Southern style dinner party menu

9 May

The weather is finally warming up here in London, and  it’s inspired us to create a Southern-style dinner party menu. We’ve put together some of our favourite Southern recipes below for you to try. Check out our video for a few tips and tricks.


Let us know what you think at @AHappyHostess or on our Facebook page. You can email us at

All recipes serve four

Oven-fried chicken


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Salt pepper
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup fine ground cornmeal
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

For the marinade

  • 2 cups buttermilk (make your own by adding lemon juice to milk until in begins to thicken)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Throw all your marinade ingredients into a bowl and marinate your chicken thighs for at least two hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 ºc and pour the oil onto a baking tray (making sure it is deep enough to contain the oil). Place in the oven to get searing hot while you cover your chicken in the cornmeal coating.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients together and even out on a plate. Just before you want to cook the chicken, dip the thighs into the flour and corn, making sure every bit of the flesh is coated in cornmeal.
  4. Place onto the preheated baking tray, careful not to splash the oil, which will be very hot. Cook for 20-25 minutes at 200 ºc, turning over halfway through. Baste regularly with the oil.

Cheesy cornmeal


  • 2 cups milk (not skimmed)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup fine ground cornmeal
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Place all the ingredients (except the cheese and butter) into a large saucepan and gently bring to the boil.
  2. Turn the heat down to low, stirring every four minutes.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  4. Just before serving, remove from heat and whisk in butter and cheese, little by little, until incorporated smoothly. Season to taste.

Spicy Cajun butter

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Soften butter and combine with all spices. Serve over green beans.

Country gravy


  •  1 pork sausage, casing removed
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Lightly brown the sausage meat in a medium frying pan over low heat. Break up into small pieces as it cooks.
  2. Add diced onion and the butter, cooking over a low heat until the onions are soft.
  3. Stir in the flour and cook for about three minutes.
  4. Gradually add the milk, whisking all the time, until fully combined. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add a splash of milk if it becomes too thick, and season to taste before serving.



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine ground cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup corn (frozen works best)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 180 ºc and grease an 8×8 inch baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk. In a food processor, blitz the corn to a rough paste and add to buttermilk and eggs.
  4. Making a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the wet buttermilk, egg and corn mixture. Fold in until well combined. Add melted butter.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake at 180 ºc for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Best served warm.

Mint juleps

  • 16 fresh sprigs of mint (4 per person)
  • 12 oz bourbon whisky
  • 4 tsp icing sugar
  • 8 tsp water
  • Plenty of ice
  1. For individual mint juleps, muddle the mint leaves, sugar and water together in a short glass (4 mint sprigs, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp water).
  2. Fill the glass to the top with crushed ice and pour over 3 oz bourbon.
  3. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with a straw.

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