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Celebrate the Holidays with Appalachian Flavor

As the holiday season approaches, Appalachian Appetite author and chef Susi Gott shares her favorite recipes to bring traditional flavor into your home this holiday season.

Appalachian Appetite features over 100 recipes that represent an innovative take on tradition, with contributions and stories from the mountain region’s most iconic chefs, restaurants, and citizens from Asheville, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee.Chestnut Sweet Potato Salad

Ingredients:
1 gallon sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice
2 red onions, diced
3 green peppers, diced
3 red peppers, diced
1 cup stone ground mustard
¾ cup chives, (chopped fine)
1 cup cider vinegar
1½ -2 cups olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare all the vegetables. Toss the sweet potatoes in a little of the olive oil and oven roast until cooked. Toss the peppers and onion in a little olive oil as well and oven-wilt them. While still warm, toss the peppers, onion, sweet potatoes, and mustard together, add cider vinegar. Season to taste and finish with the chives.

Susi’s Southern Cornbread

Ingredients:
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
(or 1 cup fresh-ground cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon baking powder; you can experiment with more cornmeal and less flour, to your liking)
1¼ cup milk or buttermilk, or yogurt or sour cream mixed with milk
¼ cup oil or melted butter or bacon drippings
1 teaspoon large grain salt (a bit less if using self-rising cornmeal)
1 large fresh egg

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Heat a cast iron skillet and pour in enough oil to coat bottom and sides well. Mix up your batter with rapid strokes, and pour in hot skillet. Bake for a scant 20 minutes, and eat hot out of the oven with plenty of fresh butter.

Tiller’s Molassie Cake

Ingredients:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon powdered ginger

For the Sorghum Mixture
1 cup “molassie” (sweet sorghum syrup)
½ cup melted butter (the original recipe calls for Crisco)
½ cup sugar
2 eggs

For the Butterscotch Sauce
1½ cups brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup evaporated milk

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the sorghum mixture and stir. Then, at the last minute, stir in 1 cup boiling water. The batter will be very thin. Pour it into the greased and floured cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Use a cake tester to determine doneness. Do not overbake. (Or if you do, make the butterscotch sauce and no one will ever know!) For the butterscotch sauce, bring sugar, syrup, and butter to a boil, then let cool. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over the top of the warm cake. Much of the sauce will sink in, but you will get a beautiful shiny glaze over the top.


 

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