Southern Bologna Burgers

Anita got me hooked on thick-cut bologna burgers and sandwiches.They are like the grown-up versions of the bologna sandwiches I had as a kid. I get the deli to cut chub bologna 1/2″ thick and then either fry, grill, or smoke it. Then I slather the bologna with Ross’ Pool Room sauce and serve it on buns topped with onion and pimento cheese. Yeah, that’s a Southern bologna burger right there!
Southern Bologna BurgersAny pimento cheese will work on these southern bologna burgers. I didn’t go crazy making one of my more complicated versions. Simple is just fine. For a bit of a kick substitute pepper jack cheese for the Colby or add a minced seeded jalapeno pepper.

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Southern Bologna Burgers

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mike

Ingredients

For the burgers

For the pimento cheese topping

  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Colby cheese
  • 2 4 ounce jars diced pimento peppers, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the burgers

  • Make a 1" cut in the bologna from and edge towards the center.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat or fire up a grill for direct cooking.
  • Fry or grill the bologna, brushing with the sauce as it cooks. You want to get a light char on he bologna.
  • Toast the buns if desired.
  • Assemble the burgers by placing the bologna on the bun bottoms. Add the pimento cheese and bun top and serve.

For the pimento cheese topping

  • Combine all ingredients.

Southern Reuben Sandwich

For years and years and years I made my Reuben sandwiches pretty ‘normal’. Russian or Thousand Island dressing. A little (or a lot) of corned beef or pastrami. Warmed sauerkraut. And plenty of Swiss cheese. Then along came this southern take on a Reuben sandwich. I’ll never make a Reuben the ‘old’ way again. Crunchy tangy coleslaw replaces the kraut. A spicy homemade dressing replaces the stuff out of the bottle. This is nothing but good.
Southern Reuben SandwichI prefer pastrami on my southern Reuben sandwich. I like the extra kick of the peppery flavoring. And when it comes to pastrami, my hands-down favorite is my homemade version. Sure, I’m biased, but for good reason. I’ve never heard anything but high praise for my pastrami. I can never make enough.

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Southern Reuben Sandwich

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the sauce mixture

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the slaw mixture

  • 1/2 cup sauce mixture from above
  • 3 cups coleslaw mix

For the sandwich

  • Sauce and slaw mixtures from above
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 pound pastrami or corned beef sliced thin

Instructions

For the sauce mixture

  • Combine all ingredients.

For the slaw mixture

  • Combine all ingredients.

For the sandwich

  • Note: If desired you can toast the sandwich in the oven in a 350 F oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Slather one side of each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the sauce mixture.
  • Divide cheese, meat and slaw mixture between 4 slices of the bread.
  • Top with remaining bread and serve.

Review: Denise Gee’s Southern Appetizers

I’m a big fan of all flavors Southern. That’s why I picked up Denise Gee’s Southern Appetizers: 60 Delectables for Gracious Get-Togethers. Now, truth be told, I didn’t get the book thinking about tablescapes or entertaining a crowd. Me, I’m after the food. But, that being said, this book has a lot more than just recipes. There are tips for planning for parties and being the perfect host. The book is well-written, clear, easy to follow, and packed with fantastic photos.

From there we get into the food, starting with the easy-to-eat handheld dishes. There are recipes for all of the classics, such as deviled eggs and finger sandwiches. The fanciful cheese straws looked so great that I made them that day. They came out fantastically!

Next up are spreads, including, of course, a great version of pimento cheese, Anita’s favorite. From salsas, to dips, to great spreads for crackers, this section of the book has great recipes that really are not difficult to make at all. I bookmarked a good many of the pages in the spreads!

The next part of the book is a bit more serious. It’s the grab a plate, some utensils, and sit-down-and-eat section. There is lighter fare, such as salads, tarts and soups. But then there are also (my favorites) meaty dishes. Wings, riblets, brisket, and baked ham, for example. And the peppered beef tenderloin just makes me drool. It is on my short list of dishes to make, along with the crawfish beignets

Next up: the drinks. And lots of awesome drinks. The book covers everything you need to throw a party, and that means drinks too of course.

This brings us to the last chapter, party themes. Denise Gee does all the work for you, whether you want to throw a New Year’s Eve get-together, a Mardis Gras-themed event, or just having a casual tailgating party. Every recipe you need for the party is listed, all designed to work together in a cohesive theme.

All in all I was quite happy with Southern Appetizers: 60 Delectables for Gracious Get-Togethers. I found it easy to follow, with accessible recipes and with great photos. Many of the dishes make me think of a great Sunday brunches or get-togethers in the South. My only wish is that there were more pictures because they really were fantastic.

Southern Appetizers: 60 Delectables for Gracious Get-Togethers rates high on my ‘Mater Rater.

'Mater Rater
For more of my reviews of cookbooks available for the Amazon Kindle readers, visit Kindle Thyme.

Bread Machine Southern Biscuits

Only 1 in every 5 of my attempts to bake from scratch comes out successful. That’s up from 1 out of 6 a few years ago, but still not anything to brag about. So, the more I can use my bread machine, the better. And it’s even better when what I make comes out fantastic, like these southern biscuits. They have a great buttery flavor, light texture and smell absolutely divine. Now, they aren’t super light and flaky like dough you’d make by hand (if you weren’t me that is) but they are a great substitute for those biscuits you get in a tube, that’s for sure!
Bread Machine Southern BiscuitsYou can substitute maple syrup for the honey and end up with the perfect biscuit for a sausage breakfast sandwich. And of course, bread machine southern biscuits are perfect for the best thing ever made, deep fried biscuits. Oh yes!

