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looking for a southern dinner recipe [ moved from New Orleans]

  • c

I have got to cook for a theme night ( in England) deep south USA food,
I will have 2 small ovens and 1 hob, and it will be for approx 4o people,
I need to do something that can be cooked at home and reheated there,
so far have come up with Gumbo, served with rice, i need another main course
dish thats easy to reheat, ( also have no fryer)!
and starter ideas would also be welcome.
Also , what are grits???

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  1. cornmeal fried catfish,collard greens and potato salad.............mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    1. Grits are like a cousin to polenta. Grits & grillades is a good choice, provided you can get your hands on grits. How about a sampler of southern style, slow-cooked veggies, seasoned with smoked or pickled pork? Blackeyed peas, baby green limas, smothered cabbage. Or you could do succotash (baby limas, corn, tomatoes) or macque choux (corn, green pepper, onion, a little tomato). Another thought is red beans & rice, since you already have rice.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        I've been mulling this over, trying to think what ingredients would be available. Grillades occured to me but there is the question of obtaining grits and, you are right, polenta could do fine.(Whenever I see recipes for "Aioli Polenta with Parmesan...$8.50" I just say "Oh fer cryin' out loud...garlic cheese grits, $2.00"). Could do Grillades with rice but then you are getting into the Cajun style and that is a whole different item.(but I;ve seen new Orleans grillades with rice if grits was not convenient). I am also pondering the description "deep South USA" which might be considered, by the originator of the idea, as the usual fried chicken/casserole/chicken-and-dumplings/baked ham(with 42 accompanying vegetable dishes) and so forth. I think we need to draw the distinction between New Orleans and the Deep South proper.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          Thanks for the info, basically i have been given the 'theme' of deep south, and have to come up with a 4 course meal,
          there are some lovely ideas there, also i assumed grits were a kind of meat??!!
          I have some scope on the theme, jst cant do seafood, or deep fried stuff.

          1. re: CathL

            How soon do you need this? With the kitchen limits you describe it should be easy to do several old-fashioned items...and not-a-few involve magical combinations of canned items (some will sneer at this but anyone who was in the American South in the 1950's and 1960's knows that it is true) which might fit prefectly. For example, in many Deep South states, damn near every salad you saw had little cubes of jell-o included.

      2. At southern church picnics, cold fried chicken is a staple. Home-style fried chicken in the South is pan fried. I like to soak in buttermilk, overnight, and before frying shake off the excess buttermilk and dredge in flour mixed with S&P and a dash of cayenne. Using a combo of half lard, half peanut oil, pan fry in a deep-sided heavy frying pan (put your dark meat in first).

        1. Well, shrimp and grits fit the bill if you want to go with coastal deep south.

          I think long-cooked vegetables would be great -- blackeyed peas and macque choux (as celeste suggested). My favorite of those is bacon, onions, green beans (haricots verts) and potatoes cooked until falling apart. Greens (collards, mustard greens, turnip greens) cooked with a little onion and some smoked pork hocks are pretty canonical for the Southern table as well. Any vegetable prepared like this would reheat well.

          You should do rice OR grits but not both, IMO. If you're doing gumbo, do vegetables and cornbread (in a cast iron skillet if you can!) as sides. Do you need a vegetarian main or can the other main have meat as well? Shrimp or crawfish etouffee would be good.

          But that's all Louisiana style. If you're looking to have something more broadly Southern, I'd do cold fried chicken and hot baked ham, homemade macaroni and cheese, cornbread and/or (baking powder) biscuits, greens, and blackeyed peas. And jello salad! :) Or strawberry shortcake.

          4 Replies
          1. re: LauraGrace

            All those came to my mind but I damned if I know what she can get her hands on in Merry Old England. canned black-eyed peas maybe? Hell, I don't know. I've only cooked the local stuff when in Britain and mostly I eat out. It's the Supply Problem that has me concerned.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Me too. Pintos would work as well, but dunno if you can get those either. Limas/broad beans would be my next suggestion. Gawd, that sounds good -- I might have me some slow-cooked limas with my dinner tonight.

              Greens shouldn't be a problem -- root vegetables seemed common enough last time I was in the Isles so turnip greens (ooh, and maybe turnip mash) would be doable I reckon. I seem to recall an issue in a previous thread with finding cornmeal ground to the proper texture for cornbread. But biscuits, anyone can make -- especially in a country with self-rising flour! :)

              1. re: LauraGrace

                That is an excellent point . Turnip green should work--if you can ge the whole turnip, and why not? As for mustards and collards, well, the nomenclature is certain to be different and hell if I know what they'd be called. We need someone with the latin names (damn! that sounds high-falutin! Kinda scary, too).

                I'm leanng towards thinking of casseroles or pork dishes. What I really need to do is look up those oldies that start with a proper name. You know the type.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Oh yes I sure do know the type! :) Wish I had my mama's 1960s Betty Crocker cookbook handy!

