Southern Holiday Eve Recipes

The whole gang (I’m sure my family appreciates being referred to as a gang) will be showing up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or before. They will most likely be tired from their travels and need something warm and comforting to eat. Of course, there are a couple of considerations. One family member doesn’t like fish and another doesn’t like chicken. Okay, that leaves pork and beef or enough side dishes with the others that they will be enough. What to do? Be a little creative I guess.

How about Tortilla Soup with Beef?

Tortilla Soup

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chopped onions
  • 6 2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans creamed corn
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese
  • 5 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine the ground beef and onions and saute for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain excess fat and set meat aside.

    In a large pot over high heat, combine the broth, tomatoes, cumin and garlic. Add the cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.

    In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the water, stirring well until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add slowly to the soup, stirring constantly, to thicken.

    Add the reserved meat, corn and cheese to the soup and stir well. Finally, add the tortilla strips and allow to heat through.

    Or maybe some chili

    Norvelle’s Jail House Chili

    I’ve posted this before, but it is worth posting again. Norvelle was my husband’s mother’s housekeeper who was like a second mom to him. She made this wonderful chili. This recipe is originally from A Cooks Tour of Shreveport from the Junior League of Shreveport, Louisiana, 1964. Norvelle’s version is quite a bit spicier than the original. The recipe here has the measurements that she used. She made her changes in pencil in the cookbook. Read more about Norvelle here.

    3 lb. diced lean beef or hamburger
    1/4 cup liquid shortening (I use a couple of tablespoons – Christi)
    1 quart water
    8 tablespoons chili powder
    5 teaspoons salt
    8 cloves finely chopped garlic
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons marjoram
    1 teaspoon red pepper (can use 1/2)
    1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    5 tablespoons paprika

    To thicken:
    3 tablespoons flour
    6 tablespoons corn meal
    1 cup water

    Heat oil in a large pot, add meat and sear over high heat, stir constantly until meat is gray but not brown. Add water and cover, cooking over low fire for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add remaining ingredients, except thickening, and cook at a bubbling simmer for 30 minutes. Mix together thickening ingredients and add to chili. Cook about 5 more minutes and stir to prevent sticking. More water may be added for desired consistency. If meat is very fat, skim off fat before adding thickening. This is rather hot chili. For milder flavor, cut the chili powder and red pepper in half but add more paprika for color.

    Or . . . maybe some baked potato soup with ham and cheese sandwiches.

    Baked Potato Soup

    3 pounds all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed
    and pierced in several places
    1 tablespoon stick butter or margarine
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
    3 cups milk
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Shredded Cheddar cheese
    Crumbled bacon
    Chopped scallions

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Bake potatoes 1 hour or until tender when pierced. Peel when cool enough to handle.

    Melt Butter in a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium low heat. Stir in onions and garlic; cover and cook 10 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add 2/3 of the potatoes and mash with a potato masher. Add broth, milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

    Cut remaining potatoes in small cubes. Add to soup and stir gently to reheat. Sprinkle each serving with toppings.

    I’m still trying to decide! What do you think? Do you have any Wednesday before Thanksgiving traditions or ideas?

    Don’t forget:

    RIGHT NOW: Collecting encouraging notes and NEW stuffed animals for the families and children of the injured or killed. Please send cards/letters and stuffed animals (and anything NEW that may brighten the life of a child) to:

    Soldiers’ Angels
    4408 PanAm Expressway
    San Antonio, TX 78218

    Plans are still developing, but the goal is to give these families and injured heroes something big to smile about when Christmas rolls around.  It starts with the $2,000 gift certificate for Christmas for an experience on Christmas Day that will make them forget about it all for at least a little while.  To contribute to the effort, got to the Soldiers’ Angels website and click the donation button in the upper left and add type “For Ft. Hood” in the comment box that pops up (donations marked this way will be used only for Ft. Hood survivors).

    God bless the survivors and their families!

    Today’s Lagniappe:  Cornbread Sticks
    The perfect accompaniment to any of the above!

    • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tablespoon  vegetable oil

    Combine first 5 ingredients; make a well in center. Stir together buttermilk, butter, and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

    Heat cast-iron cornstick pans in a 450° oven 5 minutes or until hot. Remove pans from oven, and brush lightly with oil. Spoon batter evenly into hot pans.

    Bake at 450° for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately; cool slightly on wire racks.


It’s a three-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday


12 responses to “Southern Holiday Eve Recipes”

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  2. Doylene Brents Avatar

    Great recipes. Can’t wait to try them. Doylene

  3. Shelley Avatar

    Your recipes sounds wonderful. We have a soup night once a week and I’ll love trying them!

  4. Geri@heartnsoulcooking Avatar

    Three GREAT!!! soup recipe. In New Mexico we make Posole on Christmas Eve.

  5. Linnea Avatar

    The recipes sound great. Unfortunately I can’t have anything with chili powder as I am allergic to it. Very frustrating too. I used to like using chili powder.

  6. Tammy Avatar

    We can’t wait to be there and see you guys.

  7. Rainey Avatar

    Those are 3 or more fantastic sopa recipes! Thanks for posting.

    ~Really Rainey~

  8. pamela Avatar

    thanks for all the great recipes!!! cant wait to try them out

  9. Tam Avatar

    thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes. I saved them and hope to try them out when our kitchen remodel is done. We had a few days with colder weather but the past few days have been unseasonably warm. However, soup weather is just around the corner for us and then your recipes will come in very handy.
    Have a great day,

  10. Lisa@blessedwithgrace Avatar

    We like taco soup or chili for our Christmas Eve, too! Thanks for your recipes.

  11. Libby Murphy Avatar

    What great recipes for this cooler weather. I have had the Tortilla Soup at a Mexican cafe but never made it. I think I’ll try it soon.
    Happy Twirls

  12. Yvonne Avatar

    Christi, I always get more than I expect when I visit you. All three recipes sound delicious. I am in such a soup mood lately- so I think the Tortilla soup will be one I will definitely be making very soon. Thanks for the great recipies! Have a wonderful time with your family!

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