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.

March 31, 2010

Shrimp Ceviche

Borrowed Shrimp Salad

If you haven’t noticed, we’re spending a lot of time out on the patio enjoying this wonderful springtime weather.

Today’s recipe is a great appetizer or light lunch and perfect for this time of year as well as summer. It comes from Elise on Simply Recipes and I did not change one thing. I think it is perfect just the way it is. Enjoy!

Shrimp Ceviche
serves 4 to 6

1 pound medium-small shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons salt
3/4 cup limejuice (juice from 4 to 6 limes)
3/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 2 to 3 lemons)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cucumber, peeled diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 avocado, peeled, seed removed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
    In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water with the salt to boil. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute to 2 minutes maximum, depending on size of shrimp. (Over-cooking the shrimp will turn it rubbery.) Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the shrimp.

    Cut each piece of shrimp in half. Place shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in the lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour.

    Mix in the chopped red onion and Serrano chile. Refrigerate an additional half hour.

    Right before serving, add the cilantro, cucumber, and avocado.

    March 30, 2010

    California Lemonade & Snacking

    As warmer days approach, spending time outside is a pretty cool gratification of time, at least before it gets too hot to stand it.

    Grilling, barbecuing, sunning by a pool, it all sounds pretty cool to me. The recipes below are for just these types of days.

    For today's 2 on Tuesdays, I give you three. Cool refreshing lemonade along with a snack of a fresh bran muffin and a stimulating yet simple avocado wrap – pure springtime delight. Enjoy!

    California Lemonade
    for each drink

    1 1/2 jiggers blended whiskey
    1 1/2 jiggers lemon juice
    2 teaspoons superfine sugar
    1 teaspoon grenadine
    Club Soda
      Shake whiskey, lemon juice and sugar well with ice and pour into a tall 14-ounce glass. Fill with ice and top with soda. Float grenadine on top. Stir slightly with swizzle stick and garnish with a lemon slice if desired.

      Salmon Avocado Wraps

      Slice peeled avocado into thin strips lengthwise. Wrap thinly sliced strips of smoked salmon around them. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with lemon juice to aid in discoloration. Sprinkle a light passing of freshly ground pepper and add a few capers if desired.

      Honey Bran Muffins
      1 cup all bran cereal
      1 cup skim milk
      1 egg
      4 tablespoons vegetable oil
      1/2 cup honey
      1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon salt
        Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cereal in mixing bowl, add milk and stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Add egg, oil and honey. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the bran mixture stirring well. Spoon batter evenly into 12 greased muffin tins. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve warm Note: For cocktail muffins, spoon batter into 24 mini muffin tins and bake 15 to 18 minutes.

        March 29, 2010

        Grilled Sweet Potatoes

        Grilling Time

           As long as you have the grill fired up, you might as well throw on some vegetables.

           Sweet potatoes are a favorite and go with so many grilled foods. Like all vegetables, it is important for each slice to be uniform in size as the others so that each will cook at the same amount of time. The easiest way to cook sweet potatoes is to coat all sides with oil or melted butter, add a little salt and grill until tender like the photo above.
           I also like to 'sweeten the pot' so to speak, by brushing the potatoes as they grill with a bourbon butter sauce like the one below and grilling directly over hot coals.  These are especially good with grilled steaks.  The recipe below uses a heavy iron skillet in cooking the potatoes making a sugary and sweet, thick sauce. So there you have it, three ways to cook sweet potatoes on the grill. Enjoy!

        Bourbon Grilled Sweet Potatoes
        for every 2 servings

        1 large sweet potato
        2 tablespoons butter
        1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
        pinch of salt
        good splash of bourbon
          I like to pre-cook the potato a few minutes in the microwave. Peel and cut into 1-inch slices. Melt butter in an iron skillet or grilling pan, place potato slices in the skillet and sprinkle with the brown sugar and salt.

          Place skillet on medium heat grill. When the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom, remove skillet from fire, add the bourbon and turn the potatoes to cook on the other side. Cook until a nice glaze has formed in the pan, somewhat syrupy in consistency.

