Southern Alabama Specialties

Recipes and folklore from the Gulf Coast. Like this favorte recipe, Garlic Shrimp Linguine, gets a nod from Creole cookery and blends new and old world flavors in making one fine dinner.

Grilling Year-round on the Gulf Coast

Life is good on the Gulf Coast as you'll find folks grilling and barbecuing all types of fine foods. Burgers, dogs, steaks, wings, ribs, pork, chicken, beef, seafood, gator, heck ... if it lives around here, we eat it!

Cake Making in the South

A real classic ~ Lemon Pound Cake with Citrus Glaze.

Sunday Dinners are Sacred in the South

An establishment in these parts, sitting down at the dinner table for a family meal is a way of life for many of us. It is quality time well spent sharing our blessings. Enjoy our recipes.

Gulf Coast Seafood Recipes

Platters like this are often on tables around Mobile Bay especially when there is a Jubilee. A Jubilee only occurs in Mobile Bay - find mouth-watering recipes under the Fish and Seafood categories.

June 30, 2009

Old Fashion Potato Salad

Today I'm showing off some of my side dishes for this weekend.


What's a cookout without homemade salads.






Old Fashion Potato Salad
Southern goodness at it’s best

1 -4 lb bag of potatoes, Yukon gold or new reds -washed with jackets
2 1/2 teaspoons salt -divided
1 to 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard -optional
2 ribs celery -diced fine
1/2 small onion -diced fine
1/3 cup sweet salad cube pickles
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 hard-boiled eggs -grated
Paprika, sweet pepper rings or parsley -optional

Place potatoes in large pot & cover with cold water adding 1 teaspoon of salt - bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat 30 to 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, mustard, celery, onions, pickles and remaining salt and pepper. Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add warm potatoes to the bowl and gently mix in the mixture. Add additional mayonnaise if needed and adjust seasonings. Fold in the eggs. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Sprinkle with paprika or garnish with rings of sliced red or yellow sweet peppers or parsley if desired.

Get this recipe and many more in my Grits to Guacamole cookbook, click here.

Buttermilk Coleslaw

 
I know, this recipe is a repeat but its so darn good at cookouts. It has been served by my family for years and it is a favorite. Just enough sweetness, just enough tangy flavors and just really creamy.


Try it this weekend or the next time you're barbecuing or grilling out.

Don't be scared of the buttermilk ~ the flavor is subtle and adds so much great taste.


Buttermilk Slaw

1 large cabbage -shredded
1 carrot -shredded
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix the vegetables in a large bowl. Stir together the remaining ingredients and stir into the cabbage coating well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 8 before serving.
Get this recipe and many more in my Grits to Guacamole cookbook, click here.

Sweet Corn, Tomato & Black Bean Salad


A truly wonderful side dish for barbecues and picnicking outings.

Easy to make, refreshingly cool and down right delicious.

Be sure to serve this one with grilled meats, everyone will love it.

Sweet Corn, Tomato & Black Bean Salad

3 tbsp fresh limejuice
1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Whisk together the 1st five ingredients. Add the oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Put aside.

1 pound dried black beans, cooked and rinsed
1 1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1/3 cup minced fresh coriander plus coriander sprigs for garnish
1 1/2 cup fresh silver or king corn, or thawed frozen corn kernels
3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

Combine all of these ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.
This can be made one day in advance.
Garnish with fresh coriander just before serving.
Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Garden Pasta Salad


Gather from your garden or head on down to the Farmers Market or if you just have to, take a stroll through the produce section of your favorite grocery store.

Pick out a hand full of vegetables and be ready to make a simple and satisfying summer salad.
Add whatever you like, the possibilities are endless.  

Garden Pasta Salad  

2 cups rotini pasta, cooked and drained
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup carrot slices
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 green onions, sliced
1 -19 oz container Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
Salt, pepper to taste

Toss everything in a bowl, refrigerate and take a break before serving.

June 29, 2009

Classic Grilled Brats

With the 4th coming up - it's time to fire up the grill.

