A tasty top 10: favorite recipes from outgoing Mississippi Magazine food editor Mary Leigh Furrh and new food editor Emily Hines.
Now, after nearly a quarter-century in the post, Mary Leigh has decided to retire as food editor. The task of replacing such a respected figure is surely a daunting one, but new food editor Emily Hines is up to the challenge. A journalism graduate of Mississippi University for Women, Emily operated her own catering business for 15 years before taking over as cooking school director at The Everyday Gourmet in Jackson in 2003. In this position, she has built on her innate culinary instincts by working alongside guest chefs including Jacques Pepin, Emeril Lagasse, and Martha Stewart. She also teaches her own cooking classes, with ever-changing themes ranging from summer salads to Thai cuisine to eating well with diabetes.
To mark the end of Mary Leigh's tenure and to welcome Emily to the magazine, we asked each of them to share her five favorite recipes with readers. Mary Leigh's selections come from past issues of Mississippi Magazine, while Emily chose dishes that have played important roles in her life from childhood to the present. A glance at these treasuries of beloved recipes proves that this is one case in which too many cooks definitely do not spoil the broth. This menu is a true feast for food-lovers!
A TASTY TOP TEN
BUTTERSCOTCH DELIGHT CRUST: 1 1/2 sticks butter 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour 1 cup pecans, finely chopped Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt butter. Add flour, then pecans. Mix together with hands or a mixer. Press into a rectangular 3-quart Pyrex dish. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool. FILLING: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 cup confectioner's sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup Cool Whip whipped topping Combine ingredients with a mixer. Pour into crust. Refrigerate until firm. BUTTERSCOTCH: 6 egg yolks 2 cups dark brown sugar 6 tablespoons flour 2 cups heavy cream 6 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur 4 tablespoons butter, melted 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons vanilla Place egg yolks in a saucepan. Add brown sugar, flour, cream, liqueur, butter, salt, and vanilla. Stir over low heat until it just comes to a boil. It should be fairly thick at this point and will thicken more as it cools. Pour mixture over cream cheese layer, and refrigerate until time to serve. TOPPING: Heavy cream, whipped 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped When ready to serve, cut dessert into squares, and top with whipped cream and toasted pecans. Yield: 12 servings.
ROAST LEG OF LAMB 1 (4- to 6-pound) leg of lamb, gland removed Garlic, lemon, and onion slices 3 tablespoons canola oil Season-All seasoned salt to taste Seasoned pepper to taste 1/4 cup flour Remove all visible fat from lamb. Make 1-inch slits all over leg of lamb, and insert slices of garlic, lemon, and onion that have been cut into small pieces. Brown lamb in canola oil in a skillet. Remove, and place on a large piece of heavy-duty foil in a baking pan. Sprinkle lamb liberally with Season-All and seasoned pepper. Pour 3/4 of Sauce over lamb. Wrap tightly with foil, and insert a meat thermometer through foil. Roast in a preheated 350-degree oven until done. Baste once or twice during cooking time with remaining sauce. Yield: 4-6 servings.
Note: You may brown about 1/4 cup flour to thicken juices and sauce for a delicious gravy.
SAUCE: 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 tablespoons dry mustard Salt and pepper to taste 1 bay leaf 2 teaspoons rosemary 2 cloves garlic Rind of 1/2 lemon 1 lemon, sliced Place all ingredients in a pot, and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
GREEN BEANS WITH HONEY-CASHEW SAUCE 1/2 cup salted cashews, coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons honey 1 pound fresh green beans, blanched and drained Saute cashews in butter over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add honey, and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over cooked beans, and toss until coated. Yield: 4 servings.
Note: This sauce is also good on broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots.
Come On In
Junior League of Jackson
The year was 1982. Ronald Reagan was president. Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" was the computer, and the first issue of USA Today hit newsstands. At this time of optimism over life in America and faith in the future of technology, Richard Roper and his longtime friend, the late Bobby Temple, decided to publish Mississippi Magazine.
