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, 2012

Loco Pollo Enchilada Casserole

Mexican Chicken Jumble

Many of my recipes come from inspirations of foodies around the globe. Friends I know by sharing my recipes here and from following their blogs throughout the years. New to me this year is Pinterest. Fascinating isn't it? Nowadays, all we have to do to get inspired is to look at a photo, and if we like it enough, we can hold on to it in our scrapbook of sorts or on a board as it is called. Then there is that networking thing going on in the background, which is a good thing because that is where many new inspirations come.

The recipe today is one I saw on Pinterest, well, kinda. You know me, I added the kitchen sink.The photo was just enough to make me want to save the idea and I did. Like many, I looked at it, studied what it was about it that made me want it, want to save it and later cook it. Right off the bat, I liked the craziness of the jumbled concoction of mingling ingredients. Diversity of taste and texture on every forkful and it looked to be a delight for the palate. Then I looked at the recipe, got the jest of it and went to my own pantry and cupboard where the below recipe came to my own liking. Now to me, that is a good recipe. When you can cook it for its conceptual appeal yet use what is on hand from your own kitchen. I imagine this would be equally good with beef too.

Now, really all needed are a few basics - the shredded chicken, broken tortilla chips, enchilada sauce, cooked pasta, a little seasoning and the shredded cheese. Everything else is for glory, added drool for our gluttonous ways.  After all, that is what a respectable all-in-one casserole is really about, right? The kitchen sink in a gourmandizing way? I think so and that is why we enjoy them so.

Enjoy this one!

Loco Pollo Enchilada Casserole
8 to 10 servings

Half package (8 oz) of dried pasta, I used gnocchi (not Mexican at all) to hold the saucy chicken mixture but I think wagon wheels (Rotelle) would be fun
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup green bell pepper, cut in thin slivers
1/3 cup red bell pepper, cut in thin slivers
1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, cut in thin slivers
1 large red onion, sliced in slivers
1 -16 oz can black or pinto beans, drained
1/3 cup chopped green onions
3 garlic toes, smashed and chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons Mexican or Taco seasoning
1 -16 oz can refried beans
2 -10 oz cans Enchilada sauce, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cooked and shredded
3 cups broken tortilla chips (not crushed)
8 oz natural mild cheddar cheese grated or 2 cup Mexican style blend
1 chopped tomato

Avocado Cream Topping:
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart oblong casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add oil and the sliced bell peppers and onion. Stir-fry tossing vegetables around until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and green onions, toss together. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.

Add the garlic and jalapeño to the pan, heat until sizzling and fragrant. Whisk in the seasoning and stir in the refried beans. Add one can of the enchilada sauce, the shredded chicken and stir to barely incorporate. Remove from heat.

Cover the bottom of the casserole with about one-third of the other can of enchilada sauce. Place half of the pasta on the bottom, half of the chicken mixture, half of the vegetable mixture, half of the chips and half of the cheese. Repeat layers omitting the last topping of cheese. Sprinkle with the chopped tomato. Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until casserole is hot throughout.

Remove foil, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown slightly. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Make the avocado cream topping by tossing the avocado with the lime juice. Mash together all ingredients right before serving. Spoon a dollop on top of each serving.

Source of recipe idea from BHG

March 28, 2012

Blue Cheese Dressing with Crushed Pecans

This low-cal salad dressing is perfect for all seasons ~ simply marvelous.

Spring done passed us by... that's what everyone is saying around these parts as we have gone from 40 degree nights to a range into the 60's and our days are now running in the mid-80's - some saying it is like a May Day celebration. Yikes! Cannot imagine what the summer will bring...

I grew up eating salads coated with dressings from a jar: A mason jar. You see, Momma on busy days made 'homemade' salad dressings just as easy as she did shake-n-bake pork chops. In fact, that is what happened, toss in a few ingredients, shake and serve. Of course, I hold Chef Robert Kreis of the Brown Derby to blame for the packaged envelopes of mixes (and for shake-n-bake too) in her discovery of salad dressing science. Think back to the early Italian vinaigrette spice pack where all needed is the store-bought Good Seasons calibrated cruet, the store-bought Good Seasons package, and a measured amount of oil and vinegar. It wasn't long after that at our house Momma ventured to the every popular ranch version that many folks still swear by even today.

Gosh, isn't this vintage set from 4 Seasons great? No, it is not in my collection, but I spotted it while researching the history of Good Seasons.

I am not too proud to occasionally purchase a pack or bottle of prepared salad dressing when in a hurry but when I have the time, I do prefer to make my own.  Who needs all those additives, right? Of course, if you really want to get it homey, churn your own buttermilk, make your own cream and cottage cheese, and the mayo too - well, that one I sometimes really will do myself.

This one folks is a favorite that will go with many things other than vegetable salads. It is especially good when you slip in the likes of dried cranberries, thin slices of sweet strawberries, pears or apples and a mere sprinkle of golden raisins with cured ham will turn heads too.

Shake up a batch today and . . . enjoy!

Blue Cheese Dressing with Crushed Pecans
makes over 2 cups ~ that's 18 servings of 2 tablespoons each

Danish Blue is lower cal.... say what?
4 ounces Philadelphia* creamy cheese fat free
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons non fat milk
1/4 cup Hellmans* low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or hot pepper sauce
2 ounces Traditional Danish blue cheese
1/4 cup toasted pecans
*I listed certain brand names as that is what I used and how calories were counted for this recipe.

Place all ingredients except blue cheese and pecans in a food deep bowl. Mash cream cheese with a fork followed with whisking all together. Transfer to a container or wide-mouth jar.

Add the blue cheese. Crush the pecans using the flat side of a chefs knife followed with a light chop. Add pecans to dressing and stir or shake to incorporate.

Allow to meld refrigerated for a couple of hours before serving. (The pecans will become soft after a day, so only add to the dressing that which you plan on using at serving time.) Hold dressing up to 7 days in the refrigerator sealed in a container.

Note: Sometimes I use Greek yogurt instead of the cottage cheese which gives the dressing a tangy edge.

Find the Nutritional Facts here

March 23, 2012

Steak Night ~ Cooking Steaks Indoors

Rain won't damper my steak plans...

No siree. Now I have on many occasions grilled outside during a light drizzle of rain, dodged a passing thunderstorm and took cover between rain clouds while barbecuing, even stood over hot embers flipping chicken with one hand while holding an umbrella with the other; not too much will keep me from missing my outdoor cookouts.  But when a nasty and hellacious thunderstorm system with tornadic conditions sets up camp right overhead, what's a hungry man to do?

It's indoor cooking time! But how do you make a steak cooked indoors taste just as good (if not better) than one cooked on a grill? Cook it like any respectable restaurant will do. Here's how . . .

First, depending on the type of steak will decide the length of time it will take to cook it. On most occasions, the favorite around our house is a good thick rib-eye or a nice filet of tenderloin. Of course, depending on what meats are on sale will too decide the cut. Sirloin and strip steaks cook a bit differently than say a filet. Are you using a wet marinade or a dry rub? And how you want your steak cooked, as in the degree of doneness depends too on the time taken to cook your steak.

Now, there are many cooking methods too. Some argue to cook a perfect steak indoors, as with the oven method as I do, you have to start with a fairly medium heated oven and lastly sear it on the stove over a high flame. This works and produces a very juicy steak, but it is not the only way.

I like to cook my steak using the older restaurant method. Start out with a fairly quick sear stove-top before moving it to a moderate hot oven to finish cooking. Of course, here again, how hot the heat on the stove will depend on how you prepped the steak. Too hot of temperature and a spice rub or sugar/soy based marinade will burn, and totally ruin your steak right from the get-go. Best to sear using a moderate to medium flame if this is the case.

