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.

January 31, 2012

Oven Roasted BBQ Pork Loin Chops

Lean and Sassy!

That is just how I felt after eating one of these beautiful cuts of tender, tasty pork 'steaks' last week. Why I could have 'whupped up' on any scaredy cat that came a'calling... I say that because of late there seems to be a lot of kitties and tom-catting going on, roaming around our neighborhood, ferel cats I suppose, doing their kitty-kat business at all hours during the darkness of night. Now I am a friend of all animals but don't mess with my nocturnal habits. I mean, that is one godawful sound, especially when awoken during the middle of the night.

I know this recipe has nothing what so ever to do with tom-catting ways, so I am not going to even try and make a connection. But this is an old southern way of marinating pork in producing a very flavorsome and  succulent, tender chop. Finish it off with a smigen of barbecue sauce and it tastes as if it spent hours on the grill.

Come to think of it, maybe those kitties came calling for table scraps.....


Oven Roasted BBQ Pork Loin Chops
2 servings

2 - 2 inch thick pork loin fillets, butterflied
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce

juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
pinch of dried crushed thyme

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a glass container just large enough to hold the pork. Arrange pork in container and refrigerate covered for about 4 hours turning the meat over half way during the marinating time. Remove dish for 1 hour prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat an ovenproof skillet on medium high heat and when hot add the olive oil and immediately add the pork. Cook 2 minutes, turn meat over and cook another 2 minutes. Add about 2 tablespoons of the marinade on top of each pork fillet. Place in the oven uncovered and cook for 8 minutes. Remove and turn the meat over and spoon 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce on each piece of meat. Turn oven to broil and cook another 5 minutes or until internal temperature of meat registers 160 degrees F.

Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

January 26, 2012

Eggplant Steaks with 'I' Sauce

Eggplant Parm - move over...

Here's my remake of Eggplant Parmesan replacing  the deep-fried battered slices with a whopping thick slab that is lightly coated with a smidgen of panko. Not oily at all and full of flavor thanks to the intoxicating tomato sauce and tasty cheeses.

I think the taste in exceptional. Hope you agree. Enjoy!

Eggplant Steaks with 'I' Sauce
the 'I' stands for intoxicating
serves 6

1 large eggplant, ends trimmed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup Egg  Beaters
1/2 cup plain Panko
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 -8 ounce no sugar tomato sauce (Hunt's brand also contains no salt)
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup blended cheese Colby and Monterey jack 2%)

Cut eggplant in 3/4-inch thick slices. Lightly sprinkle both sides with sea salt and place slices in a colander to drain excess moisture. Allow to set for 30 minutes. Wipe off salt with paper towel.

Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Spray an oblong baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Heat the tomato sauce with the herbs, lemon juice and wine. Let simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes stirring to thicken. Remove from heat.

Lay slices on a clean surface or pan and brush top side with Egg Beater. Sprinkle just a bit of Panko, about 1/4 teaspoon, over the top. Flip eggplant slices over and repeat with egg and panko.

Heat a wide skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and cook until panko is brown. Turn the slices over, add another teaspoon of oil and brown the other side. Remove to the oblong baking dish. Cook eggplant in a double batch if needed adding oil as needed.

Spoon the sauce over the eggplant slices and top with the cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake in oven for about 10 minutes. Remove foil and cooked under the broiler if needed to brown the cheese.

Find the Nutritional Facts here

January 23, 2012

Poached Orchard Fruit Compotes

Easy and good for you,
best of all, it's tasty too.

Yep, this is pretty easy. If you can peel fruit, then you can make this satisfying dessert.

High on taste, it is sweet from natural sugars yet darts around the palate with a tartness from the lemon yogurt.

Poached Orchard Fruit
serves 4

juice of 3 sweet tangerines or 2 large navel oranges
1/4 cup dry Marsala
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey
1 tart apple, peeled, cored and cut into bite size pieces
4 bosc pears, cored, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries

Strain the juice of the tangerines into a medium saucepan and add the Marsala. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Stir in the honey and the fruit. Simmer for about 6 minutes or until fruit is lightly poached yet still firm. Remove from heat and allow to mellow in juice.

When pan has cooled to the touch, add the blueberries and toss. Cover and let seep about 5 minutes. Divide in four compotes and serve topped with a dollop of lemon honey Greek yogurt.

