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.

December 31, 2015

Savory Southern Stuffed Chicken Breasts

roasted chicken breast stuffed with southern dressing

Recipe Reminiscent of Grandma's Cooking!

My Grandmother never stuffed a chicken, or at least, one that I can recall. She did a lot of things with the old bird but stuffing it or even the breast was not one of them. This recipe is more a take on the taste of foods when sitting around her grand dining room table, be it on a Sunday or maybe for a special occasion.

Now my Grandmother made the best cornbread dressing that I have ever tasted. I bet many of you say the same about your Grand, maybe of your Mom. And when her dressing plated with perfectly roasted chicken, now that was a fine, meaningful meal. A mouthful of savory taste. That is what this recipe is all about – a homecoming of flavor. Enjoy!

Southern Stuffed Chicken Breast

4 Servings
1/2 cup finely chopped smoked link sausage
2 tablespoons butter or butter combined with bacon fat
1/3 cup finely diced bell pepper medley
1/3 cup finely diced sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup finely crumbled plain cornbread
Chicken seasoning and black pepper to taste
4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Badia Poultry Seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chicken stock
2 tablespoons white port

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add sausage and butter/bacon fat mixture. Cook stirring until sausage is brown. Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic and sauté until vegetables are soft. Stir in the 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Gently stir in cornbread and turn off heat and let set. Do not mush the cornbread.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil or melted butter. Put aside.

Rinse each chicken breast under running water and pat completely dry. Split each breast horizontally in half cutting almost to the outer edge toward the larger side. Lay the opened breasts in a flat pan cut side down (I use a cookie sheet), and lightly salt and pepper the outside. Season with the chicken seasoning. Turn each over and spoon 1/4th of the cornbread stuffing onto the center of each breast. Add 1 oz of cream cheese into the each of the stuffing. Fold over the top of each breast and place in the prepared roasting pan.

 
Place in oven for 20 minutes.

Combine the 2 tablespoons of chicken stock with the wine and spoon over the breasts.
 

Continue baking until chicken is done (meat should register 165 degrees F on meat thermometer) basting with the pan drippings every so often. Strain the drippings and serve with chicken if desired.


December 23, 2015

Green Bean Bundles, Southern Style

Savory, Not Sweet Green Bean Bundles

When holidays come around, we all tend to take the little extra step, the extra effort in preparing foods for our loved ones. Taking ordinary ingredients, like green beans, and making it into a dish that is little special, a bit more fancied up.

I've had my share of green bean bundles and it seems the favorite to many is a taste of the brown sugar addition. Now don't get me wrong, I love our sugar cane derived brown sugar. But not with green beans and bacon, or at least, not this time. This recipe is one I tinkered with to bring out the southern flavors of the bacon along with our love of the bay leaf. It's a bit more savory than the brown sugar version, has more taste to it, marries well on the palate, or at least I think. Enjoy!

Southern Green Bean Bundles

Makes 8 bundles

1 pound fresh, whole green beans
salt
8 slices smoked bacon
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp garlic and parsley blend
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground bay leaf or thyme
freshly cracked peppercorns

Wash and remove ends of green beans. Blanch in salted boiling water until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

Partially precook bacon on a small baking pan in preheated 350 degree F oven. Place slices of bacon on paper towel, reserve bacon grease in the pan. Dust the top with a mixture of the flour, garlic and onion powders and the ground bay leaf, using about half of the mixture. Give a good coating of pepper.

Increase oven to 400 degrees F.

Place green beans onto the baking pan and roll around to coat with the grease. Lightly sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture. Divide green beans into 8 bundles. Wrap bacon around each bundle with the seasoned side of the bacon on the outside.

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Remove and serve warm.





December 16, 2015

Marinated Chuck Roast Recipe

A Very Flavorful Sunday Dinner Roast.

I remember to this day, my dear Aunt Ida smiling ever so effortless to the butcher behind the meat counter. He had just told her the price of her soon-to-be Sunday chuck roast. Little did she know that I recognized a flutter of her eyelids at the mention of thirty-nine cents per pound. As she smiled and graciously recognized the rise of groceries, she also verbalized that it was two cents lower across town at Piggy Wiggly. But then, as she later told me, this was our butcher, our friend who ran a small, independent grocer. We have to do what we can to support our local merchants, the small businesses, the real livelihood of our township she said.

