Missing my sweet friend Kitty Bray this weekend. After teaching a Pet Portrait Workshop at The Renaissance Center in Dickson, TN, yesterday, I drove up I-40 to McKays Used Books. I love this store. I always arrive with a box of used books and get a credit large enough to purchase more.
Yesterday I found a book titled Southern Grace, Recipes and Remembrances from The W.
My first memory of The W was in the late 1980s when a young man I was dating from Columbus, Mississippi, invited me to visit his family for the weekend. Columbus, Mississippi, is a beautiful southern town full of antebellum homes and this impressive university. I remember Jim driving by the front of the school and pointing out the sign to the school that he said he and his dad donated.
Today, Kitty's daughter attends The W.
I haven't cooked any of the recipes in the book yet, but found several I can't wait to try...
Phyllo Star Clusters with Caramelized Onions
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped black olives
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 12 sheets Phyllo dough, thawed
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
- 4 oz boursin cheese, softened
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 4-7 minutes until golden brown. Add mushrooms, red pepper, olives, salt, and saute. Remove from heat and cool.
Unfold Phyllo dough and place between damp towels to prevent drying. Remove one sheet and place ona dry work surface. Brush lightly with melted butter. Top with another sheet and brush with butter. Repeat with 2 more sheets.
Cut the layered phyllo into 4-inch squares and top with 1 rounded spoonful of onion mixture. Top each with 1 tspn boursin cheese.
Pull the corners of the pastry together and pinch and twist to seal.
Place on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, filling, and cheese,
Bake at 350* for 16-18 minutes until golden brown.
Yeild: 18 clusters
Another recipe that reminds me of Kitty is her delcious Parmesan Cheese Crisps. She makes these for our Paitn-Along parties at ArtsNatchez and they go well with both soda or wine.
Parmesan Cheese Crisps
8 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup sliced almonds
Mix together, add a little cayenne, salt, pepper, or other spices to taste.
Spoon on to parchment paper-lined baking sheet in small piles. Bake at 400* for 4-5 minutes.
Photo credits: The W photo from the MUW website. The Phyllo clusters photo from Land o Lakes website.