Sometimes I daydream about all the things I could possibly cook in my cast iron skillet. The one dish that I’ve battled with and lost a cast iron skillet to is cast iron Peach Berry Cobbler. It’s the one dessert that I love to eat, but have feared trying to make, that I haven’t revisted this recipe in over 3 years. This time around I’m bringing my brand new recipe and my grandmother’s guaranteed nonstick cast iron skillet, to finally conquer a Bourbon Soaked Peach Berry Cobbler with a Molasses Biscuit Crust.
Tag Archives: Cooking
My fifth Yankee Challenge was a bomb. Well, the whole meal wasn’t a bomb, just the fried chicken part. The fried chicken was supposed to be the guest of honor and ended up on the back burner.Fried chicken is my new nemesis. I thought I was doing everything right – soaked the chicken overnight in buttermilk, mixed seasoning into the flour, used Crisco instead of oil, and baked the chicken after it was fried. After 30 minutes in the oven, my chicken was crispy on top, soggy on bottom, and rare inside. I didn’t follow the rule about the fryer chicken because I needed to feed 5 people and I figured ginormous chicken legs would do the trick. I was so wrong. There was so much meat on what I have decided were probably the calves of all-star-track-running-chickens. The entire time I stood in front of my cast iron skillet filled with melted Crisco and was splattered all over my apron, I tried repeating to myself, “You can’t lose to the chicken.”
What is a “Southern Style Pizza“? Is there such a thing? According to Google, there is not. In my quest to challenge myself with cooking like a Southerner, I thought that maybe I needed to take what I know so far about Southern cooking and make myself a Southern Style Pizza.
After my first Yankee Challenge, Big Southern Breakfast, I picked up a few Southern cookbooks at the library, so I could read up on popular Southern dishes and how to make them. I felt very prepared when I was assigned my second Yankee Challenge: a Southern Vegetable Plate. There would be five vegetables: fried okra, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, black eyed peas, and macaroni and cheese (yes this is a veggie), plus a side of cornbread. There were some rules like the last challenge, that involved making the cornbread and mac-n-cheese from scratch, frying everything in the cast iron skillet, using dried black eyed peas, and the collard greens needed to be cooked with a ham hock or salt pork. Um, what the heck is a ham hock?!
Soufflés are one of those culinary challenges that many cooks shy away from. Accounts of this impressive, but very delicate dish deflating as soon as it’s out of the oven have made it seem to be more trouble than it’s worth to prepare. Although definitely a little trickier than a southern classic like fried chicken, I found that with some patience and attention to detail, this French classic is very “do-able” and a great way to turn a regular dinner into something special. Not to mention that soufflés can be prepared as either a savory entrée or a sweet dessert.
Pimento cheese is the southern snack. As best as I can tell from my limited research, it does not exist above the Mason-Dixon, except in the homes of southern expatriates. To those of us who were raised on it from an early age, it evokes thoughts of home, family, and everything that is right about being from the South. To those who were deprived of this treat in their childhood, it’s just weird. In other words, it’s an acquired taste.
The weather is finally getting warm, the sun is out, and everything is starting to bloom just in time for the latest Yankee Challenge. Because of the warm, wet, Springs in the south we get some tasty vegetables early. It’s always exciting to see what fresh produce is available at the first farmer’s market. In honor of the spring market, this month’s challenge is to cook a classic southern “Vegetable Plate” with a side of cast iron corn bread.