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38 “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” • James Beard •

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Kick up the Flavor Citrus Steaks with Spicy Orange Sauce 1 to 1-1/4 pounds beef top sirloin cap steaks, cut 1 inch thick 4 ears sweet corn, in husks 1 medium orange 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt or plain nonfat regular yogurt 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder Salt Instructions: 1. Peel corn, leaving husks attached at base; remove silk. Rewrap corn in husks; tie closed. Soak in cold water 30 minutes. 2. Grate 1 teaspoon peel from orange. Squeeze 2 tablespoon juice from orange; set aside. Combine peel, garlic and pepper; press evenly onto beef steaks. 3. Remove corn from water. Place on outer edge of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; grill, covered, 20 to 30 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 15 to 25 minutes) or until tender, turning occasionally. Place steaks in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 9 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 8 to 12 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. 4. Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons reserved orange juice, yogurt, cilantro and chipotle powder in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 5. Carve steaks into slices, season with salt as desired. Serve with sauce and corn. Total preparation & cooking time: 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes • Makes 4 servings

For great BEEF recipes and nutrition information go to:

For the latest beef recipes contact the Mississippi Beef Council 680 Monroe St. Suite A • Jackson, MS 39202 • (601) 353-4520 Sponsored by Mississippi’s Beef Producers through the Beef Checkoff Program 4  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014


11 WHAT'S HOT Angel Food Cake Waffles

16 LIVING HER DREAM Leann Hines Turns Farming Venture Into Thriving Business

22 FEATURED FESTIVAL Wing Dang Doodle Festival

24 LOOKING BACK Mother's Contribution to the War Effort

30 MISSISSIPPI MADE Taste of Gourmet

34 ST. JUDE GARDEN Chef Miles McMath Brings Farm-to-Table Movement to Kay Kafe

38 FAITH THROUGH FOOD French Camp Academy Shares Its Mission Through Tasty Treat



46 RAISE YOUR GLASS Drinking Your Fruits and Vegetables



50 IN THE BLOGLIGHT Sidna Brower Mitchell

52 FROM MISSISSIPPI TO BEYOND Callie McDole Preserving Papou's Legacy

55 FROM THE BOOKSHELF Mississippi Current

58 THE HILLS Kirk's Grill in Pontotoc

62 THE DELTA Posecai's in Greenville

66 THE PINES The Rustler in Meridian


IN EVERY ISSUE 6 From the Editor 8 From Our Readers 12 Fabulous Foodie Finds 20 Deep South Dish 45 Coming to Terms 78 Events 80 Recipe/Ad Index 82 Till We Eat Again

The Manship in Jackson

74 COASTAL Alcove Eatery in Long Beach

Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi

ON THE COVER: The fried green tomato-topped burger from Alcove Eatery in Long Beach is Southern-inspired goodness. See page 74. Photography by Julian Brunt. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  5

{ from the editor }


t's back to school time. For those so us with kids at home, that means buying all new supplies and gear.

I get a little nostalgic this time of year. Although I dreaded hearing that early morning bell ring when I was a kid, there was one thing about the return of school that was truly exciting - picking out and purchasing a new lunch box. It was a much bigger deal back then than it is today. Kids these days wouldn't be caught dead carrying the square metal boxes that we proudly lugged around. If you grew up or were raising children in the 70s and 80s, then you probably remember the lunch boxes I speak of. These now vintage collectibles came in a plethora of designs featuring our favorite cartoon characters, TV shows, teen heart throbs, and more. I remember such designs as Raggedy Ann and Andy, The Dukes of Hazzard, Care Bears, the Peanuts gang, Charlie's Angels, and the list goes on. And who can forget our galactic heroes from Star Wars and Star Trek? Two designs stick out in my memory - my favorite, Holly Hobbie, and my brother's favorite, Evel Knievel. Much attention was given to the selection of the lunch box each year. You had to make certain you got a "cool" design. Otherwise, you faced the possibility of being labeled a dork. We hung on to our worn out lunch boxes for many years until they ultimately ended up as another person's treasure in our family garage sale. Boy was that a mistake. Collectors have paid thousands of dollars for some of the more popular designs. Through the years, there's been a big change to what's inside the lunch box as well. Sandwiches are being replaced with wraps and snack-type foods. I remember loving bologna sandwiches. Then one day I took a close look at the then popular lunch meat and I suddenly didn't love them any more. My favorite was my momma's tuna salad sandwich. She makes it just like she does her chicken salad - with boiled eggs, onion, homemade sweet pickles, and lots of mayonnaise. My older brother sometimes had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I didn't come to like those until well


J.J., Anne Morgan, John, and John Taylor Carney Lawrence County High School Graduation into adulthood. Those hip lunch boxes came with a matching thermos, which my momma usually filled with sweet tea. In the early 80s, I ditched the thermos of sweet tea for a cool, new drink Capri Sun. You were super cool if you had one of those to sip on at lunchtime. My son, John Taylor, is moving on to high school. I'm interested to see if he will be too cool to carry a lunch box this year. My husband and I have packed the final lunch box for our firstborn. Our daughter, Anne Morgan, recently graduated from high school and will be moving to Ole Miss soon. I'm not worried about her being a starving college student. Oxford has a bustling culinary scene and Ole Miss' new Rebel Market makes me wish I were going to college again. Anne Morgan is my foodie "partner in crime." She loves gourmet meals, cupcakes, and desserts as much as I do. I'm going to miss our trips together to neat restaurants and our relentless pursuit of something sweet to eat. The bright side is that football season is just around the corner, so I'll be traveling to Oxford frequently. Until next time, grab a PB&J sandwich and let's eat! edm

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31


J.J. Carney



Why advertise with us? Reach over 35,000 readers with each issue.






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12:31 PM

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{ from our readers } I met this nice lady at the Tea in Gardens in my town of Magee who gave me a magazine and I loved it. Naomi Cone Magee We are snowbirds who annually travel your state. We picked up an issue of your magazine in 2012. We loved the magazine filled with down south recipes, places to eat, and shops to check out. We have eaten at several of the restaurants, tried the recipes, and have not found one we did not like. It's an excellent magazine for both visitors and residents. Donna Coulter Keewatin, Ontario Canada

I have received my first edition of Eat Drink Mississippi and enjoyed it very much. Interesting fun stories to read. Soon, I'll try a recipe. Toni Jernigan Doraville, Ga. Great resource for food and drink in Mississippi. Experience great dining experiences in some of the best establishments in the South. Beverly Haskins Kennedy Facebook fan I received your wonderful magazine. I loved it. Thank you for including my piece ("Fabulous Foodie Finds," June/July 2014). Dana Wittman Gulfport

We Like To Be Followed

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


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


4500 I-55 N, Ste. 253 Jackson, MS 39211



Thank you for your interest in this magazine. We would love to hear from you. Please understand that letters submitted become the property of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI and may be edited for length and clarity. E-mail us at info@, leave a comment on our Facebook page, or write to P.O. Box 1051, Monticello, MS 39654.

NEW ADDRESS? If you're a subscriber and your address has changed, please let us know. The post office doesn't provide forwarding service for the magazine and we don't want you to miss an issue. Send your change of address to us at P.O. Box 1051, Monticello, MS 39654 or e-mail us at 8  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

P.O. Box 1051 Monticello, MS 39654




b Š eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without written consent from the Publisher. Advertising rates and more information are available upon request. Subscriptions are $24 for one year and $36 for two years. Subscribe online or make checks payable to: eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI P.O. Box 1051 Monticello, MS 39654

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{contributors} LIZ BARRETT is an Oxford-based journalist who has been working with trade magazines and online publications for 10 years. She runs the award-winning website, which provides Oxonians with local restaurant news and information, and is the editor-at-large for the nation’s No. 1 pizza trade publication, PMQ Pizza Magazine. Her first book, Pizza: A Slice of American History, hits bookstores in September. 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 JO ALICE DARDEN is a book editor and freelance writer. A former lifestyles editor for the Greenwood Commonwealth, she is a regular contributor to its quarterly publication, Leflore Illustrated. She grew up in Greenwood, graduated from Delta State University with a major in English, and now lives in Cruger with her husband Bob, also a writer, on his family’s farm. NIKKI GLADD was born and raised in the Mitten State. She has also tasted life in Tennessee, Chicago, and Southern California before feasting in Mississippi. She is passionate for community with friends, family, and even strangers at the table, as she shares through her writings on On her blog, you will find easy recipes using everyday ingredients, along with family stories, house projects, favorite products, and travel adventures. SUSAN MARQUEZ lives and writes in Madison. She has a degree in Radio-TV-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. ANNE MARTIN is a freelance writer, columnist and journalist. She has spent the better part of the past 28 years covering the Mississippi Delta as a broadcast journalist. Her passion is writing about anything related to Mississippi and the South. Her work has appeared in several local and regional magazines. She is a graduate of Mississippi Delta Junior College and attended the University of Southern Mississippi. She lives on a farm in Rosedale.


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.

GENNIE PHILLIPS, 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 the proud mom to an infant daughter, Mallory Grace. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. JANETTE TIBBETTS is a ninth generation Mississippian. She grew up on a Jones County dairy farm, attended Millsaps, taught school, and was a merchant. She is the founder and curator of "The Sandbank," a Beatrix Potter Collection, at USM. She is a freelance writer and photographer. Janette writes weekly garden and food columns for magazines and newspapers. She was awarded a writer’s grant from the Mississippi Art’s Commission and the National Endowment of the Arts. She lives with her husband, Jon, and writes in their home near Hattiesburg. A published author of short stories, she is presently completing a novel. 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. LEIGH ANNE WHITTLE is a freelance writer from Newton. She earned a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Mississippi in 1985 and began a home baking business in 1994. Her catering experience helped her reach the 3rd level of the Fox Network Master Chef Competition in 2010. She is a current recipe columnist for The Newton County Appeal and The Meridian Star 360 publication. Leigh Anne has written one small cookbook titled Meal Appeal. She is very active in theatre productions in Meridian and the Mississippi Bankers Association. She is also the former host of The Cowboy Maloney Viking Cooking Show on networks in Meridian and Hattiesburg.

{ what's hot }

Waffle It! A waffle maker isn't just for waffles any more. Many tasty treats can be cooked easily and quickly in a waffle iron. Plus, clean up is a cinch. Fun options in the waffle maker include canned cinnamon rolls, tater tots pressed into hashbrowns,

cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, and the list goes on. Nikki Gladd used hers for these delicious Angel Food Cake Waffles, which are good for breakfast or an after dinner sweet.

ANGEL FOOD CAKE WAFFLES 1-1/2 cups egg whites (10-12 large), at room temperature 1-1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided 1 cup sifted cake flour 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Preheat the waffle iron to a high setting (I use between the 5-6 setting on mine). In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the cream of tartar and salt, then beat on medium speed again until fully incorporated. Beat in 3/4 cup of the superfine sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time then turn

up the speed to medium-high and beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks, being careful not to reach stiff peaks. Stir in the vanilla and almond (or lemon) extracts. Combine the cake flour and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Sift over the egg whites in 6 to 8 additions and gently fold in after each addition, careful not to deflate the egg whites. Grease the waffle iron with baking spray. Pour measured batter into the waffle iron and bake according to your manufacturer's instructions. Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream. Nikki Gladd Madison

For more of Nikki's delicious recipes, visit

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  11

{ fabulous foodie finds }


Favorite Finds

Poplarville native Whitney Miller proved to the world that she knows her way around the kitchen when she was named the winner of the first season of MasterChef on Fox Network. We asked her to share a few of her favorite foodie finds with us. We're certain these will soon be some of your favorites, too.

"I love the flavor of Belle Chevre's goat cheese. It is a perfectly balanced flavor, not too strong, and perfectly creamy. My favorite is their honey goat cheese spread."

Belle & The Bees Breakfast Cheese, $6.99 (6 ounces) Belle Chevre

"I love using natural pieces like pottery to showcase my dishes."

Mississippi Platter Everyday Stripe, $76.00 Etta B Pottery 12  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

"How do I stay hydrated in the kitchen and on the road when I travel? My Tervis tumblers!"

"I love the fact that their olive oil is produced and bottled in the U.S. Their Arbosana Olive Oil has a nutty flavor that I love pairing with chocolate."

Tervis tumblers in assorted sizes and styles, prices vary The Tervis Tumbler Company

Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $16.69 (500 ml bottle). Enjoy 10% off your online order through 10-25-14 with discount code EATDRINKMISS. California Olive Ranch

"My favorite skillet is a cast iron. My great grandmother used cast iron skillets and I grew up learning how to cook from her. It is a continual memory of her whenever I am cooking with one."

"I use their milk and buttermilk to make my delicous creamy buttermilk ricotta cheese."

12" cast iron skillet, $37.00 Lodge Mfg. Co. see page 80 for company information

Local farm fresh dairy products Country Girl's Creamery

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI



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Manage Crunch Time with Ease For many moms, the hours between after school and bedtime can feel like chaos. The juggling act of figuring out what’s for dinner, helping with homework, and getting kids to bed is made even more complicated by having to sum-

mon the energy and inspiration for quality family time - it is, without question, crunch time. This recipe from country music superstar Sara Evans will help you get through those hectic hours.