          March 28, 2010

          Grilled Cajun Chicken

          Spicy Sticky Fingers

          Blue sunny skies, warm breezes blowing from the Gulf – that only means one thing. Time to grill .... outdoors.

          Now that the weather actually feels like springtime, it’s a great time to get outdoors and fire up the grill.

          Today’s recipe is soooo easy, and soooo tasty. Cajun seasoning alone is fine but I like to add the flavors I know will make my mouth sing. Throw on a few slices of sweet potatoes (a post coming up later) and the making of a great dinner is on the way. Enjoy!

           Grilled Cajun Chicken
          1 whole chicken, cut up or pieces of choice
          1/2 cup lemon juice
          1/4 cup vegetable oil
          2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
          2 tablespoons brown sugar
          1/4 teaspoon pepper
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          1/2 teaspoon onion powder
          1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
          1/2 teaspoon paprika
          1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
          1/4 teaspoon oregano
            In a small bowl, mix the dry spices together.

            Combine the lemon juice, vegetable oil and half of the spice mix in a sealable plastic bag or shallow glass dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat completely. Refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes.

            Remove chicken to a platter and sprinkle all sides with remaining spice mix. Grill chicken over low heat until done. Chicken is ready when juices run clear when pricked with a fork.

            Note: I sometimes like to brush on a little sauce during the last few minutes of cooking. Also, broiling in the oven is another great way to cook this flavorful chicken.

            March 27, 2010

            Marinated Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

            I know, I know - today is Saturday and normally that means Mexican food at my house. Well, this one is, maybe somewhat of a stretch, a western style or maybe southwestern tasting dish we like to serve. I mean, it is beef and is flavored with pepper. Okay, not that much of a stretch in being anything-resembling Mexican, but it is one I wanted to share with you.

            Today is the last in this week's series featuring recipes from families of the Mobile area, all published in the cookbook, Bay Tables by the Junior League of Mobile. As mentioned before, the book is no longer in publication and when copies run out; you will have missed a great find. I urge you to order your copy today.

            Marinated Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
            about 12 servings
            1 cup port
            1 cup soy sauce
            1/2 cup olive oil
            1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
            1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
            4 cloves of garlic, crushed
            1 bay leaf
            1 -5 to 6 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed
            2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper

            Combine the wine, soy sauce, olive oil, the 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, thyme, Tabasco, garlic and bay leaf in a bowl and mix well. Place the beef in a shallow dish. Pour the mixture over the beef, marinate tightly covered, for 8 to 10 hours, turning occasionally. Drain the beef, reserving the marinade. Bring the marinade to a boil in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.

            Coat the beef with 2 tablespoons pepper. Place the beef on a rack in a roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the beef. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 45 to 60 minutes or until the meat thermometer registers 140 degrees for medium-rare or 150 degrees for medium, brushing frequently with the heated reserved marinade. Garnish with fresh parsley.

            March 26, 2010

            Seafood Bow Tie Pasta Salad

            Homemade Yummy
            All week I have enjoyed sharing recipes from one of our favorite cookbooks, Bay Tables and today's feature is about eating some of our gulf coast finest - like a nice bowl of shrimp and crabmeat mixed with bow tie pasta in a creamy homemade mayonnaise dressing.

            This wonderful salad is great for springtime luncheons, lazy summer days and it is just good eating anytime of the year. From the cookbook by the Junior League of Mobile, this is just one of the many fine salads we enjoy along the bay. Enjoy!

            Seafood Bow Tie Pasta Salad
            6 servings

            1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
            1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
            1 cup chopped celery
            2 teaspoons minced garlic
            Bay Tables: A Collection of Recipes from the Junior League of Mobile2 tablespoons olive oil
            1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked
            1/2 to 3/4 cup milk or cream
            1 pound peeled cooked shrimp
            1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
            1 cup Homemade Mayonnaise -below
            1 teaspoon salt or to taste
            1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
              Sauté the red pepper, green pepper, celery and garlic in the olive oil in a skillet until crisp tender. Add the pasta, milk, sautéed vegetables, shrimp and crabmeat in a large bowl and toss to mix well. Add 1 cup Homemade Mayonnaise and mix well. Season with salt and pepper

              Note: Mushrooms and onions can be sautéed with the vegetables. Salad can be sprinkled with shredded Parmesan and baked until slightly melted. Crumbled feta cheese and fresh snipped chives is also a good topper.

