My name is Christy Jordan and I like to feed people.
I come from a long line of Southern cooks who taught me home cooking is best, life is good, and there is always something to be grateful for. I created Southern Plate so that I could share the recipes and stories that have been passed down through my family for more than nine generations.
You won't find fancy food or new-fangled recipes in this cookbook—just easy, no-fuss Southern favorites such as Chicken and Dumplings, Homemade Banana Pudding, Aunt Looney's Macaroni Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Daddy's Rise-and-Shine Biscuits. (I want to make one thing as clear as possible: How your mama made it is the right way! I'm going to bring it to you how my mama made it, which is the only right way for me.)
These stories and recipes come from my heart. They are a gift from my ancestors, but the ability to have them heard is a gift from you. Take a seat at the Southern Plate table; you're with family now. From Southern Plate: Lela’s Fried Fruit Pies
These are my great-grandmother’s pies. I remember Lela standing in the kitchen humming as she fried these, placing the crispy treats on a paper towel–lined plate next to the stove as she dipped more into the hot oil in her cast-iron skillet. The entire house smelled of peaches, because that was her favorite kind of fruit pie.
If you’re yearning for an old-fashioned fried pie like Granny used to make, you’ve come to the right place. This recipe can easily be modified to accommodate your favorite dried fruit. Feel free to modify it to accommodate your own tastes. Most folks start out making these with dried apples but even though we love apples, nothing can beat a fried pie made with dried peaches.
- 6 to 7 ounces dried fruit (I used peaches; you can also use apples, apricots, or other dried fruit)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place the dried fruit in a large saucepan and add the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the fruit is tender and the sugar is dissolved, about 20 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and mash together with a potato masher or fork. Set aside while you prepare the dough.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup shortening
- 1⁄2 cup milk, plus more if needed
- Vegetable oil
To make the dough, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a long-tined fork. Add the milk and stir until the dough sticks together. Divide into 10 portions. Roll each portion out on a floured surface into a 5- or 6-inch circle. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in each. Wet the edges and fold over, crimping with a fork.
In a large skillet, pour the oil to a depth of 1⁄4 inch and heat over medium heat. Add the fruit pies to the hot oil and fry until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes, turning as needed. Remove to a paper towel–lined plate.
Makes 10 pies. From Southern Plate: Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a must-have whenever kids are around, and there are countless takes on this classic comfort food, so I couldn’t bring you just one. This is the recipe for the baked version, which is for those who prefer stringy, extra cheesy mac and cheese. It’s best made in an ovenproof bowl rather than a 9 x 13-inch pan.
- 2 1⁄2 cups uncooked macaroni
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
- Black pepper to taste (I use about 1 teaspoon)
- 4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) margarine, cut into small slices
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
First, preheat the oven to 350°F. Next, cook the pasta according to the package directions until tender and drain. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper and set aside. Spray an oven-safe bowl or dish with cooking spray. Place half of the macaroni in the bowl or dish. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the top and then top with half of the margarine slices. Sprinkle 11⁄2 cups of the cheese over the top. Repeat. Pour the milk over all. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until bubbly. Serve hot.
Makes 8 servings.
“The recipes in Southern Plate made my mouth water! I have never heard of any other school serving peanut butter balls, except for mineand that was forty-five years ago! This wonderful cookbook made me feel like I was reading something of my own.” (Paula Deen, author of Paula Deen's Savannah Style)
“I’ve been testing these recipes in my own kitchen and every single one turns out to be better than anything my Grandmother ever made. Don’t just buy this terrific book, use it!” (Dorothea Benton Frank, author of Lowcountry Summer and Full of Grace)
“Alabama native Christy Jordan brings Southern hospitality to the next levelit’s no wonder she has such a huge following. I could practically smell the blackberry cobbler baking in the kitchen while thumbing through the pages of this delightful cookbook. Make room at your table Paula Deen, here comes Christy Jordan.” (Joshilyn Jackson, author of Gods in Alabama)