2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice 4-5 cups vegetable or chicken broth 1 bunch thin asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1-inch lengths 1 cup thawed frozen peas 3-4 tablespoons Hidden Valley Original Ranch Light Salad Dressing Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste Heat olive oil over medium heat in medium pot or sautĂŠ pan. Add rice and stir for two to three minutes, coating rice well with oil. Add 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is almost all absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup broth at a time using this method until liquid is creamy and rice is cooked through but not too soft, about 20-25 minutes total. Taste to check for doneness. You may not use all broth. With last addition of broth, add asparagus. Stir in peas about two minutes before risotto is done. Remove from heat and stir in ranch dressing, using more or less depending on consistency you prefer. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot. Option: To boost this dish with protein, stir in chopped cooked bacon or ham along with peas. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  15

Living Her Dream Leann Hines Turns Farming Venture Into Thriving Business

Story and Photography by Jo Alice Darden


ntil 2007, Leann Hines’ life revolved around her family and horses. She was a wife and mom and a charge nurse at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, and she offered lessons and riding camps and all things horses on Levee Run Farm in Greenwood, which her late grandparents had owned. She was living her dream. In the summer of 2007, Hines was diagnosed with West Nile polio, a virulent case that has kept her in a motorized chair. Fiercely independent, she developed considerable upper-body strength, and in August 2008, she taught herself to drive again. “I wanted to go back to working with horses,” Hines said, “but it was just too hard.” She loved the farm, though, and had been “growing stuff in containers” before she got sick. “I took some seedlings to the (Downtown Greenwood) Farmers Market – 2008 was the year it was founded – but everybody kept asking me if I had eggs. That’s how I got started with chickens.” 16 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

Today, the farmyard is populated by the chickens; broad-breasted bronze turkeys that will weigh about 12 pounds for Thanksgiving; Khaki Campbell ducks, which are prolific egg-layers; white Embden geese that will be ready by Christmas (and one brown father goose); and “a little red rooster too lazy to crow – really – apologies to Howlin’ Wolf, who sang about his own” Hines said. “All of our animals are antibiotic-free,” said Hines, 58. “And the vegetables are pesticide- and herbicidefree. They all live a good life and grow sustainably.” Hines’ farming venture has evolved into a thriving business. She routinely supplies meat, eggs, and vegetables to Taylor Ricketts, chef-owner of Delta Bistro in Greenwood, who features her locally sourced items as menu specials. Oxbow Restaurant and Catering and Rust Restaurant, both in Clarksdale, are also regular customers, and she participates in the Oxford City Market. “I haven’t added anything people haven’t asked for,” Hines said. She loves to study seed catalogs and research what to

plant when for best results. She’s increasing her use of raised beds and starting to grow flowers for local florists. And with funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), she had a high tunnel installed that encourages growth like a greenhouse. Riding through the high tunnel on her motorized chair, weeding and thinning as she drives, Hines points out the dizzying array of items growing in the blinding Delta heat and humidity – Beauregard sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, piel de sapo melon, seedless cucumbers, ruby red chard, red choy, kale, kohlrabi, zephyr squash, okra, and on and on. She has developed a salad mix that has gone over well with her customers. The mix consists of baby lettuces, chard, mizuna mustard greens, arugula, beet tops, and other greens that folks describe as having “a good bite,” meaning the mix stands up well to rinsing and prepping, maintaining its texture and taste. She loves to mix greens for layers of flavor – horseradish greens, sweet potato greens, okra greens, dandelion greens. “And I think it’s important to make things look pretty on the plate,” she said. After all the hard work she has put into her farm-to-table enterprise, Hines was particularly gratified to have received an award from Amy Evans of Southern Foodways Alliance for being a “Guardian of the Tradition.” And she wastes nothing. Everything is used, every stem and leaf, if not by her customers, then by Hines and her husband, Kenny, a physician in Greenwood. “Kenny has been the real hero in all of this, helping me get started after being sick,” she said. “He has been so encouraging.” Hines is once again living her dream – and this one has a good bite to it. edm OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP - Leann Hines is proud of the award given to her by Amy Evans of Southern Foodways Alliance making her a “Guardian of the Tradition.” OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM - The white Embden geese are meat birds that will be ready for Christmas, except for the brown father goose and a mate to keep the line growing. ABOVE, FROM TOP - The NRCS high tunnel acts as a greenhouse to encourage plant growth yearround. Leann Hines said this ruby red chard is one of the prettiest things on a plate. Leann Hines said the seed catalog specified 55 days to maturity for this zephyr squash. Hines ordered it and planted it in her high tunnel 33 days before this photo was taken. These broad-breasted bronze turkeys will each reach about 12 pounds in time for Thanksgiving. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17

HONEY LACQUERED DUCK BREAST Duck breast, with skin on Salt and pepper, to taste Honey Balsamic vinegar Heat a heavy skillet. Score the skin of the duck breast. Sear the duck breast skin-side down first, then the other side. Remove breasts from pan and set aside. Mix honey and balsamic vinegar in a ratio of 1:1 – equal amounts. Deglaze the skillet with the honey-vinegar mixture. Replace the duck breast in the skillet and coat the breast as it cooks with the honey-vinegar mixture. Cook the breasts thoroughly. Leann suggests some colorful wilted greens as a complement to the duck breast. In the same skillet, sauté some diced onion in olive oil until the onion is clear. Then “pile in” whatever kinds of greens you have on hand - she would use chard and dandelion greens, but mustard greens, turnip greens, or anything similar will work. Swirl and toss them in the pan until they wilt, and serve them hot with the duck breast.

CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD Diced seedless cucumber Diced tomato Chopped onion Salt and pepper, to taste Lemon juice Mix the vegetables in a bowl. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Drizzle lemon juice over the mix. Toss to coat. Chill thoroughly.

FRITTATA Olive oil Good heirloom tomato, diced or cut into wedges Chopped onion Chopped green bell pepper 5-6 fresh eggs Fresh basil leaves, chopped Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved Preheat oven to broil. In an oven-safe sauté pan, heat olive oil, and sauté tomato, onion and bell pepper, stirring frequently. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until well scrambled. Pour eggs over sautéed vegetables in the pan and stir. Cook until eggs are set on the bottom and almost done on top (5-6 minutes). Sprinkle the top of the mixture with basil and Parmesan cheese. Remove the pan from the burner and place in the oven. Broil 3-4 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. 18  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

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Host your next lunch meeting or dinner party in one of our private dining rooms or outdoor patio

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{ deep south dish }

Food. Family. Memories.

The Anatomy of Real Southern Cornbread



eat ‘n’ three - that stick to your ribs, Southern country cookin’ version of a plate lunch - was once a mainstay of the Southern diet and no Southerner needed a food pyramid to tell them how to balance a plate. It usually consisted of a protein of some sort – fried or baked chicken, pork chops, country fried steak, meatloaf, slow simmered roast beef, chopped steak, baked ham, chicken and dumplings, and fried catfish typical among the offerings – plus three servings of Southern veggies or sides. Sweet tea served alongside, with some kind of bread, most typically cornbread, and dessert, often peach cobbler or banana pudding, round it all out. Many of us are still attached to that principle, and you’ll find it widely offered at many restaurants across the South. Even more endearing to Southerners is the vegetable plate, piled with at least five of our favorites, and most especially present in these hot summer months, when our only salvation from the heat and humidity is the abundance of fresh, homegrown veggies available, whether we grew them ourselves, or plucked them from the local farmer’s market. The selection might include sliced garden tomatoes served with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and a dab of real mayonnaise, cucumber salads, fried green tomatoes, smothered squash, slow stewed greens topped with pickled onions, cabbage, green beans, Southern peas and butter beans, fried okra, skillet fried creamed corn, and fried potatoes - just to name a few possibilities. Of course, vegetable plates in the South don’t mean “vegetarian” plates, because most all of our Southern vegetables are generally meat-seasoned with ham hocks, fatback, salt pork or bacon, providing some pretty heavenly taste to our favorite Southern vegetables. You’re liable to even find some bacon drippings in that cornbread.

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.


While we’re on the topic of cornbread, there is little that will get some Southerners' tails in a tangle, more so than the discussion of Southern cornbread. The problem is, even among Southerners, nobody can seem to agree on what is considered “real” Southern cornbread, because the answers are as different as the number of cooks across the South. If you want to stir up matters even further, go ahead and tell a Southerner that they’re doing something “wrong” when they do it the way their Southern mamas did, and the way their own mamas before them. One thing I have learned in my six years of blogging about Southern food is there is no “one” South. Now that the internet has brought us all closer together, I’ve discovered there are many regions to the South, and every region cooks a little differently from the other… each of which can be night and day, or north and south, different than the other. Many will say that sugar belongs nowhere near a skillet of cornbread. Others argue that just a little enhances the corn flavor, but not enough that it becomes what we all call Yankee cornbread, or cake with cornmeal. Some people freely use plenty of flour, or even a cornbread mix, for a more cake-like texture, which is much different from the texture a plain cornmeal recipe will provide, while others argue there should be no flour whatsoever in cornbread, much less a mix. Oddly, those who adamantly oppose sugar, will happily take the leftovers and prepare crumblin’s – crumbled cornbread, topped with sugar, to which buttermilk, or more often these days, sweet milk, is then poured over and consumed like cereal. There was a time that it would always be buttermilk, though our palates today seem to argue against such things. While I can remember my Mama turning up a carton of buttermilk to finish the last sip of it off, most of us prefer our milk a bit sweeter today. I have always been of the opinion that whatever and however you cook in your own Southern kitchen is a matter of your personal opinion and experience and that nobody has the right to tell you that it’s wrong. But now that I’ve had my hands on some bona fide and true, stone-ground cornmeal, I’ll settle with what I think is the most common cornbread that many folks might agree is “real” Southern cornbread. It should be made in a well-greased, screaming hot cast iron skillet, so that it develops a good crust on it. It should never be made from a mix, should not contain flour, nor should it contain sugar. It should be made with buttermilk and it must be made with a high quality, stone-ground, all-purpose cornmeal, otherwise all bets are off and bring on the mix, the flour, and yes, even some sugar if you like, because stone-ground cornmeal makes all

the difference. It is best to select a single 10-inch cast iron skillet that you dedicate to nothing but cornbread. Either carefully turn the hot cornbread out of the skillet onto a plate or cut it right out of the skillet for serving, but don’t store any leftovers in the skillet for long as it will take on an unpleasant iron taste. I am not the biggest fan of leftover cornbread, but a cornbread made from a good quality, stone-ground cornmeal tastes just as good the next day, as it did the day you made it. Take good care of your cast iron skillet, scrubbing it if needed, but without soap (unless you are re-seasoning it) and wiping it clean and dry, and applying a thin coat of shortening after each use before storing it. If your cornbread sticks, it’s time to reseason your skillet. Use a stiff brush or scrubber to clean, rinse, and wipe dry. Add a layer of vegetable shortening and wipe thoroughly on the inside, including sides and bottom, then wipe out any excess shortening until there is just a glimmer of fat. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven and place the skillet on the top rack above that, upside down. Bake in a preheated 500 degree oven for 30 minutes, turn off oven, and let the skillet cool in the oven. Test on another batch of cornbread, and if it still isn’t non-stick, repeat the process. You won’t find any mills here in South Mississippi, so stoneground cornmeal is hard to come by locally. I order mine online and have tried many different varieties. By far my favorite so far is the cornmeal from The Great Smoky Mountains Association store and it’s certainly worth the extra effort to get. Made from locally grown corn and ground the old fashioned way, it makes an excellent cornbread. edm

Recipes for the vegetable plate shown in the photo may be found at

Real Southern Cornbread From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish blog

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup of melted fat (bacon drippings, vegetable oil or shortening) 2 cups of stone-ground, all-purpose white cornmeal 1 teaspoon of kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda 2 cups of buttermilk 1 large egg Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub a tablespoon of the fat on the bottom and sides of the inside of a 10 inch cast iron skillet and place into the oven. Whisk together the cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the buttermilk, remaining 1/4 cup of melted fat and egg and gently blend. Batter should be the consistency of thick, cooked grits. Use an oven mitt to remove skillet from the oven. Pour the batter into the skillet. Place into the preheated oven and bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then either slice out of the skillet or very carefully turn out onto a plate and serve immediately. Cornbread is best served fresh and hot. Reserve any leftovers in the freezer to use for stuffing, or crumble into a tall glass of sweet milk or buttermilk. Cook's Notes: I tested with the stone-ground cornmeal available from the Great Smoky Mountains Association online store at Proceeds from store sales help to support the park. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21

