Cultural Center offers tasty holiday workshop

Published 10:46 am Monday, December 8, 2014

120814-behind the lens -TF3MAINWhether planning for a party or just wanting to impress family members with some scrumptious goodies through the holidays, appetizers — though small in size — can satisfy even the hungriest appetites. For those seeking out instruction and ideas in preparing the bite-size nuggets, the Southern Cultural Heritage Center offers workshops this time of year.

Filled to capacity Monday, the annual Holiday Appetizer workshop at the SCHC was led by William Furlong, the director of food and beverage at Lady Luck Casino.

Furlong has been offering the December workshop for three years, he said, and added he doesn’t like to repeat recipes he offers at the cooking workshop.

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“I looked back to make sure we were doing something different” he said,

Along with the holiday appetizer workshop, Angie Wilkinson, said Furlong has also conducted seasonal workshops once a month the past three years for the SCHC.

Wilkinson is ‎office manager for the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation.

As participants for the workshop arrived, Furlong handed out a hand-made booklet that included the recipes he would be demonstrating and blank pages for taking notes.

One thing always helpful when experimenting with new a recipe is when a cook shares little tidbits of information that can either make preparing the recipe easier or just plain old tried and true experiences of what works and what doesn’t work.

Furlong shared many of his tips throughout the evening starting with a short cut to his Spinach and Goat Cheese Phyllo Cups recipe.

“I don’t know if it’s worth making Phyllo cups when you can buy them,” he said.

Other tips he shared included using a cooking sheet under the oven safe dish needed for the New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Dip and using pre-made bread dough.

“Homemade bread is what you would find in a New Orleans dish,” Furlong said.

“If you don’t have time to make bread, you can use crackers, French rounds, crostini or Ritz crackers,” he said.

During the workshop, Furlong cajoled a few of the participants to get their hands dirty and while preparing the Mini Cheese Ball recipe there were lots of sticky fingers.

“You need to keep your hands damp to roll the cheese balls, “Furlong instructed.

Other recipes Furlong demonstrated during the evening were Roasted Grapes, Open Face BLT’s and Honey Buttered Chicken Biscuits.

Once all the dishes were prepared, participants were invited to enjoy the spread.

“It’s all good,” said Terri Melby, and Grace Uihlein said she especially enjoyed the shrimp dip.

Both women were participants in the workshop.

Libby Beard said she comes to all of the workshops Furlong teaches.

“He does such a good job,” said Beard.

Wilkinson said a Winter Soup workshop is scheduled for January and in February Furlong will hold a Cooking for Couples workshop.

For more information on the cooking workshops offered at the SCHC, call 601-631-2997 or visit


New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Dip


8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

¼ Cup chili sauce

¼ Cup fresh lemon juice

5 Cloves garlic, smashed

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Teaspoon cayenne 1 Teaspoon dried oregano

1 Teaspoon paprika

½ Teaspoon hot sauce

1 ¼ Pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp, tails removed

4 Ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

½ Cup sousr cream

3 Scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced

½ Cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crackers and crunchy rustic bread for serving


Special equipment: 5-cup broiler-safe casserole dish

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the chili sauce, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, cayenne, oregano, paprika and hot sauce. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring frequently until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they are pink and just cooked through, flipping once, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

When cool, place the shrimp mixture in a food processor and pulse until toughly chopped. (The shrimp mixture can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated.

Combine the cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the shrimp mixture, scallion whites, parsley, 1 ¼ teaspoons salt and few grinds of pepper and stir to combine. Place in a 5-cup broiler-safe casserole dish and spread evenly.

Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and pour over the top of the shrimp dip, making sure to cover the entire surface with a thin layer of butter. Sprinkle with the scallion greens. Chill for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Just before serving, position an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the broiler. Broil the dip until the butter layer just begins to melt. Serve with e crackers and crunchy bread.


Mini Cheese Balls


Mix 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest and 1 cup shredded firm chees (like cheddar parmesan, pepper jack or gouda); season with salt and pepper. With moistened hands, form into 1-inch ball, chill 4 hours, and then roll in toppings of choice. Options include, but not limited to: chopped pistachios, chives, tarragon, bacon with paprika, almonds and black and white sesame seeds.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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