Bay Appetit Recipes of the Week
Time-honored recipes from the past 40 years of Mobile Bay Magazine
Mr. B's "World's Best" Crab Omelets
photo by Dan Anderson
Mr. B’s “World’s Best” Crab Omelets
“Classics of Battles Wharf,” July 2007
The late, great William Bullock Inge Jr. was most defiinitely an institution at Battles Wharf. All of the locals knew him better as simply “Mr. B.” For more than 35 years, he lived year-round in a charming little 1890s cottage. He and wife Ippy frequently went out crabbing together (and sometimes at each other). Then, the two would prepare their day’s catch. Mr. B regularly ate these served up with fresh tomato slices and creamy, buttered grits.
1 pound crabmeat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs, separated
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 2 tablespoons butter
4 green onions, chopped (may substitute 1/2 regular onion, chopped)
4 - 5 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup)
1. Put crabmeat in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add egg yolks to crabmeat and toss gently.
2. Beat egg whites with mixer until soft peaks form. Carefully fold egg whites into crabmeat mixture.
3. Using medium-high heat, melt equal proportions of olive oil and butter in a skillet to create a “nice layer of about 1/4-inch.” Pour/spoon about a third or fourth of the crabmeat mixture into skillet. Sprinkle in some green onions and chopped parsley. Cook until the edges and bottom are golden brown, lifting around the edges, from time to time, with the spatula as the omelet cooks, approximately 3 - 4 minutes.
4. Flip one side over on top of the other and cook another minute or so. Carefully turn omelet over and cook another 1 - 2 minutes on the other side.
5. Repeat process with more of the egg mixture. (You may need to add additional oil and butter as you go.) Recipe makes 4 medium-sized omelets or 3 big omelets.
“Sunny-Side Up,” November 2010
Bay Breeze Bed and Breakfast owner Bill Jones is known for this creamy early-morning specialty. Guests often return for just a spoonful of this Southern staple.
8 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons ham, chicken or bacon base (Bill uses Minor’s.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups Quaker white quick grits
1/2 stick butter
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked Gouda and/or Colby-Jack cheese
3 green onions, chopped
1. Bring water to a boil. Add base, salt and pepper and whisk well, until base is dissolved.
2. Add grits and whisk frequently. When grits begin to thicken, add butter and cheeses and whisk until mixture is creamy.
3. Reduce heat and continue cooking until desired consistency. Add green onions before serving. Serves 8 - 10.
Pecan Praline French Toast
“Sunny-Side Up,” November 2010
The Kate Shepard House, an historic bed-and-breakfast on Mobile’s picturesque Monterey Place, is known for this rich dish. One bite is like a carriage ride to Tara – a decadent Southern delight. In fact, it is listed in the Alabama Bureau of Tourism’s “100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die.”
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, well packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 slices Texas toast
1 stick butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans
powdered sugar to garnish
1. The day before baking, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
2. Spray a 9-by-12-inch baking pan with cooking spray and pour approximately 1 cup of the egg mixture into the pan. Lay Texas toast over the mixture. Pour remaining egg mix on top, making sure bread is well soaked. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, butter and pure maple syrup in a saucepan until boiling, stirring often.
4. Reduce heat and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add chopped pecans and stir well. Pour butter mixture over the bread. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes. Serve warm, with powdered sugar lightly sprinkled on top. Serves 4.
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