Category Archives: Southern

Catfish in a Basil Lemon Sauce

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Summer is here, more or less, with the flavors of basil and lemon. This catfish recipe is a twist on a classic Southern fish dish and is one of the easiest, quickest dinners you can prepare in a flash for family and friends.

Enjoy!

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 catfish fillets
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup cream
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
Lemon wedges, for serving
Capers, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Pat the fish dry: Use a paper towel to pat the fish dry on both sides.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, mix together cornmeal flour, salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Dredge  the fish in cornmeal mixture, pressing the cornmeal lightly into the fish to make is adhere.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, cast iron skillet over high heat just until the oil is shimmering. Lay the fillets in the skillet carefully, using long-handled tongs. Fry for about three minutes on each side, then remove from the skillet to two plates.

Turn the heat to medium and whisk the lemon juice into the remaining fat. Whisk in the cream and basil and let boil for about a minute or until just reduced. Drizzle over the fish and serve immediately.

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Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce

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NOTE:
This recipe was originally published on my blog, A Girl and Her Girl” , in August 2016.

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Thank you so much!

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Braised Chicken with Tuscan Kale and Andouille Sausage

chicken and kale.jpgA traditional Italian dish of braised chicken nestled in a bed of earthy kale and sweet red peppers makes a perfect combination with the spiciness of Louisiana Creole andouille sausage, giving you a one-skillet meal packed with lots of flavor!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
6 chicken thighs on the bone with skin, about 2 pounds total
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly black ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread
1 large sweet onion, quartered, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
7 ounces fully cooked andouille sausage, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 cups (10 ounces) roughly chopped Tuscan kale*
½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth

For the Crostini:
6 thick slices French or Italian bread
3 tablespoons crumbled feta
Fresh chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Directions:
Season chicken generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large (14-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, in single, uncrowded layer. (Use two pans if necessary.) Cook until nicely browned and skin is crisped, about 12 minutes. (Turn on the exhaust fan and use a splatter guard to keep mess to a minimum.) Flip chicken; brown the other side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate skin side up so it stays crispy.

Spoon off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add onion and red pepper. Cook, stir occasionally, over medium heat until onion is nicely golden, about 8 minutes. Add sliced sausage and garlic; cook, 1 minute. Stir in kale. Cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine to mix well. Nestle the chicken, crispy skin side up, into the kale mixture leaving the skin uncovered. Cook, uncovered, on low until chicken juices run clear, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat broiler. Brush bread slices on both sides with olive oil. Broil bread, 4 inches from heat source until golden, about 1 minute. Flip; top with a little feta cheese. Broil the second side until golden, about 30 seconds.

Sprinkle chicken with parsley leaves. Serve chicken with the bread for mopping up all the pan juices.

*Cook’s Note:
Polish sausage can be substituted for the andouille for a milder dish. Cleaned and cut Tuscan kale, also known as black or lacinato kale, is sold in 10-ounce bags at some grocers. If Tuscan kale is not available in your local area, you can substitute 2 small bunches (about 1 pound total) kale, then trim off tough stems before cutting into 2-inch pieces.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Georgia Golden Peach Fried Chicken

Earlier this year, in January, KFC introduced another chicken offering on it’s menu in selected markets.

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Photo Credit: KFC, YumBrands! 2017

In reading my review, you can see that I was a little bit underwhelmed by the last year’s menu offering of their version of Nashville Hot Chicken. It was mildly okay. However, for the general public, many found KFC’s version still too spicy.

This year, it is KFC’s Georgia Gold, which is extra crispy chicken slathered in a honey-mustard sauce that soaks into the batter’s crunchy crevices. As an option, KFC also provides the sauce as a separate item for its chicken tenders. To be perfectly honest, it was pretty good, served with dill pickles, a hot biscuit and the traditional sweet and creamy southern style coleslaw, KFC is known for. It is so good that is taste more like a homemade meal rather that fast food.

With that being said, I just had to see if I could recreate something similar in my “laboratory” at home.

The result was a much more satisfying meal and I think I nailed it, at least the family thinks so.

