Gourmet Girls' Almond and Fig Galette was featured in inRegister's October 2016 issue. Photo by Ashleigh Jayne Photography.

The main ingredient: Favorite recipes from inRegister’s 30-year archives

“Don’t forget to call me if you have any questions.” That’s the way longtime inRegister food columnist Chet Beckwith always ended his articles—along with his home number and a promise to return the call if he wasn’t by the phone.

Such an offer sounds awfully quaint in today’s world, but Beckwith’s willingness to personally talk any puzzled home cook through the nuances of his recipes captured the essence of inRegister—both in the magazine’s early days and now. Like the magazine itself, the food column was all about connecting people. In fact, before sharing whatever recipe was on his mind that month, Beckwith started each column with a few paragraphs about who he had run into at the grocery store or at a restaurant. It seems that folks were always sharing their own favorite foods with this well-known Baton Rouge personality, or asking him to find the recipe for some long-ago beloved local dish.

inRegister’s legacy of featuring fresh new recipes has continued throughout the past three decades. After Beckwith’s tenure, nationally acclaimed cookbook author Holly Clegg was the face of inRegister’s food content, serving up healthy and heartwarming fare each month. Today, food blogger and cookbook author Aimee Broussard fills that role with her charming Southern flavors. Meanwhile, our pages have frequently included recipes from prominent local chefs and from memorable events.

The result is a treasure trove of recipes worth keeping close to the kitchen or on your Pinterest page. No matter what year they were published, these dishes are a good start to a great gathering with your favorite people. Below you’ll find some of our favorite recipes from the past 30 years.

Photo by Ashleigh Jayne Photography

Almond and Fig Galette

October 2016 issue
By Gourmet Girls
2 cups flour
8 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 1-in. pieces and chilled
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup ice water
In a food processor, combine flour, butter, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined and looks like fine crumbs. With motor running, drizzle water until it just comes together into a ball. Remove dough from bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about a 12-in. circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside until ready to fill.
3 oz. unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2⁄3cup almond meal
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups sliced fresh figs
Demerara sugar to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla, egg yolk, flour and almond meal, and process until combined. Make a mound of almond filling on rolled-out dough, and spread to 8-in. diameter, leaving enough room on edges to fold over. Neither dough nor filling needs to be an exact circle. Place figs over almond filling, slightly overlapping them neatly. Fold dough edges over figs, overlapping and crimping edge. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar, and bake until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. 

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Pimiento Cheese Supreme

October 1998 issue
By Chet Beckwith
10 oz. sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 (4-oz.) jar chopped pimientos, undrained
2 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste
¼ cup small capers (or more to taste)
¼ cup pine nuts (or more to taste)
Mix together all ingredients, and enjoy in sandwiches or as stuffing for celery, avocado or tomato. Depending on thickness spread, this will make about 8 sandwiches, which when trimmed and quartered will produce 32 quarters, or bite-size finger sandwiches. Recipe easily doubles.

[caption id="attachment_71663" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo by Cynthia LeJeune Nobles[/caption]

Meat Pies

March 1996 issue
“We always had meat pies around my house. When I grew up and was out on my own, I started making meat pies. I have a lot of friends who like to eat, and they like to eat meat pies.” 
Mary Olive Pierson
8 cups all-purpose flour
2½ tsp. salt
2 cups vegetable shortening
2¼ cups ice water
Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening until fine, then add ice water and mix well, forming a large ball. Make individual pie circles by breaking off dough and rolling into 1½-in.-diameter balls. Roll out to 6-in. circles on a floured board, to about 1⁄8 in. in thickness. Use more flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Refrigerate between layers of waxed paper overnight. Remove about 1 hour before stuffing.
Meat Pie Filling:
2 lbs. lean ground meat
2 cups finely chopped white onions
2 pods garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
¼ bell pepper, chopped
1bunch green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
Crystal hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together first 7 ingredients. Season to taste with hot sauce and salt and pepper. 
To make pies, flour a board, keeping it floured as you work. Place 2 heaping Tbsp. filling on 1 side of dough circle. Fold dough popover fashion, and seal edges with a floured fork. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown, 1 side at a time, or deep fry. Freeze extras before frying by wrapping pies in waxed paper and putting in plastic zip-top bags; remove at least 30 minutes before you plan to fry.