{ featured festival }

Have a "Wing Dang Doodle" of a Time in Forest




cott County’s Wing Dang Doodle festival on Saturday, September 27th may be the biggest one yet, event organizers say. Hosted by the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce, the event not only boasts one of the largest chicken wing cook-offs in the area, but also hosts a day-long line up of free activities and entertainment. Between 3,000 to 4,000 people are expected to attend the annual event at Gaddis Park. With Scott County being the nation’s fifth largest poultryproducing county and blues being one of the state’s largest cultural products, the Wing Dang Doodle Festival evolved into a good time. “We claim to be the poultry capital of the world,” said state Rep. Tom Miles, past president of the Forest Chamber of Commerce. “We’re known for the chicken and good music.” The festival's name comes from a Blues song, "Wang Dang Doodle," written by Willie Dixon and sung by Koko Taylor. The "Wang" was changed to "Wing" to showcase the prominence of the local poultry industry. “Admission is free, so come and have a ‘wing dang doodle’ of a time and enjoy a little Southern hospitality in this city called Forest,” said executive director of the Chamber Allyce Lott. The festival starts with the Wing Dang Dash 5K run/walk at 8 a.m. and kids 1/2-mile fun run at 9 a.m. Soccer games will be played at 10:30 a.m. There will be lots of arts and crafts vendors and headline entertainment will be Dr. Zarr and the Amazing Funk Monster and several local artists, Chamber President Nick Whittington said. Event-goers should plan to “bring a lawn chair and enjoy a fun-filled day.” One signature event at the festival is the chicken wing cooking contest comprised of 25-30 teams. The cooking teams will be provided with 40-60 pounds of wings donated by area poultry producers for a $25 contest entry fee. The teams are required to provide all other cooking supplies for the event. A $1,000 grand prize will be awarded to the winning team for the best grilled, smoked or fried chicken wings in the area. The second place winner receives $750 and $500 goes to third place, $250 for fourth place, and fifth place will receive $100. In addition to the chicken wing cooking competition, the festival hosts a Most Spirited Booth contest. The Most Spirited Booth Award will include a $250 prize. Other entertainment for the day includes an antique vehicle show, carnival rides, face painting, a chicken-crowing contest, and other activities. The festival has become a major event for Scott County and Forest with plenty of history and tradition. For decades, residents celebrated the traditional Broiler Festival which was revamped and updated with the new name of Wing Dang Doodle in 2004. For more information, visit www.wingdangdoodlefestival. com or call 601.469.4332. edm

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Mother's Contribution to the War Effort I


was almost a year old when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Because I was the youngest of four children and our father was nearly 40 years-old, he was exempted from armed service. However, he was an excellent carpenter and within a few months of the attack he was working at a government shipbuilding yard in Panama City, Fla. He was helping construct America's fleet. Mother, like thousands of other women left alone in the early 40s, was faced with the task of caring for us on her own. Tires and gas were too scarce for school buses to pick up and deliver rural children at their door. Some students were forced to walk miles to a central bus stop or all the way to school. With most of the men in our community gone, my mother, an avid reader and gifted speller with teachable penmanship skills was often asked to substitute in the classroom. Before Father left, he moved us from our farm to the vacant teacher's home on the Gitano Grammar School campus. Some of my earliest memories are of being carted across the school yard while nestled in the same laundry basket as Mother’s story books. Once in her classroom, I was expected to be very quiet and make no demands while she read the school children our stories. Mother had insisted on bringing Old Brownie, our milk cow, and the laying hens to the little fenced pasture and barnyard on the school campus. Although she had limited funds and ration stamps, she carefully tended our vegetable garden, Old Brownie, and the chickens so that we could live comfortably. My earliest memory of being aware there was a problem was the constant concern over the war and when it would be over. All prayers - even Grace before meals - included the plea for America to quickly win the war. Mother searched the pages of the Laurel Leader-Call for encouraging news. We listened to the radio and sang along with Kate Smith as she sang "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain" and "God Bless America," but we knew to freeze when Mother carefully tuned to the news seeking information that the war would soon end. Although she tacked

a large map to the wall and showed us the countries where the war was taking place, I was still too young to comprehend how far Gitano was from London and Austria or Japan and Germany. Some evenings after school, Mother and several other women in the community gathered in the Gitano School House to roll bandages. The only phone in Gitano was at the store across the highway from the teacher's home. Our brothers and their friend, Tom, who lived nearby, were the children defense scouts who helped spread the word throughout the community when a call came from the civil defense for a scheduled blackout. I recall Mother hanging sheets and quilts over the windows and sprinkling water on the flames before burying the coals in ashes that had continued to glow in the fireplace long after she had stopped stoking our home's only source of warmth. I sat very still beside my sister while our mother was busy with all the tasks to make her home and family invisible to the Japanese bombers, who it seemed were on the verge of flying overhead at any minute and blowing us up as they did the ships in the harbor. Sister had shown me the pictures in Life, and I knew exactly how our home would look after their attack. On the evenings of the blackouts, we ate supper before we were hungry and went to bed without being sleepy. Mother sat beside us in the dark and told us stories until we drifted off to sleep. Mother said we all had to help with the war effort. My sister and I would climb into our tree house and lie on the floor with our heads hanging out the door where we could search the skies of South Mississippi for Japanese bombers. The available rice Mother purchased was not of the same quality it had been prior to the war. Some evenings after supper, we sat around the dinner table with a saucer of uncooked rice and helped Mother remove black seed and trash from it. When the laying hens’ egg production started decreasing, I watched as Mother filled out a mail-order form and I walked with her to meet the mailman. She purchased a moneat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  25

ey order and sent for two-dozen Rhode Island Red chicks. A few weeks later, the same mailman delivered the baby chicks live and chirruping along with our letter from Father saying he missed us. Mother placed the baby chicks in a raised coop. She gave the biddies some of my oatmeal and filled their water dish. Late in the evening she lit a coal oil lamp and set it beneath their coop to keep the little chicks warm during the night. The old hens were tired and laying fewer eggs. Although Mother served chicken salad often, we never grew tired of it because its taste varied with her access to ingredients. When mayonnaise was not on the shelves of the little grocery store where she shopped nor the oil and lemons needed to make it, Mother seemingly as easily as Cinderella's fairy-godmother turned the pumpkin into a golden carriage, turned Old Brownie's sweet cream into sour cream by covering a cup of cream with a linen cloth and allowing it to set out of the icebox overnight. I was amazed at how the sour cream separated from the water and rose to the top of the cup. Mother served the chicken salad made with sour cream and sweet pickles on the fresh watercress she gathered from the spring head in the hollow behind the teacher's home and the salad was delicious even without eggs. She said the young pullets were growing and, if nothing happened to them, they would start laying soon. In the meantime, she started serving us fried chicken. She said the roosters would never lay eggs. I occasionally felt a little sad about the doomed boy chickens, but Mother's crispy fried chicken was so delicious I did not dwell on their demise. With the wonderful crispy chicken she served us green beans, rice with gravy and hand-rolled biscuits. The meal was delectable enough for me to eat my green beans and everything else on my plate without Mother even having to remind me to not be wasteful. One morning as our oldest brother was feeding the chickens, we heard him hollering, Mother looked out the window, grabbed our father's rifle from the rack, and ran toward the chicken yard saying something about Chicken Hawk, which I thought was an appropriate name for a Japanese bomber invading Gitano. I heard the shot and my sister and I were still under our bed when we heard our brothers celebrating and exclaiming, "You got him, you got him!" And I was not at all surprised that my mother had shot a Japanese bomber out of the sky. edm

CHICKEN SALAD I ignore recipes beginning with 2 cups of cooked chicken. The cooking method of the chicken, whether boiling, baking, or grilling, is most important. This chicken salad recipe is made from grilled chicken breasts. Grilling is some gourmet chefs’ most highly regarded ways to cook chicken for salad. 6 chicken breast halves with bone and skin Large bunch fresh rosemary sprigs 4 tablespoons dried tarragon 1/4 cup lemon juice 26  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional) 2 cups of finely chopped celery 4 ounce can sliced water chestnuts 1 cup toasted and chopped English walnuts Small bunch of white seedless grapes 1 apple (I didn't forget the eggs. During the war, Mother's hens taught us chicken salad is still delicious when they quit laying.) Heat grill to medium. Blanket the grill, the area where the chicken will be placed, with rosemary sprigs. Place chicken bone side down on grill in a single file on top of rosemary. Sprinkle top with half of lemon juice, Kosher salt, and pepper. Close grill lid and lower temperature to low. Cook 10 minutes; open lid and sprinkle tops with remaining lemon juice. Cook 10 to 15 additional minutes or until barely done. The poultry will continue to cook a few minutes after it is removed from the grill. Do not overcook. When cool enough, remove skin and bone from chicken. Cut chicken across grain into 1/4 inch cubes and place in glass mixing bowl. Salt and pepper to taste and add tarragon. Blend sour cream and mayonnaise together. Mix with chicken. Add celery, water chestnuts and walnuts. Serve on lettuce with grapes, tomato slices, and crackers. Garnish with white seedless grapes. May be made the morning or day before and stored in refrigerator.

SOUR CREAM Surely I'm not the only woman in South Mississippi who knows how and still occasionally makes sour cream. Without Old Brownie’s fresh cream on hand, I add a little buttermilk or vinegar to pasteurized heavy whipping cream. 1 cup of heavy cream 1/4 cup buttermilk or white vinegar Place cream and vinegar in Mason jar or any jar with a lid that will screw down tight. Shake jar to mix ingredients. Cover jar and allow to stand at room temperature overnight or for up to 24 hours. When the mixture thickens, store in refrigerator.

" During hot summer afternoons, take a break from the kitchen and serve "made ahead" chicken salad. When we are being serious about counting calories, I roll our salad in lettuces leaves lined with watercress and serve with abundant summer tomatoes marinated in vinegar and garnished with fresh dill. " - Janette Tibbetts

My Trip to Bountiful BY JANETTE TIBBETTS


hoever said "You can't go back" had never traveled the route I recently drove. I met Beth Simmons and her son, Jared, from Nature's Gourmet Farm near New Augusta at the Forrest County Multipurpose Center to purchase my prearranged order of four broilers. Desiring to see their farm and knowing I would never find it without a guide, they graciously agreed for me to follow them home. They led me through back roads, down shady lanes, beside swamps, and even across Leaf River. Many miles and minutes later, we were driving along the side of well-kept pastures populated with content cattle grazing in rich meadows or resting beneath shade trees while chewing their cud. The Simmonses are also longtime proprietors of a successful gourmet beef operation, but I was on my way to visit their start-up poultry business. They were selling their first crop of broilers. Finally, we arrived at Ben and Beth Simmons' spacious modern brick home. Beth and Jared showed me their poultry coops located beyond their house and introduced me to their thriving chicks which are penned according to their various ages. Three day old biddies move about on clean wood chips as they feed and drink near warm lights. Young pullets grown for egg production mature and roost in separate housing. The broilers are pastured in a moveable fenced yard that is easily relocated daily to a new area of fresh grass and bugs. In addition to being heavy grazers, their diet consists of gluten-free mostly organic grain. Neither are they fed hormones, antibiotics, or chicken parts. These healthy great tasting broilers raised in small batches on a family-farm are never vaccinated. The Simmonses live close enough to their poultry farm to be able to keep an eye on the flocks. The tender care their chicks receive rivals the attention my mother lavished on the brood that helped sustain her children over seven decades ago. To contact Nature's Gourmet Farm, send an email to edm

Three day old biddies

The little red pullets are being grown for their eggs business.

These chickens, just developing feathers, are being pastured in their yard that is relocated to a new area every day.

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Mississippians Still Crowing About Fried Chicken BY JANETTE TIBBETTS


ried chicken is a delectable entrĂŠe that continues to reign in Dixie from kitchens and drive-throughs to fine restaurants as poultry production adds billions of dollars to private and state coffers. Health-conscious diners may be uncomfortable admitting they eat fried food; however, with all the skin and most of the visible fat removed, pan-fried chicken is still crispy and the meat absorbs less than 1 teaspoon of oil when the last 10 to 15 minutes is completed on a rack in the oven. Although connoisseurs of Southern soul food still enjoy the fried chicken recipes of yesterday, numerous changes have occurred in the industry. When young, my sister and I requested, by name, our favorite piece. Back then legs were known as drum sticks and thighs were a separate piece. Breast cuts included a pulley bone and after we ate the meat from the yokeshaped bone, we were allowed to break it (by pulling it apart) at the dinner table. The one with longest portion of the bone would marry first and have the most children while the other would have the largest house. Before they were whacked into three pieces - drummette, hot-wings, and wingtips - wings were easily identi-


fied and consumed as a whole. Now sports bars have built enormous businesses around highly seasoned chicken wings. Where are the pulley bones? They are part of the tenders which I often purchase, grill on a rack in the oven, and serve on leafy green salads or sautĂŠ in stir-fries. Other cuts are less appealing. Several years ago, when the ingredients in some chicken nuggets revealed the tasty small lump of breaded chicken included intestines, we lost interest in mystery pieces. While most drive throughs customallow custom ers to choose between white and dark meat, chicken continues to be marketed by the number of pieces. Mother always de-jointed careour friers by care fully manipulating the joints in order to avoid even the slightest nick of the bones or knuckles. If cut, the bone marrow may seep out while cooking, discolor the meat, and dilute the flavorful bone juices. Mother, our hands-on butcher, taught us to "cut-up" a fryer by respecting its natural divisions. Today some poultry company's cuts are made by butchers using a saw and often hastily severing the bones. edm

