Good food is a time-proven antidote to the tedium we are enduring. There’s a lot of joy in the kitchen while preparing and cooking. The reward for the creative effort is an affirmation that better days are on the horizon. You will enjoy these dishes.
Big Hugh Baby’s Fried Oyster Salad
Hugh “Big Hugh Baby” Jarrett, as a member of the Jordanaires, recorded countless records with Elvis Presley, appearing in many movies an was a Nashville legend. Hugh shared his recipe, one of his favorites, with me.
1 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
12 oz. baby spinach
2 heads Belgian endive
20 medium fresh shucked raw oysters
2 cups flour
1 cup seasoned cornmeal
1 tps. black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
Drain oysters and combine flour and cornmeal.
Heat 1/2 inch oil in large heavy skillet
Dredge oysters in flour, coating both sides.
Slide into oil @ 375 degrees
Fry until golden brown and crispy, approx. two minutes
Remove and drain on towels
Toss greens in mayonaise, dividing among plates. Place oysters evenly on plates with greens, arranging leaves decoratively.
Top everything with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.
Apple Crisp with Butter-Nut Topping
From Amanda Wilbanks
A successful entrepreneur, Amanda Wilbanks is the author of the critically-acclaimed “Southern Baked: Celebrating Life With Pie.”
6 baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small squares
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart ovenproof glass dish.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice, sugar, and flour. Place in the baking dish.
For the Topping:
Place flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor work bowl fitted with the steel blade. Pulse to combine. Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add nuts and pulse once or twice. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake the apple crisp for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown.
Serve warm with ice cream.
Minnie’s Magic Appetizers
(Minnie Glover, more than a beloved family cook, was an inspiring mentor. She could create something delicious from any ingredients. I have reconstructed one of her recipes to honor her exceptional culinary legacy).
1 package of thin crisp breads
8 ounce package, goat cheese like Mary Rigdon’s Decimal Place Chèvre Local honey
1 package Blackberries
Combine honey and goat cheese to taste, ideally the sweet and tart flavors should be balanced Place on crisp breads
Top with blackberries
Garnish with rosemary
NOTE: A perfect pairing with Champagne or sparkling wine.