Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jack Daniels World Championship BBQ

Ubon's was one of 78 teams drawn to participate in the 20th annual Jack Daniels World Championship BBQ Contest. This invitation only contest featured teams from all over the world. We were one of 2 teams from Mississippi. We were in good company. I think we felt a little intimidated as soon as we pulled up next to the creek there in Lynchburg. We were fairly prepared to face the weather: 55 degrees and raining. Much different from where we qualified: 115 and sunny. I think we represented Mississippi well. We brought home a 2nd place trophy in the Jack Daniels Pork category.

We went old school. Warm Ubon's painted it onto our pork entry. Ain't no school like the old school.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Diamond D got me thinking!

This Barbeque Season has been busy for us. We've cooked in: Vidalia, LA (1st place hog), Madison, MS (2nd ribs, 3rd shoulder) and Cleveland, MS (4th rib, 1st hog, Grand Champions). It's been a good season and will continue to be as we get ready to head to the Jack next week.

We've touched base with some old friends and reestablished some old relationships. We've had time to strengthen our family/barbeque family relationships as well. This was our 13th year with the Campbell family. Our team has also met and gotten to know some new faces. We've spent the last weekend with our new team member Reggie. Reggie is awesome and I can't wait for you to meet him if you haven't already.

The last 3 weekends we've spent with Dr. Swinestein and Diamond D. These are some of the most amazing folks you'll run into. They are good spirited, funny and very talented.

Michael Wayne (Diamond D) started talking about his mama's Green Chili. I have been thinking about it for days now. Tracy (Diamond D also...and one of the finest bbq chicks ever) found me this recipe and I think it will be friday night supper for the crowd:

Sun of Nikki Chili Verde


Heat 2 tbsp Wesson oil
Brown 3 pounds cubed pork loin
Add ½ diced Vidalia onion
Add 1 can chicken broth
Add 3 tablespoons chicken base
Add 1 tablespoon hot Italian sausage mix
Bring to a boil - cook for 45 minutes

Dice one 27 oz can of green chili peppers

Then add 1/3 of green peppers with the following ingredients
½ lb tomatillos diced
5 Serrano peppers diced
2 packets of surgar
1.5 teaspoons garlic granules
1 teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
4 jalapenos diced
1 can green enchilada sauce
6 tablespoons goya recaito sauce

Continue to cook for 1 hour then add the following ingredients:
1/3 of green peppers
1 teaspoon of hot green chili powder
1 teaspoon of mild green chili powder
2 teaspoons of cumin

30 minutes later add the following ingredients:
2 teaspoons of cumin
1 dash of hot green chili powder
1/3 chopped green peppers
Salt to taste
Cook additional 15-20 minutes

Ready to serve!

YUM! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thanks Tracy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crab Bisque

Sunday night we had about a pound and a half of hand picked snow crab meat. I decided to make one of my favorite things...bisque.

I needed some seafood shells to make this work so I started a veloute:

1 stick of butter. 1/2 cup of flour. melt and stir until blonde. Add beef or chicken stock and allow to simmer. season. In a separate pot add olive oil and allow to heat. To the heated oil add coarsely chopped carrots, celery, and onion. Once they have browned, add shells from 2 lbs of shrimp/crab. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and 2 teaspoon of paprika and continue to brown. Add 1 cup of white type wine to deglaze. AFter deglazing add your veloute.

This mixture needs to cook for about 45 minutes. add seasonings of choice and continue to taste through the process. After 45 minutes push your bisque through a sieve. it's important to both drain and to push all available flavor through.

Return to stove and continue to heat. Add 1/2 cup of cream. once the bisque is steaming add thawed corn, about a cup, cooked crab meat and shrimp. This will only need to heat gently. adjust seasoning with worchestishire, seasoned salt.

drizzle with sherry.

Yum. It's a little labor intensive but 100% worth the work.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Jack and The Story

Today is a good day! We found out late this afternoon that we've been drawn for The Jack Daniels World Championship Barbeque Contest. This is a pretty big deal! It's been at least 10 years since our last trip to The Jack. This invitation only contest is held in Lynchburg, TN on the grounds of the world famous Jack Daniels Distillery.

On our last outing to The Jack I was still playing with our ribs. Heath and I decided that this was as good a time as any to do a bit of experimentation and for some reason we thought tequila flavored beer would be the key to winning. We came in last. Dead Last. Granted it was in a field of talented professionals, but still. LAST. I'll admit it: I cried. Like a whiney titty baby. If you think there's no crying in bbq, you're wrong. It was like being the last place Ms. Universe contestant. You know you can't be that bad, but you're still the biggest loser in the world.

About a month ago my daddy and I recorded an interview with The Story's Dick Gordon.
Daddy let me do most of the talking. OK, I did nearly all of the talking because I occasionally like to be the center of attention. Ha! The interview airs tomorrow night at 7:00 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. If you can't catch this tomorrow night, please download the podcast.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A busy weekend

My cousin got married and Jacob was in the wedding. We catered both the wedding and the rehearsal. We had a great time. The wedding was beautiful. My friend Melanie handled all of the flowers and I think we made a good team! Most of the food was stuff you've seen the recipe here for. Except:

Marinated Cheese Salad:
1 lb cubed cheddar cheese, 1lb cubed pepper jack cheese, 1 can black olives, 1 can of artichoke hearts, 1 jar of roasted red peppers, 1 jar of green olives, 1 jar of pickled mushrooms. Mix together. For the marinade: 1 bottle of balsamic vinegar, 1 bottle of red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 package ranch dressing seasoning, 1/2 cup of season 'tup. Allow to soak for at least 24 hours. If you're going to hold this salad for a while...and it will hold for a good while, wait for about 2 hours before serving to add cheese. It will start to dry out after a day or so.

Monday was Labor Day AND Jacob's birthday. We had a weekend of party food. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Today, I felt a little down. I think sometimes that happens when I've been blown away and busy. When I've accomplished everything I needed to and have the chance to decompress, I find that the slow pace can be mistaken for being down. So tonight we needed something hearty, something different. I think mixed influences and took fusion to the limit. I'm thinking this was Greek sauce, Middle Eastern Meatballs and Semi-Indian vegetables. But, it seemed to work.