And what's better than to start off with the #1 classic, grilled dogs.
First up is the Bratwurst, famous not only in Wisconsin but all around the states. This is how our northern kin do it:

Classic Brats
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 medium onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 -12 oz cans cheap beer -my kin prefer Pabst Blue Ribbon
  • 8 bratwurst links
  • 8 hoagie rolls
Prepare the grill for a medium-hot fire. Place the butter in a medium grill pan or a disposable foil roasting pan. Place the pan on the grill rack and cook until the butter melts. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, three to five minutes. Add the beer and bring to a simmer. Place the pan on the low heat area and keep the onion mixture warm. Place the brats on the grill rack. Grill, turning occasionally, until evenly charred, four to five minutes. Transfer the bratwurst to the onion mixture and let stand until ready to serve. With tongs, place the bratwurst in the rolls. Serve with the onions and garlic, add mustard and pickle spears if desired.

Classic Dogs with Homemade Chili

Another favorite of mine to grill is the classic hot dog. Any old dog will do but be sure to buy a good quality dog, check the meat content and especially the amount of sodium. Ain't nothing worse that a salty dog.
But what I like most about my dogs is the homemade chili sauce. Make it up a day ahead, heat it up and pile it on your dogs.
I like to top it off with cheese, but that's just me.

Homemade Chili for Dogs

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion -diced
2 garlic cloves -minced
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium saucepan brown beef in oil stirring and chopping until it is fine in texture and fully cooked without liquid. Remove any oil with a paper towel. Mix in the onion and garlic on medium low heat and stir about 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a low simmer and then cook on low about 15 minutes.

Get this recipe and many more in my Grits to Guacamole cookbook, click here.

Grilled Conecuh Sausage

If you are lucky to live in the southern part of our great nation, then you might just be lucky enough to put your mouth around this outstanding sausage from Evergreen AL which is just down the road from my hometown. The folks there have been smoking sausage since 1947 and, boy do they know how to do it. Some of the best hickory smoked meats around, they now have a wide variety of meats, seasonings and accessories. My favorite is a toss-up between the regular smoked and the Cajun smoked sausage. They also have a fiery hot version that has a spicy kick to it. 

Here's how I like to grill them.
 
Cut into 6 to 8 inch links, prick 'em all over with a fork and place in a pan with a little water. Simmer a while to render a little of the fat out. This will help with flare-ups on the grill. 
Now, just toss them on the grill, medium to slow heat, turning often to brown all sides. 
Right before they are ready, slather on some of your favorite barbecue sauce. 
Wrap them up in a warm hoagie and get to eating. 
If you can't find these in a store near you, they ship three days a week. Here's where to find them: http://www.conecuhsausage.com/default.aspx

June 28, 2009

Momma's Lumpy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Southern Made Potatoes

Folks, have made a lot of talk the past few years about comfort food. But what I really think is that it's all about what you grew up eating.  

Take my Momma's mashed potatoes for example.  At first sight, I knew just looking at the bowl of comfort that it was the real deal, that it was not made from a box, it was not instant.  Even today, my preference of mashed potatoes is a bowl full of creamy, buttery and whipped potatoes with just the right amount of small lumps that fills my mouth with comforting gratification. It is a reminder of my youth and to me, that is what comfort food really is all about.


Momma's Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds yellow or Idaho potatoes -peeled and quartered
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Place potatoes in medium pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch - bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered until fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander until dry. Return about half of potatoes to the pot; add milk, butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Whip with a hand mixer or heavy fork until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add remaining potatoes and beat until desired consistency. Place in a covered dish and keep warm.
This is good by itself or with your favorite gravy.  Also great with sautéed onions.

Get this recipe and many more in my Grits to Guacamole cookbook, click here.

Creamed Corn Bread




This is for all you corn lovers

~ bits of corn mingled with old fashion cornbread and with a creamy, buttery texture.




Creamed Corn Bread
  • 2 cups plain cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup creamed corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
Combine the first 5 ingredients well in a large bowl. Let set 30 minutes to soften meal.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place a large iron skillet in the oven to heat.
Meanwhile, whisk into the meal mixture the baking powder, soda and then the eggs. Batter should pour easily, if not, add more buttermilk or creamed corn. Add the oil to the hot iron skillet, pour the batter in and bake until the bread is golden brown, about 20 minutes, and springs back when touched. Slice in sections, cut open and add plenty of butter.

