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Southern Cooking/Soul Food

What's your favorite dish?

This thread was inspired by the Shrimp and Grits I had for dinner last night.

by Anonymousreply 97June 26, 2022 6:16 PM

If I had to choose I would have to say smothered porkchops. Also blackberry cobbler.

by Anonymousreply 1June 19, 2022 2:30 PM

pear salad with shredded cheese and mayonnaise

not a favorite but definitely southern!

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by Anonymousreply 2June 19, 2022 2:49 PM

Tomato Pie.

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by Anonymousreply 3June 19, 2022 3:05 PM

Chicken livers!

by Anonymousreply 4June 19, 2022 3:08 PM

Holy fuck, that tomato pie looks amazing.

by Anonymousreply 5June 19, 2022 3:10 PM

Sweet potato biscuits. Fried okra.

by Anonymousreply 6June 19, 2022 3:26 PM

I enjoy guilt on toast.

by Anonymousreply 7June 19, 2022 3:55 PM

R3 & R5, my favorite tomato pie recipe is at the link, from a real (and cute) Southern boy's blog.

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by Anonymousreply 8June 19, 2022 4:08 PM

There is no way I could make tomato pie. I wonder if I can buy one from somewhere. That looks good.

by Anonymousreply 9June 20, 2022 1:54 AM

R9, it's not hard to make. The most difficult part is the pie crust and I used a store-bought one, which worked fine. The rest is just grating cheese and slicing tomatoes. It's well worth whatever effort it takes, you should try it.

by Anonymousreply 10June 20, 2022 1:58 AM

Fried okra.

by Anonymousreply 11June 20, 2022 1:58 AM

Corn pudding is an old favorite and rarely seen nowadays. It’s so sweet, I haven’t made it in years. A true pudding, almost a sweet, crustless quiche.

by Anonymousreply 12June 20, 2022 2:06 AM

Soul-food mac and cheese

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by Anonymousreply 13June 20, 2022 2:06 AM

fried chicken.

by Anonymousreply 14June 20, 2022 2:07 AM


by Anonymousreply 15June 20, 2022 2:09 AM

Sweet Potato Pie

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by Anonymousreply 16June 20, 2022 2:14 AM

Potato salad with mashed potatoes and yellow mustard mixed with the mayonnaise (or maybe instead of mayonnaise).

by Anonymousreply 17June 20, 2022 2:18 AM

Sweet potato pie 🥧 slaps 🔥

by Anonymousreply 18June 20, 2022 2:26 AM

Anything with crawfish. Crawfish poboys, crawfish etouffe, crawfish pie...

by Anonymousreply 19June 20, 2022 2:27 AM

Tomato gravy and biscuits

by Anonymousreply 20June 20, 2022 2:29 AM

Pickled eggs

by Anonymousreply 21June 20, 2022 2:31 AM

Fried chicken and gumbo

by Anonymousreply 22June 20, 2022 2:35 AM

For the big pie holes here.

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by Anonymousreply 23June 20, 2022 2:36 AM

on a hot and humid day, you just break off a chunk of the cow's salt licks or suckle the sweet nectar of a youthful flower that's finally come of age off the vine.

on a cold day, you'd just warm your hands on the slow roasted, steamed or smoked, trad was those families that would smoke them beneath a pile of autumn leaves, sweet potato and carry them in your pocket on your way to school to keep your hands warm and rush to eat it before you went thru the door.

the harder to find is the authentic southern take on a german chocolate cake - which the secret was using almond paste liberally applied between layers and lightly beneath the upper frosting.

of staples, rice and beans. . . but that frequently takes us into the debate of south to southwest,, and most would place Louisana's influences in it's own categories... just as many I find I would recommend would fall into their own ethnic categories despite centuries of presence and influence in the U.S. or simply displaced by the trends of 1960s convenience cookbooks nationwide featuring jello molds, marshmallows and spray cheese in everything than it truly being southern dishes... or to this age where many seem to believe any of the 80s cancerous microwave cookbooks are southern.. and by southern, what they mean is trailer trash or ghetto. . . which this John Waters esque style of cusine is deemed southern but alas, watch the exaggerated moans and cries, the outrage and shame, when we get to the now fine dining meals of squirrel and squab.