Blend together: 1 small container of cottage cheese, 1 cucumber, seeded, 1/2 cup of mint, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup of milk. It was simple and a great dipping sauce for the meatballs. I think it would work well as a summer salad dressing too.

Mix together: 1 lb of ground lamb, 1lb ground beef, 1 cup mint leaves chopped, 1 shallot chopped, 1 teaspoon cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon season 'tup. Form into a patty and skewer with 2 bamboo skewers. A small skewer will hold about 3 of these patties. Grill for about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Ours weren't quite done so we microwaved for about 2 minutes.

Vegetables: slice mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper. salt and drizzle with olive oil. Microwave for about 7 minutes. Heat 1 can of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon mint, 1 teaspoon green curry, 1 teaspoon garam masala seasoning, 1 tablespoon splenda/sugar.

I think it was just what we needed.

Monday, August 4, 2008



Kansas City Barbeque Society Contest

We cooked this weekend in Madison, MS. We broke a long-standing Ubon's rule: Don't cook when it's hot. On Saturday evening I got in the car and it was 115 degrees. We cooked the 4 KCBS categories: chicken, beef, pork and ribs. We spent hours on chicken. My daddy has been cooking chicken my whole life. His daddy cooked chicken daddy's whole life. Sheesh! We experimented and tried and played and sampled. We looked at sample boxes, we played with how to place the chicken. In the end, we had 5 people sweating and threatening and spiting and cussing over some damn chicken! We didn't do too bad. We got an 8th place with the chicken we turned in.

Ultimately we borrowed a recipe from our friends over at Hebrew Hogs.
We marinated the chicken thighs over night in an acidic orange marinade:

5 cups of Ubon's BBQ sauce (OR 1 cup ketchup, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup hot sauce) and 2 cans of mandarin oranges, 1/2 cup of your favorite seasoning pureed in a food processor. Before smoking, we injected with an apple juice seasoning solution. We smoked our chicken for about 40 minutes and then finished on a charcoal fire. We used our rib sauce but any super sweet sauce that is warm from the grill will work. It's best if it isn't a super thick sauce. Dip the chicken into the sauce and return to the grill. repeat about 20 times.

Grillin for Life was a great contest. It was as hot as the very 3rd floor of hell, but we enjoyed the process. We finished up with 8th place chicken, 4th place brisket, 2nd place pork and 1st place ribs. Oh, and GRAND CHAMPION! So we're qualified for the draw for Jack Daniels in 2009. We had a great sponsor and look forward to working again with Smithfield. Our ribs were perfect. We're excited to be working with such an amazing product!

Next post: the X MAN movie!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Seafood Left Overs

We've started going to Dauphin Island, AL when we need some beach time. Dauphin Island is not crowded, it's remote and quiet. From one beach house you can see the gulf and the bay.

Skinner's Seafood sells shrimp that was caught the night before. Heath and I stopped on our way out on Sunday and bought shrimp, crab claws and lump crab meat. We shared with our friends and had some left over shrimp. We did dinner for our friends and had this:

Seafood Au Gratin: (because I never think I have enough food I also added some Simmon's Catfish)

Layer catfish fillets, shrimp and lump crab meat. Top with this sauce and bake: 1 stick of butter melted and lightly browned with 1/2 cup of butter. add 2 cups of chicken stock, 2 cups of milk. When the sauce returns to a simmer add cheese, at least 2 cups. You can choose the cheese. We used cheddar, colby, jack. Pour sauce over the seafood. Heath melted butter, crushed crackers, cheese and added to the top before baking. *My secret to this kind of a sauce is that I will always add a splash of cooking sherry, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Grits and Greens: (Alright so I just finished reading Hissy Fit and Keeley made this. I did adjust!)
In a sauce pan heat 2 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of half and half. Add a cup and a half of grits when the liquid comes to a boil. Honestly, I just poured in grits, and when it was too many grits I kept adding water until the consistency was was right. After your grits are creamy add 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, 2 teaspoons of hot sauce, salt, pepper and 1 bag of frozen turnip greens. Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or so.

Corn Potato and Tomato Salad:
Cut corn off left over crab boiled corn (or use canned white corn), chunk up left over boiled potatoes, and dice tomatoes. Mix together 1 cup of mayo, 1/2 cup of ranch dressing (homemade is best), chiffonade basil, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and seasonings. Pour over vegetables and allow to sit for a couple of hours.

I love feeding my friends.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Figs


I apologize for my absence. I've had a little surgery and have been out of commission for a couple of weeks. It's almost killed me! I guess you don't realize how much you love something until you have an extended absence from it.

It's full on fig season! Most homes in Mississippi have at least a small fig tree either on the property or their neighbor has one close by. We have questionable luck with most fruit trees, but for some reason figs nearly always are plentiful. My neighbor, Jim, has a huge tree in his back yard. He fought off the birds to pick me a gallon of figs. I offered a barter, he bring me the figs, I'd cook him my chicken and fig pasta.

On my first trip to NYC back in 2001, I had a day alone. You can imagine how scary that was for a Mississippi girl new to any big city, especially one where I didn't have a car and needed others to help me find my way. I know how to get around the city now without being afraid. That first day alone I was starving and stopped at the first Italian place outside the Spring Street Station. I sat on the side walk cafe and ordered the special for the day: chicken with figs. I was homesick by that Saturday and figs sounded like home. I had something that wasn't comfort food, but it was an inspiration.

figues chez les porcs

This easy starter translates to: figs in pigs. Wrap each fig in 1/2 a slice of bacon. Arrange in a dish and bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Leave stems on and watch for bacon to begin to firm. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve. This is so elegant and unexpected. The sweet and savory are the perfect mix.

For an unexpected Chicken and Fig Pasta

Fry 1lb of bacon. Remove bacon and brown 2 diced chicken breasts and 1 chopped onion. Remove from pan. Add 1/4 stick of butter to bacon drippings. Add 1/4 cup of flour and stir to a blonde roux. To roux, add 3 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of wine. I used red because it was open, white would be fine. Also add 1/4 cup of golden sherry, salt, pepper, and basil. Allow to reduce until thick.

While sauce is reducing. I roasted 20 figs on a char-grill until caramelized and allowed to macerate in balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes. Boil Bowtie pasta until al dente.

