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Eat, Drink and Be Southern Recipes

Recipes from the kitchen of Suddenly Southern

Sweet Tea Recipe

3 Family Size Tea Bags or 8 regular tea bags (detach tags and string together for easy handling)
1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups sugar
Optional: pinch of baking soda (add to hot brew to reduce bitterness and/or darken tea color)

Bring 4 cups of cold water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and add tea bags. Steep in covered pot for six minutes.Use wooden spoon to squeeze excess liquid before removing tea bags. Add sugar WHILE TEA IS HOT, stirring to dissolve.Pour into gallon pitcher,and add cold water (ice optional) to fill “tea jug” to capacity. Leave on counter for two reasons: 1.) The fridge makes the tea cloudy 2.) Your kitchen will take on that Southern Living look. Serve tea by the glass over lots of ice -- The South is still divided on lemons, so serve them on the side.)

Yield: One gallon (serves two Southerners or 16 Yankees)

Mint Julep Recipe (Make your drinks by the glass and your syrup by the batch)

2 teaspoons sugar syrup
7 sprigs mint (save one for garnish)
crushed ice
1 generous jigger Kentucky Bourbon

Make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar for five minutes. Fill a chilled silver julep cup (or highball glass if it’s the best you can do) with syrup and mint. Crush the mint with the back of a spoon until the fragrance is released, and add bourbon and crushed ice. Stir rapidly to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with mint sprig; add straw and serve.

Yield: one serving

Yankee Do! If you want to be the Mint Julep Queen, trim straws so they just peek out of the cup. The ultimate sip and sniff!

Deviled Eggs Recipe

6 large eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (ballpark yellow for great color)
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
Garnish: Paprika and/or parsley

Place eggs in a non-reactive saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer eggs for 15 minutes. Plunge eggs into cold water to prevent further cooking. To shell, tap firmly on the counter until little cracks form, and then roll between your palms. Peel under cold running water.

Slice eggs lengthwise with a wet knife, and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayo.
Add relish, mustard, salt and pepper, and stir well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites, or go all out and use a pastry bag. Garnish if desired. Serve on designer egg plate or don’t serve at all.

Yield: 6 servings

Hoppin’ John Recipe

1 cup dry black-eyed peas
1 finely chopped medium yellow onion (about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 whole fresh cayenne pepper
1 ham hock (hog jowl)
1 bay leaf

Wash the peas. Place in a pot with 4 cups of water, and discard any peas that rise to the top. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil gently for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring frequently. Do not cover. Serve over rice (Some cook rice in the same pot, and cover for the last 20 minutes). Remove bay leaf and pepper, and serve.

Yield: good luck and a happy new year

Yankee Do! Buy your dry peas early or your luck may run out! Fresh or frozen black-eyed peas will work in a pinch.


Red-Eye Gravy Recipe

1 slice country ham
2-4 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
Optional: flour, water, sugar

Fry up one piece of country ham and remove from skillet. Add 2-4 tablespoons of brewed coffee to fat drippings. Pour gravy over ham, biscuits and grits, and sop it up for a well-balanced Southern breakfast.

Yield: 2 servings