June 27, 2009

Irresistible Bean Burritos

It's Mexican Saturday....

...featuring easy appetizers and for all you meatless eaters, the recipes are all Vegetarian and delicious.

~ see also Mixed Up Corn NachosVegetable Tortilla Stacks

Irresistible Bean Burritos

12 -6 inch flour tortillas
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 -16 oz can plain or Mexican-style refried beans
1 -16 oz can ranch style or pinto beans -optional
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Sour cream and salsa
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stack tortillas and cut in half. Wrap tortilla stack in foil and heat until warmed, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook onion in oil over medium-high heat until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño peppers and cook until garlic is just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the ranch beans if using. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons bean mixture on each tortilla half and roll up. Arrange on a serving plate and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve warm with sour cream and salsa.

    June 26, 2009

    Strawberry Cajun Cats


    Okay, so it's not Creole & Cajun Monday, but it is Friday and that means:
    Friday's Fish

    Strange as this recipe sounds, you really must try it to appreciate the wonderful blend of flavors. A little spice, a little sweet, fruity and tasty white catfish fillets - yum yum.

    Strawberry Cajun Cats
    • 2 pounds catfish fillets
    • Salt & black pepper
    • 2 ounces hot red pepper sauce
    • 3/4 cup cornmeal
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 2 teaspoons horseradish
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves
    • 1/2 cup safflower oil
    • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • Fresh strawberries
    • Parsley sprigs, optional
    • 1/4 cup seafood cocktail sauce
    Place fillets in large shallow dish. Season fish with salt, black pepper and hot pepper sauce. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. In small saucepan, combine preserves, vinegar, soy sauce, cocktail sauce, garlic and horseradish; simmer sauce over low heat stirring occasionally, while preparing catfish. Blend cornmeal and flour in shallow bowl. Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drain catfish and dredge in cornmeal mixture, coating on all sides. Add catfish to hot pan and sauté until browned on both sides. Drain well on paper towels and keep warm. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce on each plate; top with catfish fillets. Garnish with sliced strawberries and parsley, if desired.
    Note - Strawberry Flavored Vinegar may be used instead of Red Wine Vinegar.

    Fresh Basil Scalloped Corn

    When the garden starts producing... get to cooking.

    Fresh corn has been coming in for a while now, can't wait to get hold of a bushel or two of white, sweet Silver Queen which I am told is starting to come in over in Baldwin County. But for now, it's the yellow, sweet field corn variety that I'm buying. Fresh picked basil and bell peppers compliment this delicious side dish.


    Fresh Basil Scalloped Corn
    6 to 8 servings
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 2 cups fresh whole kernel corn
    • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 -14.75 can cream style corn
    • 1 teaspoon fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    Heat oven to 350°F.
    Spray 1 1/2-quart casserole or soufflé dish with cooking spray.
    In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, cook 2 to 4 minutes stirring occasionally until crisp-tender. Stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into casserole. Bake uncovered 45 to 55 minutes or until set and knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean.

    Cheddar and Onion Twists

    Classic, simple and great taste.

    Cheddar and Onion Twists
    8 servings

    • 2 -8 oz cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • 4 medium green onions, finely chopped
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon water
    • 2 teaspoons sesame seed
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt with parsley blend

    Heat oven to 375°F.   Lightly grease a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
    Unroll both cans of dough; separate into total of 8 rectangles.  Firmly press perforations to seal.
    In small bowl, mix cheese and onions.  Spoon slightly less than 1/4 cup cheese mixture in a 1-inch wide strip lengthwise down center of each rectangle to within 1/4 inch of each end.  Fold dough in half lengthwise to form long strip;  firmly press edges to seal.  Twist strip 4 or 5 times and pinch ends to seal.  Place on the cookie sheet.
    In another small bowl, beat egg and water until well blended; brush over dough.  Sprinkle with sesame seed and garlic salt blend.
    Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet; cool 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

    June 24, 2009

    Hangover Shrimp

    Shrimp of the Week

    "The best cure for a hangover is to not drink"
    ...so said my grandmother many times to us youngins, normally after a holiday party. This recipe is very tasty and a remedy said to cure hangovers. I don't know about that, I think just eating helps but this is a sure way to cook up some shrimp that will keep everyone feeling great.
    P.S. .....no, I don't have a hangover, it is Wednesday for Pete's sake, but these recipes go out to a few of my blog foodie friends.

