Layout Image

Archive for Recipes

Mud Hen Bars

by Dale

A mud hen is a bird with long legs and short wings that inhabits swamps and marshes. Such birds have been known as marsh hens, rails, coots or mud hens. This bird requires a great deal of effort to get airborne so it has to paddle across the water for quite a ways before it attains flight. This is what gives it the name “mud hen”, because it stirs up a lot of mud in the process.  Maybe the sugary meringue topping on these bars resemble the color of mud.

“A shared recipe in the South is more precious than gold or silver, and it always comes with a story.”

1/4 Cup shortening
4 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 Cup sugar
1 whole egg
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Chopped Nuts
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
3/4 Cup  Nestle Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1.    Butter or grease a 9×13 pan.
2.    In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar. Beat in the whole egg and the yolks of the other two eggs.
3.    In a separate bowl, shift he flour, baking powder, and salt together.
4.    Combine the flour mixture with the creamed mixture, blending thoroughly.
5.    Spread the batter into the baking pan, patting with your hands if need be.
6.    Sprinkle chocolate chips, marshmallows, and nuts over the batter.
7.    In large bowl, beat the 2 egg whites until stiff. Fold in brown sugar until well combined.
8.    Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
9.    Cool completely and then cut into bars.
10.    Enjoy!

In thinking about a recipe to add to this newsletter… (here are so many that I love for this time of year) but one my favorites is my dear Mamaw’s Cornbread Dressing: it was amazing! Sometimes she’d put pecans in it, sometimes oysters; but it was always a treat. Like a lot of people, I eat more dressing than ham or turkey whenever they are on the table together, and this recipe is why…it’s as close to Mawmaw’s as I can remember. I’ve been making this one for over 30 years…every once in awhile I get pretty close to hers, but the love she added is the missing ingredient…enjoy…and Happy Holidays!

6 cups crumbled cornbread
3 cups soft bread crumbs
4 ounces butter
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups finely chopped celery
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
2 cups chicken, diced..pretty fine
1 heaping tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoons dried leaf thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 400ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornbread and white bread crumbs. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion and celery in butter until tender. Do not brown. Combine the sautéed vegetables with the bread mixture. Stir in chicken broth, using enough to moisten. Stir in the diced chicken, if using, and the seasonings and beaten eggs, blending well. Spread the mixture in a large shallow baking or roasting pan measuring about 10″ x 15″. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
A couple comments about this recipe…don’t use too sweet a cornbread and don’t crumble too fine…french bread that is a little tough adds great texture…fresh turkey stock made with giblets adds a whole new dimension…the dressing will be pretty soupy before baking…this yields a moist dressing.

Chipotle cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper, in adobo sauce
(minced and seeded peppers)
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges
Top each tortilla with 1 tablespoon of the chipotle cream. Top with fish, cabbage, corn and cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Pulled Barbecue Pork

•    Pork Roast (approximately 5 pounds)
•    1 tablespoon salt
•    1 teaspoon black pepper
•    1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
•    2 tablespoons brown sugar
•    1 tablespoon hot sauce
•    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1.    Put roast in slow cooker and sprinkle salt and pepper over. Pour cider vinegar over. Cover with lid and cook on low for twelve hours (I cook it overnight). Remove pork roast and shred with forks (this will be very easy). Drain juices from slow cooker, reserving two cups of liquid. Return pork to slow cooker. To the reserved liquid add: Brown sugar, hot sauce, and crushed pepper flakes. Stir well. Pour over shredded pork and place lid back on. Place on low or warm setting until ready to serve. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, reheating in the microwave.

I estimate this to make enough for about eight sandwiches, give or take.

This recipe makes it’s own sauce…and is not too spicy…add your own to give it a kick if you like.

I have a great recipe for homemade barbecue sauce that I will share very soon. It’s fun to make and put up in mason jars and give as housewarming gifts.

Enjoy!!  –Dale

Peach Cobbler

by Dale

Peach Cobbler

Cobbler filling:
4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove the skins) this is about 10 to 12 peaches
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon corn starch
Pinch of salt

Cobbler Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping and rolling
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

1 tablespoon sugar, for topping
Whipped cream or Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add butter and knead until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough just comes together.