Lemon Honey Sauce: Mix together 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon honey.

Find the Nutritional Facts here

January 21, 2012

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Well I'll be......

This week has been kind of special to us. We actually enjoyed several all vegetable dinners and have eaten lots of soups for lunch. This may be the first week I can remember that I have not made cornbread since I was taught how...

What's the occasion? Nuttin' special; well, maybe that after-the-New-Year-approach-to-life that everybody gets caught up in and somehow maybe it pulled us into the mix and caught up with us... we will just have to see. Now I did have a breaking moment as I made a nice dinner midweek of fried catfish with cheese grits. But I came right back around with veggies the next night; and I didn't get whipped for straying. Lost 5 pounds too this week, and folks, I gotta tell ya, I missed my cornbread.

For those that follow me, you know that Friday nights around here are normally steak nights and last night was no exception. It was a lean petite tenderloin with my steak seasoning and lubricated in olive oil. A simple salad of sliced tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette over leaf lettuce and steamed fresh asparagus paired beautifully with this sauce. 

Yes folks, I can cook healthy - kinda... hope you try it.


Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
4 servings

1 pound fresh asparagus
sea salt

Lemon Yogurt Sauce:
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
good pinch of white pepper
little pinch of sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 garlic toes, smashed and finely minced or 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Make the dressing by whisking in a small bowl the yogurt, olive oil, pepper, sugar, salt and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wash the asparagus under running water. Snap off the thick ends of the asparagus at the breaking point and place in a dish. I use a glass loaf size dish just 'cause it fits nicely.

Bring water to boil in steamer and when ready, sprinkle asparagus with sea salt. This will help preserve the color plus the addition of sodium. Forget the salt if you can't have it. Steam asparagus until crisp tender.

Remove asparagus, plate and serve with the sauce on top.

Find the Nutritional Facts here

January 18, 2012

Spanish Sausage, Bean, Spinach Soup

Soup is on...

Folks, if I have been a little absent of late, well I am still digging my way from a host of activities and projects going on around the house and at work. Take heart as all of you are still in my thoughts and note that I am still cooking and still eating; guess I didn't have to say that now did I. This is something similar to one of the recipes coming up in my next cookbook, but it is entirely different even though the idea of Spanish and Latin flavors blending with that from our locale are predominately in this soup as well.

This is another well liked soup that we enjoy, one that brings a host of flavors together in a perfect marriage. Like many families, this one boasts of elements from many countries bonded in harmony to the last spoonful. Enjoy!

Sausage, Bean, Spinach Soup
serves 6-8

8 oz Spanish chorizo (or southern hot bulk sausage)
8 oz southern smoked link sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 bell bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic toes, minced
5-6 cups chicken stock
1 Serrano pepper
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 -15 oz cans Peruano beans, drained and rinsed (cannellini or great northern is good too)
1 -9 oz bag spinach leaves, washed with stems removed

I like to cook the chorizo in the oven to remove the grease and to harden it up for the soup. Pinch off pieces about 1/2 teaspoon and place on baking sheet and place in a 375 degree F. oven for 20 minutes or until brown. Remove to paper lined plate and put aside.

Cut the link sausage in thin slices and cook in a stockpot over medium high heat browning on both sided. The sausage I use (turkey would be good) does not render much grease so watch carefully. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until just tender. Add the stock and allow to come to a simmer. Add the whole serrano, sherry, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce heat to low simmer.

Cook the soup stock for about 15 minutes on low. Stir in the beans, the cooked chorizo, cover and simmer another 15 minutes. Add the spinach and toss into the hot mixture until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, ladle into bowl and serve with crusty bread. A grate of hard cheese is great over the top as is chopped scallions.

Note: I like to add a whole serrano or jalapeno pepper to simmering broths and stocks which allows me to remove it when the correct amount of heat from the pepper gets to my liking. Cut off both ends of the pepper pod, make a slit down two sides of the pod but not cutting all the way through or to the ends. This allows liquid to penetrate faster and makes removal easy without it turning to mush.

January 14, 2012

Creamy Chicken Divan over Rice Casserole

Healthier? Maybe a little,
... still very pleasing and high on taste.

