Eat Drink Mississippi April May 2015

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI APRIL/MAY 2015



Kitchen Tools




NYC • DC • ATL + Bishop’s BBQ + Yazoo Pass + J. Broussard's + Miss D’s Diner + Deli Diner



- The Not So Odd Couple -


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2 • APRIL/MAY 2015

June 4-5, 2015 Mississippi Trade Mart 1200 Mississippi Street • Jackson, MS • 1.888.886.3323 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 3

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4 • APRIL/MAY 2015




32 20 “Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class. But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our table should be treated with class.” • Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet •

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Collect. Create. Celebrate. In Ridgeland, the masterpieces are yours in an array of galleries, the Mississippi Craft Center, the state’s premier shopping centers and the great outdoors. With an abundance of attractions and events, more than 1,600 quality hotel rooms and over 140 great restaurants, Ridgeland is the perfect stop for travelers seeking the arts – whether it be culinary, craft, fine art or just nature’s creations. Enjoy the Art of It Ridgeland.

Natchez Trace Century Ride • May 2 Magnolia Meltdown Half Marathon & 10K • May 9 Dragon Boat Regatta • May 16 Heatwave Classic Triathlon • June 6


6 • APRIL/MAY 2015



Easy Marshmallows


Chef Kelly English is a Mississippian at Heart


Teens Get a Jump Start on Career Through High School Culinary Arts Programs



Jackson Food and Wine Society Enjoys Fine Dining with Fellow Enthusiasts


Mississippians Gather Around the Nation Each Summer for Good Food and Good Times


One Pan Nan - Nan Kelley

48 FROM MISSISSIPPI TO BEYOND Tim Hontzas Serves Greek, Southern Food for the Soul



Recipes and Road Stories: Life on the Road with Sisters Hannah & Caroline Melby of the Duo HanaLena




Feed My Sheep in Gulfport


Have a Few Instead of Two


Bishop's BBQ Grill in Belden, Booneville, Saltillo, Tupelo


Yazoo Pass in Clarksdale


J. Broussard's in Columbus


Miss D's Diner at J.C.'s General Store in Pocahontas

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 From the Publsher 10 From Our Readers 16 Fabulous Foodie Finds 26 Deep South Dish 78 Events 80 Recipe/Ad Index 81 Coming to Terms 82 Till We Eat Again


Deli Diner in Collins

76 FEATURED FESTIVAL Crawfish Festivals Around the State

ON THE COVER: Even though some find it an odd pairing, chicken and waffles are quite delicious. See page 44. Food Styling and Photography by Lisa Bynum. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 7

{ from the publisher }


n case you haven't noticed, I'm a little captivated by food-especially Mississippi food. My travels are often planned around places at which I'd like to eat. I enjoy cooking as much as dining out. With my hectic life, I need as much help in the

kitchen as I can get. There are a bazillion kitchen gadgets and tools in the marketplace these days. Trying to decide which ones will be used enough to warrant the expense and space needed to store them can be a complicated task. I have wasted several bucks myself on gadgets that are seldom used and now clutter my kitchen drawers.



For the "Fabulous Foodie Finds" feature in this issue, I asked several Mississippi food bloggers what their favorite kitchen tool is and why they love it (p. 17). They also shared a recipe that their favorite tool is well suited for. I hope they will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone in the kitchen to create a delicious dish for you and/or your family. Banana and mayonnaise sandwich. Cheeseburger with peanut butter. French fries dipped in sundaes. (Yes, people really do that!) There are some odd food pairings out there. The most delicious one, perhaps, is chicken and waffles. Lisa Bynum shares her recipe for this fabulous combo (p. 44). If you're not interested in making this duo at home, never fear, she also provides a list of restaurants that offer it on their menu. The best thing about chicken and waffles is that it's a versatile meal-perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Since we're talking about kitchen tools in this issue, I'd like to share mine with you. I tried several pepper mills before finding my favorite one, the PepperMate Pepper Mill. As far as black pepper goes, I only use freshly ground when cooking. The knob is easy to turn and the base is removable so I can grind directly over my dish or collect the pepper in the base. Plus, the grind is adjustable from fine to coarse. It's available from Amazon for $29.25 and is well worth the investment.

As you already know, cooking is something that gets better with practice and the best lessons that chefs learn come from hands-on experience in the kitchen. It's one of those things that can't be taught solely from a book. When choosing a career in the culinary field, it's important to begin getting that experience as early as possible. Many high schoolers in Mississippi are fortunate to be able to do just that through culinary programs in their schools (p. 24). These students will be ahead of the game when they get to college with this invaluable opportunity. I'd love to see every high school in the state with a culinary program, not only for the advancement of those wanting a culinary career, but also for those who just want to learn the basics of cooking. Equipping teenagers with these skills will help prepare them for providing for their own needs and, hopefully, some day for their own families. We need to bring home-cooked meals back to the table in America. Get in the kitchen, stir up something good, and let's eat!

the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, q "Feed r and the darkness around you will be as bright as the day." Isaiah 58:10 8 • APRIL/MAY 2015


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The Emile Henry Chicken Roaster is designed to hold up to an 8-lb. chicken with room to put potatoes and vegetables around the chicken at the base to soak up the delicious juices. Perfect for all roasted chicken, turkey, Cornish hen, duck, and boneless roast dishes. Made of ceramic, the chicken roaster will cook your chicken more efficiently as the ceramic will maintain heat and cook from the inside as well.



IL/MA Y 2014





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Love of ate Chocol

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ISSIP PI S Luncphreing drinko.n



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G overnor's Mansion mber 2014


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August/Sep tember 2014

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h 2015



December/January 2015

Ben Burkett Receives James Beard Foundation Award for Contributions to Agriculture


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{ from our readers } Thank you once again for the awesome feature in your magazine last year (October/November 2014). It was so nice! I saved a copy for my grandmother to give to her when I'm in Jackson in May for my cousin's graduation. Jocelyn Delk Adams Chicago, Ill. ••• Love this magazine! Terri Simpson Tynes Facebook Fan ••• Great magazine. Really enjoy it! Rita Quick Hobgood Facebook Fan

I love this magazine. I have purchased every issue and enjoy reading them again and again. Also love all the recipes and articles about what is going on in the great state of Mississippi. Lynda Charlton Facebook Fan ••• Imagine my delight when a friend shared the December/January issue of EDM with me! I read it from cover to cover. I especially loved the article, Real Cooking, on page 18. David Crews described several heirloom recipes that were special to him. It's a blessing to read handwriting and recipes written by loved ones who are gone but definitely not forgotten. Thanks for your great magazine. I just love it! Susanne Cooper Corinth

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI J.J. Carney Publisher/Editor John Carney Executive Editor Anne Morgan Carney Executive Assistant Wendi O'Neill Advertising Executives Joe Luca Newsstand Sales Consultant




eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI is published six times a year by Carney Publications LLC


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Institute in Hollywood. You can read his past filmrelated articles at www.

JULIAN BRUNT is a food and culture writer from the Gulf Coast whose roots run more than three hundred years deep in Southern soil. He is deeply concerned with culinary and cultural traditions and thinks no man worth his salt that cannot hold forth in tall tale and willingly endure the heat of the kitchen.

LISA LAFONTAINE BYNUM is a freelance writer from Grenada. Her work has appeared in several publications in Mississippi. She is a graduate of Delta State University where she received a BA in Marketing and her MBA. In her free time, she enjoys food writing and photography. She currently resides in Brandon. Photo by Alisa Chapman Photography

COOP COOPER is a journalist, film critic and filmmaker based in Clarksdale. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.F.A. in Cinema, and received his Masters in Screenwriting from the American Film

12 • APRIL/MAY 2015

SUSAN MARQUEZ lives and writes in Madison. She has a degree in RadioTV-Film from the University of Southern Mississippi and had a long career in advertising and marketing before stumbling into a freelance writing career in 2001. Hundreds of published articles later, Marquez still loves to tell the stories of the interesting people, places, and events throughout the South.

KATHY K. MARTIN is an Ole Miss journalism graduate who currently lives in Collierville, Tennessee with her husband and two children. She works as a freelance writer and chairs her church’s Christian writers group.

LINDSAY MOTT is a freelance writer on the Gulf Coast who graduated with a journalism degree

from Spring Hill College in Alabama. Over the years, she has grown to love all the great food, music, scenery and more that Mississippi has to offer. Her dream meal would consist of fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, caramel cake, and coffee.

JULIE SKIPPER, an attorney and freelance writer, is a graduate of Millsaps College and Vanderbilt University Law School. She spends her spare time soaking up as much of Jackson's vibrant arts and food scene as possible. Julie is a parishioner at St. Andrew's Cathedral and serves on the Greater Jackson Metro Chamber's Vision 2022 committee. Among her extracurricular activities, she enjoys travel and wine, and hopes to one day combine the two in a trip to Napa Valley.

GENNIE TAYLOR, a Forest native, is the publications coordinator at East Central Community College in Decatur and a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer. She is the former editor of The Demopolis Times, a five-day daily newspaper in Demopolis, Ala., and managing editor of The Scott County Times, a weekly newspaper in her hometown. A graduate of

the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, she has received numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Mississippi and Alabama Press Associations. She is married to Steven Taylor and they have a daughter, Mallory Grace. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking.

KELSEY WELLS is a news writer at Lawrence County Press in Monticello. She is a graduate of Southwest Mississippi Community College where she served as editor of The Pine Burr. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications at William Carey University and served as a staff writer and life editor of The Cobbler student newspaper until she became managing editor her senior year. She currently resides in the Divide community where she is active in her church and community.

KATIE HUTSON WEST is a freelance writer from Tupelo. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University where she earned a B.S. degree in Marketing, Communications, and Business Psychology. An avid traveler, when home she resides in Starkville.





This project is partially funded by Visit Mississippi.

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Missing an issue? Back issues are available at

Back issues are available online at eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI APRIL/MAY 2014

Spring Luncheon


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West Coast Meets

Gulf Coast


page 74

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI JUNE/JULY 2014

• Commercial and Residential Metal Roofing • Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings • Mini-Storage Facilities • Steel Components

August/September 2014


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eat. drink. Heirloom Tomatoes MISSISSIPPI the delicious legacy of

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G overnor's Mansion OVER 25 DELICIOUS RECIPES

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at the


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December/January 2015

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Ben Burkett Receives MEET THE James Beard Foundation Award for Contributions to AgricultureMACARON eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1


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Metal Builders Supply A Relationship That Will Last A Lifetime

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{ what's hot }

Marshmallows BASIC MARSHMALLOWs 1 to 1-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, for coating 1 cup water, divided 2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup light corn syrup 2 envelopes (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin Assorted McCormick food coloring and extract Spray 9-inch square baking dish with no stick cooking spray then coat with some of the confectioners’ sugar. Set aside. Microwave 1/2 cup of the water, granulated sugar and corn syrup in medium microwavable bowl on high 7 minutes. Stir to dissolve sugar. Microwave on high 5 minutes longer. (Mixture will have a slight yellow tint.) Carefully remove hot bowl from microwave. Meanwhile, place remaining 1/2 cup water in mixer bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes. Gradually beat in hot syrup mixture with whisk attachment on medium-low speed. Beat 8 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat 10 to 12 minutes longer or until mixture is fluffy, shiny and at least tripled in volume. Beat in appropriate amount of food coloring and extract. Spread marshmallow mixture in prepared pan. Smooth top with a spatula. Sift about 2 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar over top. Let stand at room temperature overnight or refrigerate at least 3 hours. Place remaining confectioners’ sugar in large bowl. Cut marshmallows into 1-1/2-inch squares. Add marshmallows in batches to confectioners’ sugar; toss to coat well. Shake off excess. Store marshmallows in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Makes 24 marshmallows.

Homemade marshmallows beat store-bought ones hands down. Plus, they're easier to make than you may think. With a few simple ingredients and a variety of flavorings, you can create a soft, sweet confection that can't be bought at your local store. Try these delicious flavor combos or experiment with your own. For added fun, use small cookie cutters to cut into bunny or duck shapes for Easter.

To basic marshmallows recipe, add 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.

To basic marshmallows recipe, add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract, and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

To basic marshmallows recipe, add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon imitation strawberry extract, 2 teaspoons raspberry extract, 15 drops red food coloring, and 2 drops blue food coloring.

To basic marshmallows recipe, add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract, and 50 drops red food coloring.

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{ fabulous foodie finds }

Blogger Tested Tools Even the best chefs and home cooks need a little help in the kitchen. With so many kitchen gadgets on the market today, it's difficult to decide which ones are worth the investment. So, we asked some of our favorite food bloggers to share their favorite tools to use in the kitchen.

Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl, $17.50 and Small Batter Bowl, $14.00 The Pampered Chef

Wilton 13 inch Angled Spatula, $6.99 and 9 inch Angled Spatula, $4.79 Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels

Kitchen Supreme Spiral Slicer Spiralizer, $15.84 Amazon

Set of 3 Melamine Mixing Bowls, $29.95 Williams-Sonoma

Presto 16 quart Pressure Cooker Canner, $69.97 Walmart Ozeri Pro Digital Food Scale, $14.40 Amazon see page 80 for store information 16 • APRIL/MAY 2015

"I reluctantly bought a pressure canner/ cooker a few years ago when I first entered the world of canning. I just wasn’t sure if I would use it that often. Let me tell you, I use it all the time! I don’t just use it for canning. I love it for cooking, especially my Pulled Pork Carnitas. A recipe that normally would have to spend 6 hours simmering in a slow cooker is ready to eat inside of an hour when cooked in a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers today are much safer than the models our grandmothers used to use. Today’s models have been redesigned with safety features to ensure this is no longer a risk."

