Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Inspired Menu

You're probably thinking: What on earth is a book inspired menu? Well, let me tell you. I'm currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and it's flipping amazing. Even better than the movie. This book revolves around the daily life and struggles of colored maids in the 60's. Though it's humor-based, this is a very important piece that analyzes racism and slavery. There was a lost of delicious food involved so I thought I could look up some recipes that reminded me of this book.

Shall we get into it?

For the appetizer I chose simple yet delicious Bacon-Olive Party Sandwiches. Gatherings without some tiny sandwiches never end up well.


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
24 pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon pepper

How to Make It

Remove and discard crusts from bread; toast bread.
Spread 1 side of 8 bread slices evenly with Bacon-Olive Cream Cheese; top with remaining 8 bread slices, and cut evenly into 3 strips.

For the main dish, I couldn't forget about Crisco, so we're making Mama's Fried Chicken. And then we'll have a side of Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad, as inspired by Constantine's pea tradition.

Ingredients (chicken)

1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups buttermilk
Self-rising flour
Vegetable oil

How to Make It

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a shallow dish or zip-top plastic bag, and add buttermilk. Cover or seal, and chill at least 2 hours.
Remove chicken from buttermilk, discarding buttermilk. Dredge chicken in flour.
Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a deep skillet or Dutch oven; heat to 360°. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover chicken, and cook 9 minutes. Turn chicken; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 to 9 minutes, turning chicken the last 3 minutes for even browning, if necessary. Drain on paper towels.

Ingredients (salad)

1 (16-oz.) package frozen black-eyed peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red pepper jelly
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 large fresh peaches, peeled and diced
2 cups torn watercress

How to Make It

Prepare peas according to package directions, simmering only until al dente; drain and let cool 1 hour.
Whisk together cilantro and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked black-eyed peas, bell pepper, and onion, tossing to coat; cover and chill 8 hours. Stir peaches and watercress into pea mixture just before serving.

Now, my favorite part is definitely dessert. I'm such a sweet tooth. Since nobody could stop talking about Minny's pie in the book (wink wink), I chose the Chocolate Icebox Pie for this menu. 


2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (6-ounce) ready-made chocolate crumb piecrust
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 (1.55-ounce) milk chocolate candy bar, chopped

How to Make It

Heat milk until it just begins to bubble around the edges in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from heat, and whisk in chocolate morsels until melted. Cool slightly.
Stir together cold water and cornstarch until dissolved.
Whisk cornstarch mixture, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute or until mixture thickens and is smooth. (Do not overcook.)
Remove from heat, and whisk in butter. Spoon mixture into piecrust. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream evenly over pie filling, and sprinkle with pecans and candy bar pieces.

To shelter yourself from the unforgiving southern heat, you'll need big quantities of Southern Sweet Tea.


3 cups water
2 family-size tea bags
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
7 cups cold water

How to Make It

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
Remove and discard tea bags. Add desired amount of sugar, stirring until dissolved. Pour into a 1-gal. container, and add 7 cups cold water. Serve over ice. You can add peach nectar or lemon juice if desired.

It sounds SO good, guys! I need to go and ransack my fridge now, but I'm guessing it's empty, as usual. If I ever decide to prepare this delicious menu, I'll definitely let you know.

The recipes featured here are from

Do you love food? What kind of question is that? Everyone loves food. Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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