Retox: Retoxing Southern Style

Posted at February 29, 2012 by 1 Comment

Nothing says ‘retox’ like a bit of Southern fare. No one continually –toxes like a good southerner either. With this in mind, I think it is only fair to let you know that what you may read here will both scare you and make you drool.

You’ve been warned.

Goodie bag of retoxing

When we do food in the States, we do it big. We like deep fried, large sized, super gulping bacon flavoured joy in every bite…to eat as we drive from place to place. God bless America. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even remotely judging, I’m actually the worst at encouraging it. The truth is, I’m a feeder. There, I admit it. I will gladly make you a three course dinner and then give you booze, coffee, chocolate and a second dessert with a doggy bag to take home, if you’ll let me. It’s not crazy. It’s southern, and I embrace it, damnit!

Whew, it feels good to admit.
That aside, I thought I would introduce you to some of the most amazing items I came across while on my recent jaunt to my homeland.

Deep fried peanuts

Do you like peanuts? I love them! Georgia is one of the homes of the peanut and if you drive through certain places, the peanut butter factories roasting and smushing the peanuts into the wonderful, sugary vats of peanut butter, churn out puffs of peanut smells that fill the entire towns and passing traffic with a lovely smell that leaves me craving a PB&J. But, oh you in the land of the deep fried Mars Bar, have you ever considered what would happen if you dropped a peanut into the deep fryer?

According to the cashier at the gas station where I grabbed these beauties, “them’s great ain’t they? You like ‘em with the shell ‘n all? I’on know, but they sure is good”.

Enter Uncle Bud’s Salted, Deep fried peanuts. Ingredients: peanuts, salt, soybean oil. Deep fried goodness that are the perfect bar snack. Scotland, I think the South wins the Deep fried game.

"Everything should taste like bacon"

Seriously though, the only way to make deep fried peanuts any better is to dip it in a tub of Baconnaise because, “Everything should taste like bacon”.

Yes, This is exactly what you think: Bacon flavoured mayo. This is in most stores in the South, but I happened to get this wee jar from the top floor of Harvey Nic’s. Which only begs the question: Why have they not been importing this bacony goodness earlier?!

Once you have snacked your way through baconnaise covered, fried peanuts, you are just about ready for dinner and believe you me, Paula Deen is the lady to help you out on your Retox quest. You may remember a few weeks ago when Paula Deen popped up as big news in the food world (after years of promoting the most unhealthy fare she tells the world she is diabetic, then announces she will also be the spokesperson for her new diabetes drug). She is famous for her use of butter, and has been known to eat it by itself, while cooking. She is the ultimate proponent of everything southern cooking stands for, and her food is utterly delicious, and often should be served with a side trip to the heart doctor. You may have heard of her infamous burger—glazed doughnut, burger, bacon, fried egg, glazed doughnut. The video will make you squirm, and then wonder when you can make one.

"have your dessert & chew it too"

After all that retoxing, there is only one thing left to do: have your dessert. In comes the new craze in American gums: Sugar free, dessert flavoured gums so you can “Have your dessert & chew it too!”

No, no, no, I couldn’t possibly have that slice of strawberry shortcake…but if you offer it in a stick of sugar free gum, why not! Who doesn’t like a nice chewing of the cud to round out a meal? I know I do.

It feels like I’ve been teasing you a bit; telling you about the scrumptious joy that is Southern food and not delivering on anything you can get your hands on. Don’t worry. Below is the recipe for Paula Deen’s Chicken Fried Steak, battered and fried steak with biscuits and a creamy peppercorn gravy, believe me, it’s to die for…

 

 

Paula Deen’s Chicken Fried Steak, Gravy and Biscuits

Ingredients

Steak and Gravy:

1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 (4-ounce) tenderized beef round steak (have butcher run them through cubing machine)
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 quart whole milk
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (recommended: Ac’cent), optional
1 bunch green onions, or 1 medium yellow onion, sliced

 

Basic Biscuits:

1 package yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup solid shortening (recommended: Crisco)
2 cups buttermilk

 

Directions

Steak and Gravy: Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 side of the meat with the House Seasoning and the other side with the seasoning salt, and then dredge the meat in buttermilk and then flour. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 or 4 of the steaks to the hot oil and fry until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove each steak to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining steaks, adding up to 1/4 cup more oil, as needed.

Make the gravy by adding the 2 tablespoons remaining flour to the pan drippings, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the flour is medium brown and the mixture is bubbly. Slowly add the whole milk and the Ac’cent, if using stirring constantly. Return the steaks to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and place the onions on top of the steaks. Cover the pan, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Biscuits: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. Add yeast and buttermilk and mix well. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll out to desired thickness. Cut with small biscuit cutter and place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Split biscuits in half and top with country fried steak and drizzle with gravy.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

(Recipe from Foodtv.com)

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Category : Geekery,Recipes,Themed
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About MJ

I'm originally from Alabama, USA, and have been in the UK for a bit over 5 years. I'm currently finishing up my PhD in poetry writing at the University of Edinburgh. I teach English Lit tutorials at the uni, work part time at Edinburgh Books, do some freelance copy writing, am a partner in a publishing company based in the States, am the Managing Editor and founding partner of The Istanbul Review, founding member and write for Lunchquest Edinburgh, and I am very attached to showing American Quarter Horses and find that somehow, most things come back to horses, Italy, and getting a book published. I geek out over: Baking bread, Italian cooking, food of the American South Twitter: @Mj801 Blog: Lunch Quest Edinburgh

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