RMHC programs are cued to meet the needs of the communities they serve. And often times, so are their kitchens. Around the world, Ronald McDonald House guest families get to experience local flavors as they are cooked and dished up by the House’s staff and volunteers.
 
When you step inside the Ronald McDonald House in Mobile, Alabama, you are greeted by true southern hospitality. And likely the aromas and comforts of a traditional southern meal, bubbling on the stove.   
 
This month, RMHC staff members, Liz Calci, Curtis Saucier, an Paul Giadina shared recipes that they’ve prepared for families at the House with us. While Liz is a little more inventive with her baking, Curtis and Paul love preparing good old fashioned southern favorites like jambalaya and slow roasted lima beans. Whatever the delicious end product, all of them always go the extra step to make the House a little more like home for the families staying there.  

Bananas Foster Banana Bread
Prepares: 1 loaf
Total Prep & Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Loaf Ingredients-
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 ripe bananas, room-temperature, mashed
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel Ingredients:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Glaze Ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup milk
¼ cup light brown sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan.

2. Combine ingredients for streusel topping in bowl and mix with fingers or a whisk to create a crumbly-textured topping with butter evenly distributed. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, beat together the sugar and oil using the medium speed setting on a mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and continue beating mixture. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until the flour is incorporated and finish mixing with a spatula.

5. Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the batter. Bake until a think knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean, about 60 minutes.

6. To make the glaze, combine the butter, water, brown sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

7. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then, using a skewer, poke holes all over the top of the loaf. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the glaze all over the loaf. Let the cake sit for about 5 minutes and then spoon the remaining glaze over it, a little at a time, until all is absorbed in the bread.




Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya
 
Ingredients: 
 
½ cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped scallions
3 cups diced chicken (uncooked)
3 cups sliced Andouille sausage
4 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups uncooked long grain rice
 
Directions: 
 
Melt butter in large pot then add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until tender. Stir in scallions, chicken and sausage and cook for an additional 7 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except rice and reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes more. 
 
Stir in rice, cover pan and cook on low for approximately 30 minutes until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. 
 
 
Baby Lima Beans
 
Ingredients:
Reserved bacon grease
1 lb. baby lima beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
Approximately 1 lb. of ham or 3 ham hocks
 
Directions: 
Cook onion and pepper in 2 tablespoons of bacon grease on low-to-medium heat. 
 
Wash beans thoroughly and add to pot with onion and bell pepper mixture.  Add water to pot, just about 2 inches over beans. Add ham or ham hocks. Bring to a hard boil. Cover and turn heat to low for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
 
Cover again and simmer beans on low heat stirring occasionally. Cook for approximately 1 1/2 hours until beans are well done and creamy. Pairs perfectly with gumbo and homemade cornbread!