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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.
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 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 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.
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 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.