Whether you live in the South or your clients have requested a Southern-style meal for their wedding reception, you can't go wrong with a menu filled with traditional comfort foods. The South is known for its tasty deep-friend delicacies, refreshing drinks, and rich, mouth-watering desserts, so be sure to work them into the reception menu for an authentic taste.
Not only is the Southern culture reflected in the traditional dishes, the region's well-known produce, such as okra, Creole tomatoes, peaches, and watermelon, is as well. When designing the menu, try to work in as much seasonal produce as possible to create the freshest-tasting dishes.
Here are some tasty Southern-style menu ideas to consider, from appetizers to desserts:
1. Fried Pickles, Okra, and Green Tomatoes
If you're catering a casual wedding reception in an outdoor or country barn setting, set the stage for the dinner with a mix of crispy fried dill pickle slices and okra. Another regional idea is fried green tomatoes. Use a flavorful Cajun-seasoned batter and serve the treats with sides of ranch dressing for dipping.
2. Deviled Eggs
No Southern-style celebration is complete without deviled eggs, so consider including them in the appetizer spread. Top each egg half with a sprinkle of red paprika for color along with a sliced green olive.
3. Mini Barbeque Meatballs
Mini meatball appetizers will work for both casual and elegant affairs if presented correctly. Slow-cook the meatballs in a bourbon-infused BBQ sauce, and present them in sophisticated silver serving pans with plastic picks for easy pick-up.
1. Shrimp and Grits
In the South, traditional dishes vary from state to state, but you can usually find shrimp and grits on the menu. Whenever possible, use local seafood in your dishes, such as Gulf shrimp in Louisiana and Mississippi and Atlantic-caught shrimp in the South Carolina and Georgia low countries.
Make the grits extra creamy using a bit of cream cheese and top the dish with a few dashes of hot sauce for local flair. Sauteed mushrooms or green beans would work well on the side.
2. Texas-Style Barbecue
Traditional Texas-style barbecue typically consists of sliced beef brisket, baked beans, coleslaw, homemade macaroni and cheese, and dinner rolls.
3. Lentil Loaf
As a vegetarian twist on meatloaf, a classic Southern comfort food, make the entree using a hearty mix of cooked lentils, rolled oats, onions, tomato sauce, and seasonings instead of ground beef. Serve with a mushroom gravy and roasted garlic mashed potatoes or baked sweet potatoes.
End the wedding reception on sweet Southern note with a variety of pies, including peach, pecan, and chocolate-rich Mississippi mud. For a Louisiana-inspired treat, serve freshly-made beignets and cafe au lait, which is a blend of coffee, chicory, and steamed milk, as well.