Recipes: Gifts from the gulf

Alabama Living Magazine

By Jennifer Kornegay | Food prepared and photographed by Brooke Echols

Indulge in shrimp and other shellfish fresh from Alabama’s Gulf Coast waters.

If you’re a fan of shrimp, crabs, oysters and more, count yourself lucky to live in Alabama. Our state’s Gulf Coast waters are teeming with these tasty animals, and dedicated men and women – some who’ve been in the seafood industry for decades – are working hard to snatch them up and get them to consumers. With a ready supply of Alabama seafood available, it makes good sense to “ buy local” when you can.  For one thing, shrimp and shellfish caught closer to you will be fresher, retaining more flavor and maintaining their proper texture longer. Plus, you’re helping support the livelihoods of fellow Alabamians as well as the state’s overall fiscal health.  In 2014 alone, the Alabama’s shrimp fleet brought in more than 17 million pounds of shrimp and that same year, the economic impact from total commercial fishing in our state was $573 million. So when you’re shopping for the ingredients for this month’s reader-submitted recipes, look for Alabama shrimp and shellfish at your market, and if they’re not there, ask if they can get some for you.

Kathy Skinner, Tallapoosa River EC

Cook of the Month!


The first time Kathy Skinner made her Green Tomato Shrimp Creole, it was on a whim and as a way to use up some ingredients. “I’d been making a really big batch of fried green tomatoes and had a a lot of already sliced tomatoes left over,” she said. “I also had some shrimp on hand, so I decided to try something new.” She took the basic flavors and methods of traditional shrimp creole and subbed tart green tomatoes fresh from her backyard garden for red ones, and it turned out tasty. “I loved it, and I’ve been making it for a long time now,” she said. “It has become one of my favorite ways to cook shrimp.”

Kathy’s Green Tomato Shrimp Creole

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 green tomatoes, chopped

1 red tomato, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup ham bouillon or broth

1 can green chilies, rinsed & drained

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Hot sauce as desired

1/4 cup catsup or tomato paste

1/2 pound medium shrimp

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes and green chilies. Cover and cook on medium high about 5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down. Add remaining ingredients except shrimp. Cook on medium heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until liquid is slightly reduced and thickened. Add shrimp. Cover and cook 2-5 minutes or until shrimp just turn pink. Serve over rice or grits. Salt and pepper to taste.

Shrimp and Artichoke Bake

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1½ cups half and half

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup sherry

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon creole seasoning

2 egg yolks

113-ounce can artichokes, drained

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ pound mushrooms, sliced or chopped

¾ cups grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Blend in flour to make a paste and add half and half. Stir until thick. Add parmesan cheese, sherry, Worcestershire sauce and creole seasoning. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Temper egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of the hot mixture. Add tempered eggs to the sauce. Mix artichoke, shrimp and mushrooms in a baking dish and pour sauce over. Sprinkle top with grated cheese and paprika. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Serve over rice.
Angela Bradley, Clarke-Washington EMC

Lower Alabama Spicy Shrimp

2 pounds (30-count) Gulf Wild Shrimp, shells removed

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

2 teaspoons Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

214-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1 stick butter

1½ tablespoons garlic, minced

4 servings spaghetti or pasta of choice
Prepare pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside. Place a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Melt butter and add mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until they begin to darken, add artichokes and garlic, mix well; cover. Reduce heat to low for 20 minutes. Liquid will form in the bottom of the pan. Blend all seasonings together to make one seasoning. Increase heat to medium-high and add shrimp to the pot. Add seasoning and mix very well until seasoning coats everything evenly. Cook until shrimp are pink and form a tight “C”. Add pasta and mix, turn off heat. Let stand 15 minutes; pasta will absorb remaining liquid.
Jean Vick, Baldwin EMC

Quick Crab Cakes with a Kick

12 ounces crab meat

1 egg

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons mayo

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup regular bread crumbs

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil for frying
Add all ingredients, except oil, to a bowl. Mix gently. Form into patties. Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place patties in skillet and cook only 3 to 4 at a time so they cook evenly, about 4-5 minutes per side. Cook until golden brown. Crab cakes can also be baked in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Flip patties half way through cook time.
Jennifer Tijsma, Sand Mountain EC

Shrimp Jambalaya

¼ cup cooking oil

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced

1 pound chicken, cubed

2 pounds peeled shrimp

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup bell pepper, chopped

1 cup green onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

116-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, reserving juice

1½ cups chicken stock or water

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup converted rice

1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
In a heavy dutch oven, sauté sausage and chicken until lightly browned. Remove from pot. Sauté onion, bell pepper, green onion and garlic in meat drippings until tender. Add tomatoes, thyme, pepper and salt. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in rice. Mix together liquid from tomatoes, stock (or water) and Worcestershire sauce to equal 2 ½ cups; add to rice mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add raw shrimp, sausage and chicken. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until rice and shrimp are done.
Rev. J. B. Wells, Coosa Valley EC

