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We have listed a number of sides, desserts, and relishes that often appear on the table at Southern BBQs. Some of these are staples for Georgia BBQ.
Mac n' Cheese
There are many different recipes for mac 'n cheese. Here are a couple of historic recipes taken from cookbooks as far back as the late 1800s.
Here is a recipe from the White House Cook Book: A selection of Choice Recipes published in 1889.
Maccaroni and Cheese
Break half a pound of maccaroni into pieces an inch or two long; cook it in boiling water enough to cover it well; put in a good teaspoonful of salt; let it boil about 20 minutes. Drain it well, and then put a layer in the botton of a well-buttered pudding-dish, upon this some grated cheese, and small pieces of butter, a bit of salt, then more maccaroni, and so on, filling the dish; sprinkle the top layer with a thick layer of cracker crumbs. Pour over the whole a tea-cupful of cream or milk. Set it in the oven and bake half an hour. It should be nicely browned on top. Serve in the same dish in which it was baked, with a clean napkin pinned around it.
This is a recipe from Housekeeping in the Blue Grass (first published in 1874) by the Ladies of the First Presbyterian Church in Paris, Kentucky
Virginia Brunswick Stew
For a large family three gallons of water, to which add two chickens, which have been cut up, and one pound of fat bacon. The bacon must be cut up very fine before putting it in the water. As soon as the chickens are sufficiently cooked for the meat to leave the bones, take them out, and separate the meat from the bones. Return the meat to the water, then add half a gallon of Irish potatoes which have been boiled and mashed, one and a half pints of green corn cut off, one pint of green butter beans, one quart of tomatoes which have been skinned, and a good sized loaf of light bread. Season with black and red pepper, salt and butter. The bread must not be put in until the stew is nearly done. As soon as it begins to thicken it must be constantly stirred until it is done. If it should be too thick, add more water. Much depends on the judgement of the person who makes it. When properly made, no one is able to detect any of the ingredients. Squirrels are a very good substitute for chickens. --Baker Blanton, Farmville, Va.
The recipe is from Cooking 'Way Down South in Dixie published in 1949
1 quart corn
1 quart tomatoes
1 pint okra
1 pint butter beans
6 or 8 white potatoes, cubed
1 pod red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Boil chicken until it will leave the bones and be very tender. Pull meat from bones and cut into large cubes, return to the water in which it was cooked, add vegetables and cook down until a thick mixture. Cook it slowly and stir often to prevent it scorching.
Note: Fresh vegetables are best, but the canne3d may be used. Any vegetables liked may be added. Port, approximately 1 1/2 pounds, is a nice addition to the stew. Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce or other sauces should be used to flavor according to taste.
Here is recipe from the Cooking Way Down South cookbook published in 1949.
1/4 cup thick sour or sweet cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
a few drops of onion juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 quart cabbage, finely shredded
Combine first 6 ingredients, beat, pour over cabbage. Mix well and serve at once. Serves 6 to 8.
Click on 'Find out More' to see Garden & Gun's article about making chicken mull
This is an article by Regina Charboneau in The Atlantic, April 16, 2010.
One of the most highly regarded items in the menagerie of Southern fried foods is the hushpuppy. When it comes to the history of Southern food, it is often difficult to separate fact from fiction, but with many Southern dishes the separating is not worth it, since the folklore adds a lot of charm and allure. I have heard as many different stories about the hushpuppy as there are recipes for this Southern staple.
Most of the stories seem to be centered on the time of the Civil War. The one common thread is that this fried cornmeal was used to "hush the dogs." I have heard that Confederate soldiers used it to hush their dogs when the Union troops were getting near. I also have heard a similar story in which runaway slaves would use this favorite food to hush the dogs. The characters change but the story is the same. If slaves created the hushpuppy, it was most likely based on a common fried cornmeal from parts of South Africa called "mealie pap."
Several Southern states claim that the hushpuppy belongs to them.
This recipe comes from Flavors of the Old South, a pamphlet from the Delta Air Lines, Inc., Women's Services Department (1972). Their intent was "to 'capture' the grace and the charm of the Old South with a few recipes."
1/2 cup sifted flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 onion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup mil, approximately
Combine all ingredients with just enough milk to moisten to rather stiff dough. Drop from spoon into deep hot shortening (350 degrees) until brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Yield: 24 hush puppies.
Corn dodgers were created by Ursuline nuns in New Orleans who had come from France. The nuns converted cornmeal into a delicious food that they named croquettes de maise. Making these croquettes spread rapidly through the South. An African cook in Atlanta is supposed to called them hushpuppies.