When I read about their plans in The Clarion-Ledger newspaper, I called Richard to ask if I could interview with him and Bobby for a position. Our meeting went smoothly. I had written for other publications on a variety of subjects, but Richard and Bobby wanted each member of their staff to establish a specific area of expertise. Since cooking was a favorite pastime of mine, they suggested I become food editor.
During the past 24 years, I have written every imaginable type of food article: interviews with chefs and caterers, party ideas, cookbook reviews, instructions on cooking methods, and histories of specific foods. When Kelli Bozeman asked me to select my five favorite recipes from this enormous collection, I thought it would be impossible. After searching old copies of Mississippi Magazine, I chose the following because they received the largest response from readers. I hope they will jar your memory and lure you into the kitchen.--Mary Leigh Furrh
BLUE CHEESE-PEAR SALAD WITH WALNUTS 1 pear, cored and sliced lengthwise into thin strips 3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled 3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted 8 large leaves romaine lettuce, torn 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup cider vinegar 3 cloves garlic, minced 5 large leaves basil, minced 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon honey Mix pear, blue cheese, walnuts, and romaine in a medium-sized salad bowl. To make dressing, stir together oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt, and honey in a small bowl with a wire whisk. Toss dressing with salad just before serving. Yield: 4 servings.
A Taste of Kodiak Best of the Best of Alaska Quail Ridge Press
ELLEN'S SHRIMP AND GREEN NOODLES 1 (8-ounce) package spinach noodles 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 cup mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon chives, chopped 4 tablespoons dry sherry 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup sharp cheese, grated Cook noodles, and shape them into a nest. In a frying pan, saute shrimp in melted butter. Cover noodles with shrimp. Combine remaining ingredients (except cheese), and put on top. Add cheese, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.
When I think of my favorite recipes, they all take me to a feeling, mostly of home and almost a sense of safety or familiarity.
All of these I can conjure up in my mind--the distinct flavors, the aromas, and the best time to make them, the simple questions of what does the first taste on my tongue remind me of and for whom do I want to make this special dish? Some recipes you just wouldn't want to waste on the non-appreciative palate!
None of these are difficult. Some are from my childhood, and a couple are new ones that I learned recently that I store in my head and my heart along with my other favorites. They become a tasty memory I dream about when I know I need something good for my heart and my soul. It's not so much about filling my stomach; it's about remembering a special place or person that I want to revisit.
Cracker Salad came from my Grandmother Jo, whom I know made it up from what was on hand when times were tough during the Depression. It can only be made in the summertime when the tomatoes are at their peak and the onions are really sweet. Mushroom Risotto came from my chef friend in Tennessee, and I loved it so much it was hard not to say "Mmmm" through the entire evening. Steak Soup became a favorite with my three boys, as did the BLT's made with fried green tomatoes and comeback sauce. The Irish Cream Coffee Cheesecake was so unbelievable at The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas that I slipped into the kitchen and begged until the chef finally pulled out the recipe. It became a standard when I was in the catering business, and it was always the most requested dessert by clients as well as my family.
