The Southern Bite Cookbook: 150 Irresistible Dishes from 4 Generations of My Family's Kitchen

Overview

In the South, a conversation among home cooks can be just about as illuminating as any culinary education. Luckily for Stacey Little, home cooks run in the family.

Whether it’s fried chicken or pimento cheese, fruit salad or meatloaf, everybody’s family does it a little differently. The Southern Bite is a celebration of those traditions and recipes every Southern family is proud to own. It’s the Pecan Chicken Salad that’s mandatory for every family reunion and the hearty ...

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The Southern Bite Cookbook: 150 Irresistible Dishes from 4 Generations of My Family's Kitchen

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Overview

In the South, a conversation among home cooks can be just about as illuminating as any culinary education. Luckily for Stacey Little, home cooks run in the family.

Whether it’s fried chicken or pimento cheese, fruit salad or meatloaf, everybody’s family does it a little differently. The Southern Bite is a celebration of those traditions and recipes every Southern family is proud to own. It’s the Pecan Chicken Salad that’s mandatory for every family reunion and the hearty Goulash, so comforting after a long day. It’s the Glazed Ham that makes its way to the Easter table every year.

If you’re lucky enough to hail from the South, you’ll no doubt find some familiar favorites from your own family recipe archives,along with a whole slew of surprises from Southern families a lot like yours! There’s Turnip Green Dip for your next party, Chicken Corn Chowder for those chilly fall nights, and Cornbread Salad for when you really need to make an impression.

No matter what’s cooking, Little’s goal is the same: to revel in the culinary tradition all Southerners share. These are the recipes that bring us together and the meals our families will cherish for generations to come.

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  • The Southern Bite Cookbook
    The Southern Bite Cookbook  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401605438
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 63,640
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stacey Little is a Southern food blogger. His easy, delicious recipes and heartfelt stories have brought millions to his blog, SouthernBite.com, since he created it in 2008. Stacey’s deep Southern roots have him firmly planted in central Alabama, where he lives with his wife, little boy, two dogs, and his collection of cast iron skillets.
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Read an Excerpt

The Southern Bite Cookbook

MORE THAN 150 IRRESISTIBLE DISHES FROM 4 GENERATIONS OF MY FAMILY'S KITCHEN


By Stacey Little, KIM BOX

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2014 Stacey Wayne Little
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4016-0543-8



CHAPTER 1

Party Bites


In the South, we love a good party and know How to do them up right. I mean, we're credited for creating America's modern Mardi Gras celebration, and there's a lot to be said for that. We celebrate everything down here—birthdays, engagements, babies, anniversaries, job promotions, going-aways, you name it. We have festivals that honor everything from okra to cornbread and from grits to the chicken and the egg (yes, there really is a chicken and egg festival). The common thread that runs through all these events and celebrations is food.

Whether it's a backyard barbecue or a black-tie affair, we Southerners love to put out a spread that rivals any fancy Las Vegas buffet. I've always said that cooking is one of the ways a Southerner shows love to someone. It might be as simple as a pound cake or a covered-dish casserole, but it can speak volumes. We use food to celebrate, to say thanks, as an apology, or just to say, "I love you."


Bacon and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

My wife, who doesn't like mushrooms, loves these. I mean, even if you don't like mushrooms, surely you're a bacon and cream cheese fan. Right? Regardless, these are a great easy appetizer that will impress your family and your guests.

6 slices bacon
1 pound button mushrooms
4 ounces cream cheese,
softened
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup grated Parmesan
cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease a jelly-roll pan.

In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. While the bacon cooks, use a clean dish towel to wipe the mushrooms clean. Remove the stems and coarsely chop them. Place the caps on the baking sheet.

Once the bacon is crispy, drain it on paper towels and then crumble it. Pour away all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining bacon grease.

Return the skillet with the remaining bacon grease to the heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until they are tender. Pour the cooked mushroom stems into a large bowl, and add the crumbled bacon, cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and Parmesan cheese. Stir gently to combine. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each of the mushroom caps. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until the filling is heated through.

Makes about 20 mushrooms


Sausage Balls

There isn't a proper Southern social event that doesn't have sausage balls on the menu. These things show up at birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, wedding receptions, and of course, the holidays—just to name a few. Feel free to use spicy sausage if that's more your speed.

1 pound ground sausage
3 cups shredded Cheddar
cheese
2 cups baking mix
3 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl combine the sausage, cheese, and baking mix. Gradually add water until the dough reaches the right consistency to handle. Roll into balls about 1 inch in size, and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 3 dozen


Fried Pickled Okra

This is one of those things that will probably make you say, "Hmm, I wonder if that's really any good." I can tell you it is. If you love fried pickles and fried okra, this is the best of both worlds. Trust me. It's good. Take a walk on the wild side.

Vegetable oil for frying
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (16-ounce) jar pickled okra,
drained
Ranch dressing for dipping

Pour about 1 inch of oil into the bottom of a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350°.

In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs with the water. In a medium bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper.