              Homemade Mayonnaise
              makes 2 cups
              1 tablespoon lemon juice
              2 egg yolks or 1/4 cup egg substitute
              1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
              1/2 teaspoon kosher salt pepper to taste
              2 teaspoons vinegar
              1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
                Process the lemon juice, egg yolks, mustard, salt, pepper and vinegar in a food processor until well blended. Add the vegetable oil in a fine stream, processing constantly. Process until the mixture is very thick.

                March 25, 2010

                Banana Cake

                photo from Bay Tables

                Some of you may remember Oakleigh from a post back in December, the one on appetizer recipes taken from my cookbook and served during the book signing held in the mansion. This recipe is not from my cookbook but it is a featured dessert in Bay Tables published by the Junior League of Mobile. This one and the others you are enjoying this week are but a few of the many wonderful recipes from the homes surrounding Mobile.

                This blissful cake is one enjoyed all during the year. It tastes just as refreshing in winter as it does in the summer. Enjoy!

                Banana Cake

                3 cups of flour
                1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
                1/2 teaspoon salt
                3/4 cup margarine
                2 cups sugar
                2 eggs
                1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
                1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
                2 bananas, sliced
                Banana Frosting -below
                  Bay Tables: A Collection of Recipes from the Junior League of MobileSift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Beat the margarine and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mashed bananas. Spoon into three greased and floured 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until the layers test done. Do not over bake.
                  Remove to a wire rack to cool. Spread Banana Cake Frosting over the bottom layer. Top with half the sliced bananas. Add next layer and repeat with frosting and remaining sliced bananas. Add the top layer. Frost top and sides of cake.
                  Banana Cake Frosting

                  1/2 cup butter, softened
                  8 ounces cream cheese, softened
                  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                  1 -16 oz package confectioners' sugar
                  1 cup chopped pecans -optional
                    Beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix well. Beat in the confectioners' sugar. Sit if pecans if desired. Makes 4 cups

                    March 24, 2010

                    Sautéed Shrimp with Lemon Sauce

                    Wednesday, and that means Shrimp Day around here. Not that today is any better day to purchase, cook or eat shrimp, it just happens to be the day I post some of my favorite recipes featuring shrimp. Mobile is on the bay right up from the Gulf of Mexico, for those who do not know, and the waterways are plentiful with great tasting seafood. Fresh shrimp is available all year as is the other seafood and shrimp is available from markets, seafood shops and if you know where to go, right off the boat. Households all around the bay have so many different ways in preparing shrimp.

                    There are many cookbooks featuring some of the finest eats our area has to offer and my favorites are those published by the Junior League of Mobile. These are the books I often find myself searching through for recipes and many times to find inspiration in creating my own. This week I am featuring recipes from Bay Tables, one of four cookbooks published by our Junior League. There are copies available even though it is no longer being published. If you like any of my recipes, you will love the ones featured in the book, like this one, simple to prepare and oh-so-delicious. Enjoy!

                    Sautéed Shrimp with Lemon Sauce
                    makes 2 to 4 servings

                    1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
                    3 tablespoons olive oil
                    2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
                    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
                    1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
                    1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
                    1/8 teaspoon white pepper, or 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
                      Rinse the shrimp, drain and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Increase the heat to high, add shrimp and cook until the shrimp turn pink. Reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic, lemon juice and parsley. Cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove to a warm platter and serve with French or pita bread.

                      March 23, 2010

                      Mint Juleps & Sausage Bites - our way

                      Today's 2 on Tuesdays features two remarkable recipes, very southern and very Mobile. As the weather of spring very slowly moves into our area, we know when it gets here, it's over in a hurry. Long before summer officially arrives, warm, sunny and very humid days follow this brief encounter we know as spring. This is when we start thinking of our favorite 'rites of passage' in cooling down on the front porch, sitting in a rocker under a fan and slowly sipping our beloved juleps. Sipping s-l-o-w-l-y, I might add.

