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Crazy cat bakers.

I have a request for a salad dressing recipe. I love the summery dressing they put on the salad at Crazy Cat Bakers in Highland Village in Jackson. If you order quiche, you get a green salad with strawberries and this dressing-it's not too sweet or too strong.

Helen Lewis Jackson

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After obtaining degrees in business and architecture, Jon Lansdale felt he was on his way to becoming the next Frank Lloyd Wright. Fate had different plans, and when he "somehow" wound up catering desserts for an event for 3,000, "the rest, they say, is history," laughs Lansdale.

Tucked into a small corner of Highland Village in Jackson is probably one of the best-kept secrets in the state of Mississippi. This delightful bakery/gourmet sandwich shop is truly a find. It's a bakery and deli where you will find your favorites like a club, grilled cheese, and pimento & cheese sandwiches, but when the club is comprised of turkey, bacon, Brie, sauteed onions, and tomato with basil pesto mayo, you get the idea this isn't just any club sandwich. Lansdale's grilled cheese (melted Brie with strawberry preserves) or pimento & cheese (Parmesan, smoked Gouda, and sharp Cheddar cheeses with roasted green, red, and jalapeno peppers) are diet-breaking treats. Other menu favorites include the Meatloaf Panini, Caramelized Onion BLT, and fresh salads.

Despite the Cat's tempting and tasty array of paninis, salads, and quiches, it is also a baked-goods paradise. The name does imply more than a lunchtime spot. Everything from two-layer cakes to pies, cheesecakes, and pound cakes can be purchased in whole or by the slice (if it happens to be one of the revolving daily specials). And these sugary confections are also a jolt away from ordinary. Katherine Hepburn's Brownies, Chocolate Espresso Cake with Mocha Latte Frosting, and a spectacular selection of cookies (like Gin Soaked Raisin Chocolate) and cookie bars (like butter toffee crunch shortbread) are just a smidgen of what you'll find. Don't leave without sampling the Bread Pudding with Candied Pecans and Brandy Butter Sauce. It's so scrumptious, and Lansdale shares, "We've had customers fly with it to San Diego, Washington, D.C., and Chicago."

The quaint setting, complete with exposed shelving, quirky Weekly World News covers on the walls, intimate seating, and dome-topped stands filled with fresh-baked treats, makes you feel at home. "There's an intimacy to a restaurant our size (roughly 650 square feet) that I hope we are able to maintain as we grow," shares Lansdale about his successful venture, named after his two devilishly, mischievous cats.

Crazy Cat has added what Lansdale refers to as "early bird dinner" on Wednesday through Friday evenings. Specials like Shrimp Taco with a Mexican Cole Slaw and Spicy Cilantro Aioli or Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna are a sampling of the evening highlights. However, it's Lansdale's lunchtime favorite Black Forest Ham, White Cheddar Cheese & Asparagus Quiche served with his light and fresh strawberry salad that is a famous crowd pleaser. Made with the freshest of ingredients, its savory, sweet, and salty combo draws in the lunchtime crowds.

If you haven't heard about the Cat, give it a try-you'd be Crazy not to.

BLACK FOREST HAM, WHITE CHEDDAR, AND ASPARAGUS QUICHE
1 homemade pie crust or Pillsbury pie crust
1 1/2 cups chopped black forest ham
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and diced
1 cup grated Vermont white cheddar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
9 large eggs
1 teaspoon Jane's Krazy Mixed-up Salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 to 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie crust into a 9-inch pie
pan. Layer ham, asparagus, and cheese on top of crust. In a medium
bowl, add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour into pan and bake
45 minutes to 1 hour or until set in the middle.


STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING
Romaine lettuce leaves, torn to bite size
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup butter-toffee-glazed almonds

SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients.
Yield: 21/2 cups


by melanie m. ward | photography by bonnie dickerson
COPYRIGHT 2011 Downhome Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
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Title Annotation:dish it out
Author:Ward, Melanie M.
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Date:Jul 1, 2011
Words:702
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