Dauphin Island has some restaurants, but there’s just one grocery store and no fast food restaurants. And Lawson is at that awful little boy age of 22 months old that means he HATES sitting at a restaurant for more than thirty minutes (he honestly hates any sort of high chair all the time) so I decided to cook dinner every night at the beach house instead of going through the hassle of getting everyone showered and ready just to wait on a table at a restaurant while my youngest loses his mind.
I’m smart like that. 😉
The only downside is having to use someone else’s kitchen. No food processor (so I made biscuits in a blender), no liquid measuring cups and only 2/3 and 1 cup dry measuring cups (which meant most things I just guessed at), no chopping board, no grater, only one big bowl, etc. Buuuuut it all came together in the end.
Please note these are photos from my phone and are horrible quality and are not staged at all…but I had 8 hungry mouths (including myself) ready to eat, ha!
The first night we had spinach linguine with cream sauce and sautéed Ruby Red shrimp (all our seafood came from Skinner Seafood Market on the island or caught by us).
We found these homemade dry pastas at the Mobile Farmers Market the day we drove down and bought a pound or so of the spinach angel hair (you can even buy it online here!). It was delicious! I paired it with a homemade alfredo sauce and sautéed shrimp. C. liked it so much he ate leftovers for lunch two days in a row (and he never ever ever eats leftovers!).
A pound of lump crab meat made about a dozen crab cakes.
Note: Make the remoulade sauce before you go to the beach (it requires the most pantry items) and stick in your cooler (I also do that with my homemade ranch). For the biscuits I made my own buttermilk.
Oh and these crab cakes? BEST I’VE EVER HAD.
On the third night we had low country boil.
What would a trip to the beach be without a low country boil, right?! I should note I always add vinegar to the pot of water–I saw the hint on the back of the Old Bay seasoning can years ago. I researched it and the vinegar acts like a lemon–it heightens/brightens the seafood (and nothing tastes like vinegar so no worries).
These may look like red snapper at first glance, but they are actually vermilion snapper. And y’all, they make some of the tastiest fried fish tacos I’ve ever had. Actually, not “some of”. They are THE BEST fried fish tacos.
I used this beer batter recipe. I love how simple the ingredient list is since we didn’t have a fully stocked pantry at the beach. For what’s it’s worth, I used non-alcoholic beer (all we had on hand) and it tasted great.
I served the fish with warm tortillas, lettuce, homegrown tomatoes, avocado, poblano slaw, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. I also made some spanish rice out of a packet and cooked some fresh corn with a little butter and some chopped poblano.
(This was this best dinner in my opinion.)
The next night was our last night at the beach so we did a clean-the-pantry out dinner. We used more of the vermillion snapper, but this time I cooked it in the oven. I added steam broccoli, mac n cheese (the kids are not big fan of broccoli and baked fish, who would’ve thought?! HA!!), creamy corn-cucumber-tomato-onion salad (that’s the bomb dot com), and corn bread muffins.
And that was we ate for dinner at the beach. Just posting these recipes makes me want to go back again. I’m already looking forward to next year!