Quick Recipes and Easy

Southern Cooking Tips

Southern cooking is about the history and past economics of the South. Many individuals made do with what the could grow from the ground. This clarifies why cornmeal was a well loved grain in the south largely because not much wheat could be grown. Native Americans taught Southerners how to use plants and game for food. African Americans taught them how to use black eyed peas, sweet sorghum, okra and watermelons which are still well loved today in southern recipes.

Other favorites of southern cooking that are simple recipes to make are sausage dressing, fried green tomatoes, sorghum syrup, country ham, catfish, hush puppies, squirrel food, southern style pork cassuolet, and sauerkraut. In fact, most southern recipes are not complicated and taste fantastic!

One of staples of southern cooking is cornbread. The best cornbread is made with regular corn meal, not the mix. But, if a mix is used you should follow the directions on the package carefully. Also, you should use buttermilk or buttermilk powder in the corn bread. Self rising corn meal is simpler to prepare than plain corn meal which requires added leavening and stone ground corn meal is the best of the
corn meals for corn bread. Whenever cornmeal is used it’s vital to follow the directions exactly on the package when making cornbread.

Southern cooking also has its favorite fruits and vegetables. Blackberries are a staple of southern cooking because they can be grown at home. Blackberries are used to make jams, jellies, preserves, and cobblers. Black-eyed peas are a traditional southern dish that is eaten on New Year’s day for excellent luck.

Cooking dried peas requires that they are first soaked in a wire sieve. Then select a pot that will allow the peas to be completely covered. Also, most place a slice of cured ham in the the pot. Then add the peas, and bring to a boil until completely tender. Fresh or frozen peas can be cooked this same way but with out the soaking.

Collards are a variety of cabbage. These greens can be cooked after being rinsed and removing the terrible spots. Place them in a pot with bacon and add water. Bring the pot to a slow boil and cook for forty five
minutes to an hour.

Of course, any discussion about southern cooking would not be complete without talking about grits. Always a southern favorite, grits are usually served at breakfast with butter. They also can be used in
casseroles. Grits come from hominy which are corn kernels. Lima beans are also a southern favorite. They are prepared just like the black eyed peas.

Finally, muscadines are a fruit similar to grapes. They are used to make jams, jellies, preserves, and even wine. Okra and sweet potatoes are also fantastic staples that are used in southern cooking.

So next time you are in the south question for some of these fantastic southern dishes or cook them up yourself!

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