                      Juleps come in all forms; some concocted with fruit juices, different types of liqueur and even to some, the method in making them differs. Not to Mobilians. There is only one julep, always the same ingredients, only one way of making them and that is the correct way - period, no discussion!

                      Both recipes come from the wonderful cookbook, Bay Tables published by The Junior League of Mobile and features recipes by Mobilians and great families around the Mobile bay. Enjoy!

                      Loretta's Mint Julep
                      for 1 serving

                      4 fresh mint leaves
                      1 1/2 ounces quality bourbon
                      1 ounce simple syrup
                      crushed ice
                      dash of ginger ale
                      spring of fresh mint for garnish
                        Crush (muddle) the mint leaves in a bowl with the bourbon and the simple syrup. Let stand for 8 to 10 hours. Strain the liquid into a silver mint julep cup. Add ice to the to top and top off with ginger ale. Garnish with the sprig of mint. (serve with a short straw)

                        Personal note: There is a reason we do it this way - silver cups are of course optional, aluminum may be used. We like to place the cups on serving trays, make the drink as above, stirring until the outside frosts over without touching the cups and let the guest be the ones to 'fingerprint' them. The purpose of the mint sprig is to get a whiff when using the short straw. The cold bourbon is to help forget the pains of hot southern summers.

                        Irresistible Sausage Bites
                        make 3 to 4 dozen

                        1 package wonton wrappers
                        1 pound mild or spicy ground sausage
                        1 medium onion, chopped
                        1 red bell pepper, diced
                        2 teaspoons olive oil
                        8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
                        1/2 teaspoon oregano
                        salt and pepper to taste
                          Place one wonton wrapper in each greased miniature muffin cup. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 3 to 4 minutes or until just golden. Remove the cups to a baking sheet.
                          Brown the sausage with the onion and red pepper in hot olive oil in a skillet, stirring until the sausage is crumbly. Drain and cool to room temperature. Add the cheese, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well. Spoon into the prepared cups. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

                          March 22, 2010

                          Crawfish Beignets

                          Continuing with recipes from Bay Tables, this one has so many variations, the only thing that may be common is the use of crawfish tails. Onions, bell pepper and celery (the trinity) are many times included and I have heard of adding vegetables like zuccini, merlitons and eggplant. You can use shrimp if crawfish is not available.

                          Bay Tables: A Collection of Recipes from the Junior League of MobileBay Tables, a collection of recipes published by the Junior League of Mobile, is now retired from publication but there are a few cookbooks still left.Hurry and order your copy today.
                            Crawfish Beignets

                          1 cup flour
                          1 teaspoon baking powder
                          1 cup water
                          1 teaspoon chopped garlic
                          1 -2 oz jar diced pimento, drained
                          3 green onions, chopped
                          4 drops of Tabasco, or to taste
                          8 oz crawfish tail meat, cooked and chopped
                          2 1/2 quarts peanut oil
                            Combine everything in a bowl mixing well. Chill covered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
                            Heat oil to 365 degrees F. in a large heavy saucepan. Drop batter by spoonful into the hot oil. Deep-fry for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

                            Serve with Horseradish Sauce below, my Creole Seafood Sauce, or my Creole Tartar Sauce served with another adaption of these crawfish appetizers.

                            Horseradish Sauce

                            2 teaspoons minced garlic
                            3 tablespoons horseradish or to taste
                            1 cup mayonnaise
                            1 teaspoon Creole mustard
                            2 green onions, finely chopped
                              Blend everything but the green onions in a food processor or blender until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and stir in the green onions. Chill covered for at least an hour.

                              March 21, 2010

                              Pork Tenderloin with Red Pepper Sauce

                              Grilled Tenderloin
                              Great recipes abound everywhere, I know, but I just can't help it when I say ones from around Mobile are truly outstanding. And to let you in on a few, this week I will focus on recipes, some several generations old, that are longtime favorites from our locals. All recipes this week are featured in Mobile's official cookbook, Bay Tables published by the Junior League of Mobile. Editions are limited to current print so order your copy today.