To assemble: Add chicken, onions and crumbled bacon to the reduced sauce. Add figs, including vinegar to the sauce. Toss with Pasta and serve warm, with a salad and crusty bread.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Berry Berry Good Pizza

Sunday night we had dinner at Jim's house. We decided to go after I'd already been to the grocery store, so I had limited decisions for putting together a dessert. Here's my Berry Pizza:

In a pan add 2 cups of frozen peaches and a cup (or two) of frozen berries. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of sherry and allow to come to a boil. Make a slurry of 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of water and add to the boiling fruit. Roll out one tube of refrigerated pizza dough. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Spoon the fruit and some of the syrup over the pizza crust and bake for about 15 minutes. While the pizza is baking mix together a block of cream cheese, a cup (or so) of powdered sugar and enough of the left over syrup for the frosting to thin.

When the pizza crust is beginning to turn golden, drizzle the cream cheese mix over the top and allow to cool to room temp. Jim had some 'delta blues' bluebell ice cream. and it was a good mix.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Pie for my friend Melanie

My neighborhood is an amazing one. We try to get together every week, especially the few families who've got children the same age and who just 'clicked' from the first day. Tonight we went to the Yates' home for crawfish and shrimp. Melanie's house is always so perfect, so welcoming and truly beautiful.

I always feel like one should bring a gift if visiting another's home. It almost seems tacky to me not to. There's the added bonus that I love, truly love, cooking for my friends. We only had a few minutes so I put together this pie. It needed at least an hour to reach proper consistency, but we couldn't wait that long and ate it with a spoon.

In an Oreo Cookie Crust, layer caramel (from the ice cream section) sauce. Heat 1/2 cup of whipping cream in the microwave until steaming and bubbling. add 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. add a cup of whipping cream to keep the sauce thin. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and mix with 1 tablespoon of flour. add in the chocolate sauce and cook until thick. If this breaks (mine did) put into a mixing bowl and whisk whisk whisk. Add to your pie crust and chill. Would be good with whipped cream or a meringue.

Melanie said it had a 'fancy' 'chocolate truffle' taste.

It was yum.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day at the Lake

My sister and I decided to have a family party at her house on Lake Lorman. We had a small crowd, just us and our families and our parents. We spent a few hours taking turns being humiliated and delightedly pulled behind their boat on a two seated inter-tube. We spent a couple more house lazing in the sun next to the pool, then a couple of hours taking turns playing guitar hero. We somehow managed during that time to progressively eat everything that Jen and I cooked or assembled. Jen and I were going for a very salad-y cold menu that could be easily transported from the kitchen to the boat to the pool and back to the TV room.

My sister can make something as simple as a relish tray look elegant and complicated. It's one of those standard southern dishes that people don't always remind you to throw together. I think Jen has made it her mission to always include it because of our family gatherings at my mom and dad's house. For some reason our genetics require that we constantly buy pickled items. My parents could have 30 jars of assorted pickled stuff at any given time. With backups in the pantry. Jen began the tradition of the relish tray at some family gathering. It was essentially a means of consolidating the fridge, but she made it seem that it was a sharing of the pickled bounty: pickled okra, mushrooms, olives, onions. Sweet, dill, sour, bread and butter, spicy cucumber pickles. Pickled pepperoncini, cherry or red bell peppers. My sister has the relish tray down to an art. She and her kids also made a really good chicken cheeseball and 7 layer dip.

We threw together some turkey tortilla wraps. These were simple but fairly creative: a thin layer of cream cheese, then homemade mayhaw jelly (peach or apple would be a good substitute) then the turkey. Rolled up and sliced as a pick up food. Another is guacamole dip spread over the cream cheese and layered with turkey and cheese. The kid's favorite was a simple peanut butter and jelly wrap.

I threw together a few cold salads:

Broccoli and Fruit Slaw
2 packages of shredded broccoli stalks with carrots and cabbage, 1 jar of bottled coleslaw dressing, 1/2 cup of dried cherries, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of golden raisins. Combine with salt and pepper.

This was great in a pita with some grilled flank steak and some roasted red peppers and onions.

Southern Cucumbers

During my childhood days with my next door garden we had thousands of cucumbers every summer. My grandmother kept a bowl of white vinegar, onions and cucumbers in her fridge at all times. Usually with ice floating in it if it was coming to the table. This is my version:

Heat 12oz of red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil and combine. Set aside to cool. Slice 3 cucumbers. Layer cucumbers, dill and basil, cucumbers, dill and basil, cucumbers. Add 6 pieces of candied ginger and a handful of whole black peppercorns. Pour vinegar mixture over and allow to marinate for as long as you can. Last night I added 2 more cucumbers to the brine for later.

Artichoke salad

In keeping with my genetic code I throw this salad together any time I have people coming anywhere near my table:

1 can of artichoke hearts, 1 jar of pickled baby corn, 1 jar of cherry peppers, 1 can of black olives. Drain and cover with 1 container of red pepper italian dressing and 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar. Allow to sit over night if possible.

Tomato Moz

I stopped at the Fresh Market and got vine tomatoes, hand rolled mozzarella, and basil leaves. I sliced layered and drizzled with basil olive oil and good balsamic vinegar. This was good with sliced turkey in a pita.

I'd like to pretend that we were so very elegant and that this is what we feasted on all day but there were also cheetos and snickers in attendance. It wouldn't be a super snack day without those.

Happy Father's Day to the wonderful men in my life.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More NYC

I can't say enough how much fun we had in NYC. We worked out butts off in the heat. Maybe the best part was the time we spent with our friends. Here are more pictures:

Barbeque Princess' Pictures

If you'll notice part way through there's a few pictures of Brian serving Iron Chef America's Ed Levine. Pretty cool for us foodies!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Food

We moved into the house I grew up in when I was about 2. Mr. and Mrs. Westbrook lived in the house next door. I can remember how the house smelled. It was a combination of the two things that seemed to sum up the two of them: fresh baked something and cedar. Mr. Westbrook was retired and he swore up and down that he'd once owned a monkey. He worked daily in his wood shop and shot squirrels with his bb gun. Each spring he put in a huge garden. They didn't have any family in town, but we were right next door. In fact, their chairs faced a big sliding glass door that looked out into our front door. They literally watched my sister and I grow up. Jennifer and I always looked forward to helping him in the garden. He had the patience of Job. We knew he loved us because he planted 10 plants with "tommy-toes" (cherry tomatoes) and he didn't eat them. We would eat them right off the vine until we were almost sick. The garden was full of all of the best things: squash, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, pink eye purple hull peas, butter beans, green beans, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers.

