Nuts for Madison
by emily patrick
Turns out the peanut is not so nutty after all. In fact, it's a bean.
Mimi Maumus of home.made catering in Athens will be at MadisonFest to demonstrate the many ways to use the nut that is not a nut. She said that when cooks think about the peanut as a legume, it suddenly becomes a versatile ingredient.
“I do a lot of baked beans but with raw peanuts, so like a sorghum baked peanut is one of my favorite side dishes. Or like a marinated field pea and peanut salad. I like to do that as sort of a succotash, a marinated succotash.”
While many people are accustomed to roasted or boiled peanuts, raw and green peanuts are also available at grocery stores and farmers markets for use as an ingredient in more complex dishes.
Maumus's rediscovery of the peanut's leguminous identity is characteristic of her approach to food in general.
“I like to take southern favorites like peanuts or that kind of traditional southern thing and turn it on its side a little bit and do different takes on things,” she said.
Her signature creations include sewanee bites, which consist of pimento cheese sandwiched between two cheese straws and rolled in Georgia pecans.
After her presentation, Maumus will sell sewanee bites in addition to pepper jelly, pecan sandies and cheese straws. Some of her cuisine will be available for sampling.
“Southern comforts tins,” a compilation of three of her southern snack favorites, will be available for purchase as well.
Over the past six years, Maumus has prepared custom catering for events in Athens and the surrounding area. She got her start with Hugh Acheson, the head chef and owner of the 5&10 restaurant in Athens. Acheson recently appeared on the TV show “Top Chef.”
Last year, home.made catering moved into a new space on Baxter street in Athens where Maumus hosts private events and super clubs.
She sources her ingredients from farms in northeast Georgia, including Cooke Cattle Company in Madison, whose beef she buys through the Moonshine Meats farm collective.
home.made often caters events in Madison. In the past, they have served up southern specialties for local art and music shows.
Maumus looks forward to presenting at MadisonFest and spreading the word about her locally-sourced southern delights. She will give her talk at 11:30 on Saturday, April 28, at the Pavillion Stage. She will be available with for-sale items and cooking expertise at the home.made catering table after the presentation.
Printed in the April 19, 2012 edition.