Southern Style Recipes Part 2
Hehehehe! It's a conspiracy!
Southern Foods Unhealthy?
There has been a bit of controversy lately over people in the south being more overweight than most of the rest of the country. Some blame it on the syle of cooking that we practice but I really have my doubts about that. I truly believe that the jump in weight gain today goes far beyond our southern kitchens. In fact, I believe that it has to do with the more modern foods that have come to exist in our society such as fast foods and fast lifestyles.
We have become a hurried nation today and we tend to grab whatever is convenient on the way to and from work. It seems to me that all this publicity over this has only happened in recent years and I truly believe that if we had more people back in the kitchen and out of the drive-thru windows, much of this problem would cease to exist for many. Not to mention that the food is just so much better when it is made at home! So slow down, hit the grocery store and sit down to an old fashioned, home cooked dinner and spend some time with your family. You know, those extra people that you see in your house fighting over the bathroom every morning!
Are you serious? This is really dinner???
Juicy Chicken Nuggets
Did you ever wonder about those goofy looking, perfectly round or square chicken nuggets you see in the fast food restaurants? Just what are those things anyway? And when you bite into them, they look like compacted cement and some taste about like it, too.
Never fear! This recipe makes the juiciest chicken nuggets you have ever tasted and your kids will love you forever. After all, what kid doesn't like chicken nuggets?
- Pack of boneless chicken breasts
- Lowry's seasoning salt
- self rising flour
- oil (for deep frying)
Notice that there is no measurments on any of the ingredients? That is because it doesn't matter as long as you read over this recipe before you get started because it's easy to know how much of everything you will need. You will actually begin the preparations the day before you want to cook your chicken.
Slice the chicken breasts into long strips. Then, cut the strips into small chunks. Once this is done, pour enough buttermilk into a bowl that will cover the chicken nuggets. Add enough Lowry's seasoning salt to the buttermilk to turn it pink. Mix well, then add the chicken nuggets to the buttermilk and stir around, making sure they are all covered beneath the buttermilk. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. This is why they are so juicy!
The next day, take the bowl out and heat your oil in a large boiler. Stove temperatures vary but you will need to cook them on a rather high setting so try it about half way between medium and high. This has worked for me on most stoves.
Take a large bowl and pour some flour in it. This recipe will use a lot of flour as it will become lumpy as you batter more of them and may need to be replaced if you are cooking very many of them. Same goes for the oil. If you cook several boilers full of them, you may need to change out the oil.
Just take handfulls of the chicken from the buttermilk and drop into the flour. Coat very well, slightly tossing them. I make sure I have enough in the bowl of batter to do one boiler full at the time. Once you have the boiler full battered, start dropping them into the hot oil, slightly shaking the excess flour off. Deep fry to golden brown and repeat until all are done!
TIP: If you keep used cooking oil,don't throw away the oil just because it looks cloudy from all of the flour right after use. Cover and let stand overnight. The flour settles to the bottom of the oil and you can slowly drain the oil off the top into your bottle of used cooking oil.
Homemade Vegetable Soup
This recipe is one that I use to stock my freezer up with some good stuff for quick cooking! This will make about 2 stock pots full. If you make this much, make sure that you have some freezer bags or whatever you like to freeze in before you get started. Also, you will split them up into the 2 pots so just put half in one and half in the other! This is also an all day cooking job so make sure you have all day to stick around the house or someone to "watch the pot" for you if you have to leave. You can also cut the recipe down fairly easily if you don't have freezer storage room to store it. Just add equal parts of each vegetable to make the size serving that you need.
Note: All cans listed are restaurant size!
- 1 can of speckled butterbeans
- 1 can Field Peas
- 1 can whole kernel corn
- 1 can sliced okra
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can green beans
- 5 lb. bag of red potatoes (peeled and diced into small cubes)
- 1 head cabbage (finely grated)
- 2 or 3 packages of carrots (sliced)
- 5 to 7 lbs. ground beef (optional)
- Creole seasoning
If you are using ground beef in the soup, brown and drain it and just put into the pot, along with all the other vegetables. Season to taste but remember that Creole seasoning has a tendency to get hotter as it cooks down so keep a close watch on how much you use! Start small and keep adding as it cooks down. Even if you are cooking a small pot, you will want to cook it all day. This is great served with cornbread or even crackers!
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
This is an easy but delicious recipe that is great for company or just a lazy day when you want something hot without a lot of work!
