Take a moment to reacquaint yourself with a few good Natchez friends

Published 12:26 am Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If you are looking for a new cookbook, chances are you can find one in Natchez by a local author or organization. This past weekend I helped with the Pilgrimage Garden Club’s flower show. The theme of the show was “Natchez, a city for all seasons.” My job was to set up an exhibit titled “A Taste of Natchez.”

So, I decided to gather up cookbooks that have roots in Natchez. Once I started gathering them up I couldn’t believe how many there were; I couldn’t even put all of them on my table.

I had Regina Charboneau’s cookbook, which I have yet to read, my 1989 copy of Lee Bailey’s Southern Food and Plantation Houses, which I haven’t looked at in forever and the list kept growing.

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There was a book from Cathedral School and one from Trinity, one from the Natchez Garden Club and several from the Pilgrimage Garden Club. I found my “Recipes from the Masters” published by Catholic Charities in 1994 and “Southern Cocktails” by Denise Gee in 2007. There was one for the library, one for the Humane Society and the Junior Auxiliary.

Later when I got home, I drug my bag of books into my room and climbed into the bed to get reacquainted with some of my old friends. Here are a few of the recipes I came across that I have made over the years and one new one I can’t wait to try.

Crawfish Cornbread

1 frozen package crawfish tails

2 eggs beaten

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped jalapenos

1 can cream corn

Place the crawfish tails in a colander and sprinkle with Tony’s seasonings. Let them sit for 30 minutes. Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a greased 13 by 9 casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes.

The Flavor of Natchez, Amanda Jeansonne

Mistletoe Chicken

1/2 cup finely cut green onions

5 cups boiled chicken, cut into bite size pieces

2 large cans mushrooms

2 1/2 pounds cooked shrimp

1 cup slivered almonds

15 tablespoons butter

15 tablespoons flour

7 1/2 cups liquid (chicken stock, cream, or mushroom juice)

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup sherry

1 teaspoon celery salt

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Accent

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Heat the butter and then blend in flour, onions, garlic and parsley, and cook until vegetables are tender. Add the liquid and stir until smooth and slightly thickened. Add the mushrooms, shrimp and chicken. Stir well and add remaining ingredients. Heat until warm and serve over rice. Will serve 20 people.

The PGC Antiques Forum Cookbook, Mrs. James Overton

Hot Corn Dip

2 tablespoons butter

3 1/2 cups corn

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 cup chopped onion

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded

1 teaspoons mixed garlic

1 cup Hellemann’s mayonnaise

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Tortilla chips

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet and add corn and salt. Cook until the kernels turn deep golden brown. Pour into large mixing bowl. Melt the remaining butter in skillet and add pepper, onion and bell pepper. Cook until onions wilt, add green onions, jalapeno and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in bowl with the corn. Mix in the mayonnaise, 1 cup of cheese and cayenne pepper. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Pour in the corn mixture and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and hot.

Natchez Adams County Humane Society, Nan Garrison

Christina Hall can be reached by e-mail at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com