Here is how I cooked the filets above:

Be sure to purchase nice, thick steaks.  1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch thick for rib-eyes, porterhouse, sirloin or strip steaks. A little thicker for filets is always nice. Mignon takes no time at all and can be cooked either stove-top or oven, rarely both as these are too small and will overcook in a hurry. See below for further explanation.

Square Grill Pan
I like to use a good seasoning rub depending on the cut (and my mood) to add to the natural flavor of beef. This time I used my newest Butcher's Rub and gave all sides a nice coating. Do this after the filets have set out at room temperature for about 30 to 40 minutes. Press the rub into the meat and allow to set out another 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a heavy cast iron skillet or grill pan, an oven-proof skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Use a grill pan as shown to get good grill marks on most steaks. I used a flat-bottom skillet this time 'cause I wanted to savor all the toasted garlic, you'll see...

Pour a good amount of peanut oil or an extra light olive oil ( or one for sauteing high temperature with a smoke point over 450°F ) over each steak and coat all sides liberally. I like to add a good dose of minced garlic to mine, (like a teaspoon to each side, the kind from the jar) right on top of each steak. When the skillet gets hot, place the steaks in the pan, not crowding, garlic side down and give the top of each steak another spoonful of garlic. Watch the steaks carefully turning down the heat as soon as you think the garlic is starting to sizzle. If you got the temp right, things should be fine. Let the steaks sear for about 3 minutes and turn the steaks over cooking another 3 minutes. Remember, this is for steaks about 1 1/2-inch thick.

Quick Read Thermometer
Now place the skillet in the oven on the middle rack and allow to cook until desired doneness. You can turn the steaks over if you want, I sometimes do not and it really doesn't matter. I cooked mine for about 8 minutes for medium rare.

Remove when internal temperature is right for you.

The most accurate way to determine doneness of steaks is with an instant-read thermometer by inserting it horizontally into the side of the steak so that the temperature sensitive tip of the thermometer reaches the thickest part of the center of the steak. Be careful to not touch bone or fat. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Culinary Center recommends cooking steaks to medium rare (145°F) or medium (160°F) doneness. I find this is overcompensation and will overcook the steak, at least in my house.

Here is a quick chart I use:

    Internal Temperature Guide for Steaks

Doneness:                    Desired Temp:            Stop Cooking At:
Very rare       120 °F        115 °F
Rare       125 °F        120 °F
Medium rare       130 °F        125 °F
Medium       140 °F        135 °F
Medium well       150 °F        145 °F
Well done       165 °F        160 °F

Allow steaks to set in pan for at least 5 minutes to reach desired temp before serving. If you cut into the steaks before this time, all of the glorious juices will run right out.

Serve with Horseradish Cream, Mushroom Ragoo, Marchand de Vin or enjoy just as it is. In the case of the garlic steaks above, we enjoyed them with just a tad of Horseradish Cream.

Notes: If cooking steaks at varying degree of doneness, I will use several skillets starting at different times so that all steaks will come out at the same time. Its not hard, you just gotta pay attention.

If using a wet marinade or sugary rub, you probably will need to sear the steaks at a little lower temperature to avoid burning the coating. Keep it hot enough so that it is cooking away the outside moisture, not allowing liquid to puddle in the skillet as is the case of latter stage braising technique.

About Filets:
Above is the beloved tenderloin, some say the crème de la crème of beef, the little used muscle that starts just past the rib cage and extends to the sirloin section of beef cut. While the entire muscle is termed tenderloin, the smaller end is where the true filet mignon comes and toward the opposite end comes the Chateaubriand.

While many folks including myself make a fuss over tenderloin, some say it is over rated and over priced. I will certainly agree with the latter. I do however find it is one cut of beef that is deserving of a rub or marinade of some sort. Ya gotta add flavor to it, even the old standby of a wrap of bacon helps immensely.

March 18, 2012

Drick's Butcher's Rub

Newest addition to my spice blends...