Remove dough and knead lightly on a lightly floured surface until it just comes together. Divide the dough in half and form into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once dough is chilled, remove from the refrigerator and roll each disk into a 9-inch square approximately 1/4-inch thick.  Use flour to prevent sticking. Keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to assemble.

Melt butter in a large high-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cornstarch and water and cook until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon, salt. Remove syrup from heat hold until ready to use.

Grease the bottom of a 9-inch pan, place one of the rolled out crust in bottom of the pan stretch to come up the sides, add peaches, pour syrup on top of peaches, place the second crust on top of peaches, stretch as needed to seal, brush with melted butter and sprinkle heavily with sugar.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbly. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Top with whip cream or serve ala mode.

1 Categories : Desserts, Recipes

Our Red Velvet Cake is a Southern favorite… with it’s bright red color… the subtle hint of chocolate… that decadent frosting…. these Pancakes channel all of those wonderful flavors… right down to the cream cheese icing…

For Pancakes:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
12 ounces buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoon red food color
Mix all the dry ingredients together first… then add all the wet

For Glaze/Icing
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
couple drops of milk to get consistency to drizzle
Chopped Pecans to garnish

Serve 3 to order

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
1 medium yellow squash, sliced on bias
1 medium zucchini, sliced on bias
1 red onion, sliced in 1/2-inch thick circles
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
2 portobello mushroom caps, grilled and peeled
3 green onions
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

If you like more variety try adding:
1 bell peppers (red, green, or yellow)
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch thick circles
Preheat grill to high.
Prepare all vegetables. Place vegetables in a roasting pan with the mushroom caps and green onions. Season vegetables generously with salt and pepper, and toss with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place vegetables, cut side down, on the hot grill and cook for a couple minutes on each side, or until tender and nicely marked by the grill.
Remove from grill and toss with an additional 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Honey-Mustard Chicken Breast


1/2 cup Dijon mustard (we use Gulden’s)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl whisk the marinade ingredients.

4 chicken breast halves with bone and skin – This recipe works well with any chicken… and great with pork!

Place chicken in ziplock bag and pour in about 2/3 of the marinade, reserving the other 1/3. Refrigerate 3 – 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill, skin side down, over direct medium heat til nicely marked, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over, move to indirect medium heat, and cook til the meat is no longer pink at the bone 30 – 35 minutes more brushing occasionally with the reserved marinade during the last 15 minutes of grilling. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Marsala

1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
Chicken Tenderloins can be used in place of the chicken breast.

In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano and basil. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.

In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.  Wow so easy… Serve over hot pasta, rice, couscous… Enjoy!

This is the classic recipe… I enjoy modifying recipes to my taste… this one is no exception… try adding some of these ingredients to jazz it up if you prefer… onions, shallots, capers, fresh lemon juice, chicken stock, tomatoes… any one or all… you decide.

0 Categories : Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

So many of my best childhood memories were created on our family farm just outside Lexington, Kentucky. Spending summers there as a kid was a treat as much for the food I ate as for the exploring and tractor driving I did.  Just about everything we ate we either grew or raised ourselves.  My grandmothers were both such great cooks and eating was always a family social event. We had a big family and everyone would get together at her house; there were always 15 to 25 kinfolks and friends around many tables.  To be seated at the adult table was a great privilege, and I really enjoyed just sitting back and listening to the grown-up talk _  what an education! After dark we’d go out and catch lightening bugs and play tag.

I think about those wonderful days whenever I make this recipe. The summers were hot and the work days were long. Coming in for mid-day lunch was such a event. Back then, lunch was called “dinner” and what we call “dinner” today was called “supper.”  In any case, the meal was a big deal, so the memory of it does seem like a dinner event; it was a 5 course meal! Cucumber Salad was always a favorite of mine; so much so that my grandmother would make me my own batch and put it in a mason jar in the fridge, and I would eat a jar of it just about everyday and then drink the juice! She said the vinegar was good for me and maybe it has pickled me?
We’ve used this recipe at Dale’s since we opened…a nice variation to it is to substitute balsamic vinegar and feta cheese.
This is a wonderful summery salad great for our long hot days…bring it to your next gathering… or serve it to the family tonight.

Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced(leave some peel on it)
1 medium red onion, 1/4″ strips
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 cup warm water

1. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber and onions. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the vinegar and warm water – dissolve.  Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon.  Serves about 8… double it… it gets better with time.  Thanks Mam maw!

White Wine-Marinated Rib Chops


1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 Bone-in Pork Chops

Marinate for about 2 hours…Cook over direct medium heat

Black Bean Salsa

8 oz Italian Dressing
1 can  (16 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
10 oz. frozen corn, thawed
1 cup  chopped ripe mango
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/3 cup  chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup  lime juice

Vinegar Slaw

by Dale

Vinegar Slaw

Canola Oil – 1/2 cup (can substitute olive or other oil)
White Vinegar – 3/4 cup (can substute any type of vinegar)
Sugar – 1 tsp.
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Pepper – to taste
Cabbage – 1 medium, sliced into very thin 2-4″ long slices
Purple Onion – 1 medium, chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
Carrot -  1, shredded

In a small bowl, blend oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to make the dressing.
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, carrots
Pour dressing over the cabbage mixture and blend well, fully covering all pieces.
Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours

I’ve already heard it this year. Have you? Thump. Thump. Thump. It’s the thumping of watermelons.
You’d better get used to hearing it, since these hot summer months are the peak months of a long watermelon season that runs from May to October.

The average American eats more than 16 pounds of watermelon a year — but it isn’t just for dessert anymore.  It’s delicious paired with salty cheeses, bitter salad greens; it’s also a refreshing complement to smoky-flavored grilled meats and seafood.  Try Waltermelon Salsa over grilled tilapia (one of our specialties!).

If you’re choosing a watermelon and you have an irresistible urge to thump one, listen for “a solid resonance.” That, according to Food Network guru Alton Brown, indicates ripeness. Now, if I could only figure out what he means by a solid resonance.  Happy spitting…

Watermelon Salsa
3 cups diced seedless watermelon
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Mix.  Haha – simple instructions, yes?

If you like cilantro (me? big fan), you’re going to LOVE this chicken! It’s delicious, very easy, we serve it at Dales’s as an appetizer and main entree.  I’ve used this marinade on a whole chicken, and you can use it on steak too!  If you like things a little spicy…add a couple fresh jalapenos to the mix…you’ll thank me later :)

Once the chicken is finished cooking, I let it rest on a plate for a few minutes, then finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. The lime juice really brings up the flavors. Muy bueno!!

Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tenders

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
2 medium garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup fresh Italian(flat) parsley leaves and tender stems
1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1 lime, cut into wedges

To make the marinade: In a food processor, finely chop the pecans and garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil to create a smooth puree.  Bright green mixture…

Place the chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag and add the bright green mixture. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Remove the chicken from the bag. Grill over medium heat until the meat is firm and the juices run clear, 6 to 8 minutes total (3-4 minutes per side), turning once. Serve warm with the lime wedges.
Great with rice dishes and some pico de gallo…and a margarita!
Makes 4-6 servings.

Cooking memories started early for me.. I can remember being 6 or 7 years old spending the Christmas holidays with my grandmother.  I would awake to the smell of her bacon frying in her iron skillet…at that moment nothing else mattered.

I remember spending the night with childhood friends and noting the variety of eggs being served at their breakfast table…compared to my grandmother’s, theirs were usually rubbery, overcooked, almost plastic in texture, green or gray, burnt and raw at the same time. Now that takes talent.

My grandmothers eggs were a works of art; the care and love she put into them every time she cooked – and how she added just the right amount of bacon grease – made hers worthy of a 5-star restaurant. It was at her house that I learned to make my very first dish: scrambled eggs.  She moved slowly through the steps, cracking the fresh eggs into a large bowl, sometimes allowing me to whip them.  She preferred the fork method to whip up the volume….adding just the right amount of milk to make the eggs creamy and fluffy. She stressed the importance of salting them before cooking – just enough so they brought out the richness of the fresh eggs.  A careful and constant stirring over medium heat in her cast iron skillet (she didn’t believe in Teflon), and the result? The best, fluffiest, most savory eggs you ever tasted!

