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Tim Woodard Recipe: Smothered Chicken and Grits

22 Apr


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.

Smothered Chicken

  • 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 If you’d like information on how to hold a similar event at your venue, contact

Lenoir Dining Featured in eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

28 Mar

eat drink ms coverlenoir story

If you haven’t seen the latest issue (April/May) of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI magazine, grab yourself a copy at Off-Square Books and check out the feature written by yours truly about Oxford’s Lenoir Dining located on the Ole Miss campus.

I’ve posted the cover and first page of the article here, but inside the issue you’ll find additional photos as well as recipes for the restaurant’s meatloaf, jalapeno-cheddar cornbread muffins, sweet potato pecan pie and more.


Butts and Hams for Easter

26 Mar

holding hands

I thought that headline might get your attention!

There’s a fundraiser happening at the new Holding Hands Resale Shop at 2618 West Oxford Loop just in time for Easter. Taylor Grocery is cooking up Boston butts for $30 and smoked hams for $60.

Proceeds will benefit the new shop, which gives those with special needs a safe work environment in order to achieve a degree of success and independence.

There’s only a day or two left to place your order. If you’re interested, go by the shop, call 236-0003, or visit the Holding Hands Facebook page here.

Ezell’s Catfish Cabin Replaces The Shak

24 Mar


Many of you have been wondering about the status of The Shak out on Thacker Rd. It will not be returning.

In its place will be an Ezell’s Catfish Cabin, which currently has two other locations (a third nearing completion) in Alabama. The company that’s opening La Paz on the Square this coming Wednesday will also be opening Ezell’s in the next month or two, according to La Paz general manager Joe Vaculcik.

While they work on the restaurant design, you can check out the menu here, which is chock full of all types of fish.

New Meat & Two Menu at Tacky Shack

22 Jan

tacky shack plate lunches

When the weather turns cold in Oxford, nothing warms you up faster than a plate of comfort food. That’s the thinking behind the new Meat & Veggies menu, which Tacky Shack owner Clint Boutwell added to his standard menu a couple of weeks ago. 

Everyday meat offerings include chicken and dumplings, hamburger steak and pulled pork, while Tuesday through Saturday, additional items such as fried pork chops, country fried steak and fried catfish tenders are available. There are 13 veggie items to choose from, including mashed potatoes, fried okra, cole slaw, curly fries and onion strings. Veggie-only plate requests will also be accommodated.

View the complete Tacky Shack Meat & Veggies menu along with hours and prices by clicking on the photo above.

Tacky Shack on Urbanspoon

Dessert Cravings

2 Jan

volta dessert

OK, so it’s the second day of your New Year’s resolution to get in shape and you’re already having dessert cravings. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it happens to the best of us.

The good news is, if you decide to give in to those cravings, the new dessert menu at Volta Taverna can help you out. It’s been available for a couple of months now, but since I’m usually too full for dessert, I didn’t find out about it until today.

The complete menu is shown above, with a couple of the highlights including a warm bread pudding of the day and homemade chocolate cake topped with caramel and Heath bar pieces.

Afraid of diet guilt? Just take a stroll to the Square afterward and watch it magically disappear.

Volta Taverna on Urbanspoon

Dinner on The Wild Side! Visiting Chef Event October 21 (Event Canceled)

3 Oct

By now you know that when puts on a food event, it needs to stand out from the pack.

The Wild Game & Fish Dinner on Sunday, October 21, at Colonel’s Quarters at Castle Hill will be one of these events.

Wild Game & Fish Dinner
Sunday, October 21, 2012
5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Colonel’s Quarters at Castle Hill, 120 Castlehill Dr., Oxford, MS

Jesse Griffiths, a chef and author based in Austin, Texas, will, like many others, be in Oxford soon for the Southern Foodways Symposium. While he’s here, he’ll be teaming up with to cook all of us dinner and sign his new book Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish!

Joining Jesse will be local hunters and a fisherman, including Brad Solomon from Old Thyme Farms and James R. Davis, who will be supplying Jesse with proteins (duck, doves, wild boar, venison) and fish. All will be at the event and available for questions. In addition, fruits and vegetables to be used in main courses and sides will be obtained from farmer’s markets around Oxford.

An Afield-inspired cocktail—sponsored by Cathead Vodka—will be offered to guests to kick off the evening, and the Colonel’s Quarters bar will remain open throughout the evening for those interested in purchasing additional libations.

A portion of the events proceeds will go to support the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

Seating is limited; reserve your tickets and books early!

Tickets Starting at $65
Additional info:

The Most Southern Foods?

26 Sep

In today’s edition of The Commercial Appeal, Jennifer Biggs sits down with the Southern Tastes panel to talk about which foods are the most “Southern”.

Whether it’s chicken and dumplings, shrimp and grits, okra, cornbread, pimento cheese or fried green tomatoes, it seems everyone has a favorite.

Check out the story here to see if your Southern faves are mentioned.

Upcoming Book Signings for Foodies

17 Sep

In the market for some food-related books? Check out who’s coming to Square Books in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, September 19, 5:00 p.m.: Blake Fontenay signs The Politics of Barbecue

Saturday, September 22, 5:00 p.m.: Tasia Malakasis signs Tasia’s Table

Thursday, September 27, 6:00 p.m.: Lawrence Norfolk signs John Saturnall’s Feast

Friday, October 12, 5:00 p.m.: Katy Houston signs Sweetness Follows

Monday, October 29, 5:00 p.m.: Kevin Gillespie signs Fire in My Belly


Help Ole Miss Win Again!

29 Aug


If you recall, last year, the Catfish and Tasso Savory Cheesecake from City Grocery won 2nd Place in the Tony Chachere 2011 Tailgating Cook-off Competition.

This year, with another recipe from Square Table cookbook in the running–Catfish and Black-Eyed Pea Cakes from Ajax Diner (find the recipe on page 98 of your copy of Square Table and see the recipe video here)–the plan is to win 1st Place.

Winners are chosen by public vote, which means Ole Miss, Ajax and Square Table are depending on you to help the Ajax Diner recipe win. You can vote as many times as you like from now through November by visiting the site and clicking on the Ole Miss recipe listed on the right side next to competing schools (the biggest competitor is currently Alabama).

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