Slather these bad boys with some bacon jam and you’ll be in for a real treat!

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Bread Machine Southern Biscuits

Prep Time2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 -14 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons yeast

Instructions

  • Place in the ingredients into your bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. For mine, I begin with the wet ingredients and then add the dry.
  • Process on the dough cycle until done.
  • Remove dough from bread machine and roll out until 1/2" thick. Try to not over-work the dough.
  • Cut into desired sizes and transfer to a buttered sheet pan.
  • Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Bake biscuits for 15 minutes or until lightly golden in color.

Southern Fried Shrimp

These southern fried shrimp are darned good shrimp. I love shrimp, cooked any way you can imagine. Fried or boiled are my favorites. One of my favorite ways to devour shrimp is on a po boy sandwich. Tender with just a bit of coating and plenty of spicy flavor, I cannot stop devouring them.
Southern Fried Shrimp

If you can’t find Tony Cachere’s fish fry in your grocery store you can use other fish fry mixes or just substitute all-purpose flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.

I served these southern fried shrimp with Frog Bone Bayou Cocktail Cajun sauce. Cocktail sauce with a great kick!

Also try my copycat of Applebee’s Sriracha shrimp, Bayou fried shrimp, coconut fried shrimp and my copycat of Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang shrimp. Did I mention how much I love fried shrimp?

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Southern Fried Shrimp

Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 pounds
Author: Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds large raw shrimp shelled, deveined. Leave the tails on if desired, but remove the tails if using for po boys.
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun mustard
  • 1 10 ounce package Tony Cachere's Seasoned fish fry mix, or substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons or more cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Place shrimp into a resealable container or baggie.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the buttermilk and mustard.
  • Pour mixture in with the shrimp, seal, and shake gently to coat.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Whisk together the fish fry mix and cayenne.
  • Heat 3" of oil in a Dutch oven to 325 F.
  • Working in batches, remove shrimp from container. Shake off excess marinade then transfer to the fry mix. Roll and coat. Shake off an excess coating and place in hot oil.
  • Fry shrimp 1 1/2 minutes per side then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or on a po boy.


Delta Dippin’ Sauce

I’m always on the lookout for a good sauce for dippin’. Ya know, dippin’ chicken tenders… or fries… or onion rings… or corn dogs… or shrimp! Something with some kick. Like this Delta dippin’ sauce.

Delta Dippin' SauceThis sauce is nice and creamy smooth. Not too thick so you don’t get a big gloppy mess on whatever you’re dippin’. It’s a little thin for burgers, but so tasty, so if you want to make a batch for burgers (and you will want to), leave out some if not all of the vegetable oil.

This sauce is a copycat of a sauce by the same name that was available at Popeye’s, but it was discontinued back in 2011 (it was a regional thing). I wouldn’t have taken it off the menu, that’s for sure!

Also try my mango basil dipping sauce.

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Delta Dippin' Sauce

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Author: Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon or more hot sauce (I used Louisiana Hot Sauce)
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate one hour before serving.

Southern Fried Okra

I grew up eating a lot of okra. My dad is from Arkansas, and okra is quite popular in our family. It was almost always prepared the same way: into a frying pan with oil, cornmeal, salt and pepper. No dredging, just into the pan. And it came out crunchy good. I loved it. So, I was a little skeptical when I ran across this recipe for southern fried okra. It uses flour instead of cornmeal. I was thinking there might not be as much crunch as I remembered from all those times make okra. Well, I have to say my skepticism was completely unwarranted.

Southern Fried OkraThis southern fried okra came out absolutely fantastic. Light, crunchy, delicious. I served it as a side, but it was better than fried pickles so I’d not hesitate to serve it as an appetizer (with a nice southwestern dipping sauce, perhaps).

I also love my okra grilled. Just brush them with a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss them onto the grill until done!

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Southern Fried Okra

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound okra ends cut off, sliced into 1/2" rounds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon spicy Cajun seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • In a pie plate, combine the flour and seasoning.
  • In another pie plate, whisk the egg with the milk.
  • Heat 1" of oil in a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet to 375 F.
  • Working in batches, place okra into the egg mixture and stir to coat well.
  • Shake off excess batter and place okra in flour mixture. Toss to coat well.
  • Shake off excess flour and add okra to oil. Do not overcrowd.
  • Let cook until golden brown on one side. Flip and cook until browned on the other side.
  • Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and continue cooking remaining okra.
  • Serve warm.

Southern Green Beans

There’s no way to go wrong with these southern green beans. Sure, they’re decadent. They’re supposed to be. They’re sweet, smoky, and tender (and with a little kick if you opt to add a bit of red pepper flake). They aren’t meant to be super-duper healthy. You start out with a lot and you end up with very little. Or none.

Southern Green BeansThese are what baby green beans want to be when they grow up. They want to be surrounded by tasty, smoky bacon. Packed with flavor, I love these southern green beans. Also try my potato and green bean salad.

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Southern Green Beans

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon chopped into one inch pieces
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans trimmed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder or less, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • Red pepper flake to taste, optional

Instructions

  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook until done (but not crisped). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
  • Add the beans and stir to coat. Cook for about a minute.
  • Add the bacon back to the pot, along with the broth, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and red pepper (if desired).
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Add butter and stir until melted.
  • Serve hot.