That was back in 1965, and as I shop today looking at the price of beef, I too would love to go back to thirty-nine cents per pound - do away with the additional four dollars added to it . . . and that is today's sale price. A chuck roast has always been a more economical cut of beef and yet it is a favorite to serve for Sunday Dinners. With proper preparation and cooking technique, this and other less expensive cuts like blade and rump can result in the same tenderness as the higher priced sirloin tip and rib. The secret is to cook less expensive roasts in liquid as the simmering produces a very tender and flavorful roast.

Enjoy!

Marinated Chuck Roast

4 to 6 servings
1 -3 to 4 pound beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
1 teaspoon salt
Marinade below
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or mixed with rendered bacon grease
2 cups cut-up carrots, bite size
1/2 rib celery, diced
1/4 chopped bell pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 -10.5 oz condensed beef broth (red can)
10 or 12 small fingerlings, new reds or yellow gold potatoes, cut in half

Bourbon Marinade for Beef
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried garlic-parsley blend
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons bourbon

Rub the salt all over the roast and place in a zip-lock bag or resealable marinade container. Do not over salt. Mix the brown sugar, pepper, garlic blend, onion powder, Worcestershire, vinegar and bourbon together and pour over the roast. Refrigerate for 12 hours or at least 4 rotating often.


Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove and drain roast from marinade. Place marinade aside. In a large deep skillet with lid, heat over medium high heat and add oil. Sear roast on all sides to brown the outer surface.


Remove roast to a platter. Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper and onion to skillet. Reduce heat to medium and saute to get a golden brown caramel edge on the onions.


Toss after about 5 minutes and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove vegetables to a bowl lined with paper towels and cover. Wipe away any remaining oil from the pan.

Mix the reserved marinade and the beef broth in the skillet and slide the roast into the liquid. Cook covered in the oven with a tight fitting lid for about 2 hours. Carefully add the potatoes to the liquid around the roast and place the cooked vegetables on top and around the roast. 


Continue cooking covered another 1/2 hour or until vegetable are tender. Remove roast and vegetables to a platter for serving if desired and use the liquid in the skillet for a mouth-watering sauce, either au jus style or with a thickener for gravy.

Note: Dried Garlic-Parsley Blend is a ready made blend of dehydrated bits of garlic mixed with parsley from Badia. I use it frequently but if you cannot find it, substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a good pinch of dried parsley flakes.

December 10, 2015

Christmas Sweets for Everyone

Make it. Bake it. They will come!

It's that time of year again. Spoonful drops of fruity or chocolaty dough dangling over pans ready for a hot oven, bowls of sugar cookie dough patiently waiting in turn for a roll and jars of jams, bowls of candied cherries, bags of brickle, caramel and chocolate drops eagerly needing a resting place. It's that time for baking treasured treats, newly discovered cookie recipes, heirloom cakes and Grandma's favorite fruit cake.

Here's a sampling of goodies we like:

Cookies and Bars

Ambrosia Cookies

A Southern Tradition

Almond Roca Cookie Squares

A Hometown Favorite

Cinnamon Orange Cookies

Full of Tropical Flavors

Molasses Stage Planks

Southern Heritage Sugar Cane Cookie


Washboard Cookies

Old Fashion Coconut Cookie with Orange Glaze

Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies

with Cinnamon Frosting too

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownie

Cakes

Brown Sugar Chocolate Cake

with "foolish" cherries on top!

Christmas Lane Cake

An Alabama Original

Chocolate Tube Cake

With a Pecan Fudge Topping

Southern Comfort Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Batter with Bourbon

Very Special Red Velvet Cake

for Special Occasions

Sticky Pecan Apple Cake

for the Warm and Fuzzy time of year


Treats and Snacks

Church Street Scrabble

our family snack mix

Smokin' Nut Mix

Roasted with a Smoky flavor

Sugarplums

Old Fashion Treats