Sunday, March 7, 2010

Southern Cookin' Sundays #1

Day 66.

Today's the first of four Sundays in March that I will use to feature full, traditional Southern cuisine. This is not diet food. In fact, your arteries may narrow a little just reading this entry. But your belly will be very pleased with your culinary selections if you choose to replicate my menu. And your house will smell very nice. It'll smell so nice that you'll wish you could bottle the scent. And you'll open your windows to let in some cool air and your neighbors will smell the yummy scents and you might find yourself with some company this evening.

Oh, and by the way: If you make this menu for just your family, you should have leftovers to last several days. Cook once, eat lots.

Southern Cookin' Sunday #1

On today's menu:
  • Barbecue Pork Ribs
  • Cole Slaw
  • Potato Salad
  • Baked Beans
  • Hushpuppies (cheated with a mix)
  • Peach Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Sweet Tea
Invite a few friends to join you for supper. You'll have more than enough.

Step-by-Step Directions (individual recipes follow):

THE NIGHT BEFORE (I began preparing at 7:00 p.m. and went to bed at 10:00 p.m.):
  1. In a bowl, place 4 to 5 cups of shredded cabbage, carrots, and raddicchio.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp celery seed, and 2 Tbsp milk. Whisk well. Pour over cabbage.
  3. Stir cabbage to coat completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Peel and quarter 3 pounds of Yukon Gold (or other waxy type) Potatoes. Place them in a large pot and cover with cool water.
  5. Bring to a boil and continue boiling about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Don't overcook them or you'll end up with grainy mush.
  6. Drain potatoes and move to a large bowl. Let them cool.
  7. Meanwhile, cook 1/2 lb bacon to crispy and drain on paper towels. Hard-cook three large eggs and let them cool. Peel and roughly chop the eggs. Crumble the bacon.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp celery seed, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp yellow mustard, 1 Tbsp relish, 1/2 cup finely minced white onion, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper.
  9. Pour dressing over potatoes. Add eggs and potatoes. Toss gently to coat. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Pick through and sort 1 lb dried pinto beans. Place in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Boil at a hard boil for ten full minutes. Transfer beans and water to a large slow cooker. Make sure the water is at least double the depth of the beans. I prefer to play it safe and triple the water. Cover and cook on low overnight (at least 8 hours, but up to 12).
  11. In a saucepan, combine 2 cups whipping cream and 1 cup milk, 1 vanilla bean (scraped, seeds added to cream, add pod, too), and 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a slight simmer. Remove from heat and put in an air-tight container. Refrigerate overnight.
  12. Take a bath, read a book, watch a movie, or do whatever it is you do to relax. You've worked hard! Your efforts will pay off tomorrow.

 (I began at 9:00 a.m., took a break from 10 to 11:00 a.m., and worked hands-on until 2:00 p.m. Then, it was occasional stirring and flipping until another 30 minute bout of hands-on work from 5:30 till 6:00)
  1. Drain your beans. Reserve 4 cups of beans for your baked beans. Bag up the rest and freeze them in 2 cup portions for later use. These can be used in any recipe calling for canned beans. 
  2. Remove the vanilla bean hull from your custard. Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Look for the custard to double in size. Move to an air-tight container and place in the freezer. 
  3. Next, it's time to make some peach pie. Roll out two pie crusts. Position one in a 9" deep dish pie plate. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Brush the pie crust with a beaten egg.
  4. Place 4 cups of sliced peaches (I used frozen ones) in a collander. Drizzle 1 Tbsp lime juice over the peaches. Let them sit in the collander for about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Mix well. Pour peaches into mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, then stir to cover with the sugar & flour mixture.
  6. Pour the peaches into the pie crust.
  7. Dot with 2 Tbsp cut up butter.
  8. Cover with the second pie crust. Make vents in the top.
  9. Position your pie plate over a large cookie sheet in case of spilling in the oven.
  10. Bake 40 to 55 minutes, until golden brown.
  11. Let the pie cool a full 2 hours before cutting it. This allows the filling to set. Serve with your homemade vanilla ice cream. But first, on to the sweet tea, then the ribs and beans.
  12. Make some sweet tea. It needs time to cool, so make it now. Bring a quart of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add 8 tea bags. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
  13. Pour 1 1/2 cups of sugar into a 2 quart pitcher.
  14. Remove tea bags from water and throw the tea bags away. Pour the tea into the pitcher and stir until the sugar is all dissolved. Add enough ice to fill the pitcher, stirring to melt most of it. Set it in the fridge until dinner is ready.
  15. Prepare the dry rub ingredients for your barbecue ribs. In a ziploc bag, combine 3 Tbsp paprika, 2 tsp each red, black, and white pepper, 2 tsp onion salt, and 2 tsp garlic powder.  Close bag securely and shake to mix ingredients. Rub on both sides of 2 racks of ribs and let them stand for 1/2 an hour.
  16. If you want to eat at 6:00 p.m., your ribs need to go in the oven at 1:15 or so. Set the oven to 275 degrees and put your ribs in. Bake 2 hours.
  17. Meanwhile, start your barbecue sauce. In a large saucepan, combine 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp sea salt, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp black pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, minced, 2 cups of ketchup, 1 1/2 cups white vinegar (I've been known to use rice vinegar with fantastic results), 1/2 cup dry white wine, 2 cups of water, a large onion, diced, 1/3 cup molasses, and 1/4 cup honey. Whisk well, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  18. After the ribs have been cooking for an hour, put together your baked beans. Fry 6 slices of bacon crispy and let them drain on paper towels. When they're cool enough to handle, crumble them. In a mixing bowl, combine bacon, the beans you reserved from earlier in the day, a chopped up onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup honey, and 1/2 cup molasses. Put them in the oven with the ribs and let them cook for the rest of the time the ribs cook (just over 2 1/4 more hours).
  19. When the ribs have cooked 2 hours, flip them over and cook another 2 hours.
  20. With 15 minutes left on the ribs, prepare your hushpuppies. I cheated and used a mix that only required water. I wish I'd gone ahead and made them from scratch. Make your balls and set them aside. Preheat your oil to 375 degrees.
  21. Now it's time to brush the ribs with barbecue sauce. Pull them out of the oven and coat them with sauce. Put them back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Remove the lid from the baked beans and let them continue to cook.
  22. Fry the hushpuppies. Drain on paper towels.
  23. Your dinner is ready to serve. Go stuff yourself silly.