"My favorite kitchen tools are my Pampered Chef 4-cup and 8-cup Batter Bowls. I use them numerous times per week. They are not only useful for measuring, but since they are microwave-friendly I put them to work in multiple ways-from melting butter, to preparing streusel toppings, to making microwave fudge, and more! My favorite recipe to make in the 8-cup bowl is my Queso Blanco (White Cheese) Dip!” Nikki Gladd,

Lisa Bynum, "I recently started baking...a lot. The art of baking different types if bread is definite a challenge, but the reward is surely worth it. On my quest to be a better baker, I have such a fond appreciation for my mixing bowls. Since I do a lot of hand mixing, these handled beauties make the process easier. In vibrant colors, they look nice sitting on the counter while dough proofs. An added bonus is that they always look gorgeous in photos for my blog."

"My favorite kitchen tool is a kitchen scale. For baking it's important to get exact measurements, and a cup is not always a cup, but a gram is always a gram. Get one that measures from .5 grams to at least 12 pounds. I use my kitchen scale with just about every recipe. One of my favorites is my Snickers Bars Cinnamon Rolls." Paula Jones,

Divian Conner, "Right now I'm digging the spiralizer. I love pasta and always will, but I learned that spiralizing vegetables, such as zucchini, results in a noodlelike appearance and texture with less calories and carbs, something I can indulge in much more often. Spiraled veggies don't weigh you down like pasta does either, and because the volume is increased, it's also a great way to get in more vegetables while barely noticing! You can spiral all kinds of vegetables, potatoes, even fruit, though summer squash is my usual choice. I eat them as is mostly, but you can toss them with pasta sauce too."

"A couple of my most used kitchen utensils are my large and small offset spatulas. I use the longer one to get mayonnaise out of a tall jar instead of using a butter knife—it’s perfect for this and keeps my fingers clean. It also frosts the sides of cakes because it covers a large surface area. I use the smaller one on the tops of my cakes for more control, making swirls with it. The angle is just right for this, and it also comes in handy when I need to smooth out batter in a pan, such as brownie batter." Lorie Roach,

Mary Foreman, eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17

browned, place everything in the crock of a slow cooker. Add enough of the juice to deglaze the skillet. Scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the pan juices, along with the rest of the juice into the slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and cinnamon stick. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. To serve: Once the meat is cooked, preheat the broiler. Transfer the meat to a baking sheet and shred with two forks. Strain any leftover juice from the pot. Pour 1 cup of the strained liquid over the pork. Place meat about six inches from the broiler and broil until it started to become crispy, about 15 minutes. Serve hot on corn tortillas with sliced avocado, salsa verde, crumbled queso fresco, and additional pan juices.

Pulled Pork Carnitas By Lisa Bynum

1 (3 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch chunks 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 medium onion, sliced into rings 3 cloves garlic, smashed 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 whole cinnamon stick 1-1/2 cups unsweetened orange juice 1/2 cup fresh lime juice Pressure cooker method: Place pork shoulder pieces in a large resealable bag. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, salt, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper. Add spice mixture to the bag, seal, and toss until pork pieces are evenly coated. Heat the pressure cooker, without the lid, over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides. Once browned, set aside and add the next batch of pork. Once all the meat is browned, return everything to the pressure cooker. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, orange juice, and lime juice. Cover the pressure cooker and lock the lid. If using dial gage, bring to high pressure over high heat. If using a weighted valve cooker, wait for steam to come out of the vent, then cook using 15 pounds of pressure. Cook pork for 25 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Slow cooker method: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides. Once browned, set aside and add the next batch of pork. Once all the meat is 18 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Kolaches By Divian Conner (I used a cranberry filling but have also used apple butter which was a huge hit with family and friends. A jar of your favorite preserves would make a delicious filing)

Cranberry Filling: 1 cup of cranberries 1 cup water 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup sugar Dough: 1 cup warm water 4-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup softened butter 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup sugar 4 egg yolks

In pot, add in cranberries, vanilla, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until all cranberries have popped. Turn off heat and allow the cranberry sauce to cool. In a bowl, add 1cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of sugar and yeast. Mix and allow it to sit until foamy for about 10-15 minutes. (The original recipe called for more water, but I did not need any more water or milk added once I added in the yeast.) Add in 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour, yolks, salt, butter. I have a mixer, but I mixed by hand with a rubber spatula. Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time. The original recipe called for more milk, but I did not have to add more water or liquid. I added in the flour until a sticky ball of dough formed. Once dough was formed, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes and then place in a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover and let rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size. Once it has doubled, remove dough so it falls back down and place back in bowl for another hour, covered. After that turn once again on floured surface and flatten out the dough until it is about an inch or half an inch high. Cut out your circles and place on your baking sheet. Allow them to rise once more and then pressing in center, create a indention. I used a shot glass covered in olive oil to make the indention. Fill with your cranberry filling and bake for about 15 minutes until golden at 350°F. I added a simple glaze of 2 cups of powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 3 teaspoons of water.

or until wilted and tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as is, with a pat of butter, or toss with your favorite pasta sauce.

Queso Blanco Dip (White Cheese Dip) By Nikki Gladd

1-1/4 (1.25) lb block White American Cheese (Land O'Lakes brand preferred), cut into 1-inch cubes 2/3 cup whole milk 1/2 cup cold water 1/4 cup diced green chiles, from a can 2 pickled jalapenos, chopped 1 ounce pickled jalapeno juice pinch of cumin (optional)

Veggie Squash "Pasta" By Mary Foreman

3 medium summer squash (straight neck or zucchini about 6-inches in length) 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper Spiralize the squash, transfer to a colander, toss with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Heat oil in skillet and add pasta. Cook and stir about 5 to 7 minutes,

Stir together the cheese cubes, milk and water into a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute. The mixture might seem watery during the first few stirs, but should come together as a nice runny dip after all the cheese is melted. Remove from the microwave and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Serve immediately as a dip with tortilla chips or as a sauce over your favorite Mexican dish. If using for a party dip, transfer to a small Crock Pot on the warm setting. *Recipe Note: White American cheese is found at most deli counters in your local grocery store. Land o' Lakes is my preferred brand; however, I have had great results with Boar's Head, too. *Reheat Instructions: Store any leftover cheese dip in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until creamy and hot.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 19

Snickers Bars Cinnamon Rolls

Layer the caramel sheets, chocolate chips and peanuts evenly over the dough. (If you're using chopped Snickers bars, layer them evenly over the dough.) Start with the long side and roll, pinching the ends as you go so the filling doesn't fall out. With a serrated knife, slice the roll in half. Slice each half in half. Then half each of those pieces in half. You should have 12 rolls. Place rolls in prepared pans. Allow to sit about 5 minutes, then place in pre-heated oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Heat fudge topping in microwave and drizzle over rolls. Serve warm.

By Paula Jones

Dough: 1 tablespoon active dry yeast 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 tablespoon honey 1-1/2 cups hot water (100 to 110 °F) 4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour 1 tablespoon powdered milk 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, beaten Filling: 8 caramel apple wraps 2 cups chocolate chips 1-1/2 cups peanuts, chopped OR 8 Snicker's candy bars, chopped small Topping: 1/2 cup fudge topping for ice cream Combine yeast, water and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small mixing bowl. Allow to sit 10 to 15 minutes in a warm place. Once yeast is foamy and almost doubled in size, stir in the honey. While yeast is sitting, add 3 cups flour, powdered milk, salt and 1/2 cup sugar to a large mixing bowl. Once yeast is ready, add yeast and eggs to this flour mixture. Mix using the dough hook on your electric mixer on low until all ingredients are combined; or mix with a wooden spoon by hand if you're Superwoman. Once this mixture is incorporated, slowly add the remaining flour 1 tablespoon at a time until dough pulls away from bowl and is no longer sticky. At this point you may want to remove from the bowl and knead by hand as it is very thick and puts a lot of strain on the mixer. Allow the dough to rest on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Turn the bowl you mixed it in upside-down over the dough. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9x13 inch pan or two 8 or 9 inch pans with non-stick spray. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle until ½ inch thick. Dough should measure about 16 inches by 12 inches. 20 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Roasted Strawberry Browned Butter Buttercream By Lorie Roach

1/2 cup butter 2 cups sliced strawberries 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature 3 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until melted, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to cook until butter is foamy and nutty smelling, and dark golden brown in color, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate just until butter solidifies again, then remove to room temperature so butter is solid, but soft. Place strawberries in a bowl and toss with the brown sugar until evenly coated. Spread evenly in a 13 x 9 inch nonstick baking pan and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until strawberries are soft and there is a thick syrup. Let cool for ten minutes. Transfer strawberries and syrup to a food processor and pulse until strawberries are chopped into very tiny bits, but not pureed. Place in a small bowl and refrigerate until very cool. (Does not need to be warm at all.) Place 1 cup softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy with the whip attachment. Add the brown butter and continue beating. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating until smooth. Add the cooled strawberry mixture and beat just until mixed. Frosts a 2 layer 8-inch cake.

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CH 2015


CHIA-licious! page 22

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PI • 1

Getting a taste of Mississippi has never been easier!

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21

{ chef's corner }

Mississippian at Hert by chef kelly english


Chef Kelly English

22 • APRIL/MAY 2015

ississippi has always been the place that connected the dots in my life, in every aspect. It is strange for a boy from New Orleans to say that somewhere else is where he fell in love with cooking, but for me it is Mississippi. I remember having just started at Ole Miss my freshman year when one of my friends took me to a place out in the middle of nowhere towards Sardis Lake that was in a doublewide trailer. This is where I had my first rib tip. The woman who cooked for us also was our server and I could feel her passion and care in everything she did. I later got my first job in a restaurant at a place on College Hill Road called Cedars, then at Buffalo Café, and then at Pearl Street Pasta; none of which are still around, but the foundation they built for me stands strong. The cultural story of Mississippi tells itself more everyday as the oral stories that never made it into the history books are brought out and the definition of “Mississippian” changes every day as people continue to come be a part of this great place. You can’t put Mississippi inside of a box; it won’t fit. The people from the Delta are not the people of the Hill Country; the people of the Golden Triangle are not the people of Jackson; the people of the Coast are not the people of Natchez…they are all different and one at the same time. There isn’t anywhere else like it. I am lucky to say that I have two places in very different parts of Mississippi. Down in Biloxi, we opened Magnolia House at Harrah's Gulf Coast in May of last year. There we take a hard look at the cultural diversity of the region with a nod to very traditional cooking. We make a strong commitment to the Gulf of Mexico and work really hard to tell that story. Soon we will open The Second Line on the square in Oxford. The Second Line is the story of my growing up that started in New Orleans and took a trip up I-55 to Oxford and then to Memphis. It has long been a dream of mine to have a restaurant in Oxford and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It seems fitting to me that Mississippi is so strongly planted in my past, present, and future…she has given so much to me in my life and I am humbled to now be part of her. edm

Happy Enchiladas These are an homage to the Delta tamale with a strong nod to John Prine. Sauce: 1 sliced onion 1 sliced bell pepper 3 stalks of celery sliced 6 whole toes of garlic 1/4 cup canola oil 2 cups chicken stock 4 pounds summer tomatoes, chopped 3-1/2 ounce chipotle in adobo (half of a standard grocery store can) 2 bay leaves Ground cumin, to taste (about 1-1/2 tablespoons) Salt to taste

and reserve. For the Enchiladas: 12 corn tortillas 3 cups of smoked pork shoulder 3 cups of shredded queso blanco The sauce from above Cilantro leaves to garnish

In a casserole dish, spread a thin layer of the sauce. Roll each tortilla with pork and cheese in the middle. Place all of the enchiladas in the casserole, folded side down. Top with remaining sauce and

cheese. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for twenty minutes or until hot throughout and the cheese has taken on some color. Garnish with torn cilantro. Serves 4.

