I may currently live in Ohio, but I am still just as Southern as a black-eyed pea! Black-eyed peas are a common food item year round in the rich food culture of the Southern United States, but eating them on New Years day is said to bring you good luck in the upcoming year. There are many things you can do with these tasty fellas, but in the south they are traditionally slow cooked with a smoked ham hock or pork jowl. Once on your plate, you have the option to splash your peas with a pepper soaked vinegar sauce, simply referred to as "pepper sauce," which is a common table staple.
Pork chops are one of those things that can be really hit or miss. I am usually leery of ordering them when I am dining out because I don't want to chance it and end up with a dry piece of something that makes me feel like I am chomping on an old sneaker! That being said, I have had some delicious ones at restaurants as well. One scrumptious one that comes to mind was served at Emeril's Delmonico in my beloved city of New Orleans. My dad makes a mean chop too and he is the one who set the bar high on pork chops for me.
It is a fact that I was one of those weird kids who actually liked eating their veggies. I loved spinach doused with lemon juice, southern style greens with pepper sauce, and at the top of the list... sprout balls!!!! (aka Brussels sprouts). I used to run around the house ninja kicking doors shut and announcing "Mom is cooking SPROUT BALLS!!!" Yeah I know, what a wierdo right?
Filets are one of my go to items to prepare for friends and family on special occasions, or even when we aren't celebrating anything other than good company! A few years ago, I lived in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to moving into my loft, my aunt took me around the city on an apartment hunt. After a long day of debating my future dwellings, she surprised me with a visit to this magical place I immediately fell in love with... the Westside Market.
Cornbread is a southern staple. It is frequently served at lunch and supper with just about any southern dish. My grandmother even used to crumble up leftover cornbread and stuff it into a cup of buttermilk for a snack! My dad makes the best cornbread and there are very few suppers that I can remember that were not served along with a warm slice of southern goodness.