Those moments alone with my grandmother before the rest of the family awoke (eager for her breakfast) were some of my fondest cooking memories.. She would sip her coffee and watch while I cut out the biscuits.
Thank you Mamaw for showing me your love of cooking.

I have four children today and they all love to cook. Scrambled eggs is still a family favorite for breakfast, lunch or dinner or just a quick snack…we always use her recipe! :)

Food is Love,

Mamaw’s Scrambled Eggs
5 eggs
5 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons bacon grease
Ground pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs and milk, whisk with a fork. In an iron skillet, reserve two tablespoons bacon grease after you’ve cooked your bacon. Stir a pinch of kosher salt into egg mixture then pour into skillet, stirring slowly with a heat resistant rubber spatula. As soon as curds begin to form, increase heat to high and instead of stirring, use the spatula to fold the eggs over themselves while gently shaking the pan with your other hand. As soon as no more liquid is running around the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat and serve. Season with fresh black pepper. Remember: if they look done in the pan, they’ll be over-done on the plate.

Jamaican Tilapia Filets

1 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/4 – Dale’s Sauce
2 TBS – Lemon Juice
1 tsp – Salt
1 TBS – Basil Leaves
1/2 tsp – Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp – Ginger

1. To make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Add fish filets and throughly coat both sides.  Refrigerate for about an hour.
2. Grill over direct heat… or pan fry in olive oil.

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

4 – Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp –  salt
1/4 cup –  flour
1/4 tsp – pepper
1/2 cup – milk
1 cup – Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
12 fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp. Chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. capers
1/2 cup – chicken stock
1/2 cup – white wine
2 – Tbsp. lemon juice


  1. Flatten chicken breast as much as possible between plastic wrap…use rolling pin or meat mallet… season with salt
  2. Combine flour, salt, pepper….dredge breast in flour…dip in milk; then press chicken into italian breadcrumbs
  3. Pour about a 1/4″ depth of olive oil in a large iron skillet… heat to medium high… Fry breast 5 to 6 minutes per side
  4. Save about 2 Tbs… pan drippings from cooking the chicken… add garlic to this….cook for 30 seconds…add mushrooms saute for about 3 minutes… and green onions, parsley, capers….. stir in chicken stock, wine, and lemon juice….bring to a rapid boil… about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened….if too loose add Tbs. flour

Place chicken on a bed of spaghetti…serve mushroom sauce over chicken.

1 Categories : Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Ham is a perennial favorite in the south… especially around major holidays… but at Dale’s we love it year round…. Here’s a unique twist try this next time you serve it at home… or come in for it today at Dale’s.  Gives new meaning to ” a coke and a smile”…

Coca-Cola Glazed Ham
1 – 6-8 lb. fully cook, bone-in ham
30 – whole cloves
1 lb – dark brown sugar
1 cup – Gulden’s spicy brown mustard
1 cup – Coca-Cola soft drink
1/2 – Jim Beam whiskey or apple juice
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Trim ham to a thickness of a 1/4″ fat… cut a diamond pattern in fat with sharp knife at about 1″ intervals… insert cloves in each diamond box…place ham in a foil-lined 13- x 9″ aluminum pan
2. Mix together brown sugar, spicy mustard, coke, and whiskey or apple juice… pour carefully over ham..making sure it gets into the cuts on the ham.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours and 30 minutes… baste about every 20 minutes with pan juices.  Remove ham, let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Spiced Apples


1/2 cup butter or margarine
8 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2.  15 to 20 minutes or until apples are tender.