Here are the individual recipes in case you don't want to make a full, traditional Southern menu.

Oven Barbecued Pork Ribs
makes 2 racks

  • 2 racks (2.5 lb each) pork ribs
  • dry rub (recipe follows)
  • barbecue sauce (recipe follows)
How it's Done:
  1. Rub both sides of the racks of ribs with the dry spice rub.
  2. Let stand at room temperature for 1/2 an hour. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  3. Cook 2 hours. Flip racks over. Cook another 2 hours.
  4. Brush barbecue sauce on both sides. Cook another 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.
Dry Rub for Ribs:

  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp each black, white, and red pepper
  • 2 tsp onion salt (or 2 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp sea salt)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
How it's Done:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag. Close bag securely and shake to mix. HINT: Double or triple this recipe and store it in your pantry for a quick BBQ rub for any meat!
  2. Rub on both sides of ribs.
Barbecue Sauce that'll stop you from buying that bottled junk
Makes 4 cups

  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar (though I prefer rice vinegar for flavor)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • large onion (I recommend vidalia), diced
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
How it's Done:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Use a whisk to blend them well.
  2. Bring to a full, rolling boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.
Cole Slaw
  • 4 to 5 cups shredded cabbage (can add carrots and raddicchio for variety -- I save the raddicchio from bagged salad for this purpose)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp celery seed
  • 2 Tbsp milk
How it's Done:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and milk.
  2. Toss with shredded veggies in a large bowl.
  3. Cover and refrigerate several hours, or overnight for best results.
Southern Style Potato Salad

  • 3 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, rinsed, and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp relish
  • 1/2 cup finely minced white onion
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
How it's Done:
  1. Peel and quarter potatoes. Place in large pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and set them in a large mixing bowl. Allow them to cool.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour over potatoes. Toss gently to combine.
  3. Cover tightly and refrigerate several hours or overnight for best taste.

Baked Beans

  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup molasses
How it's Done:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart casserole.
  2. Cover and bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Peach Pie

  • pastry for a double crust pie
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 4 cups of sliced peaches (I used two bags of frozen sliced peaches)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp butter
How it's Done:
  1. Roll out the bottom crust and position in a 9" deep dish pie crust.
  2. Brush bottom crust with a beaten egg.
  3. Partially thaw peaches if frozen. Place in collander and drizzle with lime juice.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Toss with peaches.
  5. Pile the peaches high in the crust, mounding in the middle.
  6. Drizzle with vanilla extract and dot with butter.
  7. Position top crust over filling and pinch seams closed. Vent the crust.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 55 minutes. Watch crust for burning. Cover with aluminum foil if the crust browns too quickly.

Simple Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod and all
  • 1 cup sugar
How it's Done:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Heat to barely a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove vanilla pod.
  5. Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Return to airtight container and freeze until firm, at least two hours.
*You can rinse off the vanilla pod and set it aside to dry. When it's dried and brittle, process it with sugar for a wonderful vanilla sugar.

Sweet Tea
makes 2 quarts

  • 1 quart water
  • 8 tea bags
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • enough ice cubs to fill the pitcher
How it's Done:
  1. Bring 1 quart water to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add 8 tea bags.
  3. Let tea steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pour 1 1/2 cups sugar into a pitcher.
  5. Remove tea bags from water. Pour water into pitcher. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Add enough ice cubes to fill the pitcher all the way.
  7. Refrigerate.


Anonymous said...

Makin' my mouth water and (as Paula Deen would say) swaller hard.

Michelle J said...

Girl, you are hard-core! I'm going to have to make this one of these weekends. Southern food is sooo bad but SOOOO good! :)

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