many of which still have residents. In the tear-down society in which we live, I rejoice whenever I see preservation alive and well and this time it was in Beaufort. Instead of souvenirs I look for community cookbooks to remember where I’ve visited. I was directed to the McIntosh Book Shoppe on Bay Street where vintage and rare books as well as the latest best sellers are available. A Barnes and Noble it was not, but I found just what I wanted: “Full Moon, High Tide, Tastes and Traditions of the Low Country,” now in its third printing and published by parents of Beaufort Academy students K thru 12. The Academy is a private school offering a challenging curriculum for children of all religious, racial, social and economic backgrounds.


     I also touched base this year with a lady I read about in the Hilton Head newspaper in 2009 and with whom I only communicated via email. Although the Sally Kerr-Dineen article was about her food involvement on the Island, I contacted her when I came home because of the Dineen part of her name. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was
Dineen and her mother and father came to America from County Cork with an older brother and sister after the potato famine. But to make a long story short, Sally and I are not related. However, we do share a passion for food and cooking, even though she’s nearer my Mary Ann’s age than mine! I set up our luncheon at the Red Fish Restaurant and from the moment I saw her we talked non-stop for almost two hours like we’d known each other for years! For more information about my new-found friend check her website: One thing she does is a full page article in Pink, a free monthly publication that is distributed in the Island area. If you are a tourist look for the latest issue because it has many good articles about what to do, see and eat in Hilton Head. We brought the March issue home with us so we could read Sally’s latest entry. Lucky you, I’m sharing her recipe for Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms. I’ve since made it and what more can I say, “it’s all delicious!” Make this entrée when Chief and Rays have Miller’s boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale.


 4 Miller’s boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to about 1/4 inch thickSalt and pepper All-purpose flour 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided 6 tablespoons butter, divided 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots(available in Chief and Rays produce departments)3 cups cleaned and thinly sliced mushrooms(be sure they’re dry so they brown nicely)3/4 cup Marsala wine1 cup chicken broth2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley     Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge chicken in flour. Over medium heat, add half the olive oil and butter in a large 12-inch skillet. When butter begins to foam brown chicken until golden, about 3 minutes on one side, turn over and continue cooking the other side for about 2 minutes more. Lift from pan and set aside. Drain fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Melt remaining fat and add shallots. Cook until softened, then add mushrooms and season again with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until browned. Pour Marsala wine over mushroom mixture. Continue cooking until wine turns slightly syrupy. Add chicken broth. Boil until sauce is reduced about half, keeping in mind that you do want an adequate amount of sauce to spoon over chicken. (I say this because I think I cooked
my sauce too long and didn’t have much to spare.) Return chicken to skillet and cook in sauce until chicken is heated through, turning occasionally to coat in sauce. Add parsley and serve. Recipe makes 4 servings. Source: Used with permission of Sally Kerr-Dineen, Hilton Head, SC. Download PDF of Memo #2209

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *