Alabama chefs make magic with good things from the sea

Alabamians are fortunate to live in a country where the generosity of fresh seafood is the envy of chefs and home cooks alike. “There are approximately 23 types of Alabama seafood available to consumers in our state, from oysters, shrimp, and lobster to fin fish of all shapes and sizes,” says Tommy Cawthen, director of marketing for Alabama Gulf Seafood.

Although the group did not do any scientific polling, his opinion is that shrimp is likely to be a favorite of that group. “Almost every restaurant has a plate of shrimp,” Cawthen says. “I always try to make sure it’s the bay shrimp.”

Alabama seafood is revered by commercial and home chefs simply because it’s harvested from the waters off the state’s coast, “which means it’s a fresher product than other seafood options that may be available,” he says. “Fresher and naturally better. They are sustainably harvested and checked for safety. Diversity so that everyone can find a favorite. ”

Many types of seafood are great candidates for cooking on the grill, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Among them are amberjack, bluefish, catfish, cobia, mahi mahi, drumstick, grouper, king mackerel, rainbow trout, shark, snapper, Spanish mackerel, striped bass, swordfish, triggerfish and tuna. You can also grill clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops, as do lobster, lobster tails, and shrimp.

When cooking seafood at home, the extension system recommends buying fish on the day it will be used. When this is not possible, be sure to refrigerate or freeze seafood appropriately until ready to cook. Another key point to remember is not to overcook seafood, because when cooked properly, the fish should be moist and flavorful.

Find more recipes at and recipes, cooking and freezing tips at

Louisiana Crab Cakes


1 pound shredded crab meat (can be imitation)

2 tablespoons butter

cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Half a cup of chopped celery

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 cup chopped bell pepper, any color

2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon old bay seasoning

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried dill

Half a teaspoon of thyme

2 scrambled eggs

10 crushed butter crackers

4 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons flour

Half a teaspoon of salt

Half a teaspoon pepper


1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Half a teaspoon of chili powder


In a large skillet, cook onion, celery, and pepper over medium heat in 2 tablespoons butter until softened. Add chopped garlic, parsley, Creole seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, basil, salt, pepper, dill, and thyme. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Cool and put in a large bowl. Stir with scrambled eggs. Gently fold in crabmeat, flour and crushed biscuits. Mix until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients with the sauce and mix well. Cover and put in the fridge until ready to use.

Heat canola oil in the same skillet over low to medium heat. Form the cake from the crab mixture and place it in a pan or pan in the pan to keep it firm. Cook 3-5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove and drain until cool. Serve with sauce and enjoy.

butter house

The Crab Quiche recipe from Becky Chappelle is a winner, with crab meat, Swiss cheese, and a dash of hot sauce among the ingredients. (Brock Echols/Alabama Living)

keesh crab


1 deep pie crust

1 tablespoon butter or ghee

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

¼ cup chopped pimento

Half a teaspoon minced parsley

1 6 ounces white crab meat

1 tablespoon flour

1½ cups shredded Swiss cheese, divided

4 large eggs

A dash of hot sauce

1 cup undiluted evaporated milk

Half a teaspoon of salt and pepper


Bake the crust at 400 degrees until lightly browned on the edges of the crust, usually 10-12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Remove the crust and top with 3/4 cup of the grated cheese. On medium heat, melt the butter and fry the onions for 2 minutes, until softened. In a medium bowl, combine flour, crab meat, paprika, green onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Beat eggs with milk until homogeneous. Add a splash of hot sauce. Add to the crab meat mixture and pour into the shell. Put the rest of the cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until brown on top. 6 services.

Becky Chappelle

Shrimp and grits


4 strips of bacon

1 medium sized onion chopped

1 medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined

sea ​​salt

black pepper

1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (old bay)

All-purpose flour cup, divided

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Half a cup of canola oil

1 cup hot water

2 cups quick-cooking grits

water to boil pebbles

½ cup green onion, cut into cubes


In a cast iron skillet, cook bacon until tender. Set aside the bacon and broth. Add onions to the skillet and cook until soft. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the flour, garlic powder and seafood seasoning, mix well and set aside. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil, and season the water with salt. add pebbles, stirring constantly; heat sink. After 5 minutes, cover the mixture and let it simmer until it thickens. Turn the skillet over to medium high and add the canola oil. When the pan is hot, add half a cup of flour along with the onions. Brown. Add shrimp and crumbled bacon. Slowly whisk in the water (sometimes I add a little milk). Let’s roll the boil. Stir well until the broth becomes thick and brown. Serve on the grits. Garnished with green onions. Sometimes I add other vegetables like pepper or celery.

Angela Bradley

okra southern seafood


1 grilled chicken

1 8-ounce package frozen locust tails

1 8-ounce package frozen raw shrimp (without tail, headless, and peeled)

1 package at least 6 konkoh sausage extensions

1 8-ounce package frozen chopped okra

1 green pepper

1 medium onion

3 cans 8 ounces diced tomatoes

6 8-ounce cans of chicken broth

Cajun Seasoning Tony Chacheri

2 whole bay leaves


1 cup vegetable oil

regular cup of flour


Grilled chicken with skin and fat free. Set the white and dark meat aside in a bowl and discard the rest. Open frozen shrimp, cut in half, and set aside in a bowl. Open frozen locust tails and set aside in a bowl. Conecuh sausage dice. Sit aside. Chop the bell pepper and set it aside. Cut the onions into cubes and set aside. Bring chicken broth to a boil and bring to a boil over low to medium heat. Add chicken, sausage, locust tail, frozen okra, bell pepper, onion, tomato and bay leaf to the broth and stir. Cook over low heat and stir for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make your own roux. Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat over medium heat until sizzling. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and whisk into hot grease. Whisk and stir until the mixture resembles a thin, caramel-coloured gravy. Remove the roux from the heat. Add the shrimp to the okra and simmer until the shrimp are pink. Add the hot roux to the okra and stir until the bamboo thickens. Add Cajun seasoning to taste and stir. Serve over a tablespoon of yellow or white rice.

Sharon Smith

Deluxe Prawns


6 ounces cream cheese

1 ounce blue cheese

Half a teaspoon of salt

Half a teaspoon pepper

6-8 drops Tabasco

3 tablespoons (or more) milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 pound cooked, cooked, or steamed shrimp

Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)


Combine all ingredients except shrimp and blend until smooth. Pour over the shrimp and toss gently to coat the shrimp evenly. Divide into individual casserole. Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Garnish with lemon wedges if desired.

Alison Low

Hickory smoked scallop


1 pound large scallops

Half a cup of white wine

½ stick butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 lemon




In a charcoal grill, light a walnut wood fire. Let it burn to hot white ash. In a large iron skillet, add the white wine, butter, parsley and garlic. Place the pan directly on the white ash base. Once the skillet is hot, add the scallops and sear for 3 minutes on the side. Remove the scallops and place them on a plate, and top with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Kirk Fantris

Shrimp, clams, bacon, potatoes, and cream make Leigh Ann Purvis’ Shrimp and Clam Chowder a hearty and satisfying option on a cold winter’s day. (Brock Echols/Alabama Living)

Shrimp and clam soup


1 pound of bacon

1 chopped onion

4 cups mashed potatoes

2 cups heavy cream

4 bottles of Bumblebee oyster juice

4 cans of minced oysters with Bumblebee juice

2 bags of frozen uncooked small shrimp

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups of milk

Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the chowder in a saucepan. Fry the bacon, crumble into pieces and set aside. Reserve the bacon broth. Chop the onion and then fry it in the broth. Add clam juice and chopped potatoes to the saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add the oysters, their juice, and the heavy cream to the saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and flour until the mixture is as smooth as possible, then add it to the saucepan. Stir slowly until it starts to thicken. Add bacon crumbs and last shrimp (still frozen) and stir fry until shrimp turn pink, then serve.

Lee Ann Purvis

This story originally appeared in Alabama Living magazine.

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