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by Anonymousreply 24June 20, 2022 3:47 AM

If anyone else likes chicken livers, I get them at the store for $1.50-$2 a carton. You can't eat that many in one sitting, I don't care how big you are.

You want to wash them off in the sink really well, in a strainer, under cool water. Put them on paper towels in a single layer and pat dry. From here on out, I use the Neelys' recipe for chicken tenders to prepare my livers (needs more salt than the recipe calls for-- like 50-100% more).

My mom still uses crushed saltines, and she doesn't flour her livers before dipping it in egg. I'm not talking smack on my mom but the breading doesn't stick to her livers real well because she skips this critical step. You must dredge them in flour before dipping in the egg; the flour on the surface of the liver gives the egg something to stick to. If the egg doesn't stick, the breading won't stick either. If you're going to do all that work anyway, just do it right and flour them. And the panko breadcrumbs as called for in the recipe are superior to saltines or regular breadcrumbs.

I use peanut oil to fry them since it isn't an everyday occasion, any neutral oil will do but I like peanut oil for fried chicken. I use a cast iron skillet but you don't have to. I do recommend a thermometer to make sure the oil is the right temperature (360°) before you drop them and keep it ~350 while they're cooking. Cooler and theyll soak up too much oil, hotter and they won't be done in the middle. Don't turn them more than once so the breading stays on.

This recipe makes good tenders too, of course. I don't make the sauce if I'm making livers, but I do for tenders.

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by Anonymousreply 25June 20, 2022 4:19 AM

I fried my own chicken livers exactly ONE TIME.

No one told me that chicken livers repeatedly pop and spatter grease all over the kitchen while they are frying.

Huge mess. Never again.

by Anonymousreply 26June 20, 2022 6:49 AM

Collard greens

by Anonymousreply 27June 20, 2022 6:58 AM

r26 It's the water.

by Anonymousreply 28June 20, 2022 7:08 AM

[quote] "Chicken livers!"

My mother loved to eat these floured & fried, accomoanied by deep-fried potato wedges, rescue-chick @R14. I always preferred gizzards, because the texture is more palatable to me. I don't think I'd eat either one now. But I do still love some lightly salted, crispy potato wedges with a side of cool, sweet and creamy Amish macaroni salad (which is not Southern Soul Food, I know).

I love all of that Creole & some Cajun food, with my all-time favorite soul food dish being fried chicken.

by Anonymousreply 29June 20, 2022 7:17 AM

Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, cheese grits, biscuits, fried chicken, fried catfish. Red-eye gravy (made with coffee), ambrosia, congealed salad. (jello with diced vegetables floating all up in there). Fish you can't get in the north (Grouper, mullet). Black eyed peas cooked with onions and bacon or fat back or side pork. Chitterlings - I just can't ........ Lots of desserts and cakes made with colas and the like.

A friend basically "stole" my White Trash Cookbook and I've never been able to wrest it back from his library. I wasn't raised in the South, but I had so many dishes at pot lucks and so forth when I lived down there that resembled his recipes, I've got to believe that most of his recipes were authentic. The author was taken from us during the AIDS era, but it was a classic both for the recipes and the photographs. Ernest Matthew Mickler. I see it's still available for sale on Amazon and Thriftbook.

by Anonymousreply 30June 20, 2022 7:23 AM

squash casserole, red beans and rice, most any kind of beans and rice (but lima beans are evil), leftover cornbread for breakfast, biscuits and cream gravy

by Anonymousreply 31June 20, 2022 7:51 AM


by Anonymousreply 32June 20, 2022 8:06 AM

Pork chops, rice and tomato gravy, pole beans, mustard (or turnip) greens, and cornbread--that was always the first meal Mama made when I came to visit.

by Anonymousreply 33June 20, 2022 8:38 AM

Another vote for yams, red beans & rice, cornbread, and will add chicken fried steak. My absolute favorite, though, is smothered pork chops (served over rice and with string beans and applesauce as sides).

