When I pick up LuLu’s Kitchen: A Taste of the Gulf Coast Good Life and start to read, I am transported to the beautiful beaches of Alabama. I can picture my toes in the sand, a tasty Margarita in one hand, and a piece of spicy fried shrimp in the other. It’s like I am sitting next to a long lost friend and being filled in on what has been happening.
LuLu’s Kitchen made its way to my door a few weeks ago and I have already made the recipe for Perfect Fried Shrimp twice. It was so good that my husband said that he, “would pay for that.” In fact, I think it is the best fried shrimp I have ever had. (Thanks, LuLu!) This cookbook has more than just the shrimp recipe – it has over 120 family recipes, party menus, as well as humorous stories peppered throughout.
I like how at the beginning of the book is a quote by Julia Child that we all should take to heart – “Above all, have a good time.” That could sum up the coastal lifestyle, which LuLu describes so well in her stories throughout the book.
LuLu includes recipe for everything from marinades to seasoning to stocks in the chapter called How to LuLu (LuLu Essentials). Continuing on, there is a chapter called Cocktail Hour that is devoted to specialty drinks such as Bama Breeze, The “Mo-Perfect Margarita,” LuLu’s Rum Punch, Key Lime Martini, The Best Bloody Mary, and quite a few more that are certain to wet your whistle. The book also has recipes for starters and snacks, gumbos and soups, salads, desserts, recipes that kids will enjoy, a small chapter devoted to grits, and dinner party menus.
The book is filled with beautiful full color pictures, mouthwatering recipes, and dinner inspiration. I see myself turning to this book whenever I am in the mood for seafood, an “adult” beverage, or sweet treat.
I never realized how easy it is to make a Key Lime Pie until I tried LuLu’s recipe. Now you can, too – I have been permitted to share the recipe with you. (If you want the recipe for Perfect Fried Shrimp, though, you will have to get your own copy! You should be able to get it at your local bookstore or at Amazon.com).
Key Lime Pie with Grand Marnier® Whipped Cream
- 2 cups finely-crushed graham-crackers
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup Key lime juice, freshly squeezed if available
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- Grand Marnier ® Whipped Cream (recipe below)
- 1 lime, thinly sliced for garnish
Grand Marnier ® Whipped Cream
- ½ pint heavy cream, well chilled
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier ® liqueur, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
- Press evenly into a 9-inch pie pan with hands or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Seat aside to cool.
- In a small mixing bowl, dissolve gelatin in cold water, stir, and set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine egg yolks and lime juice and stir over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until slightly thick and very hot. Be careful not to bring to a full boil.
- Add softened gelatin to lime juice mixture. Whisk well for 1 minute or until gelatin is dissolved.
- To quickly cool mixture, place saucepan in a large bowl filled with ice.
- When completely cool, gradually whisk in condensed milk, stirring until blended well and mixture become thick.
- Spoon into graham cracker crust and spread evenly.
- Cover filling with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- When ready to serve, top pie with fresh Grand Marnier ® Whipped Cream and lime slices.
- In a stainless steel mixing bowl, combine cream, sugar and liqueur.
- Whip with an electric mixer on high until cream holds peaks. Be careful not to over-whip cream or it will separate. Cream is properly whipped when you can drag a finger through it and a trough remains.
Recipe from LuLu’s Kitchen: A Taste of the Gulf Coast Good Life by Lucy Buffett, copyright 2007, 2016 and reprinted with permission.
*The pies you see pictured above were made using miniature pie crusts (6) instead of the homemade crust.
Lucy Buffett is a restaurateur of the award winning, fun-loving LuLu’s which serves more than one million guests a year at two locations, one in Gulf Shores, Alabama and the other in Destin, Florida. Lucy has also been recognized for her tireless work on behalf of sustainability and the environment. However, the greatest passion of this self-proclaimed gypsy rebel and reluctant entrepreneur is cooking good food for the people she loves. LuLu’s Kitchen: A Taste of the Gulf Coast Good Life (formerly Crazy Sista Cooking) is her first cookbook and is full of recipes and stories that made her restaurant the famous destination it is today. You can find more information on Lucy at www.LucyBuffett.com and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.