          2. Ham Hocks and beans and corn bread. You may know this as ham and bean soup. It is better and more authentic if you can get smoked ham hocks. I would use great northerns ( small white beans navy beans will work if you can't get great northerns).

            I'm not much for typing in recipes.

            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em... is pretty good for the beans.

            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/co... is a pretty good recipe for the corn bread. I wouldn't use as much sugar maybe only 1/2 cup. Southern corn bread is not usually sweet. You could make them in muffin tins too. Easier to reheat that way.

            If you have to, you could use the jiffy corn bread mix. I won't tell. It will be just between me, you and 100,000 friends.

            1. Chicken and dumplin is great and can be done ahead, baked pork chops, also love the collards!, cornbread, ham bicuits, corn pudding, spoonbread would be a lovely choice too. Hoppin John is a good dish. you must do sweet tea!!!!

              1. I agree with many of the menus but will also suggest another route - Southern barbeque! When I moved from the NE to Texas and was introduced to BBQ, I thought it was food of the gods. Pulled pork can be done in a crockpot or the oven. A wonderful beef brisket can be done in an oven with some liquid smoke(I learned that from a 3rd generation Texan 30 years ago).All of the ingredients for barbeque sauce are available across the pond. Baked beans, cole slaw and corn bread can all be done from scratch ahead of time with readily available ingredients. The only ingredient that I assume will be difficult to obtain is Liquid Smoke or a similar product.

                5 Replies
                1. re: beanodc

                  I fear that BBQ is playing with fire....yeah, yeah, I know. It is SUCH a touchy subject that I would not be schocked if the party was not asulated by an irate Texan/Alabamian/Georgian/North Carolinian..even a South Carolinian, all weighted to the Plimsol Line with fury and indignation at this hollow sham of BBQ,,an IN-sult to th' FINE art of (fill in the blank) BBQ. Might be worth it for the fun, though

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Wow, so many great ideas!, i found that collards are Kale here so i could get hold of that, but so far have been unable to find lima beans,
                    BBq idea also great, but the next theme i have is bbq, so cant do that.
                    I cant get my head around jelly in savoury salad,are we talking about the fruit flavoured dessert??
                    got any good pudding recipes?

                    1. re: CathL

                      Jello wouldn't be in a savory salad (usually... I won't tell you about some of the worst ones I've choked down) -- they're just called jello salads because they're made of jello and other things like fruit, nuts, whipped cream, etc. Either molded and then sliced or made with cubes of jello and scooped up. Very good as a side.

                      I completely forgot about this, but one of my students who grew up in the DEEEEP south brought in banana pudding for her birthday today. THAT is a real live Southern dessert! It's VERY rich and delicious. Here's Paula Deen's recipe (I know, I know, Paula Deen... but let me tell you that I just ate two servings of it and am eyeballing the rest of it): http://www.mommyskitchen.net/2008/07/...

                      Pecan pie, Derby pie (similar to pecan pie but with walnuts and chocolate), and strawberry shortcake would be good as well.

                      Collards and kale aren't the same, but you can definitely use kale if that's available. Turnip greens tend to be sturdier, though, so don't cook the kale as long. Limas are sometimes also called (sometimes mistakenly) butter beans, broad beans, horse beans and windsor beans (!!). Anything by those names would work well.

                      I wonder if you can get okra, there being a sizeable West African population in England? Fried okra is a treat.

                      And fried green tomatoes just occurred to me too! :)

                      1. re: LauraGrace

                        I immediately thought banana pudding and fried green tomatoes as those were two things I had never had until I moved to the south. Definitely sweet tea and bourbon (not together!). Peach ice cream (or anything with peaches). I wonder if you could do a version of a hot brown sandwich?

                  2. re: beanodc

                    i absolutely agree with pulled pork- its REALLY easy and all the ingredients should be available to you. I'm a Eastern North Carolinaian, so I use a variant of this type of recipe for the sauce
                    Basically make this sauce a day in advance and slow cook a pork shoulder with a bit of it in either a crockpot or the oven on low (250-275) for as many hours as it takes for it to be shred-able (usually overnight or all day.) Slap it on some cheap white-bread buns (with coleslaw if you have that) and thats a very traditional southern dish. While its not done this way in ALL of the south, part of the southern US does make this dish so it's authentic as you can get.

                    Another really easy recipe for a side dish is cornbread pudding, something like this:
                    Mix in some cheddar or jalapenos for extra kick. My southern friends RAVE when I bring this and always think its something much fancier!