Get a pot very hot and add the oil in. Put in the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and make a sofrito (lightly caramelize them). Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for thirty minutes. Blend well in a blender

photography by justin fox burks

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 23

Culinary Launching Pad Teens Get a Jump Start on Career Through High School Culinary Arts Programs

Wayne County culinary arts students are busy at work in kitchen/classroom.

story by susan marquez | photos provided


hroughout Mississippi, high school students are chopping, slicing, dicing, sauteeing, and plating mouth-watering meals that rival any found in the fanciest restaurants. Culinary Arts is a pathway for students who want to pursue a career in hospitality and tourism. These talented students are identified through interest on an exam designed to determine what career they may be suited for. Nicki Reeves is the program supervisor through the Office of Career and Technical Education with the Mississippi Department of Education who oversees the 49 culinary programs in the state. “There are currently close to 1000 students 24 • APRIL/MAY 2015

in the program,” Reeves says. “Students are able to shadow restaurants while in high school. Many of the students have graduated and are pursuing culinary degrees or jobs in local restaurants.” The students in the state’s culinary programs follow the ProStart curriculum, a nationally-recognized certification. Students are able to earn their industry-recognized Certificate of Achievement if they complete the two-year program, pass the national assessment and work 400 mentored hours. In Mississippi, Culinary Arts is a two-year skills program offered to students in the 10th through 12th grades at high school career

Students in the Culinary Arts program at Wayne County High School prepare dishes for state competition. and technical center campuses. During the class, students are taught using a hands-on curriculum to advance their learning to meet national ProStart standards through the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation. They have the opportunity to work 400 hours in the industry, job shadowing local chefs and learning to operate commercial grade kitchen equipment. While in the classroom, students learn management essentials, safety and sanitation, equipment and techniques, nutrition, cost control, purchasing, marketing, global cuisine, as well as how to serve guests and build a successful career. Many of the students in the program have chosen to pursue a culinary education at the post-secondary level. All educators who teach the course hold a SafeServe certification and ProStart training through NRAEF. Grady Griffin is director of education for the Mississippi Restaurant and Hospitality Association. He spends countless hours working on the annual state ProStart competition. “The teachers of the programs are amazingly dedicated,” Griffin says. “We hold several training sessions with the teachers to prepare for the competition, and also for the judges.” Griffin says up to 50 volunteers from the restaurant industry in the state are recruited for the competition. “This year we had 20 teams with nearly 100 students and 16 teachers competing.” The ProStart Invitational is held each February in Jackson. Griffin says this year’s competition was the sixth annual event in Mississippi, and featured 11 culinary teams and nine management teams. “It’s so much more than cooking a meal. There are 11 scored segments, from production check-in to make sure food is packaged properly to safety and sanitation, knife skills, mise en place, as well as work skills, team organization and more. They prepare a three-course meal using only two butane burners. Each team prepared a starter, entree and dessert. There are different judges for each course, and the students receive critique throughout.” Winners of this year’s state championship was the team from Wayne County, under the direction of culinary arts instructor Sara Waller. The students spend 90 minutes in Waller’s class three days a week. “We’ve been working on our menu since

October. The students come up with the direction and theme of their own menu. They wanted to go Southern, because that’s their roots and what they know. So we took basic Southern fare and put an interesting twist on it.” The final menu is called “Sophisticated Southern.” The appetizer is pan sauteed citrus and herb marinated Gulf shrimp with comeback sauce, a salad of Brussels sprouts, segmented oranges, spicy candied pecans and crumbled goat cheese tossed in a Creole vinaigrette. For the entree, the students prepared pan seared chicken breasts with a blackberry balsamic reduction, bruleed sweet potato mousseline with black eyed peas, kale and sweet red peppers. The dessert was a lemon steam cake with macerated mixed berries, candied lemon slice, Chantilly cream and steeped tea creme anglaise. “We start practicing in late November,” Waller says. “Each team has 60 minutes to prepare a three course meal for three people.” Teamwork is essential for success. “They all work together on every plate to get it complete.” The team will now advance to the national competition in April in Anaheim, California. “Many of my students have never been outside of Wayne County. Going to Jackson was a really big deal, and now to travel to California is an amazing opportunity for them. This is the beginning of exciting things to come in their lives.” Waller says they’ll stay with the same menu, but make a few tweaks based on the judges’ critiques in Jackson. Waller says she gets satisfaction in watching the students learn that their hard work really does pay off. The students have already won scholarship money they can use to further their career in the culinary field upon graduation from high school. In California, they’ll be vying for $1.5 million in scholarships. Members of the Wayne County team include Kayvanna Hall, Constance Mashburn, Shelby Mashburn, Corey Polite Jr. And Breana Risen. “It’s exciting to see the students embrace culinary arts as a career,” Griffin says. “We’ve already had a student from the program study at Culinary Institute of America before returning to one of Jackson’s restaurants. We’ve seen him come full circle, and that’s an exciting thing for the culinary scene in our state.” edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 25

{ deep south dish }

Food. Family. Memories.

Anytime Is a Good Time for Homemade Banana Pudding BY MARY FOREMAN


here is no season to our banana pudding in the South, but I would guess that if there were, it would be right now. It’s a common addition to most of our potlucks, picnics, church suppers, cookouts, wedding and baby showers, well, pretty much any occasion really, but seems most especially welcomed when the heat turns up. If you want to be deemed the queen of your own potluck, bring the banana pudding. Not just any banana pudding, though. The real deal, homemade, from scratch, egg custard pudding, layered in a pretty bowl, with bananas, vanilla wafers, and topped with meringue. Careful though, because that just might be a torch you will always have to carry from then on. There’s all sorts of ways that banana pudding is made now, both at home and in many restaurants, and I’m not even sure that this generation even knows the oldfashioned version anymore. For some, the filling may have been made all their lives with a cook-and-serve or instant pudding, instead of homemade egg custard. Today, those puddings may even be combined with sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese, which by the way is fabulous. There are folks who either don’t like meringue or

Mary Foreman, a native of Biloxi, is the author of the popular website, where she shares her favorite, homespun, mostly from scratch and, very often, heirloom and heritage, Southern recipes.

26 • APRIL/MAY 2015

struggle with it, especially when the weather is damp and meringue tends to want to be uncooperative, so toppings extend to Cool Whip or whipped cream. The cookie used has even widely varied from the classic vanilla wafers to everything from shortbread to moon pies. I wouldn’t turn away a bowl of any of them, to be honest, but egg custard still wears the crown far as I’m concerned. And the way that the crisp vanilla wafers soften to a perfect cake-like consistency makes them the best cookies for banana pudding. I’m a little biased, though, because I truly love all things custard. An egg custard pie, as simple as it is, is one of my favorite desserts, as is old-fashioned baked custard, which I love warm straight from the oven. I even have affection for comforting drinking custard, a thick egg custard based drink that was once given to the sick and infirmed to help strengthen them in recovery. We use drinking custard more widely these days as a base for egg nog. I love it all, and while we Southerners do love pretty much any form of banana pudding, we really love it when it’s homemade, from scratch, with real egg custard, layered, and meringue-topped. Now that's Southern banana pudding, the way it was meant to be y'all. I make mine in a vintage Pyrex baking bowl. It's not just any vintage bowl, but a 1950s Pyrex Thumbnail pattern, ovenware piece, and the very bowl that my Mama used to make her banana pudding in. I have a lot of “vintage” dishes-and not eBay indulgences, either-but things that I've either inherited or have had since I was a young bride. This bowl is even older than I am, and since Mama’s passed on now, it really keeps me connected to her every time that I use it. It’s the official banana pudding makin' bowl and somehow that just makes it taste even that much better. edm

Homemade Southern Banana Pudding ©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

6 large eggs, separated 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided to 1 and 1/4 cups 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 6 cups whole milk 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 box vanilla wafer cookies (Nabisco Nilla brand preferred) 6 ripe, but firm, lightly speckled bananas 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Separate the eggs and set aside the whites to come to room temperature for meringue. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup of the sugar with the flour, salt, and milk. Gently beat the yolks and whisk into the milk mixture until everything is blended well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes, or until mixture bubbles up and begins to thicken. Custard is done with the temperature reaches 170°F.

Remove pot from heat, stir in the vanilla and set aside to cool slightly. If a garnish is desired, set aside a few cookies. Spoon a small amount of custard into the bottom of a 1-1/2 quart baking dish and begin layering, cookie wafers, bananas and custard, ending with custard on top. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Prepare meringue by whipping the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form; don’t overbeat. Add to top of the pudding, spreading to the edges and forming peaks. Bake for about 15 minutes or until meringue browns. Remove and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Garnish with a sprinkling of crushed vanilla wafers just before serving, if desired. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Cook’s Notes: Meringue is ready when it is thick enough to turn the bowl upside down without the meringue falling out. You’ll need two boxes of vanilla wafers if you also want to line sides of bowl. Recipe may be successfully halved.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27

{ mississippi made }

Getting Saucy D’Evereux Foods Sauce Offers a Little Southern Heat While Being a Treat story by gennie taylor | photos submitted


ntertaining a five-year-old was the start of a family tradition and later a family business for the Aldridge family. “In March of 2010, my dad, Courtney Aldridge, and my little brother, Lennon, were cooped up inside on a rainy day,” said owner Ashleigh Aldridge. “A friend of my dad’s dropped off a five-gallon bucket of peppers earlier that week. My dad was searching for something to entertain my little brother who was five at the time. He decided to teach him how to can peppers in vinegar to make a pepper sauce. They had a blast all weekend and it became a common occurrence in the house.” Aldridge, who was in college at the time, said the “sauce making tradition” continued for years with new recipes and passing the creations around town to friends and family. “A week after I walked at (college) graduation in December of 2013, we started throwing around the idea of making a real company out of this,” Aldridge said. “Everyone really loved our sauce, at the time it was only the Pepper Sauce Rouge, so we thought it could really be something.” The name of the company, D’Evereux Foods, was an easy choice for the Aldridges. “D’Evereux is the name of our family home in Natchez where it all began,” Aldridge said. “Naturally, we named the company after the home.” As with any new business, the company had many obstacles to overcome before opening for business. Aldridge had to become certified in thermal processing, take food safety classes, get food permits, FDA approval, etc. “By the time I was done getting certified, we really needed to get a location that could accommodate all of the things we needed to be able to do—making sauce, bottling, labeling, shipping, etc.,” Aldridge said. “At the time, we

28 • APRIL/MAY 2015

weren’t even considering a retail shop.” Aldridge said after a long search, they found the perfect location in the High Cotton building on Main Street in Natchez. “It had the kitchen we needed and all the space for everything else,” she said. “We kept having tons of walk-in traffic and people wanted to buy our sauce there. So, we set up a small spot in the front of the building for retail. I thought it would be a huge pain because I already did so much—manufacturing, sales, bookkeeping, shipping, bottling, labeling—literally every job description in the company falls on me. I’m the only person here, so I do it all. But, it has become the best part of my job.” For the Aldridges, the “sauce making tradition” has continued to be a family affair. “I love it because it has become the gathering place for our family,” Aldridge said. “Every Saturday, my nieces, nephews, brothers, boyfriend, and parents come to help me out and I couldn’t do it without them. Even out-of-town family and my siblings, who are in college, come over when they are in town. We are open six days a week so there is always a lot to be done.” The company takes pride in focusing on flavor rather than heat, she said. “We start with our signature flavor profile and then add heat accordingly. We also got pretty creative with the names of the sauces.” Rouge was the first sauce created, its name given due to its bright red color, and is the company’s bestseller. It's their most versatile sauce and can be used in everything from dark chocolate dipping sauce to chicken and sausage gumbo. For a food show once, Aldridge used it to make sweet and spicy candied bacon drizzled with spicy dark chocolate, which turned out to be a big hit.

“Next came Fermenté—pronounced [fur-men-tay]. To be totally honest, my dad made that word up. We are all sitting around wondering what to name our sauce made from fermented peppers and he said, ‘How about Fermenté?’ and it stuck,” said Aldridge. Fermenté is a big seller with ladies or people who love vinegary things. It's the company's mildest sauce and, according to Aldridge, is a nice way to introduce heat to the palate. It also works well as an all-natural salad dressing. The third sauce created was Fantôme, their hottest sauce and favorite among heat fanatic foodies of the D’Evereaux Foods sauce line. It's infused with ghost peppers and lime juice and pairs well with Hispanic food. “We have a soft spot for the French language and culture in our house,” Aldridge said. “Just like Rouge, we wanted this to be a French name.” Since it's infused with ghost peppers, the fourth hottest peppers in the world, it was named

Ashleigh Aldridge Owner of D'Evereux Foods

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29

Fantôme, which is French for ghost. Aldridge said there are some exciting new products in the works for D’Evereaux Foods. A fourth sauce is in the works and a spring sauce will debut in April or May. Aldridge described D’Evereaux Foods as “still pretty new,” with the company just completely opening in August of 2014. “We went from giving sauce to friends and family to being in 24 cities in Mississippi, 16 states, and a pending order with a retailer in Canada in a matter of six months,” Aldridge said. “It has definitely been a crazy ride.” Part of the company’s success Aldridge credits to the city. “Natchez has been so good to us,” she said. “I love this small town because when I have a question, I always have someone I can call. I want this business and this town to continue growing and flourishing. Walking around downtown, there are so many awesome things to see and do.” For the future, Aldridge said her goal is to “never have to do anything else.” “I was fortunate enough to find a career that I loved right after college,” she said. “These days it is hard to find a job that you can keep for the rest of your life. I want to keep showing people that hot sauce can be about a flavor experience and not about burning off your taste buds (unless you’re into that and then more power to you). I love when someone tells me

Crab and Shrimp Dip 2 cans tiny shrimp 2 cans crab meat 8 ounces cream cheese 5-7 ounces sour cream Lemon juice Zest of 1-2 lemons Green onions Cajun seasoning Pepper Sauce Rouge Stir cream cheese, sour cream (about 5 ounces), and lemon juice until no there are no lumps. Chop green onions finely. Zest 1-2 lemons. Incorporate all ingredients. Add additional sour cream and lemon juice to desired texture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving to blend flavors. 30 • APRIL/MAY 2015

that they don’t like or even hate hot sauce but after they try our sauces, it all changes. You can see it on their face, they love it! I want people to enjoy our foods all over the world, forever. I love what I do so it isn’t about being rich or retiring by 35. I want to always have the privilege to do something that I love.” edm D'Evereux Foods LLC

