Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell


Corn Casserole, Tomato Broccoli Casserole and Chocolate Pudding

I have decided that I have an appetite for the South and all of its Southern food. When my garden begins to produce, my mind immediately craves a casserole of sunny, yellow squash topped with cheese, ripe red tomatoes, pearly ears of corn and Mexican cornbread with fresh jalapeños. One of my favorite Southern stories that I enjoyed reading was when Bear Bryant was the head football coach at the University of Alabama and Shug Jordan was coach at rival Auburn University. Alabama and Auburn fought it out over plates of red snapper in brown butter, broiled shrimp in lemon sauce and porterhouse steaks. It was just like being at the game! The waitresses wore the jersey of their chosen team. This is a great Southern-Greek restaurant that is located in the Bessemer community.

Corn Casserole

1/2 stick margarine

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 medium bell pepper, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

4 ears of corn or 12 ounce can whole kernel, drained

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 cup grated cheese

Stir together margarine and flour in the bottom of large bowl. Stir in rice and tomatoes. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Pour into buttered 9x 13-inch pan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Andy’s Note: This is a delicious casserole using the wonderful fresh tomatoes. It is a step above the normal corn casserole.

Tomato-Broccoli Casserole

6 cups broccoli pieces

1/2 cup lemon juice

8 cups white bread, torn in pieces

5 tomatoes, chopped

2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded

2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

3 teaspoon basil

Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with lemon juice. Break bread the same way. Do not smash bread. Cut tomatoes into wedges. Set aside to drain. Combine all ingredients, except tomatoes and basil, by tossing together gently. Place layer in bottom of an 8×11-inch pan. Place layer of tomatoes and sprinkle with basil. Repeat layer of bread mixture, topping with another layer of tomatoes and basil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Andy’s Note: I always divide this in half. Some of my bunch does not care for broccoli. The combination of tomatoes, broccoli and cheeses are so different.

Chocolate Pudding

2 tablespoons butter

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 heaping tablespoons cocoa

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 1/2 cups milk

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

vanilla wafers

Cook milk, yolks, sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt until thick. Stir constantly until thick. If it gets too thick, add more milk. Start with a layer of wafers and then pudding. Repeat until all of the pudding is gone. You may top with meringue or Cool Whip.

Andy’s Note: This is definitely a wonderful way to end a meal, sweet and delicious! I had actually rather top this with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream, naturally!

Roll Tide and War Eagle!

Happy Cooking,

Andy Bedwell

Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Alabama Gift Company in downtown Gadsden and The Messenger on Rainbow Drive.

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