I am still tweaking the recipe, but for now, here is the resulting dish.

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All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Chicken and Chorizo Sausage Gumbo

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Hello Friends!

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Shrimp Purloo

 

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Purloo (pronouced pur-low) is a simple dish, with origins from West Africa , that survived the Middle Passage establishing the Gullah Culture centered around South Carolina’s Low-country.

The name “Gullah” may have been derived from Angola, a country in Southern800px-Location_Angola_AU_Africa.svg.png Africa, where  the ancestors of some Gullah people may have likely originated. As an enslaved people, they created a new culture from the numerous African peoples brought into Charleston and South Carolina. Some scholars have suggested it may have come from Gola, an ethnicity living in the border area between present-day Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa, where many of the Gullah ancestors originated. This area was known as the “Grain Coast” or “Rice Coast” to British colonists in the Caribbean and the Southern colonies of North America and most of the tribes there are of Mande or Manding origins. The name “Geechee”, another common (emic) name for the Gullah people, may come from Kissi, an ethnicity living in the border area between Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Gullah1.PNGThe Gullah people have been able to preserve much of their African cultural heritage because of climate, geography, and patterns of importation of enslaved Africans. Taken as slaves from the Western region of Africa in primarily the Krio and Mende populations of what is present day Sierra Leone, and transported to some areas of Brazil (including Bahia), the enslaved Gullah-Gheechee people were also traded in what was then Charlestowne, South Carolina. According to British historian P.E.H. Hair, Gullah culture was formed as a creole culture in the  European colonies and in the  United States from elements of many different African cultures that came together there. These included the Baga, Fula, Kissi, Kpelle, Limba, Mandinka, Mende, Susu, Temne, Vai, and Wolof of the Rice Coast, and many from Angola, Igbo, Calabar, Congo Republic, and the Gold Coast.

rice.jpgAfrican rice has been cultivated for over 3,500 years. Between 1500 and 800 BC, Oryza glaberrima propagated from its original center, the Niger River delta, and extended to Senegal. However, it never developed far from its original region. Its cultivation even declined in favor of the Asian species, which was introduced to East Africa early in the common era and spread westward. African rice helped Africa conquer its famine of 1203.

The Moors brought Asiatic rice to the Iberian Peninsula in the 10th century. Records indicate it was grown in Valencia and Majorca. In Majorca, rice cultivation seems to have stopped after the Christian conquest, although historians are not certain.

Muslims also brought rice to Sicily, where it was an important crop long before it is noted in the plain of Pisa (1468) or in the Lombard plain (1475), where its cultivation was promoted by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, and demonstrated in his model farms.

After the 15th century, rice spread throughout Italy and then France, later propagating to all the continents during the age of European exploration.The Ottomans introduced rice to the Balkans.

In the United States, colonial South Carolina and Georgia grew and amassed great wealth from the slave labor obtained from the Senegambia area of West Africa and from coastal Sierra Leone. At the port of Charleston, through which 40% of all American slave imports passed, slaves from this region of Africa brought the highest prices, in recognition of their prior knowledge of rice culture, which was put to use on the many rice plantations around Georgetown, Charleston, and Savannah.By the middle of the 18th century, thousands of acres in the Georgia and South Carolina Lowcountry, and the Sea Islands were developed as rice fields. African farmers from the “Rice Coast” brought the skills for cultivation and tidal irrigation that made rice farming one of the most successful industries in early America.

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Not only did they bring the technology, the how-to, they brought the cultivar.West Africans had been growing varieties of rice for several thousand years before the start of the slave trade with the colonies.

Many ethnobotanist believe that African slaves carried the rice in hair while crossing the Atlantic Ocean in chains. Once in the colonies, slaves grew the rice in their own garden plots for food and slave owners took note.

In 1685 , a storm-battered ship sailing from Madagascar limped into the Charles Towne harbor. To repay the kindness of the colonists for repairs to the ship, the ship’s captain made a gift of a small quantity of “Golden Seed Rice” ,named for its color, to a local planter and based on their  observations, plantation owners in the Carolinas started experimenting with a rice variety that produced high yields and was easy to cook.