- 4 large cans of veg-all (drained)
- 6 frozen 9 inch pie crusts
- 4 cans cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
- 1 soup can of water (or to desired consistency)
- 1 bag of leg quarters (boiled and deboned)
Mix soup, water and veg-all in a large pot. Season to taste and cook on medium heat to boiling. Reduce to low heat and simmer for about a half hour (or longer if you prefer). You can boil and debone chicken as this simmers. Then just add the chicken to the mix and stir. If the mix isn't pretty soupy, add more water to avoid it being too dry after cooking in the crust. It's better for it to be too thin than too thick. Lightly butter the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking dish. Cut the pie crusts into quarters and line the bottom and sides with the crusts. Set the remaining crusts aside for the top. Bake at 350 degrees until the crusts are half done. Pour mixture into pan and then top with remaining crusts. Finish baking until the top is golden brown.
TIP: If you prefer, you can use the crescents from the dairy case but be sure you have plenty of them before you begin.
"Throw it all in" Spaghetti Sauce
I am a firm believer in veggies of all sorts! Especially when it comes to my spaghetti. I hate jar or canned sauce in any brand so I always make up a huge pot of this sauce for the freezer as well. This is great when you have unexpected company or just forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner. All you have to do is pull a bag of sauce from the freezer, toss it into the microwave or boiler and boil some noodles while the sauce heats!
- 2 large bell peppers
- 2 medium onion or 4 bunches of green onions
- 2 bunches celery
- 2 or 3 boxes fresh mushroom (diced)
- 1 restaurant size can diced tomatoes
- 2 restaurant size cans tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 to 7 lbs. ground beef (browned and drained)
Brown and drain ground beef and dice all vegetables. Combine all ingredients into the stock pot and mix well. Cook on medium heat to boiling. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer the remainder of the day. Make sure to keep the sauce stirred regularly to avoid sticking. This is an all day simmer recipe even if you make a smaller pot. Once it is done, you can freeze the sauce but don't freeze if you mix the nnodles with it. Noodles tend to become very mushy when they are frozen. I just freeze the sauce and make the noodles as I need them!
Beans in a Bundle
My sister gave me this recipe and I have no idea where it came from. All I know is that I could just hurt myself on these! They are so delicious there is no way to describe it! Not to mention they are pretty easy as long as you aren't making them for a really big crowd.
- 2 cans regular cut green beans (drained and dried on paper towels)
- 1 pack bacon
- catalina dressing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After draining and drying the green beans, cut bacon strips in half so they aren't too long. Take each strip of bacon and wrap about 3 of the greenbeans inside them. Place in 13" x 9" baking dish with loose end of bacon down. Continue to do this until all the beans are wrapped or bacon used up. If you have any beans left over, you can always heat those up to go with it. Pour just enough catalina dressing over them to coat each bundle. You don't want to drown them in it. Bake until bacon is done and get ready to be addicted!
From the south to southwest, to north and all points in between, Mexican cornbread is a favorite in many, many households. Not only is this an excellent side dish but with variations such as the next recipe, it can easily become a main entree.
- 1 cup self rising white corn meal mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (may add more if you like it really hot)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup bacon drippings (if you don't have this you can use oil)
- 3/4 teaspoon soda
- 1/2 can cream style corn
- 1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients and stir well. Cover skillet with oil or shortening as if you were greasing a cake pan then add about a teaspoon extra in the bottom. Heat to piping hot and then pour mixture into the hot pan and bake for 30 minutes. If desired, you can melt more cheese on top after the bread is done.
Mexican Cornbread Casserole
This is a quick and easy variation to turn ordinary Mexican cornbread into a delicious main dish! Simply mix all ingredients as above like you were making the cornbread. Brown 3 lbs. ground beef and drain. Put ground beef into a 13" x 9" baking pan and pour the mix over the top. Do not stir. Bake as directed. If desired, you can melt more cheese on top after the casserole is done.
Nothing sets off a meal like the taste of home made piping hot rolls. These are great right from the oven with butter or honey butter on top. MMMMMMMMM!
- 2 1/2 cups self rising flour
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar (1/4 if you like sweet rolls)
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 package yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup very warm water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix yeast and water and set aside. Cut shortening into flour and add buttermilk and yeast mixture. Knead really well. Roll out and bake on greased or buttered cookie sheet for 10 - 15 minutes (until golden brown). Once done, spread butter on top while hot.
What are you waiting for?
So goes another series of my favorite recipes that are sure to have your tastebuds tap dancing! There are plenty more where these came from so get ready to walk a few extra miles a week by the time you try them all. So what are you waiting for? Get in that kitchen and get started!!!
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