FOOD FOR THOUGHT — Friday Night Porch Party

By on August 3, 2020
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Recipes by JAY MORGAN

 

Friday Night Porch Party

 


Jay’s Hot Chips and Jalapeño Dip

     Who doesn’t love good ole chips and dip? It was served at every childhood birthday I ever attended, and it was my absolute favorite. I always asked for a second scoop of store-bought dip. Even though I still love it as an adult, I always feel a little lazy when I serve store-bought chips and dip. So I created an adult version of what I’ve always loved.

Chips:

  • 1 bag Ritz Crisp & Thins
  • 1 bag Cheez-It Snap’d
  • 1 bag Bugles
  • 1½ cups oil
  • 2 packages dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

     Preheat oven to 250. Combine all but the first three ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Empty all the chips into a large bowl. Pour seasoning over the chips and gently move them around until fully coated. Spread chips on cookie sheets and bake until lightly brown and dried out, usually 30-45 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes to keep from burning.

Dip:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced onions, dried
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

     Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

 

 


Mama Nell’s Pot Roast

     Do you have that person in your life who you can’t find anything negative to say about? For me, that was our neighbor Mama Nell. She was happy and laughing all the time and was a friend to all, especially me. Everyone believes their grandmother’s pot roast is the best, but y’all are all wrong. Mama Nell’s was the best! It’s tender and juicy and makes the perfect gravy. Growing up, it was on our Sunday lunch rotation. After enjoying it for lunch, my mama would take the leftovers and serve roast and gravy on a piece of white bread. Oh my gosh, y’all. Delicious!

 

  • Roast of your choice (I like a chuck roast)
  • 1 can golden mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • Sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper

 

     Generously coat both sides of your roast with salt, pepper and garlic. Heat a skillet to medium. Add a little oil and brown all sides of your roast. With the exception of the onions, combine remaining ingredients in Dutch oven or slow cooker. Nestle the roast down into the sauce, and top with onions. If using a Dutch oven, bake at 350 for 3½–4 hours. If using a Crock Pot, cook on low about 8 hours. Not only does this make a great roast, it also makes the perfect gravy for rice or mashed potatoes.

 

 


Fresh Tomato and Basil Bake

     Absolutely nothing epitomizes Mississippi summer more than fresh tomatoes. Honestly, I haunt the local farmer’s market at the beginning of June every summer to wait on their arrival. The funny thing is, I hated tomatoes until I was an adult. Now they are my favorite. This flavorful dish will make a great side for any special dinner. Your friends and family will love it.

 

  • 1 stick + 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 3 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped (3 cans
  • diced tomatoes may be substituted)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2½ sleeves Ritz crackers
  • Salt and pepper

 

     Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook onions in the stick of butter until translucent. Add tomatoes, basil, brown sugar and garlic powder. Simmer about 10 minutes. Crush 1½ sleeves of the crackers and add to the tomato mixture. Stir in the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Transfer to an 8½ x 11″ casserole dish. In a separate bowl, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Combine with 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, coarsely broken but not crushed. Top the tomato mixture with the crackers. Bake 30 minutes until thoroughly heated and cracker topping is nicely toasted.

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