When I get off work on a Friday afternoon when the weather is nice, I cannot wait to get the weekend started. I typically don't feel like making complicated food... I want it to be fast, easy and delicious. This dish is so simple to whip up for a couple or a couple dozen guests. The key is to use fresh herbs and the best shrimp you can find. For me, that is Alabama Gulf shrimp... I'm lucky to have easy access to it. Frozen shrimp will work if that is what you can get but oh my, what a difference you will taste if you use fresh shrimp. Make this for supper and serve it with some toasty bread and a nice chilled glass of white wine and you've got a good start on a relaxing weekend.

Simple Suppers Lemon Herb Shrimp over Pasta


Yield: 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed

2 tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

pinch red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1 pound fresh Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on

1 cup seafood stock (I make my own using the shrimp shells but you can use the boxed kind)

1/2 cup white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc)

1 lemon, sliced

 1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Hot cooked angel hair or pasta of your choice... I use angel hair because it only takes a few minutes to cook.


Cook the pasta per package directions to al dente. Set aside.

In a large skillet or saucepan over medium high heat, add the olive oil. Once it is hot, add the smashed cloves of garlic and saute. Tilt the pan to make sure the oil covers the garlic and cook it for 2 minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor. Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and crush them with your hand into the pan, squeezing all the juice from them. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and oregano. Break the tomatoes into small pieces and cook for one minute. Add the wine and the stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Check the seasoning. You may need to add a bit more salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and allow them to cook for 2 minutes. Squeeze the lemon halves over the shrimp and drop both halves into the pan.  Flip the shrimp and cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side or just until the shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat. Add the butter. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the shrimp and sauce. Add the parsley and some Parmesan, if desired.

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Ceviche is a seafood staple in coastal regions of Spanish or Latin American countries. Refreshing and delicious, it has recently become popular in American restaurants. Because ceviche is healthy, simple and really flavorful, it will become a go-to when you are having friends over; it's perfect for margaritas after work or a great make ahead starter to kick off burger night with the neighbors. Best of all, ceviche is simple, unique, and super-fast! Use a firm white fish that will hold its shape. Cut into uniform size pieces so the fish cooks evenly in the marinade.



1 pound red snapper or other fish cut into 1/4 inch cubes

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 red onion, diced

1 small tomato, diced very small

1/2 cup red pepper, diced very small

1/2 cup yellow pepper, diced very small

1 jalapeno pepper, stems/seeds removed, diced very fine

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced into a paste or grated with a microplane or grater

Pinch of cumin

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped 


In a large zip top bag, add the fish with enough lime juice to cover. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Wisk the remaining ingredients except the cilantro together in a bowl along with 1/4 cup of the lime juice from the marinade. Remove the fish from the marinade and add to the mixture, stirring gently to combine. Chill completely, at least one hour. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.

Serve in a chilled glass with wedges of lemon or lime, and tortilla chips.

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What a weekend of great food events across Alabama!

It started on Friday with the first ever Alabama Gulf Seafood Cookoff held in Montgomery as the kickoff to the Southern Maker's weekend. I was Emcee for the event held during the VIP party at the magnificent E.A.T. South Farm facility in downtown Montgomery. The cook-off was created to find the best seafood chef to represent Alabama in the Great American Seafood Cook-off. Invited chefs submitted a recipe utilizing Alabama Gulf seafood for consideration. After the judges deliberated and voted, four finalists were selected.

From left: Alabama Gulf Seafood Chairman Jim Smith, Chefs Miguel Figueroa, Chef Brandon Burleson, Chef George Reis, and Chef Brody Olive at the First Annual Alabama Gulf Seafood Cook-off.

From left: Alabama Gulf Seafood Chairman Jim Smith, Chefs Miguel Figueroa, Chef Brandon Burleson, Chef George Reis, and Chef Brody Olive at the First Annual Alabama Gulf Seafood Cook-off.

Finalists then competed in the cook-off with their submitted recipes; each chef was allowed one sous chef to assist and each two-man team had one hour to complete their dish and present it to the judges. They were:

Brandon Burleson, Executive Sous Chef, Voyager's Restaurant at Perdido Beach Resort, Perdido Beach, Alabama presented Pecan and Herb Crusted Red Snapper.

Miguel Figueroa, Executive Chef, The A&P Social and Kudzu Noodle Bar, Montgomery, Alabama presented Roasted Red Snapper, Royal Red Shrimp, Braised Mushrooms, Corn Butter, and Collard Green Gnocchi.

Brody Olive, Executive Chef for Spectrum Resorts properties located on Alabama's Gulf Coast including Turquoise Place, The Beach Club, and Caribe Resort presented Pan Roasted Alabama Cobia with Toasted Cumin and Coriander Bayou la Batre Crab, Blistered Okra, Honeysuckle Scented Corn Puree, Pea Shoots and Pickled Okra Seeds.

George Reis: Owner/Executive Chef, Ocean Restaurant, Birmingham, Alabama presented Cumin Coriander Crusted Grouper with Smoked Alabama Shrimp Sausage, English Pea Hummus, Sand Mountain Tomato Jam Pickled Carrots, Radishes and Preserved Lemon Oil. Chef Reis is also featured in my Birmingham's Best Bites cookbook for a different Grouper recipe. Try that one if you have purchased the cookbook! Order it now from

In the end, Chef Reis' outstanding grouper recipe was selected as the winner and Chef Burleson came in second. All of the dishes were absolutely fantastic. Congratulations to the chefs and Alabama Gulf Seafood for another stellar event. I'll post recipes for you in the coming weeks. I hope you'll cook them at home or stop in to visit these fine chefs at their restaurants if you have the opportunity!