Saturday, June 29, 2013

Succotash Salad with Buttermilk Avocado Dressing

This salad eats like a full meal, which is a good thing because it just about takes as long to prepare as a full meat. But it is worth it!

  • 2ears fresh sweet corn (or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn)
  • 1cup fresh lima beans (or frozen)
  • 3/4cup buttermilk
  • 1/2of an avocado, seeded, and peeled
  • 1tablespoon snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 1large head butterhead (Boston or bibb) lettuce, torn
  • 2cups sliced grilled chicken breast
  • 6slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2cup crumbled blue or feta cheese (2 oz.)

1.Cut corn kernels from cobs; set kernels aside. Discard cobs. In a small saucepan bring 1 cup of lightly salted water to boiling. Add lima beans and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add corn to saucepan. Simmer about 3 minutes or until tender; drain. Set aside.
2.For dressing, in a blender combine buttermilk, avocado, parsley, salt, onion powder, dry mustard, pepper, and garlic. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into a small pitcher.
3.Line a large platter or four serving plates with the lettuce. Arrange chicken, crumbled bacon, corn, lima beans, onion, and cheese in rows on lettuce. Serve with dressing.
After making this once, I think you could use low-fat buttermilk for the dressing and it would be fine. I think I would also use goat cheese instead of feta (because the feta was pretty salty with the bacon and other salty things on there). I did use a rotisserie chicken so that could have added to the salt.
I broke the dressing up with a bit of chicken broth because it was too thick for my taste at first. (I did use the whole avocado instead of half. This could be why.)
This recipe is from the June 2013 edition of Better Homes & Gardens! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Peace Love and Pork Butts

Yep. You read that right.

If you go to find a big, juicy pork butt to throw into your crockpot on a hot, humid Southern won't find it. It's now a (much classier) blade roast. (I mean it already sounds drier, somehow.)

No more pork loin rib chops either. Those are now rib-eye pork chops. Pork loin chop? New York pork chop. Bone-in pork loin chop? Porterhouse pork chop.

It's not a good summer to be a butcher, I'm guessing.

The National Pork Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association say the names are meant to be less confusing. (Which begs the question, less confusing to whom?)


Beef Magazine blog has a list of all of the new names here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blueberry crop smaller because of early spring frosts

Late-spring cold snaps and untimely freezes have delayed harvests and reduced yields for Mississippi’s 2013 blueberry crop.

George Traicoff of Hernando runs a family owned and operated you-pick operation in DeSoto County. He started Nesbit Blueberry Plantation with 6,000 plants in 1984, and today his family tends 16,000 plants.

Read more from The Clinton News here.

(Mississippi has about 2,500 acres of blueberries, mostly located along Interstate 20 and south.)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

I have a confession to make. I don't like lasagna.

And by that, I don't mean that I don't like the dish as much as the pasta itself. What attracted me to this dish was that it's just like lasagna, but using penne noodles instead (so if it worked, I could change up all of those lasagna recipes that I liked).

Thankfully, it works! And it could work with any lasagna recipe using the method of slightly undercooking the pasta you like and then baking it in the oven. 

Now I look forward to a summer of getting all of those old lasagna recipes out I left behind!

Damn Good Ham Sliders with Zucchini Chips

Last night, we tried Tasty Kitchen's Darn Good Ham Sliders with Eat Jackson's Zucchini Chips (because I felt we just had to have a vegetable of some sort with such ooey goodness, even though I really wanted sweet potato fries).

First off, Tasty Kitchen is being modest. I renamed the recipe Damn Good Ham Sliders, because that's what they are. And the drizzled ooey gooey goodness is what makes it, so you could put whatever combo you wanted in the sliders, from sweet to savory, and if you pour that sauce over it, all will be fine. Just as promised, it makes the most delicious, crusty, caramelized bread (two words which I had not previously imagined together).

The zucchini chips were good but stuck to the aluminum foil, which would be important to the recipe re-do except when I went back and re-read the recipe, it did not say to put it the chips on aluminum foil. The sliders went on aluminum foil though so I guess I just grouped them together. (Now I have to go back and try it again without aluminum foil.)

One zucchini made two trays of chips, so one sliced thinly is definitely enough for about three servings. And they need to be served hot too. Because there were two trays of chips and I had to put the sliders in, I had a timing issue and they were served 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. Not recommended. They should be served hot too. 

(I guess now I have an excuse to go buy a new oven, huh?) ;)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crews wins 4th annual Mississippi Seafood Cookoff

Chef David Crews of Cleveland came in first place at the 4th annual Great Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off in Biloxi. Crews won first place and was crowned “King of Mississippi Seafood” for his award-winning Deconstructed Gumbo featuring Mississippi Gulf Shrimp, Mississippi Gulf Oysters and Mississippi Gulf Crab.

As the winner, Chef Crews will now go on to represent Mississippi in the 10th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) in New Orleans on August 3, 2013.

St. Bethany Fresh tomatoes available at new Germantown Farmers Market

St. Bethany Fresh tomatoes will be available at the new Germantown Farmers Market. St. Bethany Fresh is able to grow tomatoes out of season due to hydroponic gardening. The Mississippi company started in 2011.

This fall, the local tomatoes will be available in Whole Foods and in 82 Sprint Mart locations in northeast Mississippi. The tomatoes are also available at farmers markets in Tupelo, New Albany, and Oxford.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mississippi Farmers Market to Celebrate 2013 Summer Kick-Off

The Mississippi Farmers Market, located adjacent to the Fairgrounds, will celebrate its 2013 Summer Kick-Off on Saturday, June 8, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It will feature the finest farm-raised fruits and vegetables that Mississippi farmers have to offer along with an assortment of fresh baked goods, specialty foods, and unique Mississippi hand-crafted items.

During the celebration, shoppers will be able to sample the culinary display of Chef Reynolds Boykin of Parlor Market as he dishes up tasty tidbits that can be prepared right at home. Shoppers will enjoy live music from local musician Ralph Miller, complimentary Blue Bell Ice Cream, and freshly popped corn. (And bring the kids because Pam Edwards will be on hand to kick-off the summer season with fun activities!)

The Mississippi Farmers Market, located at 929 High Street adjacent to the Fairgrounds, is currently open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information about the Market or to find out what's fresh each week, call (601) 354-6573, visit, or visit the Mississippi Farmers Market on Facebook.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Medium-Rare Mississippi

I started craving a burger at the beginning of the week. By this morning, I just NEEDED a burger. I googled "best burgers in Jackson" and noticed many had mentioned The Blue Rooster in Flora. We were looking for a Saturday road trip, so headed to Flora.

Most recommended The Flame Thrower, and they were not wrong. The bread makes the burger, but the burger itself is pretty close to perfect too. (If you order a different burger, be sure to ask for the Jalapeno Cheddar bread still!) The Mississippi Beef Council named it the Best Burger in the State.

The cheese fries were also tasty. (Though I couldn't even finish half the burger because I had to try them!)

We have been experimenting with Google Maps and started a Medium-Rare Mississippi map to share the great hamburger places we find around the state. Hope this helps you find your perfect burger (medium rare or not!).