Okay, it is cold here. When the northern winds push down into our coastal area causing us to start layering on clothes, pulling out our long-johns, we get a little fuddle minded. Well, even more so.

I have made my Chicken Divan Casserole umpteen times. For some lightheaded reason, I decided to redo it, change it up and somewhat lighten it up, a bit. If you follow my recipes, then you know I cook for the glorified truism of satisfying my own taste-buds. I'll normally let y'all figure out how to cut out calories here and there. But like I said, I got caught up in wanting an extra large helping of this fine chicken casserole to fill me up, make me warm and cozy and for some unknown reason, thought it should be lightened up a bit. So this is how I did it.... Enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Divan with Rice Casserole
for 2 cold, hungry folks

2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 garlic toe, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup long grain white rice
1/4 cup mild cheddar cheese (or low-fat)
1/3 cup bread crumbs or panko

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat, add sherry and bring to a simmer. Cook until sherry reduces out and then add onion and celery. Stir cooking until onion is clear; stir in garlic and broccoli tossing until bright green. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add chicken.

In a small bowl, whisk cream with cornstarch and stir into the broccoli mixture. Allow to come back to just a simmer and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.  Add the rice to the casserole and top with the chicken broccoli mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove cover, top with the bread crumbs and return to the oven allowing the topping to brown.

Note: Adding slivers of butter on top of the crumbs is great, helps to brown nicely and adds another layer of taste; but it also adds more calories.

January 11, 2012

a winner with a winning recipe

announcing the


Winner of the Championship Crystal Bowl 
and the many Southern Spices, Mixes and Seasonings
and see her Seafood Boil Medley recipe from my cookbook

Hope you enjoy all of the prizes Claudia
and thanks to everyone that participated and entered your great football food recipes.  

The weekly contest winners will receive an e-pub version of my next cookbook currently in production,
Best of Drick's Kitchen,  
A Journal of Mobile's Southern Cookery


Order today  

25% off any of my cookbook formats
Use Coupon Code: LULUBOOK305

Coupon expires January 31, 2012
$50 Max Savings

January 10, 2012

Creamy Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup

and it's good for you too...

This is the time of year I enjoy having a nice, hot bowl of soup on occasion, like when the temp dips. I've said before that I like to have something chicken-or-another around as I think it makes you feel better in cold weather, soothes a tickling throat and just helps in warming you up all over when your body and mind is aching from winter blues.

Nothing beats a soup made from homemade stock and that's where this recipe starts by using choice chicken but I've made it using a whole hen too. I bet a deli roasted chicken would do just fine too in getting ya moving a little faster. The secret is cooking down the chicken along with the bones, that's where the start of a good stock begins. The noodles cook in the stock as does the vegetables which by the time everything melds together, you really end up with a super thick and rich stock made extra creamy with a good dose of heavy cream at the end. Season it however you like, I happen to like a slight thyme flavored broth. Every thing is here for a reason and comes together for needed nutrients that is good for you. The use of ginger and jalapeno along with the vegetables together form a broth full of antioxidants and vitamins yet neither one overpowers or is even noticeable. So what ever you do, do not leave them out, not if you're cooking this to feel better.


Creamy Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup


3-4 pounds bone-in chicken breasts or thighs, skin and fat removed
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, halved
1 rib of celery
1/2 head green cabbage, cut in half
1 -1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 -2 inch piece of bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
pinch of dried basil and oregano leaves
2 quarts (8 cups) of water

4 ounces egg noodles or pasta (I used 2 cups of Conchigliette or small sea shells this time)
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) butter
2 spring onions, sliced thin
1 rib of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tiny new potatoes, diced bite-size
3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper as needed
1 cup heavy cream

In a stockpot, add all ingredients for the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove chicken to a bowl to cool and strain the stock discarding the solids. When chicken is cool to the touch, remove meat to a bowl and add about a half-cup of broth for moisture. Cover and put aside chicken.

Measure the strained stock and add water to make 10 cups. Add this to a medium stockpot, bring to a boil, add the noodles or pasta and cook al dente. Reserve broth and noodles separate.

Clean pot and melt butter over medium high heat. Saute celery, carrots and jalapeno until celery is soft and then stir in the flour. Cook the mixture for several minutes stirring all while, add green onions and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add the potatoes. Return heat to second boil. Reduce heat to low and when potatoes are tender, add in the cooked noodles along with the tomatoes and heavy cream. Allow soup to come to a low simmer, add salt and pepper if desired and serve warm.

