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Today is May 10, 2021

Featured Cookbook

Win the party on game day

By Marianna and Andy Chapman

Win the party on game day

Skip the takeout and pre-packaged snacks this game day. Our quick and easy recipes and game day food tips will make your party the one folks will still be raving about on Monday morning!

Food and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. But food, that’s the lasting memory maker — and no one does passionate, flavorful food better than us here in the Deep South. Don’t leave the competition to the football team: make your tailgate the one folks can’t wait to attend — and can’t stop talking about long after the post-game wrap-ups are done.

Two of our favorite game day recipes both featuring Simmons Catfish strips, with small, 1 to 1.5-ounce, portions being perfect for tailgating bites. Simmons Catfish is a delicious, healthy, sustainable protein grown and processed by three generations of the Simmons’ family in Yazoo City, and we love the versatility this product provides for a variety of occasions — especially game day hospitality!

With this easy to follow gameplan and recipes, you’ll be all set to connect with your friends and family on game day without a lot of fuss. Cheers to winning the party, y’all!

1. Pre-Game: Offer a signature beverage to your guests. Whether it’s your famous lemonade sweet tea or a game day punch or even a favorite bottled water or soda adorned with a game day sticker, quench their thirst with something memorable! The details make the memories.

2. Offense: When you dip I dip. It wouldn’t be a Southern party of any sort without a dip. Our favorite game-day option is Simmons Catfish Dip, which is easy to prepare in advance and is hearty enough to satisfy your hungriest guest. Honestly, we get in trouble whenever we do not serve this dip. It’s simply one of the most popular, crowd-pleasing recipes we’ve ever developed. But don’t take our word for it — try it for yourself! Add an extra shot of hot sauce to this dip to warm things up as the weather cools.

3. Defense: Lay it on thick. Grilling and game day are longtime companions. An easy finger food on game day are our Grilled Simmons Catfish Strips basted with Sugar Taylor Sauce. This easy, two-ingredient combo is always a winner served hot off the grill or at room temperature.

4. Special Teams: Fire up secret weapons. Your packing, unpacking and setup will be so much easier if you stick to a short shopping list and force each ingredient to do double duty. Use a few ingredients that each pack big flavor for the maximum win. For example, use Sugar Taylor Sauce as a baste for the Grilled Simmons Catfish Strips and also as a dip for the strips and a bowl full of pretzels.

When you tailgate this football season, remember the most important tip is to have fun and connect. Our relationships matter above all else, so use this grand tradition of tailgating to make memories with people that matter most to you.

I love to smoke. On pecan wood, usually. While I have a particular affinity for smoking pig, lately, I’ve discovered that one of the easiest and quickest smokes is fish. In particular, I’ve fallen head over heels for smoking Simmons Catfish in all its forms, but the quickest and most economical is probably the catfish strips.

Smoked Catfish Dip


10 pieces catfish filet strips

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup June Bugg Rub

1/4 cup Sugar Taylor Sauce

1 green onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated Horseradish

1/4 sweet yellow onion, like Texas Sweet or Vidalia

Your favorite hot sauce (to taste)

In a medium bowl, mix the catfish strips with Sugar Taylor Sauce and coat evenly. Then sprinkle fillets with a layer of June Bugg Rub. Toss until fully covered. Prepare your grill or smoker with pecan wood or other sweet fruit wood. Place catfish strips on the grate, leaving plenty of room around each strip. Smoke at 250 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the fish is fully cooked. After 30 minutes, turn the fish. They should release from grate and not stick at this point in the cooking process. When fully smoked, the fish will be a deep golden brown color.

Take the fish off the smoker and let them cool slightly. Take two forks and shred them into fine pieces. In a bowl, mix them into the cream cheese. Once combined, continue to mix by using a fork to whip mixture until there are no large chunks of fish remaining.

Add horseradish, onions and hot sauce to taste and mix thoroughly. Use a spatula to move dip into a 2-cup serving container and smooth out the top for presentation. Garnish with a pinch of June Bugg Rub and green onion.

Prepare this dish up to two days in advance and keep cool for transport to your tailgate. Serve with an array of crackers or corn chips.

Grilled Catfish Strips


Catfish filet strips

Sugar Taylor Sauce

This is a great option for grilling on small portable grills. Preheat grill to medium-hot heat (approximately 350 degrees). Toss catfish strips in Sugar Taylor Sauce in a bowl until all are just coated. Use tongs to place strips on grill. Baste more Sugar Taylor Sauce onto the strips while grilling. Strips will cook in only a few short minutes, so take care not to dry them out.

Serve with a side of Sugar Taylor Sauce for additional dipping sauce.


Gulfport residents Marianna and Andy Chapman own and operate Eat Y’all, a company on a mission to save family farms by equipping producers to serve foodservice accounts and empowering chefs to use their purchasing power today to ensure the availability of healthy, high-quality ingredients tomorrow. Visit for more information.

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