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by Anonymousreply 34June 20, 2022 8:44 AM

Peach cobbler

by Anonymousreply 35June 20, 2022 10:26 AM

^ thanks for the chicken liver recipe above.

by Anonymousreply 36June 20, 2022 10:28 AM

R12 -- Search "Memphis Corn Pudding."

by Anonymousreply 37June 20, 2022 10:29 AM

One of the best meal I've ever had was seared red snapper in mustard sauce with greens and polenta. Not a traditional southern meal, but I don't care. Another take on a not traditional southern meal, but related is deep fried lobster tail, mashed potatoes, fried onion strings, and salad or fresh green beans.

by Anonymousreply 38June 20, 2022 10:36 AM

I still remember a stellar Crawfish Maque Choux I was served at Commander's Palace in New Orleans years ago.

by Anonymousreply 39June 20, 2022 10:42 AM

He published a second cookbook that also has great photos, R30. You should repurchase the first and get a copy of the second. Great books.

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by Anonymousreply 40June 20, 2022 12:06 PM

R26, R28 is right, it was the water. You have to put them on paper towels in a single layer and pat dry before beginning the breading process. It takes 30 seconds. Water in oil that hot makes a big mess.

Don't die, dry before you fry. Give it one more try.

I used to just go to Grandy's for livers myself--they sold them cheaper than I could make them at home ($2.80/8pc), but they closed down and only Henderson Chicken 30 minutes away sells them now, but they're not great. These are outstanding.

by Anonymousreply 41June 20, 2022 1:13 PM

Everyone of these foods is delicious, haven't even mentioned gumbos. Can't pick just one!

by Anonymousreply 42June 20, 2022 1:17 PM

How is there anyone down south over the age of 50?

by Anonymousreply 43June 20, 2022 1:28 PM

Country Captain…anyone know what that is? A classic in Charleston.

by Anonymousreply 44June 20, 2022 2:04 PM

Livermush (not scrapple) sandwich on white toast with grits.

by Anonymousreply 45June 20, 2022 2:26 PM

Sweet tea

by Anonymousreply 46June 20, 2022 2:44 PM


by Anonymousreply 47June 20, 2022 2:44 PM

Is frybread eaten in the South outside of Native communities and groups?

by Anonymousreply 48June 20, 2022 2:48 PM


by Anonymousreply 49June 20, 2022 3:02 PM

Pound cake

by Anonymousreply 50June 20, 2022 3:02 PM

R48, not that I'm aware of. I live in Texas. It used to be something you'd see on the fairgrounds, etc., but I think the people for whom it was a traditional food (and lots of it) have largely gone extinct.

by Anonymousreply 51June 20, 2022 4:53 PM

Oh, darlin! Soul food is my favorite culinary escape. I love it all! But especially: bbq ribs, collard greens, corn-on-the-cob, rice and peas, potato salad, macaroni salad, cornbread and banana pudding. Of course, don't forget the moonshine! Ha!

by Anonymousreply 52June 20, 2022 5:01 PM

Collard greens as well.

by Anonymousreply 53June 20, 2022 5:11 PM

Crawfish pie...fantastic! I hate to say this, I'll sound like a fat whore, but Popeye's has the best red beans and rice IMO. I've had other people's homemade but Popeye's is almost creamy.

I'm in Texas and I make black-eyed peas and cornbread every New Year's day. Lots of onion and garlic and a piece of fatback for flavor.

by Anonymousreply 54June 20, 2022 5:18 PM

Croaker fish

by Anonymousreply 55June 20, 2022 8:25 PM


by Anonymousreply 56June 20, 2022 8:36 PM

Extra coarse grits with butter and salt.

