My Collard Greens And The Limousine
This past Thanksgiving, I decided that I was going to stick to a vegetarian diet I forced myself to be on and have only veggies for dinner. My mom makes collard greens, but she fills them with a ridiculous amount of pork. I decided to take my own fresh greens over there and make them without using any meat. They laughed at me and told me that they would not have that much flavor. I tried to explain that there are many ways to make them great without adding all kinds of pig parts. My big shot brother in law showed up (in a limousine, of course) and had to lecture us on the whole butchering process. Um, thanks Greg.
We both made a batch and we decided that we would have someone taste test them. Apparently, they liked mine the best. I ended up breaking my diet and having some of my mom’s greens. It is funny that I used to love them so much, yet now I prefer the way that I make them. This does not mean that hers are bad or anything, trust me I ate a bunch of them, but I think that mine packed a bigger flavor punch since I had to add so many things to make up for the lack of meat.
Making Soul Food Healthier Is Easy
I am a big fan of soul food, but my waistline is not. The good thing is that I have figured out a way to make all of my favorites without adding more pounds to my already large frame. The key is to focus on adding big flavors without the fat.
One example of this is my potato salad. While some people slather this in mayonnaise, I use a low fat sour cream instead. I am not going to say that it tastes exactly the same, but it is close enough when you are having a craving and you don’t want the extra fat.
Another idea is removing the pork from pinto beans and black eyed peas. You can use vegetable or meat stock to give it a ton of flavor without all of the added calories. Again, this does not taste the same, but after eating them this way for a while, you may actually prefer it.
There are some things that I have not been able to adjust, like roasted ham, but I just save them for holiday dinners. That way I can keep my health in order while still enjoying some of my faves. It’s just easier on my conscience, and my pant sizes.
Trying Southern Soul Food Cooking
When I was growing up, we would take road trips down to Florida and we used to stop at a lot of different restaurants along the way. Since I became an adult, I have also looked into a bunch of different restaurants all along the southern border, including Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky and Texas.
Now I am interested in being able to gather some of the best southern soul food cooking recipes so that I can create some of my favorite dishes that I sampled when we traveled in my childhood. I already have some pretty great chicken recipes and I have yet to try one for a jambalaya that I feel in love with years ago. What would be great is if there were a few different cooking classes that I could take centered on this kind of cooking.
Are there some collections of soul food cooking recipes online or is there a good group that I could get involved in for people who love these recipes? My sister got me a cookbook for my birthday last year, but I am only fond of a few of the recipes that I found in there. Any information on the best southern cooking and soul food recipes would be very helpful!
Hello and welcome!
My name is James and I’m a fourth generation pit-master and all around lover of good ol’ Southern soul food!
Southern soul food cooking is something that has to be experienced to be believed. It is more than just food, it is a culture and to some an almost religious experience. It’s food for the soul that sticks to your ribs, warms your heart, and lifts you up as you eat. This is one of the reasons that a good soul food dining location will be completely different from any of the other restaurants around it.
While there are some staple foods in this genre such as collards, crawdads, and jambalaya, a lot of it is also just up to the way the cook grew up. Soul food is more about the spices, the preparation and the atmosphere than anything else.
All across the southern USA you find people who are engrossed in the culture and willing to serve you up a dish that will show you what it is all about. So look around and see if you have a real soul food restaurant in your area. Better yet, see if there are any food festivals in your area! The atmosphere will be one a kind, and you might even learn more about another culture.
Chitterlings Are Not That Bad
My grandmother was originally from the South too, so we always had chitterlings on holidays. This is another term for pig intestines, and many people do not like them at all. This is probably because they smell so bad that they make you want to open all of the windows and stick your head out of them. I guess the idea of eating something that stinks is far too much for some people to bear. The funny thing is that something that smells that bad surprisingly tastes really good if they are cleaned well and prepared right.
The cleaning process is pretty extensive, especially if you but the ones that come in a large, red bucket. Those are the ones that my grandmother purchased when I was growing up, but certainly not the ones I have got from the market since I have become an adult. I buy these bags that claim to be precleaned, but I end up taking the time to reclean them myself. The last thing in the world that any wants to eat is pig intestines that are still full of all kind of yucky stuff. It is a tough job, but worth it once you get a taste with a little hot sauce added to it.