Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

It's Contest Time! The Rickey and G-Man Soul Food Cook-off

In Poppy Brite's Soul Kitchen, Rickey gets a consulting job designing the menu at an ill-fated casino restaurant with a menu featuring soul food from around the world. Spring rolls, borscht, and pirogues, alongside cornbread and collard greens.

As Rickey sees it, the American South doesn't have a stranglehold on soul food because all "soul food" means is food that tastes like home.

Where Brady's from, that means grits grillades and gumbo. Where I'm from, soul food is a big chicken pot pie with a vinegar crust and a side of mashed potatoes with gravy. And it's pretty hard to argue with the "meat and three"* we used to get at the Barksdale in Memphis.

And with that, I introduce our first of five contests: the G-Man and Rickey Soul Food Cook-Off!

Submit your best soul food, comfort food, food that tastes like home recipe, from wherever in the world you hail in the comments section of this post.

Prizes: The winner will receive copies of the top three recipes on the funky recipe cards I ordered from Etsy last week, and a copy of the Glamour Magazine After Five Cookbook, a guide to good living and entertaining for the working girl, published in 1952. It's both awesome and terrifying.

Submit your soul food recipe by 5am Pacific Time. Winners will be announced in the next to last post of the Blogathon.
* To those in the dark, the "meat and three" is a southern plate lunch that involves a meat main course like fried chicken or chicken fried steak, and three side dishes, which may include sweet potatoes, potato salad, greens, green beans, or mac & cheese. Cornbread is mandatory. Sweet tea is suggested.


Abzdragon said...

*digs through recipes*

Gaga said...

You are off to a great start. We are enjoying your articles. Pott pie sounds good to me too:) I think a recipe for steak marinade would be a great recipe to share with your readers. Keep up the good work.

Veggie Soup is one of our favorites. We always takes pride in adding as many things to the recipe as he can. So this recipe changes each time.

2-3 cans of broth (beef or chicken)
2-3 cans of chopped stewed tomatoes
2 red skin potatoes cubed
4 stalks celery chopped
large onion diced
1 cup of cubed carrots
1 can black beans
1/2 cup lima beans
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup string beans
1/2 cup corn
1 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 green or red bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp parsley
1/4 cup salsa

Mix and bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat ans simmer for 1 hour.

mary_m said...

Salsa, you say? Interesting... very interesting!

There's nothing like veggie soup and some crusty bread on a fall day. Very good for the soul.

John said...

Hope you are having as much fun with the blogathon as we are reading. However, it seems to me a thinly veiled scheme to get a variety of new recipes. By the end of the day you should have your freezer stocked with goodies if one of you cooks while the othe r types.

Try some of this Garlic Pecan Chicken

Start with 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated in olive oil, lime juice, and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning for as long as you please.
Cover the bottom of your very best large skillet with olive oil and sautee 1-2 cloves of garlic (can't hve too much) to flavor the oil.
Take those chicken breasts and dip them in a beaten egg, then roll each in a mixture of finely chopped pecans and cornmeal.
Fry the breasts covered in the skillet until the juices run clear.

Jen said...

That pecan chicken makes me drool!

Here is my Mom's best pie recipe...

Pineapple Pie
You’ll need an unbaked deep dish pie crust, either homemade or store bought. I am still learning how to make a decent crust, so I won't pass my recipe on. I will say that it is from my mother-in-law and, against all other pie crust advice, she uses hot tap water instead of cold.

But to the actual pineapple pie filling...

1 ½ cups sugar ½ cup soft butter
2 eggs ½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup flour 8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained

Beat sugar, eggs, and salt until lemon-colored. Add butter and flour and blend well. Add pineapple. Pour into 9 inch deep dish pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

So good, it'd make you slap your grandma! (that's a recommendation where I come from)

mary_m said...

I am familiar with the concept of "slap-your-granny-good." The president at the college where I attended undergrad actually used it to describe the mini Almond Joys he was passing out for trick or treat.

mary_m said...

And yeah, that pecan chicken sounds like everything I want to be a part of.

John said...

When it comes to just plain “Make-you-feel good” food, nothing does it quite like a great big chunk of apple crisp with a healthy dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. Here’s how you can make your own!!