                              You may remember the mentioning of this book before when I posted a favorite way of cooking fish, Dixie Bar Trout and many of you seemed to have liked it. Today, pork tenderloin grilled to perfection is our feature and the roasted red pepper sauce will get all heads at the table bobbing in approval. Enjoy!

                              Pork Tenderloin with Red Pepper Sauce
                              from the cookbook, Bay Tables

                              1 cup soy sauce
                              1/4 cup minced garlic
                              2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh gingerroot
                              2 tablespoons vegetable oil
                              1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
                                Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Reserve half of the mixture for basting. Pour remaining marinade over the pork in a sealable plastic bag and seal. Place in refrigerator for 2 or more hours. When ready to grill, drain the marinade from the bag.
                                Grill tenderloin over indirect heat for about 45 minutes basting every 10 minutes with the reserved marinade. Meat is ready when thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160 degrees F.
                                roasted bell peppers
                                4 to 6 servings ~ Serve with the Red Pepper Sauce below.

                                Red Pepper Sauce

                                1 tablespoon butter
                                2 teaspoons chopped garlic
                                1/3 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
                                1 tablespoon flour
                                3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
                                  Melt butter in a saucepan, add garlic and saute until garlic is soft. Stir in the roasted peppers. Cook 1 minute stirring constantly. Gradually add the flour stirring to blend and then the broth. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.

                                  March 20, 2010

                                  Chipotle con Queso

                                  Now folks, this ain't your regular cheese dip. It will kick your taste buds into next year but I swear, you won't stop eating it.

                                  You can tame it a bit if desired by not adding the serranos and by cutting back on the chipotles, but then, you might as well make a regular, everyday mild-tasting cheese dip.

                                  Chipotle Con Queso

                                  1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
                                  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                  2 medium onions, chopped
                                  3 cloves garlic, crushed
                                  5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
                                  1 -7 oz can chipotles in adobo sauce, pureed
                                  2 or 3 fresh serrano peppers, chopped
                                  1 cup half and half, warmed
                                  2 cups whole milk, warmed
                                  1 head of garlic, roasted and chopped
                                  1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
                                  1 pound Queso Quesadilla or American white cheddar, grated
                                  1 pound Asadero cheese or Monterey jack, grated
                                  1 bunch green onions, chopped 

                                  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Toss in the onions and sauté until golden brown. Stir in the crushed garlic and stir in the flour. Stir constantly into a nice light brown roux. Slowly add the warm half and half stirring to incorporate. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in the milk. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture bubbles. Lower the heat and add the serrano peppers and chipotles including the adobo sauce. Cook on low for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the roasted garlic and slowly add the cheese stirring constantly. When melted and blended together, transfer dip to a chafing dish or fondue pot. Keep the heat on low. Garnish with the green onions and serve with toasted tortilla chips.

                                  March 19, 2010

                                  Salmon Mousse

                                  A blender is a handy appliance. Today's recipe makes use of it in bringing to ease this delicious mousse. Popular all over the world, especially in Europe, salmon mousse is a great appetizer and great addition to any party. It is so versatile too.

                                  The most common use is to present it in a mold, preferably in the shape of a fish but any will do. Spread it on crackers or toast points for ready pick-up foods, fill cherry tomatoes for pop-in-your-mouth appetizers or spread into hollowed out cucumber rings. However you serve it, know this is a fantastic recipe. Enjoy!

                                  Salmon Mousse
                                  1 envelope plain gelatin
                                  2 tablespoons lemon juice
                                  1 small onion
                                  1/2 cup boiling water
                                  1/2 cup mayonnaise
                                  1/4 teaspoon paprika
                                  1 teaspoon dill weed
                                  1 -16 oz can red salmon, drained
                                  1 cup heavy cream
                                    In a blender, add gelatin, lemon juice, onion and rapidly boiling water. Cover and holding the top in place, blend on high for 40 seconds. Add mayonnaise, paprika, dill and the well-drained salmon. Cover and blend on high another 40 seconds. Remove the top cover with blender running on high and slowly add the cream. Pour into a 4-cup greased mold if desired or into a bowl. Chill until firm. Un-mold and place on a serving tray. Serve with crackers, toast points, extra mayonnaise, lettuce or watercress leaves, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, stuffed olives and sliced hardboiled eggs.
                                    Note: Crabmeat is also good as a substitute for the salmon.