Recipe for Corn dodgers
2 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil, divided
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil on a rimmed baking sheet.
Whisk the cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the water, buttermilk and butter in a large saucepan. In a slow, steady stream, whisk the cornmeal mixture into the liquid. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the water is absorbed and the mixture is very thick, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool until warm, about 10 minutes. Whisk the baking powder and egg in a small bowl, then stir into the cornmeal mixture.
Fill a medium bowl with tap water. Scoop out a generous 2 tablespoons of the mixture and, using wet hands, form into a 4-by-11/2-inch loaf shape. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining mixture, spacing the dodgers about 1/2-inch apart. Brush with the remaining tablespoon oil. Bake until deep brown on the bottom and golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through baking, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the corn dodgers to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. (The corn dodgers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; reheat on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven.)
This recipe comes from the cookbook Flavors of the Old South published by Delta Airlines in 1974. The original source was from The Progressive Farmer's Southern Cookbook (1961)
2 lbs. foreshank soup bone
2 lbs. pork shank
2 lbs. veal shank
Breast of lamb (3-5 lbs.)
5-6 lb. hen
3 large onions, chopped
3 large potatoes, chopped
3 raw carrots, chopped
2 pints tomatoes, chopped
1 pint corn
1 pint butterbeans
Small bunch parsley finely chopped
2 pods red peppers
2 green peppers, chopped
salt to taste
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Cook meats thoroughly, and remove from liquor. Place in a pan and cover with cold water. Strip meat from bones. Chop meat, and place with vegetables in soup kettle. Cover with water and cook until mixture is thick. Add seasonings. (Worcestershire sauce added 10 minutes before removing from heat gives a good flavor.) Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
Corn Pudding Casserole
· 2 cans of sweet creamed corn
· 1 can of drained corn
· 2 packs of Jiffy corn bread mix
· 2 eggs
· ½ cup of melted butter
· Optional: 1 cup of milk OR 1 cup of half-and-half
1. Add eggs into a large mixing bowl, then beat until everything is one solid color.
2. Add in the creamed corn and drained corn. Mix until well combined.
3. Add melted butter and mix.
4. Sprinkle in corn bread mixture.
5. Mix everything together well and pour mixture into buttered 9x13 pan.
o Batter too runny? à Add flour or cornstarch and mix well.
o Batter too thick? à Add butter, milk, or canned sweet corn.
6. Bake on 400 F for 30 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-7 minutes.
This recipe for Corn Pudding Casserole was contributed by Kathyrn Stearns, a student at Georgia College in Milledgeville. It is a family recipe that her parents, Grant and Alicia Stearns, provide to us.
This recipe comes from "Flavors of the Old South" published in 1972 by the Women's Service Department of Delta Airlines.
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cream-style corn
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/4 cup minced green pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Beat eggs slightly. Add milk, sugar and salt. Combine corn with remaining ingredients. Combine with milk mixture. Mix well. Pour into buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles
Note: Don't let "put these in sterilized jars and seal" scare you! Wash the jars, rings, and lids in the dishwasher. Do this while the cucumbers are cooking. Fill the jars while hot, being sure to wipe the mouths of the jars so they will be clean. Put the lids and rings on and tighten. Place on a dish towel to cool. As they cool, you will hear them make a popping sound when they seal. Should any not seal, place them in the refrigerator and eat them first.
Soak cucumbers in salt water overnight. Slice soaked cucumbers and onions into a large pot. Add sugar and vinegar. Use a small amount of vinegar to make a paste with the turmeric. Add the turmeric mixture to the sugar mixture. Add the celery seed, mustard seen, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Put into sterilized jars and seal.
This recipe comes from Marty Wehner, a student at Georgia College in Milledgeville. It is from his family’s cookbook Our Lives In and Out of the Kitchen. The book is filled with Marty’s grandmother’s recipes that the family still prepares today. The cookbook was a scrapbook and was never published. It is precious family possession that keeps the family connected to their grandmother and to each other.
This is a family recipe provided by true Southerner Ron Dubose. Hoecake has been a staple at Ron's table ever since his mother would make it for him in his childhood. He continues the recipe's legacy by teaching his grandchildren how to prepare it.
2 cups plain course ground corn meal (white or yellow)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups buttermilk or a little less
3 tbsp. melted bacon grease
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl and make a little hollow pocket (like a volcano)
2. Add buttermilk to the “volcano” while mixing until you have a very thick dough. Probably less than 2 cups depending on the corn meal. The spoon should be able to stand in the dough so it is thick.
