Southern-Style Sunday Dinner

When you’re a college student or young adult living far from  home, Ramen noodles and take-out start to play an unexpectedly large role in your life. It’s sad but true. Every year, right around mid-September(after having been home all summer) I really start to miss my parents’ home cooking. Now that I’m all moved into my new apartment with a nice open kitchen and welcoming dining table, I decided to cook a family dinner for my roommates and some friends.

My friend Hannah(you may remember her from my Pesto Pizza post earlier in the month) and I decided to make it southern style. This included Buttermilk fried chicken, jalapeño cheddar cheese cornbread, and baked mac n cheese–yes it was just as delicious as it sounds.  I understand many of you may not have the time (or the patience) to make this meal but I would definitely suggest doing one of them just for a little taste of home. The cornbread is the quickest.


So for the Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Cornbread:

What You’ll Need:

1 (8 1/2 ounce) box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons canned jalapeno peppers, diced and drained well
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


1.) Combine cornbread mix, egg and butter in a mixing bowl.
2.) Add remaining ingredients. Combine well. Mixture will be thick and lumpy.
3.) Place cornbread in a greased muffin tin, mini muffin tin or 2-quart casserole dish.
4.) Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown.

for the Baked Mac n’ Cheese:

What You’ll Need:

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 pound elbow macaroni
3 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs


1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter a 3- to 4-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish.

2.) In a heavy saucepan melt 6 tablespoons butter over moderately low heat. Add flour and cook roux(incase you have no idea what roux means, Martha Stewart is here to help us click here), whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Add mustard, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

3.) In a kettle of salted boiling water cook macaroni until just al dente, about 7 minutes, and drain well. In a large bowl stir together macaroni, sauce, Cheddar, and 1 cup Parmesan and transfer to prepared dish.

4.) In a small bowl stir together bread crumbs and remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over macaroni. Cut remaining 1 tablespoon butter into bits and scatter over topping.

5.) Bake macaroni in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken:

What You’ll Need:

2 cups low-fat buttermilk
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
6-8 chicken drumsticks
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable oil


1.) In large bowl or baking dish combine 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and the chicken. Shake to coat, let it sit for an hour.

2.) In a large shallow bowl, whisk flour with 2 tablespoons salt and remaining 2 teaspoons cayenne. Dredge chicken pieces one at a time in mixture, shaking off excess.

3.) In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or other heavy-bottom skillet), heat oil on medium to high.

4.) Carefully add 1/2 of the chicken. Cook 10 minutes: turn chicken with tongs. Cook until golden brown, then turn and cook other side for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to drain. Season with salt, if desired.

5.) Repeat with remaining chicken.

And there you have a beautiful southern style dinner! Comment and tell me how it all turned out!


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