Whether you’re an expert on soul food cooking or you’re learning your way through the recipes, here are five soul food recipes you should know how to prepare. From crispy fried chicken to succulent oxtails to crispy and tart fried green tomatoes, having these soul food recipes in your arsenal will lead to understanding the essence of Southern cuisine.
If you want a fried chicken recipe that tastes like it came out of a Southern grandmother’s kitchen, follow these easy step-by-step directions. Take note that the chicken needs to marinate in the buttermilk mixture for 12 to 24 hours before cooking to ensure succulent tenderness. This fried chicken recipe is a keeper!
There’s a reason why oxtails are a soul food staple. Braising oxtails slowly for 3 to 4 hours results in a meaty, fork-tender comfort food. This oxtail recipe will be an eye-opener for those who have never eaten them before. This cut of meat is more succulent and flavorful than even braised beef short ribs, thanks to more marbling and the inclusion of bone marrow. The delicious aroma will have you counting down until the oxtail recipe is ready. Another option is to cook the oxtails overnight on low in a slow cooker. While the sauce and meat are usually spooned over rice, it can also be served with mashed potatoes.
3. Creamed Corn
Fried green tomatoes are the ultimate soul food as the crunch of the breading gives way to the soft tartness of the tomato. Green tomatoes are sourced specifically for this use in the South, but it can be difficult to find these tomatoes in other parts of the country. Just regular red tomatoes picked before they are ripened, ask for them at your grocery store or farmer’s market. They are usually happy to accommodate and place an order for green tomatoes.
For those who have only experienced pimento cheese in its store-bought form, the homemade version is a revelation. The combination of cheddar cheese, mayo and cream cheese is an addictive trio worshiped by Southerners. The pimento pepper is a red pepper with a sweeter flesh than the red bell pepper. If you can’t find pimento peppers, roasted red peppers are an acceptable substitute. Pimento cheese is also an easy, delicious appetizer for the holidays.