Actress Denise Boutte Reveals Her Favorite Recipe Tricks In New Cookbook Southern Modified

Photographer: Kristen Ashley
Hair: Lisa-Marie
Makeup: Erica Lor’ene

 

With her attention-grabbing recipes like “Pig-Eared Pastries”, actress Denise Boutte looks back on her time growing up on a sugar cane farm and how it formed the recipes in her new cookbook Southern Modified. “Thanks to my grandfather, we were pretty much self-sufficient.”

Best known for her role on “Meet The Brown’s”, Denise Boutte, vividly remembers growing up in the farmlands of Louisiana. She reflects on her harvesting seasons, explaining, “depending on the season, we would get together as a family. Everybody had a job. The guys would shuck the corn. The kids would have to get the hair out of the corn. The ladies would cut the corn. If you were doing cream-style corn that would turn into maque choux. The more mature generation would be by the pot cutting the bell peppers and the onions to put in the corn maque choux. So, we would get together and we would cook all day. Everybody left with their supply of corn to get them through ‘til next season.”

“When I was just leaving home for the first time, I was starting to call home every Saturday because I was homesick”.

This also applied to many of the other foods they produced on the farm. “We would do the same thing with the pigs.” Boutte looks back on her pork harvesting days with a little sheepishness and a lot of humor, considering her glamorous job was to blow the sausage casings. Typically made of intestine, the former farmhand recalls how ”they would keep [the casings] in saltwater. You had to blow them in order to get them ready to put on to the machine that makes the sausage.”

As she got older, Boutte grew tired of farm life and used her experiences as motivation to leave home. However, that distance caused her to really feel the separation from her family. “When I was just leaving home for the first time, I was starting to call home every Saturday because I was homesick.” Those regular conversations with her mom lead Boutte straight to the kitchen. “On Friday…I would go to the grocery store and Saturday mornings I would call her and she would tell me step-by-step how to make these dishes that I had grown up on.”

Photographer: Kristen Ashley Hair: Lisa-Marie Makeup: Erica Lor’ene

 

 

 

However, the California lifestyle didn’t support her traditional dishes, and she admits “when I started acting, I had to make a few changes. In my kitchen, instead of using the off the shelf seasonings, I mixed my own. It wasn’t a matter of changing the flavor. I wanted to pull back on the salt.” With her new life in California, this Louisiana-native wanted to make an allnatural, lower sodium approach to her favorite foods. Her friends and family enjoyed the homemade seasonings as well. “A lot of our friends and family would come to the house and say, ‘What are you using?’ I just had a clear plastic container of seasoning. I would give them some and over the years I was kind of stuck doing mixtures…every time they would come for the holidays.”

“A lot of our friends and family would come to the house and say, ‘What are you using?’”

Over time, Boutte’s culinary passion lead her to release her own line of Weeziana Girl seasonings. “You don’t have to have all this salt. You don’t have to have all this fat in order to have a delicious dish.” The overall theme in her cooking emphasizes that her minor tweaks are a delicious alternative for more health–conscious cuisine. “I don’t use cayenne pepper.” Humorously acknowledging how controversial it could be for a southern chef that doesn’t use the spicy staple, Boutte admits, “to me it’s just a lot of heat without a lot of flavor. My go to for a little bit of heat and a lot of flavor is chipotle pepper. I love smoked chipotle pepper.”

As far as cooking tips, the Southern Modified author lists smoked paprika as another spicy alternative. She also finds it important to always add just a pinch of sugar. Even in savory dishes, she advises that “it adds to the caramelization, gives it color and balances it out. Everything is about balance and when you find that perfect balance, everything works together.”

Southern Modified, a collaboration with Next Food Network Star, Chef Jernard Wells, is currently available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Denise’s website www.WeezianaGirl.com. You can follow along keep up with her latest career and cooking ventures on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeniseJBoutte

Instagram: @Denise_Boutte

Twitter: @Denise_Boutte 

By Daylin Jones

Mo Clark-Brewster

Originally from Tennessee, Mo relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue a career in media and entertainment. Mo has been casted in several small roles for YouTube and Amazon Prime Series. Interests include; acting, reading, writing, and being a media correspondent.