Here are some pics of the meal on my first night in Alabama. I go down south after Christmas to visit with Emily’s relatives for the last few years. I am a big fan of the food, and food culture down south, which is a big contrast to my New Jersey/New England roots. The food can be on the heavy side because of the heavy use of pork, fried items, and cream based vegetable side dishes. This time I came prepared and brought with me oat meal and dried fruit for breakfast, and a bag of oranges to help balance out the heavy foods.
The big stand outs are the southern staples like country ham, pork BBQ, sweet potato, corn grits, creamed corn and corn bread, turnip and collard greens, okra, pecans,various pickles hot and sweet vegetable pickles, sorghum sugar, and buttermilk biscuits.
Other stands outs are the use of beans, and fresh pea varieties not found much in the north, which are called crowder pea. They called the green peas we eat up north “English Peas.”
Tonight’s meal consisted of fried oysters, country ham, my sweet potato biscuits, turnip greens, potato salad, corn dressing (stuffing), and sweet potato pie for dessert.
Fried Oysters: serves 2-4
24-48 oysters (2 pints cans) or hand shucked with oyster liquid reserved
For dredge coating:
1/2 cup AP flour
1/8 cup corn meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
2-3 cups of oil for frying (I prefer peanut oil)
Lime Buttermilk Dressing (optional)
1/2 cup butter milk
juice of 3 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon of honey
5-6 scallions small diced
1 clove of minced garlic
salt and pepper
Soak the oyster in the oyster liquid and drain (don’t rinse) just before adding to dredge mix. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot to a temp of 350. Dredge the oysters and place carefully in the hot oil. Fry for 30 seconds and flip and fry for 30 more seconds. place oysters on a double thick layer of paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
For the dressing. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and combine.
I eat them with just some lemon juice.