3. Let it stand for 10 minutes to absorb the liquid. Add some more if it gets too thick.
4. Then add 3 tablespoons of melted bacon grease and mix in well.
5. To do it right you must have a heavy, well seasoned cast iron griddle. Coat the griddle with more bacon grease and place over a low heat.
6. While it is still cool, spread the dough over the griddle so it is about ½” thick. You can make several small cakes or just one big one.
7. This cooks over the low heat for a long time. If you have too much heat it will just burn and not get cooked inside. Done right it will take 30 to 40 minutes and get turned once in that time.(small cakes cook quicker)
8. The object is to make a bread that is mostly golden brown and very crunchy. (essentially all crust) You serve it whole and everybody just breaks off a piece to suit. (breaking bread together)
9. slather it with butter
(Other uses include crumbling it up in cold sweet milk or for the real aficionado in warm turnip green pot likker)
This recipe comes from What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking (1881) by Abby Fisher.
Take one cabbage, a large one, and cut up fine. Put in a large jar or keg, and sprinkle over it thickly one pint of coarse salt. Let it remain in salt twelve hours, then scald the cut-up cabbage with one gallon of boiling vinegar. Cut up two gallons of cucumbers, green or pickled, and add to it; cut in pieces the size of the end of little finger. Then chop very fine two gallons more of cucumbers or pickles and add to the above.
Seasonings: One pound of brown sugar, one tablespoonful of cayenne pepper, one tablespoonful of black pepper, two gallons of pure wine vinegar, two tablespoonsful of tumerick, six onions, chopped fine or grated. Then put it on the cook in a large porcelain kettle, with a slow fire, for twelve hours. Stir it occasionally to keep it from burning. You can add more pepper than is here given if you like it hot.
This recipe is from Mrs. Hill's Southern Practical Cookery and Receipt Book published in 1867. This recipe is unique because the okra is mashed and turned into a batter--fritters.
To Fry Okra: Boil a quart; strain it well from the water; mash it smooth; season with salt and pepper. Beat in one or two eggs, and add flour (about half a tumbler of sifted flour) to make the batter stiff enough to fry as fritters. Serve on a flat dish upon a napkin. They should not be piled; send in as fast as fried.
Fried Venison Cubes
· Cute venison into one-inch cubes
· Flour and season meat with salt and pepper
· Heat ½ cup of oil in a cast iron skillet until it is shimmering
· Drop venison cubes into the oil and make sure to not crowd the pan
· Cook the meat until it browns
· Drain the cubes on paper towels and sprinkle with salt as needed
· Serve warm or room temperature
This family tradition was submitted by Sachen Pillay, a student at Georgia College in Milledgeville. It originally came from his Uncle John on his Mother’s side and she passed it on to him. The tradition surrounding fried venison cubs emerged from a yearly practice entrenched in the holiday foodways of his mother’s family. The dish is rooted in the rural community of Moulton Alabama where his mother grew up. His uncles and grandfather would go deer hunting during the week of Thanksgiving for recreation and to add red meat to the dinner table because beef was too expensive. They would leave at the crack of dawn Thanksgiving morning and travel to the hunting grounds near Cherokee, Alabama. His uncles and Grandfather often traveled with local friends M.W Lauderdale, Ellis Lauderdale, and Dyers Harrville. They also took a small pack of hunting hounds that included the Lauderdale’s black and tan walkers, and Uncle John’s red bone hounds named Rip and Rowdy. Once the hunting party killed a deer, they dressed it before returning and divide it equally for their respective Thanksgiving meals. His Uncle John and grandfather returned to the house Friday morning with tubs of fresh venison. Sachen's great grandmother finished carving up the meat and assisted Uncle John in preparing the dish. The fried venison cubes became a popular side for the main Thanksgiving courses of turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans that were all freshly harvested from his grandmother’s farm. The dish became such a staple in his mother’s Thanksgiving experience, that her family would sometimes wait up to two or three days for the venison to arrive before beginning their Thanksgiving feast. Today the recipe is kept alive by his Uncle John who regularly cooks it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Venison remains his favorite type of meat, and its flavor has become something his mother identifies with the holidays.
This recipe comes from "What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking" published in 1881 by former enslaved African Abby Fisher. It is one of the first cookbooks written by an African American.
Take one quart of flour, add one teaspoonful of salt, one tablespoonful of lard, half tablespoonful of butter. Dry rub the lard and butter into the flour until well creamed; add your water gradually in mixing so as to make dough stiff, then put the dough on pastry board and beat until perfectly moist and light. Roll out the dough to thickness of third of an inch. Have your stove hot and bake quickly. To make more add twice the quantity.
