Food, family and friendship are some of the themes explored in the critically-acclaimed film THE HELP arriving on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/6/11. This is a wonderful Southern movie and I am so happy and pleased to have been contacted by the promoters with some great recipes for you from Lee Ann Fleming, renowned Southern chef and food stylist on this year’s blockbuster movie.
Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, a southern society girl returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives — and a small Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent more »southern families. Aibileen, Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories — and as it turns out, they have a lot to say.
I loved this movie. Give your family and friends a copy for Christmas and a gift they will enjoy for years to come.
Listed below you will find some of Lee Ann’s favorite holiday recipes with a Southern flavor for you to try. I know I am looking forward to “fixin” them all! Enjoy!SPINACH-STUFFED SQUASH Squash: 4 yellow crookneck squash Melted butter Salt and pepper Grated Parmesan cheese Spinach stuffing: ½ cup chopped onion ½ cup butter 2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained 1 tsp. salt 1 cup sour cream 2 tsp. red wine vinegar Bread crumbs (garnish) Directions: Cook whole squash in boiling, salted water for about 10 minutes until tender. Very carefully cut into halves and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle each shell with butter, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Spinach Stuffing: Sauté onions in butter until tender. Add spinach, salt, sour cream, and vinegar and blend well. Stuff each squash shell with spinach mixture. Sprinkle each with Additional Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated to serve. SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE Ingredients: Casserole 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes 1 cup sugar cup melted butter 2 eggs beaten 1 Tbsp. vanilla ½ cup raisins (optional) Directions: Mix well and pour into a butter casserole Ingredients: Topping 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 1/3 cup flour 1/3 cup melted butter Directions: Mix topping with fork and sprinkle crumbs on top of casserole Bake 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. CHEESECAKE PECAN PIE Ingredients: 1 (15 oz.) pkg. refrigerated pie crusts 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese 4 large eggs, divided ¾ cup sugar, divided 2 tsp. vanilla, divided ¼ tsp. salt 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup light corn syrup Directions: Unfold and stack 2 pie crust together. Gently roll or press together and fit into a 9 inch pie plate according to directions; fold edges under and crimp. Note: For a more homemade flavor, try Lee Ann’s Homemade Pie Crust recipe (below) Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and salt at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Pour into pie crust and sprinkle with pecans. Stir together corn syrup, 3 eggs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla and pour mixture over pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until set. Homemade Pie Crust Ingredients: 1 ¼ cups plain flour ¼ tsp. salt 1/3 cup shortening (butter flavor shortening is great, too) 4-5 tbsp. cold ice water Directions: In a medium bowl, stir flour and salt together. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of water over part of the flour mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat using 1 tbsp. of water at a time, until all the flour mixture is moistened. Form dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it. Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edges as desired. MAMAW’S HOMEMADE ROLLS Ingredients: 1 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 cup boiling water 2 eggs 2 pkg. dry yeast 1 cup lukewarm water 6 cups sifted flour Directions: Soak yeast in the lukewarm water. Pour boiling water over the shortening, sugar, and salt. Allow this mixture to cool to lukewarm. Add yeast to this mixture. Add eggs and flour. Stir and mix well. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 3-4 hours). Note: The mixture will keep for a week in the refrigerator. Remove the portion you wish to use and knead on a floured board. Roll thin and cut with a biscuit cutter. Dip half in melted butter and fold over for pocket rolls. Place in a greased pan and allow to rise 2-3 hours. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes. This recipe can easily be cut in half. MRS. WALTERS’ FRUIT SALAD Ingredients: 1 can mandarin oranges, drained 1 can pineapple chunks, drained 1 can flaked coconut 1 small jar red Maraschino cherries, drained 1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream Directions: Mix and refrigerate. Note: Save the drained juice from oranges and pineapples. Add to orange juice to enhance your morning beverage.
Noted Southern Chef, Lee Ann Fleming served as a food stylist for The Help. In addition to her cookbook, Recipes and Remembrances, Lee Ann writes a weekly newspaper article for the Sunday edition of the Greenwood Commonwealth!
I am sure you will all agree this is a great movie and would make a great gift!
Thank you to Chef Lee Ann Fleming for sharing her recipes with us and to Jacqueline Cavanagh, Click Communications, for allowing me to bring you this post about such a delightful movie, The Help.