Sunday, July 25, 2010

Southern Summer Supper

September 2008 we traveled to Georgia with some friends and ate some incredibly yummy food.  The above picture is us with Cy and Brea eating at Mary Mac's Tea Room.  Brea and I ate there at least three times while we were in Atlanta, and this night we brought the boys.  We invited the lovely couple over for dinner the other night, and while I was trying to figure out what to make I remembered our Georgia experience...and the food.  I thought that in memory of the great time and delicious food we ate, I would create a Southern Summer Supper (thanks Brea for the title, I stole it from your Facebook page) with the help of Paula Deen and Bobby Flay.  The dinner was comprised of Gumbo, Cole Slaw, Cornbread, and Raspberry Buckle for dessert.  So, if you want to enjoy your own Southern Supper experience, try out these badboys...

- Gumbo -
Courtesy Paula Deen

Don't let all the steps and long list of ingredients keep you from making is SO worth it!  I was a backslid Pescatarian for the evening and ate some of the chicken in the Gumbo.  After simmering for a few hours the chicken shred a little, so it was impossible to pick out (not to mention the broth that was created from cooking the meat was already in there anyway).  I made sure to by local, free-range, and hormone/antibiotic free meat so I'm not too worried about it. 

What you need:
  • 3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 5 beef bouillon cubes (used veggie, to keep the "meat juice" to a minumim)
  • 1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups frozen sliced okra
  • 4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
  • 1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
What you do:

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of margarine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.

Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon cubes, whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour (mine simmered for about 2.5 hours). Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp and chopped parsley.

**When eating rice in our house it's always brown or wild.  However, when I have eaten Gumbo it's served with a pile of white rice on that's what I did**

- Creamy Cole Slaw -
Courtesy Bobby Flay

I wanted to make a Cole Slaw like the creamy slaw you would find at a BBQ restaurant, authentic, and without all the other ingredients like green pepper and raisins I found in some recipes.  I was going for authentic here, and I think Mr Flay nailed it with this recipe.  I made mine the night before our dinner so the flavors could join together in a happy swing dance in the fridge.  Cole slaw that has had a chance to swing dance tastes better in my opinion, it's happier :)

What you need:
  • 1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 large carrots, finely shredded (I bought organic pre-packaged to save time and just eye-balled the amount)
  • 3/4 cup best-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated Spanish onion (I used Walla Walla sweet onion)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt (I used celery seed instead, some of the reviews stated the slaw was too salty)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper What you need:
What you do:

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.

- Layered Mexican Cornbread -
Courtesy Paula Deen

“The North thinks it know how to make corn bread, but this is a gross superstition. Perhaps no bread in the world is quite as good as Southern corn bread, and perhaps no bread in the world is quite as bad as the Northern imitation of it.”- Mark Twain. This Northern girl did her best Mr. Twain, and with the help of Ms. Deen I think I would have "dun ya proud".

  • Butter or non-stick cooking spray, for greasing pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (14-ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1 cup chopped jalepeno peppers (this is a lot of jalepeno chopping, may I recommend wearing gloves.  I may have had some burning fingers, which has never happened before, and is really annoying)
What you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch or 9 by 9-inch square pan with softened butter or nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, milk, eggs, salt, and oil. Stir in onion and creamed corn. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Top with cheese and peppers, spreading onto batter. Pour remaining batter on top of cheese and peppers. Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (I used an 8x8 dish and it ended up taking a total of 55 minutes). Let cool slightly before cutting into squares.  No butter needed on this cornbread!

I'll post the recipe for the dessert another time, this post is long enough already!  Hope you can make these recipes soon and enjoy your own Southern Supper no matter where y'all live!!

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