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Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family Hardcover – October 5, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 401 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
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 mine—and 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 level—it’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)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1st edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061991015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061991011
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (401 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

My name is Christy and I like to feed people.

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 :).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have followed Christy's blog for a long time. I found her site when I was searching for a recipe for sweet tea, which I'd never made. Her recipe was SO easy, and tastes incredible! That same day, I made her strawberry pie, which was as easy as, well, pie. Christy can't be topped. Her recipes are ideal for "regular" cooks like me, who are cooking for families on a budget, trying to satisfy picky eaters, and trying to make great food around time constraints.

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!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a Northerner who relocated to the west coast. =) I enjoy Southern food and love the recipes in this cookbook because of their simplicity and great taste. I have always enjoyed cooking, but would sometimes not make a certain dish because the recipe called for too many ingredients as well as spices I'll hardly ever use again. I like to prepare good, wholesome food, that doesn't break-the-bank to prepare. That's exactly what I found in Southern Plate. Christy's stories are so heartwarming and full of love. When you're done reading about her family, you feel like you've known them all your life and can't wait to sit down and share a meal. I've ordered a few copies of this book and can't wait to give them to friends/family. I know this book with be a "go to" book for many years to come. Kudos to Christy for a job well done.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading Christy Jordan's new book is just like sitting down and talking to a close friend or family member. The recipes are wonderful (very similar to what I grew up eating) but it's her stories that make this book come to life. She reminded me of how proud I am to be from the South. In the hustle and bustle of today: working, raising a child (& a husband!) it is SO easy to forget your past. And Christy is kind enough to remind us to slow down, take a breath, and appreciate what we have. I have never cried while reading a cookbook, but her story about her granddaddy is so similar to mine (and many others I am sure) that it just brought tears to my eyes. Oh, and did I mention the recipes are wonderful? If you are not southern (bless your heart!) now you can be! Just cook from this book! I have never met Christy, but I sure do feel like I have. And it's SO nice to have a new friend.
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Format: Hardcover
I only recently discovered Southern cooking after making some delicious jambalaya, gumbo, and potlikker noodles (recipe I got from Bon Appetit magazine). So, I was on a quest to find a good 'Southern cooking' cookbook.

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.
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You are looking for a cookbook appropriate for an elementary school home economics class. I seriously wanted to like this book, and I seriously wanted to have some great southern recipes, and I spend a few weeks reading through reviews and looking at various southern recipe cookbooks before settling on this one. This book happened to have a lot (!!) of five-star reviews, and to be honest I have absolutely no idea why. It seems more so a book to read about the author's tips on how to host gatherings, or stories about what her mother or grandmother used to feed her, or tiny stories here and there about the author's life in the south, all with random photos of her children or family or people in her life. Cute, yes, of course. But cookbook this is not.

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.
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