Baked Goods

Memorial Day Recipes From Food Network

People across the country will uncover their grills this weekend for Memorial Day, but what food will they prepare? According to Food Network data, grilling trends differ depending on what part of the country you’ll be partying in this weekend.

Grilled Chicken Tostadas al Carbon with Grilled Tomatillos and Queso FrescoFor example, East Coasters are the top searchers for Grilled Chicken on FoodNetwork.com, while BBQ Chicken leads the way in the West. There’s a difference? Yes. Although the two dishes share a common tool – the grill – Grilled Chicken is prepared relatively fast and at high temperatures and not prepared in BBQ sauce. Food Network has a couple examples of Grilled Chicken recipes that are hot this year: Grilled Chicken Tostadas; Chicken Satay; Marinated Chicken Breasts.

BBQ Chicken tops West Coast searchers and is really the exact opposite of Grilled Chicken. BBQ is a slow cook that uses smoldering and lower heat to achieve perfection and is lathered in the grill master’s favorite BBQ sauce.

Additionally, Food Network uncovered recipes exclusive to specific regions. Our data shows that Low Country Boil will headline Memorial Day parties in the South this weekend, while the Midwestern will be busting out the Black Bean Salsa.

Uncle Bill's Hamburger PattiesLastly, it’s not Memorial Day without burgers, which are trending country-wide thanks to National Burger Day on May 28th. Food.com data shows there is a homemade burger bun movement sweeping the country while the West Coast searches for decadent burger patties and the East prefers a twist on the classic burger – Hamburger Soup. Here are a few trending burger and homemade bun recipes from Food Network: Homemade Hamburger Buns; Bestest Hamburger Soup; Uncle Bill’s Hamburger Patties.

Now here’s one of my recipes.

The Beach Burger
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • The Beach Burger
  • 1 pound 85/15 Certified Black Angus ground chuck
  • 1 tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 standard hamburger buns or Keyser rolls
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 dozen Gulf oysters
  • 1 cup butter milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup masa harina
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • Cooking oil
  • Beach Rémoulade (2/3 cup tarter sauce, 1/3 cup cocktail sauce, 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, 1 dash Worcestershire sauce).
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the chuck with the Old Bay and mix thoroughly. Divide into three equal sized balls and form into patties adding salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while your grill comes to temperature. When grill is ready cook burgers as normal.
  2. While the burgers are cooking combine in a paper bag the cornmeal, masa & Cajun seasoning. Set aside. Whisk the egg with the buttermilk in a bowl to make an egg wash adding salt and pepper to taste. Drain the liquid from the oysters and drop them into the egg wash. Bring cooking oil to 375 degrees in a pot or deep fryer. Once you have removed the burgers to rest toast the buns and move oysters from the wash to the dredge (shaking off excess of both) and into the hot oil. Fry for roughly 2 minutes, turning as necessary.
  3. To assemble place a patty on the bottom of a toasted bun, then three oysters, a drizzle of Beach Burger Rémoulade and finally slather a healthy dollop of Beach Burger Rémoulade on the top bun. Serve with favorite burger condiments. The burger in the picture is served with a cheese grits timbale, salt & pepper fries and a lemon wedge garnish.

beach burger

 

Heaven Has a New Angel

In the eight years of Wannabe TV Chef this is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever written.  Ever.

When I read the posts on the blogs of some of my favorite food writers, many of whom are good friends, I am struck by how much of their personal lives they put into writing.  I, by design, have never done a lot of that.  Perhaps it is a male thing, perhaps it is humility.  I don’t know.

But this must be written.

With few exceptions everyone loves their mother.  They think she is the greatest woman who ever lived.  I am no exception.  I am not alone in admiring my mother.  Everyone, and I mean everyone who has ever met her has admired and loved her.

Like most boys my father has always been my hero.  It just so happens that my father/hero is also a genuine hero, a professional hero if you will.  In four years with the Air Force and 36 years as a deputy sheriff he did things that saved lives and helped those in need.

In 1991 I made the decision to drop everything and move to Nashville to try my hand at the music business.  My mother told me once that she thought that was the bravest thing she’d ever seen anyone do.  Through the music years, the writing years, the chef years and even the wannabe TV chef thing my mother has rooted for me.  My mother has always been my biggest fan.

My last photo with my mother.As I write this my mother is lying in a hospital.  The end is inevitable it’s just a question of when.  It could be days; it could weeks; it could be hours.  Every time the Droid chirps my heart breaks a little more.  I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve had to pause to cry just writing this post.

You want to know what uncomfortable looks like?  Picture a 300 pound Southern man sobbing like a baby.  That’s my life the last 48 hours.

In my 2010 cookbook Third Coast Cuisine I included my mother’s biscuit recipe.  Her biscuits were always so perfect for digging through gravy as they had a crunchy crust but a soft inside – I call them Soppin’ Biscuits.  I would feel morose asking you to buy the book to try them so I will include the recipe below for free.

