BOONEVILLE — In April 2020, Laura Galloway’s mother invited the whole family over for an Easter dinner in Tennessee. As usual, she pulled out a spread and showed her hospitality.
Less than two weeks later, Galloway’s mother checked into the hospital. She died the following month at the age of 53.
“His death, his hospitality, his cooking, his beautiful things for the family, that’s what inspired me to start a food and hospitality blog,” said Galloway, 32. “I share recipes and write a lot about hospitality itself.”
Galloway posts to the blog, gallowaygrazes.com, four to five times a week, so she tries new recipes almost daily.
“I’ve been cooking since I was 17,” said Galloway, a title abstracter for barrister John Windsor at Corinth. “I started with traditional Southern cooking. Now the majority of what I cook is about finding simple recipes and tweaking them a bit to make them taste gourmet.”
Galloway grew up in a small town called Leoma in south-central Tennessee. His earliest memories are of his family sitting around the table at his grandmother’s house, enjoying a meal that his grandmother and mother had prepared.
“I’m the youngest of five kids and my dad was one of six, so we had a really big family,” she said. “We all lived within a few miles of each other, so we were always together. My mom never cooked a small meal. There were always lots of sides, a pickle platter, cornbread and a dessert.”
Galloway likes to share the same hospitality when she and her husband, Drew, entertain at their home in Booneville.
“I got into charcuterie boards last year,” she said. “I started with traditional things, like fruits, vegetables, salami, hummus and cheese. Now I’ve moved on to more sophisticated appetizers, like dates stuffed with goat cheese, drizzled with honey and thyme, wrapped in bacon and baked, or baked in brie in puff pastry with blackberries. And I love Mediterranean food, Greek food – anything with lemons, garlic, hummus and herbs.
In addition to her 9 to 5 job and food blog, Galloway is also writing a book with her late mother, Marian Dryden.
“She had a big patch of blackberries and she picked gallons of them over the summer,” Galloway said. “When she died, I found notes she had written about her blackberry picking – very spiritual things. It was almost as if she had sketched out a book that she never got to write. I think I’ll call it something like, ‘Meeting Jesus and Mom at the Blackberry Bush. I can tell his story and that also gives me a bit of closure.’
DO YOU KNOW A GOOD COOK? Send your entries to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, PO Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can call (662) 678-1581 or email them to [email protected]
PASTRY WITH BALSAMIC MUSHROOMS AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
14 ounces sliced mini Portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
Heat the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once sizzling, add the onions, thyme, and rosemary to the skillet and cook until beginning to brown.
Add the minced garlic to the pan with the onions and herbs and cook for another minute or two; transfer to a plate or bowl to cool.
Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, without stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the mushrooms have reduced in size by half and the liquid has evaporated. Let the mushrooms brown a little. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a dish with the onions and herbs and let cool.
Use a sharp knife to lightly score the puff pastry along all four sides of the pastry, leaving a border of about 1 inch; do not completely cut the dough. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the dough with a fork, leaving the 1-inch border intact.
Sprinkle the cheese in an even layer over the dough. Garnish with cooled mushrooms, onions and herbs.
Brush the edges of the dough with egg. Prick the center of the dough several times with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden and flaky. Serve immediately.
MARIAN’S FAMOUS BLACKBERRY COBBLER
1 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups frozen blackberries
1 refrigerated pie crust, unbaked
Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, melted butter and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in frozen blackberries. Pour the mixture into a greased 7 x 11 inch baking dish.
Cut the pie crust into strips and place them on the blackberry mixture.
Mix egg white and water. Brush pastry strips with egg wash. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and blackberries are bubbling.
THYME CRUSTED PORK LOIN ROAST WITH SPICY PLUM GLAZE
1 pork loin roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Butter or compound butter with thyme
Coat all sides of the pork loin with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Cut each plum into six.
Pour a little olive oil into a cast iron skillet and heat over high heat. Brown all sides of the pork, about 2 minutes on each side, until the meat has a nice brown crust.
Remove skillet from heat; Top pork with spiced plum jam, plum slices and fresh thyme. Place the skillet in the oven and bake the pork at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the juices run clear (a small amount of light pink color in the center of the pork is fine).
Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Add a knob of butter, or compound butter with thyme.
SPINACH AND TORTELLINI SOUP
1 pound loose Italian sausage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
6 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth
1 bag (19 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup grated parmesan
In skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until browned and cooked through; drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Add the basil, parsley, salt and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes to soften the onions.
Return to a boil and add the tortellini; cook until tortellini is almost done, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add spinach, diced tomatoes with juice, heavy cream and grated Parmesan. Add the cooked and drained sausages and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley and/or additional grated Parmesan. For 8 people.
NAKED-ISH CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 boxes Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 to 4 jars (8 ounces) whipped topping
1 cup blackberries and blueberries, mixed
Mix cake mixes, water, eggs and oil in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes.
Pour the batter evenly into four greased 8-inch round cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
You will need three layers for this cake. Freeze the fourth layer or save it for another use.
Poke a few holes in the top of each of the remaining three cooled cake layers. Place a cake layer on a cake stand. Using a spoon, pour a little sweetened condensed milk over the top of the layer, until it fills the holes and falls slightly down the side of the cake.
Generously spread a tub of whipped topping over the layer. Repeat with the second and third coats.
Top the final layer with additional whipped topping and garnish with fresh berries. Refrigerate.
WHITE CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE WITH CRUSHED RASPBERRY
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (use 2 cups for a sweeter cake)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of yeast
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (do not thaw if using frozen)
1 1/2 cup raspberry jam
3 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
8 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cake layers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease three round cake pans (8 inches). Line with parchment paper, then butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, yogurt, eggs, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. Stir in the raspberries and stir in 3/4 cup raspberry jam, leaving a few streaks of jam in the batter (it shouldn’t be fully incorporated).
Divide the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggle in the center. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and invert the cakes onto a cooling rack. Cover and let cakes cool completely before assembling.
To make the frosting, beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add melted white chocolate and vanilla and beat until combined.
To assemble, place one layer of cake on a serving platter. Spread 1/3 of the frosting over the cake and cover with about 1/4 cup of jam. Repeat with the remaining two cake layers. Be careful not to overfill your layers or the cake will be hard to slice. Lightly frost the outside of the cake, then decorate with crushed raspberries. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.