My take on Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa’s Oven-Fried Chicken

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, August 04, 2010


Ina’s recipe has over 200 rave reviews.  It’s the traditional way of making fried chicken, browning in oil, but she then puts it in the oven on a baking rack to fry.  So much easier than standing over a stove, turning and frying chicken for 30-40 minutes.  I’ve soaked chicken in buttermilk for years, it gives it an awesome flavor.

This recipe is a must try in our house, I bet some of you will like it also.  ~ jan

I modified Ina’s recipe a bit, I would never fry two chickens at once…

1 chicken or four chicken breasts with the skin and bone.
Enough buttermilk to cover the chicken
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1-2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil or shortening

Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl, pour buttermilk to cover, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag.  Shake chicken pieces in the flour mixture. 

Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed skillet to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 350 degree’s on a thermometer.

Working in batches, place several pieces of the chicken in the skillet, being careful not to crowd it.  Brown on both sides for about 3-4 minutes each side until it’s golden brown.  Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a metal baking rack (a cookie cooling rack works great for this) set on a sheet pan. 

Check oil to make sure it’s at 350, fry the next batch of chicken.  When all is fried, bake 30-40 minutes until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Cook’s Illustrated Vodka Pie Crust

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 29, 2010

My friend, Veronica, was telling me last week about vodka pie crust.  A friend of hers made it and said it was the best pie crust ever.  So I did a search for it, the recipe came right up on Serious Eats.  Here’s the link if you want to check it out.  Read the comments, others seem to love this as well…

Cook’s Illustrated Foolproof Pie Dough>>>

Potato Cobb Salad from Southern Living

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 20, 2010


  • 3  pounds  Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (16-ounce) bottle olive oil-and-vinegar dressing, divided
  • 8  cups  mixed salad greens
  • 2  large avocados
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 3  large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 12  small green onions, sliced
  • 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4  ounces  crumbled blue cheese
  • 6  to 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. Peel and cut into cubes.

Sprinkle potatoes evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Pour 1 cup dressing over potatoes; gently toss. Set aside remaining dressing. Cover potato mixture; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

Arrange salad greens evenly on a large serving platter. Peel and chop avocados; toss with lemon juice.

Arrange potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, and next 4 ingredients in rows over salad greens. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve with remaining dressing.

Source:  Southern Living, JUNE 2003

Classic Fried Catfish

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, July 10, 2010

Southern Living Recipe Classic Fried Catfish

For an extra-crispy crust, use stone-ground yellow cornmeal, if available. Serve with lemon slices and your favorite tartar sauce. The secret to this recipe is maintaining an oil temperature of 360° to ensure a crispy, golden crust.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 1/2  cups  buttermilk
1/4  teaspoon  hot sauce
6  (4- to 6-oz.) catfish fillets
1/3  cup  plain yellow cornmeal
1/3  cup  masa harina (corn flour)*
1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
2  teaspoons  salt
1  teaspoon  ground black pepper
1  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
Peanut oil
1. Whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce.

2. Place catfish in a single layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; pour buttermilk mixture over fish. Cover and chill 8 hours, turning once.

3. Combine cornmeal and next 6 ingredients in a shallow dish.

4. Let fish stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Remove from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge fish in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.

5. Pour oil to depth of 2 inches into a large, deep cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet; heat to 360°.

6. Fry fish, in batches, 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack on a paper towel-lined jelly-roll pan. Keep warm in a 225° oven until ready to serve.

*All-purpose flour or plain yellow cornmeal may be substituted.

Southern Living, JULY 2010

How am I supposed to eat healthy with this on the counter?

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, June 23, 2010


Hubby wanted a strawberry pie, I baked off the crust, he fixed the berries and added the glaze, Cool Whip wasn’t thawed yet, but this was just calling my name.

I love my red pie plate, it’s Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate.  It comes in a great gift box, similar to a hat box, and you can get it on Amazon.  It’s a bit spendy, but it’s wonderful, definitely worth the money.  Makes a pretty pie, flutes with no effort, too. 