                                    March 18, 2010

                                    Night Time Cookies

                                    Sleep tight...

                                    I know of a few people that like a snack before bedtime. If you are apt to do so, this recipe is not for you, at least not tonight.

                                    There are many ways of making meringue type cookies and this is one that we have much success in making. Leaving them in the oven over night allows the cookies to dry out properly. It is important not to open the oven door during the time, regardless of the urge to take a peek. Doing so will make the cookies a little sticky.

                                    Night Time Cookies
                                    6 egg whites
                                    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
                                    1 1/3 cup sugar
                                    1 -16 oz package chocolate chips
                                    1 cup chopped pecans or nuts
                                      Beat egg white with an electric mixer on high until foamy. Beat in the cream of tarter and slowly beat in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time until dissolved and stiff peaks form. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.

                                      Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

                                      Drop mixture by teaspoon onto parchment or foil lined baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes.

                                      Turn off oven and leave overnight. No peeking. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

                                      Note: Substitute the chocolate chips with 1 cup crushed peppermint candies for another taste or combine all three.

                                      March 17, 2010

                                      Sweet Bay Scallops with Vegetables

                                      If you like scallops, there is none better than the sweet bay scallops harvested in the panhandle of Florida. The open harvest season for the public is in the summer months but scallops are available all year. Bay scallops are white with a sometimes pinkish cast while sea scallops are larger, creamy white with an orange tint in color. The entire flesh of the scallop is edible, and in Europe, most always are they eaten in their entirety like oysters. In many parts of the world, the shell muscle is the only part eaten, especially of the sea scallop and commonly used is this cut-out white cylinder of flesh that many know as scallops.

                                      The Chinese Pod Pea is also known as Snow Pea and Sugar Pea. These are flat-pod peas that are hand picked, are available fresh or as a frozen vegetable, and used in many dishes.

                                      These two ingredients are a perfect paring, along with a few added vegetables, and make a fine meal any time of the year. This recipe brings the two together in a subtle way, is very flavorsome yet does not overpower the delicate sweetness of scallops. Enjoy!

                                      Sweet Bay Scallops with Vegetables
                                      4 to 6 servings
                                      1/2 cup water
                                      1/2 cup dry white wine
                                      1/2 teaspoon salt
                                      1 1/2 pounds fresh bay scallops or frozen sea scallops
                                      1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced - optional
                                      3/4 cup sliced green onions, 1-inch sections
                                      1/4 cup sliced celery
                                      1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper, 1/2-inch sections
                                      3 tablespoons butter
                                      6 ounces Chinese pea pods or frozen and thawed
                                      1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
                                      1 tablespoon soy sauce
                                      2 teaspoon lemon juice
                                      2 tablespoon cornstarch
                                      1/4 teaspoon white pepper
                                      1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce (Tabasco)
                                        In a large saucepan, combine water, wine and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add scallops cooking for about 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Do not overcook. Remove scallops with a slotted spoon, put aside and keep warm. Reserve 1/2 cup of liquid in a bowl and discard remaining.
                                        Add butter, sauté mushrooms, onions, celery and bell pepper until tender. Stir in the pea pods.
                                        Add remaining ingredients to the reserved liquid. Mix well and stir into the vegetables. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until sauce is thick and smooth. Add the scallops and cook just enough to warm thoroughly. Serve over a bed of rice.

                                        March 16, 2010

                                        Irish Drink & Haggerty

                                        After Mondays, we need something to look forward to - like a good drink and a perfect appetizer. That's what this feature is all about, a double header for Tuesdays. Now, I'm not saying this will be a feature every Tuesday, but I will post it every so often. I have files overflowing with just this kind of stuff. Send me a comment and who knows, I might just have your perfect combination in my recipe box.

