Southern Style Christmas Dinner
I'm trying something different for my Italian in-laws this Christmas, and I was thinking of doing a southern style Christmas dinner. So far, my menu includes:
Spiral sliced ham with some kind of brown sugar glaze
Green beens with bacon
We need some kind of salad, sweet potato, and of course dessert recommendations! (Caramel Cake?)
Also, we'll have a relish tray with pimento cheese or deviled eggs. Please help me! I'm from California and my husband is from New York, so we're flying a little blind. Thanks!!
Check out anything from Paula Deen, esp. her desserts. I'd say a red velvet cake would be a great finish, though.
For the sweet potatoes, roast, peel, mash and mix with egg, some grated ginger and orange peel, maybe a touch of nutmeg, and bake until hot thru (very pretty baked in individual servings in hollowed out oranges). Bonus is that you can make this up the day before and hold, and if oven space is a problem, you can serve family-style and heat in a microwave.
My Southern grandmother used to make a carrot dish that could be considered a salad ... cooked carrot coins in a heavy, sweet vinaigrette with minced onion and green pepper, served cold. I don't have the recipe, but I reckon I could lay my hands on it ... that would be colorful & festive.
Hummingbird cake is another Southern favorite.
Thanks, weezy ... now I can look it up. I don't know any names for the things she made except "Grandmother's chicken, Grandmother's carrots ..." For some strange reason I've been thinking about them lately ...
You can get black walnuts mail order, I believe the name of the catalog is American Spoon. They also have hickory nuts (which in reality are pretty indistinguishable from pecans) ...
No offense because I like Paula Deen, but unless you want your arteries clogged, I'd alter the fat (which means butter, in this case) content in her recipes...My family on both sides is from NC...So I can say that you do have the makings of a country dinner..
Can I suggest you make sweet potato biscuits with toasted walnut butter? My grandma would make the butter with black walnuts from the tree outside her kitchen, if you could find those you should use them....Or serve your plain biscuits with apple butter or better yet, saute some peeled, cored and sliced apples with some apple nectar, cinnamon & a little brown sugar until almost falling apart and you'll have the perfect complement to a home made biscuit and the ham.. For a simple glaze, you can take some real maple syrup and reduce it until thick and brush over the ham then bake until caramelized...
Coconut cake, Blackberry & Dumplings (with fresh whipped cream), Bourbon Pecan Pie and bread pudding are some traditional desserts
Can I just tell you that you can buy biscuit mix in the store (near the flour) that all you have to do is add milk? Buttermilk is best, but it contains everything in it: flour, salt, baking powder, butter flakes...all you have to do is measure it out and add your milk...and to add sweet potato, just bake or boil one (or however much you want to add) or used drained canned & mashed and add with a touch of brown sugar and some cinnamon....It's very easy and your guests will so compliment you on them....
One last thing...southerners love pickled vegetables much like Italians...so try pickled okra, tomatoes, green beans and squash (if you can find it) on your relish tray....
A few things that may interest you.........
Oyster Stew, Oysters Raw, Gumbo, Shrimp Cocktail (Remoulade)
Ambrosia, Cranberry Sauce, (Frozen) Cranberry Salad
Ham...Brown Sugar & Pineapple Glaze, Orange Glaze
Roast Pork, Roast Beef, Venison Roast, Duck, (Wild) Turkey
Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar/Pecans
Candied Sweet Potatoes...Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Cornbread Dressing...Oyster Dressing...Rice Dressing
Green Beans (Casserole), Mustard/Turnip/Collard Greens, Asparagus (Casserole)
Squash (Casserole), Broccoli (Casserole) Corn Pudding...
Pecan Pie, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Cake, German’s Chocolate Cake
Sweet Potato Pie, Chocolate Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Fruit Cake, Coconut Pie/Cake
Buttermilk Pie....Pecan Pie!!!
Have Fun & Enjoy!!
re: Uncle Bob
Tsk, tsk, Uncle Bob. Have they figured out how to grow those cranberries in the South? Or is that those Ocean Spray things from MN or something??
Every good Southerner would have lots of relishes, chutneys, pickled and spiced fruits put by for holiday meals. Spiced peaches are great with game, ham, smoked meats. Pears, grapes, cherries, mangoes, plums, watermelon rind, green tomatoes, and other things.....
Don't forget pickled okra, chow chow, dilly beans, pickled shrimp, pickled oysters, homemade saurkraut, corn relish, pepper jelly, ......