Slice each okra pod in half lengthwise, dip it into the egg wash, and then coat it in the dry mixture. Fry the coated okra for 4 to 6 minutes or until it is golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Serve with ranch dressing as a dip.

Serves 4 to 6


Pizza Pull-Apart Bread

This recipe might imply that there's something wrong with regular pizza and that it needed improving upon. Don't get me wrong; I love me some pizza. Sometimes it's just nice to dump everything in a bowl and stir, and that's what this is: dump, stir, bake, eat.

2 (16.3-ounce) cans large
Southern-style biscuits
1 (14.5-ounce) jar pizza sauce
½ green bell pepper, seeded
and diced
½ onion, finely diced
¼ cup grated Parmesan
cheese
1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced
black olives, drained
1 (3-ounce) package
pepperoni, coarsely
chopped
2 cups mozzarella cheese,
divided

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a Bundt or tube pan.

Cut each biscuit into quarters. In a large bowl combine the biscuits, sauce, bell pepper, onion, Parmesan cheese, olives, pepperoni, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir gently to combine, ensuring the biscuits are coated with sauce. Pour the mixture into the Bundt or tube pan, and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown and done throughout.

Remove from the oven and invert onto a platter while hot. Top with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.

Serves 8 to 10


Dill Pickle Dip

Dill pickles are one of my favorite snacks. No burger or sandwich is complete without them at my house. This easy dip combines all the great flavors of a crisp dill pickle and is great served with chips or even with vegetables.

1½ cups finely diced kosher
dill pickles
1 (8-ounce) package cream
cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons pickle
juice
Crackers, potato chips, or
vegetables for serving

In a medium bowl combine the pickles, cream cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Add the pickle juice gradually to get the mixture to dipping consistency. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and then serve chilled alongside crackers, potato chips, or vegetables.

Makes about 2 cups


Ranch Cheese Ball

When my wife was getting her master's degree, she would use this cheese ball as a bargaining tool when she needed help studying. Apparently it was a pretty powerful offering—she graduated magna cum laude. If you like, you can skip molding it into a ball and place the mixture into a dish or bowl and use it as a dip.

2 (8-ounce) packages cream
cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) can white meat
chicken, drained
1 (1-ounce) package ranch
salad dressing mix
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup finely shredded
Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped pecans
Crackers or vegetables for
serving

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, chicken, ranch dressing mix, mayonnaise, and Cheddar cheese until thoroughly mixed. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator, and mold it into a ball shape. Coat the outside with chopped pecans. Serve with assorted crackers or vegetables.

Serves 8 to 10


- Reader Recipe -

Slow Cooker Party Mix

Donya Mullins Greensboro, North Carolina

This recipe is from one of my blogger friends, Donya. She took the standard recipe for a party mix and adapted it for the slow cooker to save a little time. This method frees you up if you're scrambling last minute to get things ready for a party or get-together.

1½ cups (3 sticks) butter
4 tablespoons
Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 (14-ounce) box toasted oat
cereal
1 (12.8-ounce) box square
rice cereal
½ (14-ounce) box square
wheat cereal
¾ (16-ounce) bag small
classic pretzels
2 (10.3-ounce) cans mixed
nuts

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion salt, and celery salt. Stir well.

Add the cereals, pretzels, and nuts to the bowl of a large slow cooker. Pour the butter mixture over the cereal mixture and gently mix until it is all coated. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours.

Remove the lid and stir. Cook uncovered for an additional 45 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the slow cooker, and allow to cool.

Serves about 15


Pimento Cheese

This is another one of those Southern social staples. Every Southern cook worth his salt has a tried and true pimento cheese recipe. The addition of cream cheese in mine gives it a creamy texture that my family really enjoys. The key to this recipe is to grate your own cheese. The preshredded, bagged stuff is convenient, but it just doesn't work in this recipe. Plus, I'm giving you an opportunity to work on those biceps.

1 pound block sharp Cheddar
cheese
4 ounces cream cheese,
softened
½ cup mayonnaise
1 (4-ounce) jar chopped
pimentos, well drained
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt

Shred the Cheddar cheese using a box grater. In a large bowl combine the shredded Cheddar, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, grated onion, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir until the mixture is combined. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight to allow the flavors to blend.

Makes about 5 cups


Just Plain Punch

This recipe is special because it comes from my best friend's grandmother. Laura and her family are so important to us. It's really an honor to be able to share a recipe that has been passed down through her family. We served this at Laura's birthday party a little while back, and it was a huge hit.

16 cups cold (1 gallon) water
4 (0.13-ounce) cherry-flavored
drink mix powder
2 cups sugar
1 (12-ounce) can frozen
orange juice concentrate
Juice of 1 lemon
1 liter lemon-lime soda,
chilled

Combine the water, drink mix, and sugar in a large punch bowl, and mix well. Add the orange juice concentrate and lemon juice. Gently pour the lemon-lime soda into the punch, and stir to combine.

