Even when I lived outside of the US, whether in Uruguay, Israel, etc., I’d hear about Southern cooking. When I first came to the States in 1962 and moved to Richmond, VA (the capital of the Confederacy), I actually got to taste a few superb kosher variations on the Southern theme.
Recently, I came across Simply Southern – With a Dash of Kosher Soul, a cookbook published by the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South of Memphis, TN. I couldn’t wait to try out some of the book’s delicacies, I wasn’t disappointed! The recipes are a easy to make, short-cutting more complex directions with readily available ingredients that make preparation a snap. This ain’t no diet cookbook, so if you’ve been watching your waist after yom tov feasting save this for the times when you want to cook quick tasty dishes with that special touch of true Americana. The recipes are clear, the assortment fun, pretty to look at and absolutely delicious.
For the last week we made quite a few of them and each proved delectable. The recipes are divided into ten sections running from
- Appetizers and Starters
- Soups and Sandwiches
- Brunch & Dairy
- Pasta, grains & Rice
- Vegetables & Side Dishes
As you can see, it covers the gamut of the most common cooking types. It is hard to chose just one recipe to share, in fact it’s hard to chose, two, three or even four favorites from those we tried. But here are two very Southern selections:
Real Fried Chicken
True Southerners make enough for leftovers. Nothing beats cold fried chicken for lunch the day after. Do not skip the salt! salt is an especially important ingredient to the authentic taste of this signature dish of Dixie!
1 quart water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Whisk together water, salt, cayenne, garlic powder, white pepper, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
4 cut up chickens
12 cups vegetable oil
Self rising flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
Add chicken pieces to marinade. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 360-375 degrees. Drain marinade from chicken on paper towels and pat dry. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with self-rising flour. Blend eggs and water. Combine all-purpose flour, salt, garlic powder, cayenne and white pepper. Dip chicken in egg wash. Dredge in flour mixture. Place chicken on a large baking sheet. Let sand for 10 minutes. Fry chicken in hot oil turning a few times for 20-25 minutes or until golden browned. Drain on a rack over paper towels.
YIELD: 6 – 8 SERVINGS
For dessert I loved the Chess Pie, I also liked the humor in the intro to this dish.
Chocolate Chess Pie
Chess pie is one of the South’s great contributions to the culinary arts. One folk story asserts that it was originally called “just pie,” which was drawled as “jus’ pie,” eventually rolling off the tongue as “chess pie.” This is always a favorite!
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
10 tablespoons soymilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) pie shell, unbaked
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, cocoa, and margarine in a bowl. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Blend in soymilk, vanilla and salt. Pour filling into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool top with whipped topping. Pie freezes well. Drizzle chocolate syrup across the top!
YIELDS: 8 SERVINGS
Each section starts out with a few short paragraphs detailing the transition of Southern cooking into Kosher cooking or an occasional anecdote to bring the Memphis community a little closer to wherever you are. Liberally sprinkled with humor and folksy story tellin’ Simply Southern – With a Dash of Kosher Soul is sure to change your view of classic American cooking.
Enjoy it, gentle reader, enjoy it in all its finger lickin’ goodness!