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5 famous dishes from America's Southern states

5 quintessential American-style recipes.

by: Damian Ettish | 19 Aug 2014
southern food

Southern cooking in the United States is something I’ve always heard about but never really had the pleasure of enjoying until now. Soulful home-cooking that has a reputation like this must be good. Better than good! It’s rich and flavourful with all the home comfort I (and I’m sure you), search for.

Don’t expect this cuisine to be the healthiest you’ve ever tried with dishes like fried chicken, Po Boys (loaded prawn subs), beignets (square doughnuts), and banana pudding to name a few. I’m quite glad I don’t live in New Orleans, I’d be the size of a house, but every now and then I’d like to pretend I do.

When you feel like going South yourself, give these recipes a go. Invite some friends and make a Mardi Gras out of it!

A strongly favoured soupy stew starting with onion, celery and pepper (known as “trinity”), but elevated to the “holy trinity” with the addition of garlic, and always including a strongly flavoured stock. This Southern staple originated in Louisiana where hundreds of different versions can be found today. Here’s a crowd pleaser that’s simple to make and cheap too.

Get yourself a slow cooker... we’re making Jambalaya. It’s a mixture of African and Spanish influences mixed with heavily seasoned rice for that extra “homely” taste. Most Jambalayas contain seafood or meat, like sausage. This recipe uses up what’s in the fridge so it’s a great way to save on waste.

Southern Grits
This is not just a Southern ingredient but is found all over the US, especially as a breakfast. Unfortunately we don’t get instant grits like they have in the US but polenta will work just as well. Rich with butter and seasonings, it serves as the perfect base for roast meats and stews of any kind and a great substitute for potato mash.

Icebox pie
Undoubtedly the most amazing thing to come out of the South... Icebox pies. This lemon one, is tart and cool. Smooth and sour condensed milk, fluffy sweet meringue and a crunchy dense crust all make this a dessert everyone loves.

Biscuits and gravy
WHAAAAAT? Biscuits and gravy? Don’t worry, it’s not what you think. Biscuits here are not cookies... They’re scone-like savoury buns buttered and drenched in sausage-flavoured white sauce. Get ready for deliciousness.

- Damian Ettish.

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