Here’s the click if you’re interested>>>

Martha Stewart's Rice Krispie Confetti Squares

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, June 22, 2010

My buddy, V, told me about this recipe years ago.  Neither of us have made it,  but it’s on both of our “to do" lists.

~ jan

Makes 9 servings

9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
12 cups (2 1/2 bags) miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
6 cups Cap'n Crunch cereal
6 cups Froot Loops cereal
Vegetable-oil cooking spray


Lightly spray a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with vegetable-oil cooking  spray; set aside. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add salt and  marshmallows; stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice  Krispies, Cap'n Crunch, and Froot Loops, and stir until combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. To prevent sticking, coat your  hands with vegetable spray, and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool,  about 30 minutes.

Cut into 3-by-3-inch bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, June 14, 2010
6.14.12  Carlene gave me this recipe, she thinks it tastes like Juicy Fruit Gum.  I made it this weekend, it’s a winner,  ladies.  You won’t believe how moist this bread is, and there is only 4 tablespoons of butter in it!  It’s going into the Tried ‘n True Hall of fame it’s so good.  If you can let it sit for a couple of days, it gets so moist it’s soggy.  Oh, is this a yummy summer dessert bread!  Both of us tweaked the recipe, of course, changes follow the recipe… ~ jan

adapted by Our Best Bites from Cooking Light and further adapted by Jan and Carlene

2 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/4 C (4 Tbs) real butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
1/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt
3 Tbs apple juice or milk*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut

Topping: 2 Tbs additional coconut

Glaze: 1/2 C powdered sugar whisked with 1 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice
*as in: don't go buy apple juice just for this recipe.  If you don't already have some, just use milk!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended.  Add eggs and beat to combine.  Add banana, sour cream or yogurt, apple juice (or milk), and vanilla.  Beat until blended.

Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined.  Stir in 1/2 C coconut.
Pour batter into a 9x5" loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle additional 2 Tbs coconut on top. 

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Note: Check bread after about 40 minutes.  If the top has browned and the coconut pieces are looking toasty, cover top of bread lightly with a piece of foil.  Continue baking until done.

When done, remove pan from oven.  Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from pan.  Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top.    Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing.
Carlene’s tweaks:  If you use a glass pan, add 10-15 miutes to baking time.  She also used greek style pineapple yogurt instead of the sour cream or plain yogurt, and she added coconut flavoring extract and vanilla.  She also used 3 tablespoons of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of fat free half and half.  She added lost of lime zest along with the juice in the icing….
Jan’s tweaks:  I baked this in an insulated metal pan, and it took quite a bit longer than an hour to bake.  I still underbaked a bit, I like my breads that way.  I tented the bread with foil with holes poked in it after an hour, as the coconut on top was starting to get golden and I didn’t want it to burn.  I used light sour cream instead of the pineapple or greek yogurt.  I used 3 heaping Tablespoons of Thai unsweetened coconut milk (in the Asian section of the supermarket, this is really thick like condensed milk. Make sure you buy the unsweetened, and I used the full fat, not the light version).  Oh, and the most important change, I added a small can of crushed pineapple to the batter, well drained and blotted with paper towel.  I love anything banana/pineapple, and this was a great addition to the original recipe.
I used RealLime concentrate in the glaze.  Omg, I bet Carlene is rolling her eyes, ;o).  It worked great, though…  Fresh lime and zest would have been better I’m sure, but I used all my limes in the ginger beer and didn’t want to go back to the store.
My bananas were extremely ripe.  So ripe that they were black on the outside, but it helped give this such a moist texture, I think.

Joe’s Crab Shack Famous Key Lime Pie

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, June 12, 2010

joes stone crab key lime pie

In the 1950's, the only pie at the legendary Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach was apple pie. "But a visiting food critic from Chicago mistakenly mixed Joe's up with another restaurant and praised the Key Lime Pie," wrote Geoffrey Tomb of the Miami Herald after an interview with Jo Ann, the creator. Requests came flooding in, and Bass's father told her to develop a recipe. After a few modifications from new chefs at the restaurant, here is today's signature pie.