January 7, 2012

Salsa Frijoles De Olla

Oh, happy day...

There is this bean dip that has haunted me for years, a taste I remember fairly well as a kid while visiting family in Texas. Served warmed just as many restaurants do with a salsa and with warm tortilla chips to munch on while ordering dinner, it was the most satisfying bean dip I have yet to have. Or was it even a dip at all, maybe an effortless Charro Soup as it was soupy but had just the right consistency to hold together on a chip; and the beans were whole, not mashed.

It has been years in the making and using varying ingredients, my attempts have led me to this recipe. It is similar to Frijoles or a Charro bean recipe, better known as Mexican cowboy beans that are so favored in Northern Mexico. Frijoles de Olla simply means beans in a pot. There is one ingredient I find very important in making the flavors come together and that is the use of Epazote. Aptly called skunk sweat to the Aztec due to the odd scent the plant exudes. Even so, it is an amazing plant used for very distinct purposes for thousands of years. Also known as wormseed, long ago it was paired with meat foods as it rids the body of intestinal worms and is also known to calm digestive troubles. It is most popular today in adding a distinct flavor to bean dishes and in addition, it helps prevent flatulence. The taste is hard to describe - kinda minty and piney with a sourly lemon mustard greens aftertaste, that is, when eaten fresh, but who on earth would do that? Like cilantro, you either love it or not. Oh, epazote is discouraged in use for the pregnant or breast-feeding mothers.

This is my effort to replicate the taste of long ago, enjoy!

Salsa Frijoles De Olla
makes about 12 appetizer servings

1 pound dried pinto beans
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large green bell peppers
1 cup finely chopped smoked ham
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 chile de árbol chiles, sliced
1 large sprig fresh young epazote or 1/2 teaspoon dried
8 garlic toes, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked chili powder
4 fresh medium tomatoes, or 1-15 oz can roma tomatoes, drained
Garnish of chopped onions, fresh tomatoes and jalapeno peppers if desired
warm tortilla chips

Rinse beans under cold running water removing any dirt, sort discarding disfigured beans or any stones and put in a large stockpot covering with cold water. Allow at least 3 inches of water above the beans. Bring to a boil cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow beans to soak for an hour or until the middle of a bean is soft
(not chalky). Drain liquid from pot.

Add 1 of the chopped onions, 1 of the chopped bell peppers, ham, bay leaves, salt and árbol chilies. Cover with water adding at least 1 inch of water past the top of the beans. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Add the epazote and garlic, stir and cook gently, adding water as needed until the beans are soft, about 2 hours uncovered. When the beans are soft, add remaining chopped onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, paprika, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a simmer and turn off heat. Taste and add more salt if needed. Let set for covered for 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls garnished with chopped sweet or green oni0ns, ripe tomatoes and jalapeno slices if desired along with a bowl of warm, toasted tortilla chips.

Note: A sprinkle of crumbled queso blanco on top or grated white cheese would be a fine addition too.

January 5, 2012

Turkey Bone Gumbo using Browned Flour

Southern Kitchen Classics: Browned Flour
Good Gobbling Gobble
(Click here for sound)

Folks, I wait all year for this one. Sometimes I have to cook a turkey, or breast mostly (like my last recipe for moist and tender breast), just so I will be able to make this bodacious recipe. Many of you I will bet, if I were the betting type, will toss the carcass away after the finished carving. Shame on you. Have you not noticed how much meat is actually left on the bones and on the carving plate? Well, maybe not mine but what I'm saying is if you do not use the carcass in achieving a fine robust, flavorful stock, well, to me that's a sin.

Now if you have made turkey gumbo, good for you. But for most folks, staring at a carved, naked carcass wondering what to do with it, gumbo is an afterthought. To many of us it is the highlighted reason in cooking the bird. And whatever you do, do not discard any leftover dressing (Southern stuffing in a pan) as this is in my opinion the best pairing for this type of gumbo. We use the dressing instead of rice. Folks in other parts of the south, mostly Louisiana, serve their gumbo with potato salad made many times with Cajun mayonnaise. But it really don't matter what you serve your turkey gumbo with as long as you do, serve it that is. And make it from your saved turkey carcass for an incredible, rich taste.