 Physical address: 312 Main Street, Natchez

 Mailing address:
 P.O. Box 1646
 Natchez, Mississippi 39121


Spicy Little Devil(ed Eggs) 6 eggs Kosher salt 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1/4 cup deli style dill relish 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion Pepper Sauce Fermenté Boil eggs. Remove from water, crack shells, and set aside to cool slightly. Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, vinegar, and Pepper Sauce Fermenté in a small bowl. Peel off egg shells. Slice eggs in half. Place yolks and mixture from bowl into a food processor. Mix until smooth. Fold in onions and relish. Spoon mixture into egg white halves. Set in refrigerator and allow to cool completely before serving.






eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 31

Timeless Tradition Seared Diver Scallop with Cannellini Bean Purée and OnionArtichoke Vinaigrette

Jackson Food and Wine Society Enjoys Fine Dining with Fellow Enthusiasts 32 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Officers of the Jackson chapter of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs include, front row, from left, Rhonda Saunders - Dame, Susan Laney - Dame, Mercer Lee - Chevalier, William Kientz - Chevalier, Susan Jeanes - Dame, Melissa Daniel - Officier, Kenneth Szilasi - Chevalier; back row, from left, Rowell Saunders - Chevalier, Norman Rush - Vice Echanson, Ralph Daniel - Bailli, and Tom Cassidy - National Gastronomique Honoraire. story by julie skipper | photography by brice media


t often seems that, in these modern times, society grows ever more casual. Athleisure is now recognized as an entire sub-genre of clothing, meaning one never has to change out of workout attire to go about one’s day. Fast-casual restaurants grow increasingly popular, and grab-and-go and eating on the run are a way of life. With the popularity of juicing, one needn’t even pause to stop and sit down to use utensils for a meal. And yet, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s also a recent fascination in reviving traditions that honor taking care, taking time, and pausing to enjoy all that the preparation of food and drink entails. The popularity of farm-to-table, local sourcing of products, and sustainability speaks to that; so does the craft cocktail and craft beer movement. In that vein, a food society with centuries of history is enjoying a similar revival in Mississippi. The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the oldest and largest food and wine society in the world. It began in 1248 as a society of goose roasters and evolved over a period

of time into a group that gathered for food and fellowship at various castles and estates throughout France. Today, chapters around the United States include around 6,000 members—individuals who work in the restaurant and wine industries as well as amateur wine and food enthusiasts. They gather together to enjoy great food, wine, and camaraderie at regular dinners and events. In Jackson, Dr. Carlton Ralph Daniel, III, serves as the baillis (chair) of the Mississippi bailage (chapter) of the Chaines. A self-professed “wine enthusiast” married to Melissa, a “very good self-taught cook,” he belonged to the Mississippi bailage in its earlier life back in the 1990s. After that bailage disbanded eight years ago, the Daniels continued the groups’ tradition informally, hosting groups of friends at their home for five to seven-course dinners with wine pairings. In 2012, the couple decided to formally start the Chaines back up. Initially, the Daniels recruited a core group that included Jennifer and Greg Schumayer, Suman Das, and John Cook. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 33

Braised Pork Cheek with Gnocchi

Norm Rush, a wine broker, joined and membership took off incrementally as friends recruited friends. Of growing the group and organizing its dinners, Daniels says, “The success of a bailage rests on the enthusiasm of the officers. It’s an allvolunteer effort, and if we didn’t enjoy it, it wouldn’t work.” Currently, the Mississippi Chaines’ membership stands at forty-seven strong. Members and invited guests convene four times a year to enjoy a six or seven-course chef-prepared dinner with wine pairings, hosted at a Jackson restaurant. Daniels explains, “Years ago (in the 1990s), we had few choices in fine dining in Jackson; the Chaines had to bring in chefs from New Orleans and other cities for our dinners. Now (with a recent increase in chef-driven restaurants in the area), we have chefs in town who are willing and able to participate.” For each dinner, the chef creates a special menu, and talks to the group about each course’s preparation. The Fairview Inn hosts the January meeting each year; it’s a special occasion where the Chaines inducts new members. 34 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Chef Gary Hawkins created the menu for this year’s cocktail reception and dinner, working with Norm Rush on wine pairings. Hawkins looks forward to this annual dinner, because in cooking for the Chaines, he’s given the freedom of expression to “do whatever we (as a kitchen team) want and try out unique ingredients and more adventurous preparations (than on our restaurant menu).” This year, he considered seasonality, turning to flavors of Italy for the passed hors d’ourves and heartier dishes for the dinner menu of the winter event. The theme was “comfort food in a way,” with an Italian influence. Chain members and guests enjoyed dishes such as a seared diver scallop with cannellini bean puree and onion-artichoke vinaigrette, braised pork cheek with gnocchi , and a frommage course featuring cheeses from England, France, and Spain. Hawkins ordinarily prefers to let his food do the talking, but the format of a Chaines dinner means he came out from the kitchen to explain each dish and interact with his guests.

He enjoyed the experience so much this year that it led him to create a new event—the Chef ’s Table at 1908 Provisions (the Fairview’s restaurant). Inspired by the Chaines dinner format, the Chef ’s Table will be a monthly offering (starting in March and running through October) for thirty diners, pairing four courses with wine. The chef will come out and talk about each course as it’s served. Metro area diners who come to the Chef ’s Table dinners can thereby have a little taste of what the Chaines experience entails. Perhaps they’ll grow interested in becoming members of the society. Daniels would like that, as he hopes to grow interest in the society, particularly among younger people. “We want to recruit more young members to keep enthusiasm and growth (of the group) up.” By offering an eclectic group of folks a chance to fellowship over a shared meal, it’s a great chance for enjoying the finer things in life. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 35

Chef Gary Hawkins 36 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Ralph Daniel, Tom Cassidy, Norman Rush, and J.D. Fly enjoy chatting at the winter meeting of the Jackson chapter of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

Winter meeting attendees applaud at Ralph Daniel's induction to Brillat-Savarin. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37


New York-Mississippi Picnic in Central Park 38 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Picnics Mississippians Gather Around the Nation Each Summer for Good Food and Good Times

by susan marquez

photo by j.j. carney

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 39

Attendees line up for fried catfish at the New York-Mississippi picnic. photo by j.j. carney


f it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon with blankets and chairs scattered under a grove of trees, plates filled high with fried catfish, sweet tea, and caramel cake, it’s got to be a Mississippi picnic. But when you look beyond the trees and see towering skyscrapers and yellow taxi cabs, there could be a bit of doubt that the picnic is actually in Mississippi. Add Yankee accents and several foreign accents to the Southern drawls heard at the event and it’s a sure bet–you’re at the Mississippi Picnic, held the second weekend in June in New York City’s Central Park . Started 36 years ago by a group of Mississippi ex-pats living in New York, the picnic has grown to epic proportions. Rachel McPherson of Monticello, the late Kay McDuffie of Nettleton, Diane Wiltshire of McComb, and Vicki and Ron Carter (Tupelo and Ellisville, respectively) began the picnic to combat the homesickness they had for down-home music and Southern cooking. The first year, over 500 people showed up for the potluck picnic. Two years later, the Catfish Farmers of America got involved and they’ve been there ever since. The Carters had heard of a similar gathering of Mississippians in Los Angeles and were inspired to do something similar in New York. Now the Mississippi Development Authority’s Department of Tourism is involved. Each year, various artisans are invited to attend, including Jonni Webb of Canton, who has been to Mississippi Picnics in both Los Angeles and New York with her j.r.webb line of handcrafted pottery. “I first attended the Los Angeles picnic in Spring 2009. There were a few vendor booths–I believe it was their first year to have vendors. I had my pottery on display and I shared a booth with Leslie Puckett of Bear Creek Herbals in Gluckstadt. I remember there was plenty of food–some people brought their own, then the catfish farmers were there frying up fish. McAllister’s was serving sweet tea and Lazy Magnolia Brewery was serving beer. There was music all afternoon.” 40 • APRIL/MAY 2015

photo courtesy of jonni webb

Jonni Webb, left, had the opportunity to meet First Lady Deborah Bryant at the New York-Mississippi Picnic in Central Park last summer.

h is the i catfis sippi p ip s is s is sis Fried M of every Mis t h g li high . picnic

Fistful o f Mississip Grits perform s pi on t he Ma at ll.

washington, d.c. picnic photos by meg lake photography

Webb’s next Mississippi picnic was in New York last summer. “It was amazing. I was invited by the State to attend, and my pottery rode to New York on the catfish truck. There was wonderful music all day, with Marty Stuart as the headliner. Each of the universities in Mississippi had a tent, and there was plenty of food. Everyone loved the catfish!” One of the things that surprised Webb was that she met more Mississippians who were in New York on vacation than she did Mississippians who actually live in New York. “There were folks there who said they go to New York each year to attend the picnic! I also met people from several different states and countries, and I sold my pottery to people from Sweden and other countries. Many of the folks I talked to just happened upon the picnic, while others had made it their destination. It’s just a fun place for Mississippians to go to get a taste of home, as well as a wonderful opportunity for Mississippi to showcase the State’s food, music, arts, and education with the diverse population of New York.” Webb said that she was surprised to learn that Mississippi is the only state in the Union sanctioned to have an annual picnic event in Central Park. The event is now coordinated by the nonprofit group New York Mississippi Society, based in New York.

The group’s mission is to preserve the culture and heritage of the State of Mississippi. The picnic is held on a wide concrete midway adjacent to the park’s Sheep Meadow. Attendance at the event often exceeds 2,000 people, and that’s a lot of catfish. Five hundred pounds, to be exact, flash frozen and packed in dry ice at Simmons Catfish in Yazoo City. They donate the fish each year, along with 140 pounds of hushpuppies. This will be the 29th year Ken Akins of Southaven fries the fish, assisted by his sons. He also fries catfish at the Washington, D.C. Mississippi Picnic. There are now three recognized Mississippi Picnics in the United States. The New York event will be held Saturday, June 13 with the theme “Mississippi Homecoming in Central Park.” In Atlanta, the annual Mississippi in the Park, presented by the Mississippi Society of Georgia, will be held Saturday, June 6 in Chastain Park. The event includes a golf tournament followed by Braves Night on Friday night. Last year's fundraisers brought in $12,000 in scholarships that was returned to Mississippi colleges and universities. The annual Mississippi on the Mall event in Washington, D.C. is set for Saturday, June 20. The event is hosted by the Mississippi Society, founded in 1892, the second oldest active state society in Washington. edm

Atlanta picnic photos by toni jernigan

onate esses d with in s u b pi elp Mississip ch year to h a e items fforts. ising e fundra

Mississip p at Cha ians gather stain P ark in Atlant af fellows or food and hip. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 41

{ in the bloglight }

Nan Kelley Makes Good Use of Her Mississippi Roots with Food Blog by kelsey wells


ississippi girls are often recognized for two traits-their cooking skills and their ability to turn a total stranger into a best friend in thirty minutes flat through conversation. Nan Kelley had the latter of those traits almost from birth, but her cooking skills have also developed and she is now the producer of One Pan Nan, a successful food blog. Kelley grew up in Hattiesburg, developing the gift of gab from her mom, a beautician, and an appreciation for good food from all the women in her family. She moved to Nashville after college, where she found great success in the television industry. What began as an opportunity to be Gary Chapman's sidekick on the popular Prime Time Country exploded into multiple opportunities such as hosting Opry Live, Top 20 Country Countdown and Stars for Stripes: Wounded Warriors Return. She has traveled to Iraq with country music stars Chris Young and Craig Morgan, co-hosted the annual Great American Country Academy of Country Music Awards red carpet arrivals show, and appeared on networks such as HGTV and the Travel Channel. She has also interviewed stars such as Ronnie Dunn and Kip Moore, putting her Mississippi roots to work and making those she works with feel instantly at ease. In Kelley's family, food was the center of many conversations. She recalls choosing a hotel for a vacation based on the location of the nearest Shipley's Doughnuts. “We talked about what we're going to eat for dinner while we're having breakfast,” she said. Even though she grew up with a mother who made tasty chicken and dumplings, a grandmother whose specialty was gumbo, and an aunt who had a knack for making pies, Kelley admits she ate a lot more than she cooked. Though she worked in a fast-food restaurant and waited tables at Purple Parrot Cafe during her college years, she found herself severely 42 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Nan Kelley lacking in cooking skills after moving away from home. She survived by eating fast food and heat and eat dishes brought home from her mother's kitchen. A roommate, Karen Karales, began teaching Kelley how to prepare simple but tasty meals that changed the way Kelley thought about cooking. She learned enough to win over her future husband, Charlie, and his mother. Her love for food and cooking grew. One Pan Nan began as a video blog about ten months ago, with Nan demonstrating a recipe or cooking up a mouthwatering but simple dish in the kitchen of another chef. The videos were fun and successful, but scheduling conflicts caused Kelley to take another approach. She now posts pictures, recipes, and cooking and cleaning tips in addition to video. The name “One Pan Nan” came courtesy of her husband, a Northerner who had to get used to the Southern casserole, which combines all ingredients into one dish. The recipes and demonstrations on Kelley's blog focus on giving busy moms more time with their families and reducing clean up time. The response to One Pan Nan has been tremendous, with guest bloggers joining her, different brands wanting to promote their products on the blog, and a hardbound cookbook in the works for this year. Kelley admits that she is not an amazing chef like so many people who produce food blogs. However, she understands the importance of cooking for family and friends and believes that, as her roommate once told her, “If you can read, you can cook.” From Hattiesburg to Nashville, Nan Kelley is making good use of her Mississippi roots, bringing entertainment into homes through television and influencing beginning and professional cooks with One Pan Nan. edm