During peak garden season we'd walk outside each morning and he'd have a 5 gallon bucket full of whatever he'd picked before the sun was too hot. I came up with my spaghetti sauce one summer out of sheer desperation. I couldn't bring myself to throw away all those tomatoes. And I mean, really, how many tomato sandwiches can one person eat? Well, a lot, but by August they aren't quite the delicacy they were in late May.

I made a trip to Sunflower last night and had a moment of pure nostalgia. Something in the zucchini made me miss growing up, Mr. Westbrook's garden, Mrs. Westbrook's cakes, shelling peas and tomato sandwiches. I bought zucchini and eggplant and wished for a 5 gallon bucket full of fresh vegetables. I like to think they would have liked what I made while thinking of them:

Slice 2 zucchini and 1 eggplant and lay out on a rack. Salt heavily and allow to sit at room temp. After about 30 minutes, turn and repeat. Rinse the vegetables thoroughly. This process helps remove the bitterness and keeps the vegetables from turning to mush.

Layer zucchini and eggplant in a casserole dish. Spread a layer of softened cream cheese. Top with 1 lb of browned sausage. add another layer of the vegetables. Pour one can of tomatoes over the top. (I wish I had that bucket of tomatoes!) (I think it would be better if you sliced fresh tomatoes.) Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella. Now, I will admit that I cheated here, but it made it so easy: Top with 2 pouches of tomato/basil pasta sauce. top with mozzarella and parmesan. This is weird but helped...microwave for about 10 minutes and place in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes.

Serve with pasta.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


NYC Pictures

thanks Alex!

My friend Alex

My friend Alex over at spent the weekend with us up in NYC. I've spent most of the last couple of days obsessing over what people had to say about us at the Block Party. By and large the comments have been kind. Alex was our official documentarian and did a great job. Have a look:

If only I knew how to turn something into a link! Help!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Maybe we should start again...

We just got back from the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party. In fact, the Ubon's trailer and crew are still in transit from the big city. Over the weekend my daddy and I were able to spend some time with Elizabeth Karmel ( She something of a celebrity in my world. I will admit to you that I was more than a little star struck. Elizabeth is a major champion for us Cue Chicks. At Elizabeth's suggestion I'm going to backtrack and tell you the story that I should have started this blog with: Why I am the Barbeque Princess.

When I was about 11 my dad decided to start the process of bottling and selling my grandfather, Ubon's, sauce. In 1989 Daddy, Mama and a few of their friends decided to cook in the backyard competition at the Cleveland, MS Octoberfest Contest. Daddy had a grill and a card table and cooked some wicked chicken. Who knew that plain ole barbeque chicken, delicious though it may be, was nothing close to what the judges were looking for. They didn't win a trophy but Daddy made friends and found a new love. Daddy and his friends invested in t-shirts (I mean it's official if there's a tshirt for it, right?) and they hit the road. The first few contests were a bust. In 1990 I was a senior in high-school and my daddy forced my sister and I to drive up to Octoberfest. We showed up on Saturday (show day is never ever the fun day) and we cut out as soon as we didn't make the finals. It was official, my parents were enjoying old people fun.

At some point that barbeque season we got a pass down for Memphis in May and the Friday before my graduation from high school mama and daddy made my sister, Jennifer, and I catch a ride to Memphis. Mama called us and told Jen and I to bring out mud boots. We balked because we’d agreed to wear the t-shirts with skirts. When we got to Tom Lee Park, we found a good 6 inches of mud. And lots of old people. Having fun.

Alright, alright, about 4 hours in and we were hooked. We were so hooked that my sister stopped being a vegetarian and started eating ribs. We were so hooked that the next fall if there was a contest, Jen and I were there.

In the fall of 1992 we headed to Possum Town Pig Fest in Columbus, MS. I had grown weary of doing gate duty. Jen and I were obviously BBQ Eye Candy. I was at a pretty decisive time in my life. My daddy has always been easily persuaded by his girls. I’ve been a master of manipulation for a long time. The best way to get my way with daddy was to convince him that putting me at the presentation table was his own idea. I may have even protested a little so he’d really think it was his idea. Daddy cooked some show ribs that you wouldn’t believe. I smiled, I flipped my hair, I flirted, I sold some damn good ribs. I used every skill I had as a southern woman. I got lucky that my daddy knew what he was doing when he cooked those ribs. When we got the notice that we’d made it to the finals my dad and I looked at each other and knew...we make one hell of a team. My research tells me that history was made that day. I was the first female to do a table presentations in the finals round and the first to win a State Championship/Grand Champion.

By 1993 I was tired of getting the look to my daddy to check facts. So I got my butt up and I learned. I started cooking the ribs myself. I watched my dad step gracefully back so that I could find my own place at the table. I’ve prepped and presented in 50 or more contests in the 16 years since my first start. I’ve changed recipes and methods. I think after all this time, I may have finally found the right combination that will help me continue getting into the finals. I’ve stepped far out on a limb and created my own sauce. I was always afraid of making too many changes. Daddy likes to “dance with the girl that brung you.” I think you should always dance with the better looking one.

We cooked in Pearl, MS back in April. An old family friend watched our finals presentations for hog, shoulder and ribs. When I began the presentation, I knew I had some beautiful ribs. I was full of energy, full of pride. My daddy stood right behind me in his traditional spot. My sister accidentally laughed too loudly when I described my rib rub as having ‘paprika, the sweet and smokey friend of the rib.” I was unfazed! On I went because I knew I had a winner.

My friend said later that she teared up because of how my daddy looked at me, at how proud he was of me, at how she could tell how pleased he was to have me smack up in his old people fun.

So I’m not so sure that I consider myself barbeque royalty so much as I consider myself my daddy’s Barbeque Princess.

For my new friend Elizabeth...a couple of sauces

Ubon's Comeback Sauce:

1 cup prepared mayo
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of hot sauce
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, minced (I would consider sauteing in butter until wilted, depending on personal prefrence)
salt, pepper, red pepper, lemon pepper to taste.

mix together, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.

serve with fried pickles, sweet potato fries, as a salad dressing, or as a dipping sauce for chicken or sausage.