You see, there are many recipes for turkey gumbo but I like the way we do it around these parts. Here in lower Alabama, we prefer one rich in the traditional ingredients of using the holy trinity stirred into a dark roux and adding smoked sausage, the rich turkey stock plus the addition of sweet Creole or small tomatoes and the tasty thickener okra. The complexity of taste from these ingredients is a gumbo like no other.


Turkey Bone Gumbo

turkey gumbo over dressing
for the stock:
1 cooked turkey carcass after removing meat
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
2 carrots, peeled, cut in 4" sections
4 stalks celery, cut in 4" sections
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 gallon water or enough to cover carcass

for the gumbo:
1 cup vegetable oil or lard
1 1/4 cups browned flour (see below) or all-purpose flour
2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 pound Conecuh or other smoked sausage, diced into 1/4-inch cubes and rendered of fat
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided
3 garlic toes, minced
6 cups turkey stock
Reserved turkey meat from making stock
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 Creole tomatoes, peeled, seeded if desired (or 1 -14.5 oz can Roma, diced)
2 cups chopped fresh okra (or 1 -16 oz bag frozen)
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black peppercorns to taste
3 cups chopped leftover turkey meat (or cooked chicken)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
filé powder if desired
start with turkey breast bones for stock

If need be, cut or break carcass into pieces will fit in a large stock pot and add the carcass to the pot. Add vegetables, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and water. Place pot over high heat and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about two hours. Occasionally, skim off any foam that forms on the surface.

Drain stock through a mesh colander, reserving liquid. When solids are cool to the touch, sort through and reserve any turkey meat that has fallen off the bones. Pick any turkey meat that remains on the bones too. Set meat aside for gumbo. Discard the carcass and solids.

Mix the holy trinity (onions, bell pepper, celery) together in a bowl, set aside.

In a large, heavy skillet (I like cast iron) heat oil over medium-high heat . Whisk in the flour and stir constantly with a whisk until roux turns a medium brown. If using browned flour, it will be light brown instantly. Use a flat paddle or wooden spoon to continue stirring the roux until it turns a medium to dark chocolate brown. You might have to turn the heat down a bit toward the end. Keep the roux moving scrapping from the bottom especially toward the end when the darker coloration is forming. Be careful not to burn the roux, it should take about 20-30 minutes to reach the desired color. If the roux starts smoking, remove skillet from heat stirring all while until it settles back down. Reduce heat and continue to cook. If the flour and oil separates, you have ruined your roux. It should be smooth when finished.

Once roux has reached desired shade, carefully stir in the rendered smoked sausage stirring for 1 minute. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning, a little over half of the holy trinity and the garlic. Stir about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Move roux mixture to a large stockpot and return to medium high heat.

Add the stock and stir in the remaining Cajun seasoning to the stockpot. Add bay leaves, Worcestershire, lemon juice, tomatoes, and okra. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low simmer and for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

About 30 minutes before ready to serve, add salt and pepper if needed along with the turkey and parsley. Allow gumbo to come back to a simmer.

Serve over southern cornbread dressing or oyster dressing, white rice, or with potato salad if desired. Sprinkle with file powder if desired and garnish with the green onions. Be sure to serve with hot, crusty French bread and cold beer.

Browned Flour oven method
Note: Using BROWNED FLOUR is an old way of making a faster roux and gravy. Plus it already adds a nutty, toasted flavor. I simply place about 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour on a lipped baking pan and place in a 375 degree F. oven. Watch it very closely after about 15 minutes and stir it with a whisk,  even it out a few times cooking it until it turns a light brown color. Let cool and run through a mesh screen before storing in a sealed jar. Use it just like you would regular flour only notice it will instantly get much darker and more quickly than regular flour. Some folks brown it in a cast iron skillet stove top.

medium brown roux
browned flour roux

January 3, 2012

Moist and Tender Roasted Turkey Breast

 A turkey for all times.

Roasting a turkey breast is far easier and a heck-of-a-lot more dependable than roasting a whole bird. Now, when you brine the meat overnight, you are actually plumping it up with moisture that will be unbelievable juicy and tender.

