Grab a cast-iron skillet, and get ready to make some of our timeless Southern delicacies.
Speedy Shepherd's Pie
Making the most of supermarket convenience items gets this family favorite on the table in a flash. Precut matchstick carrots are easier to chop into small pieces quickly, and using prepared mashed potatoes for the topping is a good trick for when you don't have leftover mashed potatoes on hand.
Skillet CornbreadQuickly incorporate the hot bacon drippings into the batter with a fork. When you pour it back into the hot skillet, listen for the sizzle. That sound means your crust will be dark golden and crisp.
Buttermilk Biscuits with Country Sausage Gravy
Chef Lisa Schroeder from Mother's Bistro & Bar in Portland, OR makes these tangy biscuits with heavy whipping cream and extra butter on top, but we found them to be plenty rich made with half-and-half and a little less butter. Schroeder also likes to toast the biscuits in a frying pan before topping with gravy for the perfect breakfast meal.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Classic Fresh Field PeasSmoky ham hocks enrich the broth, yielding a delicious pot of field peas. Try smoking your own hocks--they will yield roughly double what you'll get from store-bought hocks.
Pecan Praline Deep-Dish Skillet Cookie
Add a nutty twist to your classic cookie with pecans and pralines. Garnish with warm caramel salt and flaky sea salt for the perfect sweet-savory combination. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is all this warm skillet needs to be the perfect dessert for a nut-lover's sweet tooth.
Classic Southern Buttermilk PieBake a sweet memory with Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie. One bite of this creamy pie will take you back in time.
Hush PuppiesThe Southern Living Test Kitchen raved about the classic flavor of these crispy cornmeal gems. Add chopped fresh herbs or swap chopped green onions for diced onion for variety.
Old-Fashioned SuccotashSuccotash is a classic Southern side dish primarily made with corn and lima beans. Feel free to add whatever is fresh from the garden; tomatoes and bell peppers make nice additions.
Classic Banana BreadQuick breads are a Southerner's specialty, perfect for brunch gatherings and potluck suppers. Banana bread should form a crack down the center as it bakes--a sign the baking soda is doing its job.
PralinesFrench settlers brought this recipe to Louisiana, where both sugar cane and pecan trees were plentiful. The Southern recipe adds milk or cream, yielding a softer, creamier candy similar to fudge.
Timely Fried ChickenServe a heaping platter of fried chicken recipe that's crunchy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Dredging individual pieces of chicken in a flour, salt, and paprika mixture gives the meat a bit of spice and a beautiful golden color.
Nutty OkraIn the South, okra is enjoyed stewed, fried, and in signature dishes such as gumbo. Here, peanuts and peanut oil add nutty goodness to classic fried okra.
Cornbread DressingGood cornbread dressing starts with homemade cornbread, ensuring a moist, sweet dressing that Thanksgiving turkey only dreams of.
Zucchini BreadSummer zucchini grows in abundance in the South, so where do we put it all? It goes into sweet breads, of course! You'll admire the little flecks of green in this moist, tender bread.
Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan PiePecans originate in the Deep South, and this sweet pie recipe showcases the nuts at their best. A splash of bourbon and a cup of chocolate take this classic recipe from good to plate-licking, fighting- for-the-crumbs heavenly.
Chicken Stew and Dumplings
Using cake flour and nonfat buttermilk cuts the fat by half and puts a healthier spin on these ultralight dumplings.
Praline Bundt CakeSugared pecans, praline icing, and vanilla-flavored cake come together is this Southern-style dessert. The company-worthy cake can be made for holidays, parties, or a simple family dinner. One thing is guaranteed–there won't be many leftovers slices.
Sina's Georgia-Style Boiled PeanutsSouthern boiled peanuts are easily made in your slow cooker. They typically take all day on the stovetop, but with this recipe you can start them before bed and have them ready for tailgating the next afternoon.
Hoppin' John SaladHoppin' John, a mixture of black-eyed peas, rice, bacon and red peppers, is eaten by Southerners to bring luck for the New Year. Even if it's not New Year's Day, family and friends will be lucky to eat such a tasty Southern staple.
- Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit
Buttermilk-Dipped Crunchy Chicken Fingers
These delicious homemade chicken fingers are perfect for a kid-friendly and easy weeknight meal.