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Bridesmaids’ Luncheon Chicken Salad

January 1995 issue
“The most popular, most used, most requested and most complimented of all the recipes in [my cookbook] Too Good to Be True.” 
—Chet Beckwith
1½ cups Hellman’s mayonnaise
¾ cup Major Grey’s chutney (if there are fruit chunks in chutney, slice as thin as possible)
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. grated lime peel
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ tsp. salt
4 cups white meat of chicken, cooked and diced
2 (13¼-oz.) cans pineapple chunks, drained
2 cups diagonally sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, tops and bottoms
½ cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
Mix first 6 ingredients in a very large bowl. Toss in remaining ingredients. Chill for 4 to 6 hours. Toss again before serving, being sure to stir all the way to the bottom to mix in all juices. Serve on crisp, chilled salad greens. 
Makes 8-10 servings.

Photo by Greg Milneck

Sunday Supper Milk Chocolate Cake

March 2018 issue
“It’s difficult to coax a punch of flavor from milk chocolate when it comes to cake. Chocolate extract to the rescue! It heightens the flavor and pulls it forward. The whipped ganache is, well, the icing on the cake. Time to pour yourself a tall glass of milk.” 
Anne Milneck
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar
18 oz. milk chocolate (chopped or chips), melted, divided
½ tsp. fleur de sel
2½ cups cake flour
1¼ tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. chocolate extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch round pans or one 9 x 13-inch pan by spraying with nonstick spray and dusting with cocoa powder. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat oil, butter, eggs and sugar until well combined. Add 6 oz. melted chocolate, fleur de sel, cake flour, baking soda, extracts and cocoa powder. Mix until combined; mixture will be thick and the consistency of clay. With mixer running on low, begin adding buttermilk in small additions until well combined. It will be shiny and the consistency of pudding. 
Pour into prepared pans and bake for 18 to 20 minutes for two rounds or 25 to 28 minutes for a 9 x 13-inch pan. 
To make whipped ganache frosting, heat heavy cream to just below a simmer. Pour over 12 oz. milk chocolate. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Transfer chilled ganache to a stand mixer with whip attachment. Whip until lightened in color, doubled in volume and light and fluffy. Frost cooled cake with whipped ganache. If there is any left over, refrigerate cake. 

Photo by Aimee Broussard

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast 

February 2019 issue
“When you’ve got a bit of extra time, whip this up for a seriously delicious start to your day. It may look labor intensive, but it couldn’t be easier.” 
Aimee Broussard
1 (4-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. pecans, chopped
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
½ tsp. lemon juice
4 slices bread
½ cup blueberries
1 egg
½ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar, topping
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together cream cheese, pecans, brown sugar and lemon juice until soft and creamy. Spread over 1 side of each piece of bread. Divide blueberries in half and add them to 2 of the slices, avoiding edges and pressing down slightly to keep them from rolling off. Top blueberries with remaining 2 slices of bread, cream cheese facing down.
Beat egg with milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon until well blended. (I pour egg mixture into a shallow baking dish to make dipping a bit easier than in a bowl.)
Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
Once skillet is hot, dip each blueberry sandwich into egg mixture on both sides; fry in hot skillet until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Cut sandwiches in half and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.

Photo by Holly Clegg

Crawfish Fettuccine

August 2013 issue
“This is my Southern standby when I have a group coming over or need to freeze a dish to take with me on vacation.” 
Holly Clegg
1 lb. fettuccine
3 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups skim milk
½ lb. light pasteurized cheese spread
2 lbs. crawfish tails
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bunch green onions, chopped (optional)
Cook fettuccine according to package directions, omitting oil and salt. Drain; set aside. In a large nonstick pot, melt butter and sauté onion, green pepper, red pepper and garlic until tender. Add flour, stirring until mixed. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Add crawfish, parsley, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne. Toss with pasta. Sprinkle with green onions if desired. 
Makes 8-10 servings.

