Cattlemen's Association offers to 'do the cooking,' but you can too with these recipes

April 21, 2011 12:04:00 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


Need a break from the kitchen? Looking for a little extra downtime? Mark your calendar for April 29-30 and let the Lowndes County Cattlemen''s Association take over the grill. 


The organization''s annual steak sale has become a favored stop for folks headed home after a long day in the office or retail shops. Carry-out dinners of a 10-ounce ribeye, baked potato and salad -- all for only $10 -- will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the rolling steak-mobile that will be set up in front of Kroger on Highway 45 North in Columbus 


In addition to promoting protein-rich beef, the sale is the group''s only fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund. 


"Last year, we gave out I think 13 scholarships," said association president Craig Canull of Caledonia. To date, the association has awarded more than $50,000 to deserving students. 


High school seniors enrolling in college, as well as enrolled college students, can learn more about the scholarships by contacting the Mississippi State University Extension office at 512 Third Ave. N., 662-328-2111.  




Busy cooks 


The approximate 150 members of the Cattlemen''s Association include some of the best steak chefs in the Golden Triangle. Veterans of the sale, in particular, have cooked literally thousands of savory protein- and nutrient-rich ribeyes. 


"We''ve done as many as 4,000 steaks in a two-day period before," said Canull. "Friday is normally the busiest day." 


The pace can become hectic, but camaraderie runs high. The cattlemen come from all walks of life, but are bound by a common goal: to promote Mississippi''s beef industry and provide a solid voice for its interests and sustainability. The MCA also sponsors the Mississippi Junior Cattlemen''s Association, recognizing the importance of developing future leaders. 


Anyone who supports the beef industry is welcome to join the association, including affiliate members such as commercial businesses and banks. 




Got recipes? 


If you have a favorite recipe using beef, you could be in the running to win a $25,000 grand cash prize and a trip to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Washington, D.C., in November. The National Cattlemen''s Association 29th National Beef Cook-off is looking for tantalizing beef recipes from everyday cooks.  


Great taste, originality, use of ingredients with broad appeal, and simple prep techniques are a winning combination for entries in four offered categories: The 5:30 p.m. Dinner Crunch; Retro Recipes Revived; Fuel Up with Beef; and Stir Crazy Solutions. Get additional information and complete contest rules at But don''t procrastinate: The deadline for entry (easily done online) is April 30. 


Two of the 2009 winners'' recipes are included in today''s food pages.  


As April comes to a close next weekend, the Cattlemen''s Association invites everyone to treat themselves and the family to an economical "night off" from kitchen duty. Their message? "Beef. It''s What''s for Dinner." 








Makes four servings 




Two boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 3/4-inch thick (about 8 ounces each)  


One container (9-16 ounces) herb-marinated small, fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini)  


3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar  


One medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices  


One large yellow bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch wide strips  


1 cup small red grape tomatoes 




· Drain bocconcini, reserving and combining 1/3 cup marinade and vinegar in small bowl; toss zucchini and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons marinade mixture, refrigerating until ready to use.  


· Place beef steaks and remaining marinade mixture in food-safe plastic bag, closing bag securely. Marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to two hours.  


· Remove steaks and vegetables from marinade, discarding marinade. Place steaks on one half of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; place vegetables in grill basket on other half of grid. Grill steaks, uncovered, 10-12 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas  


grill, covered, 7-10 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.  


· Grill vegetables 10-13 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, adding tomatoes during last two minutes of grilling.  


· Combine grilled vegetables and bocconcini in large bowl, tossing gently to combine, and carve steaks into slices, seasoning with salt, as desired. Serve beef with vegetable mixture.  


(Source:, grand prize winner Mary Hawkes) 






Makes four servings 




Two beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steaks (about 8 ounces each)  


Four large (1/2-inch thick) slices eggplant  


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided  


1/2 teaspoon pepper  


1/4 cup olive tapenade  


2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano  


Four large (1/4-inch thick) slices tomato  


One small zucchini, shredded  


Fresh oregano springs (optional) 




· Brush eggplant with 1 tablespoon oil and season eggplant and beef steaks with pepper; place steaks and eggplant in center on grid over medium, ash-covered coals.  


· Grill steaks, covered, 10-14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 12-16 minutes) for medium rare (145 degree) medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally; grill eggplant 6-8 minutes (gas grill times remain the same) or until tender.  


· Meanwhile, combine tapenade, remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chopped oregano in small bowl. Carve steaks into thin slices; season beef and eggplant with salt, as desired.  


· Place eggplant slices on plates; layer evenly with beef, tomato and zucchini. Spoon tapenade mixture on top; garnish with oregano sprigs, if desired.  


(Source:, 2009 winning recipes) 






Makes four servings 




One beef top sirloin steak, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)  


1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup light balsamic vinaigrette, divided  


1/4 teaspoon pepper  


Two large heads treviso or regular radicchio, cut lengthwise in half  


Six fresh figs, stems removed, cut in half  


1 tablespoon olive oil  


One ripe Bartlett pear, cored, thinly sliced  


3 tablespoons coarsely chopped  


Pistachio nuts  




· Place beef steak, 1/3 cup vinaigrette and pepper in food-safe plastic bag, closing bag securely; marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to two hours, turning once. Brush radicchio and figs lightly with oil; set aside.  


· Remove steak from marinade, discarding marinade; place steak, radicchio and figs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill steak, uncovered, 13-16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 8-13 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to  


medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally; grill radicchio 8-10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 6-8 minutes) and figs 5-7 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 3-6 minutes) or until radicchio is tender and figs soften and begin to brown, turning occasionally.  


· Carve steak into thin slices and coarsely chop cored radicchio, seasoning beef and radicchio with salt, as desired. Arrange radicchio, steak, figs and pear slices on platter; top with remaining 1/4 cup vinaigrette and pistachios. 


(Source:, 2009 winning recipes)  




Steak dinner sale 


Who: Lowndes County Cattlemen 


What: Carry-out dinner (10-ounce ribeye, baked potato, salad) 


When: Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 


Where: Kroger parking lot, Highway 45 North and 18th Ave. N. 


Cost: $10 per dinner; pre-orders for 10 or more dinners may be placed in advance with Doug Yelverton at 662-574-3909.  










Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.