Crispy Fried Chicken 1 fryer (4 to 5-1/2 pounds) Remove fresh fryer from bag. Remove giblets from inside cavity and set aside. Rinse bird under cool water and drain. Cut chicken into separate pieces. To Cut Chicken: Place fryer on cutting board with back down and legs facing butcher. Remove fat and tail. Remove wings by cutting around the top of the wing bone. Rotate and lift the wing enough to locate the bottom of bone before severing. If not cutting drummettes, remove tip and place with bony parts or discard. Remove thigh from back bone. Rotate bone to separate drumstick from thigh without nicking knuckle. Cut away all visible fat, most of the skin, and discard. Locate floating breast bone with finger. It is located approximately 1-1/2 to 2-inches from top of bird. Cut 1-1/2inch below bone to top of breast. Cut away fat and skin. Separate rib section from back. If desired, boil bony parts with neck in 2 quarts of water. Cool, remove bones, and freeze meat in broth for later use. First Marinade 2 tablespoons kosher salt 2 cups cold water In large glass bowl with lid, layer wings, drumsticks, thighs, pulley bone, split breasts, and liver with ice. (Count is 10 pieces, but who is counting?) Mix 2 tablespoons kosher salt with 2 cups cold water. Pour salt water over chicken and ice. Finish covering with cold water, replace lid, and store in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator and drain. Second Marinade 2 cups buttermilk 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt Mix seasonings with buttermilk. Return fryer to glass bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture over meat, cover and return to refrigerator. Marinate 8 to 10 hours or overnight. Remove 30 minutes prior to frying and drain. Properly marinated chicken is seasoned all the way to the bone.

continued on page 81 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29

{ mississippi made }



rom the heart of the Mississippi Delta come delicacies enjoyed nationwide. Taste of Gourmet had its start in 1989 in Indianola, when Evelyn Roughton began catering from The Crown Restaurant, located in the Antiques Mall Ltd. "We served smoked catfish paté, a recipe we came up with, and people loved it," says Roughton. Encouraged to sell the paté to the public, the Roughtons went to Mississippi State University to meet with food scientists there. "They worked with us to develop a recipe that could be mass produced. That fall, we took 75 containers to the Mistletoe Marketplace in Jackson and sold them all. Then one of our customers for years, Lynn Moses, wanted to send paté to everyone on her Christmas list. We knew then that we were on to something big!" The Roughtons got the FDA's approval to sell the paté in stores. Evelyn and Tony went to the Atlanta International Fancy Food Show and got lots of publicity for their unique paté. "The two hot items that year were blue corn chips and our smoked catfish paté!" The next stop was the Fancy Food

Show in New York where the paté won the hors d'oeuvres category. It's hard to believe that with a company offering over 40 food products, that Evelyn only knew how to bake a German chocolate cake when she got married. "Luckily, my husband, Tony, was really into cooking. I was getting ready to teach school, and I learned to cook by carefully following recipes. I liked the science of cooking." The couple's love of cooking evolved over the years and they were able to try out recipes in the restaurant. Evelyn took Cordon Bleu classes in London, then bought a subscription to the Cordon Bleu course which taught all the steps to each dish, telling exactly what to do and how to do it. "It sounds corny, but it was a lot like the movie Julie & Julia. I tried to recreate each recipe and Tony, who will eat just about anything, tried them all. I learned that there are so many recipes you can prepare to a certain point then hold it, which is how we developed all the Taste of Gourmet products." The Taste of Gourmet line is sold in The Crown Restau-

Tomato Basil Bread


Cooking Made Easy rant, specialty stores, and by sales consultants. "We tried having a party plan, and we still have some consultants who are selling the products," explains Roughton. "But now days, online sales have become very popular. We ship products all over the United States. The products are in some really good stores. We're just real proud of where the company has gone." Evelyn is constantly thinking about new products to add, but Tony says perhaps there are enough already. Some of the more popular items in the line are the best selling fudge pie, Jezebel sauce, and Mississippi Mudcake. "That's one of my favorites. It is always very moist and so good!" The website features seven categories of products: appetizers, sauces and salad dressings, soups and main dishes, breads, desserts, beverages, and cookbooks. There are many uses for each product. For example, the Peach Pecan Pepper Sauce can be poured over cream cheese and served with crackers for a quick and delicious appetizer. It can also be poured over baked chicken, or even spread on a bagel with

Catfish PatĂŠ

cream cheese. There are many recipes and serving suggestions on the website, each more mouth-watering than the next. "We get many of our ideas from our customers," says Roughton. "They love to share how they use our products with us, and we love it when they do!" Products can also be paired together in combo packs for gifts. To order Taste of Gourmet items, visit the company's website at, or visit them at their booth at Handworks in Jackson November 21-22 where you can sample several products from the Taste of Gourmet line. edm Taste of Gourmet - The Crown Restaurant 112 Front St., Indianola 662.887.4522

Mississippi Delta Fudge Pie

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 31

Chimmi Torta 1 jar Taste of Gourmet Chimmi Sauce 2 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese (or more) Grape tomatoes cut in half Slice the cream cheese lengthwise into 2 pieces. Place the first slice on your serving dish. Cover the slice with a thin layer (about 1 tablespoon) of Chimmi Sauce. Then cover with another slice of cream cheese. Then more Chimmi Sauce and more cream cheese‚ continuing to layer the Torta to be as large (or small) as you choose! The Torta can be served immediately or refrigerated for several days before serving. The flavor will improve with aging. When ready to serve, sprinkle the top of the Torta with tomato for a pretty contrast of color. Serve with crackers. (I like to put the Torta on a glass cake stand or pedestal, then put the stand on a tray filled with crackers. It looks very impressive, but it is so easy, it's almost embarrassing!)


SPINACH SALAD WITH ORANGES AND ARTICHOKES 1 large package of fresh spinach 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 can of artichoke hearts, quartered 1 can of mandarin oranges, drained 1 jar of Taste of Gourmet Sweet Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette In a bowl, mix the onion, artichokes and oranges. Pour on just enough Sweet Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette to coat the mixture. When you are ready to serve, add the spinach, tossing gently to mix and coat the spinach with the dressing.

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By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum photos provided


f hindsight is 20/20, it would appear all roads led Chef Miles McMath to St. Jude. McMath grew up in the Goodsprings community of Alabama, in what he describes as a “little, tiny, small town outside of Jasper.” He enjoyed a childhood that today would seem foreign to many younger generations. Before supermarkets could be found on just about every street corner, friends and families gathered together in kitchens or on front porches to shell peas or hull corn. Home gardens and canning fruits and vegetables were the norm rather than a novelty. “I have memories of eating poke sallet in the spring and canning everything. Everyone had storm shelters that were filled with canned goods that we grew and canned ourselves,” McMath recalls. “We hunted rabbit, deer, squirrel, and turtle. But when fast food came in the 80’s, everything changed. People stopped doing those things. Maybe I was destined to become a chef. As you get older, you start to look for ways to get those memories back.” McMath attended Sullivan College in Louisville, Ky., before launching his culinary career under Chef John Castro at Hasenour’s Restaurant in Louisville. He left Louisville to accept the position of chef de cuisine at the Grand Casino in Gulfport, working his way to corporate research and development for all seven establishments owned by Grand Casino, Inc. Eventually, McMath found his way to Hernando where he opened Timbeaux’s, his first of three restaurants in the area.

He currently lives in a small community in Hernando where he says many of his neighbors share his love of home-grown food. McMath and his family maintain a full garden and at one point raised their own pigs on the property. Anyone who works in the restaurant industry can attest that the hours are long and they don’t fit into the traditional 8-5 workday. By 2008, McMath was married with children and wasn’t keen on spending nights away from his family. He was just about to sign a contract for another job when a friend told him about a huge $16 million cafeteria renovation at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis. The Kay Kafe, which was funded by Sterling Jewelers Inc., parent company of Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, was designed to accommodate up to 1,000 diners. It features numerous food stations, each featuring a different food variety. In addition to McMath, the hospital employs four certified executive chefs, each with different backgrounds who are able to bring different cooking techniques and experiences to the kitchen. Upon accepting the job as Director of Culinary operations for St. Jude, McMath knew, “a beautiful place like that had to have good food.” That’s when the idea was “planted” in McMath’s head to draw from his childhood experiences in rural Alabama and establish a garden on the St. Jude campus. Through the help of employees and volunteers, the garden slowly began to grow. An unused adjacent lot owned by the hospital was reallocated for the space. What started as a The salad bar at Kay Kafe features fresh vegetables grown in the garden on St. Jude's campus.


small herb garden has now grown into almost sixty raised beds that contain everything from vegetables to herbs, in addition to a greenhouse and hoop houses for growing lettuce and tomatoes year round. The garden is tended by volunteers, many of whom are hospital employees. Everything harvested from the garden is used in the 2,500 meals the Kay Kafe puts out each day. Not only does the garden save donor dollars, but the nutritional value is unsurpassed. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients shortly after they are picked. Everything harvested from the St. Jude garden is typically used within 12 hours. Those added nutrients can go a long way when it comes to the health of a sick child. McMath has even taken his unique approach to the “farm-to-table” movement one step further. What they are not able to produce on the grounds, they source from farmers within 150 miles of the hospital. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but farm-raised meat. “This is the best job I’ve ever had, but it’s not really even a job to me,” McMath admits. “St. Jude has allowed me to bring everything together – all these experiences I’ve had. It’s my way of giving back.” McMath’s contributions haven’t gone unnoticed. Earlier this year he was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. An invitation to cook at the James Beard House is highly coveted and has been extended to other noteworthy chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud, Nobu Matsuhisa, Jacques Pépin, and Charlie Trotter. Currently, McMath is the only documented chef from an institution to have been extended this honor. Says McMath, “It’s hard not to get excited about this program. We’re just people taking care of these children. They deserve the best.” edm

Chef Miles McMath eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37

French Camp Academy Head Baker Kevin O'Brien preps dough for one of the many batches of fresh baked bread the oncampus bakery produces every week.

O'Brien frequently invites FCA student volunteers to join him in the kitchen on baking days.


Faith Through Food French Camp Academy Shares Its Mission Through Tasty Treat



leisurely drive along the Natchez Trace never fails to provide some of the most scenic views of Mississippi. It’s best to travel along this historic route when you’re not in a hurry and have no real place to go so you can stop and take in a few of the historic markers along the way. Just 20 miles up the trace from Kosciusko lies French Camp, a tiny little town in Choctaw County with a whole lot of history. French Camp was founded in 1810 as a trading post by Frenchman Louis LeFleur, who is also credited with founding the settlement that would later become Jackson. Today, French Camp is more widely known among Mississippians as the home of French Camp Academy (FCA) in, a Christian boarding school established in 1885. Situated on the school’s 900 acres is the French Camp Historic Village, which not only provides a glimpse into early American life, but hungry local foodies will find several unique treats at the town’s bakery, gift shop, and Council House Café. If your travels along the Trace should find you in the vicinity of French Camp in the fall, make sure you pay them a visit during Sorghum Saturdays. Every Saturday in October, sorghum syrup is made the old fashioned way, by pressing the sugar via a horse drawn mill right in front of the gift shop and then boiling the sugar over an open fire pit to make sorghum syrup. The homemade sorghum syrup has become a staple ingredient for many of the loaves produced in the FCA bakery.

Bread baking has been a French Camp tradition for more than 50 years. Loaves of homemade bread, originally baked with the help of students, were used as “thank you” gifts to supporters. Today, the operation is housed in its own commercial kitchen and “turns out” over 17,000 loaves of bread a year. Like many of FCA’s employees, head baker Kevin O’Brien has a special connection to the ministry and the school. Not only did his family actively support the school while O’Brien was growing up, but he also worked as an intern for six months before being deployed with the U.S. Navy. During that time, O’Brien hoped he would be able to return to French Camp one day to work. After operating a submarine for the Navy for 24 years, O’Brien and his wife returned to French Camp to be dorm parents. Three years ago, he was approached about taking over the bread baking operation after long-time baker, Ms. Annie, retired after 17 years at the helm. O’Brien admits he accepted the position without knowing a thing about baking. “I grew up in the kitchen helping my mom,” O’Brien says. “Cooking wasn’t foreign to me, but I had never baked and certainly never commercially.” Under Ms. Annie’s guidance, O’Brien learned the ropes of bread baking. At the time, French Camp was only producing white bread. As O’Brien became a more confident baker, he began experimenting with other recipes. His first attempt at branching out began with the Sorghum Wheat, which uses eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  39

Council House Café

Half Smoked Turkey Sandwich


sorghum as the sweetening agent instead of sugar. O’Brien admits the first few loaves were more like “bricks,” but after much research and a little more trial and error, he finally developed the recipe produced today. Since then, the product line has grown to include a variety of sourdough breads, sauces, and giant homemade cookies. His sorghum cookies, named after his grandmother Sadie, are baked using her very own recipe. Often students will volunteer to help out in the kitchen and he admits that many of the younger students refer to him as “The Cookie Man.” Much of the bread produced by the bakery is still shipped out all over the country as gifts, with the profits funding FCA and its ministries. “I pray over every single loaf before it ships out,” O’Brien adds. “The people who buy these loaves are supporting this ministry and it’s still our way of saying ‘thanks.’” Located just a short walk from the bakery is The Council House Café, which serves all of its sandwiches on O’Brien’s homemade bread. The café is housed in a nearly 200-year old log cabin that originally served as the meeting house for Greenwood LeFlore, son of Louis and the last chief of the Choctaw Indian Nation east of the Mississippi. The Council House Café provides the perfect respite for hungry travelers. However, it also provides training opportunities for the students in addition to providing scholarships for the academy. The menu consists of a variety of sandwiches, served on homemade white or sorghum wheat bread, homemade soups, fresh salads, and seasonal specials. No meal would be complete without a helping of Mississippi Mud Cake or bread pudding for dessert. On the second Friday of every month, the Council House Café also hosts Steak Night. Guests can enjoy a 12 oz. choice ribeye, salad, and a baked potato. Café manager Sunny McMillan took over the café three years ago after retiring from a long career with Piccadilly Cafeterias. McMillan knew retirement wouldn’t mean he would quit working for good. When an opportunity became available to manage the café, he jumped at the chance. “This job doesn’t have the same kind of pressure that I was used to,” McMillan explains. “I love being around the people, both the employees and the guests,” For newcomers, McMillan recommends the “Big Willie” BLT. It’s a BLT like no other, made with a whopping ten pieces of crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, and topped with Council House spicy garlic mayonnaise. “It’s not just about serving food, but also being a part of the Christian-centered ministry we have here.” McMillan adds. “We’re shining a light on the culture.” For more information on French Camp and the Historic Village, visit their website at edm

