2021 brought a quasi-return to “normal” life… Or, at least, to our old cooking habits. Instead of the elaborate meals and cooking projects that occupied us in 2020, we sought convenience with two-ingredient recipes, sheet-pan dinners, and unfussy taco nights. However, the year had its share of bumps. We sought comfort in our kitchens and cooked up meaty richness, savory carbs, and sweets. Our most popular recipes over 2021 reflect this, and they simultaneously celebrate the South’s colorful culinary scene, ranging from Cajun boils to Mexican cooking methods and timeless coconut cakes.
OUR TOP FOOD AND DRINK RECIPES IN 2021
By far the most popular recipe on our site, this duck fat gravy from the Tattooed Moose in Charleston caught readers’ eyes and stomachs. Do as the Moose and serve it with crispy fries. If anything could solve our woes in 2021, it’d be gravy and fried food.
Peninsula Grill’s Ultimate Coconut Cake
From presenting a dessert worthy of major milestones to elevating the low points, this twelve-layer cake celebrates and comforts at all the right times. No need to book a reservation to get a slice of the Peninsula Grill’s ultimate coconut cake. This recipe breaks down the mystique into easy-to-follow steps.
While the espresso martini trend seemed to be the cocktail of choice in 2021, TLP readers leaned into this frozen riff on Pusser’s painkiller, crafted by Home Team BBQ on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina.
Batter-Fried Hard Shell Blue Crabs
Debate surrounds the best way to eat blue crabs: Soft shell? Roasted? Grilled? Sandwiched? While we wager there’s no wrong way to enjoy the Atlantic crustaceans, readers weighed in with a resounding preference for coating them in a spicy beer batter before popping them into the fryer.
Nathalie Dupree’s Two-Ingredient Biscuits
With just heavy cream, flour, and thirty minutes, you can put flaky, fresh-baked biscuits on the table in time for a weeknight dinner or morning breakfast. Mrs. Dupree advises choosing your baking pan with care—a smaller cake pan allows you to nestle them side by side, yielding a tender result.
From turkey and ham sandwiches to elevated bacon, egg, and cheese, this cranberry aioli sparks tangy, tart, richness to the otherwise-boring handheld. It’s a ready way to give new life to any leftover cranberry sauce after the holidays.
Referring to the thin-cut, light-colored meat at the cow’s navel plate, the suadero meat cooks low and slow for six hours to create an ultra-tender filling. Make this on a weekend for quick dinners on hand all week.
These aren’t your typical hoagies. The beef gets prepared the evening beforehand and refrigerated overnight, ensuring that it slices as thinly as possible. Put out extra napkins for this one; the whole sandwich gets dunked into the beef dip for a saucy, juicy final product.
These johnny cakes come together as easily as pancakes. While delicious smothered in butter and maple syrup, their dense composition and cornmeal base makes them savory enough to pair with soup.
Reliance on our trusty sheet-pans returned in 2021. Adjusting to busy evenings after work, school, and activities made us eager to throw ingredients onto a pan and call it dinner thirty minutes later.
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