Shrimp/Crab Gumbo

4 strips bacon, chopped

1 bell pepper, diced

2 medium sweet onions, diced

4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

3 bay leaves

1-2 cups chopped okra (your preference)

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 1/2 pounds peeled raw shrimp

2 pounds crab meat (either lump, claw or mixed)

Whole crab bodies and cracked claws (add water as needed), optional
Dice about four strips of bacon into large soup pot. Brown the bacon and remove from grease. Add bell pepper, onions, chopped garlic and bay leaves, sauté until tender. Add 1 to 2 cups chopped okra, adding enough water to cover and simmer until okra is tender. Add the bacon, crumbled, and 1 large can diced tomatoes and 1 small can tomato sauce. Add more water if too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves. Bring to almost a boil and add 2 1/2 pounds peeled, raw shrimp and 2 pounds crab meat (either lump, claw or mixed). Better yet, whole crab bodies and claws if you are so lucky. Simmer just until shrimp have turned pink. You may add some file seasoning, if preferred. Serve over steamed white rice. We put out a bottle of hot sauce and let each person add if they want some zing to it.
Stevie Walker, Baldwin EMC

Janet’s Alabama Voodoo Shrimp

1/2 pound fettuccine

1 pound Kelley’s Baby Link Sausage (this comes pre-cooked, available at most grocery stores and is made in Elba, Alabama)

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Old Bay

1 teaspoon Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning

1 teaspoon and a dash garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 pound small Alabama Gulf Coast Shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails off)
Boil fettuccine 1 minute less than directed in water seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt and a dash of garlic powder. (Tip: Do not add any oil or butter to the water. This will help your sauce stick to the noodles.) Cut Kelley’s Baby Link Sausage into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large 10-inch skillet, over medium heat, combine butter, olive oil, Old Bay, Tony Chacheres, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Stir constantly allowing butter to melt and seasonings to combine, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and shrimp. Sauté together, stirring well until all pieces are well covered with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in fettuccine and mix well for 1 minute, until fettuccine is covered with sauce. Best plated in a bowl, so you can add extra sauce over the top. Makes 4 large servings. Note: It takes less than 20 minutes to make this meal from start to finish, if you purchase your shrimp already peeled, deveined and tails off.
Janet Kynard, Central Alabama EC

Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin


2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 /4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon rosemary

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, finely chopped

4-ounces cream cheese

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons flour

2 cloves garlic, smashed

Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

4-ounces smoked Gouda cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 pound gumbo shrimp (90-110)

1 pound crab meat (chop fine if using imitation)

2 green onions, chopped

Bacon drippings

Parmesan cheese for topping
Seasoning: mix seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. Sauce: in a medium saucepan, melt bacon drippings. Add finely chopped onion and bell pepper and sauté about one minute stirring frequently. Add garlic, then one teaspoon seasoning. Stir frequently for one to two minutes. Add flour gradually mixing well. Stir in milk and bring to simmer whisking frequently. When mixture thickens, add cream and bring to boil whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add cream cheese, Gouda cheese and red pepper flakes. Stir until cheeses melt. Filling: in a large skillet, melt bacon drippings. Add shrimp and sauté about one minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in crab meat, two teaspoons seasoning mix and green onions. Stir occasionally and be gentle if using real crab meat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until shrimp are almost done. Stir in sauce and bring mixture to boil. Remove from heat. Ladle/pour mixture into gratin bowls. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and starts to brown. Serve hot!
Clyde Helmer, Baldwin EMC

Shrimp Destin

6 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into halves, cooked and drained (but still warm)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch green onions, sliced, including some of green stems

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1/2 -2/3 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon each seasoned salt, black pepper and Greek seasoning (such as Cavender’s)

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ cup dry white wine

1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in ¼ cup water

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

¼ cup Italian parsley, minced

1-2 teaspoons cornstarch

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium high. Sauté green onions for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add shrimp and seasonings (salt, pepper, Greek seasoning and cayenne pepper) and cook for 1 minute; turn shrimp and cook only 1 minute more. Add wine, bouillon mixture, tomatoes and parsley and cook 1 to 2 minutes (according to size of shrimp). Add 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch, stirring to slightly thicken. Toss the mixture with warm pasta. If a little dry, add additional water with bouillon. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
Jeanne McKinney, Alexander City

Shrimp with Orzo and Feta

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup orzo (cooked according to package directions)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 1/2 cups fresh tomato, diced

3/4 cups onion, chopped green

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh or frozen raw shrimp work well: defrost frozen under running water prior to using)

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook the orzo (rice shaped pasta) according to the package directions, being careful not to overcook the pasta. Combine the orzo with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, tomato, green onion, feta, lemon zest and juice, and pepper; place in prepared baking dish. Combine shrimp with fresh basil and arrange on top of pasta mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until the shrimp is done. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.
SaLena Embry, Covington EC


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