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Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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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.
“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)
More About the Author
My love of feeding good folks good food led to me starting SouthernPlate.com, my website dedicated to teaching classic Southern dishes through step by step photos, mixed with a few stories from my life and the folks who raised me. In it's second year, Southern Plate had over 43 million page views, and a following of some awfully nice people who have become my Southern Plate Family. I thank the good Lord for them each and every day.
I'm a wife and mother of two and I've lived in North Alabama all of my life. My Southern roots run deep, with my "people" (as we call our ancestors) moving to Alabama before it was even a state. I was raised by some of the best people in the world who taught me that life is good, homecooking is best, and there is always something to be grateful for.
My food is simple, old fashioned, economical, and in most cases quick and easy, too! Southern food is, in it's purest form, all of these things. I believe what makes it so delicious is that it is traditionally prepared by someone who loves you. That's the Southerner's secret ingredient :).
Top Customer Reviews
Christy has a way of explaining things that make it SO easy to follow her recipes. I am a pretty good cook, and I enjoy trying new recipes with varying levels of difficulty. Some cookbooks just don't guide you through some of the more challenging steps or the directions are unclear, and I waste time standing there trying to interpret what they mean. But reading and preparing Christy's recipes is like having a good friend standing by you, guiding you through and cheering you on as you go.
I will also be getting a copy for my daughter, as she's just "out of the nest" and learning to cook on her own. Since I can't be there myself to help her cook, I'm going to send Christy's book as my "proxy", and that's the next best thing to being there!
Thank you, Christy, for helping me feed my family good food that they like easily, quickly, inexpensively, and with love!
I borrowed this book from the library based purely on the number of good reviews on Amazon. 230+ five star reviews can't be wrong, right? Well, I guess the people reviewing it were looking for something completely different in a cookbook than I was...
75 percent of recipes in here use processed, prepackaged products and mixes (e.g. cornbread mix, muffin mix, can of mushroom soup, etc..). There's a lot of shortening and margarine being used. What's wrong with butter? Is that what you call classic Southern comfort food?
If you are a novice cook and/or like to use a lot of shortcuts in your cooking, then this book might be for you. If you're like me, and like to cook mostly from scratch, then it isn't...
The book went back to library the very next day.
To dedicate two pages to a fried chicken recipe that has 2 ingredients: chicken and saltine crackers - is beyond me. Really? That is the best southern fried chicken recipe? And even if not claiming the "best" - this is book worthy? Anyone who has even the most basic understanding of cooking knows this trick and knows there can be better ones. You could get a better recipe off of a Ritz cracker box. Even still - granted I am not from the South (hence, I was looking for a southern cookbook) - but I don't believe this recipe epitomizes, or comes close, to Southern fried chicken. The next page is for a sauce to serve with the chicken, which is pretty much just equal parts ketchup and mayo. Is this really what Southern comfort food cooking is all about? Sheesh -like I said, an elementary class would benefit.
What this book also reminds me of is the Sandra Lee / semi-homemade / not really cooking concept.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love all of Christy Jordan's cookbooks! I use them and I also give them as gifts.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great cookbook. Have tried several recipes and enjoyed all of them. Easy to follow instructions and have ingredients that are easy to find. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Ann R
Good, simple, down home recipes which you actually have the ingredients for1 Very pleased.Published 4 months ago by S. Johnson
This is a great cookbook. Wonderful downhome meals. I am so glad I bought this cookbook.Published 4 months ago by mindyk
I love Stacey Little's blog, www.Southernplate.com and her books are charming and entertaining as well as useful. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is the perfect cook book for any beginner, or someone just looking to find different quick and easy recipes. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tonya C
The recipes,the stories and the love all are straight from my own memories. I can't wait for my sister to read this book and then talk about it! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Virginia Kellum