This article originally appeared in the Island Sun
As I’ve written before…we’re all about food in our family…whether it’s cooking, eating, growing, buying, ordering or sitting around a table after a HUGE meal…our family is all about food…and wine! And we have been as long as I can remember.
Some of my fondest memories came around our small dining table where we ate growing up. We had 2 meals every day at that table. Breakfast and dinner were always shared by the four of us around that table. After breakfast we passed the four sections of the Tampa Tribune around so everyone had a section…of course Lynn and I fought over the Sports Section daily…I think we fought over everything growing up. We’re down to only a few dust-ups now that we’re older…but we still have ‘em.
It was something Mom & Dad instilled in us there that shaped the way we grew up…appreciating good food, and good conversations. And learning the importance of family and friends. Breakfast was usually at 6:30 during the week…dinner was whenever we all got home…but we almost never ate with less than all four of us at the table. If Mom had a trial that ran late and she didn’t get home til after 8pm, we didn’t eat til then…if there was baseball or football practice (we didn’t have soccer, lacrosse or many other sports back then) that ran til after dark, we waited til everyone was home to eat…Dad’s job took him to South Florida and Palm Beach and Yeehaw Junction quite often…those days brought him home way past dark…but we waited to eat until he got there.
Mom & Dad have been married 60 years this month…I know that surprises some of you…I’ve heard that one derogatory term you’ve used…but they were married before either Lynn or I were born…1957. They have been such great role models for not just Lynn and me, but for so many of our friends as well…from my childhood buds who were at our house often to today’s buds…many who no longer have their parent around to enjoy. Mom & Dad have become surrogate parents to many more than just Lynn and I. Many of them will be with us this Saturday when we celebrate their 60th Anniversary…and I know we’ll continue another tradition in our family on Sunday morning and all be hungover…which will take us all to the Bridge Street Pier for Brunch. I requested the day off from my regular Sunday Morning Cooking Shift and will instead be a customer with all of our out-of-town buds. I know I’ll be having one of our most popular breakfast items at The Pier…The Hangover. Peppered Country Fried Chicken on a buttery Croissant bun smothered with Sausage Gravy and topped with an over easy egg…of course that will include a Bloody Mary and a Mimosa…cause, “You Can’t Drink All Day if You Don’t Drink in the Morning!”
I can’t decide if I want the Bourbon Bloody, Tequila Bloody, Fireball Bloody…there are so many options…
Here’s the recipe for The Hangover.
We serve it on a Croissant Bun…you can use a traditional croissant if you can’t find the bun…or an English muffin…but the Croissant bun is the best!
Toast the bun/croissant with butter on a flat top. Take a 6oz chicken breast and dredge with flour and then dip in egg and milk beer batter. Roll in mixture of:
- ½ Cup Flour
- ¼ Cup Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 Tsp Sweet Basil
- 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Pinch of oregano
- Pinch of granulated garlic
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Fry the chicken until golden brown and crispy
Meanwhile, cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Stir in flour (lightly covering the sausage pieces). Gradually add milk; cook until mixture begins to “boil and bubble” and thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the Chicken on the bottom of the croissant, cover with sausage gravy and top with a fried egg the way you like em…the runnier the better. Cover with Croissant top and enjoy! Best served with hash browns and a Bloody Mary…guaranteed to cure those morning after blues.
Here’re some of our Bloody’s we serve daily at the Oyster Bar on the Pier:
I’m Never Drinking Again…Oh Look, Fireball! | Zing Zang® and Fireball with a cinnamon stick and candied Bacon.
Tim’s One-Night Stand | Bloody Mary with Jim Beam and Peppered Bacon.
What Was I Thinking? | Bloody Mary and Patron garnished with lime and spicy green beans.
Bloody Caesar | Vodka and Clamato juice with an Old Bay rim lemon and celery.
Bridge Street Viagra | Zing Zang®, Vodka and a Gulf oyster…Bottoms up!
It’s so much easier to walk into the Oyster Bar on the Bridge Street Pier than going to all this trouble at your house the morning after a great night…like I said…we’ll all be there Sunday morning…just not too early this week.
Happy 60th Anniversary Mom & Dad…we ALL love you guys! And thanks for all you’ve done for me.