Southern Makers

Our Most Popular Recipes in September

By: The Local Palate

Still-warm days with cooler evenings cast our cooking activities across a broad spectrum during September. We kicked off the month with frozen drinks, fish fries, and ceviche before settling into fall baking and stovetop meals. Project-worthy layer cakes, skillet dinners, and even griddled sandwiches fell into our heavy rotation, even as we still reached for the last remnants of summer. Below were our ten most popular recipes in September.

What Our Readers Cooked and Drank Last Month

Gamechanger, one of the Local Palate's Most Popular Recipes


This frozen cocktail is a staple at Home Team BBQ in Charleston. A riff on the Pusser’s Painkiller, it blends spiced and gold rum to make this tropical classic. You could serve it on the rocks, but Home Team regulars know that it takes its best form as a boozy slushy.

Dobostorte, a twist on the Smith Island cake, on a cake stand

Smith Island Cake

Maryland’s classic Smith Island Cake gets a glamorous makeover at Bas Rouge in Easton. Pastry chef Melissa Weller puts a Viennese twist on the ten-layer cake using coffee syrup and a bittersweet chocolate buttercream. The lavish result, the dobos torte, soared to the top-viewed TLP recipes in less than a week’s time.

Batter Fried Hard Shell Blue Crab e x

Batter Fried Blue Crabs

Speaking of flavors from the Midatlantic, these batter-fried blue crabs were big hits at readers’ Labor Day Weekend gatherings. The highlight of the recipe, though, is the spicy dipping sauce, which blends Crystal hot sauce with mayo, ketchup, and mustard. Soured from SNOB in Charleston, it proves that simple ingredients and preparations are fixtures on the most elevated menus.

Seafood Cioppino made by Dean Neff of Seabird in Wilmington

Eastern Cioppino

This seafood cioppino from Seabird in Wilmington led the highest-viewed recipes this past month. Between the enriched broth loaded with clams, shrimp, scallops, andouille, and fish and the video of chef-owner Dean Neff sharing how his childhood exploration of coastal flavors inspired this dish, it takes serious willpower to resist making this eastern North Carolina delicacy.

Peninsula Grill's Coconut Cake is one of the Local Palate's Most Popular Recipes

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.

Shoe string french fries smothered by duck fat gravy

Duck Fat Gravy

No matter the season, this duck fat gravy dominates the most-popular recipes on the Local Palate. Served at Tattooed Moose in Charleston, this decadent gravy gets poured over french fries for the ultimate crunchy-gone-soggy experience. Don’t feel like breaking out the fryer? We bet it’d be delicious with mashed potatoes. 

Creole spaghetti

Creole Red Gravy 

A gravy of a different variety, this recipe demonstrates the heavy Sicilian presence in Elizabeth Williams’ New Orleans upbringing in her cookbook Nana’s Creole Italian Table (LSU Press, 2022). The granddaughter of Sicilian immigrants, Williams grew up in a family where red beans and risotto shared a place on the table. Her red gravy closely follows traditional Italian red sauces but incorporates Louisiana hot sauce and Williams’ own seasoning mix for an unmistakable dash of Creole culture. 

Skillet Chicken featured x

Skillet Chicken

It’s skillet season, baby! And when it comes to weeknight meals, it doesn’t get easier than these seared chicken quarters. If you have five ingredients and 30 minutes, then you have skillet chicken. This recipe’s versatility makes the chicken delicious served alongside a green salad, mashed potatoes, or pasta.

Shamil Valezquez's Ceviche with Chicharrons de harina

Ceviche Campechano

This ceviche campechano was made for evenings that are still too warm for creamy dips but you want a scoopable snack to share for everyone to gather around. Watch the video to see how chef Shamil Velazquez shares how to make fresh ceviche that packs a flavor in every bite in the recipe video. His advice: Get the cold beers ready. 

Collard Melt was one of the most popular recipes in September 2022

Collard Melt

You can now re-create Mason Hereford’s iconic sandwiches from Turkey and the Wolf with his new cookbook, Flavor Trippin’ through New Orleans (Penguin Random House, 2022). Emphasis is on the word “flavor” here. Hereford’s recipes and techniques lean into ways to maximize flavor, like a hot pickled cherry peppers and gochugaru in a spicy russian dressing, as seen in this recipe. The recipe calls for premade collards, so file this one away for when looking to get creative with leftovers.


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