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Might as well try Mississippi Roast

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

Remember a while back we talked about Mississippi Roast?

Well, it has become a phenomenon on the Internet, shared from one blog to another, sometimes with different names and plenty of variations.

This is the original recipe from Robin Chapman of Ripley, Miss. She just calls it roast. She uses a chuck roast, a packet of dry ranch dressing mix on top and a packet of au jus gravy mix. She added a stick of butter and a few pepperoncini.

She’d learned a similar recipe from her aunt, who used packaged Italian dressing.From there, it exploded to the point that the New York Times has written about it twice.

Sam Sifton, the food writer for the Times, changed it up to avoid some of the salt and artificial colors and flavors from the packet mix.

His version used just a half stick of butter, and a lot more pepperoncini, 8 to 10.

Instead of packaged dressing, he mixed a little mayo, dried dill, cider vinegar, a little buttermilk and some paprika. He seared the roast, first coating it in flour, then put his dressing on top with the pepperoncini. His family loved it.

So, take your pick. This is one recipe that is not going away.

And if you come up with your own variation, please share it with us. Send it to news@salisburypost.com or Roast, PO Box 4639, Salisbury NC 28145.

Make your own dressing

Don’t forget the Learn.Act.Grow. class on making your own vinaigrette dressings on Monday, March 28, 5:30-7 p.m. at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove.

March is National Nutrition Month and Chef Chris Herron and dietitian Katrina Weavil of Morrison Healthcare will discuss the benefits of doing it yourself versus processed, store-bought dressings.

The workshop is free, but  registration is strongly advised. Visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.com or call 704-216-7841 to reserve your spot or for more information.

Healthy-ish snack

In just a couple of days, we’ll all be glued to the TV again, trying to get our favorite college basketball teams through the sweet 16 to the elite 8. And if you’re following Duke or Carolina, you’re going to be up pretty late since the Duke game starts at 9:55 p.m. and the Carolina game at 9:57 p.m.

You’ve got to have snacks to see you through. But you don’t want to go to bed feeling bloated and stuffed.

The blog Gimme delicious food offers

Crispy Baked Avocado Fries and Chipotle Dipping Sauce

2 large avocados, sliced

Juice of half a lime

salt and pepper

1/4 cup flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup Panko break crumbs

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1 Tbsp. oil in a sheet tray or baking dish, set aside.

Squeeze fresh lime juice on avocado slices to preserve their color while baking. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, then dip in egg and coat in bread crumbs. Coat very well.

Place in a single layer on a greased sheet pan. Drizzle with remaining oil or spray with cooking spray to make sure slices crisp in the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Serve with chipotle dipping sauce.

Chipotle Dipping Sauce

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus 1 tsp. sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. dried dill

Kosher salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a blender of food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into a jar or small bowl and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

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