Ubon's Come Hither sauce

(My friends the Rosen boys, don't like mayo so this is for them:)

1/2 cup of yellow mustard
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of ketchup
2 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
minced onion optional

serve with chicken, on beef sandwiches, over cream cheese with crackers

Monday, June 2, 2008

Well, as reported we had a fabulous time at Memphis in May. I thought you might want to see for yourself. Please note the pictures at the shopping cart parade/walk about.

We are getting ready to head to New York for the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party. I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Legend....oh and Mike Mills too!

My friend Amy Mills Tunnicliffe and her daddy Mike Mills co-wrote one of the greatest barbeque books ever: Peace, Love and Barbeque. (don't have it? shame on you! get it on Amy and I share many things in common. One is that she and I love our daddies. Amy went so far that she wrote a book and pretended her dad helped! (Just joking. When I envision it it's more like how it would be with me and my daddy...I'll write the book if you'll stop telling me that story daddy!) By the way, Amy's dad is Mike Mills. In case you haven't read about him in Bon Appetit or Vogue and in case you've never seen or heard of the Food Network, Mike Mills is known as 'The Legend'.

Mike own Memphis Championship Barbeque and 17th Street Bar and Grill; he's the creative consultant for Blue Smoke in NYC. Mike also "owns" a little contest called Memphis in May due to his holding the Grand Champion title oh 3 or 4 times, some trivial record that stands to this VERY day!

We got to spend some time with Amy and Mike at this year's Memphis in May. Thanks to Mike we are included each year in the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party. It's an honor to be included in the block party, but for Daddy and I, it's a big deal to be included at Mike's suggestion.

Amy sent me an email with a recent article about "comeback sauce." It seems that comeback is a southern staple, but nearly totally Mississippi-centric. I've looked at lots of descriptions and 'thousand island dressing meets remoulade" seems to be the most apt. Most of the recipes I've seen have 2 secret ingredients and several steps. All restaurants in Mississippi have a special comeback sauce/dressing. We are no exception. Mine is just very very simple (yet oh so Ubon-centric!)

1 cup Mayo. 1 cup Ubon's BBQ Sauce. 1 tablespoon Ubon's season t'up. Mix. pretend you worked all afternoon. squeeze a lemon or wave a magic wand over it and call it a secret ingredient, but it's just those 3. But sh! don't tell. There are people who want us to bottle it!

This little magic sauce is good on anything you can imagine. Onion rings. Fried pickles. Sweet Potato Fries. Pork sandwiches.

The picture is my mom, Mike and the Princess herself (me).

Think if I start calling myself the princess it will catch on? hm. I'll give it a try.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Doc had a birthday

This week was my husband's birthday. Sometimes I feel like I've stolen him from his family of origin and displaced him into my own world. Reality tells me that we've done a good job of creating our own world with very good friends and close family.

One of my strengths is how easy it is for me to plan and feed a dozen friends. I decided this week to celebrate Heath's birthday with 12 or 15 close friends. Heath loves lasagna and so that's what I did for him.

Lasagna for 12

3lbs of ground beef browned with 1 bag of season blend (onions, peppers and celery. You could do the chopping but I didn't.) Add 4 cans of diced tomatoes, 4 large cans of tomato sauce, 1 cup of red wine, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, sugar. (a teaspoon or so of each.) Allow to simmer for as long as possible. You will need to assemble this at least an hour before it starts to bake to re-hydrate the lasagna noodles. No I refuse to precook those! I suppose you could but it's a pain in the ass and doesn't change anything. OK to assemble. layer sauce, then dry noodles, then ricotta cheese. sprinkles shredded cheese of choice: I used parmesan, mozzarella, assiago. You can adjust to your taste. cheddar isn't a bad idea, but for the love of heaven, let's avoid processed cheese food. NOW repeat layers, sauce, noodles, cheese, cheese. I would make sure I had at least 3 layers. Here's the secret to lasagna that will slice and not fall apart. cook low, 275 for about an hour and allow to sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

I also did a freak out. What if I didn't have enough food? This is almost never the case. But to be safe, and to make sure the little kids had a 2nd option I made a cheese lasagna. I think I made this one up on the fly:

melt butter in a pan and add an equal part of flour. To this add chicken stock and a splash of sherry. ok, maybe a gulp of sherry. Once this is bubbly I started adding cheese. cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, colby...whatever I had. The sherry gives it sort of a fondu flavor. I layered my cheese sauce with the noodles and separated noodle layers with ricotta cheese. this baked with the lasagna.

And of course the cake...

Jacob and I decided to try our hand at baking and we made a pretty good effort. We used a strawberry cake mix and added an extra egg to make the cake, hm, i don't know, more dense? we also added fresh strawberries. these turn purple in the cake and maybe it wasn't the best idea but it sure was good. after our cakes cooled we layered the first with sliced strawberries then a layer of a simple chocolate ganache. This is so simple that I am almost ashamed! heat 2 cups of heavy cream and pour over 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips. blend with a whisk until all combined. it will be glossy and yummy. place the top layer of the cake on. for the icing: 1 sick of butter flavored crisco. Trust me here, it holds up better than regular butter. Add a couple of cups of powdered sugar, then a couple more. You will know when the consistency is right. add a little vanilla paste and cream to help everything come together. Now I was frosting this cake after I took a sleeping pill so it was UGLY. I couldn't figure out how to get a good crumb coat and my layers were a little uneven. Even so, this cake was pretty good.

OK, I'm off to the barbeque world.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Memphis in May

Well, we've managed to survive another Memphis in May. What a great one! We were honored to have some great friends and fabulous cooks to hit the big stage: Sassy Sows (the real queens of bbq!), Gwatney, and Mark Lambert all are familiar with Ubon's and made us proud! Our BBQ neighbors Natural Born Grillers did a great job with a first place Whole Hog and a Grand Champion. (They don't use our sauce but we helped keep them sauced all weekend.)

We had a beautiful couple of hogs. We had a big team and everyone jumped in and pulled their weight. Brian is a fearless leader and a hog magician. Maybe we can talk him in to running through the entire process to cook a whole hog. All together now: BEEVE BEEVE BEEVE BEEVE.