Chicken Piccata

by Dale

Chicken Piccata

15 boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 lb  flour
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil for cooking

1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Garlic
1/4 cup brined capers
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

  1. Cut the chicken breast halves horizontally, butterflying them open. If the breast pieces you are working with are large, you may want to cut them each into two pieces. If the pieces are still thick after butterflying, put them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat hammer to 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture, until well coated.
  3. Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces, do not crowd the pan. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.
  4. Add the chicken stock (or white wine), lemon juice, garlic and capers to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Plate the chicken and serve with the sauce poured over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: Serves 4

0 Categories : Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Caribbean Rice

by Dale

Caribbean Rice

•    1 teaspoon Olive Oil
•    1/3 cup Shredded Coconut
•    1/4 medium size onion- minced
•    1 cup par-boiled Uncle Ben’s Rice
•    16 oz Chicken stock
•    1/2 a mango peeled and cubed
•    bunch of cilantro

1.    Heat oil in a large saucepan and add coconut.
2.    Cook, stirring constantly until very lightly browned Add minced onion.
3.    Continue cooking and stirring 1 minute longer.
4.    Add rice, stir to coat.
5.    Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
6.    Cover and reduce heat to low.
7.    Simmer 25 to 30 minutes until rice is tender.
8.    Remove from heat and stir in mango.
9.    Top with cilantro

This is a super easy dish that will have the family giving you rave reviews at the next gathering…. the salsa holds up for a couple days so you can even make it a day ahead…also if you don’t like mango’s try it with peaches or strawberries; both are excellent.  Add in some black beans and you’ve got yourself a great dip with some chips…the only thing to watch in making the rice is toasting the coconut… it will burn on you if you’re not constantly stirring….otherwise it’s a piece of cake… Happy Sailing!!  Do I hear Jimmy Buffet?

0 Categories : Recipes, Side Dishes

Island BBQ Tilapia w/Mango Salsa

• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2-4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets

Mango Salsa
• 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
• 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
• 2 tablespoons minced red onion
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• salt and pepper to taste


1. Whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, cilantro, garlic, basil, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the tilapia fillets, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. Prepare the mango salsa by combining the mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper in a bowl. Add the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.  Cooking on cedar planks work great for this dish too.
4. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the fillets until the fish is no longer translucent in the center, and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Serve the tilapia topped with mango salsa.

Meat sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef 80/20
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Lawry’s salt
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine

16 ounces Spaghetti or other pasta, freshly cooked
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown, breaking up with fork, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to plate. Add onion and garlic to skillet and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, basil, oregano and paprika and continue cooking 1 minute. Return beef to skillet; add tomatoes, tomato sauce and wine. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until sauce is thick, about 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Toss pasta with sauce and grated Parmesan in large bowl. Sprinkle Parmesan over pasta.  Buon appetito

Jalapeno-Orange Glaze Chicken Breast


2 cups Orange Juice
3 Finely chopped Jalapeno peppers
1 Tsp Granulated garlic
1 oz Olive oil
2 oz Maple syrup
1 tsp Lawry’s salt
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1 Tbsp. Chopped Cilantro

Yields… 6 orders

Mix all ingredients together… bring to a boil… reduce heat to medium… cook for about twenty minutes.

Grill chicken… 8 to 10 minutes…dip in glaze just before serving…

Carrot Souffle

by Dale

Dale’s Famous Carrot Souffle
(a Most Requested Recipe and Menu Item!)

3 lbs. Carrots, peeled
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Brown Sugar
1 TBLS Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla
4 TBLS All Purpose Flour
6 Fresh Eggs
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Liquid Margarine
1 TBLS Confectioners Sugar

Cut carrots into 1” chunks, place in sauce pan, cover with water,  add a dash of salt and cook over medium heat for 45 min. or until they are very soft. Test with a fork.  While carrots are hot, whip in a food processor or blender; add sugars, baking powder, and vanilla.  Add flour and mix until smooth.  Add eggs and cinnamon then margarine.  Be careful not to over mix, you don’t want a lot of foam.

Place in oven dish, filling the dish about ¾ full to allow room for it to rise.
Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees, or until center springs back to touch.
Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.  Yield:  8-10 servings.

We cook food because we have to, but we “grill” because we want to.  Grilling in the South is a lifestyle and a state of mind that we partake in as often as we can…preferably every day!