The slaves used their rice-growing know-how to convert the swampy Carolina lowlands to thriving rice plantations replete with canals, dikes, and levies, which facilitated periodic flooding of the field. The so-called Carolina Gold variety quickly became a high value export crop, primarily to Europe.

The subtropical climate encouraged the spread of malaria and yellow fever, carried by mosquitoes. These tropical diseases were endemic in Africa and had been carried by slaves to the colonies. Mosquitoes in the swamps and inundated rice fields of the Lowcountry picked up and spread the diseases to English and European settlers, as well. Malaria and yellow fever soon became endemic in the region.

Because they had acquired some immunity in their homeland, Africans were more rice3.jpgresistant to these tropical fevers than the Europeans were, and as the rice industry was developed, planters continued to import African slaves. By about 1708, South Carolina had a black majority. Coastal Georgia later developed a black majority after rice cultivation expanded there in the mid-18th century. Malaria and yellow fever became endemic, and fearing disease, many white planters left the Lowcountry during the rainy spring and summer months when fevers ran rampant. Others lived mostly in cities such as Charleston.

The planters left their European or African “rice drivers”, or overseers, in charge of the plantations.These had thousands of slaves, with African traditions reinforced by new imports from the same regions. Over time, the Gullah people developed a creole culture in which elements of African languages, cultures, and community life were preserved to a high degree. Their culture developed in a distinct way, different from that of the enslaved African-Americans in states such as North Carolina and Virginia, where the enslaved lived in smaller groups, and had more sustained and frequent interactions with whites and British American culture.

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And now we come full circle. Many of the traditional rice dishes found through out the Southern United States , are African in origin, like Hoppin’ John, Limpin’ Susan, or Red Rice.

Pilau, or Purloo as the Gullah call it, is one of the classic  rice dishes of the South Carolina Low Country.This dish, requiring no little more than rice and whatever meat that might be on hand. Any time you add meat to rice and cook it all together in one pot, that’s a purloo.

Purloo’s beauty lies in its versatility. You can substitute oysters for shrimp or add sausage or chicken earlier in the cooking  process . It’s a simple dish based around the Low-country’s one-time staple crop: rice. When cooking the rice, use less liquid. If you put in too much liquid, the dish will become a boggy soup. For a full flavor, make sure to cook your rice in a stock, not just water.

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp
2 1/2 cups shrimp stock*
2 Tablespoons seafood seasoning
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2  tomatoes, chopped
2 slices bacon
3 Tablespoons chopped ham
1 cup white rice
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Cooked okra (optional)
Parsley, for garnish

Directions: 
Peel and devein the shrimp. Reserve the shells.

Prepare the stock. Place all of  the reserve shrimp shells  into a pot of water and boil for an hour or two.  Strain out the peels and put the stock aside. This is the traditional way of making stock for a shrimp purloo.

Cook the bacon and ham in a medium  saucepan  over medium heat. Add onion and garlic.

Add tomatoes, seasoning, and  stock. Bring to a boil.

Add rice. Reduce heat and cover. Cook about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

Stir in the shrimp, cover, and let cook about five minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink.

To serve family style, spoon onto a platter garnish with parsley.

 

Cook’s Notes :
*Chicken broth  or fish stock can be substituted for the shrimp stock.

If you want to add okra, cook it in a separate pan until the thick sap dissipates. Scoop it out and add it to the saucepan when you add the shrimp.

 

 

Hello Friends!

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Catfish in a Basil Lemon Sauce

DSC06156 (2) otmatk.jpg

 

Hello Friends!

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Roasted Chicken with Grilled Nectarines

 

Today, I was inspired by my Grand’s recipe , “Fried Chicken Smothered in Peaches”. Grand would serve  this on Sundays after morning Church services and there  wouldn’t be any leftovers.

So, here is my version of her dish,”Roasted Chicken with Grilled Nectarines and Spiced Brown Sugar Bourbon Sauce”.

 

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Garlicky Fried Chicken