Erica Scott and Marlon Evans of the Greater St. Paul AME Church on North Houston Street in Scottsboro were all smiles on Saturday, January 24, 2015, as parishioners complimented their cooking skills at the welcome ceremony of Rev. Deborah Peppers.
The two prepared a dinner for the entire church of grilled chicken, broccoli and cheese casserole, salad and rolls and received a round of applause at the conclusion of the meal.
“The food was ‘off the chain,’” said a smiling Deborah Williams.
“It was wonderful,” added Carlene Reid. “It tasted good, the seasoning was delicious and I just enjoyed it so much.”
Scott, a hairdresser in Huntsville at ‘Couture Elements,’ enjoys cooking each time the church has a get-together.
“I made three big pans of the casserole this time,” she said. “I grew up cooking with my mother and grandmother always cooking so I really like it.”
Evans, who holds a degree in criminal justice and specializes in security, admitted it was his first time cooking for so many people, but had a great time.
“I really enjoy cooking and grilling, but I’m not the guy who usually does this,” he joked. “I’m the other guy. I was just filling in because he couldn’t make it.”
Evans marinated 60 pounds of chicken leg quarters in a vinegar-based marinade for 24 hours before cooking it for the dinner.
“The marinade is simple,” he said. “It’s just vinegar, seasoning salt and black pepper. The secret is to continue marinating the chicken while it cooks to keep it juicy. I grill it slowly for about an hour-and-a-half before serving it.”
Denise Fennell also helped to prepare and serve the meal.
“I just did the prep work,” she said with a laugh. “They deserve all the credit.”
After the dinner was prepared, Thelma Snodgrass, Joh Ellison and Jay Sanders served it to the congregation in style.
“This was a lovely meal and I thank you,” said Rev. Peppers. “Now let us go forth and do the work of God in this community and serve them as the Lord would have us to do.”
Easy Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli
1/3 cup milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 jar (8 ounces) pasteurized process cheese sauce
1 large bag shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked long grain white rice, cooked
* Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
* Stir the broccoli in the skillet and cook until it's tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in the milk, soup, cheese sauce and rice. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Pour the broccoli mixture into a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with shredded cheese.
* Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.