So yes, my heart is shattered but I can’t complain.  This is as good as losing a loved one ever gets.  My mother turned 78 in November, celebrated her 57th wedding anniversary just last week.  She and my father loved and raised four children, two grand children and two great grand children.  She’s earned her rest.

Still it hurts so much.  As I left the hospital tonight it dawned on me that it was the same building that she had brought me into the world.  My life started in that building and her life ends there.  Man, that sucks.  Everything about this sucks.

Tonight we said our goodbyes.  Many people don’t get that chance.  We need look no further in the food writing world than everyone’s dear friend Jennifer Perillo who suddenly and tragically lost the love of her life this past fall.  Jennifer and Mikey’s story wasn’t done yet but life is like that sometimes.

So as I sit here, my heart breaking more with each new tick of the clock, I feel selfish for feeling this sad.  I’ve had it good.  Embarrassingly good.  I know that my mother is going to be with our Lord and Savior.  I was never raised to be a judgmental Christian, an in your face Christian.  I was raised to be Christ-like.  To love everyone and to care about them without judging.

My mother deserves a tribute but it’s not her nature to want one.  So I will do what I know she would want.  My mother never heard of Jennifer and Mikey but if she had she would want to help Jenny and her girls.  So please visit Bloggers Without Borders to contribute to A Fund for Jennie.

Tonight I got to tell my mother goodbye.  I got to tell her that I love her; that I’ve always loved her.  I was able to tell her how much she has meant to me.  I told her that I was happy for her.  She gets to go be with her father and with Jesus.  She told me that she is going to be an angel.

I told her that she has always been one.

Shirley’s Soppin’ Biscuits
Recipe Type: Side
Author: My mom
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup lard or shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat an oven to 450° F.
  2. In a large bowl sift the flour with salt (if using) then make a well in the center.
  3. Add the lard and mix until you have pea sized crumbles in the dough.
  4. Then fold in the buttermilk and knead until a large dough ball forms, no more than 30 seconds*.
  5. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky. Discard any remaining flour in the bowl.
  6. Separate the dough ball into 1” to 1½” balls and then flatten to form patties.
  7. Place the patties in a backing pan or iron skillet, brush tops with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes or until browned.
Notes

* Over kneading biscuit dough releases excess gluten from the flour and will make the biscuits tough to chew.

Thanksgiving Dinner Southern Style – Oyster & Andouille Dressing

I love oysters.  Perhaps that is why I have always loved Oyster Dressing.  Oyster Dressing is easy to make too so that helps.  Take your standard cornbread dressing recipe and just stir in a dozen or so raw oysters.  Or you can really up the “Wow!” factor by making this amazing Oyster & Andouille Dressing

Oyster & Andouille Dressing
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 8
If you do not like oysters, just leave them out. I won’t judge ya. You’ll still have an amazing Andouille Dressing.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound andouille, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 TBL unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 TBL minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup whole kernal corn (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • Basic cornbread, dried overnight, enough to fill a 9 X 13 dish
  • 3 slices stale white or whole wheat bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 dozen raw Gulf oysters
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 cups homemade chicken stock, as needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub 1 TBL butter in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage until brown and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter, onions, garlic, fresh thyme, fresh oregano and corn then cook for 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  3. With your fingers, crumble the corn bread into the bowl, add bread, then sausage mixture, oysters and mix well with your hands. Add enough broth, 1/2 cup at a time, to moisten the dressing, being careful not to make it too mushy.
  4. Transfer to the buttered dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.
Notes

If the dressing doesn’t have the right browned crust after 45 minutes place it under the broiler for a few minutes until you get the desired crunchification.

Oyster & Andouille Dressing

Recipe: Steak & Mushroom and Clams Casino Pizzas

Stuart joins Joe, Cherish and the gang at Studio 10 to make a pair of incredible pizzas – Steak and Mushroom Pizza and Clams Casino Pizza.

 

Steak & Mushroom and Clams Casino Pizzas
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
    CLAMS CASINO PIZZA

  • 1 Naan or ready-made pizza crust
  • 2-3 TBL olive oil
  • 1 can chopped clams, drained
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 TBL bacon bits
  • Course Kosher salt to taste
    STEAK AND MUSHROOM PIZZA

  • 1 Naan or ready-made pizza crust
  • 2-3 TBL ready mushroom gravy
  • 4-5 cooked sliced steak, ready-made is fine
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • Course Kosher salt to taste
Instructions
    CLAMS CASINO PIZZA

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Spread olive oil across the face of the pizza crust (Naan).
  • Spread a generous amount of chopped clams across the crust.
  • Layer on the cheese.
  • Sprinkle with bacon bits.
  • Bake in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is toasty on the bottom.
  • Finish with a sprinkle of salt then slice and eat.
    STEAK AND MUSHROOM PIZZA

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Spread mushroom gravy across the face of the pizza crust (Naan).
  • Spread a generous amount of steak across the crust.
  • Spread a generous amount of mushrooms across the crust.
  • Layer on the cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is toasty on the bottom.
  • Finish with a sprinkle of salt then slice and eat.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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