The term "butcher’s rub" refers to a coarser blend of spices blended especially to be both attractive and flavorful and designed to stand up to rigors of the cooking process whether it is grilling, pan-searing, broiling or roasting

Originally believed to have earned its name in the great steak houses pairing along side the stockyards, nowadays meat lovers and vegetarians’ alike use a butcher’s blend to enhance foods of every type. From casseroles, french fries, even popcorn. Such a rub stands up great to the slow cooking process of soups, stews and roasts. But with due respect, as its intended purpose, this is an excellent rub for meats of all kind like poultry, pork, beef and game.

To me, a great rub should embrace a balanced combination of herbs and spices and pleasingly pair with the subjected foods. Salt is in a butcher’s rub for a sole purpose other than flavor when rubbed on meats; to aid in desiccation of the meat’s surface in developing a good sear. This rub is one that I like as it has a tinge of Greek seasoning flavor excitingly paring with the boldness of black Tellicherry peppercorns. It is outstanding when added to ground beef in making burgers and meat loaf or splendid in stuffed green peppers too.


Drick's Butcher's Rub
Excellent Flavor! Perfect rub for chicken, turkey, pork and beef.

2 tablespoons coarsely ground Tellicherry peppercorns
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
1 tablespoon dehydrated garlic
1 teaspoon dehydrated red bell pepper (green will do)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 tablespoon dried rosemary
pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg

Measure all ingredients into a container and shake until thoroughly blended.
Store in cool dry place.
Sprinkle on meat prior to grilling,

Note: If your dehydrated vegetables are too large, give them a quick whirl in a spice grinder.

March 14, 2012

Pizza Top Casserole (Lasagna)

Can you say Amore?

Okay, how many of you like to pick the toppings from your pizza? Maybe not at first, but after a few slices, after you had your share of crust you get a little pickier and go for just the good stuff...

I have, maybe once, when cleaning up the kitchen eyed the lone slice left on the pan and having grown up under the rationale of 'waste not, want not' dutifully picked off the pepperoni, maybe the sausage crumbles along with a glob of melted cheese. Guilty am I. Go ahead, send me to the gallows but I won't go hungry, not after this one. Folks, I kinda surprise myself with how good this one actually is...

If by chance you might favor the essence of your favorite pizza toppings all congealed together in a flavorful tomato cheese sauce resting on the a bed of creamy cheesy noodles instead of pizza crust, then this dish is for you.


Pizza Top Casserole (Lasagna)
6 to 8 servings

4 cups uncooked egg noodles, I used wide dumpling style
1 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
(2nd day photo) may not be pretty, but it sho is good!
1/2 cup shredded Provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
3 garlic toes, minced
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (or casing removed from links)
1/2  pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1 -6 oz packaged sliced Pepperoni
1 -6 oz packaged sliced Canadian Bacon or ham
1 -4 oz can sliced black olives, drained well
1 -26.5 oz jar spaghetti or pasta sauce
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sour cream

Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, drain and set aside back in the pot. Mix the cheeses together in a bowl and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until brown on both sides. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic stirring to combine and cook tossing all while until vegetables are heated and crisp tender. Remove vegetables to a large warm bowl and keep warm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

In the same skillet, cook the sausage and ground beef until brown. Drain or sop any grease from the pan. Add the Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Remove to the bowl of cooked vegetables, cover and continue to keep warm.

Wipe the skillet or use a large saucepan to heat the spaghetti sauce. Stir in the half-and-half, Ranch dressing and seasonings to taste. Cook until heated and then remove from heat,

Add 1 cup of sauce to the noodles along with the sour cream stirring well. Add about 1/2 cup of the cheese blend to the noodles, stir to incorporate and spoon into the casserole dish spreading out to make the bottom layer.

Fold the meat mixture, vegetables and the remaining cheese blend into the sauce just enough to blend. Spoon this on top of the noodle mixture.

Bake for about 20 minutes uncovered or until casserole is nice and hot.