Successful Grilling begins with:

  • Quality Ingredients
  • Recipes
  • Equipment
  • You!

Rubs and Marinades –
These work well on all cuts of meat…beef, poultry, seafood, and pork…just adjust your cooking time:

  • Chicken – 15 to 30 minutes
  • Thick steaks – 1 to 2 hours
  • Ribs and Butts – 2 to 8 hours

Here’s a  Classic Barbecue Rub:

  • 2 – Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 – Tsp Celery Seed
  • 1 – Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ – Tsp Mustard seed
  • 1 – Tsp Dried Thyme
  • ½ – Tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1 – Tsp Paprika (smoked if you can find it)
  • ½ – Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 – Tsp Chili Powder
  • ½ – Tsp Fennel seed
  • 1 – Tsp Sugar
  • Dash – Cayenne Pepper

Add or remove ingredients to your taste…and if you have a specific request, let me know… I’ve experimented with many!

Marinades –
I love making these; my Dad was the master at creating awesome blends from whatever was leftover in our refrigerator or at hand in the pantry.

Quick and Easy:
An oldie but still a goodie if you’re pressed for time – just use Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing – it’s been used for many years because it works great on just about anything.

Beef and Chicken All-Purpose Marinade:

  • 1 – Cup Lemon Juice (RealLemon is fine)
  • 1 – Cup Oil – Olive or Canola is best
  • ½ – Cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ – Cup “Dale’s Sauce” or “Moore’s Marinade”
  • ½ – Tsp Black pepper
  • ½ – Tsp granulated garlic

Marinate 2 hours for Beef;  1 hour for Chicken.
Note: Never reuse marinade…but you can boil it and then baste with it.
If you prefer a more citrus flavor…try orange, lime, or pineapple juices…
This marinate is a good starting point…add to your taste —spice it up. Sweeten it…or just clean out the fridge!
Happy Grilling!!! –Dale

If you’ve purchased  our delicious home-style entrees from our Dale’s On the Go ready-to-bakes, here are reheating instructions:

Reheating our Honey-Glazed Ham
The goal is to reheat the ham without drying it out. The best way to do this is to place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan or pan it came in.   Keep the whole thing covered tightly with foil or aluminum lid.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 16-20 minutes per pound, until a meat thermometer registers 135 degrees F about 45 minutes.  Unwrap the ham and baste with the glaze; increase the heat to 400 degrees F and bake for 15-20 minutes longer until the glaze is burnished.

Carrot Soufflé
Thaw Bake Uncovered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool 1-2 minutes, dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Serves 15. Enjoy!!

Squash Casserole
Thaw bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy.  Serves – 6

Turkey and Fixings
Re-Heating instructions for your Turkey:
Pre-Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place wrapped turkey in oven with pan underneath.
Heat approximately 1 ½ hours, or until desired temperature is obtained.
After re-heating remove from oven and allow turkey to rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Cooking instructions for Cornbread Dressing:
Approximately 15 minutes after you’ve put in your turkey in the oven.
Remove lid from cornbread dressing and place in same oven…
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for 1 – 2 minutes.

Cooking instructions for Giblet Gravy:
Pour gravy into sauce pot. Heat over medium heat Bring gravy to just boiling.
Remove from heat
Serve immediately.

•    2 cups flour
•    4 teaspoons baking powder
•    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
•    3/4 teaspoon salt
•    2 tablespoons butter
•    2 tablespoons shortening
•    1 cup chilled buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (about the size of dimes)
Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press or roll into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough no twisting. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the scraps won’t be as light as the first… my grandmother would use these scraps for dumplings….your choice)
Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

•    4 large russet potatoes, each about 3/4 pound each, scrubbed and dried
•    2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
•    1/3 cup sour cream
•    1 green onion, finely chopped
•    2 TBS crispy cooked chopped bacon- 4 or 5 slices
•    1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
•    salt and ground black pepper
•    dash Cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes directly on the rack in the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Pierce each potato in a couple spots with a fork and continue to bake until tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove potatoes from the oven, and turn the heat down to 375 degrees F.

