In the Kitchen With Tracey Johnson

These recipes were submitted by Tracey Johnson and appeared in the May 2015 issue of Ennis Now.

Tracey Johnson



  • 2 8-oz. pkgs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2 generous splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
  • Parsley, to taste
  • 1 8-oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 4-oz. pkg. pecans, chopped
  • Ritz crackers

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, dressing mix, parsley and shredded cheese. Beat on high until all ingredients are blended.

Remove from bowl. Place on waxed paper or smooth surface. Mold mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in pecans.

Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Serve with crackers.


    • 1 lb. link sausage
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 5 generous splashes Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 15-oz. can original Ro-Tel diced tomatoes
    • 1 14-oz. can tomato sauce
    • 1 12-oz. bag frozen okra
    • Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, to taste


  • 2-4 cups water, to desired consistency
  • 1-2 cups cooked white rice, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, uncooked, peeled, deveined and tails removed

In a large frying pan or saucepan, brown the sausage and onion in Worcestershire sauce until meat begins to brown and onions look clear or brown.

Add Ro-Tel, tomato sauce and okra. Add Creole seasoning to taste, depending on how hot you like it.

Pour mixture into a Crock-Pot. Add water and then cooked rice. Cook on high for two hours. Add shrimp. Cook for another hour.

(If you want to leave the gumbo in the Crock-Pot all day, cook on low for 6-7 hours, add shrimp and cook for another hour.)

Chicken Fried Steak

  • 1 48-oz. bottle vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • Garlic salt, pepper, seasoned salt and Creole seasoning, to taste
  • 1-2 lbs. cubed beef or deer steak, tenderized

Preheat oil in an electric frying pan to 475 F. In a medium bowl, combine eggs and milk. Whisk together. In a large bowl, combine flour and all seasonings.

Dredge each steak in egg mixture, then in the flour mixture twice. Place in hot oil. Only turn once, and do not turn until each steak is floating. Once turned, cook until both sides are brown.

Most people serve this with potatoes, but you can also serve it with rice and your favorite gravy.

Banana Pudding

  • 2 3.4-oz. boxes Jell-O cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 14-oz. can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8-oz. container Cool Whip
  • 1 11-oz. box Nilla vanilla wafers
  • 6 bananas, sliced

Using an electric mixer, beat the pudding mix and milk in a large bowl for 2 minutes. Add the condensed milk. Beat just until blended. Add cream cheese and blend.

Gradually mix in Cool Whip. In a 9×13-inch dish, layer the wafers, bananas and pudding mixture, ending with wafers on top. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
  • 1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. white crab meat
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (divided use)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 2-oz. jar red pimentos
  • Ritz crackers or baguettes

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, artichokes and crab meat. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and pimentos. Mix well.

Spread mixture in a baking dish. Sprinkle the top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until the dip starts to brown and bubble. Do not overcook. Serve with crackers or baguettes.