For the Filling:

5 egg yolks
2 can(s) (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup(s) fresh lime juice Zest of 1/2 lime

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

10 graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup(s) sugar 5 tablespoon(s) melted butter

Whipped cream, optional

Directions For the filling: Mix yolks, milk, juice, and zest.

For the crust: Mix crackers, sugar, and butter. Form the crust in a 12" pie pan. Bake 8 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove and let cool.

Pour in the filling and bake another 8 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove and let cool. Once cool, place in the freezer until ready to use. Before serving, remove from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes from Big Red Kitchen

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, June 11, 2010

Robin, at Big Red Kitchen, gave me permission to post this.  I just had to enlarge this
picture so you could see the details.  This is pancakes, ladies, pancakes!

Is this not the most clever thing, ever?   What a great weekend idea.  Gotta try these at our house, soon.  ~ jan

For the Cinnamon Filling...
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix until smooth:
1 stick softened butter, almost melty
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon

Using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides, pour this mixture into a large pastry bag that had been opened and stood up in a tall tumbler. A large ziptop bag with the edges folded over the tumbler would work too.

For the Cream Cheese Icing...
In the same bowl that you used for the cinnamon filling, mix together, using the hand mixer again:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
4 T. milk

Mix until smooth and pour into a second pastry bag just like you did with the cinnamon mixture above.

For the Pancakes...
In the same bowl that you used for the filling and the icing- no need to be using or washing too many bowls now- mix together:
2 cups pancake mix- I used Bisquick's Heart Healthy
3 eggs
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 T. powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups milk

Using the hand mixer, blend until smooth. In a large non-stick skillet, over medium to medium-low heat, and using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, ladle 2 pancakes. Snip the tip off the pastry bag containing the cinnamon filling so that the opening is a scant 1/2 inch wide, swirl over cooking pancakes in a circular motion- 3 go-a-rounds should do. Continue to cook the pancakes until bubbles form evenly through each cake. Gently flip each pancake over and cook another 30-45 seconds, remove to a serving platter and serve immediately or keep warm covered in a warm oven. Continue with the rest of the batter. Place 2-3 pancakes side by side (too pretty to stack!) on each person's plate and drizzle each one with icing. Serve maple syrup, bacon or sausage, and fruit on the side. Makes 18 pancakes.

Note- Using a damp paper towel, wipe your skillet after each pancake is made. This will keep the next pancake from sticking to any of the cinnamon filling that has leaked onto your skillet or griddle.
After I swirled each pancake with the cinnamon filling, I returned the pastry bag, tip down in the tumbler. This kept it from leaking all over.
Store any leftover icing in the refrigerator for future use.

If you link to her site, you can see step by step instructions on how to make these.  While you’re there, poke around in her recipe archives – she has some really good stuff!

Here’s the link>>>

Chicken Fried Bacon aka “bacon porn”

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, June 04, 2010
Chicken Fried Bacon - Frank Sodolak's Country Inn - Snook, TX

The idea of this totally fascinates me.  Completely, totally unhealthy, of course, but it looks awesome!  Would I make this, probably not, but I would love to taste it, just once.  ~ jan


1 lb thick sliced bacon, cut in half
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (or cream or half & half)
1/2 cup flour
spices (optional)
oil (for frying)


3 tablespoons drippings or butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream (whipping)
salt and pepper, heavy on the pepper


1. Heat oil in a frying pan over med-high heat.
2. Whisk egg and milk together in a bowl.
3. Place flour in another bowl - season it if you'd like (garlic, pepper, salt, lemon, cajun, etc.).
4. Double dip - first in the egg mixture, then into the flour and repeat.
5. Fry in oil until golden brown.

Serve with cream gravy for dipping; also good served with steak.

To make cream gravy:

Put drippings or butter in a sauce pan over med-high heat. Whisk in the flour until well blended; cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from heat and gradually add milk whisking constantly; return to heat & whisk until the gravy thickens; Whisk in the cream, salt & pepper.

Source:  RecipeZaar