Video Recipe: Gumbo Balls

Stuart transforms seafood gumbo into a single, crunchy bite.

Recipe: Southern Pecan Pie From Guy Fieri And His Mom

Guy And Mom
Unless he’s on the road taping Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy has no problem making it to his mom’s on Mother’s Day: She lives right next door.

The two have celebrated with countless pecan pies over the years, using a recipe handed down from Guy’s grandfather, a Georgia native. This pie is special, Penny says, because it’s not too sweet and has an extra layer of pecans on the bottom.

Southern Pecan Pie
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Guy Fieri
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 8
  • 1 sheet refrigerated piecrust (half a 15-ounce package)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups toasted pecan halves
  • Freshly whipped cream, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll the piecrust and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the overhang under and crimp the edge with a fork or your fingers. Bake the crust until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack. (Leave the oven on.)
  2. Whisk the corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, then whisk into the corn syrup mixture.
  3. Finely chop 1/2 cup pecans and spread evenly over the piecrust. Roughly chop another
  4. /2 cup pecans and mix into the corn syrup mixture, then pour the filling into the crust. Arrange the remaining 1 cup pecans on top in a decorative pattern.
  5. Bake the pie until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a rack. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.


Photograph by Kana Okada

Healthy Fried Chicken

After my experiment using the uber-healthy coconut oil (even healthier than coconut water) to make biscuits healthy I have expanded my repertoire by making a full meal.  I made healthy fried chicken that is actually fried and actually delicious.  I threw in one of those biscuits, rice and gravy and some steamed veggies to boot.

Here’s how I did it.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
1 whole fryer cut into standard pieces
1 quart organic low fat buttermilk
2 cups rice flour
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper

In a large airtight container place the chicken pieces and cover with quart of buttermilk seasoned with salt and pepper.  Marinate for 4 – 24 hours.  When you are ready to cook heat a large cast iron skillet (cast iron really is the best for this) at medium heat filled with a half inch of coconut oil.  Mix flour and salt & pepper to taste then place into a large deep walled bowl.  Shake extra buttermilk from the chicken then dredge in the flour, finally shake off excess flour and place into the skillet.

Do not overfill the skillet so the pieces have space between them and cook at medium heat covered for roughly 7 minutes.  Uncover and check the cooking side.  Chicken should be brown at this point.  If so, flip it over and cook another 5 – 7 minutes covered.  Uncover and turn chicken again making sure to get all sides equally browned.  Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until all sides are dark brown then drain by placing chicken onto a cooling rack over paper towels, lightly season at this point.  Serve with pan gravy (follows) over brown rice.  Nutritional info HERE.

Pan Gravy
1/4 cup organic AP flour
1/4 cup coconut oil from frying the chicken
1 – 2 quarts water
Salt & pepper or Seasoned Salt (i.e. Cajun Seasoning)

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy skillet.  Add flour and stir constantly to make a roux, cooking for 5 – 7 minutes.  Bit by bit add water stirring constantly.  Once the gravy thickens add the remaining water and allow to thicken slightly, stirring constantly.  Taste and season as needed.

The veggies were just frozen cauliflower, broccoli and carrots nuked with a little water for a few minutes.  When they were done I drizzled them with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned them with Cajun seasoning.

Oh, and the biscuit recipe, for those who missed it is HERE.

For a list of the many conditions that are treatable with coconut oil click HERE.

Ladies and Gentlemen, A Healthy Biscuit

For years now I have been looking to make a biscuit that is both healthy and tasty.  It’s easy enough to use whole wheat, rye or organic flour but that doesn’t address the primary health concerns with biscuits, fat.  Sure you can eliminate fat and cholesterol by replacing the bacon grease, lard or butter with vegetable shortening and/or margarine but that actually makes the biscuits worse for you.

Both vegetable shortening and margarine are nearly 100% trans fat as they employee hydrogenated oils.  Why the USDA doesn’t require a big fat label on the side that says, “DANGER: THIS CRAP WILL KILL YOU,” is beyond me.  Wait, no it isn’t.  Because the people who make these items also run the USDA (see Tom Vilsack).  In fact, the USDA doesn’t require the makers of shortening to list it as a trans fat, which it is.  It is nothing but trans fat.  A 16 ounce can of shortening contains 16 ounces of trans fat.  You are actually better off making your biscuits with pork lard, literally, than with shortening.  Trans fats are pure poison.

There’s the conundrum, for the biscuits to have the proper texture they must be made with saturated fat.  The candidates are beef tallow, pork lard, bacon fat, butter, shortening or margarine.  You can try substituting with canola oil or even extra virgin olive oil but what results will closely resemble a cookie not a biscuit.  They will be thin and crunchy, impossible to slice in half and almost inedible.

Enter coconut oil.  Available in both regular and extra virgin, coconut oil is a saturated fat that is actually good for you.  In fact, really, really good for you.  It’s good for your skin, helps lower bad cholesterol and even reduces your risk of heart disease.  It’s even better for you than it’s sister, coconut water.  You read that correctly it reduces your risk of heart disease.  The flavor is fairly neutral with subtle notes of real butter.  It can be expensive.  You can order a quart online for around $15 but I recently found a quart for under $5 at the local Walmart (on the baking aisle).  At that price it is quite doable for everyday needs.  For more on the health benefits of coconut oil go HERE.

So armed with my coconut oil, organic all purpose flour and some organic low fat buttermilk I set out to make the world’s first healthy biscuit that also tastes good.  If this doesn’t get me on Food Network I don’t know what will:

That certainly looks like a proper Southern Biscuit doesn’t it?  The texture was perfect.  The taste, too, was exactly what you look for in a biscuit.  In fact, I could serve you a plate of these biscuits without mentioning they were healthy and you would never no the difference.  This recipe can be made even healthier by using whole wheat or rye flour; you might could substitute plain low fat yogurt for the buttermilk and lean it out even more.  I’m satisfied with what I have come up with here.

The recipe yielded about eight biscuits one and a half inches thick and two inches in diameter (give or take a quarter inch), roughly the size of a Pillsbury Grand.  Each biscuit contained 128 calories, 2 grams of fat (1.6 saturated but from coconut oil, 0 trans fats), 1.2 mg cholesterol, 24 g carbs but just 1.5 of sugar and 4 grams of protein.  For the complete nutritional information click HERE.  A Pillsbury Frozen Buttermilk Grand has 190 calories and 9 grams of fat (2.5 sat fats from butter and 2.5 trans fat from shortening).  Sodium, protein and carbs are very similar.  Here’s my recipe:

Healthy Southern Biscuits
2 cups organic flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
OR 2 cups organic self rising flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup organic low fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda (or self rising if using) and salt.  Use a whisk to combine and ariate. Use a fork to cut coconut oil into dry ingredients until mealy. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture then pour in buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together; it should be sticky.  Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 4 to 6 times. Pat or roll into a 1-inch thick mass. Cut biscuits with a 2-inch cutter. Place on baking sheet barely touching one another. Repeat with scrap dough until none remains.  Bake until biscuits are tall and golden on top, 12 to 15 minutes.

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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.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99

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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