“I love a good compote,” says Daskalis. “It’s one of my favorite things to make and I feel like it really has a wow factor. People don’t understand how simple it is to make until they watch me do it or have the recipe.”
Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to prepare and serve—there's no peeling, pitting, coring or cutting—and they have a special place in Daskalis’ heart, as well as her menu.
“My son really loves blueberries. He’s autistic and it’s one of the first things we got him to start eating—he would eat them by the gallon. Any time I can do a blueberry dish I’m always excited for that. I always go to the farm stand when it’s blueberry season in South Carolina. I’ve tasted them when they ship them vs when they’re from South Carolina and they do taste different. They just taste so much fresher; you can tell that they were probably picked yesterday.”
South Carolina produce isn’t the only local product Daskalis is using in her kitchen. Since becoming a Chef Ambassador, she’s switched the flour she uses in her waffles and pancakes to Adluh Flour Mills from Columbia.
“That was the first thing that I switched and the Adluh flour makes the waffle and pancake mixes so much better,” she says. “Anytime I can support a local family, I’m going to do it because we’re a local family and people come to support us.”
When it comes to local products, nothing is more local than roadside produce markets and Carroll’s Farm & Produce has three along Route 501, perfect for picking up an assortment of local produce on your way to the beach.
“I think South Carolina has the best soil, which gives the produce the best taste,” says Britt Carroll. “Chefs that come to my produce stand are looking for something fresh—it’s picked fresh and it makes a big difference in how it tastes.”
Modern technology has made it easy to transport food long distances, allowing people to eat fresh berries in January or oranges in August. However, foods that are grown and consumed during their appropriate seasons not only taste better, they’re also more nutritionally dense, making them better for you. Plus, when you purchase local produce at a farmer’s market or stand, you’re supporting local farmers and families.
“Local produce is sweeter, it’s got more of a taste to it,” says Carroll. “That makes me feel really good. In fact, that’s worth more to me than anything. It makes me feel proud.”
& Fresh Whipped Cream
“South Carolina has so much to offer when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. Being in the breakfast business, I have always loved a nice delicious fluffy pancake or perfectly fluffy French toast topped with a delicious, sweet fruity compote. Blueberries just happen to be my favorite. This simple recipe really brings the flavor of our amazing South Carolina blueberries to life.”
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 pint container of fresh blueberries
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Fresh Whipped Cream
1 cup cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
To Make the Blueberry Compote In a nonstick saucepan, melt the butter over medium to high heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and the cardamom and allow to come to a simmer. Add the blueberries and allow them to simmer until they start to break down and release their juices. Stir occasionally to coat the blueberries in the butter/sugar mixture. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Once the blueberry compote has thickened up enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
To Make the Whipped Cream Using a hand mixer or a whisk, whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes (longer if whisking manually). Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks, and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts.
Plating Prepare your favorite pancake recipe as directed. Once the pancakes are ready, top the pancakes with the blueberry compote, whipped cream and powdered sugar.