Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours

Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours


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For Pat and Gina Neely the secret to a truly happy home is a lively mix of food and family. In their new book, the best-selling authors draw on their down-home roots and revisit the classic Southern recipes that have been passed down through generations. We’re drawn into the kitchens of their mothers and grandmothers and back to a time when produce was picked in the backyard garden and catfish was caught on afternoon fishing trips with Grandpa. In their signature style, Pat and Gina have taken the dishes they were raised on and updated them for today’s kitchens.

Inside you’ll find 100 recipes, including Small Batch Strawberry Jam (best when eaten with Easy Buttermilk and Cream Biscuits), Bourbon French Toast, Crunchy Fried Okra, Skillet Corn Bread, Grilled Succotash, Skillet Roasted Chicken, and Brunswick Stew (which combines a little of everything in your fridge).
Pat and Gina believe good food leads to good times and Back Home with the Neelys is sure to bring back fond memories of the tradition, history, and flavors that are present in every family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594730613
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/08/2014
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 155,874
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Pat and Gina Neely are restaurateurs, best-selling authors, popular speakers, and hosts of Food Network’s hit series Down Home with the Neelys. They recently opened their first Manhattan restaurant, Neely’s Barbecue Parlor. They live with their daughters in Memphis.
Ann Volkwein is a best-selling food-and-lifestyle writer based in New York City and Austin, Texas. Her previous collaborations include The Neelys’ Celebration Cookbook, The Arthur Avenue Cookbook, Chinatown New York, Mixt Salads (with Andres Swallow), and, with Guy Fieri, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives; More Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives; and Guy Fieri Food.

Read an Excerpt

Skillet Corn Bread
Gina: “Skillet corn bread has always been my go-to-comfort food, and my mom used to make it for me as a treat when I was younger. I do this for my girls now whenever I think they need a little love. The trick to really good corn bread is preheating the skillet, then baking the corn bread right in the hot skillet, so you build a crispy crust. This recipe is our version of the classic hot-water corn bread we grew up on, which was made by mixing cornmeal with hot water until it felt like mashed potatoes, then frying it in a skillet with oil and bacon grease. Most Southern corn bread recipes tend to be a bit sweet, and I like to top mine off with a little of our Cinnamon Honey Butter.”
Serves 8 to 10
2 1⁄4 cups ground yellow cornmeal
1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 3⁄4 cups buttermilk
One 8 1⁄4-ounce can creamed corn
2 large eggs, beaten
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on the center rack while it heats.
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, creamed corn, eggs, and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter, swirling to make sure it reaches all the edges of the skillet. Pour in the batter, and spread evenly across the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Best when served fresh and warm.
Grilled Succotash
Pat: “This old Southern dish has been around a long time. A great succotash must include lima beans, corn, onions, tomatoes, and fresh basil. I haven’t seen succotash grilled before, but it’s a great way to introduce a smoky, charred flavor to the dish. Toss with a light coating of Lemon Vinaigrette and you have the perfect summer salad.”
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups fresh or frozen shelled lima beans
3 ears corn, shucked
1 zucchini, cut on the bias into
1⁄3-inch slices 1⁄2 red onion, sliced into 1⁄3-inch-thick rings
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1⁄4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup olive oil
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Pour the lima beans into a pot of boiling salted water, and cook for 12 minutes, or until soft. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Place the corn, zucchini, and red onion on a sheet tray, and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss well together, making sure all the veggies are coated in oil and seasoned well with salt and pepper. Grill the corn until lightly charred on all sides, about 6 minutes. Grill zucchini and onions on both sides until lightly charred and soft, 4 to 5 minutes total. Remove from grill, and cool slightly.
Chop the zucchini and onion into bite-sized pieces. With a chef’s knife, cut the corn kernels from the cob. Use the back of your blade to scrape against the cob to press out the milky liquid. Put the chopped veggies, the corn, and its milk in a large bowl, and toss in the tomatoes and basil.
Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, and whisk well until emulsified. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Smoked Sausage Shrimp and Grits
Gina: “All Southern cooks have tried their hands at shrimp and grits, and each one has his or her own version of the dish. My mom used to season her shrimp with garlic and onion and just prepare the grits with a little salt and pepper. Pat remembers his aunt Leona adding a little pig to her version. Once I heard that, I had to try it, too. Grits don’t have much flavor on their own, but they absorb the flavor of whatever they’re cooked with. With the cream cheese, Parmesan, shrimp, and sausage, there’s plenty of flavor to go around in this dish.”
Serves 4
4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken broth
1 cup quick-cooking grits
3 ounces cream cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced, then roughly chopped
1⁄2 Vidalia onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1⁄4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, juices drained
1⁄2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Green onions, sliced, for serving
Hot sauce, optional
Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Pour in the grits, whisking constantly. Keep stirring as the grits return to a low simmer and become thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan, and the 3 tablespoons butter. Season the grits with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid, and turn the heat down to low to keep the grits warm.
Melt the 1 tablespoon butter and heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s foamy, add the sausage, and cook until browned around the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in the onion and bell pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant, just 1 minute. Stir in the shrimp, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove shrimp to a plate. Pour in the diced tomatoes, white wine, and heavy cream, and simmer over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened. Stir shrimp back into the sauce, taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.
Serve the shrimp over a nice mound of creamy grits, and top with green onions. Pass around hot sauce, if you like.

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Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
c1k2g3 More than 1 year ago
very good - highly recommend the Neelys are awsome!