(Perhaps there was a little too much bourbon in that sauce?)
Some of these recipes deserve their own post entirely, and that is what I will give you. [I do so aim to please in most aspects of my life, you know.], but for now, I'll let you in on the main course dishes and dessert.
Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread Grits
(Makes a whole lot of grits. Enough to feed everyone at dinner AND at breakfast the next day.)
1/2 gallon 1% milk
2 1/2 cups grits
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter
1 can creamed corn
3 cups grated jalapeno cheddar or pepper jack cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1. Go ahead and grate your cheese, even a day or two early.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine milk and grits into a large soup pot or Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. (Not a smart idea to turn the heat on and forget what you were doing and THEN pour the milk in once you remember. Just in case you were wondering.)
4. Once the grits have thickened up, add eggs, 2 cups of cheese, butter, and creamed corn. 5. Stir well until cheese and butter have melted. 6. Pour grits into a 9 x 13 baking pan that has been greased or cooking-sprayed. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. 7. Bake for 35- 40 minutes.
8. Discuss how grits really stands for Girl Raised In the South.
9. Defend grits until you die!
Turnip Greens with Chorizo
3 bunches of turnip greens
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 pound chorizo
1. Saute chorizo in olive oil in a large stew pot. 2. Remove from pot and set aside. 3. In same pot, saute onion until translucent.
4. Put cleaned greens into pot. Add chicken broth. 5. Cook until wilted.
6. Stir in chorizo and simmer until ready to serve, adding seasonings of your choice.*
*And that better include vinegar. Greens without vinegar is like...um....it's just not right.
Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Green Tomatillos
There's really no recipe.
You need tomatillos. (Remove husks first.) You need cornmeal. You need a dipping agent. Like milk. (You can put some cayenne and black pepper and perhaps some salt in the cornmeal. But you know, whatever.)
Then you dip, dip, (pan) fry.
[This was not actually as easy as it looks. I failed miserably, proclaiming, "WE DON'T FRY THINGS IN THE SMART KITCHEN!!!!" Patrick took over. He did a better job. Except for that whole "smoke billowing throughout the house and windows needing to be opened" thing. But no smoke alarms went off. So I proclaim that a success.]
And top with pimiento cheese. (Y'all KNOW I can't throw a Southern party without that.) Peach Julep Sauce (for Ice Cream)
2 packages frozen sliced peaches
A whole lot of bourbon
Toasted pecans, optional
1. Put peaches in saucepan over medium heat. 2. Cook until juicer-ific and broken down, mashing as necessary. 3. Add bourbon.
(I used about half of this flask-sized container. However, the boys said I "let it all cook off" and then added more.)
4. Pour over ice cream, either while warm or cold.
We are turning Texan, here, so you best used Blue Bell.
5. Top sundaes with mint leaves and toasted pecans.
Bertha 's Coca-Cola Chicken
Ha! Yeah right I'm giving that family secret away.
All I will tell you is it involves this homage to Atlanta...(duh)
(Ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby...ain't nothin' like the real thing.)*
*True. Diet Coke is better.
...and that it makes "the best chicken I've ever eaten." (Thanks, Dave!)
So, I invented some new deliciousness and managed to recreate a family classic without wreaking too much havoc on anyone involved. Success? I say, HECK YES, Y'ALL!