Dutch Chicken 3 chicken breasts 1 large jar thick salsa 2 cans black beans (drained & rinsed) 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 can kernel corn (drained) 1 teaspoon cumin 1 can diced green chilies 1 teaspoon salt In a slow cooker or a crock pot, place the 3 chicken breasts, then pour all remaining ingredients (except the cream cheese) on top. Do not stir. Put the lid on, turn the slow cooker up to high and let cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs or until chicken is tender & no longer pink. When done, use two forks to thoroughly shred the chicken breasts in the slow cooker pan. Next,

cut up the block of cream cheese and drop pieces into the slow cooker. Stir to melt. Serve over tortilla chips, in a taco shell bowl with lettuce as a salad or over cooked rice. Sprinkle some grated cheese, sour cream or jalapenos on top. Nan’s Note: This continues to be a favorite here at home. Never fails, always good and easy to make. Be sure to use a thick and chunky salsa—if you use a thinner one, it might make it too soupy. As far as the name goes, you should know that we named it Dutch Chicken— though it is not Dutch at all nor does it have anything to do with anyone named Dutch or anyone in the Netherlands for that matter. It’s a secret that I can’t reveal because I can’t remember.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 43


Not-So-Odd Couple

The History Behind the Unlikely Pairing of Chicken and Waffles story and photography By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum


ried chicken and waffles. To the untrained palate, this dynamic duo may come across as a little odd. But once you’ve crossed over to the other side, you quickly realize it’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet. The crunchy fried chicken is the ying to the tender waffle’s yang. It’s as perfectly matched as peanut butter and jelly. Chicken and waffles have been making its way onto menus all across the United States. While it may seem like a new trend, the dish actually dates back to 1930s Harlem, New York. Local restaurants began staying open late to take advantage of the hungry jazz musicians and party-goers headed home after a late-night gig. However, dinner service typically ended at 11 p.m. and breakfast wouldn’t be served for several more hours. The Wells Supper Club usually had fried chicken leftover from dinner service, and seeing an opportunity to make a little extra money, began serving the chicken alongside a hot waffle. This perfect dinner-meets-breakfast combination put “Wells” on the map. Though it has been closed for over 30 years, the dish it pioneered has left its legacy on soul food. Whether you have been a member of this not-so-exclusive club for many years or are a newcomer to the phenomenon, we encourage you to try one of the tasty versions from the many local restaurants that offer it. Or if you feel like staying in, try making history with a chicken and waffles recipe of your own. edm

44 • APRIL/MAY 2015

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 45

46 • APRIL/MAY 2015

chicken and waffles Fried Chicken: 1 (5-6 pound) Sanderson Farms fryer chicken, cut-up 4 cups buttermilk 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided 1 – 1-1/2 quarts cooking oil 3 eggs 1 teaspoon hot sauce 2-1/2 cups flour 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon paprika In a large bowl, combine buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of salt. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and completely coat in the buttermilk mixture. Cover and let the chicken sit in the buttermilk mixture in refrigerator for at least four hours, no more than 12 hours. Pour cooking oil into a large skillet until you have at least 1-inch of oil in the bottom. Heat over medium high heat until the oil begins to ripple. Reduce heat to medium low. Combine eggs and hot sauce in a large bowl. Combine flour, cornstarch, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and remaining tablespoon of salt in a second bowl. Remove chicken from the buttermilk mixture. Allow excess to drain off. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture until well coated. Then coat with the egg mixture. Then coat a second time with the flour mixture. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated. Starting with the dark meat, place approximately three chicken pieces at a time into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd. Fry chicken for approximately 12-15 minutes for dark meat, 10-12 minutes for white meat, until the coating is brown and the chicken is cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken onto a rack lined with paper towels. Serves 8 Waffles: 2 eggs 1 -3/4 cups milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Non-stick irons may need to be coated with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add milk and vegetable oil. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately or keep warm. To assemble, top each waffle with a chicken piece. Drizzle syrup over top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

• - Where To Eat -

Chicken and Waffles BILOXI


Beau Rivage Terrace Café 875 Beach Blvd. 888.595.2534

Weidmann’s 210 22nd Ave. 601.581.5770



Rolling River Bistro 406 Main St. 601.442.6601

Smith. 603 N Fillmore St. 662.594.1925 HATTIESBURG Keg and Barrel 1315 Hardy St. 601.582.7148

OCEAN SPRINGS Broadway Bar and Grill 705 Washington Ave. 228.872.6480 OXFORD

Patio 44 3822 West 4th St. 601.602.6907

McEwen’s 1110 Van Buren Ave. 662.234.7003

JACKSON Brent’s Drugs 655 Duling Avenue 601.366.3427 Char 4500 I-55 North 601.956.9562 Fondren Public 2765 Old Canton Rd. 769.216.2589

The Wine Bar 401 S Lamar Blvd. 662.238.3500 RIDGELAND Mint the Restaurant 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy. 601.898.6468 STARKVILLE

Hal N’Mals 200 Commerce St. 601.948.0888

Restaurant Tyler 100 E. Main St. 662.324.1014

The Feathered Cow 4760 I-55 NORTH 769.233.8366

STAGgerIN Sports Grill 106 Maxwell St. 662.324.2447

The Penguin 100 John R. Lynch St. 769.251.5222 Walker’s Drive In 3016 N State St. 601.982.2633

TUPELO The Blue Canoe Bar 2006 North Gloster St. 662.269.2642

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 47

{ from mississippi to beyond }

Chef Tim Hontzas 48 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Food for the Soul Tim Hontzas Serves Greek, Southern Food at Johnny's in Homewood, Ala. By Kathy K. Martin photography by beth hontzas


hen Tim Hontzas remembers his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi, he fondly talks about his Greek heritage and the sights and smells of his papou’s restaurant. He recalls the screaming and yelling, the clattering of pots and pans, and the loving presence of his papou, Johnny Hontzopoulous, who immigrated from Greece to New Orleans in 1921 with $17 in his pocket. The chefs would greet Hontzas with many hugs and kisses, not to mention tastings of sweet pastries and other Greek delicacies. Those classic Greek dishes such as keftedes (Greek meatballs) with housecultured tzatziki (Greek dipping sauce), spanakopita (Greek spinach pie), tiropita (Greek cheese pastry), and pastitsio (Greek lasagna) are offered alongside Southern meat-and-three vegetable dishes and Southern desserts and Greek pastries at his Homewood, Alabama-based restaurant, Johnny’s. “You really can’t imagine the childhood of a Greek child, especially for the son of a first-generation restaurateur and military man,” says Hontzas. While his father, Constantine, had two jobs, running his dad’s restaurant and serving in the Army Reserves for 36 years, Hontzas felt the added responsibility on his shoulders as the only son with three sisters. “As a kid, you don’t want these two jobs combined in your dad. It was very rough, to say the least, and my father expected a lot out of me.”

Hontzas’ on-the-job-training made the restaurant business a natural career choice. However, he admits that he pulled away for about three months, but found himself gravitating right back to the kitchen. His first real restaurant job was busing tables at Scrooge’s in Jackson. After a few months, the managers saw that he was spending more time in the kitchen asking questions like, “May I flip the steak?” or “How do you make that dish?” They asked him if he would like to spend more time in the kitchen and he jumped at the chance. He moved on to work at the Sundancer restaurant across the street, where he prepared desserts and handled minor food preparation if he agreed to wash dishes three out of his six days of work. “I was so eager and could survey the whole kitchen from my dish tank position.” He moved to Oxford in 1991 to attend Ole Miss, where his need for spending money motivated him to ask for a job at a new restaurant there called City Grocery, which is still a popular and thriving eatery on the town square. After staging salads, appetizers, and desserts, he began learning the finer techniques of emulsifications, vinaigrettes, presentation, and food preparation in general and worked at the sauté and grill station before being named chef de cuisine. He said that he owes his success to chef and owner John Currence, who he said took an interest in him and taught him the restaurant business. His eagerness to learn more led him to move to Louisiana eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 49

to work with French chef Christian Burge, followed by Memphis, where he worked with Danish chef Erling Jensen before returning to City Grocery for another four years. “John always made the chef de cuisine position open for me,” he says. “I had earned the respect of the staff as we had kept in touch or saw each other during football game weekends.” Eventually, he worked in Beaver Creek, Colorado; Savannah, Georgia; Beaufort, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; and back home to Jackson, but returned again to Oxford. His cumulative 14 years at City Grocery gave him the experience and confidence to open Johnny’s, named for his papou, in 2012. Johnny’s, says Hontzas, marries all that he has learned at so many restaurants, along with his Greek upbringing. He describes his food as a courtship of Southern ingredients and Greek influences. He uses fresh, local vegetables and enjoys baking both savory and sweet dishes such as a Banana Moon Pie Pudding and Greek desserts such as Baklava, Yiaorti Cheesecake, and Galaktoboureko. His chalkboard menu

reflects the continually changing and evolving dishes that keep Johnny’s fresh and new at every visit. Hontzas returns to his home state to visit family and attend Ole Miss football games and says he misses the daily advice from his dad, the encouragement from his mother, and the close friendship of his chef comrades from City Grocery. He believes that Southern food is like family, where you put aside differences and break bread together in thankfulness, not just at Thanksgiving. “I’ve had a customer tell me that our food feels like a hug and I want everyone to feel that love when they eat at Johnny’s.” His restaurant motto states his mission well: "We prepare food for the body, but also good food to feed the soul." edm Johnny's 2902 18th St. South Suite 200 Homewood, Ala. 205.802.2711 1 (15 ounce) can tomato soup 4 pounds ground beef , chuck 3 eggs, lightly beaten 4 cups buttery round crackers, crushed Melt butter. Carmelize the onions, 10 minutes. Add garlic, cook 5 minutes. Add celery and cook another 10 minutes. Be very careful not to burn the garlic. Water will come from the celery after about 5 minutes; this will help. Now make a kit: add the rest of the ingredients except for ground beef, eggs, and crackers. Cool completely. In a mixer, beat the ground beef and kit until well incorporated. Then, gradually add the whole eggs one by one. Once incorporated, add crushed crackers. We like to let ours sit overnight to “set up.” Scoop into 6 ounce muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes in an oven that has been pre-heated to 325°F. Serve with your favorite BBQ Sauce or try our recipe below.


johnny's MEATLOAF 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup minced onion 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup diced celery 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons hot sauce, we use Crystal 2 tablespoons chili powder 1/2 cup applesauce 1-1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 50 • APRIL/MAY 2015

2 cups ketchup 1 cup water 1/2 cup white vinegar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup corn syrup 1/2 cup honey 1/4 cup maple syrup 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon dry mustard Add all ingredients to sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. If you don't like a spice, just remove ancho powder and/ or if you cannot find, just substitute with chipotle powder or purée.