Photo by Holly Clegg

Italian Wedding Soup

February 2015 issue
“Loads of folks rave over the flavor in this soup. It’s a calming comfort food or a hint for a honey.” 
Holly Clegg
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 egg
1 egg white
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, divided
¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped onion 
½ cup chopped celery 
1 cup diced carrots 
8 cups fat-free chicken broth 
1½ cups beef broth
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves 
1 cup orzo pasta 
6 cups fresh baby spinach
For mini meatballs, combine sirloin, egg and egg white, parsley, 1 tsp. garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Shape meat mixture into 1-in. meatballs, and set aside.
In a large nonstick pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion, celery, carrots and 1 Tbsp. garlic until tender, about 7 minutes. Add both broths and oregano. Add orzo. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add mini meatballs, and continue cooking for 8 minutes or until meatballs are done. Add spinach, cooking for a few more minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Makes 12 (1-cup) servings with 3 to 4 mini meatballs in each.

Photo by Jeannie Frey Rhodes

Wild Mushroom and Triple Cream Brie Bouché Bites

November 2017 issue
By The Gilded Artichoke Catering Co.
8 oz. triple cream brie, rind trimmed off
6 oz. mascarpone, softened
1/4 tsp. minced thyme
Dash sage
Dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp. thinly chopped chives (reserve 1/2 teaspoon for garnish)
Salt, cracked black pepper and Cajun seasoning to taste
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (10-oz.) pkg. wild mushrooms (wild, baby bella or shitake), thinly sliced and sautéed
2 tsp. marsala
24 mini bouché shells or mini puff-pastry shells
1 cup Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam (recipe follows)
Place brie, mascarpone, thyme, sage, cayenne pepper, chives, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning into a microwave-safe bowl, and mix together until incorporated. Set aside. In a small pan over medium-high heat, warm butter and olive oil until sizzling. Place mushrooms in pan and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add marsala and additional cracked black pepper to taste, and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Drain oil from mushrooms and add mushrooms to brie mixture. Mix together until incorporated. Place bowl with mixture into microwave and cook in 1-minute increments, stirring between each minute, until melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. With a small spoon, scoop mixture into each bouché shell to the rim. Top each shell with jam and chopped chives.
Makes approximately 24 bouché bites.
Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam:
2 lb. sweet onion
2 large shallots
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. salted butter
2 to 3 heads garlic, roasted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and thinly slice onion and shallots. Place olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion and shallots, and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Squeeze garlic out of casing into onions, and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until excess moisture starts to cook off, stirring occasionally. Add brown sugar, wine, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, for another 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture is thick and deep golden. If you still have large cloves of garlic remaining, use a fork to mash them and stir into jam. Cool and place in fridge for storage. This jam keeps for 2 weeks in fridge or several months in freezer.

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Sinful Strawberry Pie

April 1993 issue
“This recipe is a combination of recipes from many people and places. Believe me, if you make it you will be glad you did. It is a humdinger.”
Chet Beckwith
1 cup mashed strawberries
1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup whole strawberries
Whipped cream
Chopped pecans
Combine mashed strawberries, water, sugar and cornstarch. Place mixture over medium heat, and cook until it comes to a boil, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir constantly because it will scorch very easily. Mix in salt and almond extract; continue to boil for 1 minute, still stirring. Remove from heat and let cool.
Stand whole strawberries up in a cooked 9-inch pie crust, or layer bottom of crust with whole or halved berries. (If standing berries up, cut off bottoms evenly to stand straight.) Pour or spoon cooled, cooked, mashed strawberry mixture over all. After set, refrigerate until ready to serve. When serving, dollop whipped cream on top of each slice, and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Divine!