Peel, core, and slice about 6-8 large apples, or 12-18 medium sized apples or 49-75 really tiny apples. Anyhow, you need enough to fill a 9X13 pan about ½ the way up. Toss the apples with ½ cup of sugar and ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Over the apples you will need to put 6-8 pats of butter and ½ cup of Karo.
Now for the topping.
Mix together 1 stick of softened butter with 1 cup of flour ½ Tbsp cinnamon, and a good-sized handful of oatmeal. Mix with a small hand mixer until it looks like little dough peas. Sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until it boils in the middle.

Are you two still awake? How about brewing up a strong pot of coffee and taking the kitties for a brisk walk around the bldg?

Gwen said...

Ok, I'm sorry, but y'all are being way too complicated. Here's comfort food:

Peel 3 large sweet potatoes. Slice lengthwise into strips--more or less quartered, let's say, but don't get caught up in the details.

Put in 3-quart saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of sugar--or more. Bring slowly to a boil; let simmer and cook til tender and candied all the way to the middle.

Pair with sweet tea.

Sit in kitchen while Grandma talks to you about Jesus. (Not optional, or I would have opted out a long time ago.)

Kim said...

Nothing makes me feel more homey than a thick slice of sourdough toast, lightly spread with sour cream and sprinkled with kosher salt... but I've given up expecting this to push the buttons of any other soul on earth.

That's okay, though, because I make a mean German Apple Pancake. (I do not recommend this to you, Mary and Brady, not today, because it will put you straight to sleep. It can be your reward when you wake up late tomorrow)

4 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or rum)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-2 green apples (peeled, sliced thin)

Note that the sugar and the butter can be adjusted to taste, and if you use a non-stick pan you'll have more leeway with the butter.

1. Blend eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Gradually mix in milk, stirring constantly. Add vanilla, melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Let batter stand for 30 minutes or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

3. Melt butter in a 10 inch oven proof skillet, brushing butter up on the sides of the pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over the butter. Line the pan with apple slices--really cram em in there. Sprinkle remaining sugar over apples. Place pan over medium-high heat until the mixture bubbles, then gently pour the batter mixture over the apples being careful not to dislodge them from the pan.

4. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes.

5. Rip pieces off right out of the pan, or serve individually. A little lemon juice and powdered sugar gives it a kick. But then, I like beignets that way too, which is probably as weird as the sour toast to you all.

Larry said...

Molasses Pie

2 cups of New Orleans molasses
1/2 cup of sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
3 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon
2 tablespoons of butter

Blend the lemon juice and molasses well, and gradually beat in the flour, which you will have moistened with a little water. Then add the spices and butter, melted, and the yolks of the eggs, beaten very light with the sugar. Finally, add the whites, beaten to a stiff froth. Mix well. Line the pie pans with a pie crust (OK separate recipe there) bake, fill with the mixture and bake again for half an hour. One-quarter of a cup of vinegar may be substituted for the lemon juice, but always use the latter if you have it.

"Picayune's Creole Cook Book" Fourth Edition, 1910.

Larry said...

Orange Punch, New Orleans Style
6 Louisiana oranges
1 glass of rum
1/2 glass of best brandy
2 quarts of boiling water
1 pound of loaf sugar
1 small glass cherry bounce
1 large piece of ice

Mix the sugar and water, and the rum and brandy. Add the juice of six oranges and the grated peel of three and let all infuse for one hour. Then set to cool. When ready to serve, add one small glassful of cherry bounce. Serve in small glass cups.

Suzanne said...

Grandma Kaye's Leftover Potato Pancakes

In the best tradition of Eastern Pennsylvania meets Paris in the Pocono Mountains:

--Leftover baked potatoes, mashed with a potato masher and seasoned with salt and ground pepper
--A dash of cream or half and half
--A bit of whisked egg if particularly dry
--Flour seasoned with salt and pepper
--Vegetable oil for frying (cast iron, of course)

Gently mix all ingredients and form the mashed potatoes into 1/2" thick by 4" round patties. Dredge them in the flour. Fry them in medium hot oil until crispy on each side.

Serve with pan gravy made from last night's leftover fried chicken. Enjoy with coffee, eggs and a good newspaper.