On Sunday, Tim Woodard from Little Easy Express showed Oxford Beer Fest attendees how to prepare his simple and rustic smothered chicken over grits. He says it’s also perfect over rice or potatoes accompanied by crusty bread and a salad. For his beer pairing, Tim coupled the dish with Shipyard Brewing Co. Monkey Fist IPA.
Smothered Chicken and Grits from Tim Woodard of Little Easy Express Lunches and Catering
Baked Cheese Grits
- 4 cups water
- ¾ cup long-cooking grits, uncooked
- ¼ teaspoon salt (optional when cooking grits)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- Dash red pepper sauce or ground red pepper
Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 1-1/2 qt. casserole or baking dish. Prepare grits according to package directions. Add small amount of grits to beaten egg to temper. Return grits mixture to pan and add remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat an additional minute or until cheese is melted. Pour into prepared casserole and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until top is set and lightly puffed. Let stand 5 Minutes before serving.
- 6-8 medium-sized chicken thighs or a small whole chicken fryer cut up (a 4 lb. bird)
- Salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1 medium-sized onion
- ½ cup of flour plus a small amount for dusting chicken
- ½ cup of margarine or ¼ cup each of butter and vegetable oil
- 3 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth (slightly more if needed)
While the grits are simmering on low heat, melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Lightly dust chicken in additional flour, place in skillet and brown on all sides. After the chicken is brown, add flour and onion and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Once the mixture is a caramel color, add the water or chicken broth and blend well. Season with cayenne pepper and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 45 min to 1 hr until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Remove from oven, adjust seasoning, and serve over baked cheese grits.
The Oxford Beer Fest’s VIP Chef/Beer Pairing area was organized by EatingOxford.com. If you’d like information on how to hold a similar event at your venue, contact Liz@EatingOxford.com.
Fans of The Shak barbecue restaurant at 10 Thacker Road will be happy to hear that the restaurant is scheduled to reopen under new ownership on the weekend of January 11.
The original look and feel of the former restaurant will remain the same, but plans are in place to improve upon the existing menu.
If you’ve been inside the Mustard Seed antique shop at 1737 University Avenue in the past couple of months, you may have noticed the unmistakable smells of a deli in the air as you walk toward the back of the store.
Dennis and Michelle Heisel opened Pink Peony inside the Mustard Seed in May after closing their store and deli of the same name in Pontotoc. Michelle’s mom, Sheila Tutor, can be found behind the counter every day, chatting with customers while making sandwiches and salads.
Menu favorites include the Oxford Country Club with smoked turkey, black forest ham, bacon and cheese inside a croissant; and The Pepe with grilled chicken breast, bacon, pepper jack cheese, guacamole and mayo. A separate kid’s menu, desserts, and deli salads by the pound are also available.
Pink Peony is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Dennis says the deli can also be rented for birthdays and special events. For more information, call 662-509-1435.
Going back and forth between Oxford and Batesville, you’ve probably passed Big D’s Competition Style Barbeque numerous times over the past few months that it’s been open at 27918 Hwy 6 (it took the place of Red Onion, which moved down the street).
But did you know that every time you passed it, you were passing by competition-style barbecue made by someone who has won at least a dozen awards while a member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society? The trophies are on display in the restaurant if you care to take a gander.
Some of what you can find on the menu includes ribs, brisket, chicken, hamburgers, catfish, homemade Mississippi toast, hush puppies and homemade desserts (click above to view the full menu).
Big D’s is open Thursdays through Saturdays 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Large orders and tailgating packages are available. Call 662-609-7276 for more information.
UPDATE 6/18/12: This restaurant has closed.
Tim Woodard, owner and chef of the new Little Easy Express Lunches and Catering at 3 CR 215, HWY 30 E (inside Littlejohn’s Quickmart) tells EatingOxford.com that he was inspired to open his restaurant because he “wanted to provide reasonably priced, high-quality plate lunches for those who are too busy to cook or spend half of their lunch breaks waiting on mediocre food to be prepared.” He says that, oftentimes, as a working professional in higher education for the past 10 years at the University of Mississippi, he didn’t have time to cook his favorite comfort foods, and nowhere to buy a reasonably priced meal. “I’m a self taught cook, and before working at the University of Mississippi, I worked at Danvers, Cedars, and Panini The Oxford Catering Company; over the years I’ve catered many events for personal friends.”
Little Easy Express Lunches and Catering is open Monday through Saturday, serving freshly prepared plate lunches, soups, salads and desserts. Most items on the menu are made from scratch, and Tim says that he buys local whenever possible. In addition to the restaurant, Little Easy offers catering for business meetings, office parties, family reunions, tailgating and more.
The current menu can be found above, which will be available for the next couple of weeks. Future menu items will include grits and grillades; jalepeno cheese grits; gumbo; red beans and rice; and heat-and-serve meals.
With the first home game right around the corner, restaurants around Oxford are gearing up for tailgating orders. Listed below are some of those who offer help when game day hunger strikes. Find contact info for all at EatingOxford.com.
- B’s Hickory Smoked BBQ
- LBs Meat Market
- McAlister’s Deli
- Mink’s On the Park
- My Michelle’s/Nations’ Best Catering
- Ole Miss Catering
- Olivia’s Food Emporium
- Oxford Catering Co.
- Party Waitin’ To Happen
- Rib Cage
- Tacky Shack
- Taylor Grocery
- Turkuaz Cafe