                                        Everybody's Irish
                                        ...or so it might seem after a few of these..

                                        1 1/2 jiggers Irish Whiskey
                                        1 tablespoon green Creme de Menthe
                                        1 tablespoon green Chartreuse
                                          Stir gently with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a green maraschino cherry if available.

                                          This cheese and potato pie may be a little tricky but with the luck of the Irish, you should have no trouble at all.  Great served with corned beef finger sandwiches or pork sausage balls.  
                                          Makes about 6 servings

                                          3 medium potatoes
                                          1 large white onion
                                          3 tablespoons cooking oil
                                          1 teaspoon celery seed
                                          1 teaspoon salt
                                          1/2 teaspoon pepper
                                          1 cup grated cheddar cheese
                                          1 tablespoon butter
                                            Peel potatoes and cut into paper-thin slices. Use a food processor with slicing attachment if available. Slice onion as thin as possible.

                                            Heat oil in a heavy skillet and lay out half of the potatoes.  Sprinkle on top a little of the celery seed, salt, pepper and half of the cheese. Place onions on top of the cheese. Add remaining potatoes covering the onions and sprinkle with remaining cheese and seasonings. Dot with butter.

                                            Cook over medium heat, covered until top layer of potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Slide Haggerty carefully onto a plate. Slip back into the skillet, top side down and cook for 15 minutes uncovered.

                                            Cut into wedges and serve.

                                            Note: After sliding Haggerty onto plate, some find it easy to invert skillet over the pie and flip plate with skillet right-side up.

                                            March 15, 2010

                                            Creole Fried Cabbage

                                            A little Southern, a little Creole, a whole lot of me...

                                            While most folks will be stewing and simmering cabbage to honor Saint Patrick, I am frying mine up with some southern flavors. Hope you try it my way.

                                            Creole Fried Cabbage

                                            2 pounds finely diced cabbage
                                            1 pound finely chopped bacon
                                            1 medium onion, chopped
                                            1/2 medium bell pepper cut into thin slices
                                            1 teaspoon cider vinegar
                                            2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
                                            1 teaspoon brown sugar
                                            1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
                                            1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
                                              Fry bacon until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon. Remove grease leaving about 1/4 cup or remove all and add butter or olive oil. Add chopped onion and stir until limp. Add bell pepper and remaining ingredients stirring well so that the seasonings coat the cabbage evenly. Fry over medium high heat tossing cabbage for about 10 minutes. Cover and continue cooking over low heat until cabbage is limp and tender.

                                              March 14, 2010

                                              Oven BBQ Chops

                                              Take it easy

                                              Sundays are special days at least I think so. It's a day to forget the past week if things didn't go right, a day to reflect on that which did and it’s a day to forgive or rectify the things that didn't. Sundays are a day to rest if Iam tired, to play if in the mood and a day to spend quality time with those I love. It's also a day to reward.

                                              Some days, I need quiet time in the kitchen cooking all day, and there is no greater reward. Some days I'd rather be spending the day doing something else.

                                              The following recipe is really a good one, a reward for you and your family and it's also easy. Make a BBQ dinner without barbecuing. Purchase four thick cut pork chops, a couple of ready-made side dishes from a local caterer or the deli along with a bread choice and you're ready to go.

                                              Oven BBQ Chops

                                              4 thick cup pork chops
                                              4 thin onion slices
                                              4 thin lemon slices
                                              4 tablespoons brown sugar
                                              4 tablespoons ketchup
                                              1/4 cup water
                                                Season the pork chops on both sides with pepper. Add a little oil to a large oven proof skillet, heat on medium high and brown the chops on both sides. Remove chops and wipe away any oil. Return the chops to the skillet. Top each with a slice of onion, the lemon slice, a tablespoon each of brown sugar and ketchup. Add the water to the pan and cover with a tight fitting lid or foil.
                                                Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 1 1/2 hours.
                                                That's all there is to it.