Southern-Style Cooking Recipes

Chicken Salad in Bread Cups
12 slices bread
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 cups grapes, halved
1 cup apple, diced
1 cup sliced, diced kiwi
1⁄2 cup chopped nuts
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
1⁄3 cup sour cream
1⁄3 cup cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper
12 strawberries
Remove crust from bread slices. Flatten bread slices with a rolling pin, then brush with melted butter. Place each slice of bread into a muffin tin cup and press to form a cup shape. Bake cups at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, apple, kiwi and nuts. In a smaller bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese. Combine both mixtures and season with salt and pepper. Spoon chicken salad mixture into the bread cups. Top each with a strawberry.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken
3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3⁄4 cup Progresso Italian-style panko crispy bread crumbs
1⁄2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
Place chicken breast halves between pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until chicken is about 1⁄2-inch thick.
In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, pecans and herbs. Brush chicken with melted butter or olive oil, then coat with crumb mixture. Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.

Southern Fried Pies
6 ounces dried fruit
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 stick butter
21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup shortening or butter
1⁄2 cup milk, or more
Cooking oil
Place dried fruit and water in a pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer and cook until fruit is tender. Add sugar and butter and stir to combine. Set aside while you prepare dough.
Stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening with a fork. Add milk and stir until dough sticks together. Divide into 10 or 12 portions. Roll each portion out on a floured surface into a 5- or 6-inch circle. Place 2 tablespoons of the cooked fruit filling on each. Wet the edges of the dough and fold over, crimping the edges with a fork. Cook in oil which has been heated over medium heat until browned on both sides, turning as needed. Drain on paper towels.

Southern Cornbread
Oil for greasing skillet
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups buttermilk or milk
1 egg, beaten
1⁄4 cup oil
Generously oil a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Whisk together cornmeal and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk the buttermilk, egg and oil in another bowl until well combined. Pour into the well and stir just until the batter is moistened. Do not overbeat.
Remove hot skillet from the oven and pour the batter into it. Bake until the cornbread springs back when pressed in the center, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand in the skillet 5 minutes, then turn out onto a plate.

Sweet Potato Chips
Sweet potatoes

Spicy Dip
11⁄4 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Honey-Lime Dip
1 (6-ounce) container plain, lowfat yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1⁄2 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1⁄2 lime
1⁄8 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Thinly slice sweet potatoes (the thinner they are the crispier they’ll be). Arrange slices on baking sheets so they don’t overlap. Spray with cooking spray or oil and sprinkle with salt and spices. Bake chips until they begin to lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve with a dip.
For the Spicy Dip, combine sour cream, chili sauce and chopped cilantro.
For the Honey-Lime Dip, combine yogurt, mayonnaise and honey. Stir in lime juice. Add spices and stir.

Sweet Potato Balls
3 large sweet potatoes
2 cups pecans
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 cups shredded coconut, divided
1 pound dried apricots or peaches, finely chopped
2 pounds powdered sugar

Garnish Options
1 package of white chocolate candy bark
1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
Pecan halves
Peel and dice sweet potatoes and boil on top of stove until tender. Drain and mash until in puree form. Chill until ready to use.
Spread nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. When nuts are cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces.
In a large bowl, combine sweet potato puree, sweetened condensed milk, 3 cups coconut, dried fruit, nuts and sugar. Chill mixture in a freezer until almost frozen or until firm enough to handle.
Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Finish in one of three ways:
1. Melt candy bark in the microwave and dip balls into it. Place balls on waxed paper.
2. Roll balls in toasted coconut and place a pecan half on top.
3. Just simply press a pecan half on top of each ball.