Hold the potato with an oven-mit or towel, slice potatoes in half length-wise. Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. Mash the potato lightly with fork along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter and sour cream. Stir in the onions, bacon, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Season the skins with salt and pepper. Refill the shells with the potato mixture mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the potato filling.

Set the potatoes on baking sheet and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

•    1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed and broken into 1-inch pieces
•    2 slices bacon, chopped
•    1 small onion, minced
•    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
•    2 teaspoons sugar
•    dash black pepper-coarse ground

Cook green beans in 1-inch of simmering water, covered, for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside. Return skillet to stove and set burner to medium high. Add bacon and brown. When fat begins to render, add chopped onions to the pan and cook until tender with the bacon. Add cooked green beans to the pan and turn to coat in bacon drippings and onions. When the beans are hot and baconcrisp at edges and onions translucent add vinegar to the pan and season beans with sugar and pepper. Allow the vinegar to evaporate and the sugar to combine with pan drippings, 1 to 2 minutes, then serve.

◦    1 (8 to 10-pound) smoked pit ham, bone-in, skin on
◦     salt and freshly ground black pepper
◦    1 TBS rubbed sage
◦    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
◦    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
◦    2 oranges, sliced thin, seeds removed
◦    1 lime, sliced thin, seeds removed
◦    1 lemon, sliced thin, seed removed
◦    2 cups orange juice
◦    2 cups light brown sugar, packed
◦    1 cup water
◦    1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
◦    2 cinnamon sticks
◦    11/2 pounds baby carrots

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the ham in a large roasting pan, fat-side up. Using a sharp knife, score the ham with cuts across the skin, about 2-inches apart and 1/2-inch deep. Cut diagonally down the slashes to form a diamond pattern; season the meat generously with salt and pepper.  Mix rubbed sage with the oil to make a paste. Rub the sage-oil all over the ham, being sure to get the flavor into all the slits. Bake the ham for 2 hours. 
For the glaze: Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chunks of butter, oranges,limes, lemon, orange juice, brown sugar, water, and spices. Slowly cook the liquid down to a syrupy glaze; this should take about 30 to 40 minutes.
After the ham has being going for a couple of hours, pour the citrus glaze all over it, with the pieces of fruit and all.  Stick the ham back in the oven and continue to cook for 11/2 hours, basting with the juices every 30 minutes.
Scatter the carrots around the ham and coat in the citrus glaze. Stick the ham once again back in the oven and cook for a final 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender, the ham is dark and crispy, and the whole thing is glistening with a sugary glaze.
Set the ham on a cutting board to rest before carving. Serve the carrots and citrus glaze on the side.


◦    7 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
◦    1/4 cup mayonaise
◦    1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
◦    1 teaspoon prepared mustard
◦    Cooked crispy crumbled bacon- 3 slices
◦    Salt and pepper, for taste
◦    Paprika, for garnishing
◦    Sweet gherkin pickles sliced, for garnishing
◦    Pimentos, for garnishing

Halve 7 eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl.

Mash yolks with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, pickle relish, and mustard, bacon. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture. Garnish with paprika, pickles and pimentos. Store covered in refrigerator.

Southern Ambrosia

As a child growing up in Florida,  I remember having Ambrosia every Christmas and Thanksgiving on our trips to Kentucky to visit family.  It was the only time we ever had it because an entire dish made up of fruit was considered a luxury in those days.  Oh, we had an occasional orange, apple or banana but pineapple, cherries and nuts were reserved for special occasions or holidays and when we had this wonderful Southern Ambrosia.  The adults kept this dish a secret from us kids more for them I’m sure… I got it by mistake one year…been hooked ever since.  This is my grandmother’s recipe on my fathers side of the family… we affectionately called her Baba…

I’ve used canned pineapple and orange for convenience. Fresh is much better if available.
* 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits
* 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments
* 1/4 cups maraschino cherries… drained and rinsed
* 1 cup miniature marshmallows
* 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
* 1/2 cup pecan pieces
* 1/2 cup dairy sour cream OR plain yogurt
* 1 cup Whipped Topping — cool whip

