Unique Foods in Every State: Alabama

There is a huge diversity of food in our great nation and I, Kathleen Raskin, will take you on an incredible journey, one dish at a time. Today in Kathy Jo’s Kitchen, I will start in the beautiful state of Alabama. However, this isn’t going to be an ordinary tour of culinary delights. These are dishes that you may not be familiar with, like stone-ground baked shrimp and grits or ribs, which are staples around those parts. Before you read much further, remember that there are incredible and delicious things that Alabama offers, like Hot Bama Brown sandwich at Baumhower’s or the Bouillabaisse from Hot and Hot Fish Club.

Ambrosia Salad

It used to be the nectar of the Greek gods. Alabama has decided to change the recipe and make it for a good ol’ boy. Here’s a version of the recipe if you want to test your sweet tooth. An altered version of the recipe can be found here.

1 can of chunked pineapple

1 can of mandarin oranges

1 bag of mini-marshmallows

1 bag shredded coconut

1 creamy dairy item, such as cottage cheese, sour cream, or Cool Whip.

Mix in a bowl. Refrigerate until you serve.

Kool-Aid Pickles

This one needs no introduction. A different explanation can be found here.

1 jar (32 ounces) whole dill pickles, undrained

2/3 cup sugar

1 envelope unsweetened Kool-Aid mix, flavor of your choice

Drain pickles. Reserve juice.

In a small bowl, combine the reserved juice, sugar and Kool-Aid, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Slice pickles. Return to jar.

Pour juice mixture over pickles. Discard extra juice.

Cover and refrigerate for one week.


Cheeseburger with Peanut Butter

A simple cheeseburger may not be exclusive to the state, but the way they prepare it, is unique all to itself. Here’s my take on it. Inspired by this recipe.

1 pound ground beef sirloin

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

8 slices Applewood smoked bacon

1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup peanut butter (preference is JIF)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

6 hamburger buns

6 leaves of lettuce

2 sliced tomatoes

Mix ground beef, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, Worcestershire sauces, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl until evenly blended.

Form beef mixture into 6 4-inch wide patties. Transfer to a large plate and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate until patties are firm, about 30 minutes.

Start an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until evenly browned. Drain on paper towels.

Cook beef patties on preheated grill until they are done to your preference. About 4 minutes per side.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the patties about a minute before they are done.

Mix peanut butter and maple syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir.

Spread on buns and place atop patties, lettuce, tomatoes and bacon.

This is Kathleen Raskin, posting from Kathey Jo’s kitchen, straight to yours. Bon apétit!