{ from the bookshelf }

Recipes and Road Stories

Life on the Road with Sisters Hannah & Caroline Melby of the Duo HanaLena Author: Hannah and Caroline Melby | Publisher: Sartoris Literary Group by kelsey wells

In the music business, behind the glitter and lights is a very different scene. It's a world filled with long hours on the road, hard work in production studios, and, of course, food from a fast snack to a French restaurant. Sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby of the country music duo HanaLena learned at an early age what life on the road is all about. The sisters, who grew up in Starkville, have been touring since Hannah was in 11th grade and Caroline was in 7th grade. Now, at ages 28 and 24 respectively, the duo has collected some of their stories into a new book entitled Recipes and Road Stories: Life on the Road with Sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby of the Duo HanaLena. As Southern girls touring the country music circuit, Hannah and Caroline have eaten and experienced many different foods throughout their journey. When touring, many times the girls are fed home-cooked meals courtesy of a local cook at their venue. In addition to their touching and humorous stories, Hannah and Caroline have chosen to include recipes from their family and friends. The personally selected recipes explain not only the ingredients and instructions, but also Hannah and Caroline's connection to the author of the recipe. The recipes in Recipes and Road Stories feature simple ingredients and homestyle goodness. They serve as intermission between the four chapters of entertaining stories. You will find recipes like Blueberries Divine, Muscadine Cobbler, Shrimp and Grits, Texas Corn, Black Bean Soup, and Mama Ruby's Chicken Salad. Mississippi-style recipes for cornbread, deer steak and gravy, and tomato tarts round out this exciting and tasty look into the life of two young musicians. Recipes and Road Stories is filled with sometimes heartwarming, sometimes hilarious stories and mouthwatering recipes that will leave any reader wanting to find out more about HanaLena as they continue to achieve new heights in country music. edm

Grandma’s Ham Casserole By Mary Louise Melby, grandmother

2 cups cubed ham 2 cups cooked shell macaroni 1/2 cup chopped green or banana peppers 1/4 cup chopped onions (optional) 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup celery, chopped 1-1/2 cups Muenster cheese, grated 1 cup sour cream Paprika (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F. Sauté ham, pepper, onion and celery in butter. Mix with macaroni and sour cream. Fold in 1 cup cheese and pour into greased casserole. Sprinkle lightly with paprika for color. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 45 minutes.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 51

{ community } story and photography by julian brunt



Feed My Sheep in Gulfport Serves Over 700 Hot Lunches a Day

52 • APRIL/MAY 2015

t is a cold and dreary day, but already by 11:30 a.m. people are being seated and seem eager for lunch to be served. Some walk up, some ride bikes, and a few others come by car. This is a mixed crowd, and no stereotype prevails. There is a nicely dressed woman who obviously took her time putting on her makeup this morning, a man walks in with two little kids, some have stacked their backpacks against the wall, others take their seats and most remember to take their hats off, a few are politely reminded. Just before noon, a tall, skinny man walks to the front of the crowded room and leads the group in prayer. Feed My Sheep is a Christian-based organization and receives no funding from state or federal government, and prayer is never neglected. Today's lunch is substantial, is well prepared, and Mr. Tony Henderson, affectionately known as Angel, who led the group in prayer earlier, comes up to me and says "Mr. Camera Man, make sure to tell them that this is homemade chicken pot pie!" There is also a side of squash, broccoli, and zucchini, a fresh green salad, and a bowl of soup. It’s a good looking lunch and any diner in town would be proud to serve it. But these guests are not the paying kind. They are hungry to be sure, but their hunger is a different sort than what you and I experience before meals.

Volunteers serve the hungry.

This just might be the only hot meal they get today, and on a wet and cold day like this one, that would not be a happy prospect. Some are homeless, some are the working poor, some are just old and worn out, and some are military veterans. Feed My Sheep does not ask any questions, come to these doors and you will be fed. These folks mean it when they say they are a non-judgmental program, dedicated to feeding the hungry in Gulfport. This kitchen cranks up at 5 a.m. with a paid staff of only five. There are many more volunteers, that come from all walks of life, and all are dedicated to the same simple goal-feed the hungry. By 9 a.m., food is being packaged for the 350 housebound people served by the program and another 350 to 400 will have lunch in the cafeteria-style dining room every day. Those are sobering statistics, so many poor, so many hungry. This program was started in 1984 and has served hundreds of thousands of meals, over 170,000 in 2014 alone. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the building completely and it took some time to build it back, at a different location, on donated land. Today, Feed My Sheep serves more meals than most full service restaurants. Feed My Sheep is a soup kitchen at its core, but because of the generosity of local businesses, grocery stores, and restaurants, so many poor people, in need of a helping hand, have a bright spot in their day. For information on how to donate or volunteer, visit www.feedmysheepgulfport. org or call 228.864.2701. edm

A full warehouse is maintained for emergencies.

A hearty meal is served five times a week at Feed My Sheep soup kitchen in Gulfport.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53

{ raise your glass }

Have a Few Instead of Two Master mixologist Kirk Estopinal of Bellocq and Cure in New Orleans recently took over The Apothecary at Brent's Drugs in Jackson for a "Have a Few Instead of Two" seminar on low-proof cocktails and aperitifs. Estopinal has published two books on the subject of cocktails and has competed and placed in several cocktail competitions. He constantly questions what makes a drink delicious. His answer-personality.

Pimm's Cup By Julian Stubbs, bartender at Apothecary

1.5 ounces Pimm's NO. 1 3/4 ounce of lemon juice 1/2 ounce of simple syrup Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain over iced filled collins glass and top with soda. Garnish with a cucumber wheel and strawberry.

Kirk Estopinal mixes a drink at a low proof cocktails seminar held recently in Jackson.

photography by christina foto

54 • APRIL/MAY 2015


Yazoo Pass Clarksdale


Bishop's BBQ -

Belden, Booneville, Saltillo, Tupelo

The Hills The Delta -

J. Broussard' sColumbus

- Miss D's Diner at J.C.'s General Store

The Pines



DelCollins i Diner -


Our wonderful state is divided into five travel regions - The Hills, The Delta, The Pines, Capital/River, and Coastal. It is our goal to give equal coverage to all regions of the state in every issue. The following sections are color coded by region for your convenience. We hope you will take the time and travel to all regions to take advantage of the diverse culinary styles present throughout our state. We do suggest that you call to verify operating hours before visiting any of these wonderful establishments.


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 55

The Hills

Smoked Chicken Breast, Sweet Corn on the Cob, Beef Brisket, Cole Slaw, and Pulled Pork Sandwich

“Get That SqueElin' Feelin’” 56 • APRIL/MAY 2015

The Hills

Homemade Banana Pudding and Strawberry Cake

Bishop's BBQ Grill Owner Ronnie Bishop

Bishop's BBQ Grill Cooks Low and Slow for Mouth-watering Barbeque in Northeast Mississippi story by katie hutson west | photos courtesy of bishop's bbq grill


he people of the South take pride in knowing good barbeque. It’s common to hear debates on whose joint is the best in town, if sauce should be mild or spicy, and to top with slaw or not. Barbeque master Ronnie Bishop researched that and more to create his version of mouth-watering barbeque and has fans and followers who declare Bishop’s the best barbeque around. Owned and operated by Bishop, barbequing is something he kind of fell into. Hailing from the Jacinto Community in Alcorn County, Bishop’s journey into barbeque started when he was working as Food and Beverage Manager for the Tupelo Furniture Market. With a suggestion from the market’s owner, Bishop decided he should come up with his own BBQ to sell at market. Bishop started researching to find out everything he could about barbeque and, 13 years later, is one of the barbeque masterminds of Mississippi. He opened his first restaurant in Saltillo in 2008 and since then, Bishop’s BBQ has expanded to locations in Tupelo, Belden,

and Booneville. Bishop goes in at the crack of dawn every morning to start smoking the meat. With a hard-working, friendly staff, the folks at Bishop’s love barbeque and it shows. Bishop has a knowledge of barbeque that can be tasted in all the goods he offers. His sauces and seasonings don’t overpower the meat, but instead compliment it perfectly. The meat is tender and juicy, cooked low and slow for just the right taste and texture. Each Bishop’s BBQ Grill location has a menu loaded with smoky, flavorful options. Start out with the Macho Nachos, a crowd-pleasing favorite made of tortilla chips topped with pulled pork or chicken, then covered in chili con carne, white Mexican cheese, jalapeños, and dusted with barbeque seasonings. Other appetizers include fried green tomatoes and “Bad Boy” onion rings which both come accompanied with Bish’s homemade ranch sauce. Sandwiches, like the beef brisket, steak & cheese, and smoked sausage, are piled high on a hoagie that’s been eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 57

The Hills

TOP - Andrew Easterling works behind the counter at the Saltillo location of Bishop's BBQ Grill. ABOVE - Pulled Pork, Cole Slaw, Ribs, Bish's Baked Beans RIGHT - The dining room at Bishop's Saltillo location

58 • APRIL/MAY 2015

smeared with homemade sauce. Po-boys at Bishop’s are made to order with either delicious, hand-battered Gulf shrimp or Mississippi farm-raised catfish. A side of Bishop’s own Gator Taters, homemade potato chips with just the right amount of crisp and seasoning, rounds out a most satisfying lunch. Bishop’s boasts a wide assortment of sides that are made from his own recipes and are perfectly suited for the vast array of barbequed meats. Fried okra, potato salad, cole slaw, Bish’s baked beans, and sweet potato casserole make up a few of the many choices. They accompany the smoked goodness of tender beef brisket, moist turkey and chicken, juicy pork tenderloin, and fall-off-the-bone ribs. All the delicious dishes at Bishop’s can be purchased in bulk and they’ll even roast a whole Boston Butt to go. Bish’s own spices, sauces, rubs, and seasonings are also available in large sizes. Winner of the Daily Journal’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Award for Best BBQ, Bishop calls out the delicious pulled pork as the “must have” item at the restaurant. “But guests also really need to try our new ‘Xtreme Nachos’…our chips are homemade and have definitely been a big hit,” Bishop said of the barbeque joint's fan favorite, adding, “and of course you can’t forget the made-from-scratch banana pudding.” One of many tempting, scrumptious desserts, this homemade treat is in a field all its own. When it comes to future plans, opening more locations could be in the cards, but Bishop’s ultimate goal is to serve great barbeque and keep their customers happy. So for now they will continue to encourage their patrons to come on in and “Get that Squeelin’ Feelin’” by eating good barbeque. Bishop’s BBQ Grill is the go-to joint for lunch, supper, and in between (like Bishop’s delicious wings for a football game). The folks at Bishop’s also offer excellent catering services and can even be found towing their Bishop’s BBQ travelin’ trailer to a festival or special event. A proud supporter of their community, the Bishop’s team is honored to help the Alzheimer’s Association and LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Ronnie Bishop’s BBQ Tip: Smoke your meat low and slow and it should always come out tender. edm Bishop’s BBQ Grill 3018 McCullough Blvd., Belden 662.690.4077 213 Wal-Mart Circle, Booneville 662.728.4913 2546 Hwy 145, Saltillo 662.869.8351 1100 West Main St., Tupelo 662.690.9000

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 59

The Delta

Gourmet Grinds Relax and Refuel with Gourmet Coffee and Light Fare at Clarksdale's Yazoo Pass 60 • APRIL/MAY 2015

story and photography by coop cooper a.k.a. the small town critic

The Delta

Meri Tenhet, owner/manager


little over four years ago, Meri Tenhet and her partners John and Robin Cocke renovated the town's old Woolworth's building on the corner of Yazoo Avenue and 2nd Street with the idea of creating a gourmet coffee house in Clarksdale. With nary a Starbucks in sight, this would be the town's first. “For a long time I really wanted Clarksdale to have a coffee shop,” says Tenhet. “When I got really serious about looking and thinking we had enough young people here to support it, I found Robin and John and they were looking to do the same thing, so it all came together.” With a “chic and comfortable vibe” as Tenhet calls it, the space offers a warm and well-lit environment for people to sit and sip coffee or eat a healthy meal. “If I had to explain my take on the food, I would say it is done with a very light hand. We wanted to focus on good, light fare,” says Tenhet. Yazoo Pass is welcoming for anyone who may want to grab a quick coffee to go, to those who want to sit, eat, do work on their computer and take their time. A group of lawyers may come in for a lengthy power lunch with

Lemon and Key Lime Tarts

colleagues or students getting out of school may come in to make their own icy treat at the frozen yogurt bar. “We really depend on moms and dads bringing their kids here or people taking a break in the afternoons to get a coffee, frappe, yogurt, or pastry. Big families meet up here for weekly get-togethers. We see a little bit of everybody here. We can feed a few or we can feed a crowd. Just call us and we'll figure it out,” says Tenhet. While Yazoo Pass has successfully attracted business from the hip, local crowd, it has also become a must-visit spot for tourists – both national and international – who are in town to sample the infamous 'Clarksdale Blues' music scene. Its central, downtown location is within walking distance from Blues hotspots such as The Delta Blues Museum, Ground Zero Blues Club and Red's. Surprisingly, the establishment also boasts Teach for America instructors as some of its most loyal customers. Teach for America hosts an estimated 650+ out-of-state teachers in the Delta, with a large portion of that number residing in Coahoma County. Realizing the lack of a modern coffee shop with free wifi as a comfortable retreat for the eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 61

The Delta Seared Ahi Tuna – Shaved cucumber, lemon vinaigrette, hummus, wasabi cream, ginger beer sauce

Fall Salad – Baby spinach, shaved fresh pears,shredded parmesan, toasted nuts, balsamic vinaigrette 62 • APRIL/MAY 2015

many new teachers arriving each year, Tenhet saw an opportunity. “I think Teach for America keeps the vibe young and exciting in here having them in and out, doing their work here, especially on the weekends and late afternoons. Robin and John are big supporters of theirs and we wanted to have a place for them to go,” says Tenhet. It is also important to note that Yazoo Pass gets their espresso beans from a fair trade company in Vista, California where Tenhet also received her barista school training. Their brewed coffee comes from an award-winning Missouri company called 'Mississippi Mud' that specializes in fireroasted beans. “Every time we served their coffee, we got such great feedback so that became our signature daily brew. Out of all the different kinds, the most popular is the brew called 'Mud'. It's the most popular especially with the breakfast crowd,” says Tenhet. Yazoo Pass has served so many foreign tourists over the years, Tenhet has learned to make coffee and espresso the way a tourist from a particular country prefers it, especially the Australians. “Two years ago, the Aussies kept coming and kept coming, so we got really good at making Australian coffee. They drink it 'short' which is called a 'ristretto'. It's the timing of the espresso shot, a little darker with a lot less milk. They are very serious about it,” says Tenhet. Yazoo Pass offers separate breakfast, lunch and dinner menus as well as a salad bar, desserts, pastries, frozen yogurt, an assortment of coffees (espresso, frappe, latte, cappuccino, etc.), teas, smoothies, frozen lemonades, fountain drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails. The breakfast menu includes hearty items like bacon, eggs, sausage, grits, biscuits and bagels, as well as healthier options like greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and house-made granola, fruit and berry cups, and cereals. It also features gourmet items like quiches, custom breakfast sandwiches, and the house specialty: French Toast.

