Local Food Innovators Share their Go-to Recipes

The foodies, farmers and suppliers featured in November's "Dig In" feature share some go-to recipes for you to try at home.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Asparagus Salad

Recipe courtesy Kristin Alpine

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound baby red potatoes
1 bunch asparagus, woody stems discarded
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped mixed olives
1/4 cup combined fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, thyme, chives, fennel

1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on a rimmed baking sheet for 40 minutes, turning occasionally.
2. Toss baby potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes at same heat. Toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast for 10 minutes. 
3. Combine all cooked vegetables, still warm from the oven, to one serving bowl and toss with spinach to wilt. Add remaining olive oil, apple cider vinegar, onions, olives and herbs. Serve room temperature. Serves 4

Gimme S’more Cocktail

Recipe courtesy Matt LeMond // This cocktail was created by POST bar manager and bartender Tyler Sayers as the perfect fall sipper.

2 ounces Absolut Vanilla Vodka
1 ounce Godiva white chocolate
1/2 ounce Frangelico
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce heavy cream
chocolate syrup, crushed graham cracker, mini chocolate chips and marshmallow, for garnish

Shake first five ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Dip the rim of a rocks glass into chocolate syrup and roll in crushed graham crackers. Strain cocktail into the glass. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, and torch a marshmallow on the top. Makes 1

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Honey Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Recipe courtesy Local Appetite Growers // This is a salad dressing that Local Appetite often includes in their local produce subscription boxes.

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons honey (or molasses)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
sea salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

In the bottom of a salad bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Then add your favorite Local Appetite Growers produce and toss ingredients together just before serving. Makes 1/2 cup

Shrimp Constantine

Recipe courtesy David Cooper // Gus Constantine (Panayioutou) and his son, George, owned and operated world-famous Constantine’s Restaurant in Mobile for 75 years. In the 1940s, Mr. Gus created Shrimp Constantine as his version of New Orleans’ popular Shrimp Arnaud or Shrimp Remoulade. It has been a signature dish at Felix’s Fish Camp since the renowned Chef George Constantine Panayioutou opened as the culinary director for Cooper Restaurants.

3 tablespoons Original Mister Mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons finely minced green onion
5 tablespoons finely minced celery, pressed and well-drained
3 tablespoons finely minced parsley, pressed and well-drained
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ounce horseradish
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons Regina Brand red wine vinegar
1 cup Heinz ketchup
3 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds boiled shrimp
shredded lettuce

1. Place all ingredients, except the last four, in mixer. Mix on medium speed until well blended, approximately 3 minutes.
2. Slowly add oils until sauce is well blended and all ingredients are evenly distributed. Place in plastic container (never aluminum). Cover and refrigerate for two days.
3. After two days, place sauce back in mixer and mix on slow speed for 10 minutes. Place sauce back in plastic container and refrigerate until needed (use within 10 days). Allow the sauce to come to room temperature before serving. Serve over bed of shredded lettuce alongside boiled shrimp. Serves 6


Recipe courtesy Bob Baumhower

1 1/2 pounds beef tips
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
3/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced celery
3 (16-ounce) cans chili con carne
1 (16-ounce) can salsa-style tomatoes
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup beer
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup Baumhower’s Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 quart water

1. Cut beef tips into 1-inch chunks. Place ground chuck and tips in a stock pot and cook through. Using a metal spoon, continuously mix beef in kettle so it cooks evenly. Strain any grease from beef and set beef aside.
2. Place onions, peppers and celery in stock pot. Cook until transparent (very soft).
3. Add chili con carne and tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Place beef back in pot and mix thoroughly.
4. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Simmer for 20 minutes, then serve immediately. Makes 6 quarts

Neptune’s Daughter Cocktail

Recipe courtesy Julianna Crenshaw

1 1/2 ounces Malfy Gin con Limone 
1/2 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 ounce honey syrup*
1/2 ounce lavender syrup**
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice 
butterfly pea flower tea***
1 blackberry, for garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker with big ice, then strain over pebble ice. Garnish with a blackberry. Makes 1 cocktail

* Honey syrup can be made by mixing equal parts honey and hot water. Stir to dissolve and then use in all your favorite cocktails in place of simple syrup.

