Let's talk about cooking vegetables and side dishes the southern way.
Now remember, "I'm your cook, not your doctor!". Southern vegetable and side dish recipes are not necessarily known to be healthy, but they sure do taste good.
Many of the recipes for side dishes in the south are rich with seasonings.
Traditionally, southerners used a lot of pork fat, lard (comes from rendering the fat of the pig and is used for cooking oil) and butter as well as a lot of spices.
Nowadays, you can make it a little healthier by using smoked turkey, vegetable or canola oil, and margarine without sacrificing too much of the taste.
The biggest thing to remember when cooking southern vegetables, is to not get in too big of a hurry. Granted, some vegetables you need to be careful not to overcook but ones like greens and beans, if left to simmer on the stove all day, get better with time. The seasonings have a better chance to mix with the food and become one flavor.
Whether you fry, boil, simmer, saute, bake or broil; southern vegetables are packed with flavor.
Casserole dishes go back to the days of Potluck dinners which have been popular at church functions in the south for hundreds of years.
They're great because they can be made the night before and left in the refrigerator overnight. When you get home, you can pop them in the oven and most of the time, they'll be done in about an hour.
Here are some southern favorites:
Southern Collard Greens (Mess 'O Greens)
Mama's Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Dumplings
Easy Baked Beans
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Okra and Tomatoes
Loaded Baked Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Country Green Beans
Fried Green Tomatoes
Au Gratin Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Easy Mushroom Rice
Green Beans And New Potatoes
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
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