Grilled Quail with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

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Readily available in most supermarkets, quail packs a lot of flavor for such a diminutive bird. It also makes a divine alternative to traditional barbecue chicken if you’ve got a smaller crowds due to COVID19 this year. To give the bird a bit of  Southern flair,  they are brushed it with a traditional Alabama White barbecue sauce; its tanginess and subtle spice is a fine foil to the slightly gamey flavor of the birds.

Quail only requires a short amount of cooking time over high heat to reach the proper doneness of medium rare. Since the bird has so little natural fat, cooking beyond medium-rare runs the risk of developing a grainy texture in the meat.

Alabama white sauce was made famous by Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. Alabama white sauce is mayonnaise based, instead of tomato based, which gives it a great creamy flavor profile. Smoked chicken may be the most famous vessel for transporting this delicious, tangy and smooth sauce into your mouth, but it’s just the beginning! Alabama white sauce is incredibly versatile and has become a BBQ staple sauce for good reason. It offers the ideal balance of flavors to enhance all types of smoked or grilled meats and vegetables. If you are looking to change up your taste buds during this summer of grilling, try the white sauce on ribs or smoked turkey. You ca also use it as a tangy vegetable dip or use it as a dressing for cole slaw!

As an alternative, please feel free to use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce for this dish, to keep things easy. You can also prepare the quail indoors, in the oven, using a grill pan.

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided use
1/2 teaspoon onion powder, divided use
Freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce
2 packs Semi-Boneless Quail, spatchcocked
½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions:
To make the white sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, brown sugar, mustard, horseradish and vinegar until completely smooth. Whisk in water, Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce.

Transfer to a lidded jar. Use immediately or let set in the refrigerator for 24 hours to let the flavors meld together.  The sauce will  keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 

Bring quail out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you start cooking. Preheat a lightly oiled grill to medium-high.

Pat quail dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, remaining ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ onion powder, and smoked paprika.

Place the quail on the grill breast side down, a few inches apart. Grill for about 3 minutes then carefully turn over and continue to grill until birds are just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes more.The internal temperature of the bird should read between 120 and 125° F on the meat thermometer.

Remove to a platter to rest for 5 minutes.

Dress with sauce and serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.

Cook’s Note:
Sauce can be made a day ahead if desired.

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Guacamole

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Photo Credit: Instantparty.com, 2019.

For weekend get togethers,  your guests will forgive you if your party lacks guac. Make some in no time with the easy, no-frills recipe! Mushed avocado and diced tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno or habanero peppers give it a fresh, feisty kick that’ll make your mouth water! Pair it with classic Margaritas, if you like. 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 Haas avocados, peeled and diced
1/2 tomato, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 habanero or jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 garlic glove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Dash of lime juice
Salt, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving
Pita bread, for serving

Directions:

In a bowl, mush avocados until slightly chunky.

Add tomato, onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, lime and salt. Mix together.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips, vegetables or pita bread.

 


Halibut Ceviche

 

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Photo Credit: Instaparty.com, 2019

A heat wave is upon us, s with 200 Million people caught up in if in the Midwest and Eastern United States these past few days.  And it is just too darn hot to cook. With that being said, ceviche is a great, refreshing summertime treat that makes it easy to beat the heat!  This recipe is made with fresh halibut, lemon juice, lime juice, a little vinegar, red onion, and a touch of cilantro for a light, fresh snack that’s great on sliced avocado or tortilla chips. Use it to get the party started, and follow it with a perfectly refreshing cocktail.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

11/2 pounds Halibut ,skinned and cut into 1 cm cubes (See Cook’s Notes)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion , diced
1 jalapeño  seeded and diced
Avocado slices, for serving
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

Chill Halibut in fridge.

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, salt, cilantro, red onion and jalapeño in a glass bowl. Add chilled halibut, cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Drain some (but not all) of juice.

Serve with sliced avocado and tortilla chips.

Cook’s Notes:

Ceviche is typically made with raw seafood, lime juice, herbs, onion and other flavorings. The additional flavorings range from mango to avocado to cucumber. The common theme is that the seafood is “cooked” in the lime juice.

Shrimp, raw or cooked can be used as a great substitute for the halibut.