From Our Readers

“I enjoy your magazine so much, especially the recent article on Richard Ramsey. Richard has worked so hard on the Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival and Museum. My husband (Dr. H.D. Posey) and I serve on the board with him and we know everything gets done because of Richard’s dedication, love and respect for Wolf.

I would like to submit our Cajun Dressing in response to your “What’s Cooking?” call for recipes. This dish is special to me because Hal and I created it together and we make a batch together every November to serve at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, where it’s the perfect companion for Hal’s New Year’s peas, the recipe for which I’ve also included. Our friends will tell you, regular dressing just isn’t the same … ours has a kick! Keep this great magazine about our Mississippi towns, culture, food, people, music and hospitality coming to our doors, y’all.

Good luck for the New Year!”

              Joy Posey, West Point


JOY & HAL’S CAJUN DRESSING

Yields 4 to 5 one-gallon portions of uncooked dressing mixture

2 large skillets of cornbread, crumbled very fine
2 sticks butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
8 bay leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons dried sage
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 pound boneless chicken breasts
2 pounds smoked sausage (1 mild, 1 Cajun)
3 10¾-ounce cans cream of chicken soup
1 10¾-ounce can cream of celery soup
4-6 14-ounce cans of chicken broth

• Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over low heat.
• Add peppers, onions, celery and spices and sauté over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Note: Do not cook too dry; add more butter if necessary.
• Add mixture to crumbled cornbread. Combine and set aside.
• Season chicken heavily with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning to “blacken” and grill along with sausage. Note: In the interest of time, you can cook chicken and sausage in a skillet, but grilling is our preference.
• Dice cooked chicken and sausage and add to cornbread mixture.
• Add soup and broth. Note: Amount of broth added depends on the amount of cornbread used.
• Divide dressing mixture into one-gallon bags — one-gallon portion will make 9-by-13 inch pan of dressing.
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Place desired amount of dressing mixture in buttered baking dish and cover with foil (butter foil on side facing dressing, too, to keep dressing moist).
• Bake covered 35-40 minutes.
• Remove foil and bake until top is browned and dressing reaches desired consistency. Note: You may need to increase temperature to brown.
• Freeze remaining uncooked gallon-sized portions for future holiday gatherings. Note: To cook from frozen, thaw completely and follow last four steps above.


HAL’S NEW YEAR’S PEAS

1 16-ounce package dried black-eyed peas
8 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound ham, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
1 can Rotel tomatoes

• Combine ingredients and bring to boil over medium heat.
• Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer a couple of hours until tender, checking occasionally to add water if needed.
• When 30 minutes remain, drain Rotel tomatoes and add to peas.