yellow squash (image via flickr user Mike Mozart and used under a Creative Commons license)

How to make yellow squash casserole (recipe)

I love squash and enjoyed growing it in my garden for years. For now, because I’m working away from my garden, I get mine at the local farmers’ market (locations in New Orleans).

This recipe is inspired by one of my and my son’s heroes, Sidna Brower Mitchell, who is well known as a great cook and food writer but perhaps even more importantly as the unjustly maligned student editor of The Daily Mississippian on the Ole Miss campus when it was forceably integrated in 1961.

My recipe is an adaptation of hers, with a few extra ingredients. It’s great in the summer when the produce is bountiful. It’s also an easy veggie side dish throughout the year.

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Original photo by NaJina McEnany and used under a Creative Commons license.

How to make Southern peach chutney (recipe)

Summertime is Peach Time in the South. That’s time for peach cobblers, peach pies, peach ice cream and other delicious doin’s.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

A couple of years ago, I made a savory peach jam, which was a big hit with the folks I gifted it to. This chutney recipe is quite extraordinary and a bit different from your butter-and-jelly ways. You’ll love it. It also doesn’t contain any salt, for folks watching their intake.

Try this as a last-minute grill topper on pork loin, chicken or veggies. It’s also a great condiment on the side or as a savory morning toast topper. Any way you like peaches, this works “mighty fine,” as we Southerners say.

Header image by NaJina McEnany and used under a Creative Commons license.

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how to make crawfish chowder (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook)

How to make crawfish chowder (recipe)

Have leftover crawfish from a boil? Try this easy recipe for crawfish chowder. We Southerners smugly think “chowder” (or “chow-dah”) is something Yankees invented and shouldn’t be trotted out in kitchens south of the Mason-Dixon line. Fear not, intrepid cooks. Chowder is just a milky stew of goodness, no matter where it comes from.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

This recipe comes to me from a colleague when I worked at my alma mater, the University of Mississippi. I gotta tell you, it’s so good that you’d serve it to Prince Charles and Prince Harry, if they were lucky enough to be in your dining room.

Add a crusty loaf of French bread or steamy cornbread and butter for soaking up the juice, and you’ll be dancing! I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten from this recipe, which has become a favorite with my friends. Now, it’s yours!

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photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook

How to cook liver and onions

Liver smothered in onions? So, 99% of you just went, “She’s cooking what?”

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

I am among the 1% of people who love liver and onions atop rice. Likely, it was presented to me by my grandmother, the beautiful and willful Rosalie Dial, who wasn’t one to forgive a turned-up nose at dinnertime. Likely, I ate it, agreed it was good, and the rest is history.

It’s not something I think about often, but this weekend, it came to mind. I make a batch and freeze everything but the rice for another dinner.

It’s also an emotional meal for me because my dearly departed mother, Betty, made me weekly batches while I was pregnant with my two kids and needed boosts of iron to fortify my system (and theirs). When I eat liver and onions, I think of all three of them. Sappy, but true.

And so, for you folks whose grandmothers and moms made this and never showed you how, here it is. For you folks who’ve got the curiosity to try it, the recipe couldn’t be simpler. Go for it!

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red beans

Mondays mean red beans in New Orleans

New Orleans restaurants are fairly predictable during Lent – they have red beans and rice on Mondays and a seafood special on Fridays.

photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin' Cook

photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/The Southfacin’ Cook

The Monday special is a long-standing practice. Mondays traditionally were laundry day in New Orleans and red beans and rice was an easy dish to put on the stove and leave. The dish is a standard offering every Monday in New Orleans restaurants.

During Lent, Catholic believers often give up meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, duck, etc.) on Fridays. Seafood is OK though, so restaurants offer tasty seafood dishes on Fridays. FYI – Lent starts Ash Wednesday (the day after Mardi Gras) and ends on Easter.

Want to try your hand at red beans while you knock out your laundry this weekend? Check out this recipe from our food columnist, Patsy R. Brumfield.

Since there are so many different recipes for the classic dish, here are a few more to peruse:

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chicken vegetable soup - photo by Patsy R. Brumfield

How to make homemade chicken-vegetable soup like a real Southerner

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

Cold weather just sets my soup-cooking emotions to stirring.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

After a look into my post-Thanksgiving freezer, I realized I had a variety of frozen vegetables I’d like to do something with because I’m not going to make them individually just for myself.

That’s when “soup!” came into my mind. I’ll have some for myself and some to share with friends, which is why I make a big pot of it. It’s also great to freeze in quart-size Ziplock bags for a no-trouble supper or lunch. Just add a salad or a toasted roll and you’re in business.

My only word of advice is to refrain from adding the chicken until the soup’s almost done. Otherwise, it will cook out all its juices and taste dry, even in the midst of the broth.

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image via http://www.angiessouthernkitchen.com/

How to make cornbread dressing like a real Southerner

Thanksgiving turkey isn’t complete without moist, yummy cornbread dressing. It’s taken me years to get this one right, so I’ll share my experience with you.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

First, my wonderful mother, Betty – who adored Thanksgiving and cooked for weeks in anticipation of hosting a crowd that day – died on Halloween 1999 and left me, the eldest child, to make our first holiday meal without her. I had no idea what to do. Thank goodness she left recipes, although some have taken years to get just right. (You know how cooks are about secrets.)

This is her cornbread dressing, which I like topped with a splash of smooth turkey giblet gravy (recipe). It’s also fabulous to slice thinly onto leftover turkey sandwiches with homemade mayonnaise (recipe) and a sliver of cranberry sauce (easy recipe). Goodness, my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Header image via Angie’s Southern Kitchen and used in accordance with the Creative Common license agreement.

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Sweet potatoes

How to make ‘Sweet Potato Queen’ casserole like a true Southerner

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

Some years ago, Mississippi’s Jill Conner Browne wrote a series of hilarious books based on her “Sweet Potato Queen” stories and philosophies of Southern culture. Fortunately, she also offered a recipe for said-named casserole, which I’ve expropriated and adapted through the years because my daughter likes it so much.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

It’s now a staple of our Thanksgiving feast and equally delicious leftovers. That’s why I usually make two casseroles – one for the midday meal and another for later.

You will love it, and it couldn’t be much easier. It’s a nice, fluffy, modern “company” side dish that I think is far superior to grandma’s marshmallow-topped version. You will appreciate it even more, if you read Jill’s books.

Header image via louisianasweetpotatoes.wordpress.com and used in accordance with the Creative Commons user agreement.

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POUNDCAKE9-narrow

How to make sour cream pound cake like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

My father didn’t do much cooking. Chiefly, he’s remembered for accidentally setting fire to the kitchen while trying to cook bacon and watch the World Series simultaneously. We’ve never been much for multi-tasking.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

But the man could make a really good pound cake – dense, crusty, delicious. Where he got his recipe is unknown to me, but lately I found one very much like it in my mother’s recipe box. It was an old, brown newspaper clipping taped to a file card.

It is beyond delicious! It’s tall and just the right density, and so buttery. You will love it, and your guests will think you are the greatest baker ever.

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crawfishpie_header

How to make crawfish pie (via NOLA.com)

The crawfish pie recipe from the Southfacin’ Cook is one of the most popular posts on NewinNOLA.com. Patsy showed us one way to make crawfish pie, but like many dishes, there are variations.

Judy Walker, the food editor on NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, offers her version. Check out the recipe here.

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