    Hangover Shrimp
    • 1 -32 oz can V-8 juice 
    • 1 can beer 
    • 3 to 6 jalapeno or habanero peppers 
    • 1 large onion chopped 
    • 1 tsp. salt 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
    • 3 lbs. shrimp, peeled and de-veined 
    Place all ingredients, except shrimp, in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and remove from heat. Let stand about 20 minutes. Drain and cover shrimp with ice to chill. Serve with a remoulade or cocktail sauce.

    Bloody Mary Gazpacho



    This recipe reminds me of what is really good for a hangover:
    A nice big healthy bloody mary
    - virgin or with alcohol - it really doesn't matter.
    Bloody Mary Gazpacho
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced 
    • 4 tsp red wine vinegar 
    • 1 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar 
    • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped 
    • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped 
    • Pinch of cayenne pepper 
    • 1 1/2 lb yellow tomatoes, quartered (use red if yellow not available) 
    • 1/2 tsp salt 
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper 
    • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced 
    • 1 cup red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced 
    • 2/3 cup chopped red onion 
    • 1/2 tsp celery salt 
    • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
    • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
    • 1/2 cup (more or less) Absolut vodka - optional
    • Garnishment
    Puree first nine ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to release all liquid. Put liquid in blender and add cucumber, bell pepper, onion, celery salt, Worcestershire and lemon juice; process briefly, then refrigerate. If desired, stir in the vodka. Pour into 4 glasses, add garnishment and serve immediately.

    June 23, 2009

    Chicken Parisienne

    This recipe is not only easy, but tasty as well. Put it on and strut away.  

    A wonderful & simple way to have a flavorful meal waiting for you is to use the slow cooker and this dish is pleasing for the entire family, especially the rooster.  

    Chicken Parisienne  
    • 6 Medium chicken breasts 
    • 1 Can of cream of mushroom soup 
    • 1 -4 ounce can of sliced mushrooms - drained 
    • 1/2 Cup of dry white wine or vermouth 
    • 1 Cup of dairy sour cream mixed with scant tablespoon of AP flour 
    • Salt and pepper 
    • Paprika 
    Sprinkle chicken breasts lightly with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Mix white wine, soup, and mushrooms until well combined. Pour over chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. (High: 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours). Remove chicken breasts and stir in sour cream mixture during last 30 minutes. Serve sauce over chicken with rice or noodles.

    Fresh Green Beans Garden Toss

    Garden fresh cherry tomatoes tossed with just picked beans and basil - a sure winner!

    Fresh Green Beans Garden Toss
    serves 6
    • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces 
    • 1 1/2 cups water 
    • 1/4 cup butter 
    • pinch of sugar 
    • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt 
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil 
    • 2 cups cherry tomato halves 
    Place beans and water in a large saucepan. Cover, and bring to a boil. Set heat to low, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain off water, and set aside. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar, garlic salt, pepper and basil. Add tomatoes, and cook stirring gently just until soft. Pour the tomato mixture over the green beans, and toss gently to blend.

    June 22, 2009

    Bourbon Chicken


    Oriental with a Southern Kick

    If you are like me, you may not prefer the dark meat of a chicken as much as the white even though it is the more favorable meat. This recipe is a good way to use the darker meat and with such a marvelous taste, everyone including myself can enjoy its taste. 
    NB: This recipe is featured again, with a post on the name 'Bourbon Chicken.' 1/10/10


    Bourbon Chicken
    • 1 pound chicken leg or thigh meat, cut in bite size chunks
    • 4 oz soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
    • 2 tbs. dried minced onion
    • 1/2 cup Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey or other 
    • 2 tbs. white wine
    Mix all the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken pieces in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate (stirring often) for several hours (best overnight).

    Bake chicken at 350 for one hour in a single layer, basting every 10 minutes.

    Remove chicken. Scrape pan juices with all the brown bits into a frying pan. Heat, and add 2 Tbs. white wine. Stir and add chicken. Cook for 1 minute and serve with creole rice.

