Southern or Down Home cooking is famous, not only in the United States but across the globe. A delicious and comforting blend of fresh ingredients, herbs and spices
Southern cooking is often produced with extremely humble base ingredients that are transformed into a cuisine that simply hits all the right spots. Fried chicken, seafood, corn, greens and pork are all at the foundation of what makes Southern food simply irresistible. But what really sets Southern food apart is the way that these ingredients are used to provide that unique Southern taste.
So what are some Down Home dishes that should be on the menu of every family that enjoys the soul comforting taste of food from down South? Here are two favorites, a main course and dessert.
Southern Fried Chicken
There can be no other meal that deserves to be first on the menu of any choice of Southern food. Southern fried chicken may be a staple of many fast food chains – but a home version can blow any of them out of the water. It’s just a case of fresh ingredients and the right approach to the cooking process.
For many people, the secret is in the buttermilk marinade. A great approach is to mix two cups of buttermilk with one tablespoon each of Dijon Mustard, mustard powder, salt, cayenne pepper and ground pepper. Soak the chicken pieces (a whole chicken) in this mixture in a sealed container overnight.
The next day mix 1 tablespoon each of baking powder and garlic powder with 2 cups of all purpose flour. Toss your chicken pieces in this mixture and allow to stand for around 15 minutes. The you’re ready to fry the chicken in a heavy pan with around 5 cups of vegetable shortening at 375 degrees. You don’t have to do them all at the same time. Once you’ve done them all then reduce the temperature by half and fry for an additional 20 minutes. Set on a wire rack and keep in the warming oven until required. Simply delicious.
Simple, clean tasting and an absolute favorite classic, the Peach Cobbler is one of the the South’s most iconic dishes.
You’re going to need one and a half cups of all purpose flour, two tablespoons of brown sugar, one cup of granulated sugar (also set aside a tablespoon for later), a half teaspoon of ground ginger and baking soda, half a teaspoon of salt, six tablespoons of unsalted butter, a cup of heavy cream and about a pound and a half of fresh, juicy peaches. Two tablespoons of vanilla extract and a single tablespoon of cornstarch are also required.
Mix the flour and the brown sugar with one and a half tablespoons of granulated sugar. Add the ginger, the baking powder and the salt in a mixing bowl. Mix in the butter until you have a course mixture. Stir in your cream until you have dough. Let the dough chill, wrapped in plastic in the fridge for an hour.
The next step is to mix your peaches with the granulated sugar (keep a tablespoon back) and the vanilla in a bowl then set aside for an hour. Drain 50% of the liquid and toss the peaches in cornstarch. The set in a cast iron skillet.
Set oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out and cut into rounds. Cover the fruit with the rounds (no overlapping). Brush with cream and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 25 minutes and serve while the dish is still warm.
Down home cooking is simply superlative – try a Southern meal with your family and they’ll be clamoring for more.