Southern Fried Hoecakes

I like to call myself a Southern girl that just happened to be born in the city.  Since I was a child I’ve been making annual trips down to Mississippi to visit family and learn the history of my descendants that lived there.  Don’t tell anyone but I can fake a country accent better than those folks on the show Nashville, lol!  But seriously I love all things southern and these hoecakes make me feel like a country girl.

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while you know that I love my family in the south and all the food that comes with it!  Hoecakes are one of those foods that instantly makes me think of being in the Mississippi country surrounded by family and love.  My cousin Sherry actually made these for Thansgiving one year and I’ve been addicted ever since.

Never had hoecakes? It’s basically taking cornmeal batter and frying them in butter similar to how you would make pancakes.  And in case you were wondering where the name came from check this article on Wikipedia.  They can be a side item for dinner or served for breakfast with fresh fruit and honey.  Either way I hope y’all enjoy.  What’s your favorite southern dish?

Ingredients

1 cup AP flour

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup butter, melted

Oil or butter for frying

Directions

In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt.  In a small bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, water and melted butter.   Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Heat the frying oil or butter in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter, by full tablespoons, into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula, and then brown the other side. Remove each hoecake to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

 

Recipe adapted from The Food Network

 

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Banana Nut Bread

So I’m sitting here in my kitchen enjoying a warm slice of banana nut bread and french vanilla coffee.  It’s one of my favorite things about the Fall…pulling a warm loaf of bread out of the oven and enjoying it while relaxing.  I normally am not a big fan of bananas but the combination of spices and warm bread just make my taste buds tingle.

The key to making a delicious banana nut bread is using over ripe bananas.  I would advise buying them a week in advance and putting them in a paper bag.  There is a gas they release that will help them ripen faster.  This also works if you have other fruit like peaches that you want to ripen faster.  Place the fruit in a bag with some bananas and in a couple of days viola, ripened fruit!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the pan
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup with a spout, set aside. Lightly brush a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf with butter and sprinkle lightly with flour.

In a standing mixer cream the butter and sugar on medium speed (I use the 4 speed on Kitchen Aid mixers) until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until well blended. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled, so don’t worry), and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a cake dome. The banana bread is best if served the next day.

 

Recipe adapted from The Food Network

 

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Blueberry Muffins

I love blueberry muffins but never considered making them for myself…weird I know!  So I woke up this morning and decided today was the day I finally learned how.  I found this very simple recipe on Allrecipes.com and they came out perfectly.  This recipe should only take about 15 mins to prep so it’s ideal for a quick morning meal.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

 

 

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French Toast Casserole

Yesterday was my Mom and my sister Ashley’s birthday so I decided to make an extra special birthday breakfast!  It’s pretty cool to have both of their birthdays on the same day…twice as much fun, right?  Also, my sister is home from college so it’s nice to be able to spend the day with her and my whole family.

I have to admit I’ve had this recipe for about a year but never had the occasion to make it until now.  However, now that I have tried it this will definitely be added to my normal breakfast rotation.  Super easy to make and it tastes just like french toast.  It’s also great to make if you cooking for more than 2 people but don’t want to have to make individual french toasts that can get cold while waiting.  This would be delicious with some fresh strawberries and warm maple syrup.

 

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 5 cups bread cubes (I use Texas steak bread)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Powdered Sugar

To make the french toast preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly butter an 8×8 inch casserole dish.  Beat together eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Set aside.  Cut each slice of bread into four cubes and line the bottom of the dish with one layer of bread making sure to fit as many cubes as possible without over crowding the bottom of the dish.  Pour 1/3 of of egg mixture over first layer of bread.  Place the remaining bread cubes on top, again making sure to make a complete layer.  Pour the remaining egg mixture evenly over bread.  Dot with butter and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top.  Bake in a preheated oven about 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden.

 

 

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Buttermilk Biscuits

Every year since I was born I’ve attended my family reunion, most of them in Grenada, Mississippi.  One of my earliest and happiest childhood memories was of me and my family driving down to Grenada, stopping at Boomland in southern Illinois and eating fried chicken wrapped in paper towels that we had made and brought along with us.  I loved these road trips and most importantly I loved getting to know my southern roots.

Even though I’m not personally from the south, my mother is so I’ve grown up eating traditional southern foods like biscuits and gravy.  To me there is nothing more that says southern comfort food like a warm biscuit served with gravy, honey or jam.  Thankfully I’m not the only biscuit lover out there and I found this amazing recipe at Pink Parsley, one of my favorite blogs. This was actually my first attempt at making biscuits so I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to post but I followed the recipe to the T and everything came out perfectly.  I usually end up changing recipes that I find to suit my tastes but this is great as is.

One thing I noticed was that you need a lot of flour on the cutting board while you’re rolling the dough so it won’t stick to your hands or the board.  Also, the folding technique is very important because it creates the fluffy layers in the biscuits.  Overall, these biscuits are delicious…even my southern Mom liked them.  I will definitely be making these for breakfast more often.

 

Yield: makes 10-12 biscuits

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs melted butter, for brushing

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Pulse several times to combine well.  Add the butter and lard and continue to pulse in 2-second increments, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized pieces (about 5 pulses).  This can also be done using a pastry blender or 2 forks if you don’t have a food processor.

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, pour the buttermilk over it, and use a fork to mix for about 1 minute, or until the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead with floured hands, and pat into a rectangle about 6×10 inches and 1-inch thick.

Fold the dough like a business letter (the righmost third over the center third, then the left third on top).  Turn the dough a quarter of a turn, pat it into another 6×10 inch rectangle, and fold it upon itself in thirds again.  Repeat one more time, then pat the dough into a 6×10 inch rectangle a final time.

Using a floured 2-3 inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits from the dough and place them about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Pat the scraps into a 1-inch thick rectangle and cut more biscuits.

Brush the tops with half the melted butter, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to brown.  Brush the tops again with the remaining butter and serve warm.

 

 

Adapted from: http://www.pink-parsley.com/2011/01/fluffy-buttermilk-biscuits.html

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