Good food is satisfying in so many ways, but it can and should be so much more than just that. It can transport us to places and times and touch all of our senses. I hope you will enjoy these recipes as much as I have.--Emily Hines
BLT'S WITH FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AND COMEBACK SAUCE 2 tablespoons oil 1 cup buttermilk 1 egg 1 teaspoon Tabasco red pepper sauce 2 green tomatoes, sliced Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup cornmeal 8 slices good-quality white bread 1 pound bacon, fried 4 pieces leaf lettuce Heat oil in a skillet until hot. Mix buttermilk with egg, and stir to combine. Add Tabasco to buttermilk mixture, and place sliced tomatoes in the mixture. In a separate bowl, add salt and pepper to cornmeal. Remove tomatoes from buttermilk mixture, and lightly dredge tomatoes in cornmeal. Fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towels. Toast white bread, and spread Comeback Sauce on all slices. Layer bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce on bread, and serve. Yield: 4 sandwiches. COMEBACK SAUCE: 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 1 1/2 cups chile sauce 2 teaspoons mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt Black pepper to taste 1 1/2 cups oil 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 medium onion, grated 1/2 cup lemon juice Tabasco red pepper sauce to taste Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Check seasonings, and adjust to taste. Yield: 6 cups. WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO WITH PARMESAN WHIPPED CREAM 4 ounces smoked bacon, finely diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon shallots, minced 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced 1 cup Arborio rice 1/2 cup white wine 3 cups chicken stock 2 cups mixed wild mushrooms 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 cup scallions, chopped Salt and pepper to taste Aged balsamic vinegar In a heavy-bottom saute pan, render bacon until browned and crispy. Remove from pan, and place on paper towels to drain. Add olive oil to pan, and heat. Add shallots and garlic, and saute briefly. Add rice, and thoroughly coat with oil. Toast briefly. Deglaze with white wine. Allow wine to reduce until almost dry. Add chicken stock in three stages, stirring constantly and cooking each addition of stock until most of the stock has evaporated. Lightly saute mushrooms in butter until they begin to caramelize. Add scallions, and continue to stir. Once risotto is just tender and creamy, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in mushrooms and diced bacon. Spoon risotto into deep, narrow bowls or coffee cups. Top each serving with a dollop of Parmesan Whipped Cream, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Yield: 6 servings. PARMESAN WHIPPED CREAM: 1/2 cup whole milk 1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated 1 cup heavy cream Bring milk to a simmer. Stir in grated cheese, and remove from heat. Let stand for 20-30 minutes to infuse flavor and melt cheese. Strain through a fine sieve. Whip cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. Slowly add chilled Parmesan cheese mixture until cream is stiff. (Emily's favorites continued on page 140) STEAK SOUP 1/2 pound plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided 1 cup flour 8 cups water 1 package frozen mixed vegetables 2 carrots, sliced 1 medium onion, chopped 1 can tomatoes 6 cubes beef bouillon 1 pound beef tenderloin, cubed 1 cup red wine In a Dutch oven over medium heat, make a roux with 1/2 pound butter and flour (it should take about 15 minutes until roux is golden brown). Slowly add water, then add frozen vegetables, carrots, onion, tomatoes, and bouillon. Saute beef in 2 tablespoons butter until brown. Add to first mixture. Simmer for 1 hour. Add 1 cup red wine or more to taste. Serve with crusty French bread. Yield: 6 servings. CRACKER SALAD 1 Vidalia onion 1 bell pepper 2 tomatoes 1 cup Homemade Mayonnaise (recipe follows) Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 sleeve fresh saltine crackers Chop onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes into 1-inch pieces. When ready to serve, toss vegetables with Homemade Mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Roughly crash crackers into large pieces, and lightly toss with vegetable mixture. Check seasonings, and serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings. HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE: 3 eggs Juice of 2 lemons Salt and white pepper to taste 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 teaspoon Tabasco red pepper sauce 2 cups vegetable oil Place eggs in a food processor, and blend until they become light in color. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, vinegar, and Tabasco. Pour oil in a steady stream until all oil is incorporated. Adjust seasonings to taste. IRISH CREAM COFFEE CHEESECAKE CRUST: 2 cups graham crackers 1/4 cup sugar 6 tablespoons butter, melted 1/2 cup chocolate chips Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, sugar, and butter until well-mixed. Press into a 10- or 11-inch springform pan, and top with chocolate chips. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. FILLING: 1 2/3 cups sugar 4 packages cream cheese, softened 5 eggs, at room temperature 1 cup Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur 1 tablespoon vanilla 1/2 cup chocolate chips Cream sugar and cream cheese. Add eggs, one at a time, then add liquids. Pour into pan over crust, and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until cake is puffy and browned and almost firm in the center. Remove from oven, and let cool. COFFEE WHIPPED CREAM: 1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup cooled coffee Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional) Beat cream until soft, then add sugar and cooled coffee. Stir to combine. Spread over top of cooled cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Yield: 12 servings.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREG CAMPBELL
SHARE YOUR RECIPE REQUESTS WITH EMILY
Have you always wanted to make a dish you tried in a Mississippi restaurant? Send your request to Emily, and the recipe could appear in her Dish It Out column. Address suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or Dish It Out, 5 Lakeland Circle, Jackson, MS 39216.
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|Date:||Sep 1, 2006|
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