TOP - Horse-drawn sorghum mill CENTER - Every Saturday in October, the folks at French Camp Academy make sorghum syrup the old fashioned way, with a horse-drawn mill. BOTTOM - After sugar cane is pressed via a horsedrawn mill, the sugar is boiled over an open fire pit to make sorghum syrup. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 41

{ community }

story and photography by katie hutson west


lison and husband Michael Buehler of Starkville founded the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute while sitting together at their kitchen table discussing the need they saw for heathy, locally grown food in Mississippi. The special education teacher and her physician husband witnessed firsthand the effects a poor diet had on some of the children they came in contact with in their professional fields. It began when the pair returned to Mississippi after completing their education in Knoxville, Tenn.; where they had been a part of a community that thrived on healthy food, wind energy, and sustainable living. “When we moved back here, we could tell something was blatantly missing,” Alison Buehler says of their return to Starkville in 2009. With no farmers markets or easily accessible healthy foods, 42 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

the Buehlers decided something had to be done. Their idea was to kick start opportunities for green, healthy living in Mississippi. To do this, they had to connect the dots of food systems, energy, and health and wellness. Having three priorities in mind, the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi (GGSIM) was born. Their mission is to help Mississippians make sustainable choices by connecting people with essential education and resources. By doing this they hope to create a state in which our current needs are met without being at the expense of future generations. Now with thousands of members spread across the state, a huge network has been put in place. Once a member of the GGSIM, supporters can expect to become a part of a large

Mississippi Gaining Ground in Sustainability Effort web of like-minded individuals; folks from Mississippi who are working constantly to get our state into a cadence of sustainability. This network includes farmers, business owners, and many more citizens with the bright future of Mississippi in mind and a willingness to do whatever it takes to help. Achievements of the organization’s members include the ever growing number of farmers markets in cities and towns all over the state, the higher amount of individual and business solar panel use in Mississippi, helping to save the recycling program in Hattiesburg, the implementation of a successful educational series in both Jackson and Oxford, and the development of the community garden for the Boys and Girls Club in Meridian. Along with these accomplishments, they have also spread the word and use of edible landscaping, and worked with schools to teach children the importance and process of growing food.

Events are always happening with Gaining Ground; both within the separate chapters and together as a whole. A couple of big promotions occurring in the upcoming months include September’s “state doubles membership fees,” where the state will match all dues paid, and “legislative action month” in October, an event that encourages writing local government and asking them to do more for Mississippi. The perfect time to join is now and with chapters from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast, there’s sure to be one nearby; however, it only takes four members to start a local group. Along with joining the GGSIM, Buehler encourages us to take simple, daily steps towards sustainability. “Turn the air up just one degree or hang a clothes line out.” These small acts can have a great effect. She also asks that businesses take part in GGSIM’s free energy audit. “With this green business initiative, we give a list of 30 things businesses can do to eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  43

GGSIM summer camp attendee Eleanor Giesen, age 4, pets one of several pigs that live on the property. When asked about what she had been learning, she said, "We learned about plants, and how to fish, and we even washed the pigs!"


become a sustainability leader in their community.” When asked what else her fellow Mississippians can do to help, Buehler’s number one suggestion is to buy food local. “This is the biggest, most impactful thing,” Buehler says about keeping money spent on food in our state; adding, “85% of the food bought in Mississippi is from outside our state and most of the food grown here is exported. Visiting your local farmers market, asking your grocery store to stock locally grown goods, and patronizing restaurants that use Mississippi made foods can help with our state’s economic, health, and poverty problems.” “Mississippi is an easy place to make positive change,” says Buehler. “Especially when we utilize past generations to teach us to be more sustainable.” Together, through example and education, we can help Mississippians to create a sustainable future for many generations to come. For a list of chapters and information on how to join the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi, visit their website at edm

coming to terms






A young cook at Vestige in Ocean Springs sharpens his skills in a professional kitchen.


Tomatoes and sunflowers grow in one of the edible landscapes maintained by GGSIM. Located in front of a downtown Starkville business.

It is not as common as it once was, but working without a wage in a professional kitchen was once the norm for a beginner.The French call it commis or stagiaire, the English term is staging. If it is an internship for a young and hopeful chef to be, it could last some time. If it is a trained cook or chef, it might be just for a brief period to learn the ropes.The person working so is called a stage, commis or volontaire. Bill Buford's wonderful book, Heat, is about just such an experience. It is hysterical and also an intriguing look into professional kitchens and the different attitudes the Italians have about food as an art form.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  45

{ raise your glass } This Missy Piggy juice concoction gets its beautiful color from red beets. Recipe can be found on page 48.


Drinking Your Fruits and Vegetables D

by Liz Barrett

o you think juicing is for hippies, or that it involves scary green concoctions that you have to plug your nose to drink? Whatever you may have thought about juicing in the past, put it aside for a moment to consider the health and energy benefits you can obtain with the help of Mississippi’s fresh, organic produce. There are several reasons people try juicing; two of the most popular reasons are to lose weight or to incorporate more vegetables into their diets. When I first experimented with juicing a couple of years ago, it was because I thought it would help me to lose weight. It didn’t. However, what juicing did do was make me feel more energized and alert than I’ve ever been. I couldn’t believe how quickly I felt the difference in my energy levels. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that adults consume between two and three cups of vegetables per day. That’s a lot of vegetables if your current intake is close to nil. Juicing offers an easy way to get the nutrients you need, without feeling like a rabbit. Plus, you can easily add fruits and spicy elements that mask the taste of vegetables that may not be your favorite.

Choosing a Juicer First things first. If you plan on juicing, you are going to need a juicer. We’ve all seen the recipes for “juicing” in a blender, but you and I both know that spinach from a blender is not going to taste the same as spinach from a juicer. So let’s not ruin your first juicing experience by trying it in a blender - unless you want a spinach smoothie - that’s a different story. Now that we got that out of the way, when shopping for a juicer, you’ll come across two types - centrifugal and masticating. The centrifugal juicers spin the produce around, shredding it up with tiny blades before pushing it through a fine mesh strainer.

Masticating juicers chew and mash the produce before extracting the juice. You’ll notice right away that the masticating juicers are decidedly more expensive, and that’s because the masticating process causes less oxidation, allowing for a longer shelf life of your juice (around two to three days). The masticating juicers also seem to produce a bit more juice and are able to perform other kitchen prep duties besides juicing. While you’re testing your dedication to juicing, you’ll probably want to start with the less expensive centrifugal juicer and slowly work your way up to the masticating juicer. Creating Juices When first starting out, it’s easy to get stuck in a juicing rut, making the same drink over and over again because you’re afraid to experiment with other fruits and vegetables. Luckily, there are tons of recipes available in books and online, so you could theoretically make a different juice every day if you wanted to. You’ll figure out pretty quickly that you enjoy drinking the same fruits and vegetables that you enjoy eating, so make a list of what you like to eat. Try mixing together greens and root vegetables with something sweet (i.e., apples or pears) and something spicy (i.e., ginger or peppers). The sweet and spicy mix-ins will keep your juices from becoming boring. And, while it’s highly recommended that the produce you juice be organic (to avoid drinking pesticides), if your budget won’t allow for purchasing all organic or you can’t make it to the farmer’s market that week, just thoroughly wash and/or peel everything before juicing it. Whatever your reason for trying juicing, remember to have fun with it. Experiment with different flavor combinations, ingredients and amounts. Invite friends over for an afternoon juicing potluck where everyone brings their favorite organic produce. Explore the possibilities while drinking your fruits and veggies. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 47

Lemon Apple Ginger Courtesy of Melody Sharp, owner of Living Foods in Oxford

Quick Tips

1 lemon 2 red apples Ginger to your taste (a little or a lot)

• Peel citrus fruits

Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake or stir and serve.

• Try to use as much organic produce as possible

Missy Piggy

(pictured on page 46) Courtesy of Melody Sharp, owner of Living Foods in Oxford

• Core apples • Soft fruits, such as bananas, can’t be juiced • Use an assortment of produce when you juice • Alternate soft with hard produce to keep produce moving through the juicer

1 large handful of red beets 1/2 grapefruit 1/2 cucumber 1 handful of pineapple

• Cut, clean and prep produce the night before to save time in the morning

Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake or stir and serve.

• Juices should contain mostly vegetables to keep calorie count low

• Try to drink your juice within 24 hours of juicing for maximum nutrients

• Find recipes in books, on blogs and in online juicing videos


LILY PAD Courtesy of Melody Sharp, owner of Living Foods in Oxford

1 cucumber 2 handfuls of kale 2 handfuls of spinach 1 lemon 1 green apple 1� nub of ginger Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake or stir and serve.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  49

{ in the bloglight }

Humorous & Heartwarming Food Columnist Turned Blogger Shares Recipes and Stories on Mississippi and the South BY KELSEY WELLS


idna Brower Mitchell, a longtime food columnist, has now begun to share her talent for writing and her passion for cooking through her blog. Mitchell developed an interest in writing early, serving as editor of The Daily Mississippian, the newspaper of Ole Miss, during the time of integration. She graduated with a degree in journalism and worked for many years with her husband in the news profession. Though she knew little about cooking as a young woman, she began exploring the culinary arts while living in San Francisco. She found cooking to be a fun, inexpensive hobby that yielded usable, delectable results. Cooking and writing collided in 1975 when she began writing a food column for a New Jersey newspaper that she and her husband owned. She has now written a weekly food column for almost forty years. Mitchell has fond memories of summers in Mississippi and the wonderful foods that come with the season and territory. She has recorded many stories through her work, including tales of her colorful cousin Julia, Trent Lott’s oyster recipe, stories about her Ole Miss classmates and memories from her childhood Now, Mitchell can’t wait to share her stories through a new format, blogging. An Ole Miss classmate, Ed Meek, encouraged her to begin sharing her stories through this format. Meek is the inspiration behind, a website that offers news tidbits, event calendars, feature stories, and more about the South and Oxford. The site also features many blogs from writers associated with the area. Though she only recently began blogging, she says that the responses to her posts have been encouraging and that many


Sidna Brower Mitchell readers mentioned the memories her posts evoke. One of Mitchell's recent posts focuses on “Mississippi Memories and Cornbread.” She remembers Mother's Day trips to her grandmother's in Mississippi from her home in Memphis. She remembers the special Mother's Day services at church followed by delectable “Dinner on the Grounds.” She admits to not having a clear memory of most of the sermons due to her focus on the food. The post ends with a recipe for Mamaw's Cornbread, a recipe Mitchell learned from her grandmother, Margaret Emaline. Another post offers insight into Mitchell's work as president of her local Republican's Club and ends with a recipe for French Toast she made the morning of a political gathering. All of Mitchell’s stories and recipes focus on Mississippi and the South. In addition to the mouthwatering recipes, her stories are humorous and heartwarming. Food blogging is a great way to continue to bring Mitchell’s stories and recipes to life for a whole new generation of readers and chefs. edm

twinkie pie (aka Red Neck Pie) 9 Twinkies 2 small packages instant vanilla pudding mix 4 cups cold milk (in Arkansas they say sweet milk) 2 bananas Fresh strawberries 1 small container Cool Whip Slice Twinkies lengthwise and line cut side up

in a 9 x 13 pan. Prepare one package of custard with two cups of milk. Pour over Twinkies. Top with a layer of thinly sliced bananas and thinly sliced strawberries. Prepare other package of pudding with two cups milk and pour over all. Top with Cool Whip. Decorate with rest of berries. Note: Eat any leftover Twinkies while enjoying a Coca-Cola.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 51

{ from mississippi to beyond }

Papou’s Legacy

Callie McDole 52  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP - Michael and Jane Kountouris celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Michael Kountouris, early 20s in this photo, came to Mississippi from the Greek island of Patmos at 16 years of age. Callie McDole's daughter, Natalie (age 5 in this photo), adored her grandfather (age 82 in this photo). Callie McDole, center front, is pictured with her father, Michael Kountouris; sister, Irene Kountouris; and family friend, Dianne Miller Omar, at The Mayflower Café in Jackson.