This recipe comes from "Housekeeping in the Blue Grass" published in 1875. It points out that you really do have to beat the dough!
Two pints of flour, one table-spoonful of lard, one tea-spoonful salt; mix into a very stiff dough with equal parts of sweet milk and water; beat thirty minutes with an ax kept for the purpose; or, if you use a kneader, run the dough back and forth through it until rather soft and perfectly smooth.
This recipe is from "Aunt Caroline's Dixieland Recipes" published in 1922
Cut hard boiled eggs in two the long way; remove the yolks and mash very fine. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and mustard to taste, also a little butter, mix well, put back into the whites an serve on lettuce leaves or garnished with parsley. for a change, ground olives, chicken, or boiled ham may be used with the yolks.
There are numerous types of Southern biscuits. Here are a few recipes.
Little Hot Biscuits
This recipe comes from the Junior League of Pine Bluff, Arkansas' Southern Accent: A Collection of Favorite Recipes (1978).
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons shortening
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening. Slowly add milk and lemon juice until a soft dough has formed. Roll out on a floured board to a 1/2 inch thickness. Fold in half and roll twice. Cut with a small cutter and place in greased pan. Bake at 400 degrees until brown. Serves 8.
This recipe comes from Southern Cookbook: 250 Fine Old Recipes published in 1972.
2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup lard
3/4 cup buttermilk
Blend first 4 ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in lard with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add buttermilk all at one time. Stir with a fork until dough follows fork. Gently form dough into a ball and put on a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly with finger tips 10 to 15 times. Gently roll dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a floured cutter or knife, using an even pressure to keep sides of biscuits straight. Place on baking sheet close together for soft-sided biscuits, or 1 inch apart for crusty sides. Brush tops lightly with milk. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
Makes about 2 dozen biscuits.
Although hash is considered a feature of South Carolina barbecue it also appears on plates in northeast Georgia. This is an excerpt from the article "Hash" by Sadler Taylor in the South Carolina Encyclopedia. In South Carolina, hash takes the place of honor held by Brunswick Stew in nearby Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Usually served over rice, hash is more than a mere accompaniment to barbecue and maintains an important role as a congregational food. Hash is a community-based tradition, cooked in big pots for large numbers of people. Recipes are far from consistent, with variations built around techniques that spring from rural folklife.
As did other southern stews, hash developed out of a need to turn leftovers, scraps, and whatever one could find into a palatable one-pot dish. While hash variations are countless, three loosely defined geographic regions can be identified. Lowcountry hash can consist of hogsheads and organ meats such as pork liver, cooked down in a stock favoring vinegar and ketchup. Vegetables can include onions, corn, and diced potatoes. Hash from the Midlands typically consists of leaner pork cuts combined with onions, cooked in a mustard-based stock. Finally, upstate hash is largely beef-based with onions, butter, and no dominant ketchup, vinegar, or mustard base. These regions are largely historical and today the most enduring regional difference rests in the sauce or stock.
Recipes perpetuated by hash masters are a source of immense personal and local pride and makers go to great lengths to retain the uniqueness of their hash recipes and cooking techniques. While many rural fire departments, agricultural clubs, and other civic organizations cook hash for community fund-raisers, the most prolific producers are locally owned barbecue restaurants, many of which developed from family “shade tree” cooking traditions. While hash might have been born out of necessity, this one-pot treasure has long since made the transition to a “comfort food.”
This recipe for hash is from What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking (1881). This is much different from the hash served today. She calls it 'Circuit Hash.'
One dozen tomatoes, one quart of butter beans, one dozen ears of corn cut off from cob, quarter pound of lean and fat pork cut in fine pieces, if pork is not liked, use two tablespoonfuls of butter; put on in a sauce-pan and stew for one hour. Note. Five minutes before dinner put in the corn to cook with the rest of the stew.
This recipe makes 2½ to 3 cups
12 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained and diced
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s ½ tsp. vinegar-based hot sauce, such as Tabasco
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. sugar
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
⅛ tsp. freshly ground white pepper
⅛ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ cup finely chopped bread-and-butter pickles and brine
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
Put the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until softened. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Add the hot sauce, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and smoked paprika and stir to blend. Add the pickles, brine, and cheddar cheese and stir again. Fold in the diced pimentos.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Tightly covered, the pimento cheese will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
This recipe was adapted from Sean Brock's Heritage cookbook. Find the original recipe at GardenandGun.com.
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