It was with open arms and hospitality that only southerners can offer that April welcomed us into her home this week for the Southern Cuisine themed cooking club meeting. Thanks for all the delicious food, everyone, and thanks especially to April for opening her home and for using her amazing photo skills to take such beautiful pictures of the food.
Be sure to join us on May 12 at 7:30 at Carrie Christensen’s house for a truly unforgettable cook-off: CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES AND HOMEMADE ICE CREAM! Please, please come be a judge and taster if you don’t have time to make anything, because the more mouths we have the more accurate are the results of the judging!
A great turn-out!
2 bunches Swiss chard
1 Tbs olive or grapeseed oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
DIRECTIONS: Rinse the greens well, remove stems and blot leaves dry with paper or kitchen towels. Chop leaves and set aside. Sauté garlic and oil over low heat until fragrant. Add leaves, turn heat to medium low, and cover until leaves wilt. When they turn bright green, add a pinch of salt and mix, then cover. As soon as all the leaves are soft, add a splash of balsamic vinegar and stir. Turn off the heat, but leave pan on the burner for a few minutes for the vinegar to be absorbed.
5 bunches, or more, of assorted greens (see note)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
2 quarts of reserved cooking water
1 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup of chopped celery
Ham hock or ham bone
2 or 3 pounds of assorted diced meats (see below)
1 cup uncooked rice (I used brown)
1-1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, or to taste
About 6 turns of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
Red pepper flakes, optional
File powder, optional
Hot pepper sauce, optional, to taste
DIRECTIONS: Wash greens thoroughly (several times if necessary) and strip leaves away from the stems. Discard stems. Rough chop the greens and add them to a tall stockpot and cover with water. Add the onion and garlic, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Scoop greens out of the cooking liquid (you'll want to reserve 2 quarts of the liquid) and set aside 2 cups of drained greens. Puree the remaining greens in a food processor and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven or pot, heat the canola oil and stir in the flour; cook, stirring constantly until the mixture turns the color of peanut butter. Add the 1 cup chopped onion and the bell pepper and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Scoop out 2 cups of the cooking liquid and begin slowly stirring that into the roux, until well blended; continue until you have added 2 quarts of the liquid to the roux. Add the pureed greens, plus the reserved whole greens to the pot, and stir in the seasonings. If you are using a ham bone or ham hocks, add those here. Cut any other meat you are using into equal sized pieces, and saute in a separate skillet with a bit of canola oil. Add the meat and pan drippings to the pot of greens. Add the rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1-1/2 hours.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve over hot rice, sprinkle with file, if desired, and pass hot sauce at the table.
Suggested greens: Choose at least five different forms of greens, though you can actually use as many as you like, but keep it an odd number of them for good luck. Collards, turnips or mustard greens, kale, spinach, watercress, arugula, sorrel, chicory, cabbage, green leaf lettuce (not iceberg), carrot or beet tops, flat leaf parsley, dandelion greens are a few good choices. You can substitute frozen greens for part, but not all of the greens in the recipe, but try to use as much fresh as possible to balance it out.
Suggested meats to add: 3 to 4 pounds of a mixture of meats can be used, including Mexican Chorizo sausage, Italian sausage, Bratwurst or other raw ground pork (remove from casing and brown), smoked meats such as ham, smoked sausage, ham hocks, smoked turkey legs, wings, or smoked neck bones, stew meat, bacon, veal, or brisket, are all good choices. Cut any other meat you are using into equal sized pieces, and saute in a separate skillet with a bit of canola oil. Then add the meat and pan drippings to the pot of greens.
Crazy Corn Casserole
4 strips bacon
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 green onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 16-oz. bag frozen corn, defrosted
2 8-oz. packages TGI Friday’s brand spinach artichoke dip
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
a few twists of black peper
1/2 colby jack cheese, shredded
DIRECTIONS: Cook bacon, snip into bite-sized pieces with kitchen shears. Saute onions and peppers until golden. Add garlic and saute one minute more. Add corn and bacon. Nuke artichoke dip until just melted and add to pan. Add yogurt, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until golden brown.
1 package yellow cake mix
1 package Jell-O vanilla pudding
DIRECTIONS: Prepare cake and pudding according to package directions, Layer cake, pudding, fruit, and whipped cream in mason cars until full. End with whipped cream and a few pieces of fruit for garnish.
Southern Split Pea Soup
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cups half-and-half
1/3 stick butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
DIRECTIONS: Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat stir mixture until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to stir. Spoon mixture up on sides of pan to melt any sugar that hasn't melted.
Cook until mixture reaches 238 to 241 degrees F on a candy thermometer or soft ball stage. Stir in the pecans. Remove from heat. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Drop onto parchment paper, buttered pan or buttered marble slab, using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Let cool.
Homemade Wheat Rolls and Chicken Salad