GINNA PARSONS: Cook of Week phone calls come up empty


If you’re holding the Daily Journal in your hands right now, as opposed to reading this online, you’ll notice there is no Cook of the Week featured today. There is only one reason for this: No one would agree to be featured this week.

In the almost 12 years that I’ve been the food/home/garden editor at the Journal, I have featured a Cook of the Week every single week but one, and that was when we used the whole Food & Dining front for tailgating recipes.

Even in years past when I’ve been on vacation – as I am this week – I’ve always worked ahead so that when you pick up your Food section on Wednesday, there will be a local face at the bottom of the page with some yummy recipes.

That didn’t happen this time. I tried 12 ways to Sunday to find someone to say yes, but I got one ‘no’ after the other. I have to tell you that after 15 refusals in a row, I start to take it personally.

I have 17 file folders stuffed with nominations for Cooks of the Week – one for each Northeast Mississippi county we cover and one ‘other’ file for the nominations that come from just outside our coverage area.

Some nominees I’ve tried to contact a half-dozen times, with no success. Some nominations date all the way back to 2002 ... I never lose hope that these folks will say ‘yes’ one day when I call.

Here’s my challenge to you: Keep those nominations coming in, but try to choose people whom you think will agree to be featured. It will save us all a lot of heartache.

Now, I’m going to get off my soapbox and share a recipe with you that I tried last week from Christy Jordan’s new cookbook, “Come Home to Supper.”

I made this for three and used a little less meat – three 6-ounce patties – and I used ground chuck instead of ground beef. These were marvelous served over homemade mashed potatoes with a side of steamed English peas.

Hamburger Steaks

2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 cup beef broth

Shape ground beef into 4 doughnut-shaped 1⁄2-inch thick patties (the hole in the center will allow the patties to cook evenly and will fill in as the patties shrink during cooking).

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip each patty into the flour, coating both sides, then place patties in skillet. Cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Move patties to one side of skillet and add onion to the other. Cook onions, stirring until they are lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Spread patties back out among the onions and add beef broth. Cover and continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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