Today’s 2 on Tuesdays features two remarkable recipes, very southern and very Mobile. As the weather of spring very slowly moves into our area, we know when it gets here, it’s over in a hurry. Long before summer officially arrives, warm, sunny and very humid days follow this brief encounter we know as spring. This is when we start thinking of our favorite ‘rites of passage’ in cooling down on the front porch, sitting in a rocker under a fan and slowly sipping our beloved juleps. Sipping s-l-o-w-l-y, I might add.
Juleps come in all forms; some concocted with fruit juices, different types of liqueur and even to some, the method in making them differs. Not to Mobilians. There is only one julep, always the same ingredients, only one way of making them and that is the correct way – period, no discussion!
Both recipes come from the wonderful cookbook, Bay Tables published by The Junior League of Mobile and features recipes by Mobilians and great families around the Mobile bay. Enjoy!
Loretta’s Mint Julep
for 1 serving
4 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces quality bourbon
1 ounce simple syrup
dash of ginger ale
spring of fresh mint for garnish
Crush (muddle) the mint leaves in a bowl with the bourbon and the simple syrup. Let stand for 8 to 10 hours. Strain the liquid into a silver mint julep cup. Add ice to the to top and top off with ginger ale. Garnish with the sprig of mint. (serve with a short straw)
Personal note: There is a reason we do it this way – silver cups are of course optional, aluminum may be used. We like to place the cups on serving trays, make the drink as above, stirring until the outside frosts over without touching the cups and let the guest be the ones to ‘fingerprint’ them. The purpose of the mint sprig is to get a whiff when using the short straw. The cold bourbon is to help forget the pains of hot southern summers.
Irresistible Sausage Bites
make 3 to 4 dozen
1 package wonton wrappers
1 pound mild or spicy ground sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Place one wonton wrapper in each greased miniature muffin cup. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 3 to 4 minutes or until just golden. Remove the cups to a baking sheet.
Brown the sausage with the onion and red pepper in hot olive oil in a skillet, stirring until the sausage is crumbly. Drain and cool to room temperature. Add the cheese, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well. Spoon into the prepared cups. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.