    June 21, 2009

    Pot Roast for the Beach


    Start up early in the morning and enjoy this delightful roast beef recipe.  

    It's a little different ~ great for sandwiches...as in take to the beach, a picnic, finger food for parties and Mardi Gras eating too.
    Pot Roast & Peppers for Sandwiches 
    • 1 -4 to 5 pound beef chuck roast
    • 1 large jar of pepperoncini peppers
    • 5 to 6 garlic pods, cut into slivers
    Cut slits into the roast on all sides and insert garlic slivers. Place roast in your slow cooker. Dump peppers and all of the juice on top. Cook all day on low....at least 12 hours. (Long enough for to take in a day at the beach and get settled back inside.)
    For serving, just slice and serve, or make hoagie style sandwiches. When cool, fork-shred beef, spread on a hoagie, add a slice of American cheese and enjoy!!! Put on some of those delicious pepperoncini peppers too!!

    Simply the best Oven Fries


    Simply the best Oven Fries


    Well, we think so anyway. The seasoning is to us a natural for potatoes.

    Serves 10 to 12

    12 medium potatoes, pre-baked (or microwaved) and cut into wedges
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon smoked chili powder
    1/3 cup vegetable oil


    Let the potatoes cool enough to cut into wedges. Place potatoes in large bowl.

    Drizzle a bit of the oil into two 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pans and brush the oil to coat bottoms; place remaining oil on the potatoes and toss to coat. Combine the Parmesan cheese and seasonings in the small bowl and add to the potatoes. Toss to coat. Lay potatoes skin-side down onto pans. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20 to 35 minutes or until crispy brown.

    June 20, 2009

    Tomato Gratin


    Tomato Gratin
    serves 4
    • 4 ripe beefsteak or other large tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, divided
    • 3 large cloves garlic, minced, divided
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 3 tablespoons coarse fresh breadcrumbs
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Core the tomatoes and cut each one horizontally into thick slices. Arrange a layer of tomatoes in a baking dish. Sprinkle on half the parsley, thyme and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Top with the remaining slices, seasoning them as before with the remaining parsley, thyme and garlic; salt and pepper; and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and a little browned.
    Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan, then drizzle on the remaining oil. Bake 8 to10 minutes longer, or until the crumbs are toasty. Remove from oven and let sit briefly to cool a bit before serving.

    Easy Tomato Relish

    Tastes like its fresh from the garden 
    - maybe because it is!
       
    Easy Tomato Relish 
    1 qt. peeled tomatoes, cut and diced -let drain for 2 hours 
    1 cup diced celery 
    1 cup diced onion 
    1 large green pepper, diced 
    1/2 cup brown sugar 
    1/2 cup white vinegar 
    2 tsp. canning salt 
    Combine all ingredients and chill for an hour.

    June 19, 2009

    Planter's Punch

    It's gonna be one of those (family) weekends.

    My niece Becky and her family of 5 (and a half) are heading our way from Tennessee for a visit in our charming but small house.   Tomorrow we're off to the beach for a little relaxation. 
    Enjoy the recipes this weekend, from fresh tomatoes to a very easy and delish crockpot sandwich and of course, Creole on Monday.  
    If I survive, I'll be back on Tuesday.   Thanks for visiting.

    Planter's Punch
    Serves about 8

    • 2 cups dark rum
    • 2 cups orange juice
    • 2 cups pineapple juice
    • 1 cup lime juice
    • Dash grenadine for each glass
    • Orange slice & cherry for garnishing each glass

    Combine the three juices and rum in a pitcher with ice. Stir well, and strain into an ice filled Collins glass. Top with grenadine. Garnish with an orange slice and a Maraschino cherry or simply drop the cherry in the glass to soak up that great flavor!

    Dip for Fresh Vegetables

     
    This dipping sauce is soooooo good.

    Serve with any of your favorite crudités.

    Favorite Dip for Fresh Vegetables

    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed in garlic press
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. Serve with celery and carrot sticks, slices of cucumber and squash, broccoli and cauliflower florets, red and yellow bell pepper squares, and quartered radishes.