self-professed daddy’s girl, Callie McDole seeks to honor her father and his food legacy as she bottles and markets his special dressing and sauce recipe from her home in Dallas. His unique version of one of the first Comeback Sauces from his iconic Jackson restaurant, the Mayflower Café, Papou’s Comeback Sauce pays tribute to Michael Kountouris’ long life and business in Mississippi. “I adored my dad. He was just the kindest man and everyone knew him as Mr. Mike,” says McDole. Right before his death at age 91 in 2005, she began the process of finding a manufacturer who could duplicate his famous sauce. She planned to call it My Daddy’s Dressing, but that name was taken so she named it Papou’s Comeback Sauce since that’s what her daughter, Natalie, always called it, using the Greek

word for grandfather. “My dad got to see the label with his picture on it before he died and he chuckled when we asked for his approval. I felt like this whole experience was a God wink.” Since McDole now lives and works in Dallas, her first clients are headquartered in Texas such as the Flying Fish, which uses the sauce on its fish tacos, as well as Rex’s Seafood Market. She is also preparing for her first retailer, Central Market. McDole sells the sauce by the gallon to her clients after it’s manufactured in 200-gallon batches. “I’ve tried to match my dad’s recipe, but the flavor profile is challenging to match when producing this quantity. And while the sauce isn’t exactly like his, it’s very close and loved by so many people.” She had always wanted to market her father’s dressing eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  53

since she was a college student at Millsaps College and then the University of Mississippi. However, she graduated with a degree in elementary education and became busy teaching school in Jackson for nine years. After teaching, a friend told her about an opportunity in Dallas and she moved there to work in sales for a temporary and full-time employment company for 13 years. During that time she met and married her husband, Keith, and had her only child, Natalie. With her sales experience, she was ready to begin the process of marketing the dressing in honor of her dad. Her father came to Mississippi from the Greek Island of Patmos when he was 16. He left home for a better life in America, joining his father in Texas. His father died just two years later, so his uncle moved him to Jackson to join his cousins in the restaurant business. They joined a small group of Greek families who settled in Jackson and opened restaurants. His uncle and cousins had opened three restaurants there called Black Cat Café, People’s Café and the Mayflower Café, which opened in 1935. He became chef after learning the business by slicing meats, filleting fish, and making sauces. The first Comeback Sauce, says McDole, was made by Alex Dennery at The Rotisserie restaurant and all of the other Greek restaurant owners and chefs came up with their own interpretations. Her father’s rendition began as a house salad dressing at the Mayflower Café and became the most popular, said McDole. The Mayflower was also popular with many celebrities such as Eudora Welty, Hal Holbrook, and John Grisham, as well as becoming a location for movies such as Ghosts of Mississippi and The Help. McDole said that the historic eatery, which is the oldest operating restaurant in Jackson, is still

going strong today under the helm of her brother, Jerry, and many menu items still bear her father’s name. “My dad was still working at the Mayflower until just a few weeks before he died.” In addition to pouring it on salads, the sauce is also used on fish, hamburgers, and chicken or as a dipping sauce for vegetables. McDole's daughter grew up dipping carrot sticks in the sauce as an after-school snack. “One of my friends calls it the new Ranch dressing,” says McDole, who describes it as a cross between a remoulade and Thousand Island dressing with a swift kick of heat. Another friend uses the sauce in many of her recipes for dinner parties and recently served it in martini glasses along with shrimp, a celery stick, and carrot. McDole's mother now lives with her and her husband in Dallas due to her challenging health. She battles chronic neuropathy and is on seizure medication as a result of a brain concussion suffered when her car was hit by a drunk driver in 1970. McDole plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Papou’s Comeback Sauce to help the Center for Brain Health in Dallas, which conducts research on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other brain disorders. Since McDole calls her traditional Greek upbringing a close match to the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie, she envisions Papou’s Comeback Sauce as a way of keeping her father’s memory alive and preserving his Greek heritage. “I want to honor him and my mother and carry on his legacy and his love for cooking and the café.” As the Mississippi term “comeback” means, people will keep coming back for more of Papou’s Comeback Sauce. edm

SHRIMP CAKES WITH PAPOU’S SAUCE 16 uncooked large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined 1 large egg 2 green onions, sliced 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt Pinch of ground black pepper 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) 2 tablespoons (or more) canola oil Coarsely chop shrimp, egg, green onion, lemon juice, mustard, cilantro, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper in


food processor. Blend well using on/off turns. Add 1 cup panko and blend using on/off turns. Form mixture into 12 (3-inch diameter) cakes for dinner servings or use a small cookie scoop to make 2 bite-size appetizers. Roll cakes in remaining 1 cup panko; transfer to waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 10 minutes. (Can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry cakes until cooked through and golden brown on both sides, adding more oil to skillet as needed, about 6 minutes. Serve with Papou’s sauce. Makes 6 first-course servings or about 20 appetizers.

{ from the bookshelf }

Mississippi Current

A Culinary Journey Down America's Greatest River Author: Regina Charboneau

Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Publishers BY KELSEY WELLS


he state of Mississippi derives its name from the great river that creates its borders with Louisiana and Arkansas. The word Mississippi means “Father of Waters.” This name aptly fits the waterway that flows over 2,300 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Now renowned chef Regina Charboneau has compiled recipes that reflect the unique tastes and cuisines of the entire river into an eye catching volume entitled Mississippi Current Cookbook: A Culinary Journey Down America's Greatest River. The chapters of recipes begin at the headwaters of the river and rush downstream in a current of delectable tastes. The first chapter begins with recipes from the Upper Mississippi region, which spans from Minnesota to Illinois. Delightful introductions to each chapter lead into tantalizing recipes. The Upper Mississippi section includes temptations such as Pork and Ginger Slaw Sandwiches, Split Pea-Smoked Tomato Soup, and Apple Molasses Pudding. The Middle Mississippi section focuses on delights from Missouri to the Arkansas River. A special section entitled “Mark Twain's Captain's Dinner” honors its namesake, author Mark Twain, who wrote works such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Delicacies in the Middle Mississippi section include Twain Tea, Sugar-Crusted Blackberry Muffins, and Pan-Roasted Eggplant with Basil Vinaigrette. As the river rushes into the Gulf, the Lower Mississippi Region section brings recipes that focus on the area from Memphis, Tenn., to the Gulf of Mexico. It brings out the best flavors of Louisiana and Mississippi with recipes such as Sweet Potato Soup with Orange and Ginger, Crab and Avocado Tower, and Creole Corn and Crab Bisque. Also included are a section of cooking techniques from Charboneau and an index to help you quickly find your favorite recipes. Charboneau has helped established numerous restaurants across the country from King's Tavern in Natchez to Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco. While she has divided the recipes by region, she encourages a blending of tastes from all the regions, just as the Mississippi links together the country from north to south. Mississippi Current reflects some of the most delectable tastes from all the states great river borders and is sure to delight both the amateur and professional chef with its mouthwatering possibilities. edm


SPICY SHRIMP SALAD IN LETTUCE CUPS 1/2 cup sesame oil 2 tablespoons Sriracha 3 Pounds shrimp (21-25 count), peeled, deveined, thawed if frozen, and thoroughly dried 3/4 cup chopped green onions, tops and bottoms 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 24 iceberg lettuce leaves, tender center leaves only 3 limes, each cut into 8 wedges, for garnish Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the Sriracha and shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are cooked and firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a bowl. When the shrimp have cooled for 10 minutes, add the green onions, cilantro, mint, basil, and toss Evenly distribute the shrimp salad among the lettuce leaves. Top each with a lime wedge. The shrimp salad can be prepared 1 day ahead. Assemble in lettuce cups just before serving. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  55

Fresh & Flavorful Gulf shrimp are an easy and delicious way to add protein to diet.

The easiest way to get the family together for a meal is with a delicious, homemade dish with tasty ingredients. These Gulf shrimp nachos are sure to bring them running to the table. There are many scrumptious reasons for including shrimp into your family’s diet. The American Heart Association and other experts recommend eating seafood at least twice a week, and the FDA just announced this year that pregnant women should consume between 8-12 ounces of seafood a week. This versatile protein is easy to prepare; has a wonderfully salty and fresh flavor from the nutrient-rich environment in which it is caught; and is also widely available fresh and frozen at your local grocery. Flavorful Gulf shrimp contains high-quality protein and a variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamins B-6 and B-12. Plus, it’s a natural source of vitamin D, low in saturated fat and offers healthy omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. For more great Gulf shrimp recipe ideas, visit edm 56  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

QUICK-AND-EASY CHEESY GULF SHRIMP NACHOS Recipe provided by Chef Justin Timineri of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

1/4 pound tortilla chips 1 cup low-sodium black beans, cooked, rinsed and drained 1-1/2 cups shredded low-fat cheese 1/2 pounds small fresh or frozen Gulf shrimp (or large shrimp cut into bite-sized pieces), boiled and peeled 1 large tomato, finely diced 1/4 cup scallions, diced Low-fat or fat-free sour cream (optional) Salsa (optional) Fresh guacamole (optional) Preheat oven to broil. In large, oven-proof platter, place tortilla chips in single layer. Sprinkle black beans and half of cheese on top of chips, then evenly distribute shrimp on top. Add diced tomato as next layer, then cover with remaining cheese. Cook under broiler for roughly 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Garnish nachos with sliced scallions, and top with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Serves 2-4.


Posecai' s Greenville


Kirk's Grill Pontotoc

The Hills The Delta -


The Manship -

TheMeridian Rustler The Pines




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.

AlLong coveBeach Eatery -


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  57

The Hills

Kirk's Grill

Prepares Food from the Heart, with the Soul in Mind

Grilled chicken club with potato salad


The Hills

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 59

The Hills


story and photography by julian brunt

f you find yourself in Mississippi’s beautiful rolling hills and in the mood for a Southern feast, then you just might want to stop at Kirk's Grill in Pontotoc. The daily buffet is prepared fresh and changes day to day, but you are sure to find something to love. The menu is a hefty balance of good sandwiches, a few pastas, steaks, and chicken dishes. The desserts stand out, all homemade and sweet as they can be, but the dish that just might make your day is Kirk’s famed potato salad. Kirk’s really is a family run business, so you might very well find the entire Finney family hard at work. It opened in 2000, so they have fourteen years of cooking experience, and that experience has added up to something pretty special. The restaurant motto is “food prepared from the heart, with the soul in mind,” and that motto seems to be much more than just a catchphrase. The heart of the menu is the sandwich selection. The shrimp po-boy and Philly cheese steak are good options, but the Reuben and Big Bird are best sellers. The Reuben is pretty traditional, but the Big Bird is killer hoagie loaded with grilled chicken, ham, and Swiss cheese. It really is a fine combination. I had the grilled chicken club and the combo

of chicken, bacon, and all the condiments was great on the hoagie roll. It sure beats traditional white bread! If you want something a bit more substantial the Kirk Burger will do just fine. It’s a half pound of ground beef and can be dressed any way you want it. I am a burger nut and this one was good. There are only three beef offerings on the menu, but the certified Angus ribeye, eight ounces big, is all you will need. The hamburger steak is also very popular and it’s served with onions and gravy if you like. Kirk's is one of those Southern restaurants that just feel right when you walk in the door. It’s certainly not fancy, and there are no gimmicks to distract you. The menu is not huge and there’s no stunningly different, over the top recipe that might make you wonder about the chef and where he is trying to go. Kirk's is about simple, honest food, made family good, and priced for the average purse or wallet. The buffet is solid, the desserts are certainly noteworthy, but, man oh man, you have just got to try that potato salad! edm

Bonnie Finney and Alisa Ferguson show off desserts at Kirk's Grill. 60 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

Kirk's Grill 371 Highway 15 North, Pontotoc 662.489.5213

The Hills

Brownie and Cream eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 61

The Delta

Ted Posecai and Jessika Wright, who works alongside head chef Larry Brown in the kitchen, get ready to serve two of the night's special to customers.