Makes 1½ gallons


Pecan Chicken Salad

What can you say about chicken salad other than everybody has their own recipe? This is my version that includes my favorite nut, the pecan. Whether you say pea-can or puh-kahn (or however else you might pronounce it), this nut adds a great flavor and crunch to the salad.

2 tablespoons pickle relish
2 teaspoons Creole mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
4 cups cooked chopped
chicken
2 large hard-boiled eggs,
finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
¼ medium onion, finely
chopped
½ cup pecans, chopped
Salt and black pepper

In a large bowl stir together the pickle relish, mustard, and mayonnaise. Add the chicken, eggs, celery, onion, and pecans. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside crackers or toasted pita chips or in small tea sandwiches.

Makes about 6 cups


Want even more nutty flavor? Toast the pecans in a 350° oven for 5 to 7 minutes or just until you can start to smell them. Cool them, and then add to the salad.


Turnip Green Dip

This is a fun Southern twist on the popular spinach dip. Even if you don't like turnip greens, I bet you'll like this. We enjoy it with tortilla chips, but also sometimes serve it with fried pork skins. Either way, it's always a favorite at our family gatherings.

6 slices bacon
½ large yellow onion, diced
1 (16-ounce) package frozen
chopped turnip greens,
thawed and drained
1 (15-ounce) jar prepared
Alfredo sauce
1 (8-ounce) package cream
cheese, cubed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
cheese
Tortilla chips or fried pork
skins for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon, drain on paper towels, and crumble. Carefully pour away all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease; return the pan to the heat, and add the onions. Cook about 3 minutes. Add the turnip greens and cook 8 to 10 minutes. Add the Alfredo sauce, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Stir in the crumbled bacon.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, and bake 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Turn on the oven's broiler, and return the baking dish to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or fried pork skins.

Makes 6 cups


Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade

For me, the only things that are more Southern than fried green tomatoes are grits and fried okra. I love this recipe by itself, but I also love to replace the T in a BLT with an FGT. (Translation: make a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with fried green tomatoes instead of the fresh red variety.)

FOR THE RÉMOULADE:

½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Creole or spicy
brown mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon
juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons prepared
horseradish
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning

FOR THE TOMATOES:

3 green tomatoes
Salt
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil for frying

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, horseradish, and Creole seasoning. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Thinly slice the tomatoes, and lightly salt each side. Place in a colander in the sink and allow the salt to draw some of the moisture out.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg and buttermilk together. In another shallow bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, and pepper. In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, pour about 1 inch of oil into the bottom. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the oil reaches about 350°.

Dip the tomatoes in the egg wash, and then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture, pressing lightly to coat them. Fry in the hot oil for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with the rémoulade sauce.

Serves 4 to 6


Pimento Cheese Crisps

Leave it to a Southerner to go and try to improve upon pimento cheese. I humbly submit my Pimento Cheese Crisps. This is the ideal combination of pimento cheese and a cheese straw, and is perfect for any special occasion or even just for an everyday snack.

1 (4-ounce) jar diced
pimentos
1 (8-ounce) block cheddar
cheese
¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter,
softened
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground red
pepper (or more to taste)
2 cups all-purpose flour

Pour the pimentos into a fine-mesh strainer, rinse, and drain very well. Using a box grater, grate the Cheddar cheese. In a large bowl combine the pimentos, cheese, butter, salt, garlic powder, red pepper, and flour. Stir until the ingredients are combined, then work with your hands until a thick dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and form into a log. Roll the dough up in the wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the chilled dough into 1/8-inch thick rounds. Place the rounds on the baking sheet, and bake them for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack. Work in batches until all the dough has been cooked.

Makes about 4 dozen


Shrimp Salad

You know that really famous movie where the guy is talking about all the ways that you can prepare shrimp? Well, other than fried, this is one of my favorite ways to make it. The addition of the avocado gives it a great creamy texture that I love with shrimp.

2 pounds medium shrimp,
peeled, deveined, and
cooked
½ cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced onion
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh lemon
juice
1 avocado, diced

In a large bowl combine the cooked shrimp, celery, onions, mayonnaise, seafood seasoning, lemon juice, and avocado. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. Serve the salad on a bed of lettuce with crackers or as a sandwich.

Serves 4 to 6


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Southern Bite Cookbook by Stacey Little, KIM BOX. Copyright © 2014 Stacey Wayne Little. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword by Christy Jordan, ix,
Introduction, xi,
Stacey's Kitchen Tips, xv,
Party Bites, 1,
A Wooden Spoon Perspective, 26,
Weeknight Bites, 29,
Wisdom from the Peanut Man, 56,
Weekend Bites, 59,
Side Bites, 79,
Where I'm From, 118,
Potluck Bites, 121,
Why Christmas Trees Don't Have to Be Green, 144,
Holiday Bites, 147,
Heirloom Bites, 173,
Sweet Bites, 197,
Acknowledgments, 237,
About the Author, 239,
Index, 241,

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