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.

June 26, 2013

Grilled Dijon Chicken with Lemon Herb Sop

Moist, tender and flavorful - almost healthy!

It has always interested me from where foodstuff comes. The main element of the marinade for this grilled chicken recipe is without exception. Dijon mustard appeared in the south as did many other condiments and spices, by way of the French settlers in the early 1700's. And like so many good things from Europe, it comes from Monks, of the Catholic faith. The church brought us this fine grained mustard from the area of St. Germain des Pres in 10th century for all to enjoy, though, I suspect it was for profit. By the 13th century, Dijon France became the dominating source for this luxurious mustard type.

Now, I started this recipe post with the words almost healthy because it is almost fat free with the exception of what little fat remains on the chicken after grilling. With the skin removed, we give up a heck of fat calories and some would say flavor too. But, I think this sop makes up for the missing flavor, and calories. I know it sure made me feel better about eating it. Enjoy!

Grilled Dijon Chicken with Lemon Herb Sop
serves 4

4 large bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard with wine
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Montreal chicken seasoning (25% less sodium)
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon crushed dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme

Mix the two mustard together along with the pepper. Rub all over the chicken breast. Season with the Montreal seasoning. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Remove chicken and allow to set about 15 minutes before grilling.

Make the sop by combining remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Use this sop on the chicken the latter part of grilling or at the first notice that the surface is drying out. If you run out of sop before chicken is ready, it's okay. The sop is meant to seal in the juices as well as add flavor.

Heat grill to 325 degrees and slow cook the chicken on the cooler side of the heat source. I moved the chicken over to the heat from time to time as I basted. Cooking time was about 1:30 hrs. to reach the internal temp of 165 degrees F.

June 19, 2013

Chipotle Grilled Ribs with Citrus Pepper Salsa

  • rib tail-end smothered in Citrus Pepper Salsa
  • one rib is topped with tomatillo salsa too

Recipe for grilling pork ribs, Mexican style.

Folks, this recipe will knock your socks off. Well, around these parts, and this time of year y'all know we're barefooted anyway so I guess you can say, "it already did."

Now, by no means is this to endorse any product. It is what it is. But have any of you tried the pepper sauce from Tabasco made with vine-ripened, red jalapeƱo peppers smoked over a smoldering fire? It's a rich, thick-bodied sauce ideally balanced in heat and flavor. Prized in ancient Mexican civilizations, even before the time of the Aztecs, the chipotle pepper is known for its dark, smoky flavor. It's a natural for barbeque foods and sauces. Get a coupon here.

I know you will like the way it helps bring out the smoky flavors of grilled ribs. Here's the recipe from my house this past weekend. Enjoy!

Chipotle Grilled Ribs with Citrus Pepper Salsa
serves 4 hungry folks

For Two -3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork ribs (I used St. Louis cut)

for the Rub:
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground ancho chiles – or chile powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion

for the Mop:
4 garlic cloves, chopped garlic
1 large green mild chile, stemmed and seeded
2 tomatillos, washed and quartered
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup, freshly squeezed lime juice
Juice of 2 large oranges
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup nectarine juice
1/2 cup native honey

for the Citrus Pepper Salsa:
2 tomatillos, washed and quartered
1 large green hot chile, stemmed and seeded
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 ground oregano
3 cloves garlic, minces
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice of 1/2 orange

Prepare the rub by mixing all together in a small bowl.

Sprinkle and rub generously on both sides of each prepped rib. Allow to set for 4 to 6 hours covered in the refrigerator. Remove 1 hour prior to grilling.

Add the chopped vegetables to a medium saucepan.

Add remaining ingredients for the mop to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Using the container of your blender, add the mixture and pulse until mostly liquefied. Set aside until ready to grill.

Prepare the Salsa in the same manner. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until vegetables soften. Blend until creamy as desired. I used a hand-held blender and kept some of the veggies in larger bits. Set aside.

Prepare the grill by creating the center or one side with low heat and the outer or opposite side with medium heat. Place the room temperature ribs, bone side down, on the cooler part of the grill. Close the grill lid and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate ribs and flip placing meaty side down. Cover with lid and cook another 10 minutes. At this time, turn off heat under ribs (or move coals to the outer sides) and begin applying the mop. Always keep lid closed as much as possible. Ideal cooking temperature is around 375 degrees F. Add more briskets if using charcoal.

About every 30 minutes, rotate and flip the rips and apply another generous coating of the mop. Cook the ribs about 2 hours using this method.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

By now, the ribs will be nice and coated with the chipotle pepper mop.

Remove to a non-reactive pan. Add about 1/2 cup or more of water to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes uncovered or until the water is mostly evaporated. Remove from oven and cover pan with foil. Allow to set for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving with the Citrus Pepper Salsa.

Top with tomatillo salsa or fresh limes and more of the Tabasco Chipotle pepper sauce if desired.

June 6, 2013

Squash and Tomato Tian

Summer Fresh means Good n' Healthy

Layered summer vegetables in a casserole is nothing new but in our household, a dish without a sauce or filling, or a vegetable pie without a crust is very much new. Heck, a side dish without butter causes eyebrows to rise with the mere mention of lack of such.

This is a take on an old southern garden favorite featuring the bounty of fresh, summer vegetables without using a crust, any butter or a binder such as mayo or heavy cream. In other words, it is a much healthier option version of a Tomato and Squash Pie and it's taste is outstanding; a real bonus when you are watching carbs and calories. A classic casserole truer to southern kitchens made a while back melding tomatoes with yellow squash is my Squash and Tomato Wonder. Other pies include  Tomato PieTomato Spinach Pie, Fresh Corn and Tomato Pie and Vidalia Onion Pie.


Healthy Squash and Tomato Tian
serves 4

4 small yellow squash
3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
1 small Vidalia onion
extra virgin olive oil
salt-free seasoning
1 tablespoon minced crisp bacon
2 tablespoon part-skim milk cheese blend

Slice squash, tomatoes and onions uniformly in quarter-inch disks. Lay on double thick paper towels. Lightly sprinkle the top with salt.
Allow to set at least an hour to draw away liquid. Lay another layer of paper towel on top to absorb liquid and wipe away moisture and salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large 10-inch pie plate, add enough olive oil to coat bottom. Add layers of squash, onion and tomatoes. Give a light sprinkle of seasoning and add the bacon. Repeat with a second layer of vegetables and seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil. Follow topping with the cheese.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Serve hot.