The Delta

A Taste of

New Orleans in the


story and photography By Anne Martin


ed Posecai never dreamed of owning his own restaurant. It was something he never wanted to do, but Greenville and Delta residents are glad fate stepped in six years ago and Posecai’s Restaurant opened. He continues to blend a taste of New Orleans with good ole Delta flavor, tantalizing customers with every bite. Posecai began working in restaurants when he was only 16 years old, starting off at Romanoff ’s in New Orleans, where he is from. His first cooking duty - peeling potatoes. “It was just a job to me, that’s all it was,” Posecai said while sitting in one of the dining rooms of his Greenville restaurant. “But that’s probably when the seed was planted that I wanted to go into this type of work.” For the next several years, he worked in several notable Big Easy eateries including Chartres House, were he started out washing dishes, moved up to head waiter, and eventually spent time in the kitchen. But it was the Roemer family, (as

in former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer) that helped send Posecai on the next path of his career. “Members of the Roemer family were very good customers at Chartres House and they invited me to be part of a management program in Shreveport, so I went,” Posecai said. He stayed with Roemer’s for the next five years until returning to New Orleans when his father became ill. That move gave him the opportunity to work with the man who helped develop his skills in the kitchen, James Beard award-winning Chef Frank Brigtsen, who worked under the legendary Chef Paul Prudhomme. “I wanted to work with Brigtsen so bad, I told him I would work with no pay,” Posecai said. And he did. As Brigtsen was about to open his restaurant, he took the job as a chef ’s apprentice for one year without ever receiving a paycheck. “But you can’t put a price on what I learned,” he added, saying he learned a multitude of ideas and learned how to do

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 63

The Delta

The Black and Blue Rib Eye is a customer favorite, grilled to perfection and served with Feta cheese and a brown garlic sauce. a variety of things. Posecai soon had the opportunity to work for a country club in Dallas as the clubhouse manager. He liked the country club setting and decided that was the route he would take in his career, and what ultimately brought him to Greenville in 1988 as the general manager of the Greenville Golf and Country Club. He found himself applying techniques and using recipes he had learned along the way from other clubs, but most especially from Brigtsen. “Brigtsen never would write down a recipe, but I would memorize the ingredients and go home and write it down,” Posecai recalled. He was happy managing the country club. The idea of operating his own restaurant was something he never wanted to do. “I loved the country club business. And the idea of a steady paycheck!” His plans changed in 2006 when Posecai found himself without a job when the club decided to go in a different direction. He thought of going to another country club, but friends and family kept telling him he should open his open restaurant. “My wife, Rebecca, and I began to really talk about it and she found the house we are located in now,” he said, looking around the front dining room. 64  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

For his new adventure, Posecai and his wife found an old house in Greenville that was perfect to serve a menu steeped in New Orleans flavors. The house was built in 1896, but was moved twice before arriving at its current location at 1443 Trailwood Drive. Numerous fireplaces, original millwork, and wide-plank hardwood floors all add to the ambiance Posecai has worked to create. “The minute I walked in here it reminded me of Brigtsen’s place and I knew this was it,” he said. “It had a NOLA feel about it, a good feeling.” Lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch were served, but Posecai says he quickly realized he needed to concentrate his time in one area. And that was dinner. “I went after what I wanted, but found out what the Delta wanted,” he said when designing the menu. He says the restaurant was a bit more formal when it first opened, but he realized his guests wanted to relax, and not have to dress up. “We are fine dining with a casual atmosphere.” Favorite items on the Posecai’s menu include the Black and Blue Rib Eye, pan seared then broiled and served with brown garlic sauce and Feta cheese. Customers can also enjoy the Crab Cakes in Paradise, served with jumbo shrimp, baked shrimp, crab Bienville, pasta, and a roasted pecan Meniere sauce. Grouper, red fish, salmon, Ahi tuna and Mahi Mahi are offered in a variety of ways from blackened and grilled to seared and pan-roasted.

A favorite special Posecai serves is Osso Buco, a dish he was introduced to by Brigtsen. It’s a braised veal shank served over tomatoes, onions and garlic in beef stock. “This is a slow-cooked dish that has wonderful flavor,” Posecai said. “We have customers who will come in just for this dish. They ask us to call them when we are serving this.” A variety of sushi rolls is an unexpected surprise on the menu. There are the traditional selections such as California, spicy tuna, spider and eel, but there are a couple of unique choices. Posecai created a Crunchy Oyster roll, which is fried oyster and spicy sauce, and a Delta favorite that features fried catfish in the roll. “My customers wanted sushi and I wanted to make it available to them, so we added it to the menu.” A variety of Italian dishes are also offered. To end the meal, traditional New Orleans bread pudding or crème

The Delta

brûlée are served along with banana pudding and a rotating variety of cheesecakes. A fully stocked bar and extensive wine list allow guests to enjoy the cocktail of their choice. “Not only do we have great food, a warm and inviting atmosphere all with a taste of New Orleans, but this is a great place for a date night, girls' night out, a business dinner, or a Bunco party,” Posecai said. What began at the encouragement of family and friends is now a passion for a restaurateur. “You never know what may happen if you’re open to the possibilities.” edm

Posecai’s 1443 Trailwood Dr., Greenville 662.378.3688

ABOVE LEFT - Posecai only serves Osso Buco a few times a year. The veal dish is served with shrimp and crabmeat and angel hair pasta with a basil cream sauce. ABOVE - Pan-Roasted Red Fish is served with jumbo lump crab meat with angel hair pasta and toasted almondine butter sauce.

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The Pines

The Experience of

The Rustler




ne of Leif Miller’s first memories is climbing atop a stool in his Papaw’s kitchen and cracking eggs into a bowl. He was five years old and assisting his grandfather in the creation of a masterpiece. It was an event, the making of the family’s homemade ten-egg pound cake. “It was the men in my family,” Miller explains. “They were the ones who taught me how to cook. First my Papaw with that pound cake. Then if I wasn’t in the kitchen with him I was out by the grill with my Dad. I don’t ever remember not loving to cook.” Miller’s early start may help to explain why the 23 year old is now the Executive Chef at The Rustler in Meridian, a restaurant known for how it respects the experience of eating. In April of 2013 Mike Partridge, owner/operator/ the kind man who typically greets you at the door of The Rustler, was in need of a chef who understood and could work with him to build the vision which had evolved from twenty-four years of love and labor. He would cook himself until he found the right person to take over his kitchen. Leif Miller walked in the door of The Rustler on his way back to university where he was studying

science with an emphasis in culinary arts. “I was going to graduate in a month and was on my way back to Columbus. Thought I would stop in Meridian and see what jobs were available. This is the first place I came,” Miller stops talking, looks at Partridge sitting next to him at one of the restaurant’s tables, and they both chuckle at the memory of that day. Miller describes the meeting, “I took a look at his menu, noticed the stuffed mushrooms had a white wine sauce, mentioned how I thought that was a nice combination and watched as he realized he was not making the sauce for the dish. So I went into the kitchen and made it for him. He liked it so much that he hired me for weekends until I graduated college. May 11th was graduation day. I attended the ceremony, went out to eat with my parents, packed my bags and was here at the restaurant by 6:30pm. I’ve been by Mike’s side ever since.” What Leif Miller brought to The Rustler was not only the ability to make a white wine sauce. It was also a signature dry steak rub he developed through years of testing, a sense of when a steak is cooked exactly to

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI  67

The Pines

the customer’s specifications and a leadership in the kitchen uncommon among men his age. Miller’s passion and skills coupled with Partridge’s knowledge and determination to purchase only the best of meats, a top choice certified 1881 Hereford beef, have led to a bit of a rumble. More and more, Partridge and Miller are hearing their customers say, “This is the best steak I’ve ever eaten.” Though the filet is the most popular reason people give for coming to The Rustler, it is definitely not the only one. Many talk of the homemade salad dressings, which have been a favorite for years, and there is a bread pudding dessert not listed on the menu, which could very well be the most pleasurable way to enter into a diabetic coma. Some prefer the crab cakes or to order one of the fresh seafood plates, which change every week. The food itself is reason to be there, but what Partridge and Miller and the entire wait staff are determined to show is that dining at The Rustler is food and so much more. Dine at The Rustler and experience a romance with food, an otherworldly experience appealing to all your senses. What is listed as casual dining becomes a dimly lit, candles burning, cloth napkin in your lap, perfectly attentive server, chef visiting your table and asking, “How is your food?” It’s likely you will answer, “It’s a perfect experience.” edm The Rustler 5915 Old Highway 80 West, Meridian 601.693.6499


Though Leif Miller, The Rustler's Executive Chef, freely shares his Papaw's Ten Egg Pound Cake with us, he keeps his dry steak rub a secret. Smart move, we think, since the flavor of the sear is at least one of the reasons people come back for more.

The Pines Though The Rustler is yet to have the ten egg pound cake on its dessert menu, Leif Miller thought you might enjoy the recipe which first inspired him. From the family cookbook (in Papaw’s own words):

ten egg pound cake Cake ingredients: 3 cups plain flour 3 cups sugar ¼ cup evaporated milk 2 cups Crisco shortening

2 teaspoons vanilla 2 teaspoons butter flavoring 10 eggs Caramel glaze ingredients: 1 stick margarine 1 cup whipping cream 3 cups sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla Mix flour and sugar in bowl with hands. Add evaporated milk, shortening, vanilla and butter flavoring. Attach bowl to mixer. Using the flat beater on speed one, mix for two minutes. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to speed 6 and beat for two minutes. Stop and scrape

bowl. Turn to speed 2 and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 15 seconds after each addition. Turn to speed 4 and beat about 30 seconds. Pour batter into a greased 10 inch pan and bake at 300 degrees for about two hours. Caramel glaze for cake: Mix margarine and whipping cream and bring to a semi-boil. Add 2 & a ½ cups sugar and then bring to a full boil. In a separate boiler, caramelize ½ cup sugar and then add to other mixture. Cook until product forms a hard boil in cold water. Remove from heat and beat until cool and add vanilla. Put over cake. *Papaw has a heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixer.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 69


Mediterranean Cuisine with a Southern Flair


Capital/River story by leigh anne whittle photography by tom beck


estled in the center of the historic Belhaven district in Jackson, you will find The Manship. The wood-fired kitchen began its maiden voyage in November 2013 and has been full speed ahead ever since. Skill and craftsmanship are apparent, not only from each of the carefully prepared menu items, but also in the historically accurate period paint colors throughout the restaurant. Your senses will begin to experience the unique firing technique of preparation long before you enter the doors of the rustically chic atmosphere. The aroma of wood-grilled steaks, fish, poultry and pizzas envelopes the downtown area, luring the many that work in the district. On a recent visit,

an introduction by a full service waiter and a visit from the general manager, all before being seated at a table, provided an indication of the impeccable service that is standard at The Manship. The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen was a joint effort between General Manager Steven O’Neill and Executive Chef Alex Eaton. They set out to create a full service restaurant featuring “Mediterranean cuisine with a Southern flair.” Both gentlemen bring to the table years of experience from many of the finest dining establishments in Louisiana and Mississippi. O’Neill, entrepreneur/sommelier, takes pride in the fact

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TOP LEFT - Pimento Cheese ABOVE - Chocolate Silk Mousse LEFT - Aviation cocktail

that the cocktails take center stage in the most expansive bar in Mississippi. Hand-crafted drinks and an extensive wine list are available to complement any menu item. Happy Hour specials are offered 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the bar or patio. Friends and co-workers can wind down in a beautiful area that can seat up to 34 guests to enjoy a vast beer selection paired with a wood-fired pizza or many of the other items listed as “Snacks” on the menu. What a delicious way to end the work day. The lunch and dinner menus at The Manship are seasonal and feature the freshest of available ingredients gathered throughout the South. The restaurant’s website lists sources of fresh local produce. Chef Eaton chooses not to cut corners to ensure quality of taste and satisfaction for diners. He sets out to lift up other businesses by bringing in only the best products for his culinary creations. The superb ingredients are incorporated into the most unique and comforting dishes that make you ask for a second helping. The family style setting with sides served a la carte lends itself to trying many dishes in one visit. Seasonal vegetables in hearty portions are offered in a single dish to pass around the dinner table just like you are at home. Silver Queen Corn, Fire Roasted Cauliflower, and Braised Greens are just a few 72 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

Capital/River of the many dinner accompaniments. Pair any of them with wood-grilled Redfish or Hanger Steak; slow cooked Duck Leg Confit or Short Rib. The carefully organized menu offers mouth-watering selections in categories to help you choose the perfect dinner plate. Meal choices don’t stop there. Pastas with Gulf Shrimp, chicken or meat sauces can be paired with one of the many offered salads. Wood-fired pizzas are so much more than a crust and sauce ensemble. Fresh pizza dough is made in-house, taking care and concern for the guest's order. Selections such as Farmers Market, Heirloom Tomato and Basil, and Goat Cheese and Peppers can be found on the summer menu. Homemade desserts made with only the freshest of ingredients can end a meal or be a great afternoon treat with a cup of coffee. Eaton’s relationship and communication with local growers keeps the dessert choices changing with the seasons. New York Style Cheesecake and his grandmother’s recipe for Tiramisu are standard on the menu. A seasonal lunch menu offers many choices to the midday diner. Sandwiches with quality meats, large salads with fresh produce, grilled burgers, and daily specials with sides can be ordered promptly and served timely. It is a perfect venue for a business lunch or family get together. Dinner reservations are highly recommended. The tasting experience at The Manship is one you will want to savor,

taking time to enjoy each bite. There is that much distinctive flavor in each dish. edm The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen 1200 North State St., Jackson 601.398.4562

charred onion ranch dressing Makes 4 Quarts

3 pounds yellow onions 1/2 gallon buttermilk 1/2 gallon mayonnaise 1 (3.2 ounce) pack of dry ranch seasoning Roast onions until blackened in oven or on grill (grill is better for flavor). Mix buttermilk and ranch seasoning. Add mayo until smooth texture. Process onions in food processor.  Mix in with ranch mix and purée in blender or with stick blender until smooth in texture. The Manship serves this on their wedge salad.

Quarter Greek Chicken

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Coastal The fried green tomato topped burger is Southerninspired goodness.