Cheese grits are for Yankees

Unsweetened cornbread.

by Anonymousreply 57June 20, 2022 8:40 PM

To get the best corn bread you must grease the pan with bacon drippings preferably in a cast iron skillet. Get the skillet super hot then pour batter in.

by Anonymousreply 58June 20, 2022 8:50 PM

r40 that was an outstanding article about Mickler. Thanks for linking it!

by Anonymousreply 59June 21, 2022 6:46 AM

I have to add that I never ever had a decent bowl of grits in a diner in the south, although they will plop one down in front of you with every order of eggs. (I'm talking about places like Waffle House). In my opinion, grits are hard to mess up, and yet they succeeded in ruining them every time - mainly undercooked. In some books, (notably Mrs. Whaley Entertains) one can read that proper grits should be steamed/cooked in a double boiler, for an hour, but I think that is gilding the lily. I find that I have good success pouring the grits into cold water with some salt, stirring infrequently until the water begins boiling, then stirring like a crazy person until the grits begin to thicken and spew splatters of hot grits (like molten lava) into the air. Then it's time to cover them tightly and turn off the heat, but allow them to sit and cook in the steam for about another 10 minutes or so. Still, the entire process is going to take 20 minutes minimum, and probably closer to 30 until the right texture is achieved. I don't understand why many southern recipe writers insist that you have to pour the grits into boiling water. You have much less control over the process that way.

by Anonymousreply 60June 21, 2022 7:08 AM

Why are you expecting to get decent grits at the Waffle House of all places?

by Anonymousreply 61June 21, 2022 12:40 PM

Soul Food is a minor category within Southern Cooking. It's not x/y thing.

by Anonymousreply 62June 21, 2022 12:52 PM


by Anonymousreply 63June 21, 2022 1:02 PM

Some people would say that they are two names for more or less the same thing. Who do you think cooked Southern Cooking?

by Anonymousreply 64June 21, 2022 1:02 PM

I just saw this recipe for a tomato tart that resembles the tomato pies above -- not southern but sounds good. If you want to skip the writer's long chatty preamble, hit "JUMP TO RECIPE" under the title, right next to the date. Somewhere in there, she says that you could use a store-bought crust instead of making a tart shell from scratch, which I'll definitely do whenever I get around to trying this.

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by Anonymousreply 65June 21, 2022 1:41 PM

This will seem a rather pedestrian choice, but there's something sublime about fried chicken made by a real country cook. Same with biscuits and gravy. Of course you know it would be superior to fast food, but even the finest restaurants can't compare to what a Southerner makes in their home kitchen. If you ever get the invite to a country cook's home, jump on it.

by Anonymousreply 66June 21, 2022 5:02 PM

banana pudding must have meringue and be baked!

by Anonymousreply 67June 21, 2022 5:13 PM

Home-friend chicken is not deep fried. It is fried in oil about halfway up, and covered, turning a few times. The skin is not like KFC, but softer and less crispy. It takes at least 25 minutes and is seldom seen in restaurants.

by Anonymousreply 68June 21, 2022 6:52 PM

Tony is correct. I could never get it and the blood probably helped turn me vegetarian 30 years ago.

Jane's chicken and biscuits.

I did learn other things.

by Anonymousreply 69June 21, 2022 6:59 PM

Buttermilk biscuits

by Anonymousreply 70June 22, 2022 11:26 AM

I highly recommend the books of the late Eugene Walter, if you don't know them. He was from Mobile, went to live in New York and then Italy (where he worked for Fellini and Antonioni, among others). He was known primarily as a food writer and is fascinating on the subject of Southern food. The tone is somewhat like that of Capote or Tn. Williams, knowledgeable and humorous. From Wikipedia: "Hints & Pinches (1991) is an encyclopedic coverage of more than 150 herbs, spices, chutneys and relishes." He wrote the volume on Southern Cooking for the Time-Life series on American Cooking, and it's worth reading (most libraries have this series of books). His autobiography, called "Milking the Moon", is really worth reading too: about what Mobile was like early in the XXth Century, and Europe after WWI: spotting Stravinsky walking casually through Paris, etc., and living in Roma during the years of "La Dolce Vita." He was also a co-founder of The Paris Review and Botteghe Oscure. The first 4 or 5 pages of Milking the Moon seem kind of twee and "over the top," but once he gets to narrating his story, it is really hard to put down. I've learned A LOT about food from these books.