Note: Want more cheese or want to personalize this casserole to suit your taste? Go ahead, add more toppings, change out what-ever you please, add more cheese on top - after all, it's amore y'all.

March 10, 2012

Chipotle Chorizo Chili

Muy Caliente
 - hot, hot, hot -

If you like your chili hot and I mean as in heat from fiery roasted peppers, then this recipe is for you. Of course, you can always tame it by reducing the chipotle salsa, but then that's like watering down a hearty, chunky soup into bouillon broth.

My inspiration came from a meal I had a while back, chili con carne chocked full of chorizo in a red pepper sauce. I ordered it at our favorite Saturday night eating establishment only to find out it was so mild, I begged for heat - from a combination of table salsa fresca, jalapenos, even the hellish of hot Chile Habanero Sauce. Yup, it was that mild. So I made a mental note, even after several Modelo especials, to capture the essence of the dish that I desired, or rather the lack of, and I ended with a meaty, chorizo chili and beans with deep overtones of sweet smoky heat.


Chipotle Chorizo Chili
4 to 6 servings

1 pound uncooked chorizo sausage
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic toes, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 -7 oz can chipotle salsa, I used San Marcos brand
2 - 15 oz cans pinto or Latin red beans, drained
1 -10.5 oz can Campbell's condensed beef stock
1 -28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
Shredded cheese

Remove casing from sausage if in link form. In a medium stockpot over medium high heat, cook sausage until brown; break up any large pieces. Stir in the onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Drain off the grease from the sausage (or sop it up with paper towels). Stir in the chili powder, cumin and the chipotle salsa. Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the pinto beans with the beef stock in a glass bowl and microwave for about 5 minutes cooking until tender. Add to the sausage mixture and return to simmer. Add tomatoes with juice; cook covered for another 10 minutes and serve with a topping of cheese.

Note: Add sour cream and cilantro if desired.

March 3, 2012

Grandiose Potato Roast

When a name says it all...

There are times when you bring a side dish to the table and if you are lucky, you might hear a few ahs and oohs, maybe a favorable comment to change the conversation from the horrors of our day. If you are lucky, a really nice follow up of 'hurry, say grace and let's eat' is nice.

Impressive and down right delicious, this is one dish I will not take credit for, at least not in idea as I first saw it posted on Pinterest. I chased down the recipe and of course, made my usual changes to accommodate our taste plus made a change up in prep and added a few lacking ingredients for taste; all were obvious oversights I am sure... oh well, poor Martha can't be everywhere. You can put this one in the category of 'somewhat new recipe with a much better name'.


Grandiose Potato Roast 
4 servings

2 large shallots
2 green onions
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon no-salt Creole seasoning
dash of celery salt
several grinds of black pepper
2 garlic toes, minced
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 large baking potatoes, flat and long works best
Peel and slice the shallots thinly. Slice green onions, separating green and white parts. Put all aside.

Peel the potatoes and slice as thin as you can, about 1/8-inch thick. Put aside.

In a medium bowl, add the butter and olive oil and mix together. Stir in the creole seasoning, celery salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Carefully toss in the potatoes taking care not to break the slices.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray, or butter the bottom and sides. Arrange the potato slices vertically in a randomly gathered order in the baking dish. (Meaning large slices mingled with small pieces.) Place the shallots and the white part of the green onions in between the potato slices distributing throughout. Reserve remaining oil mixture in bowl.

Bake for about 75 minutes.

Reheat the oil and butter mixture if needed in the microwave and toss in the green onion tops. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the potatoes and brush with remaining oil/butter mixture. Bake another 20 minutes or until the top is nice and brown with a crisp finished appearance.

March 1, 2012

Classic Creole Turtle Soup

This one's for you Doc...

