CRESTVIEW — They may wear blue while on duty, but Crestview Police officers and administrative staff happily swap their uniforms for chef's aprons when it comes to family get-togethers and backyard cookouts.

With the Fourth of July holiday ideal for gathering around the picnic table, several officers and police staff shared some family favorite recipes.

Cold Bean Salad

Marie Saccaro, Crestview Citizens Police Academy Alumni Inc. president, shared this recipe, which she said is popular at family gatherings and potluck occasions.


Ingredients:
Salad:

1 (14.5-ounce) can green beans, drained 1 (14.5-ounce) can wax beans, drained 1 (15.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans 1 (14.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained 1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, drained 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped celery

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup vinegar 1/2 tsp. pink or regular salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1/2 cup sugar

Mix all the beans together in a bowl with the onions, celery and peppers. Toss the mixture.
Mix the dressing ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the beans and toss until all is coated and mixed. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours then serve.

Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa

This southern cobbler recipe I make is similar to the one mentioned in "Steel Magnolias":

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter 1 cup flour 1 cup whole milk 1 cup sugar 2 tsp. baking powder (omit if using self-rising flour) Pinch of salt 2 cups blueberries (or other fruit)

Put the butter in a baking dish. Put it in the oven, then turn the oven on to 350°F and let the butter melt as the dish heats up.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, whole milk, and sugar in a large bowl. If you use all-purpose flour (instead of self-rising) add 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Add a pinch of salt. Mix it all together to make a runny batter. Take the hot baking dish out of the oven and pour the batter over the melted butter. Do not stir. Spread the blueberries (or other fruit) across the top, without stirring.
The fruit will sink into the batter as it bakes.
Bake it about 45 minutes, but toward the end, ensure the edges don't burn. It should be a golden brown and the edges should be a bit browner. It is great served hot with ice cream on top.
Note: You can use 1/3 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup granulated sugar, and a teaspoon cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to make it a bit spicier if you use sliced apples, pears or peaches instead of blueberries.

Easiest Ever Grilled Corn on the Cob

Officer Wanda Hulion, Community Services, said, "Somebody told me about this (corn recipe) and I said, 'That's just too easy.'"

Ingredients:

As much fresh corn on the cob as you want Mayonnaise

Shuck and clean the corn well. Rub mayonnaise thoroughly over each cob.
Wrap each cob individually in aluminum foil and cook on the grill about 15 minutes, turning them occasionally.
Remove the foil for the last five minutes to allow the corn to brown.

Chicken Andouille Gumbo

Rebecca Temple, Investigator Shawn Temple's wife, provided this gumbo dish. Andouille makes it a blend of both Creole and Cajun cuisine. It's a family favorite for any occasion, indoors or out.

Ingredients:

1 chicken or chicken parts, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds 3 quarts water 1 lb. okra, sliced into half-inch rounds 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. cooking oil 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Cajun "Holy Trinity":

2 cups chopped onions 1/2 cup chopped celery 1 cup chopped green bell pepper 1 16-ounce can chopped tomatoes 3/4 pound andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces 1 bay leaf 1 tsp. thyme 1 tsp. dried basil 1/2 tsp. sage 1/2 tsp. each black and white pepper 1/4 tsp. or to taste cayenne pepper 2 tsp. salt

Chop the chicken into eight pieces if not already cut up. Cover with water and simmer for about an hour until chicken is tender and comes off the bones easily. Pour off the stock and set it aside.
In a large, heavy skillet, sauté the okra in 2 tablespoons oil for 10-15 minutes to remove sliminess. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy Dutch oven, heat 1/2 cup oil over medium-high heat. Add the flour and make a roux, being careful not to burn the flour. If you do, start over. As soon as a dark brown color is reached, add the trinity and cook, stirring regularly, until tender. Allow the vegetables to stick to the bottom a bit, scraping them off with a spatula or spoon.
When the trinity is softened, add the tomatoes, andouille and okra. Cook and stir periodically for 15 minutes. Add the spices and mix well. Add about 8 cups of the chicken stock and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked chicken and extra stock if needed and simmer 15 more minutes. Season to taste, then serve over rice.