Sunset Supper

Plop down in the sand for a sunset dinner designed to complement outdoorsy days.

OUTDOOR DINING TIPS: 1) Always have a few store-bought snacks on hand, like colorful vegetable chips, for simple outdoorsy dinners. 2) Today’s boxed wine is worlds away from the old. Serve it in plastic tumblers that look like glass for an easy, durable alternative. 3) Turkish towels work double duty as tablecloths when laid on a picnic table. Always keep a few in your boat bag! Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

Mobile Bay and its surrounding waters, woods and swamps offer bountiful opportunities for adventure. Sometimes, though, the best memories are made sharing a sunset meal once the adventures have all come to a close. MB joined Katarina Monteiro, manager of Adrenaline Surf and Skate in Fairhope, and her good friend Katelyn Williams for a meal made in Mobile Bay heaven, complete with a painted sky and plenty of laughs.

Barbecue Shrimp on the Grill

juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
3 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 lemon, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
3 bay leaves
2 pounds jumbo head-on shrimp, unpeeled
French bread, for serving

1. Light a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and let cool to medium heat.

2. In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, combine lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, Creole seasoning and garlic, stirring to combine. Add butter, lemon slices and bay leaves to the pot and set over a medium fire. Bring to a boil and add shrimp, tossing occasionally until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. 

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3. Remove from heat and place shrimp in serving bowls, then top with juice from Dutch oven. Serve immediately with a hunk of French bread for dipping. Serves 4

Kale and Grilled Haloumi Salad

Lemon Tahini Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1 bunch curly kale, washed and dried
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 package haloumi cheese
olive oil

1. Add dressing ingredients to a small bowl or glass jar and combine thoroughly. Set aside.

2. Remove kale stems and spines, and roughly chop the leaves into large bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and top with red onions. Add dressing and toss to combine. Set aside. (This can be done up to several hours before serving and held in refrigerator.)

3. Heat a charcoal grill to medium heat. Slice haloumi lengthwise three times into long flat slices, and then halve each to make six rectangular slices total. Brush both sides with olive oil. Place cheese over the hot fire directly on the grill and cook until char marks appear and cheese is soft, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and place over prepared kale salad. Serves 6

Hand pies are the perfect grab ‘n go dessert, but the flaky made-from-scratch pastry here is next level and oh-so-easy.

Strawberry Hand Pies 

Adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
2 tablespoons cold milk
1 large egg

Strawberry Filling:
1 2/3 cups fresh strawberries, trimmed and quartered 
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 large egg, beaten
Demerara sugar, optional

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add cold butter and work into the flour quickly with your hands until small lumps form.

2. Combine milk and egg in a small bowl and whisk. Add to flour mixture and combine until it forms a cohesive dough. 

3. Divide the dough in half, shape each into a small rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

4. Combine all filling ingredients, except the egg and sugar, in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Place one piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 9-x-12-inch rectangle. Trim the edges to make straight. Use a sharp knife to cut into nine 3-x-4-inch rectangles. Remove each pastry rectangle to the prepared baking sheet. Roll out the second piece of dough and cut into nine rectangles. Cut three slashes across each rectangle for venting, or use a decorative cutter or pattern of your choice for vents. 

7. Place a heaping spoonful of strawberry filling on each rectangle of dough on the baking sheet, leaving the edges clean. If the filling is runny, try to remove some of the juice before placing on the pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the beaten egg. Top each with a vented rectangle and press along the edges with the tines of a fork to seal.

8. Brush the tops of the pies with the remainder of the beaten egg, and sprinkle with Demerara sugar, if desired. 

9. Bake the pies for 30 minutes or until they are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in the pan. Makes 9 pies

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