** Lavender syrup can be purchased in specialty stores and online, but can also be made by combining 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon dried lavender. Simmer one minute then let stand 30 minutes. Strain and use anywhere you would use simple syrup, like coffee, tea or cocktails.

*** Butterfly Pea Flower Tea has a light taste similar to green tea and a vivid blue color. It can be purchased online, but other tea substitutions will work, without the color.

Caramel Apple Martini

Recipe courtesy Ice Box Bar // This is an old classic with a twist that bartender Brittany Bell has added to her growing list of martini options.

1 ounce Absolute Vodka
1/2 ounce sour apple pucker
1/2 ounce sour mix
1/2 ounce butterscotch
melted caramel, for garnish

Pour first four ingredients into a martini shaker with ice. Shake well. Garnish the rim of a chilled martini glass with caramel. Strain mixture into glass and serve immediately. Makes 1 cocktail


Recipe courtesy William Peebles // According to the Library of Congress, the “Gulf City Cook Book,” compiled by the ladies of St. Francis Street Methodist Church in Mobile in 1878, contains the first recorded jambalaya recipe. “When I started devising an updated version of that first ‘Jam Bolaya’ (as it was called), I wanted to create a product that was simple to construct, easy to adapt based on whatever you have at arm’s length and representative of the current availability of ingredients while still being true to the original,” Peebles explains. As a result, almost everything listed can be substituted, or omitted, to fit your preference, or whatever happens to be in your fridge. Here, Peebles shares the most affordable version of his recipe (calling for very little meat and mostly pre-packaged ingredients) but the dish works incredibly well when using all homemade ingredients. As long as the ratios are right, you should end up with a satisfying meal that calls back to the foundational folk forms of what he consider to be “Mobile style” cuisine. 

2 tablespoons of either chicken fat, bacon grease, rendered fat, butter or oil
1/2 cup diced smoked sausage
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup diced onion (or mirepoix) 
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic (or 1 tablespoon garlic paste)
1 cup long-grain rice
1 can Ro-Tel (Peebles likes the medium heat, but you can substitute really any tomato product)
1 cup seafood stock (or other stock or water)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup small shrimp (or whatever protein you have; shredded chicken, pulled pork, etc.)

Optional additions:
1/2 cup mixture of chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion and celery seed 

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon hot sauce
healthy squeeze lemon juice 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put a heavy-bottomed, oven-proof pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add chicken fat and sausage, cooking until brown (about 5 – 6 minutes). Remove sausage and set aside.
2. Stir flour into pan with grease and add onions. Cook onion and flour to a light brown (no more than 10 minutes).
3. Add bay leaves, garlic, rice, and any desired optional additions, and cook for about five minutes. Add Ro-Tel. Once incorporated, slowly stir in stock.
4. Add sausage back to pan, and shrimp. Put lid on pot and place in preheated oven for 25 minutes. 
5. Remove from oven, fluff rice, and add salt and pepper, to taste. At this point, the rice should be cooked through, but if not, place the lid back on and let the dish steam until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately. Serves 4

Lucy’s Roasted Vegetable and Pumpkin Risotto

Recipe courtesy Lucy Greer Cheriogotis

1 zucchini squash, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped

6 ounces fresh green beans, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup Parmesan

1. Place zucchini, mushrooms and green beans on a baking sheet. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Toss until combined. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
2. Add grape tomatoes, toss and continue to bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Pour chicken broth in a small sauce pot and heat over medium heat. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Do not brown. 
4. Add rice and stir until coated with oil and butter. Cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Add white wine, stir and cook until liquid is almost evaporated.
5. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to the risotto pot. Stir continuously over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring until absorbed before adding more broth. This will take about 20 minutes. The risotto will become creamy as the starches are released. The risotto should be tender but still be firm to the bite without being crunchy.
6. Add pumpkin puree to risotto and stir until combined. Add roasted vegetables and stir. Add Parmesan, stir and serve immediately. If risotto gets too thick, add a little more broth or hot water. Serves 4

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