The lunch menu focuses more on fresh sandwiches (hot or cold), soups, and salads. BLTs, French Dips, Chicken/ Tuna Melts, Grilled Pimiento Cheese, Philly Cheesesteak/ Chicken, Grilled Cheese, clubs, and burgers are all available. Classic sandwiches are also served using a variety of breads (whole wheat, Kaiser Roll, croissant, etc.), meats (Black Forest Ham, smoked turkey, roast beef), and gourmet condiments. A few speciality items are included like chicken quesadillas, quiches, chicken/pasta/tuna salads, and chips. All of these and a choice of two different daily soup options can generate endless lunch combos. The dinner menu shifts the attention to hot appetizers, entrees, fresh sides/salads, and desserts. The “small plate” appetizers consist of chicken tenders (hand battered or phyllo wrapped), Pomme Frites, Stuffed Shrimp, Seared Ahi Tuna, Crispy Wontons & Dumplings, Crab Cakes, Fish Tacos, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Hot Onion Souffle Dip, as well as specialty salads like the Fall Salad and Wedge Salad. Mouthwatering entrées like Shrimp Scampi, Maple Glazed Salmon, Pan Seared Snapper, an 8 ounce Filet Mignon ,and a juicy 16 ounce Ribeye prove this eatery is more than just a small town coffee shop. Add the nightly specials, premium beers, a wine/cocktail menu, catering options, and an ever-changing dessert menu and it becomes evident that Yazoo Pass is the most versatile restaurant in Clarksdale. It even offers catering services. The business has expanded over the last few years to include much more than it did when it began, but Tenhet hasn't ruled out adding even more to the already diverse menu. “Who knows what could happen here,” laughs Tenhet. “I'll never say 'never' because as soon as I do, the next day we are doing something in here I thought we would never do.” edm

The Delta

Pan Seared Snapper – Garlic sautéed spinach, brown rice, garlic tomato reduction

Yazoo Pass 207 Yazoo Ave., Clarksdale 662.627.8686

YP Burger – Toasted kaiser roll, white cheddar, crunchy fried red onions, Worcestershire aioli, lettuce & tomato eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 63

The Pines

g Classic



Baked Brie with brown sugar and almonds 64 • APRIL/MAY 2015

The Pines

Get a Taste of New Orleans at J. Broussard's in Columbus by katie hutson west

hen Joseph Broussard and wife Mary made the move from an assortment of healthy, vegetarian, and gluten-free to Mississippi from New Orleans over 25 years ago, options. they brought with them the desire to ditch the city life Dining at J. Broussard’s is meant to be a special for a country one and a longing to open their own restaurant. experience; a time to taste the extraordinary and take a Their dreams were realized when J. Broussard’s Restaurant moment to truly enjoy a well-cooked meal. For the first opened in downtown Columbus in 2001, immediately course, a favorite appetizer among many is the baked Brie. becoming the talk of the town for their mix of Cajun cuisine Covered with brown sugar and almonds, it is served atop and Mississippi hospitality. French bread crostini and gives a nice, warm beginning Growing up in the family’s restaurant kitchen, the to a rich meal. Another dish seldom seen in Mississippi, Broussards’ daughter, Chef Escargot Bourguignon, is Beth Broussard Rogers, took made of snails straight out her father’s lessons to heart. of Burgundy that have been “Dad taught me everything baked in garlic butter. Cajun I know,” Rogers said of Shrimp Toast, fried shrimp the talented and loved mousseline on crispy French restaurateur whose passing bread with a creole pepper occurred in 2006. After a jelly spread, is another of the brief closure, Broussard’s many tempting appetizers. daughter re-opened the As for the main dish, town’s favorite place for the menu and daily creole and continues to specials offer great choices. serve the same dishes her Numerous shrimp plates, father was known for. like the Southern favorite Rogers can be found in the Shrimp and Grits and restaurant’s kitchen, open the shallot filled Shrimp to close, where she prepares Bourguignon, give diners every dish herself while a taste of life on the bayou. her mother hosts guests in Veal plates mix the luscious the spacious dining room. meat with shrimp, shallots, Situated right across from mushrooms, and more. the historic Princess Theater, Delicious 14 ounce pork J. Broussard’s is an elegant, chops, duck and chicken comfortable restaurant breasts, and select catfish where one can taste the love dishes are grilled to the chef has for cooking and perfection. For the perfect creole. blend of Cajun and country, J. Broussard’s boasts a the Pecan Pane Catfish dish menu filled with a wide was featured in Southern variety of fresh seafood, Living and is a favorite of J. hand cut steaks, and New Broussard’s regulars. USDA Orleans-style classics. With Choice Black Angus 12 high quality ingredients and ounce Ribeye and 8 ounce Chef Beth Rogers and her mom, Mary Broussard offerings, guests can choose Filet Mignon are sauced to


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 65

The Pines

Fried eggplant with fresh heirloom tomatoes

66 • APRIL/MAY 2015

The Pines

Creole Glazed Pork Chop over cheese grits

Shrimp Creole

Blondie with homemade caramel ice cream order with homemade Au Poivre, Diane, or Roasted Garlic Rosemary Butter. Rogers recommends guests try an authentic New Orleans dish, like the Shrimp Creole (a stew of shrimp, roasted veggies, and tomatoes on a bed of rice) and, of course, one of the many unique, made-from-scratch desserts. Being one of the chef ’s specialties, desserts take center stage at J. Broussard’s. Caramel pecan blondies with homemade cinnamon ice cream, lemon cheesecakes with fresh berries, Tiramisu, coconut lime cakes, and carrot cakes with butterscotch rum sauce make up a few of the ten or more homemade desserts available each night. Using her pastry expertise, Chef Rogers has also created and perfected the Bread Pudding Beignet; a sweet, fluffy treat that compliments the end of a great meal delightfully. Specials change with the seasons and the locally available

fresh produce. “It’s fun,” Rogers says of her trips to the farmers market to pick up the freshest goods. “I’m able to get a lot of great heirloom tomatoes and things at the market, but I’m always on the lookout for more local farms to buy from.” Chef Rogers suggests visiting her Columbus restaurant on a weekday. “Bring friends with you. Have multiple courses. Spend a couple of hours relaxing and eating good food,” Rogers says of how to have the best J. Broussard’s experience, adding with a smile, “the more people you bring with you, the more plates you get to try.” edm J. Broussard’s 210 5th St. S, Columbus 662.243.1480 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 67



68 • APRIL/MAY 2015



en P



It's Worth the Drive for a Burger at Miss D's Diner in Pocahontas


story by susan marquez | photography by christina foto

ome may say it’s in the middle of nowhere while others find it quite convenient. Riding along Highway 49 through Pocahontas, the only thing most people notice is the large Indian mound, or the old teepee-shaped building that used to house a barbeque joint. But look a little harder, and you’ll see a line of buildings housing a bicycle shop and a general store that dates back to the early 1960s. JC’s General Store has been a fixture for the folks in the Pocahontas area for decades, and for the past three years, Miss D’s Diner has been serving up some of the best hamburgers ever, at least that’s what the regular customers say. Deanna and Scott Lively own the general store and diner, which is managed by Jennifer “JJ” Etheridge. “Our burgers

really are the best,” boasts Etheridge. “Each one is made with a lot of love.” That includes the Pocahontas Porker, which comes with both bacon and sausage as well as mushrooms and onion. The Southwest Burger is served with cheddar cheese and barbeque sauce. Then there’s the mushroom/swiss burger, mushroom/cheddar burger, and the double bacon cheeseburger. But for the really ambitious diner, Miss D’s Diner offers up the Juicy Lucy burger – a full pound-anda-half burger. “You hardly ever see anyone finish that one,” laughs Etheridge. “One thing I can say, no one leaves here hungry!”

Pocahontas Porker eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 69


photo by j.j. carney

Earthquake Pancake

In addition to the amazing burgers, Miss D’s serves up hand-cut French fries. “We don’t season them,” explains Etheridge. “We put the seasonings on the table, so folks can season them they way they like them.” Plate lunches are served up daily, with dishes like prime rib and spaghetti on Mondays and shrimp po-boys and catfish on Fridays. The menu changes during the week. “Everyone loves it when we do our chicken-fried chicken,” Etheridge says. Menu staples include onion ring trees, club sandwiches, and the Braveheart Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Breakfast at Miss D's is a big deal, too. A really big deal. The Earthquake Pancakes are a favorite-a giant-sized pancake the size of a dinner plate served up with butter and syrup. Then there's the huge cathead biscuits served up with white gravy, chicken fried steak, chicken and waffles and eggs that are off the charts. "It's a great way to start the day," says Etheridge. "No one leaves hungry, that's for sure!" While a bit off the beaten path, it’s worth the drive. The general store has retained its rustic appeal, decorated with old bottles, cans, chickens and roosters, and exposed brick that peeks through the concrete walls. A rusted tin canopy welcomes guests into the diner. The general store is a working convenience store, with the expected beer, soft drinks, juice and groceries, but it also carries items folks in that area need regularly, including bullets, cast iron pots and pans, and cell phone chargers. edm Miss D's Diner at J.C.'s General Store 1052 Pocahontas Rd., Pocahontas 601.321.8334

70 • APRIL/MAY 2015


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 71




s u o i c i l e D

Deli Diner in Collins Offers Extensive Menu of Hearty & Healthy Food Options 72 • APRIL/MAY 2015



obert Walters has been around quite a bit. He's been employed as a machinist, painter, care-taker, and a few other things as well, and he's been a bit of a vagabond, living around the country, but he always wanted to own a restaurant. About five years ago he found himself in Collins and while there saw an old Sonic building for sale. He looked into it, thought it was a great deal, and so he just bought it. It may seem like getting the cart before the horse; no business plan, no marketing strategy, not even a menu came first, but his intuition proved spot on and he today owns a very successful restaurant that any Mississippi chef/ entrepreneur would be proud to call his own. The secret to his success is pretty simple, but Walters says, "Nobody does what we do." He likes small towns and thrives in the environment and says he's not afraid to try something new. The food is fresh, cooked to order, and there's a serious effort to make it healthy. Don’t look for anything deep fried here. Delicious, yes. Deep fried, no. Walters thought fresh bread would be the way to go, three kinds in fact, and if that meant coming in at 4 a.m., then that’s just what had to happen. The best sellers on this four page menu include salads-there is an entire page of them, and that includes a great chicken salad, a pesto chicken and artichoke salad, and a grilled salmon salad. But it isn't so healthy that it will scare the hearty eater away. Take a look at the grilled shrimp po-boy, that same

Grilled Shrimp Po-boy

story and photography by julian brunt

Sous chef Rebecca Jarrell eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 73


Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad Sandwich

74 • APRIL/MAY 2015


Fajita Salad

chicken salad served on homemade rosemary bread, killer homemade pimento and cheese, and six burgers to choose from. The Gorillin burger looks over the top and next time I go this is what I am getting. It’s a hand-formed patty, grilled just right, then topped with pimento and cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato, and served on a cheddar jalapeùo bun. If you are crazy hungry, make it a double for just two dollars more. The menu also has shrimp served five ways, and a sandwich selection that is fourteen strong. My advice is to try the PBLT (pimento and cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato), grilled chicken panini, or the club-melt, a great combination of ham, turkey, bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, and fixens. There are also specials to look out for and the menu does

change as Walters and Rebecca Jarrell, the sous chef, come up with more great ideas. This place is flexible and both chefs are always looking for something different to introduce. There's a rumor that gelato may be coming soon, and if it is half as good as everything else at this place, the line will be out the door! When Deli Diner opened they were feeding one hundred for lunch, today it is three times that. This little place is a bit out of the way, but it deserves one of the state's culinary stars. edm The Deli Diner 704 South Fir Avenue, Collins 601.765.4359 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 75

{ featured festival }

Mudbug Madness

Get your fill of crawfish with boiled potatoes and corn at the Crawfish Music Festival in Biloxi. 76 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Celebrate Crawfish at Festivals Across the State story by lindsay mott | photos submitted


pringtime and into summertime in Mississippi is just beautiful. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, more and more festivals fill the weekends of Mississippi towns. These festivals run the gamut of art, music, food, etc. and many include all of the above. Some of the most popular Mississippi festivals center on local cuisine and showcase what makes Mississippi truly special. The Crawfish Music Festival is a two-weekend festival held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum that has drawn tens of thousands of attendees to the Coast for more than two decades to see national headlining musical artists and regional bands, enjoy midway rides and games, and partake in delicious food. The main culinary star of the Crawfish Music Festival is, of course, crawfish. Showcased with the Crawfish Cookoff held on April 19, the public is invited to taste the results of the competition of more than 25 cooking teams and vote for the People’s Choice winner. The winner gets $4,000, but the voters are the real winners as they taste each bite and choose the best crawfish. Another Mississippi festival centered around crawfish is the Leland Crawfish Festival, which will be in its 24th year on May 9 on the historical streets of Leland. This festival is the oldest crawfish festival in the state and is a fundraiser for the Highway 61 Blues Museum. The culinary highlight is more than 2,000 pounds of crawfish prepared by Ryan Moore and his world famous crawfish cooking team from Cicero’s Restaurant in Stoneville. There will also be barbecue for those not into crawfish. The festival is a celebration of the Cajun culture in the Mississippi Delta. Over the years, crawfish and other Cajun specialties have changed from specialty foods to more mainstream items in the cuisine. The festival will see anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 people during the day as they also have crafts and musical entertainment all day, including Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers. Other events around the state which feature crawfish include the 10th Annual Fishes for Wishes in Southaven on April 11 benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Mid-South Chapter; the 11th Annual Mudbug Bash in Hernando on April 11 benefitting Palmer Home for Children; and the South Branch Lions Club's Crawfish Music Festival in Olive Branch on May 30. For more information on these events, visit the culinary events page on edm

A highlight of the Crawfish Music Festival on the Gulf Coast is the Crawfish Cook-off where the public gets to taste and choose who has the best crawfish.

