Even though we’re just south of one of the largest metropolitan regions in the United States, our area around Washington DC still boasts a number of Southern influences. We’re close enough to the truly “Southern” states to enjoy the people and foods of that region. Perhaps you’re from the Deep South, or have developed a palate for southern food. Here are some ideas for Southern-inspired catering that will make your mouth water.
#1. Serve Fried Chicken—or fried anything!
True Southerners grew up on fried chicken and wouldn’t think of hosting a picnic without it. A southern feast might consist of chicken fried to a crispy finish, along with cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, and of course, biscuits.
Add a twist by serving gravy with your chicken and biscuits, or create a chicken pot pie, chicken and waffles, or chicken and dumplings.
For other fried foods, think fried fish and seafood. Catfish, shrimp and cod make delightful fried dishes. And don’t forget fried desserts! Fried fruit hand pies, beignets, and even fried Oreos have Southern influences.
Recipe: Easy Beignets
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 TBSP melted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks with the sugar, melted butter, vanilla and ¼ cup water. Stir to combine, then fold into the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the batter.
- In a large pot or deep fryer, heat the vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown; about 5 minutes. Remove beignets and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Dust liberally with powdered sugar and serve warm.
#2. Cook Up New Orleans Favorites
It doesn’t get much more Southern than the foods inspired by New Orleans’s Creole and Cajun kitchens. Treat your guests to Jambalaya, Shrimp and Grits, Gumbo, or Red Beans and Rice. Create a theme for your Southern-inspired catering and decorate for Mardi Gras. Then finish the meal with beignets or Bananas Foster and laissez les bon temps rouler!
#3. Bring on the Barbecue
Southerners love their barbecue and will argue for hours over who has the best sauce! Offer a barbecue station with various sauces, or roast an entire pig! Your caterer can design an entire menu around barbecue, offering sliders, sandwiches, sliced brisket, or pulled pork varieties. Just make sure you have enough napkins to soak up that excess sauce.
#4. Finish the Meal with Fruit
Fruit-filled pies, buckles, slumps, and cobblers are favorites of Southern-inspired cooking. Pretty much any fruit dessert served with a crispy crust or topping will surely please your guests. Create an entire blackberry or strawberry pie, or fancy it up by serving personal-sized tarts, or deconstructed pies in individual jars.
#5. Offer Sweet Tea and Lemonade
At many Southern restaurants, any order of iced tea is served as “sweet tea.” A Southern cook knows to serve up the drinks sweet.
Let Maison Culinaire Inspire Your Southern Menu
When you want to design a creative Southern-inspired menu, trust Maison Culinaire. Our creative culinary team can delight you and your guests with delicious foods served in innovative ways. Choose a formal sit-down dinner in your reception hall, rented space or office, or a more casual buffet-style service served outside. Or anything in between.
You can expect impeccable food, artistic styling and flawless service every time from Maison Culinaire. Serving clients throughout the DC metropolitan area. Contact us to see how you can create your own Southern-inspired menu.