Hilton Head Island is a culinary paradise and visitors will find plenty of amazing restaurants serving exceptional dishes. Sometimes however, cooking at home is nice and it means you can relax and spend time with friends while trying your hand at new dishes. Finding fresh food and ingredients is a breeze and the motorcoach resort is armed with barbecue areas to cook for groups.
Catch of the Day
Fresh seafood is easy to locate on Hilton Head and it really increases the range of recipes to test. You will find at least a dozen fresh fish markets scattered around the island. South End Seafood, Barnacle Bill’s, Spanish Wells, Blufton Oyster Company, Benny Hudson and more offer fresh fish and shellfish coming right off the local docks. A few of these markets also sell fresh produce, spices and other ingredients that pair well with seafood recipes. Make a list of ingredients before arriving or just wing it and grab the best looking fish on display.
Seafood doesn’t have to be complicated but there are some special recipes that require time to get just right. If you want something quick and easy, go for a fresh fish filet that you can throw in a pan of hot oil, barbecue or bake in the motorhome oven. Add lemon or lime and serve over rice with steamed or grilled vegetables. This makes shopping easy and creates a simple, healthy and efficient meal that works with pretty much any filet you find.
Another amazing seafood option is a paella. This spanish delight is perfect for motorcoach living because it uses a single pot and can easily feed a group of people. The ingredients are flexible but it works really well with shrimp, mussels, clams and other shellfish along with chorizo, vegetables, saffron rice and spices. Everything is essentially simmered in a single pan with the addition of chicken broth. The flexibility makes paella a fun dish to experiment with but you can also find a ton of different options online that incorporate seafood.
If you enjoy the diverse ingredients used in paella, seafood soups and stews are also something to consider. The slow cooked nature of these recipes makes them rich and full of flavor. Try a Cioppino with shrimp, mussels, cod and clams. You can source all of the shellfish and fish ingredients locally which is rare. Cioppino recipes vary but most use onion, garlic, oil, salt, pepper, oregano, tomato paste, white wine, clam juice, and other spices combined with the seafood and cooked in a big pot. There are also some amazing Mexican seafood soups that are worth trying with your local shellfish.
Barbecue with Friends
It’s hard not to eat fresh seafood everyday on Hilton Head and while some fish are great on a barbecue, a good old fashioned red meat or chicken dinner is something to look forward to while enjoying the nice weather. Bring your own grill or use one of the many barbecue stations at the resort for yourself or for groups. Planning a barbecue is easy because all you need is meat and some sides. Consider a potluck style meal for groups but grilling burgers, steaks or chicken and adding a simple potato salad and grilled vegetable side is easy. Throw in chips and dip for the pre-game and a pie for dessert and everyone will go home full and happy.
One great option to consider for the barbecue is a shish kabob meal. It’s especially nice for groups because customizing each kabob is simple. You can do chicken or beef and even throw on vegetarian kabobs. Buy a pack of long skewers and add chunks of meat alternating with onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, squash and any other favorite vegetables. You can marinade the meat and the vegetables in advance if desired. A marinade can help tenderize everything while penetrating seasonings to maximize flavor. Throw them on the grill until the meat is done and serve them up. Kabobs are simple, easy to pass out and they streamline the combination of meat and vegetables on a convenient skewer. Add some appetizers and salad to the spread and you have an instant hit for small and large groups.