Eventgoers at the Leland Crawfish Festival sit and enjoy a plate of crawfish. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 77

{ calendar }

Fill Your Plate

April/May 2015

Food Festivals & Events

April 6-18 Columbus Spring Pilgrimage The 75th Annual Columbus Spring Pilgrimage will be April 6-18. In addition to home tours, there will be a crawfish and shrimp boil, Mayor's Unity Picnic, Catfish in the Alley festival, carriage rides, double decker bus rides, a half marathon and 5K, Tales from the Crypt, a garden party, and more. For more information, visit or call 662-329-1191. •••

April 10-11 Oxford - Miss-i-sippin' Miss-i-sippin' features a variety of popular and seasonal beers and food pairings by the Ole Miss Nutrition and Hospitality Management Faculty and Students. Recipes featuring Mississippi-based products are custom created for this event each year. This year Miss-i-sippin' will take place on April 11th from 12 to 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council and the Ole Miss Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management. For tickets and more information, visit

April 11 Coilumbus - Catfish in the Alley The air in Columbus will be filled with the smell of fried catfish on April 11 at the annual Catfish in the Alley festival. This family-oriented event will feature a catfish cook-off, arts and crafts, and the sounds of some of the South's top blues musicians. For more information, visit or call 662-329-1191 •••


April 10-12 Aberdeen Pilgrimage Visit historic Aberdeen for the 40th annual Spring Pilgrimage. There will be home tours, carriage rides, luncheons, story telling, a ghostly cemetery tour, and more. Don't miss the Lions Club Barbecue, Victorian Dinner, and Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast. For details and ticket information, go to or call 662-369-9440.

78 • APRIL/MAY 2015

April 11 Pass Christian Po-Boy Festival The Pass Christian Po-Boy Festival will be held on Saturday, April 11th. The festival features the best po-boys, more great food, live music, wonderful artists, kids activities, fishing rodeo, classic car cruise, and more. This festival is a hometown celebration honoring the local favorite food staple-the po-boy. Enjoy the great food, local artisans, live entertainment and “pressed and dressed poboys Pass-style” all weekend. For more information, call 228-222-2921 or visit www.

April 18 Ridgeland - Santé South Wine Festival Sante’ South Wine Festival, on April 18, joins the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival, April 18-19, as two of Jackson Metro area's signature events at Renaissance at Colony Park in Ridgeland. Benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter, Sante’ South Wine Festival is a destination event and international showcase of the world’s premier wines and some of Mississippi’s most succulent culinary delights. Santé South offers enthusiasts the rare opportunity of speaking directly with winemakers while sampling exceptional wines and food pairings from top regional restaurants. In addition to the Grand Tasting where guests enjoy sampling of exquisite wines and delectable foods, Sante’ South offers a VIP Tasting. This tasting is limited to 200 guests who want an exclusive chance to sample the wines at the top of their lists before the larger crowd arrives. This time also allows guests to cultivate a better understanding of what makes a quality vintage. For more information and to purchase tickets visit •••

April 18 Taste of Starkville Presented by the Starkville Area Arts Council each April in Starkville's historic Cotton District, the Cotton District Arts Festival blends incredible art, mood and music into a showcase event. The Taste of Starkville restaurant competition annually brings together the best of Starkville's local restaurants to showcase their best dishes. In 2014, the competition included everything from Indian cuisine to pie pops to pizza. The festival is host to over 125 artists, as well as a juried arts competition and show, Writer's Village, Taste of Starkville restaurant competition, 5K and 1 mile runs, Pet Parade, student art competition, and much more. For more information, call 662-324-3080 or visit To have your food festival or culinary event included in future issues, please contact us at

May 1-2 Greenwood - Que on the Yazoo Que on the Yazoo is a barbecue competition on the banks of the Yazoo River in historic downtown Greenwood. The event is sanctioned through the Memphis Barbecue Network and is a Challenger Competition. This year’s event is May 1-2 and raises funds for Main Street Greenwood. This year’s festival will also include the first-ever Steak Cook-off Competition to kick off the event on May 1. This competition is open to anyone to participate. The barbecue competition is open to teams and judges from throughout the Southeast to cook and sample the barbecue offerings. Categories include sauce, beans, chicken, ribs, pork shoulder/butt, and so much more. There’s a people’s choice award given along with a grand champion award. The festival also features live music and other activities for guests of all ages throughout the weekend and is free to attend. For more information, visit •••

May 15 Taste of Ocean Springs Food & Wine Festival The Annual Taste of Ocean Springs Food & Wine Festival features “tastes” from more than 20 area restaurants and bars. Come gather underneath the live oaks; enjoy light music and exceptional “tastes.” The festival will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, call 228-875-4424 or visit www. All submissions are subject to editor's approval. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 79

Recipe Index Carrot Garden Easter Cupcakes, 80 Chicken and Waffles, 47 Cocoa Almond Marshmallows, 15 Crab and Shrimp Dip, 30 Dutch Chicken, 43 Grandma's Ham Casserole, 51 Happy Enchiladas, 23 Holy Trinity, 81 Johnny's Ancho Chili BBQ Sauce, 50 Johnny's Meatloaf, 50 Kolaches, 18 Pimm's Cup, 54 Pink Lemonade Marshmallows, 15 Pulled Pork Carnitas, 18 Queso Blanco Dip, 19 Roasted Strawberry Browned Butter Buttercream, 20 Snickers Bars Cinnamon Rolls, 20 Southern Banana Pudding, 27 Spicy Little Devil(ed Eggs), 30 Veggie Squash "Pasta", 19 Verry Berry Marshmallows, 15 Very Vanilla Marshmallows, 15

Advertisers Index Christina Foto, 4 Etta B Pottery, 14 Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival, 13 Mangia Bene, 21 Metal Builders Supply, 14 Mississippi Market, 3 Ridgeland Tourism, 6 Sanderson Farms, Back Cover Sante South Wine Festival, 31 Simmons Catfish, 9 The Kitchen Table, 9 The Manship, 4 The Strawberry Cafe, 21 Thurman's Landscaping, 81 Tupelo, 2 & 11


Amazon Hobby Lobby Mississippi locations - Biloxi, Columbus, Flowood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Tupelo, Vicksburg Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores 1.888.739.4120 Mississippi locations - Jackson, Meridian, Southaven Michaels 1.800.642.4235 Mississippi locations - Columbus, D'Iberville, Flowood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Madison, Olive Branch The Pampered Chef 1.888.687.2433 Walmart Locations statewide Williams-Sonoma 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy. Ridgeland, MS 39157 601.898.8882 80 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Carrot Garden Easter Cupcakes Favorite chocolate cake mix or recipe Creamy Decorator Icing Chocolate Decorator Icing Leaf Green Icing Color Orange Icing Color Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Color Wheel baking cups in standard muffin pan. Prepare cake mix following package instructions. Bake in prepared muffin pan 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on cooling grid. To decorate, tint small amount of creamy decorator icing green; tint remaining orange. Use spatula and chocolate icing to ice tops of cupcakes smooth. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Chill until set, about 15 minutes. Use knife to cut out center of cupcakes almost to bottom of cupcake. Use Wilton decorating tip 2A and orange icing to fill in center of cupcake and pipe about 1/4 inch above cupcake; pat smooth. Use Wilton decorating tip 352 and green icing to pipe pull-out leaf carrot tops. Servings: 1 dozen cupcakes

coming to terms

Of THEKitchen IN



with julian brunt

Holy Trinity Perhaps there is no other similar combination of vegetables that is so important to cuisines around the world than what we refer to as the Holy Trinity. This combination of onion, bell pepper, and celery creates the foundation for many Creole and Cajun dishes. The French and Italian version, mirepoix and soffritto, respectively, is made up of onions, carrots, and celery. To the Spanish it is sofrito, but they combine onions, garlic, and tomato, and sauté it in olive oil. The trick to making this combination work is to take your time in cooking it. If you just bounce it around in a pan, à la food TV chefs, then the depth of flavor that can be developed is lost. Think of the difference between a raw and a caramelized onion, that is the range of flavors possible. Sauté your favorite combination for at least 10 minutes, over medium heat. If you use garlic, add it just 2 minutes before finishing. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

Visit our website for Mississippi culinary news, recipes, cooking tips, culinary events, and more!

Thurman’s Landscaping Landscaping • Irrigation Waterfalls • Lighting Outdoor Kitchens & Patios Iron & Brick Work

601.270.8512 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 81

The Life Cycle of a Taste Bud BY JAY REED


y daughter recently celebrated her fourteenth birthday. There are certain birthday years that, for reasons known only to Hallmark, have special significance. Ten is the first double digit celebration, thirteen is the first year of teenage-dom, sixteen is supposed to be sweet, previously bereft of lip-locking and potentially resulting in a driver’s license. Fourteen is kinda’ boring. There is some yearly notoriety with Daughter’s birthday, however, because she is a Groundhog Day baby. And in her mind it was also notable because fourteen is divisible by seven. No, she is not the kind of teenager that sits around doing math problems in her spare time. Rather, some years ago she announced she had learned that our taste buds completely change every seven years. It became a common topic of conversation at the dinner table when I would hear “I don’t like that anymore” and she would hear “But you ate it by the plateful before,” then I would hear “It must have been before my taste buds changed. Maybe they’ll change back when I am fourteen.” I have been waiting for this day. (I may or may not have had a special menu planned for it as well.) And now the day has come. What will that mean for our pantry in the approaching days? These are deep questions: Will there be no more Chester’s Hot Fries? Will there be no more Pepperoni Pizza Hot

82 • APRIL/MAY 2015

Pockets? Will there be no more Dr. Pepper Jelly Bellies? What about the shares of stock we have in Nutella? Our Food Pyramid was already collapsing under the strain, and MyPlate never became HerPlate. What would we be in for now? One sign has been the stocking candy saga. Shortly before Christmas last year, Daughter appeared with a shoebox full of candy, about to throw it away. “Where did it come from?” I asked, horrified that she was about to throw away a large cache of concentrated energy. “My stocking last year,” was her shocking reply. Not to worry-it was not thrown away. I consider expiration dates mere suggestions when it comes to peanut butter cups. But when The Wife and I discussed this year’s stocking booty, I suggested that Santa put more focus on non-edibles, and only provide the junk food we knew she might actually eat. Daughter even agreed, adding that a lot of gum and the aforementioned Hot Fries would be sufficient. So that’s what St. Nick stuck with, more or less. Fast forward to a day or two before her birthday, and guess what I found? A Paula Deen shopping bag full of stocking candy, virtually untouched. Perhaps some changes are afoot in her mouth after all. I confess the idea intrigues me. It’s true that I used to hate mushrooms on my pizza and now I’m considering


{ till we eat again }

Jay Reed, a graduate of Ole Miss, lives in Starkville where he is a pharmacist by day and a freelance food writer by day off. He is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and writes "Eats One Ate," a weekly column in the Starkville Daily News.

growing my own. As a youngster, I had a strong aversion to anything that a pecan had brushed up against and now I seek them out if roasted or pralined. Coconut used to make me gag at the sound of the word. Err…here’s where the theory begins to fail. Blecchh. When it comes to the seven year theory, I knew it couldn’t be a wholesale excavating and replanting every sabbath year. If it had any merit at all, there must be a gradual replacement over the course of that time period, like so many of the other cells in our body that are turned over. But at least it might explain the steak situation. Before I gave this theory any serious thought, I couldn’t figure out why two years ago Daughter was perfectly happy with a kids meal centered on processed chicken-flavored nuggets, then suddenly began ordering filet mignon, well done. When it hits my wallet, I’m forced to take notice. I did look it up, by the way, and we were both wrong. The life cycle of a taste bud is about two weeks. That’s it. So if you don’t like beets today, give it another shot in a fortnight. Never thought you’d try chitterlings? Maybe next month. Coconut got you down? Well, time doesn’t heal everything. edm

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Since we started in 1947, our chicken has been free of extra salt, water and other additives. It’s not just 100% natural. It’s 100% chicken.

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