1. Drain pineapple and orange segments.
2. In large bowl, combine pineapple, orange segments, cherries, marshmallows, coconut and nuts.
3. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream and whipped topping.
4. Stir sour cream mix into fruit mixture.
5. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.
Serves: 4 to 6

Hummingbird Cake is such a strange name that it makes you wonder its origin. Unfortunately, my research did not lead to an answer so we are still left wondering. It does seem plausible that it may have something to do with how sugary rich this cake is – just like the nectar that Hummingbirds love to feed on. Anyway, what we do know is that the recipe gained widespread popularity after it appeared in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living Magazine. We also know that the recipe was submitted by a Mrs. L. H. Wiggins of Greensboro North Carolina and consists of three layers of cake filled with chopped pecans, crushed pineapple, and mashed bananas and frosted with a delicious cream cheese icing.

[Note from Editor: Further research reveals that the cake may have originated in Jamaica, where the national bird is the The Doctor-Bird (Trochilus Polytmus) or Swallow-Tail Hummingbird (picture accompanies this post), which lives only in Jamaica. Some say that the cake is so delicious it makes you hum with happiness while others think the cake is named because it's sweet enough for hummingbirds. Another theory is that people hover around the cake similar to the way hummingbirds hover around flowers. notes that perhaps it was named after the way the cake draws people in and is eaten quickly, similar to the eating pattern of those tiny energetic fliers.]

This cake is wonderfully moist and tender aided by the use of oil, instead of butter. My motto these days is “the easier, the better” and this cake fits the bill. No mixer is needed, just two bowls: one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry. Stir the two together and you are done.

Hummingbird Cake is similar to a carrot cake, especially when filled and frosted with the ever popular cream cheese icing. The icing is slightly different in that it has a nice caramel flavor, thanks to the addition of finely chopped pecans. Because this cake is so rich it needs to be served in small slices, which makes it the perfect cake for large gatherings.

A Southern cake needs a Southern ingredient, and we definitely find it in pecans. Pecans are a native Southern American nut and are a member of the hickory family. It is the third ranking crop in the United States, cultivated in the States of Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida. They are at their peak when harvested in the fall, but are available year round. A smooth, reddish-brown, one-inch (2.54 cm) long oval shell encloses two golden-brown crinkled lobes with ivory-colored meat. Pecans have a buttery, soft-textured, slightly bittersweet taste that is enhanced when toasted. Their high fat content (over 70%) causes them to go rancid quickly so store in fridge.

Now you know what a Hummingbird Cake is….enjoy a slice at Dale’s.

2 Categories : Desserts, Easter Recipes, Recipes

Hummingbird Cake

Yield: 16 servings
3  cups  all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1  teaspoon  salt
2  cups  sugar
1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
3  large eggs, beaten
1  cup  vegetable oil
1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
1  (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1  cup  chopped pecans
2  cups  chopped bananas
¼ cup Sweetened Coconut (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
1/2  cup  chopped pecans

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Chopped pecans for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans

Read a post about how Hummingbird Cake may have gotten its name.

3 Categories : Desserts, Easter Recipes, Recipes

Irish stew

2 pounds of Beef stew meat
1 ½ pounds Irish Potatoes
5 medium onions
3 medium carrots
Fresh parsley and thyme to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups water

Trim meat up…pretty fair size pieces…peel and slice the potatoes, put a layer of potatoes, meat, onions, carrots and herbs in a large pot…then repeat….
Pour water over the meat and potatoes…and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for about 2 hours.  Check during cooking, adding more water as necessary.  Makes 4 servings
A good Irish stew should be thick and creamy, not swimming in juice.

We get lots of requests for Dale’s Southern Grill recipes…our new RECIPE PAGE will be coming soon! We’re glad to share them so you can enjoy the Southern Experience that is the Dale’s specialty! Check back soon, then feel free to post your comments about how you prepared the recipes and enjoyed them with your friends and family. And thanks for visiting Dale’s Southern Grill!

0 Categories : Recipes