Southern-fried Recipes

Southern-fried Recipes

Everyone knows that fried chicken and hushpuppies are classic Southern foods, but here are a few lesser-known recipes to give you another taste of the South. Enjoy! Ingredients 1 large egg, beaten 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided 1/2 cup cornmeal 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 medium size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices Vegetable oil Instructions Combine egg and buttermilk; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup of the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture. Pour oil 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.   Ingredients 4 cups water Salt and pepper 1 cup grits 3 tablespoons butter 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined 6 slices bacon, chopped 4 teaspoons lemon juice 1 cup thinly sliced scallions 1 clove of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning Instructions Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cheese, and Creole seasoning. Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; drain. In the bacon grease, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turn pink. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, scallions, and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp mixture...
Accidental Criminal: Avoiding Fines and Felonies

Accidental Criminal: Avoiding Fines and Felonies

You’ve finally arrived in Cuba and it’s absolutely picturesque—pastel houses, cobblestone streets, turquois beaches—and you don’t want to forget a single detail. You pass by a large decorated building ornamented with security guards; it looks impressive and important, so you snap a few pictures to show your friends back home. Before you’ve even put your camera down, a scowling security guard is blocking your view, demanding to see your camera, and interrogating you as if you’re some kind of criminal. You don’t even know what you’ve done wrong! When it comes to foreign laws, ignorance is not bliss. An innocent mistake can lead to more than just a scolding; knowing the laws of the land can save you from hefty fees or even jail time. Here are a few of these unfamiliar rules to look out for when traveling. When to Shoot What you might not have known in the scenario above is that taking pictures of government buildings in Cuba is illegal. In fact, photographing military, police, or government buildings—which sometimes include palaces or even airports—is prohibited in several countries, including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and Vietnam. Uganda and Saudi Arabia take it a step further, requiring you to obtain permission from any local person you photograph. While there is a slim chance that violating this law will result in jail time, at the very least you may get a stern reprimand. Bubblegum Ban Singapore is famous for its spotless, orderly communities, but maintaining this level of cleanliness requires strict regulations. Littering, jaywalking, and failing to flush the toilet can result in large fines, and in order to...
La Cueca: Step into Chilean Culture

La Cueca: Step into Chilean Culture

On my first day in Chile, colorful leaves were falling in May, and I couldn’t understand some of the signs and street vendors. I was visiting with my dance team, but I felt strange walking into a local church dance when I didn’t quite feel like part of the community. The event began with the performance of a traditional dance, and I looked on blankly, unfamiliar with the music and movement. Unexpectedly, an aging woman in a bright shawl took me by the arm and led me to a partner. She and her daughter began teaching me and my team members how to do the cueca, the traditional dance they’d just been performing. I mimicked her movements, winding around my partner to an energetic rhythm. Little did I know my new friends weren’t just sharing a dance with me: they were sharing their culture and history too.   The Conquest The cueca began as a style of music in the 1800s that featured guitars and tambourines. Later, a flirtacious dance developed to the music and became popular between the cattle-ranching huasos and their sweethearts. In the dance, each man and woman waves a handkerchief high as they lock eyes and dance a set pattern of figures: a half moon, a vuelta (turn), a brush, stomps, another vuelta. The lady, in a colorful, full-skirted dress and apron, waves her handkerchief tauntingly as she performs rhythmic footwork. Dressed as a huaso—spurs and all—the man executes heavy stomps and high-kneed jumps. The cueca mimics the courtship rituals of roosters and hens; however, even though the dance is about pursuit, the dancers barely...
Ancient Sounds: The National Instruments of Europe

Ancient Sounds: The National Instruments of Europe

Music varies widely among different communities and groups. As widely varied as music is, so too are the instruments that are used to pluck out a melody. Instruments carry special significance in their countries or communities. They can be symbolic or spiritual, or they can simply be a reminder of a people’s origin. Like many other places in the world, Europe’s culture is pervaded with these instruments. Instruments help shape the culture of each country and its people. The Nyckelharpa The nyckelharpa (pronounced nick-el- harp-a) has a warm, resonant sound that is reminiscent of a robust violin. Originally created in Sweden, its name meaning “key harp”, the nyckelharpa has been played for over 600 years. Although its form has evolved over the ages, today’s nykelharpa has three melody strings, one drone string, and twelve resonance strings for a total of sixteen strings. The instrument also has thirty-seven keys that slide under the strings; the player presses these keys down to change the pitch of the instrument. Similar to other stringed instruments, the nyckelharpa is played with a short bow. The instrument nearly disappeared in the early 1900s, but today there are over 10,000 nyckelharpa players in Sweden alone. This can largely be credited to the work of a man named Eric Sahlström, a player of the instrument who revived and revitalized folk music in Sweden. The Kantele The kantele (pronounced CAHN-tel- a) has an ethereal, mysterious sound that evokes Ancient Sounds The National Instruments of Europe 65 feeling of nostalgia for a simpler time. The instrument is played in the lap of its musicians, and its strings, either plucked...
Geisha in Gion

Geisha in Gion

Geiko Toshikana at Ryuhonji Temple. (kyoto flowertourism)   “Next stop is the geisha district,” Peter said before remounting his bike and leading us across the street. I pedaled behind him and thought about what I knew about geisha. I knew that they wore kimonos. I knew that they painted their faces white. I knew that there was a Hollywood movie about a geisha that my mom wouldn’t let me watch. That’s all. And because that movie had been labeled “bad” in my middle school brain, geishas had been too. But I was about to learn the truth and come to respect and admire the geisha culture. We were on a bicycle tour called Cycle Kyoto, riding through the streets of Kyoto, Japan, and stopping at notable sites to learn some history and interesting facts about Japan. Peter, originally from New York but now fluent in Japanese, was our tour guide. He gave us incredible insights into life in Kyoto. The tour was a diverting educational experience, very different from the classroom education I was used to in college. We rode down the alleyway of Gion (pronounced ghee-ohn), one of the biggest geisha districts left in Japan. To me, the street we rode along didn’t look any different from others in the city, but I did notice that the roads were especially quiet and peaceful. I sensed the deep and rich history of the place. Geisha have existed in Japanese culture since the 1700s, during the Edo period, and those roots bring a sense of nobility to Gion. Our cycling group stopped in front of the school for maiko, or...
Four Corners of the Kitchen: Flatbreads

Four Corners of the Kitchen: Flatbreads

Flatbreads have been with the human race for over 6,000 years, and since then, they have remained an integral part of many societies. The dish is still popular worldwide, and every country has its own unique flatbread variation. Here are a few flatbread recipes from around the world, along with explanations of their significance.   Indian Naan Naan has been a traditional Indian bread since the fourteenth century and was first cooked in the Imperial Court at Delhi. Its versatility and soft texture have made it a popular addition to many South Asian meals. Ingredients 2 tsp dry active yeast 1 tsp sugar 1/2 cup water 2 ½ –3 cups flour, divided 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup olive oil 1/3 cup plain yogurt 1 large egg Directions Dissolve yeast and sugar in water, then let sit for a few minutes or until it is frothy on top. Whisk in the oil, yogurt, and egg until evenly combined. Add salt and flour. Stir until well combined. Continue adding flour, a half cup at a time, until you can no longer stir it with a spoon (about 1 to 1½ cups). Turn the ball of dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the ball of dough for about 3 minutes, adding small amounts of flour to keep the dough from sticking. You’ll end up using between 2½ to 3 cups flour total. The dough should be smooth and very soft but not sticky. Avoid adding excessive amounts of flour, as this can make the dough too dry and stiff. Cover the dough and let it rise 1 hour. Gently...