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.

October 27, 2012

Parsley Rice

Rice history in the US
and a good rice recipe.

The cultivation of rice in America began in reality by accident when a storm-battered ship sailing from Madagascar limped into the Charles Towne harbor (Charleston SC) back in 1685. To repay the kindness of the colonists for repairs to the ship, the captain offered a gift of a small quantity of "Golden Seede Rice" (named for its color) to a local planter.

October 23, 2012

Brown Sugar Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes and Onion Gravy

A recipe steeped in Southern tradition

There are a few folks, a handful, that know a thing or two of how pork entered into our native land. The folks I am referring to have in possession a first peek at my latest cookbook, an online digital copy featuring recipes of our Mobile area and of our area's history, folklore, trivia and at times, plain ol' storytelling. And, in this recipe 'book' contains the story of how pork as we know it, gained foothold on our land and in our Southern area, first brought to us by the Spaniards. If you remember, these folks were the winners of a contest last year and the cookbook was a prize to weekly winners.

October 20, 2012

Green Beans, Herbs and Tomatoes

Garden Fresh Taste,
a Perfect Side Dish for Fall and Winter

I just love green beans and when I see a bin of them at the market, all nice and fresh, I want to buy the whole shebang, not that the bin is that large mind you, but more than I could possibly cook at one time.

Now, for those of you who do not know or are curious like myself, having heard the expression all my life, I thought it implied to something of quantity.  Turns out the first mention of shebang in American print comes from Walt Whitman back in 1862 referring to a dwelling or rustic hut. Later Mark Twain used shebang to size up an automobile in 1872. Many say the term comes from the French char-à-bancs - carriage with benches. So now you have it, at least what I could find on the matter. Somewhat confusing...

October 18, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower

The best cauliflower, yet.

This is my new way in enjoying cauliflower!


Roasted to perfection, with a crisp, savory coating - zippy and tangy from the Creole spices and lemon, this is one snappy side dish that will be making a comeback in my kitchen many times. A great way to enjoy cauliflower.

Hope you try it as I think you will like it too.  Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower
serves 4

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon salt-free Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon cornstarch
good dash of lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk the garlic, salt, Creole seasoning, cornstarch with the lemon and oil in a medium bowl.

Wash the cauliflower with cold water and toss thoroughly with the seasoning mixture.

Arrange florets on a baking pan and roast for 8 minutes. Turn the florets over and roast for 7 minutes.

Turn the oven to broil and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the florets over and cook for 2 minutes. Remove to a serving dish or individual servers.

October 14, 2012

Creamy Crust Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

A Pot Pie with a Dumpling topping
Yeah, I think the name pretty much sums it up.

There have been a whole lot of recipes like this one all over the place lately, photos of just about every chicken pie or dumpling casserole going viral on the internet. Must be something good about a chicken casserole, huh?

Well, this one is a take on many. After looking at several photos, I decided what I wanted my casserole to taste like, a pot pie with a creamy, almost dumpling-like topping. This fits the bill. Enjoy!

Creamy Crust Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
6 to 8 servings

1 rotisserie cooked deli chicken
2 cups chicken stock (homemade or reduced sodium broth)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups frozen vegetables ( from a 16 oz bag)
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon shortening or oil
1 cup milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 extra-large Knorr chicken bouillon cube
black pepper and salt

Remove skin and debone chicken. Tear the meat into bite size pieces and put aside in a large bowl.

Defrost the vegetables with just a little water in a medium bowl. Drain in a colander and toss with the chicken, thyme, oregano and however much salt and pepper you desire. We like a good bit of pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add butter to a 9x13-inch casserole and allow to melt in the oven. Place the chicken mixture into the butter.

Mix the flour, baking powder and shortening with a whisk until well combined. Whisk in the milk and carefully pour over the mixture. Do not stir the layers.

In the medium bowl, heat the chicken stock in the microwave until warm. Whisk in the the chicken bouillon until dissolved and then add in the chicken soup. Gently pour this over the batter mixture. Do not stir the layers.

Bake in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top turns nice and golden.

Note: For the vegetables, I used a soup mix (because that is what I had in the freezer) which was great with carrots, potatoes, corn, green beans, tomatoes, onions, okra and celery. I especially like the tomatoes and okra; the only missing vegetable from the 'normal' blend was the english pea.

October 12, 2012

Loaded Meaty Lasagna

Meat, Meat Please

First, let me say, this is in no way an 'authentic' Italian recipe. It does contain many Italian ingredients and flavors, but ya not gonna find it in the Encyclopedia of Regional Italian Cuisine. Like most of my recipes, I just made it up.

This one is for the folks, ya know who you we are, that like a lot of meat in casseroles. Yup, those 'meat and potato' fellers that line up at diners across Americana eateries. Layered in this easy-to-make chunky pasta sauce is four kinds of meat not to mention (okay, I will) five vegetables and a blend of yummy cheeses. Go ahead, loosen up your belt, roll up your sleeves and make a meal out of this one. Enjoy!

October 9, 2012

Helluva Spinach Casserole

It's one Helluva Casserole

The name has nothing to do with the brand of dairy products. I gave it that name because of the taste: slight heat and awesomeness.