    Grilled Grouper with Tropical Salsa

    Friday's Fish


    Grilled Grouper with Tropical Salsa  

    A wonderful taste sensation and so summer refreshing

    • 1/2 cantaloupe or mango, peeled, seeded, cubed (about 1 c) 
    • 1/4 cup chopped red onion 
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel 
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper 
    • 10 ounces grouper fillets or up to 12 oz of other firm whitefish fillets 
    • 1 tablespoon oil 
    Prepare grill (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. 
    Mix first 6 ingredients in non-aluminum bowl. Season to taste with salt. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours. 
    Brush fish with oil. Season with salt and pepper. 
    Grill fish until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fish to plates. Spoon salsa over.

    June 18, 2009

    Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin




    A dinner entrée so easy and mouth-watering ~ you’ll make it again.



    Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
    Serves 4
    • 1 pork tenderloin, cleaned and trimmed (about 2 pounds)
    • 4 slices of bacon
    • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon of Lawry's Seasoned Salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried crumbled basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • olive oil
    Combine garlic powder, seasoned salt, basil, oregano, and black pepper; rub seasoning all over the tenderloin.
    Wrap loin with bacon and secure with toothpicks if needed. Coat tenderloin well with olive oil. Place in a 9x13 pan and bake uncovered in a 375 to 400 oven for 1 hour.
    Make sure the bacon is well done.
    Remove and wrap in foil. Let stand for 30 minutes before slicing.

    Vegetables with Rosemary Butter

    Nice savory medley of vegetables steamed in the microwave with a garden tasting butter sauce.

    Vegetables with Rosemary Butter 
    Serves 4 to 6 
    • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets 
    • 1 cup red bell pepper strips 
    • 1 cup peeled carrots, sliced 
    • 1 cups frozen whole kernel corn - optional 
    • 1 cup frozen cut green beans 
    • 2 tablespoons minced onion 
    • 2 tablespoons water 
    • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed 
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
    • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese 
    In a 2 quart casserole dish, combine vegetables and water. Cover with lid and microwave at high 7 to 8 minutes, or until broccoli is tender. Drain and set aside covered. In a small bowl, combine butter, rosemary and salt. Microwave at high for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until butter melts. Stir and let rest for 5 minutes. Strain butter over vegetable mixture, toss to coat. Microwave, uncovered, at high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

    June 17, 2009

    Easy Shrimp Pie

    Shrimp of the Week

    This pie is somewhat a southern coastal dish. I guess we have such an abundance of fresh seafood, we cooks are always conjuring some way to cook 'em up.

    Easy Shrimp Pie
    Serves about 6

    1 onion, diced
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    1 stick margarine, (4 ounces)
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 can cream of celery soup
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
    3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
    2 pounds shrimp, peeled and de-veined
    pastry for a two crust pie

    Saute onion and pepper in margarine. Add soups and seasonings. Add diced eggs and shrimp. Line a 2-quart casserole dish with half of the pastry. Pour in mix and cover with pastry. Dot with butter and bake at 350 degrees until brown, about 45 minutes.
    If you don't care to use cream soups, you could saute about 1/4 cup each of chopped celery and mushrooms with the onions, and use about 2 cups of thick, seasoned white sauce.

    See also Cajun Shrimp Pie

    Cajun Shrimp Pie

    Cajun Shrimp Pie
    Great tasting pie with a little kick

    1/2 stick of butter
    1/2 cup of chopped green bell peppers
    1/2 cup of chopped celery
    2 teaspoons of salt
    1/4 teaspoon of red pepper
    1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
    1/2 cup of Rotel, drained
    1 pound fresh gulf coast shrimp, peeled & de-veined
    2 teaspoons of chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons of flour
    1 cup of water
    1 pie crust

    Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet, melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are a golden color. Add the Rotel and cook for another 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Add the parsley and the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, dissolve the flour into the water. Add this mixture to the skillet. Stir about 4 minutes until it thickens. Pour the ingredients that are in the skillet into a cool bowl. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
    Place the pie crust onto a 9" pie pan. Crimp the edges. Pour the mixture from the cool bowl into the pie pan and the pie on a baking sheet and into the oven. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