Continuing my desire to showcase recipes from time to time of 'out-of-ordinary' features, I am today sharing one I've had now for some while, so long in fact I had almost forgotten about it. From my Shut Yo Mouth collection of fine food dishes comes this stew-like soup that is synonymous in fine dining establishment along the coast, especially in New Orleans, as say Gumbo and Oyster Soup. Y'all do remember another Shut Yo Mouth recipe on the subject a while back - Meat Pies? Well, the one below is actually requested.

After a somewhat lengthy conversation with my doctor, we began talking of dining establishments and of favorite foods, one of his being a bowl of Turtle Soup. Now there are many versions, most are thin, made of light broths and with bits of beef or veal but the ones that get our palates slippery are thick as Creole gravy and heartier than a bowl of grillades right from a boucherie's pot, French influenced of course. Now, the lip-smacker taste in a real delectable bowl of Turtle Soup, yup, is the use of real turtle meat and the snapping turtle variety is preferred. But these days, a good snapping cooter is hard to come by not to mention, turtles are being snatched up along the Mobile-Tensaw Delta faster than China's leader-in-waiting can throw a conniption fit, then are shipped off to Asian markets. Seems Asia has over-harvested it's share of cooters and that is why they are after ours.
photo by Ben Raines, Press-Register

See how the Asian market is affecting our turtles on

Now from what I remember about Turtle Soup, ya just gotta start with a good dark roux followed of course by the trinity of southern cookery. Rich broth from only roasted cowan (that's Creole for turtle) maybe beef bones (or ox tails) thrown in for good measure, ripe juicy Creole fresh tomatoes must be added along with a few ingredients from your everyday Creole spice rack. And don't forget grated turtle eggs and a good kiss of a hot sauce made from vintage dry sherry and bird's-eye peppers. Well, that's what I remember but that don't mean it's what we might get. You see, I'm not in a turtle hunting mood and my nearest Asian market does not carry turtle meat. Sorry Doc. So here is the recipe with a few alternative suggestions to make a 'Mock Turtle Soup' which is still a very desirable, yet rich soup. Enjoy!

Creole Turtle Soup
This is a very complex soup as turtle meat can be dominating as well as bold in flavor. Some folks say turtles consist of seven varying flavors of meat and a really good soup will use all of these areas of the turtle. 
6 servings

2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound turtle meat cut into varying 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes (or veal, chicken thighs, beef, alligator, maybe a little ham for flavoring)
2 medium white onions, finely diced
4 stalks of celery, finely diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup green onion, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
pinch of allspice and cayenne
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoons crushed thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried Marjoram
1 1/2 pounds fresh Creole tomatoes, pureed (or about 6 medium very ripe on-the-vine type)
1 quart stock from roasted turtle (or oxtail and beef bones)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons finely chopped Italian parsley
3 hard boiled eggs, whites diced and yolks riced
1/2 cup Madeira wine or 1/4 cup dry sherry
lemon slices and finely chopped Italian parsley for garnishment

In a heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast-iron), melt the 1 cup of butter over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook to make a peanut butter colored roux lifting the flour from the bottom with a flat-tip spatula. Be careful not to scorch when making roux with butter. Turn down heat as roux begins to darken stirring all while making it dark brown. Or, you can use my browned flour method (see Turkey Bone Gumbo) for a faster making roux.  Set aside.

In a 5-quart saucepan, add the 2 tablespoons of butter along with the olive oil over high heat; add turtle meat. Cook stirring until the meat is brown. Add onions, celery, green pepper, garlic, green onion and seasonings. Lower heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the tomato purée, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Note: if your tomatoes are not meaty, add a tablespoon or two of canned tomato puree. Add the stock and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove bay leaves. Slowly stir in the roux and cook over low heat stirring until the soup thickens and is smooth. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon juice and 3 teaspoons of parsley.

When ready to serve, add the riced egg yolks to the soup, stir to incorporate and ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle the egg whites over the soup, add a lemon slice and a garnish of chopped parsley. Spoon the Madeira (4 teaspoons ea serving) or dry sherry (2 teaspoons) on the soup at the table.