We had a number of awesome moments this weekend. I love an audience and secretly so does Brian. We had the chance to talk a little about our cooking process, sauce and general bbq ideas with a great group touring with the Memphis in May Cooker Caravan. Thanks to everyone for listening and indulging Brian and I.

Our standard Memphis weekend calls for a few traditions. 10 am calls for a Ubon's Special:

1 part Jim Beam
1 part pineapple juice
1 part Sprite
1 fresh pineapple spear
Mix with ice, drink quickly and have a 2nd.

This year we added to our repertoire. I'm still trying to find the right name for this Ubon's Bloody Mary. Seriously this is the best bloody Mary of all time. My biggest problem is that I don't have the recipe for the most important element. Vivian made some homemade dill pickles. (All together: V V V V V and maybe she'll email me the recipe to post.) So this is the actual and then the make at home as best you can version.

1 part vodka
1 part tomato juice
1 part bloody mary mix
1 part Vivian's pickle juice
1 large sprig of dill
2 table spoons Ubon's BBQ Sauce

My best guess for pickles and I'm sure I'm very far off...but you'll mostly need the juice.

boil 1 cup of vinegar 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 cup of pickling salt, and 2 table spoons of pickling spices.
cut cucumbers into spears and place in a jar. quarter an onion and place the jar. throw in a handful of garlic cloves. pack every available space with fresh dill. pour boiling liquid over the vegetables and allow to sit until cool. When cool cap and place in the fridge.

At noon on Memphis Fridays we have the perfect sandwich. Prime Rib sliced and layered on an onion roll with mayo, mustard, horseradish and Videlia onions. Sweet mercy!

We had some new friends join us for this year's Memphis. These guys paired with our old friends helped us have a great weekend. Did you know that there are Rednecks in NYC? Well, they will be until their sunburns wear off. See if you can spot them. I watched male bonding at it's best this weekend: diverted fights where the benches cleared and everyone was the insulted's brother, fake threats being made by a short man (my dad) because he knew he had some big guys around, affectionate insults hurled at old friends, and cheers for Rusty at the dogtrack. Thank goodness the included me.

If you got pictures, please send them to me at My mom doesn't quite remember if she had a good time or not. Did I mention you CAN have too many of those Ubon's Specials?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Snack attack again!

I'm on the board of directors for the Yazoo Main Street. We're trying to get some new stuff going and to create a buzz with our awesome down town. Friday night Joann Adams is hosting the party for us. Her family owns a good many buildings in the down town area and they have got some exciting stuff happening. If I were single I'd be moving in down there!

Can you imagine that I'm doing the food? Official caterer! So here we go:

Delta Caviar:

This one is so simple and so yum. It's a beautiful bowl filler and serves up perfectly with crackers, toast rounds, or Fritos. There's no mayo so it's a great snack for trips or summer. I'm sure it would be even more yummy if you had summer vegetables. This is the easy version:

1 can each: BLACK BEANS, BLACK EYED PEAS, WHITE CORN, WHOLE KERNEL CORN, DICED TOMATOES. 1 small jar PIMENTOS, 1 small jar finely chopped JALAPENOs, 1 large bottle ITALIAN DRESSING. 1 tablespoon SEASON T'UP, SUGAR. 1 large bunch chopped CILANTRO. Mix and let sit over night for best results.

Smoked Chicken Pate:
We have a restaurant and I'm always looking for a way to use everything we have and this is a perfect use for our smoked chicken. I think it would work with regular chicken BUT I wouldn't recommend it. The smokey flavor of the chicken is what gives this it's flavor.

1 lb PULLED SMOKED CHICKEN into the food processor until it's a paste. Add 1 BLOCK CREAM CHEESE, 2 tablespoons MAYO, 1 teaspoon SEASON T'UP. Mix well and form into a block. Serve with crackers or toast rounds.

The Statesman Cheeseball

My sister, our husbands and I went to Delta State. The Delta State mascot is the Statesmen. Who ever heard of the Statesmen? Well, years ago (as legend has it) my friend and old neighbor Robert Black suggested that Delta State adopt a more suited mascot: something green and white and tough. His answer was okra. So the non-mascot for Delta State has become the Fighting Okra. (Picture a stalk of okra wearing boxing gloves.) here's my homage:

1 block CREAM CHEESE, 6 stalks PICKLED OKRA chopped fine, 1 jar OLIVES chopped fine, 1 tablespoon RANCH DRESSING MIX, 1 teaspoon SEASON T'UP, chopped HERBS of choice. Mix well and form into a ball. serve with crackers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Carolee is an inspiration!

We spent a large part of the weekend helping Heath's mom move into her new house. The new house isn't far from the old one, maybe 100 yards. But moving furniture is always a big job and can be a hungry one.

In the days and weeks that have passed before and since Heath's dad died we've been able to spend time getting reacquainted with Heath's brother Seth, his wife Carolee and their kids.My sister in law Carolee has always been one of my very favorite people. She is a woman of many talents. She's always thoughtful and has been a great encouragement to me during the years I've known her. In fact...lots of what I do in my own home is in an effort to emulate hers. (Oh yeah, that soup and sing along at Christmas? STOLEN from Carolee. Those 'impromptu' gatherings? STOLEN!) Their home is welcoming and warm and always, always a place to find an over the top snack option.

This weekend Carolee came to the moving not just to help but, as always, to feed. She said she found this recipe in one of those chick-ish magazines, but in my heart and mind I just know she was blessed with it in a dream!!! OK, my version. (which is essentially hers.) THE most delicious bread, well, ever.

3 cups of SELF RISING FLOUR, mixed with 1 cup of SUGAR, and one BEER. I did a test run and tried a plain ole Miller Lite and a separate loaf with one delicious SMITHWICKS. (Smithwicks is an Irish red beer.) We loved both, but slightly preferred the one with the Smithwicks. It just had....something. OK, so mix those 3 ingredients. The dough will be sticky and heavy. Pour into a greased loaf pan. put into a preheated 350 degree oven. cook for 30 minutes and pull out of the oven. melt 1/2 stick of butter and pour over the top and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Carolee would be ashamed because she topped with 1 whole stick of butter. I feel sure that the entire stick of butter will make it even more delicious. total bake time is 45 minutes.

Now for dinner I made a grilled turkey and havarti sandwich and cried a little at the perfection. I feel sure it will make me cry in delight again when I try it with some homemade mayhaw jelly.