    June 16, 2009

    Marinated Italian Salad

    Marinated Italian Salad

    For the salad:
    1/2 cup sliced black olives
    1/4 cup sliced green olive
    1/8 cup diced green chilies
    1/2 red onion, sliced
    1/4 cup finely diced celery
    1/2 cup diced cauliflower
    1 teaspoon capers
    1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
    1/4 cup finely diced carrot
    1/4 cup diced broccoli
    1/4 cup thinly sliced mushroom
    2 lbs spiral shaped pasta, uncooked, fresh or frozen (dry would work also)

    For the dressing:
    1 teaspoon minced parsley
    1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon sliced basil leaves
    1/8 cup olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon leaf oregano
    1/2 teaspoon tarragon leaf
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing (your favorite)

    Mix all salad ingredients except pasta.
    Mix salad dressing and pour over vegetables.
    Refrigerate for 12 hours stirring occasionally.
    Cook the pasta and chill in refrigerator. Add pasta to the vegetables and serve as an entree or a side salad.

    June 15, 2009

    Pork Tenderloin with Andouille Gravy


    Monday's are a Creole and Cajun recipe day. If you cannot make your way down south to the bayou areas, try some of my yummy dishes to make your appetite go crazy,  like this one.

    Succulent pork with a spicy crust melds with a mouth-watering sausage gravy

    Pork Tenderloin with Andouille Gravy
    4 servings

    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
    1/4 cup minced onion
    1 1/2 cups canned chicken broth
    1/2 cup quarter-inch cut cubes of andouille sausage, about 2 ounces
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons ground cumin
    2 tablespoons ground coriander
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    24 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into 4 pieces
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    Preheat oven to 400°F. 

    Melt butter in heavy small saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour and cook making a roux until mixture is dark golden brown stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Add bell pepper, onion, and sauté for 3 minutes until tender. Gradually whisk in the broth. Add sausage and cayenne, increase heat and simmer 5 minutes stirring often. Add salt and pepper to season, set aside.

    Mix cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Dredge pork in the spice mixture.

    In heavy wide ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven; roast pork until thermometer registers 160°, about 10 minutes.

    Transfer to cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes.

    Re-warm the gravy, mix in parsley. Slice pork into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Divide among 4 plates, pour gravy over pork, and serve with white rice.

    Creole Lima Beans


    Creole Lima Beans
    8 to 10 servings

    • 1 -2 inch piece of salt meat, pickled pork, or 4 slices of bacon
    • Oil if needed
    • 3 -15 oz. cans Baby Lima Beans (Trappey's brand)
    • 1 -15 oz. can Italian stewed tomatoes
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
    • 1 stalk celery, diced
    • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    In a large pot, sauté salt meat in a little oil or the chopped bacon without oil to render fat. Add onions and sauté until light browning occurs on the edges of the onions. Drain off the grease. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions and celery and cook about 30 minutes on med-low heat stirring frequently. Break up the large pieces of stewed tomatoes with a spatula.
    Drain and add the canned lima beans. Add about 1/2 cup of water. Add seasonings and continue to cook on a med-low fire about 10 minutes, add a little water if needed and stir occasionally to avoid scorching. Reduce heat to low simmer, cover and cook another 30 minutes.

    Grits & Greens Souffle


    Grits & Greens Soufflé
    4 servings

    This is a delicious southern side dish to go with pork tenderloin or veal medallions.
    • 1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup quick cooking grits
    • 2 1/2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup half-and-half
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
    • 2 eggs, separated
    • 1/3 cup fresh, chopped collard greens; or half of a 10 oz package of frozen collard greens
    • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread butter evenly and thick in a 1-quart casserole or soufflé dish. Sprinkle the bottom and sides with the breadcrumbs.
    In a saucepan, bring the water, milk and salt to a gentle boil and stir in the grits. Return the mixture to a boil stirring constantly and reduce the heat to low simmer, stirring often, until thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese, the 4 tablespoons butter, half-and-half, the pepper and garlic.
    In a bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Stir into the grits and stir until the cheese and butter melts and blends. Let cool for 10 minutes.
    In 1/2 cup salted boiling water, blanch the greens for just a few minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. Squeeze out any water and mix the greens with the bacon grease. Lay the greens on the bottom of the prepared baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
    In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the grits mixture. Pour the mixture over the cheese and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until puffed and browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

    June 14, 2009

    Chicken with Wine, Tomatoes & Mushrooms

     
    This Sunday, I go across the big ocean to find a recipe Momma cooked from time to time. She would try at least once a week to prepare something different from a country far away. It was her way of discovering new taste from around the globe. This one has Italian influences and is really good. Enjoy!