by Anonymousreply 71June 22, 2022 2:25 PM

Fried pork chops. I suck the bones 🦴

by Anonymousreply 72June 22, 2022 2:25 PM

I always thought Mr. Neely was hot.

by Anonymousreply 73June 22, 2022 2:48 PM

For you chicken liver fans who want a fancier dish, Google "Squash Eudora."

by Anonymousreply 74June 22, 2022 2:53 PM

Yes, Eugene Walter is good. Bill Neal is worth checking out as well.

by Anonymousreply 75June 22, 2022 3:04 PM

R73, you know what, he split from his wife!

by Anonymousreply 76June 23, 2022 1:28 PM

I think my favorites are Southern pies and biscuits. Most of what's mentioned here in the way of entrees sounds a bit rich except for the tomato tart and gumbo.

by Anonymousreply 77June 23, 2022 2:14 PM

Yeah, it's mostly all the kind of food you'd serve the preacher during his annual visit, but Paula Deen and whoever started shoveling it at us every single day.

by Anonymousreply 78June 23, 2022 2:23 PM

I eat it once or twice every couple months. I just got my labs back on Monday and everything was excellent. Or within normal limits, at least.

by Anonymousreply 79June 23, 2022 6:52 PM

And it's poetic justice that Paula Deen all but destroyed her health promoting/normalizing that very over the top food to the masses-- donut bread pudding, etc.

That's not southern food, that's just a gross caricature.

by Anonymousreply 80June 23, 2022 6:55 PM

Fried Catfish

by Anonymousreply 81June 23, 2022 6:57 PM

Can you make a tomato pie the day before serving or will it get watery?

by Anonymousreply 82June 23, 2022 6:58 PM

Eastern NC barbecue.

by Anonymousreply 83June 23, 2022 6:59 PM

Boudin sausage

Dirty rice

Shrimp etouffee


Peach cobbler

Sour cream grape salad

Mustard or collard greens with fatback

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by Anonymousreply 84June 23, 2022 6:59 PM

R82, the tomato pies I've made from the recipe linked at R8 were served warm the day of baking, but the leftovers were stored covered in the refrigerator overnight and served at room temperature the next day without being watery.

by Anonymousreply 85June 23, 2022 7:12 PM

I've tried different cheeses on my tomato pies. Feta or goat cheese works great.

by Anonymousreply 86June 23, 2022 7:18 PM

R85 thanks. I know what I’m making for Fourth of July.

by Anonymousreply 87June 23, 2022 8:37 PM

R87, if you can find red, white, and blue (or purple) heirloom tomatoes, that would look good for Independence Day.

by Anonymousreply 88June 24, 2022 1:47 AM

Fried catfish with hush puppies.

by Anonymousreply 89June 26, 2022 4:13 AM

I love hush puppies

by Anonymousreply 90June 26, 2022 2:14 PM

Do hipsters call them "hush puppers?"

by Anonymousreply 91June 26, 2022 2:16 PM

silent rescue dogs

by Anonymousreply 92June 26, 2022 2:18 PM

Eggplant Casserole with Shrimp, Asparagus Casserole, Watermelon Salad, butter peas, okra fritters, jalapeño cornbread, Catfish Briars, Cajun boiled peanuts, panneed veal, grits and grillades, fat salty oysters on the half shell with lemony cocktail sauce.

by Anonymousreply 93June 26, 2022 5:26 PM

eggplant? barf.

by Anonymousreply 94June 26, 2022 5:30 PM

unless your east indian or med.

by Anonymousreply 95June 26, 2022 5:31 PM

I would kill for a peach pie right now.

by Anonymousreply 96June 26, 2022 5:37 PM

White beans and rice are better than red beans and rice, but I like them both.

So many good choices on this thread. I'll throw in grilled cheese and gumbo. Best with plain American cheese, but if you're not having it with gumbo I'd make a pimiento cheese griller.

by Anonymousreply 97June 26, 2022 6:16 PM
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