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.

April 24, 2013

Barbecue Baked Beans, Low Sugar Recipe

Reduced sugar version without loosing taste.

As I prepared this recipe for a cookout last week, I wanted to maintain the version of baked beans I know belong on plates along the South. One with a deep brown sugar, cane syrup or molasses base and made just like I was taught, with ketchup, mustard and bacon to help deepen the flavor. But the thing about my making a different recipe other than using my regular one, was that I needed one suitable for diabetics. So, I turned to Mayo clinic and found a recipe that formed the basis for this one. To my surprise, the Mayo version contained molasses and bacon.

I opted to start with dried beans only because I think they are better for diabetics. I skipped the molasses and used Splenda brown sugar blend. I like to use Spenda 'cause it doesn't break down during cooking and do funny things or become weird tasting. Now as for keeping the taste true to what barbecue beans should be, I caramelized the onions and added savory ingredients for the depth. Hope you try this one, and to be honest, I couldn't tell much difference than when I use 1/3 cup brown sugar in my regular recipe. Enjoy!

Barbecue Beans for Diabetic Eating
8 to10 servings

1 cup dried navy or northern beans (3 cups soaked)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 bay leaf
3 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle pepper sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup low sugar ketchup
1 teaspoon reduced sodium Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar blend

To prepare the dried beans: In a large saucepan, add beans and cover with water 2-inches above the beans. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. At boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour. Drain.

Add the soaked beans back into the saucepan over medium high heat along with the chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook for 60-75 minutes or until beans are cooked. You can tell when they are still firm yet give easily when mashed. Turn off heat, remove bay leaf and let set covered.

In a small skillet, saute the bacon over medium high heat until bacon is brown and crispy. Remove bacon to drain on a paper lined plate. Discard all but 1-tablespoon of the bacon grease. Saute the onions until clear. Remove from heat and add the bell pepper.

Mix the cider vinegar with the remaining ingredients in a 3-quart casserole with a tight fitting lid. Stir in the onion and peppers. Spoon the beans on top and even out. Add enough of the bean liquid to cover about 1-inch.

Place in the oven covered and bake at 325 degrees F. about 1 1/2 hours. Stir every 30-minutes and add more broth if needed.

April 18, 2013

Best Tasting, Fajita Beef Kabobs

Easy grilling with a superb and unrivaled outdoor taste.

Nothing beats the taste of grilled beef kabobs. And there aren't too many fine meals that come together so effortless either.

A little prep time of cutting the beef sirloin, top round or tenderloin into sections of about 1-inch x 1/2-inch along with a few savory vegetables is all the time you need in preparing this one. Well, you gotta whip up the marinade of course and thread the skewers too but after that, it's a quick trip to the hot grill and in no time flat, you're on your way to some fine eating. Be sure to cut the vegetables (like onions, bell pepper, squash, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc.) the same diameter as the beef. And be sure to place the onion and bell pepper directly next to the meat for added flavor.

I let the beef marinate about an hour and brush it on as the kabobs grill away. Be sure to place the kabobs over a hot fire and watch carefully, it won't take no time at all. Why, I bet you won't be able to finish your beer.

I can't wait to try this marinade on chicken wings too. It is outstanding in flavor and made the meat tender and the vegetables extraordinarily tasty.

Fajita Marinade for Kabobs
~works well on chicken too

1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons low sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic toes, minced
1 teaspoon pure clover honey
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra light olive oil

Allow the meat to marinate at least an hour, two would be great. Use the marinade to brush on the kabobs during the first rotation of grilling.

April 9, 2013

Seasoned Country Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops

Get your taste buds ready!

The beginning of a mouth-watering and head nodding approved meal in our house normally begins with a long stare at the entree as it arrives to the table. In this case, a thick ol' southern fried pork chop seasoned perfectly.

I say perfectly 'cause this is how we do it. Each bite of this moist, well flavored chop is a celebration of goodness. And if cooked right, not only is it tasty but tender as can be and so moist, that the juicy goodness runs down the fork. Now of course, ya might want to save all the pan renderings for some good ol' brown gravy, as we do sometimes, or you might want to go with the simplicity of enjoying the chop naked. And if you notice in this recipe from way back when frying was acceptable, and was the mainstay on every southern table, you will notice good ol' shortening is used as the oil of choice. Butter is added to assist in acquiring a nice, ultra-thin crispy brown crust from a simple dredging in the seasoned flour. No egg, milk or buttermilk here, simple and pure. Enjoy!

Country Fried Thick Pork Chops
2 servings - or increase for more servings

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup Crisco
1 tablespoon butter
2 -1 to 1 1/2 inch thick pork chops

In a wide, shallow bowl, mix the flour and cornstarch with the seasonings.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pat the chops dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. In a wide enough skillet without crowding the chops, heat the shortening over medium heat. Dredge the chops in the mixture coating both sides well.

When shortening is melted and hot, add butter and just as it starts to color, shake excess flour from chops and add to the skillet. Cook 6 to 8 minutes per side.

Remove chops to a baking pan and place in the oven. Cook until internal temp is 145, about 15 minutes. Let rest tented with foil for 5 minutes before serving.

April 3, 2013

Chicken Kabob Marinade Recipe

Great, Simple Grilled Taste.

Turkish in origin, the famous shish kabab, or kabob as we say it, is an easy, inexpensive and quick way to enjoy dining al fresco.  Shish, meaning 'skewer', is also fun to cook and eat.

On the way home from work, a stop at the grocer the other day had me puzzled as to what to prepare for supper. Instantly I thought of kabobs. Chicken marinates fairly quickly especially when you cut it into bite size pieces and it cooks in less than 15 minutes. While the meat marinates is plenty of time to prep the onion and bell pepper to aid in flavoring the chicken on the skewers. And during this time, I steamed a bunch of asparagus, prepped the bread and also had a left-over casserole heating in the oven.  Ninety minutes later, we were enjoying a wonderful meal on the patio as the sun went down for the evening.

This is a simple yet flavorful marinade that I think brings out a great, grilled chicken taste. Enjoy!

Chicken Kabob Marinade
about 4 servings

2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, breast or thigh meat, cubed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon light vegetable oil

Whisk the lemon juice, soy, vinegar, garlic powder, pepper, salt, bay leaf powder, onion powder and cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk in the oil and mix in the chicken coating well. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove and thread onto skewers for grilling. Use the marinade as a grilling baste during the first rotation.