5 Foods To Make Your Southern-Themed Party a Success
Even if you don’t live in the South, if you consider yourself a gourmand, it’s hard to disappoint guests with a Southern-style feast. There are many distinctly Southern dishes that you can get in states like Louisiana, Georgia, or Alabama that are positively mouth-watering—and always crowd-pleasers.
If you’re planning on creating a meal with a Southern flair, you might want to consider going with some of the options on this list. Every one of them is a certified Southern favorite, and you’d do well to add these dishes to your kitchen repertoire too.
Before we get into the food you might serve at your Southern-themed soirée, we should also mention that no party would be complete without some quality Southern cocktails. Alabama Slammers are a favorite or you might go with Mint Juleps or a classic daiquiri instead.
Just be sure that no one drinks and drives afterward. You don’t want to hear that someone left your party and wrecked their car. Single-car accidents can be deadly, and someone who overindulged might hit another vehicle or a pedestrian instead.
Fried chicken is a Southern specialty that has become popular all over the country and around the world. You can find Kentucky Fried Chicken locations as far away as Japan.
If you want authentic, Southern-style fried chicken, you’ll probably want to use a recipe with chicken, peanut oil, cornstarch, flour, buttermilk, onion powder, garlic powder and hot sauce. Different chefs put their own spin on fried chicken recipes, but these are some of the main ingredients that you can’t do without.
You’ll have to decide whether you want to do the chicken in a deep fryer or come up with a healthier alternative, such as making it in an instant pot. Southern fried chicken isn’t the most health-conscious dish in the world, but it’s fine as an occasional indulgence.
Southern cooking often includes seafood, as you’ll quickly find if you make your way down to Louisiana or Alabama. Crawfish might seem like an intimidating choice if you’re not a skilled chef, but it might surprise you that even an amateur can whip some up and serve them with minimal difficulty.
A crawfish boil is a good way to go. In addition to the crawfish itself, these boils usually feature ears of corn, smoked sausage, redskin potatoes and various other ingredients. You might add some fresh green beans or even okra for color.
Often, the recipes for these boils call for lots of seasoning. The real key, though, is getting yourself a nice, big boiling pot that can hold enough for several people. Boiled crawfish is a crowd-pleasing favorite that fills the back yard with succulent smells, and peeling the crawfish is a lot of fun too.
Poor boy sandwiches, more often called poboys in the South, are another tasty Southern pick if you’re ready to arrange your party menu and want a hearty main course. Usually, recipes call for shrimp or deli meat, dill pickle relish, French bread, hot sauce and Dijon mustard. You will also probably want to add tomatoes and lettuce to finish the sandwiches and round out the flavors.
You might go with potato salad or baked beans to serve along with your poboys. You can put almost anything on a poboy sandwich as long as you use French bread, and remoulade, a Creole-infused version of the classic French mayo-mustard sauce, goes well as a dressing with shrimp or any other seafood.
Biscuits are not a main course, though you might serve biscuits and sausage gravy, a calorie-dense pairing that should fill up your hungriest guests. You can also serve it as a Southern side dish with just about anything, and no one is likely to complain. Even picky eaters tend to love biscuits since you can prepare and serve them in so many ways.
You might serve them with jelly or preserves or you can make them into sandwiches. The principal ingredients are usually flour, baking powder and buttermilk. You can also find recipes that feature egg, cream and sugar.
If you have any biscuits leftover after your party, send them home with people or keep them and enjoy them for breakfast the next morning.
You will find barbecue all over the country, but Southern-style barbecue is something special. When you drive past a barbecue pit and smell a succulent pork shoulder or rack of ribs, it might persuade even the most devout vegetarian to stray just once.
You can have barbecue at your Southern-themed party, and that could mean pork shoulder or ribs, but you might also go for chicken, duck, hot links or even tofu. You can create your own sauce, going for either a Deep South-style sweeter version or a more vinegar-based Carolina one.
Whatever main and side dishes you choose, your Southern-themed party might turn out to be the stuff of legend. You can offer a couple of main dishes if you have people who are more into meat or seafood, or you can always make a bunch of Southern side dishes for your vegan and vegetarian friends and relatives.
Even if you rarely make it below the Mason-Dixon Line, that’s no reason not to enjoy some delicious Southern staples.