    The recipe below is from my cookbook Grits to Guacamole which is now available.


    Chicken with Wine, Tomatoes & Mushrooms

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter -divided
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves -crushed
    • 4 green onions -finely chopped
    • 6 oz sliced mushrooms -drained
    • 1 cut-up chicken
    • 2 cups dry white wine
    • 6 oz chicken stock
    • 6 tomatoes -cut into wedges
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the garlic and onions until softened. Stir in mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon into a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Return vegetables, add wine, stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer, cook for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Lift out the chicken to a warmed platter. Mix remaining butter with the flour and add in small pieces to the sauce stirring until thickened. Discard bay leaf and pour sauce over chicken.

    Get this recipe and many more in my Grits to Guacamole cookbook, click here.

    Roasted Asparagus Parmesan










    A good complement to especially a chicken dish is this asparagus recipe.

    Asparagus Parmesan

    • 1 pound green asparagus
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    Preheat the oven to 400. Soak the spears in cold water for a few minutes and wash away any dirt. Remove tough ends by bending the stalks toward the cut end until they naturally break leaving the tender and green spear. Discard the tougher ends. Bring enough water to cover an inch above the asparagus to a boil. Add a teaspoon of Accent and a dash of salt. When water reaches a rapid boil stage, drop spears into the pot. When boiling action resumes cook about 4 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and transfer to a bowl of ice water for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, and place the asparagus in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese and drizzle with the butter. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden on top. Serve warm.

    Get this recipe and many more in my Grits to Guacamole cookbook, click here.

    Lyonnaise Potatoes


    This potato dish is pleasing with just about any main fare.

    Lyonnaise Potatoes

    • Boil 6 medium new potatoes, let cool a bit then peel and slice thinly.
    • In a heavy skillet brown potato slices in 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. 
    • In another skillet sauté 1/2 cup of sliced onions in a tablespoon of butter until golden in color. 
    • Mix the onions with the potatoes, season to taste and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve warm.

    Get this recipe and many more in my Grits to Guacamole cookbook, click here.

    June 13, 2009

    Grilled Carne Asada Fajita

    It’s Mexican Saturday again
    but since I covered two dishes yesterday,
    I’m going a little light on the Mex recipes.

    Transform ordinary flank steak into a tender, 
    flavorful fiesta for the mouth. 
    The secret is in the marinade!


    Grilled Carne Asada Fajita
    Makes 6 servings

    • 1 beef flank steak, about 1-1/2-pounds

    • 2 sweet red or green peppers, cut into thin strips

    • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

    • 1 tablespoon butter

    • 12 -8inch flour tortillas

    • 3/4 cup salsa

    • 3/4 cup prepared guacamole

    • For the marinade:

    • 1 cup lime juice

    • 1/2 cup vegetable juice cocktail

    • 1/4 cup chopped onion

    • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

    • 2 cloves garlic, minced

    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    In a medium bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Place steak in a re-sealable plastic bag set into a shallow dish. Pour marinade over steak; close bag. Marinate in the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally to distribute marinade.
    Meanwhile, cut an 18-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place peppers and sliced onion in center of foil. Dot with butter. Bring up 2 opposite edges of foil and, leaving a little space for expansion of steam, tightly seal top, then each end. Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade. Place steak in center of cooking grate.
    Grill 10 to 15 minutes for rare or 15 to 19 minutes for medium, turning and brushing with reserved marinade once halfway through grilling time. Place foil packet of vegetables on the cooking grate beside steak during the last 10 minutes of grilling time. Wrap tortillas in heavy-duty aluminum foil; place on cooking grate beside steak during the last 5 minutes of grilling time. Turn tortilla packet
    once halfway through grilling. Slice steak diagonally across the grain
    into thin slices. Serve in tortillas with peppers and onions, salsa, and guacamole.