The rub I use in the recipe is the same as the one I use when roasting whole chickens on the grill and the taste is outstanding. When you slice into the breast, you will notice the flavorful juices running down the meat with each slice. That is reason enough to like this recipe but secondly and I believe most importantly, is the taste - savory and outstanding. Ya might think it would have Latin flavors but not at all. Those who enjoyed eating it, well, they said it was the best turkey they had tasted. I agree.


Moist and Tender Roasted Turkey Breast

1 gallon water
golden, crispy skin
1 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic toes, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper

For the pan:
1 celery stalk
1 small onion, quartered
1 cup chicken stock

Rinse the turkey breast under running water and drain.
Combine the brine solution in a large sealable bag, stir with a large spoon to dissolve salt and sugar as much as possible. Add the turkey, seal removing as much air as possible and place in refrigerator, top of breast facing downwards, for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

super moist and tasty
Remove turkey from brine, rinse off the solution and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Separate the skin from the top of the breast as much as possible. Combine the butter rub and massage about a teaspoon under the skin on both sides of the breast. Rub remaining rub over the outside of the turkey. Place celery and onion inside the cavity and place breast on rack in roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, away from any bones. Add the chicken stock to the bottom of the pan and place in over. Immediately reduce oven to 400 degrees F. Cook for about 15 minutes. Baste with the stock from the bottom of the pan every 15 minutes thereafter. Remove turkey when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Remove vegetables from cavity if desired. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Use the stock to season your gravy or save for another use.

Note: A 5-7 pound breast takes about 45 minutes to an hour while a 7-10 pounder will reach the proper temperature between 60 and 75 minutes. Another method to roast is the 15 minutes per pound way but whatever you do, always test with a meat thermometer into the deepest part of the breast.

January 1, 2012

the Real-Deal White Chicken Chili recipe

The real deal...

Folks, I've had my share of ordering White Chicken Chili and when it arrives be so dag-blasted disappointed ... nothing white about it... nope, not at all... dag-blasted cook.

Sure, I reckon for it to be chili, ya gotta have some color added to it like a little that comes from the spices and vegetables but no need to turn it pure red by adding cans of tomatoes or brown with pinto beans for goodness sake. No need what-so-ever, not if you don't need to and folks, I don't need to... nope, not at all. So that got me thinking of a really white chicken chili, as white as angel's wings, first snow on mountain peaks, and as white as powdered sugar cookies and... milk. Yeah, that's it.

Now I'm not saying this is pearly white but it's good enough for me and the taste will knock you off your feet, make ya want to sit a spell and enjoy another bowl. Yep, it's that good, and as you can see, it really is deserving of its name. Why it's the real deal and now y'all can say ya know the difference. So folks, the next time you hear someone mention white chicken chili, make sure you set them right.


White Chicken Chili
makes about 8 good servings

1 pound white cannelloni, great northern or navy beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
4 boneless chicken thighs and 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 small white onion
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic pods, minced
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock from cooked chicken
1 pint whole milk, divided
1 pint whipping cream
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 stick of butter ( 4 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons of flour
Shredded Jack cheese for garnish

Soak the beans over night, rinse well and drain or use my slow cooker method to soak the beans.

Rinse the chicken under water and remove any fat. Place in a stockpot with over 1 1/2 quarts of water along with the white onion, celery stalk and bay leaf. Add a little salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and simmer until meat is fork tender. Remove chicken to colander and strain stock discarding the vegetables and bay leaf. Put stock aside. When cool to touch, shred chicken to bite size pieces, cover and put aside.

In a large stockpot (or same) over medium high heat, add oil, Spanish onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos. Cook stirring until onions are clear and add the oregano and thyme. Add the chicken stock, half of the milk and all of the cream. Bring to a low simmer. Add the cooked beans and all of the seasonings. When second boil begins, turn heat down to low and simmer covered for about an hour.

When beans are tender, add chicken to the pot, gently stir maintaining heat on lowest setting.

In a small sauce pan, stir butter and flour together over medium low heat to make a light roux. Cook for 2 minutes and gradually add a the remaining milk to the roux stirring to thicken. Gently stir the roux mixture into the chili stirring all while to mix in well and continue cooking until thicken.

Serve in bowls with the cheese. We like to add a dollop of sour cream and serve with hot cornbread muffins.