Best of … soul food menu choices
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
Contributed by Paul Seaburn, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Soul food is the name we give to traditional African-American cuisine.
It’s fitting because soul food dishes that have a soulful flavor and are good for the soul, especially when eaten in a warm homey soul food restaurant. The names of the dishes on a soul food menu can sometimes be confusing but are nothing to be afraid of. Trying soul food menu items made from different parts of the pig or the garden gives us an appreciation for how and why these dishes came into being.
Check out how these items from a traditional soul food menu are prepared, then head for your nearest restaurant and enjoy them.
Collard Greens and Ham Hocks
Collard greens are a leafy plant in the cabbage family similar to kale. Ham hocks are the thick skinned joint from where a hog’s foot is attached to the leg. The smoked ham hocks are simmered for an hour, then the chopped collard greens are added with salt, pepper, sugar and bacon drippings and cooked until tender. Smoked seasoning meats, like bacon ends, country ham ends and hog jowls also work well with collards. Don’t worry if you can’t find hog jowls and such at your local grocery store… an online butcher store will deliver them right to your door.
Boiled String Beans With Ham
Ham adds seasoning
A ham bone or pig’s tails are simmered in water. The stem end from the bean is snapped and removed with the string the string. The beans are added to the pot with salt, pepper and sugar and simmered until tender. The bones are removed, the water is drains and the beans are served hot.
Butter Beans, Ham Bones and Okra
Butter beans are fully-grown lima beans and okra is the green seed pod of the okra flowering plant. The ham bone is simmered until the ham is cooked, then the ham is removed from the bone and both are returned to the pan. The butter beans, okra, salt, sugar and pepper are added and cooked until tender.
Luck and flavor
Black-eyed peas are beans that look like their name. They’re simmered in water with slab bacon, bacon drippings, salt, pepper and sugar until tender. Black-eyed peas, like most soul food, is best served with hot sauce.
Soul food foundation
Chitlins or chitterlings are the intestines of a pig and maw is the stomach. The maw is simmered until tender with celery, onions, green peppers, salt and pepper flakes. The chitlins are cooked in some of the liquid from the maw until tender. The maw is cut into pieces and added to the chitlins with the vegetables.
Turkey Wings and Gravy
Thanksgiving isn’t the only time for turkey on the soul food menu. Turkey wing pieces are simmered with celery, onion, green peppers and seasonings until tender. Flour and gravy mix are added until the liquid is smooth and thick.
Big Mama’s favorite
The end of a soul food menu has a few options that must never be forgotten. One of them is definitely 7-up cake. This tasty and easy-to-bake dessert is made with 7-Up, flour, butter, sugar, eggs and lemon extract.
Chess pie is a sweet custard pie made with sugar, butter, cream, eggs, vanilla and vinegar.