Momma made a casserole similar to this one, and when company came a'calling, she would add chopped cooked eggs to make it 'extra-special'. How many of you remember that? Back to a time when adding nuts, water chestnuts and other thingies made side-dishes fancy. Maybe it was small town living, maybe occurring in the south, I dunno, but I suspect all mothers did it.

This recipe results in a stiff, firm casserole meaning it sets up solid yet it still remains moist with a creamy texture. Cut it into squares if you like and dollop each serving with a smidgen of diced tomatoes or pimento. Whoa, that is my kind of eating and one craving for good eats! I halved the recipe to test it out but I cannot wait to make this again as I wrote it when company comes a'calling. Enjoy!

Helluva Spinach Casserole
6 to 8 servings

2 -10 oz packages frozen chopped spinach
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon Adobo seasoning or Season-All
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted margarine
1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup french fried jalapeno strips

Cook the spinach according to package directions (I use the microwave version) and drain. Squeeze spinach between several layers of paper towels to remove the moisture.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, cottage cheese and Adobo seasoning (or All-Seasoning) together. Mix in the spinach and then the melted margarine. Fold in the cheddar cheese.

Spoon mixture into a greased 2 1/2 quart casserole and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until center is set. Top with the fried jalapenos and bake another 5 to 10 minutes to brown.

Note: If you cannot find french fried jalapeno strips, the onion variety would be another option.

October 5, 2012

Sweet and Zingy Buffalo Wings

My best take on
Buffalo Wings

After several attempts of dabbling with ingredients, many wings later and many tips discarded, I finally tweaked my recipe to my liking. Hopefully, you will like them too.

Now I am a true believer in using a brine with wings mainly to get them all pump up with extra moisture, which of course helps 'em from drying out. It also adds another layer of flavor to the sweet meat. It doesn't take but an extra few minutes of prep time and about 30 minutes in the fridge is a good rule of thumb, although I do it longer. A reader once wrote on another recipe that he had never used a brine on wings but after doing it once, will never cook them again without it. It really does matter - so I think too.

Although you might think hot because of the name, these wings are to me fairly mild - with just enough heat to carry the name and with just enough slightly sweet flavor to make you want more. Enjoy!

Drick's Buffalo Wings
8-12 appetizer servings

24 wings, separated, tips removed
brine solution or salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Go ahead, do it - place the chicken wings in a sealable bag and add a brine soulution. This time I used I used 2 cups water, 1/3 cup Kosher salt, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon crushed oregano. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or no longer than a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the oil, butter and remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Allow mixture to come to a simmer over low heat. Stir to incorporate and let simmer about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Drain wings and pat dry with paper towers. Arrange on baking pans (sprayed with cooking oil) separated so each are not touching skin side up. Place in oven, reduce heat to 375 and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook 10 minutes.

Remove wings to a casserole or deep pan. Pour sauce over wings, toss to coat and return to oven. Cook about 15 minutes tossing occasionally or until most of the sauce has cook onto the wings.

Note: I know these would be exceptional cooked outside on a grill, however, the weather did not co-operate this time. I plan to do it soon by cooking the wings off heat, medium high until cooked followed with several baths into the buffalo sauce.

October 2, 2012

Shredded Chicken Enchilada Recipe

A Saucy Casserole 
to Feel Good About

How many ways can we make enchiladas? Something about these rolled packets of goodness makes us come up with so many different ways. We have veggie filled, arnitas style, rancheros, suizas, verdes and sarapas ways of serving; fillings of shrimp, beef, spinach, pork, chicken and cheese, just to name a few.

I like the way this recipe turned out not only 'cause it was easy; the chicken cooked in the enchilada sauce with a twofold purpose - to soak up the wonderful flavor of the sauce and to add more flavor to the sauce. Give and take. Now, many times I will soak the tortillas in the sauce and give them a light fry before rolling them up, but this bake method works pretty good too. Enjoy!

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic toes, minced
1 tablespoons flour
1 -28 oz can Enchilada sauce or make your own
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 -4 oz can diced green chiles, drained
12 -6 inch corn tortillas
cilantro for garnish if desired

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the enchilida sauce, chicken stock and bring to a low boil. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts and place in the sauce. Cover the chicken with the sauce and allow to come to a low simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and set sauce aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Shred the chicken using two forks. You do this by holding one fork into a chicken breast steadily while the other fork with its prongs facing backwards, 'scrapes' the edge and shreds the chicken by pulling away. Place the shredded chicken into a bowl and add about half of the sauce. Add half the cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses along with the green onions. Gently combine the mixture.

Brush each side of every corn tortilla with just a little oil and randomly place on a baking sheet.  Do not stack more than 2 high. Place in the oven and cook until hot, leaving the tortillas pliable and soft, not crisp. Remove, stack and wrap in paper towers.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F.Spray a casserole (9x13 inch) with cooking spray.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla and gently roll the tortilla firmly around the filling. Place each seam side down in the casserole. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the tortillas turn golden in color.

Reduce oven to 400.  Stir the chiles into the remaining sauce and pour enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas. Top with the remaining cheese, cilantro if desired and lightly cover with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 to 10 minutes until cheese begins to turn brown.

Allow enchiladas to stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

We like a good dollop of sour cream, pico de gallo, and a side of rice and beans.