Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Big Southern Do

Today is Derby Day  a big celebration in Kentucky where Southerners revel in the glory of the Kentucky Derby. You have to hand it to Southerners. They know how to do a party right - inspiration for us Yankee party givers. Do a do Southern style - with good food and good drink. Everyone will love it.

Biscuits, always a favorite , can make an appearance at s Southern themed party. Serve them with bacon ,pimento cheese, a favorite filling in sandwiches. Another idea is homemade tomato jam top with cheddar, sort of like an American's take on bruschetta. Tomato jam is easy to make .It's just taking whole peeled tomatoes and half a cup of sugar and cooking into a jam  boiled in a large skillet. A teaspoon of kosher salt is added to bring out the tomatoes' flavor. It's then cooked for about fifteen minutes until thick and jammy. Deviled eggs have always been a staple in almost every celebration and holiday. These are easy to make and can be decorated to look quite fancy. It's just taking the egg yolk and mayo mash and putting it into a cake icer with  small tip (Like a Wilton decorating tip - number 199). Swirl in the filling into the halved egg whites and then dust with paprika or finely minced gherkins.Okra is a big staple in Southern cooking, especially in Louisiana where it's used in gumbo. It can take on a modern twist as a popper. It's simply cutting the stalks into one half inch pieces and first soaking them in buttermilk. They then are rolled in a spicy cornmeal batter that's been spiked with cayenne and garlic powder.

Barbecue is a way of life down South and it too is always the star of many a party.May barbecues have a whole roasted pig . This may be too much and too labor intensive - after all - a pit has to be dug to accommodate the spit and coals. Ribs would be a better choice. They're easier to cook and eat.Marinate them in a spicy and tangy sauce that's laced with hot pepper sauce and sweetened with ketchup and brown sugar to create an interesting marriage of flavors.. Barbecue and fried chicken are also staples of Southernn home chefs. Again brown sugar is added to the chicken's barbecue sauce for that earthy sweetness while chopped onion and garlic gives it some zing. The recipe calls also for ketchup but tomato jam could be subbed in. A fun party food  is homemade fried chicken - what the South is all about. The best tasting ones start with a simple batter , consisting of just flour, eggs and a cup of milk. First  soak the chicken in the milk  and egg mix and then thoroughly coat with flour.Fry in lard for a truly authentic Southern taste.  A Southern do ends with peach cobbler or banana pudding.If it's fancy then bake a traditional hummingbird cake.It's a banana  - pineapple cake laden with pecans and cinnamon. It's iced with another Southern classic  - cream cheese frosting . Serve it with after dinner coffee laced with bourbon for a fantastic ending.

The South knows how to throw a party with good food. Create your own Southern do with tasty fried chicken and biscuits, or barbecue and hummingbird cake. It's what entertaining is all about.

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