By Chandler Stroman

Lucy Buffett is launching her cookbook Lulu's Kitchen, A Taste of the Gulf Coast Good Life, a fabulous refresh of Crazy Sista Cooking, which she self-published in 2007. This new version, published by Grand Central Life & Style, includes a foreword by brother Jimmy Buffett and more than 120 signature recipes we can't wait to cook up.

In celebration of the big launch, Travel Editor Tracey Minkin and Digital Editor Susan Mahon are en route to Destin, Florida, as we speak to capture the cookbook launch events for you. Until then, we're presenting this little preview of mouthwatering recipes straight from her cookbook (for you to try at home!).

Famous Fried Green Tomatoes

Makes 4 Servings                                       

2 cups all-purpose flour2 tablespoons LuLu’s Creola® Seasoning1 ½ teaspoons salt1 tablespoon black pepper1 cup whole milk1 cup buttermilk1 tablespoon LuLu’s Perfect Pepper Sauce® or any “medium-hot” hot sauce4 green tomatoesPeanut oil or vegetable oil, approximately 6 cups or enough to fill a skillet about 1 ½ - 2” deep

  1. Preheat oven to 250°
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine milk, buttermilk and pepper sauce.
  4. Slice green tomatoes ¼” thick and place in milk mixture to soak.
  5. In a cast iron skillet or heavy skillet, heat oil to 355° over medium-high heat. (Use candy or fry thermometer for accuracy or until a little flour flicked into the oils sizzles).
  6. Dredge tomatoes through flour mixture, dip back into milk mixture, and dredge again in flour mixture, coating tomatoes thoroughly.
  7. Fry tomatoes in small batches (approximately 4 at a time) for 1 ½ - 2 minutes on each side, turning once during cooking.
  8. Drain on paper towels. Place cooked tomatoes in oven while others are cooking. When all batches are completed, serve immediately with WOW Sauce (see below).
 LuLu Clue: Not only is “double-dipping” allowed, it is absolutely mandatory in turning this not-ripe vegetable into a mouth-watering southern delicacy.

Lulu's WOW Sauce

2 whole fresh jalapeno peppers1 tablespoon olive oil1 cup mayonnaise¼ cup Creole mustard¼ cup horseradish

  1. Coat peppers with olive oil. Char in a hot skillet or under broiler. The trick is to blacken the skins evenly by turning them frequently.
  2. Once peppers are charred, place them in plastic baggie or covered bowl for about 15 minutes. As the peppers cool, the heat and moisture ”sweat” the skins from the peppers. Once skins are removed, cut peppers in half, carefully remove seeds, and finely chop.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate.

Crab Melt

Makes 4 Sandwiches

1 pound fresh crab claw-meat2 cups shredded Swiss cheese½ cup green onions, finely chopped½ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon pepper1 ½ cup mayonnaise4 loaves New Orleans-style French bread (8 inches long)

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚
  2. Carefully pick through crab meat to remove any stray shells (very important).
  3. Combine crab meat, cheese, green onion, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Mix well with mayo.
  5. Cut each French loaf in half, horizontally.
  6. Spread crab meat mixture generously over each piece of bread.
  7. Place all 8 pieces on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until hot and cheese starts to bubble.
  8. Finally, place under broiler for a few minutes until cheese is a golden brown.
LuLu Clue: We serve this “open-faced” on French bread at the restaurant, but I have also made it as hors d’oeuvre for parties on toast points, or as an individual appetizer wrapped in phyllo dough…there are many ways to serve this rich, addictive dish. I also love it golden, hot and bubbly in a small baking dish served with crackers.

Heavenly Fried Crab Claws

Makes 4 servings                

2 cups LuLu’s Crazy Frying Flour® (see below)2 cups whole milk1 tablespoon LuLu’s Perfect Pepper Sauce® or any “medium hot” hot saucePeanut oil or vegetable oil, approximately 6 cups or enough to fill skillet about two inches deep1 pound blue crab claws, cooked and fresh (NOT FROZEN) and shells removedLemon wedges for garnish

  1. Place LuLu’s Crazy Frying Flour® in a bowl.
  2. Place milk and hot sauce in another bowl.
  3. In a cast iron or heavy skillet, heat oil to 355˚ over medium-high heat. (Use candy or fry thermometer for accuracy or until a little flour flicked into the oils sizzles).
  4. Take a few crab claws at a time and dredge through flour. Dip in milk, and then dredge through flour again.
  5. Gently drop in hot oil. Fry crab claws until golden brown, turning once during cooking until they float to the top, about 2 minutes on each side. Adjust heat as necessary to keep oil temperature around 350 degrees. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
LuLu’s Clue: Blue Crab is a staple of the brackish bays and sounds along the Gulf Coast. Like any crustacean, the claw meat is the sweetest. Crab meat becomes stringy when frozen, so I use fresh. Crab tastes even better when you hang a chicken leg over the side of the pier with kite string and scoop them up yourselves! When fresh crab claws aren’t available, I substitute crawfish tails.

 LuLu’s Clue 2: I serve sliced lemons with all of my fried food and my vodka shots. It is not just for looks but squeezing a little lemon over fried seafood cuts the greasiness and enhances the flavor of the crab and the libation!

Lulu's Crazy Frying Flour®2 cups all purpose flour2 tablespoons LuLu’s Creola® Seasoning1 ½ teaspoons salt1 tablespoon black pepper

  1. Combine flour, seasoning, salt and black pepper.
  2. Mix thoroughly.

Key Lime Squares

Makes 10-12 Squares

For Crust:¼ cup blanched almond slivers1 cup unsalted butter, softened2 cups all purpose flour1 tablespoon powdered or confectioner’s sugar¼ teaspoon almond extract

For Filling:5 eggs2 cups white sugar¾ cup key lime juice¼ cup powdered or confectioner’s sugarPinch of salt½ teaspoon orange zest

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚
  2. Using a mini-food processor, chop almonds into a coarse meal.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or food processor, combine almonds, butter, flour, 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar and almond extract.
  4. Blend into a thick pastry and pat into the bottom of a well greased 8x12“ baking dish.
  5. Bake crust for 15 minutes and remove from oven.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 325˚.
  7. Gently beat eggs. Add granulated sugar, salt, key lime juice and orange zest. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Pour key lime filling over partially baked crust and return to the oven.
  9. Bake 20 – 30 minutes or until key lime filling “sets”.
  10. Remove from oven and cool.
  11. Sift remaining confectioner’s sugar on the top and cut into squares.
Purchase your copy of Lucy's cookbook here. (We think it would make a perfect Mother's Day gift, too!)

 

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