A Second Helping of “Bay Appétit”

Four years after the original, our second cookbook, “Bay Appétit: A Second Helping of Lower Alabama Dishes, ” hits shelves. The newest volume is chock-full of more than 170 succulent recipes, including all-time favorites from past issues of Mobile Bay,  reader recipe contest winners and fresh contributions from some of the Bay area’s most celebrated restaurant chefs. Here, find a sampler of the collection. 

Hot Wing Egg Rolls  

2015 Reader Recipe ContestMB reader Brent Keith shares this rich, fusion appetizer, perfect for tailgating season. They can be deep-fried or baked.

3 chicken breasts, cooked and pulled
2 stalks celery, diced
3 (4-ounce) packages blue cheese crumbles
hot wing sauce (Brent uses Moore’s brand.)
1 (1-pound) package egg roll wrappers
ranch dressing, for dipping

1. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees. If frying, preheat oil to 350 degrees.
2. Mix pulled chicken, celery and blue cheese together.
3. Add just enough hot wing sauce to coat mixture without making it too wet.
4. Put about 2 tablespoons of mixture in each egg roll wrapper, then roll up.
5. Deep-fry a few at a time for 2 – 3 minutes. Do not overcrowd pot. Or, to bake, place wrapped egg rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook in oven about 15 minutes, then flip and bake on other side until golden brown, about 10 more minutes.
6. Serve hot with ranch dressing for dipping. Makes 16 egg rolls.

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Winning Derby Mint Juleps 

Strong and sweet, these Southern staples, from Kentucky native and Mobile transplant Tricia Graham,  are a Derby tradition. Featured in “Coming Up Roses, ” May 2015.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
fresh mint, washed and patted dry
Kentucky bourbon

1. Boil the sugar and water together for about 5 minutes to create a simple syrup. Let cool.
2. Fill container with fresh mint. Pour simple syrup over top. Stir to crush mint slightly. Reserve extra mint for garnish.
3. Cover container and refrigerate for 1 – 2 days.
4. To serve, fill julep cups or glasses with ice, pour in bourbon to taste (usually a jigger), stir in julep syrup to taste (approximately a 1/2 tablespoon or more). Add fresh mint to garnish,  if desired. Makes 3 – 4 dozen.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

This glorious, lush soup is ideal for autumn.

1 large pumpkin
2 sticks butter, divided
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 – 2 dried chili peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
salt, to taste
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 – 4 quarts chicken stock (may need more depending on the size of the pumpkin)
2 tablespoons good-quality curry paste (red or yellow)
2 (15-ounce) cans coconut cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and scrape out all the seeds.
3. Drop 1 stick of butter into pumpkin along with the coriander,  cardamom, ground cloves, chili peppers, fennel seeds and salt.
4. Put the lid back on the pumpkin, and bake on a cookie sheet in the oven for 1 hour.
5. Remove and let cool at least 30 minutes.
6. In a stockpot, sauté onions, bell peppers and carrots with remaining stick of butter until softened.
7. Scoop flesh and spices out of the shell of the pumpkin. Add to stockpot. Add chicken stock.
8. Add curry paste and coconut cream to the pot. Puree until completely smooth. Serve hot. Serves 10 – 15.

Citrus Basil Crab and Corn Salad

From George Panayiotou, director of culinary operations for Cooper Restaurants: A new classic featuring fresh local ingredients, this dish is delicious as a side or as an appetizer when served with crackers.


1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 cup yellow corn kernels, cooked
1/4 cup finely minced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked for shells
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
lemon wedges, for garnish
cucumber circles, for garnish

1. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
2. To prepare salad: In a large glass bowl, gently combine corn, basil, red bell pepper, red onion and crabmeat. Add black beans and tomatoes.
3. Add dressing and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Garnish with lemon wedges and cucumber circles. Serves 4 – 6.

Classic Key Lime Pie

Burris Farm Market and Bakery is a quintessential pitstop on the way to the beach. A slice of this unofficial hometown pie of the Bay area is always a must at the market. Featured in “A Piece of the Pie, ” November 2012.

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup key lime juice
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
lime slices, for garnish

1. In a bowl, whip heavy cream.
2. In a separate bowl, combine key lime juice and condensed milk until creamy. Fold in the whipped cream.
3. Pour into pie crust and garnish with lime slices. Chill before serving. Serves 6.

Grab your Copy!

Just in time for the holidays, “Bay Appétit: A Second Helping of Lower Alabama Dishes, ” boasts more than 170 recipes and vivid, mouthwatering food photography in a practical, hardback, spiral format. This compilation features recipes gathered from 44 years’ worth of Mobile Bay magazines, as well as previously web-exclusive recipes. Favorite dishes from local restaurants and renowned chefs as well as reader recipe contest winners are also included. Click here to purchase your copy.

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