West Coast

Meets Gulf Coast

at Alcove Eatery in Long Beach


by julian brunt

im Daniels traveled from his home in Long Beach to the legendary and innovative kitchens of California to learn the ways and craft of a chef. He worked his way through the hierarchy, learned his trade, and discovered the secrets that make a restaurant click. Now he has returned to Long Beach and opened the much acclaimed Alcove Eatery. Here you will find a unique menu, a true fusion of that West Coast vibe, that insists on freshness, healthy alternatives, and house made everything, interwoven with portions of Deep South classics, like pimento cheese and pulled pork. This is not a small town diner, not by a long shot. The menu starts with five salads that can be as simple as

mixed greens and tomatoes, to the Island Bird that includes chicken, avocado, grilled pineapple, mango, roasted corn, black bean salsa, cheese, and avocado-cilantro dressing. It’s a meal unto itself and will set you back less than ten dollars. There are also six, yes count them, six, flavors of French fries! You can make a meal out of them or add them to your order as a side, but you have just got to appreciate the boldness of following the salad offerings with fries that are flavored with pulled pork, cheesy bacon, and pizza! The Alcove can be healthy, but if you are in the mood to roll your sleeves up and dig in, then that’s OK, too. There’s no judging going on here. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 75

Coastal There’s a short list of munchies if you want a small plate, and a nice selection of grilled panini and wraps. The short rib club and the Fat Italian deserve a second look. Flip the page and you will find eight pizzas to choose from, and the staff at the Alcove arrive early every morning to make the dough and roll it out. Be sure to take a look at the Saucy Bird that’s topped with chicken, mozzarella, red onion, pineapple, bacon, and mango BBQ sauce. Now we come to the heart of this menu, at least to any burger lover's point of view. The Alcove and the Down South are top sellers, but this is the sort of place where you have just got to ask about specials, and items that haven’t turned up on the menu yet. During this visit that meant a two-handed burger topped with a fried green tomato, lots of bacon, thick slices of red onion, house made pickles, and melted cheese. Pair that with the Guinness deep fried onion rings, dipped in house made ranch dressing, and you’ve got a killer lunch to deal with. Chef Daniels is an enthusiastic restaurateur, with very cool ideas about the way a modern New South eatery should be put together. The menu is an inspiration, service is sharp, and with a friendly smile, and the food is just plain good. The Alcove gets top marks in all categories. edm Alcove Eatery 100 Jeff Davis Ave., Long Beach 228.284.2470

The Island Bird salad is a feast of good and healthy things to eat. 76 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014


ABOVE - Guinness batter onion rings and house made ranch dressing are perfectly paired.

BELOW - Pulled pork tacos are a good way to start your meal at the Alcove.

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{ calendar }

Fill Your Plate August 26 Vicksburg - Gourmet Meals in Minutes The Gourmet Meals in Minutes Workshop, presented by Chef William Fulbright, will be from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center, 1302 Adams Street, Vicksburg. Chef William Fulbright brings more than 24 years of culinary experience to his new post as Executive Chef at Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more information, please contact the SCHF office at 601-6312997 or email at •••

September 5 & 6

August/September 2014

Food Festivals & Events September 13 & 14

The Biloxi Seafood Festival offers seafood and food vendors, arts and craft vendors, live entertainment, children's activities, gumbo contest, and much more. Crowds at the Biloxi Seafood Festival feast on a vast spectrum of seafood ranging from the common to the exotic, along with many other types of food. Visit or call 228-6040014 for more information. •••

September 19 Cleveland - 24th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon

This festival celebrates the tradition of barbecue with three Memphis Barbecue Network sanctioned competitions including backyard competition and Mississippi State Fire House BBQ Championship, arts and crafts, live music, and, of course, food. For more information, visit or call Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau 800.381.0662 for more information.


The Mississippi Delta Rice Industry will celebrate National Rice Month with its 24th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon on September 19 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Delta State University’s Walter Sillers Coliseum in Cleveland. The event features over 300 rice dishes with around 1,000 people from Mississippi and other states in attendance.The food, prepared by local rice growing families and Delta restaurants, is superb. Most recipes served at the luncheon can be found in the rice cookbook, Between the Levees, which will be on sale at the luncheon for $10.00. Delta Rice Promotions, Inc., a group of individuals representing farmers, agribusinesses, farm organizations and government agencies, hosts the annual luncheon. For additional information, call 662-843-8371.

September 20

The International Gumbo Festival is officially returning to Jackson. The event will include a gumbo cook-off, blind judging to name the “International Gumbo Festival Champion,” and fantastic live music throughout the day.The festival was established in 1992 and moved its home to Smith Park in 1995 and remained there until 2003. This year, the festival will return to that same location, the familyfriendly green space in the heart of Jackson. The revival of the International Gumbo Festival is exciting for Jackson, especially with such a special beneficiary, the Harold T. and Hal White Memorial Scholarship. For tickets and more information on the festival, visit

September 26 & 27

The Great Ruleville Roast & Run offer live entertainment, BBQ competition, Friday night fireworks, a 5K walk/run, Saturday pancake breakfast, arts/crafts, children's activities, classic car show, and more. For more information, call 601.756.2529 or visit •••

September 28


September 23

Celebrate culinary excellence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with the Coast's best restaurants serving food amid wine and beer, live music, fabulous entertainment and silent auction. Visit www. or call 228-236-1420 for more information. An outstanding culinary event will be held in Long Beach highlighting local food from over 30 restaurants, surprises from other vendors, live music, wine tasting, and a silent auction. Visit or call 228-604-0014 for more information.

To have your food festival or culinary event included in future issues, please contact us at All submissions are subject to editor's approval. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 79

Recipe Index Angel Food Cake Waffles, 11 Charred Onion Ranch Dressing, 73 Cheesy Gulf Shrimp Nachos, 56 Chicken Salad, 26 Chimmi Torta, 32 Citrus Steaks with Spicy Orange Sauce, 4

Trying to remember which issue that recipe you've wanted to try is in? Been flipping through pages to find the article on that restaurant you've been wanting to visit? We've made it simple to find what you're looking for. Visit our website for a complete index of all of our features and recipes.

Crispy Fried Chicken, 29

You're welcome!

Cucumber and Tomato Salad, 18 Frittata, 18 Homemade Sriracha BBQ Sauce, 82 Honey Lacquered Duck Breast, 18 Lemon Apple Ginger Juice Drink, 48 Lily Pad Juice Drink, 49 Missy Piggy Juice Drink, 48

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

Ranch Risotto with Asparagus and Peas, 15 Real Southern Cornbread, 21 Shrimp Cakes with Papou's Sauce, 54 Sour Cream, 26 Spicy Shrimp Salad in Lettuce Cups, 55 Spinach Salad with Oranges and Artichokes, 33 Ten Egg Pound Cake, 69 Twinkie Pie, 51

Advertisers Index Anjou, 19 Etta B Pottery, 7 Fat Cake Guy, 9 Mangia Bene, 18 McComb Electric, 9 Metal Builders Supply, 33 Mississippi Beef Council, 4 Mitchell Farms, 14 Sanderson Farms, back Simmons Catfish, 14 The Kitchen Table, 7 The Manship, 9 The Strawberry Cafe, 15 Thurman's Landscaping, 18 Tupelo, 2 80  AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

STORE INFORMATION from pages 12-13

Belle Chevre 18849 Upper Fort Hampton Road Elkmont, AL 35620 256.732.3577 California Olive Ranch Chico, CA 855.972.0524 Country Girl's Creamery 203 Sammy Jo Rd. Lumberton, MS 39455 601.606.1762 Etta B Pottery Etta, MS Lodge Manufacturing Co. 204 E. 5th St. South Pittsburg, TN 37380 423.837.7181 The Tervis Tumbler Company 201 Triple Diamond Blvd. North Venice, FL 34275 866.886.2537

Crispy Fried Chicken, continued from page 29 Frying Batter 2 cups Sunflower self-rising flour 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons paprika 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (Salt will be added later) Sift dry batter ingredients together. Squeeze chicken pieces to remove excess buttermilk. Roll in batter mixture and gently knock against container to remove excess. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. Spread battered pieces on waxed paper. Cover chicken with waxed paper and allow to rest until batter becomes sticky (approximately 20 minutes). Pan-Frying the Chicken 1 quart Canola Oil * Note - This recipe is not for deep frying.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oil in heavy-bottom steel or iron pan. Fill only 1/4 of pan. Heat oil on medium until a pinch of flour sizzles. Fry thighs and drumsticks first. (Note - Do not rush by raising heat and never cover. Although covering steams the meat and cooks it faster, it dries it out.) Because breast cuts cook faster, they may be added to same pan 7 minutes later or fried as a second batch. Remember the liver may pop. Fry it last and cover pan with screen. Fry pieces 7 minutes, turn and brown on opposite side. (Always turn chicken away from self. Although chicken browns more evenly when paprika is added to batter, salt slows the browning process and should be added as chicken is placed in oven.) When chicken is golden brown, remove from pan and drain on wire rack. When all pieces are brown and have drained, place on slotted grill pan and sprinkle with sea salt. Immediately place in preheated oven and continue to cook 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size. To check if done, use knife to ease meat away from thigh bone. Serve hot.

Make a Homemade Sriracha BBQ Sauce Sriracha, a Thai hot sauce made from fresh red chilies, has become a new obsession throughout the nation as Americans crave heat in a big way. For those new to Sriracha and Sriracha lovers alike, a sweet and spicy homemade BBQ sauce is a great way to add exciting flavor to backyard barbecues. It’s the perfect complement to spice-rubbed and grilled pork ribs, providing a nice combination of heat and sweet. It’s also versatile enough to be used with other grilled meats like chicken wings, pulled pork, and even as a hamburger condiment.

Homemade Sriracha BBQ Sauce 3/4 pound fresh Fresno chilies, stemmed and coarsely chopped, do not remove seeds 4 cloves fresh garlic 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup molasses 1/4 cup white vinegar 1 teaspoon McCormick Smoked Paprika 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt Mix all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Spoon mixture into blender container; cover. Blend on

medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth. May also use hand blender to puree in saucepan. Strain through sieve to remove seeds. Makes 1 1/4 cups sauce. Note: May also replace Fresno chilies with red jalapeno or serrano chilies. Tips: For less heat in sauce, remove seeds from chilies before chopping. Chilies contain capsaicin, which can burn your skin. After chopping chilies, wash hands and cutting board thoroughly with warm soapy water. Or, wear rubber gloves when handling chilies. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 81

Crazy for Cookbooks


{ till we eat again }



sk anyone with access to my home storage, and they will tell you I am a collector. I prefer that term over “hoarder.” I have a giant Ball jar (one of the last to be made in the USA) full of matchbooks, from the days when you could pick them up everywhere. I have a small Kerr jar full of tiny plastic animals (and mermaids - my favorite) that once rode the rims of Styrofoam Sonic cups. And I have a lot of cookbooks. The funny thing about the cookbooks in my collection is that I don’t cook from them very often. I am more prone to crank up a search engine on the closest electronic device than to actually scour the indices of the nearfifty cookbooks that occupy a corner of our kitchen. I keep thinking that one day my life will slow down enough to cook my way through them and maybe even blog about it, "Julie & Julia" style. Even funnier, one of the signposts that led to my now food-centric lifestyle was an impulsive foray into the food section of the public library and the discovery of a cookbook that I read like a novel. Maybe it’s time to get back to my roots. But there are challenges: a pinch of time, a cup of convenience, and maybe just a dash of laziness. With just my phone I can pull up a recipe while roaming the grocery aisles, get all the ingredients I need, and on the way home listen to Lynne Rossetto Kasper tell me how she would make it. Not to mention how much easier that is on my back than lugging around my vintage copy of The Joy of Cooking. Almost everything on our shelves

and countertop has a story, much like the recipes within. Several have come out of friendships I have made along the way, like Laurie Triplett’s Gimme' Some Sugar, Darlin’ and Sheri Castle’s The New Southern Garden Cookbook. Laurie was one of the first to read my own wannabe cookbook, and Sheri was particularly sweet to my daughter at the International Biscuit Festival last year - both fun people who happen to have great cookbooks. When we lived overseas, the collecting focused on practicality. The Newcomer’s Guide to Cooking in Africa was a go-to source, even though we didn’t live in Africa. Before we left the U.S., someone sent us More-with-Less - a Mennonite cookbook that inspired my granola recipe. Because we lived in the Middle East, 78 Ways to Eat Bacon was not very helpful, but I took it with us anyway. I like to keep my Mississippi authors around because I figure if they like something, I probably will, too. I had a couple of Robert St. John tomes even before we ate our way through the Cotton District Arts Festival together. I picked up the Great American Writers' Cookbook in Forest City, North Carolina, not realizing at the moment that the editor, Dean Faulkner Wells, was someone I saw regularly in my visits to Oxford. I snagged an old copy of Craig Claiborne’s Favorites not because of his fame as the New York Times Food Editor, but because he was all that and from Sunflower, Mississippi. Three spiral-bound editions from First Baptist, Starkville, two from the Oktoc


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.

Community, and one Vardaman Sweet Potato encyclopedia (it’s thick) all count as Mississippi authorship as well. One Saturday morning I was driving down a shady thoroughfare in Starkville and came across a yard sale. By the time I stopped, it was pretty well picked over, but I happened upon a box of worn, yellowed paperbacks, one of which was simply titled, The Jackson Cookbook. Published by the Symphony League of Jackson in 1971, it’s not something that would normally catch my eye. To be honest, I imagined recipes for tomato aspic, cheese straws, and cucumber sandwiches (which it has), and I already had a copy of Recipes From the Garage - surely NASCAR would have those dishes covered. It was the four pages of foreword I coveted, written by another Mississippi author: Eudora Welty. I knew she had done some food writing in her day, but I’ll bet this isn’t on many of her bibliographies. Here she writes of the “home flavor” of Jackson and ironically, about the lack of cookbooks in her house as a child. As a Mississippian, I guess cooking with Miss Welty is getting about as far back to my roots as one can get. It’s summer: Squash Eudora, here I come. edm

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Heirloom Tomatoes

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Profile for Eat Drink Mississippi

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