Great Southern Recipes
by Chris


Hi, I'm Chris and I'm known as the best chef in Mr. Hoker's class.  Actually, I think I'm the only chef in Mr. Hoker's class.

I got my favorite recipes for traditional Southern foods from Connor's Granny in Alabama.  She really knows how to cook!

Your friend,
Chris

Banana Pudding
Biscuits -- dropped and rolled
How to make biscuits and gravy
Iced tea
Country-fried steak

     
Banana PuddingBanana Pudding
(Serves 12)
The recipe on the NILLA Vanilla Wafers box is the classic!

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar -- but not all at once!!!
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • dash salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp.  vanilla extract
  • 45 NILLA Wafers
  • 5 medium ripe bananas, sliced
  • sauce pan
  • 1 1/2 quart baking dish (to assemble the final banana pudding in)
  • electric mixer

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350�F.
  2. Don't forget!! Reserve 12 of the wafers for garnish!!
  3. Mix 1/2 cup of the sugar with flour and salt.  Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk.  Cook, uncovered, in the sauce pan on very low heat until thickened.  Make sure to stir constantly! (You can use a double boiler, but the saucepan will work.)
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  You now have custard.
  5. Spread a small amount of the custard onto the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
  6. Cover with layers of 1/3 of your wafers and sliced bananas.
  7. Pour about 1/3 of the remaining custard over bananas. 
  8. Then add another 1/3 of your wafers and sliced bananas. 
  9. Pour another 1/3 of the custard over the bananas.
  10. Then add the final 1/3 of your wafers and sliced bananas.
  11. Pour the last 1/3 of the custard over the bananas.
  12. Beat the egg whites on high speed using electric mixer until soft peaks form.
    Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form to make a meringue.
  13. Spoon meringue over custard; spread evenly to cover entire surface of custard to seal it -- all the way to the edge.
  14. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.
  15. Cool slightly. 
  16. Top with reserved 12 wafers just before serving.

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Biscuits (makes 8 or 9 biscuits)

There are two ways to make classic Southern biscuits: drop biscuits and rolled biscuits.  Most Southerners will tell you that the rolled biscuits are preferred.  The drop biscuits are called "lazy man's biscuits," but I think they're very pretty.  I explain how to drop and roll biscuits using a biscuit mix.

What you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups Bisquick, Jiffy, or another biscuit mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • baking sheet (cookie sheet)
  • floured surface (counter or cutting board) for rolled biscuits
  • rolling pin -- for rolled biscuits
  • 2-inch round cookie-cutter -- for rolled biscuits

How to make it:

Preheat oven according to your biscuit mix or recipe.  (Usually 450�F)

Make the biscuit dough following the biscuit mix directions.

Rolled BiscuitsRolled biscuits:

  1. Put dough onto floured surface and knead quickly 10 times.  (Kneading is where you work the dough -- like you would play-dough.)
  2. Pat or roll the dough using a rolling pin until the dough is half an inch thick
  3. Dip the bottom of your cookie-cutter with flour.  (This keeps the dough from sticking)
  4. Cut the dough with the cookie-cutter.  If you have pieces left over, you can recombine the extra dough, pat it out and make maybe one more circle.
  5. Place your circles on the ungreased baking sheet, leaving space in between.
  6. Bake following the directions on your biscuit mix-- it should be about 10-12 minutes. 
  7. You'll know the biscuits are done when the tops are golden brown.

Drop biscuitDrop biscuits -- much easier and still tasty!

  1. Using a large spoon, drop the biscuit dough onto the greased baking sheet. 
  2. Put each biscuit about an inch or more apart so that they don't stick together when baking.
  3. Bake following the directions on your biscuit mix -- it should be about 10-12 minutes. 
  4. You'll know the biscuits are done when the tops are golden brown.

 

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Biscuits and gravyBiscuits and Gravy:

Biscuits and gravy is a favorite Southern dish.  You need rolled biscuits for this recipe to make it really authentic.

Gravy: (serves 3 or 4)

What you need:

  • Rolled biscuits-- to pour the gravy over
  • 1 pound mild bulk pork sausage
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2/3 to 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • large heavy skillet
  • slotted spoon

How to make it:

  1. Split the biscuits in half like you would to make a sandwich.  Arrange them on plates so they're ready when you finish making the gravy.
  2. Cook the sausage in the large heavy skillet until browned.  Stir the sausage as it browns so that it crumbles.
  3. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings.
  4. Remove the sausage from the skillet using the slotted spoon.  Drain the sausage on paper towels.  You could pat it with a paper towel, but don't burn yourself!
  5. Put the reserved drippings in the pan. 
  6. Add flour to the reserved drippings in the pan, stirring until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for a minute or two (you want to cook the flour to make the gravy taste good).
  7. Gradually add the 2/3 cup of milk, stirring constantly until the gravy is smooth and thickened.  You can add more milk if you want your gravy thinner.
  8. Gradually stir in the pepper and sausage.  Don't dump it in all at once or you might spatter it and hurt yourself.
  9. Cook until hot, stirring constantly.
  10. Spoon the gravy over the split biscuits.

 

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Iced teaIced tea (2 quarts)
I have to tell you how to make iced tea because it goes with every Southern dish.  Southerners will drink iced tea in a winter blizzard!  You can make it in the microwave -- or use an old-fashioned kettle to the boil the water.

What you need:

  • Teapot, kettle, or measuring cup you can put in the microwave (Pyrex is microwave-safe)
  • 4 regular tea bags or one of the new giant iced tea bags
  • 1/8 cup sugar (that's 1/2 of a 1/4 measuring scoop) -- or add more to taste
  • 2 quart pitcher

How to make it:

  1. Boil a small amount of water, about 1 to 2 cups.
  2. Add the tea bags.
  3. Let the tea steep five minutes.
  4. Put the sugar into the pitcher.
  5. Pour the hot tea over the sugar.  Stir well -- it's much easier to dissolve sugar in hot water than cold.
  6. Fill the remainder of the pitcher with cold water.  Or, you can add ice and then add cold water to fill the rest of the pitcher up.
  7. Put the tea in refrigerator to chill and serve when it's cold.  It's best if you serve the tea over ice.

Add-ins:

  • Lemon slices in the glasses when you serve the tea.
  • Add mint leaves to the pitcher or glasses when you serve the tea.

 

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Country fried steakCountry-fried steak (Serves 4)

I recommend you get help with this one! This recipe is a classic Southern dish -- and one of my favorites.  Serve country-fried steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables.  Biscuits make a great side.  And of course, don't forget the iced tea!

What you need:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Shallow bowl -- for flouring the meat
  • Large skillet -- big enough to cook the meat in
  • Lid for the skillet
  • Wire whisk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 5-ounce beef cubed steaks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 cups beef bullion

How to make it:

  1. Combine the flour, pepper and salt in the mixing bowl.
  2. Pour the flour mixture into the shallow bowl (the one you will use to flour the meat)
  3. Coat the steaks on both sides with flour mixture.  Make sure to coat them well, pressing the flour mixture into the meat.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Fry the steaks in the pan until they're browned on both sides.  You can add a little bit more oil (1 to 2 tablespoons) if needed.
  6. Add the bullion, stirring well.  Use enough water to make the amount of gravy you want.
  7. Cover the skillet and let simmer on low heat 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the gravy is thickened. 
  8. Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper, if desired.
  9. You can put gravy over the mashed potatoes when you serve.
Double Switched by Corey Green, author of the Buckley School Books
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