Summer is upon us and so is the season of backyard BBQs. Dazzle your guests with these recipes by the famed Lucy Buffett of LuLu’s in Gulf Shores, AL! You can find these recipes and more in her cookbook Gumbo Love: Recipes for Gulf Coast Cooking, Entertaining, and Savoring the Good Life.

Spicy Shrimp Ceviche Serves 8


  • 2 pounds poached wild-caught Gulf shrimp (recipe follows)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1/4 cup for serving, if desired
  • Juice of 5 limes (about 1 cup)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • Juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced (optional)
  • 2 limes, quartered (optional)


1. Chop the shrimp into thirds or bite-size pieces, or leave them whole if you prefer, and place in a large bowl.

2. Add the red onion, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, salt, white pepper, and sugar and stir well.

3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. While the mixture marinates, occasionally turn the container to evenly coat the shrimp in the liquid

4. Transfer the shrimp and liquid to a glass bowl to serve or divide among eight martini glasses. If desired, garnish with avocado, cilantro, and lime.

Poached Shrimp Makes 2 pounds shrimp

I use this method to cook shrimp that have been peeled. It takes only a few minutes, so be careful not to overcook the shrimp. Poaching lets them absorb the flavors from the poaching liquid, which is called court bouillon in fancy French cooking and typically uses wine. Staying in step with my beloved Gulf Coastal Caribbean and Mexican influences, I use tequila or rum!


  • 21/4 pounds large wild-caught headless Gulf shrimp in the shell
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tequila or rum
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 fresh cilantro sprigs


1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

2. Place the water in a large heavy skillet or saucepan. Add the tequila, lemon, onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns, and cilantro. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat until the liquid is simmering. Add the shrimp, cover, and cook for 3 minutes only! Pour the shrimp into a strainer and immediately cover with ice. When the shrimp are cool, remove and discard the lemon rounds, garlic, and cilantro. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

Highbrow Margarita Makes one cocktail

For an honest-to-goodness margarita, you need to use high-quality ingredients without a lot of juice or extra flavors – in other words, get to the heart of the matter.


  • Kosher salt, for rimming the glass (optional)
  • 1 orange, cut into thick wedges
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 ounces Patron Anejo tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Patron Citronge lime liqueur
  • 5 to 6 ounces soda water


1. Salt the rim of the glass, if desired.

2. Put 4 orange wedges and 2 lime wedges into a metal cocktail shaker. Add the tequila and lime liqueur.

3. Muddle gently, avoiding the rinds, which can add a bitter taste.

4. Add a small scoop of ice and the soda water to the shaker. Pour back and forth between the shaker and a large mixing glass a few times.

5. Pour the margarita into the salted (if using) serving glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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