Sorry for the absence!
It's been a while. We've had a tough spring. We lost Heath's dad on Easter. Our hearts are still sad, but our friends have had strong arms and warm hearts. We are fortunate.

Ok, so on to food!

I've been playing with some cold recipes. Spring always makes me think picnics are a good idea. They almost never are. But dinner with friends and some time on the porch is a great idea. Try these:

Southwest salad:
pop the woody ends off of a bunch of ASPARAGUS. put them into a ziplock bag with some OLIVE OIL and KOSHER SALT. make sure that the asparagus is oiled and throw onto a grill. Add 2 RED BELL PEPPERS to the grill. Char the outside of the pepper and the asparagus. Put the asparagus into a bowl and the peppers into your zip lock. Close up the zip lock and allow the peppers to steam. Take a FLANK STEAK and drizzle olive oil and heavily season with UBON'S SEASON'T UP. grill steak and allow to rest. Peel your pepper and remove ribs and seeds. cut into chunks and add to asparagus. I mix up a little olive oil with some good good balsamic vinegar and pour over the peppers and asparagus.

Combine 1/2 cup of MAYO, 1/2 cup of MILK, 1/2 cup of SOUR CREAM, 1 packed of RANCH DRESSING MIX, 1/2 cup of SALSA. Mix well and allow to sit in the fridge.

for assembly: in a bowl add your SALAD GREENS, crumble some CHEVRE, add sliced rested FLANK STEAK, and drizzle with your salad dressing. toss with tongs. spoon over asparagus and pepper mixture. sometimes I add some calamata olives for some salty. don't leave out the chevre. it's yum.

Delta Muffaleta:

Easy sandwich that turned out pretty good. slice a round of HAWAIIAN BREAD. fill with HAVARTI CHEESE, ROAST BEEF, TURKEY, HAM. I made a chutney with sliced and mashed STRAWBERRIES, HONEY, SALT, PEPPER, AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR. I mayo-ed the bread and topped. I know it sounds strange...but it was really good.

OK...I'll be back

Monday, February 18, 2008

Serge's Southern Chicken Salad

If you haven't read him, read Tim Dorsey. NOW! This recipe is what happens when I'm reading, have taken my sleep pill and cooking a salad that was originated by a fictitious serial killer with a purpose.

Here goes my version:

Left over chicken from KFC. Chop all chicken including the 'fry'. I had a biscuit so i crumbled that in as well. Chop one APPLE, 1/2 cup SALT AND PEPPR CASHEWS, one handful of VARIOUS HERBS. Add 1/2 cup LITE MAYO and a table spoon of BALSAMIC VINEGAR. Mix well.

I took 1 cup of mixed greens and drizzled them with basil olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Add Serge's chicken salad. awesome!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Val-um-times!

Dinner for my sweetie tonight. It's kind of a tradition for me to cook dinner for my darlin on Valentine's Day. I did have to work tonight for awhile, so I wanted to have a quick but elegant dinner. I stopped by Paul Anthony's in Jackson and picked up a few things including some AWESOME fresh scallops. Here's what we had tonight:

Start out a pot of boiling, salted water and add some thick linguini. Surprisingly, this took longer than anything else. Finely dice one SHALLOT. Add about a tablespoon of OLIVE OIL to a pan and then the shallots. Cook for about 1 minute until shallots are translucent. Add 1 cup of SEAFOOD STOCK, 1 cup of WHITE WINE of your choice, 1/2 cup of LEMON JUICE. Allow this to reduce until it's nearly dry. (called au sec for you nerds that need to know.) Add about 1 stick of BUTTER one small pat at a time. I'd wait until the very end to add the butter and whisk whisk whisk! Make sure the butter is cold. I used some cultured butter that I found at Paul Anthony's and it was fab. OK, on your Viking Griddle (or your lame-o skillet) spray with a non stick spray and place SCALLOPS. Let these begin to sear and form a brown caramel crust. After there's some color on both sides, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cups of lemon juice. Salt and pepper the scallops.

Place 4 or 5 cups of SPINACH in your colander and pour your pasta over the spinach. The heat from the water will wilt your spinach and not overcook it so it will be fresh and delicious. Add the pasta and spinach into the lemon burre blanc sauce. (yup, that's what it's called.) Add some salt and pepper as needed. I finished with some really good lemon infused olive oil.

I kept saying that this was very pure, very bright flavored. (Modest huh?)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ireland, Mississippi Delta, it's all the same

The summer after Heath finished medical school we went to Ireland with some of Heath's family. What a place. We wound around country roads, we stopped to look at water or trees or the beach or the ruins of a keep. We roamed the Burren. We saw Druid burial sites. On one of our best days we visited the Allwee Caves ( At the center of the road leading to the caves there is a cheese shop. The cheese shop housed a bakery as well. We enjoyed a sunny picnic lunch of baps and wine. (A bap is a sandwich made from homemade rolls, homemade cheese and homemade chutney.) As I sat there drinking wine, eating fresh cheese and taking in new sights I was fairly sure that there is nothing at home anywhere close. I maintained that thought until today.

My mom had surgery on her ankle last week and has been homebound. Today she felt like getting out and I talked my family into doing a baloney run. We left Yazoo City and headed down the levee in Panther Swamp. We stopped and threw some rocks into the channel, we saw a weir, we listened to some of my dad's Mississippi Folklore. We wound around levees and dirt roads and forgotten highways until we got to Holly Bluff. At Mike's Grocery in Holly Bluff dad, Heath and Jacob went in and got us a snack. We had saltine crackers, hoop cheese and baloney. As we sat in the middle of that little Delta town I realized that maybe there are some universal truths:

Home is just as pretty as far away if you remember to look at it.

If you forget to look for a long time, sometimes home is the prettiest place in the world.

Hoop cheese, baloney, crackers and mustard make a damn good delta bap.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Oh sweet mother...fried mac and cheese!

Yes, today I created food porn. We're always looking for something new and exciting and different. Lots of my restaurant customers are there a couple of times a week. My customers in the restaurant are my best audience. I've got a few who are also my best guinea pigs. (you know who you are, Tony!)

Today in my ever enduring quest to find the perfect food...I may have found the most delightfully unhealthy, most delicious combo in the world.

