I remember when I first moved to Charlotte, NC from California. I told my soon to be husband Rob, that the south isn't really all fun and games like the cuteness that the movie Steel Magnolias portrays. Oh no, far from it at times. However, he didn't seem to believe me. It wasn't until years later that he told me that he never imagined the things I had mentioned about the south would be true. Ahhh, but yes Rob, they were.
That's not to say that all my time in the south (Charlotte, Nashville, Birmingham) has been filled with confederate pride dudes who couldn't stand my liberal California ways. I loved Charlotte and absolutely adored Nashville. Birmingham? Well, that was a little too much not my taste. However, there were many times where I did find certain aspects of Birmingham that I did like.
Yet, there was always one thing that tied all of them together that I just absolutely loved. The food! Who doesn't love southern food? Sure, there were many a time where I enjoyed eating a good piece of old fashioned fried chicken and biscuits. But, it was the high end restaurants that surprised me. Fancy twists of southern classics that were superb! Maybe that's why all the southern chef's on Top Chef seem to do so well.
When I first moved to Charlotte I really had no idea what sweet tea was or a chicken biscuit was. Chicken biscuit? Well, in case you don't know, it's basically a piece of boneless fried chicken, sandwiched between a biscuit. Let me just tell you that the chicken biscuit and I had plenty of dates once my wedding was over with.
There also seemed to be such pride with food. Everyone had their little secret that made their signature dish reign supreme and banana pudding was no different. Banana pudding, mind you, is literally Southern royalty.
Now, I know what you may be thinking, it's just banana pudding. What else can you do to it? Sigh... many things my friends. Many things. A few tweaks here, another tweak there.
This tweek was told to me (Yes, that's how the south does it. They pass it down.) by an old co-worker of mine named Jennifer Miller. She said that the secret to her cousin's banana pudding was using Pepperidge Farms Chessman cookies instead of Nila Wafers. Okay, I'll try it. I added that and a little twist of my own and came up with the ultimate banana cream pudding. One that deserves the title of being Southern. Enjoy!
3-4 bananas, sliced
1 package Instant Pudding Mix Banana Cream
1 package Pepperidge Farms Chessman Cookies
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cup milk
Make the pudding
Combine in a mixing bowl the pudding mix, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and the milk. Whisk for the amount the pudding calls for. About two minutes. Put into refrigerator until firm.
Make the whipped cream
In a mixing bowl, combine the rest of the heavy cream and add confectioner's sugar until the desired sweetness is achieved. With the whisk attachment, whisk on high until medium peaks form.
Layer the pudding
In a large serving bowl, make a layer of the cookies, followed by a layer of the pudding, bananas and whipped cream. Repeat until the bowl is full. The last layer will be whipped cream.