Southern BBQ in the land of lutefisk, Julekake and lefse
Having lived in the south for several years, my wife and I developed a taste for southern food. You know, barbeque. Pulled pork, baby back ribs, baked beans with chunks of pulled pork and potato salad.
Last week, I visited Kasson’s Misplaced Magnolia. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I walked into the rib joint. My skepticism turned to eye-popping optimism as I viewed the items on the menu.
Appetizers: Gator bites – chunks of alligator meat battered and deep-fried and served with chipotle ranch. Catfish nuggets – farm raised battered and deep-fried catfish nuggets, a southern favorite is served with tartar sauce. Just one more item that caught attention was the fried green tomatoes with are battered and deep-fried. It’s a southerner’s summer favorite, but the Misplaced Magnolia serves them year round.
Appetizer samplers caught my attention: Frying the Swamp Trio, The Cajun Quartet, and Wings and Things.
There are more appetizers, but let’s move on to the BBQ.
There are BBQ sandwiches, ribs, double smoked sliced ham, port combo plates, brisket, chicken and turkey and, ready for this, blackened catfish tacos.
Usually, when one talks about catfish in the land of the walleye there’s an instant debate. Most Minnesotans would throw back a river cat or even a catfish caught in one of the state’s pristine 10,000 lakes. Growing up along the banks of the St. Louis River there were many river cats caught by fisherman angling for small mouth bass. Most would either throw the cats back or throw them up on shore.
However, the catfish served up at this unique southern restaurant are farm raised. They do not have the muddy taste associated with wild cats. It took this born and raised northerner a few years to realize that farm raised catfish are as tasty as our Minnesota walleye (especially blackened catfish that are grilled).
My Norwegian grandmother would roll over in her grave if she knew that her grandson was having Southern cuisine this close to Christmas rather than the usual lutefisk, lefse, krumkakae, Julekake or the Norwegian version of Swedish meatballs.
If only grandma had been alive to enjoy the food of the Bayou, I do believe she would have approved.