Adding regional flavours to everyday cooking is a great way to quite literally, spice things up and peanuts and peanut products can be nutritious additions to southern-inspired meals. In fact, the southern US is home to approximately 99 per cent of all USA-grown peanuts.
Peanuts are a great addition to a southern batter. Try pulsing them in a food processor with cornmeal and fresh herbs for added flavour and nutrition. Then try coating catfish fillets for a standout fish dish.
Beef brisket is a true Texan favourite. While a pit master may be minding the barbecue for up to 16 hours, when cooking at home you can get great results in about six. The secret? Low and slow - keep the barbecue on low and cook for several hours. Add hickory or mesquite chips (available where barbecues are sold) as a flavour enhancer. Season the meat with bold seasonings such as chilli, onion and garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and brown sugar then barbecue, brushing occasionally with a vinegar, mustard and beer combo to keep it super moist. Cook until fork tender and be patient.
Peanuts create a fantastic protein-packed quesadilla filling when mixed with chicken, cheese, corn, red pepper and coriander. This fresh southern flavour combination is sure to be a hit at dinner time.
With fresh local shrimp and seafood readily available, Georgia is rightly known for its "boils". To make them at home, bring a big pot of simmering water, potatoes, chunks of kielbasa, onion, celery and Cajun seasonings. Toss in chunks of corn on the cob and sweet shrimp cooking until just pink then drain. To make it really authentic, line a table with newspaper and tumble food onto it or of course a large bowl works too.
Chiles are a big part of New Mexican cooking. Some say not only do they add flavour to their regional cooking, they’re healthy too (rich in vitamin C and A for example). Of course chiles are delicious in savoury foods such as enchiladas and burritos, but why not try pureeing and adding a little to a brownie mix or stirring a smidgeon into hot chocolate along with cinnamon.