Saturday, January 2, 2016

Important Arkansas Recipes.

Every place has a special food that stands out.  For Arkansas, those foods are numerous.  For some of Arkansas's restaurants, there are very special entries that should be shared.

Here's a growing list of recipes that cover some fantastic Arkansas foodstuffs, from cheese dip to barbecue sauce.

Here's a collection of recipes that should be in the Arkansas culinary lexicon.  Know something that should be on this list?  Email me at

Juanita's Cheese Dip
Released right after the restaurant closed, posted to Facebook, shared by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  Proclaimed as the original Blue Mesa cheese dip (suspected to be the first white cheese dip), a co-founder of Blue Mesa says this one's not even close to that original,

5 pounds white cheese melt
1 1/2 quarts milk
15 ounces canned diced green peppers
8 ounces finely chopped onions
3 ounces white pepper
2 ounces finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño
1 tablespoon cumin

The ingredients should be cooked in a double boiler (or a crockpot will do) until melted through. Then add more milk and stir until it reaches the desired consistency.

Mexico Chiquito's Cheese Dip
1 stick of butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 pound Kraft American cheese, cubed
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and stir around until flour loses its raw taste, about 3 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients including the milk.
Then add the cheese.
Stir until cheese is melted.
Serve with tortilla chips

Chocolate Gravy
Originally published in Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley.

3 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups milk

Heat butter in a skillet over low heat. Mix in sugar, flour, and cocoa. Slowly pour 1 cup of milk into the skillet and whisk well to remove lumps. Whisk in remaining milk, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, being careful not to scorch. Serve hot over biscuits.

Searcy County Chocolate Rolls
Originally shared on this website in 2015.

1 c. flour
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1/4 c. cold water
dash of salt

3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/3 c. sugar

Incorporate all pastry ingredients into a pie crust-like dough. Roll out. Cream together cocoa powder, sugar and butter and spread on surface of pie crust. Roll from one end, tucking in sides like you would a burrito. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and molten. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Cliff House Inn's Company's Comin' Pie
Printed with permission in Arkansas Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State

3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
18 small square soda crackers, finely crushed
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple or pineapple preserves

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat until very stiff and dry. Add sugar gradually. Fold in crackers and chopped nuts. Add vanilla. Put in lightly greased pie pan and pull sides up to form crust. Bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Cool.

Whip cream with sugar until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold in crushed pineapple or preserves, smooth into the crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cotham's Mercantile's Fried Green Tomatoes
Green tomatoes (no red tomatoes)
Cotham's Catfish Seasoning or seasoned cornmeal

Slice tomatoes about 1/8th inch thick
Soak slices in ice water for about 5 minutes.
Heat at least an inch of oil in skillet or deep fryer to 350 degrees. Take tomatoes out of water, coat with catfish seasoning or cornmeal, and fry for around 8 minutes, turning once.
Drain, then serve with ranch dressing.

Fried Pickles
Posted on this website in 2013.  Also included in Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley.

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup rice flour or cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup water
½ cup pickle juice
1 egg yolk
4 cups dill pickles, cut into ¼-inch slices (this works better than presliced hamburger dills)
Oil for frying

Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk liquids and egg yolk together and then incorporate into dry ingredients. Set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Working with about a ¼ of the pickles at a time, drop slices into batter and stir around. Using a slotted spoon, remove from batter and carefully place into hot oil. Fry for one to two minutes (like fried okra). Serve warm with ranch dressing.

Dondie's Hush Puppies
Featured at Dondie's White River Princess in Des Arc, this recipe is from the website.

2 cups self-rising cornmeal
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

Combine first four ingredients in large bowl, combine eggs and milk - add to dry ingredients, stir until moistened then add onions and peppers and mix.
Drop by tablespoon into hot oil; cook for three minutes or until golden brown.

Possum Pie
I took this photo of possum pie at Stoby's in Russellville years
ago.  It is the single most popular image for possum pie on the
web.  Seriously.
Originally posted on this website in 2011, also printed in Arkansas Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State.

1 ½ stick butter
2 cups crushed pecans, separated
2 cups flour
1-8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
12 ounces Cool Whip, divided
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 box milk chocolate instant pudding
1 box chocolate fudge instant pudding
3 cups milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut butter into flour to make crumbly pastry dough.  Add 1 cup crushed pecans.  Press into two 8 or 9 inch pie pans or one 13"x9" casserole.  Bake 15 minutes or until flour starts to brown.  Remove and cool.

Cream together cream cheese and confectioners sugar.  Add six ounces of Cool Whip and beat until fluffy.  Spread over bottom of both pies.

Blend together both pudding mixes with milk.  Pour in on top of the cream cheese mixture and allow to set.

Spread remaining Cool Whip over the top of both pies and sprinkle with pecans.  Serves 16, if you’re lucky.

Shack Sauce
Posted by Jim Cathcart on December 30th, 2015 on Facebook:

4 Cups of Catsup and water (aka Ketchup)
3 1/2 Cups of Vinegar
6 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
6 Tablespoons of Salt
6 Tablespoons of Sugar
6 Tablespoons of Black Pepper
1 large Onion chopped very fine

Mix all ingredients and boil slowly until thick, about three hours.

Shadden's Barbecue Sauce
Published with permission in Classic Eateries of the Arkansas Delta.

1/4 cup oil

1/2 stick butter

2 small onions (chopped very fine)

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 1/2 bottle A-1 Sauce

3/4 bottle ketchup
11 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoons Tabasco
1/4 lemon (grated; including rind)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (for added heat)

Sauté onion in butter and oil until tender. Add other ingredients, mix well and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Old South Garlic Salad Dressing
This is the recipe for the famed dressing used on salads at The Old South in Russellville

2 ounce Bleu cheese
1/4 cup salad olives in brine
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 quart Kraft REAL Mayonnaise

Blend the first three ingredients together in a food processor until incorporated.  Add mayo and blend until smooth.  Store in refrigerator for up to three months.

More recipes:
"Mexican Tamales"


  1. The hush puppy recipe looks good. Almost as good as my family recipe.

  2. Can / Would you send me the address of the Tamale place in south Arkansas ?
    We will be traveling that way in a week or so.
    Thanks much ~

  3. There are two possibilities - either you speak of Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales (714 St Marys St, Lake Village, AR 71653) or Pasquale's Tamales (1005 Little Rock Rd, Helena, AR 72342)


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