6 Go-To Summer Seafood Recipes

At a time when being home gives a comforting sense of safety, local kitchens cook up Mobile Bay’s version of comfort food. These classic seafood recipes have fed the area for generations and continue to do so with a fresh approach. The bounty of the Bay is best served on a breezy porch or shady wharf with your loved ones nearby. That’s our kind of comfort.

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

1. West Indies Salad

Mobilian Lucy Lott shared her recipe for West Indies salad — perfect for dining outdoors on a hot summer day. It’s a classic Mobile-area recipe that is widely known and always appreciated.

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through for shells
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
1 head Bibb lettuce leaves
1 sleeve saltine crackers

1. Line the bottom of a serving bowl with half the chopped onion. Add crabmeat, and top with remaining chopped onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour oil, vinegar and water one at a time over crab and onion layers. Do not stir. Cover and chill for 2 to 12 hours. Serve cold over Bibb lettuce, alongside crackers or both! Serves 10

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

2. Gluten-free Crab Cakes

1 ear fresh silver queen corn
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced 
8 ounces fresh lump crabmeat
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped 
1 tablespoon butter 


1. Cut corn from the cob into a medium-sized bowl. Add egg, sour cream, mustard, salt, Creole seasoning, almond flour and red onion. Use a fork to combine. Gently fold in crabmeat and chives.

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2. Divide dough into fourths and form into 1/2-inch thick patties. Place on a platter lined with wax paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and let melt, coating pan. Add the crab cakes and cook 4 to 5 minutes on one side without moving, until the bottoms are browned. Very carefully lift each crab cake (gluten-free items are particularly delicate) with a spatula. Add some of the remaining butter to the pan and lower each cake back into the skillet. Cook another 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6

3. Gulf Crab Cakes

Serve this rich and flavorful summertime app while the crab boil simmers.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups each, diced: onions, celery and green bell peppers 
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 tablespoon Tabasco
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped scallions
3 pounds lump crabmeat, rinsed and picked clean
5 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
3/4 cup olive oil
Smoky Remoulade Sauce (see below)

1. Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter. Cook onions, celery and peppers until tender.

2. In large bowl, combine next 10 ingredients. Add vegetable mixture.

3. Gently fold in crabmeat and 3/4 cup breadcrumbs to mixture. Stir gently, careful not to break up crabmeat. Portion into 2 1/2-ounce patties and dredge in remaining breadcrumbs.

4. Heat nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and 6 crab cakes.

5. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Leave cooked crab cakes in warm oven. Repeat process. Serve with Smoky Remoulade Sauce. Makes 24

Smoky Remoulade Sauce

2 1/4 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Tabasco
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons smoked paprika 
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
6 tablespoons minced cornichons

1. Combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly. Store in refrigerator.

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

4. Shrimp Remoulade 

A classic cold, delicious starter and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, this dish is a favorite menu special at Regina’s Kitchen.

2 pounds medium-sized shrimp, boiled and peeled
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 
3 tablespoons Creole mustard 
3 tablespoons hot sauce (Mary Ann and Regina prefer Crystal.) 
4 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 purple onion, minced 
large handful flat leaf parsley, chopped 
3 ribs celery, finely chopped 
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Creole seasoning, to taste (Mary Ann and Regina use Tony Chachere’s.) 

1. Toss all ingredients together until well combined. Refrigerate for about 3 hours before serving. Serves 6

5. Tacky Jacks Shrimp and Grits

Photo by Nicole Quinn

9 tablespoons butter, melted
3 1/2 pounds (70 – 90) raw shrimp, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
Cheese Grits (see below)
1/2 cup chopped green onion

1. Heat butter in sauté pan until melted. Add shrimp and sauté over medium heat. Add lemon pepper and cook for about 6 minutes, until shrimp are pink.

2. Immediately ladle over warm Cheese Grits. Garnish with chopped green onions on top. Serves 10

Cheese Grits

9 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup Crystal Hot Sauce
1/4 teaspoon chicken base
1 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound quick grits
4 cups shredded cheddar-Jack cheese blend

1. Add water to large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add salt, hot sauce, chicken base, butter and garlic to boiling water. Stir well.

2. Stir in grits slowly, continuing to whisk until all grits are incorporated. Decrease the heat to low and cover.

3. Remove lid and whisk frequently, every couple of minutes, to prevent grits from sticking or forming lumps. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until mixture becomes creamy.

4. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time. 

6. Battles Wharf Trout Amandine

“Mr. B,” William Bullock Inge Jr., always loved to fish for anything, but perhaps his favorite catch was speckled trout. This recipe is his hedonistic version of trout amandine that his wife, “Miss” Ippy Inge, prepared for him often.

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
6 trout fillets
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup melted butter, divided
1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil for frying 
2 lemons, cut into halves
1/2 – 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted 
1/3 cup minced parsley

1. Preheat the oven to warm.

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until fluffy. Add the milk and beat well. Place the fish in the egg mixture. Let soak for a few minutes.

3. Mix the flour and salt together on a sheet of waxed paper. Remove the fish from the egg mixture, one at a time, and dredge in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour.

4. Dredge in the flour again, making sure the fillets are well coated and the excess is shaken off. Place floured fillets on a sheet of waxed paper.

5. Heat 6 small serving platters in the oven. Pour a small amount of melted butter onto each platter and keep warm. Reserve remaining butter.

6. Heat 1 1/2-inches of vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet. Add 2 – 3 fillets at a time to the skillet. Do not overcrowd. Fry until the fillets are golden brown.

7. Place the fried fillets on warm buttered platters. Squeeze the lemons over the fillets. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Drizzle with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6

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