How, you may say, could you make macaroni and cheese even less healthy? by frying it of course. Here is what I did to make my Mac and Cheese Fritters.

Make your favorite Mac and Cheese or use your left overs. Dont be ashamed if your left overs are from the boxed kind. (I can't really live in a world where there is left over mac and cheese...but we'll assume) To cold or cooled Mac and Cheese, lets say about 4 cups of mac and cheese, add 2 EGGS, 1/2 cup FLOUR, 1 table spoon SEASON T' UP, and EVEN MORE CHEESE! I'd add 1 cup of SHREDDED CHEESE. Make sure that your mixture is pretty thick, if it's not, add more flour. Roll about 2 tablespoons of your mixture into a ball and then roll in seasoned flour. Drop into 350* oil. They will be golden brown. I'm pretty sure you could form into patties and fry in a shallow pan like you would a johnny cake.

These things were awesome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shank You Very Much!

So I'm rereading the Harry Potters again and in light of our recent CCCCOLD weather I have been wanting some of Hogwart's 'warming soups and stews.' What's more British than lamb? Well probably lots. But this was extra good on a cold, wet Mississippi night.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of OLIVE OIL. When hot, put in 2 lamb shanks. Brown on all sides. In fact, brown more than you think. Pull shanks out and add 1 sliced ONION and 1 cup of sliced MUSHROOMS. Brown until nearly caramelized. Add 1 large can of DICED TOMATO. de-glaze the pan with tomato's juice. Add 3 cans of beef broth. Add ROSEMARY, GARLIC, SALT PEPPER, SEASON'TUP. add lamb shanks back into the stew. Allow to stew for as long as you can. I stewed for 3 hours. Remove the shanks and pull the meat and add back into stew. I served over red skin mashed potatoes.

Alright, this is pretty reminiscent of osso bucco. We had some amazing veal osso bucco back at Christmas that was prepared by my super cool neice, Meghan. Meg cooked dinner for the Scotts after her mom was in a car her mother's insistence. This recipe was something off the top of my head, but after eating and thinking I was sooo original I remembered Meghan's yummy veal osso buco. So much for originality. Oh yeah and this was mostly braised lamb in espagnole sauce. So much for originality! I'm pretty sure this would work with ox tails too. I may try that next time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Trout Stack from Beeve

He cooks a mean hog...but this is one of my new favorites. Here's Beeve's Trout Stack. He left out that this can be served on toasted french bread for a very involved but delish bruschetta. PS I love some of Brian's words. He's so cool:

This is a very involved deal, but it is worth it.

Trout stack

For the casserole:

2 fairly large onions
1 green bell diced
1 red bell diced
10 - 12 speckled trout fillets (if you don't have this, try catfish or
whatever, but it must be a white fish).
Seas'n up
Olive oil
Italian bread crumbs
4 way cheese (or whatever)
Heavy cream (or 1/2 and 1/2).

Julienne the onions and start these at a slow sauté with butter and
olive oil. You want these to be very caramelized (not onion soup
caramelized, but fairly dark). About 10 minutes before it looks like the
onions are going to be done, add the diced green peppers. When these get
soft, turn the pan off and add the red bell peppers (you want these to
stay crunchy). Stir this around and set off to the side to cool.

Dry the trout fillets very well. Sprinkle these with Seas'n up. Salt
and pepper your flour. Dredge the trout fillets in the flour and brown
in butter and olive oil. DO NOT COOK ALL THE WAY, just get them
brown. When you've browned all of the fillets, assemble your casserole.

Get a small but deep casserole dish. You want something that looks
like it will hold the fillets if you stack them at least 2 deep.
Put enough fillets in the bottom of the casserole to cover it up.
Sprinkle with dill.
Cover with onion/bell pepper mixture.
Cover with 4 cheese.
Cover with bread crumbs.
Pour enough cream in until it looks like there is about 1 inch in the
bottom. (Or until it looks like enough, I don't know).
Put in a 350 oven covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook another 10
(or broil for 5, whatever). After this, take it out and let it cool
for at least 10 minutes. This keeps it from getting runny.

This is really good over cracker crusted eggplant (my favorite) or
fried green tomatoes (your Daddy's favorite).


Choose a good round, long eggplant. Cut into 3/4 " to 1" slices on a
90 degree (Like a tomato. You want round pieces). Kosher and cracked
black on both sides.

Take a sleeve or 2 of Ritz crackers and beat the hell out of them (or
if you want to be fancy, use a food processor).

Set up a 3 compartment breading station with:

Flour (the same stuff you used on the fish). 1st
Egg wash. 2nd
The previously beaten the hell out of Ritz crackers. 3rd.

Fry in olive oil and butter. DO NOT use the same stuff you used on the
fish, it will turn too dark.

To assemble:

Set one or two eggplant rounds on a plate, depends on how hungry you
Spatula out a portion of trout stack and set it on the eggplant (Kind
of like you do for lasagna, you want it to stay in layers. That is why
you let it cool).

Eat it. With a salad. And French bread. And a Daddy pop. Or a glass
of Chardonnay.

If you don't have eggplant or a green tomato, try a car bumper. It's
almost just as good.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Not my daddy's pork

I just got back from NYC. There is something about the city that just makes me feel alive and well. I had dinner at my favorite place, Minetta Tavern, and I got my favorite lamb. I saw their veal and wished I'd made that my choice. So I decided to bastarize it for dinner tonight. Of course there's no veal in Yazoo City, in fact, I didn't find any in the regular grocery in Jackson. My version:

PORK LOIN CHOPS pounded until fairly flat. Dip into and EGG WASH and dredge in seasoned FLOUR. Pan fry in 3 tbsp OLIVE OIL. Put into a warm oven. Chop 1 cup of FLAT ITALIAN PARSLEY and 1 small TOMATO. Add 2 tbsp of OLIVE OIL (I used citron olive oil), 1/4 cup LEMON JUICE, salt and pepper. Spoon on top of PORK CHOPS.

I paired this with:

Cooked PASTA. I used the fresh linguini. Melt 1 cup BUTTER. Let the butter cook until it starts to turn brown. Add fresh SAGE LEAVES, salt and pepper. Stir to keep butter from burning. Add the pasta and toss.

I've got to tell you....this was awesome. Try it. it took less than 20 minutes and I'm proud!