                    As a sidenote, I've since moved to NYC from the south and have started Southern Fried Brunch with my friends in which we eat tons of southern food (mostly south-east) about once every 6 weeks...I have lots and LOTS of dishes. if you need more ideas I can surely throw them your way :)

                  3. you could easily make a jambalaya (using pork, chix, sausage - since you say no seafood) ahead of time and keep warm in a crockpot if you have one. Do lil pulled pork sliders for an app. mac n cheese and a nice salad w/ cornbread.

                    have fun

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lexpatti

                      I am thinking with going for the fried chicken and the bbq beef , with all the fixins!
                      what can i do for the fixins, i am thinking cornbread, some kind if rice dish ?
                      what other things can i do?
                      for pudding i though a peach cobbler and key lime pie.

                    2. The fixins are many of the things already mentioned here: cornbread or biscuits, blackeyed peas, collards (or other green such as kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, even cabbage), fried okra, green beans cooked with pork (such as ham, salt pork, ham hocks, bacon).

                      You might consider Brunswick Stew, which is essentially a chicken & vegetable stew. It's very southern, can be made ahead (then re-heated) and could easily feed a crowd. Here's a really good recipe (you could double it): http://www.soulfoodandsoutherncooking...

                      One of my favorite meals that my grandmother used to cook was fried chicken, fried potatoes & onions and greens with biscuits, add a side of molasses to drizzle over the biscuit. What I wouldn't give to have her cook that meal one more time.... Desserts popular in the south include banana pudding, coconut cake, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, red velvet cake, blackberry dumplings

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        thanks cherylptw, i will check this out, and also look at sweet potato pie instead of keylime.
                        isnt it funny , my gran used to make us giant yorkshire puddings with roast dinner, i will never forget that. i have never been able to make it the same!

                        1. re: CathL

                          It's my grandmother's biscuits; no one in the family can make them like she did..I can still taste them...

                          1. re: Cherylptw

                            I Made sweet pot pie, red velvet cake they were really good, the beef was lush,
                            but the topping on the fried chicken seemed to lack flavour, any good recipes for that?

                            1. re: CathL

                              Glad your pie & cake came out good. How did you do the chicken?

                              My grandmother used to soak her chicken in buttermilk with salt & pepper. She'd then drain it and dredge it in flour seasoned like the buttermilk. One thing that she always did was to cook it in lard in a cast iron skillet (she also cooked it on a wood stove so that may give you some indication of how many years ago that was..) The lard gave the chicken a taste that you can't get with other oils. My grandmother's chicken was simple but the lard & cast iron skillet made the perfect chicken IMO.

                              Now, I don't soak my chicken; I season it using a combination of granulated garlic, onion powder, ground cumin, kosher salt & pepper OR cajun seasoning & pepper. I then season my flour with the same seasonings because you have to season all layers of your food if you expect to taste anything. I cook the chicken in either vegetable oil or canola oil; sometimes I'll use peanut oil. I've tried making the same fried chicken as my grandmother but even if I use the same ingredients, skillet & stove, I'll never get it to taste like hers.

                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                Cheryl, is is possible that your grandmother raised and killed her own chickens? The quality and diet of the chicken available to you may have something to do with you not being able to get it to taste like hers. I'd fault the chicken, not the chef.;-)

                                We all know that grandmothers, most of them anyway, had the touch.

                                Of course, if you raise your own chickens, and I don't know if you do, then it's something else. I had some chickens years ago for eggs and meat and I have never found a tastier chicken anywhere since those birds.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  Yes she did, now that you mention it. She also had hogs from which the lard was rendered, as well as a smokehouse for her meat. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the flavor of her food, along with her touch. I remember watching her make those biscuits; she never measured anything and they came out perfect every single time and the chicken was made simply, no "fancy" seasonings...sigh....

                                  I don't raise any animals (except for my Yoki, of course) but I've thought about getting a few chickens, since I have the space, but then I thought, why stop there, why not get a couple hogs...then, I had to snap back to reality...I don't want to clean up after them (lol)

                      2. Appetizers can range from a simple relish tray, to cream cheese with pepper jelly and crackers, spiced nuts or deviled eggs. If you want something more complex then pickled shrimp would work well, but might be a bit pricey. Here is a recipe and this site has more ideas:


                        Squash casserole is a frequently served side dish. There are many variations, but it is basically made with yellow summer squash, onion, a little cheese (cheddar is good), often sour cream and baked.

                        Here is a very simple one: (also a good site to get a feel for Southern food



                        A cooler side dish is a simple marinated tomato/cucumber/sweet onion salad. Creamed corn, stewed tomatoes, potato salad...

                        The banana pudding suggestions are great. Strawberry shortcake would work well too.

                        There are many regions in the South so you have a wide range of options!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: meatn3

                          Ooops! Not enough morning coffee to realize that the event had passed!

                        2. OH and for dessert- biscuits and chocolate gravy! You can home-make biscuits if you like but using pre-made refrigerated ones is ok too since they'll be smothered in chocolate gravy. Something along these lines


                          I generally add a bit of sea salt and red chili powder to the gravy for kick (although this is not very american-style southern.)