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A tasty top 10: favorite recipes from outgoing Mississippi Magazine food editor Mary Leigh Furrh and new food editor Emily Hines.

Through all of the 24 years that have passed since the first issue of Mississippi Magazine was printed, food editor Mary Leigh Furrh has inspired countless readers to discover the joy of Southern cooking. Her warm personality and passion for cooking shined through in her writing from the start, making Mississippians feel like they were learning secrets from an old friend. Mary Leigh's skill for combining traditional recipes with unique ways to serve classic foods transformed a small back-of-the-book food department into a section that is consistently one of the magazine's most popular.

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.


Charlotte Charles

Jackson

November/December 2003
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.


Eleanor Hughes

March/April 2002
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

May/June 1994

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

Brandon

September-October 2003
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.


Ellen Hendee

Atlanta, Georgia

November/December 2005

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 editor@mismag.com or Dish It Out, 5 Lakeland Circle, Jackson, MS 39216.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Downhome Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Hines, Emily
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:2561
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