Our editors test and approve all recipes in Southern Living, but these picks stood out above the rest.
JanuaryPam-Cakes With Buttered Honey Syrup
We affectionately named our Food staff's favorite, fluffy, buttermilk flapjacks after their creator, Test Kitchen Pro Pam Lolley. Plan to drench these cakes, hot off the griddle, with our easy honey syrup.
January Parmesan-Pecan Fried Catfish with Pickled Okra Salsa
This sensational main dish combines two Southern favorites, fried catfish and pickled okra, with a new twist.
Upside-Down Caramelized Apple Cake
This buttery mixture of pecans, brown sugar, and tart Granny Smiths makes for an irresistible treat.
February Easy Chicken Gumbo
February Hearts of Palm-and-Jicama Salad
Recipe: Hearts of Palm-and-Jicama Salad
Fresh citrus, jalapeño, and cilantro jazz up crisp winter veggies in this salad. Hearts of palm and jicama, a white-fleshed, mild-flavored root vegetable, make for nice break from salad greens.
FebruaryBanana Bread Cobbler
Recipe: Banana Bread Cobbler
A streusel topping finishes off a combination of sweet bread and with sliced bananas. Like any warm cobbler, it's best served à la mode.
Spicy Pickled Shrimp
Recipe: Spicy Pickled Shrimp
Spicy Pickled Shrimp makes an elegant presentation of this Lowcountry favorite. Flavors pop after the shrimp marinate with onions and a tangy vinaigrette overnight. Serve with cocktails or on lettuce leaves as a plated first course.
Baby Carrot Soup
Recipe: Baby Carrot Soup
Smoky adobo sauce gives this creamy soup a subtle touch of heat.
March Benne Brittle
Recipe: Benne Brittle
The nutty flavor of sesame or benne seeds is best enjoyed in brittle. This crisp sweet is a classic Lowcountry treat.
AprilFeta Spread (Htipiti)
Recipe: Feta Spread (Htipiti)
Find out for yourself why this salty spread earned especially rave reviews in our Test Kitchen. The mixture of feta, olive oil, lemon juice, chopped pepperonchini, and spices makes great starter. Serve with crostini or pita chips, and garnish with dried crushed red pepper and olive oil. You can also process the mixture longer for a sauce-like consistency.
AprilStrawberry-Orange Shortcake Tart
Recipe: Strawberry-Orange Shortcake Tart
This delightful spring dessert more than merited running on our April 2010 cover—not just for looks but also for its sweet, summery taste. We couldn’t think of a better way to show off the succulent taste and colorful presentation of strawberries, the South’s most prized spring fruit.
Baking the orange-marmalade-coated shortcake in a tart pan (available for under $15 at most supermarkets) produces a sweet-and-sturdy base for the berries and whipped cream.
AprilTex-Mex Shrimp Cocktail
Recipe: Tex-Mex Shrimp Cocktail
Fiery jalapeno pepper jelly adds a sweet kick to this variation on classic shrimp cocktail. The jelly, lime juice, mango, red bell pepper, and cilantro marinate with cooked shrimp for fresh flavor. Finish off the cocktail with diced avocado, and serve with tortilla chips.
MayTwo-Step Pound Cake
Recipe: Two-Step Pound Cake
It takes only six ingredients and two easy steps to create this buttery, from-scratch Southern staple. Simply layer the ingredients in a bowl, mix, pour, and bake.
Big Daddy's Grilled Blue Cheese-and-Bacon Potato Salad
Filled with red onion, blue cheese, bacon, and a sweet-tangy dressing, this reader recipe earned top honors at our test kitchen tastings. Grilling the potatoes in an easy-to-fold aluminum foil packet adds a subtle note of smoky flavor—plus it makes cleanup a breeze.
Pavlova With Lemon Cream and Berries
Pavlova was the signature dessert of was former Test Kitchen Professional (and mother of current Test Kitchen Professional Marian Cooper Cairns) Jane Cairns. You don't have to be a professional to make it though. Assemble the elegant berry dessert just before serving; you can make the meringue up to two days ahead and store it in an airtight container.
Fresh Herb Spoon Rolls
Recipe: Fresh Herb Spoon Rolls
Chives and parsley give these buttery rolls a fresh herb taste. Best of all, the stir-and-bake batter is easy enough for a weeknight treat.
Recipe: Pecan-Peach Cobbler
Perfect fresh summer peaches by cooking them in a juicy, pecan pastry-topped cobbler. This recipe makes enough for a crowd and is perfect for family reunions. Serve hot or cold with sweetened whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.
Profiteroles with Coffee Whipped Cream
These small cream puffs are surprisingly easy to make. They taste delightful with a simple Coffee Whipped Cream filling the crisp shell. Prepare the puffs up to 2 days in advance and store them cooled and unfilled in an airtight container.
Grilled Shrimp Gumbo Salad
Recipe: Grilled Shrimp Gumbo Salad
Terrific flavors from the garden and grill come together in this summery twist on a New Orleans favorite. Served in smaller portions, it also makes a great first course.
Peach-and-Toasted-Pecan Ice Cream
This sublime ice cream is packed with two Southern favorites, refreshing peaches and nutty pecans.
Classic Fried Catfish
Recipe: Classic Fried Catfish
Moist, tender catfish gets a peppery cornmeal coating in this classic fried dish. Serve with lemon slices and your favorite tartar sauce.
Recipes: Melon-and-Mozzarella Salad
This rainbow of summer fruit makes an elegant presentation and a refreshing side for a luncheon, brunch, or dinner. Layer and chill the salad up to eight hours in advance.
Zesty Lemon Pie
Recipe: Zesty Lemon Pie
Impress your guests or family with the goodness of classic lemon icebox pie. This recipe features from-scratch buttery crust, lemony-rich baked filling, and homemade whipped cream.
Southwest Shrimp Tacos
Recipe: Southwest Shrimp Tacos
Ancho chile powder and hot sauce give a kick to the grilled shrimp, but the cabbage-and-carrot mixture adds a cool, fresh crunch to the tacos.
Rebecca's Black Bottom Icebox Pie
With a rich, creamy filling and melt-in-your-mouth crust, this is quite possibly the best chocolate pie ever.
Pam's Country Crust Bread
Recipe: Pam's Country Crust Bread
This top-rated bread has a tender crumb and soft crust. Slice and spread with butter for your favorite meal.
Blackberry-Apple Upside-Down Cake
Tart blackberries and sweet apples caramelize perfectly with layers of buttery cake in this one-pan dessert.
Fresh Apple Cake
Sour Cream Cornbread
Recipe: Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls
These rolls feature a buttery, brown sugar-pecan filling as well as a rich and creamy vanilla glaze. Better yet, the easy yeast-roll dough rises in just 30 minutes.
Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
Transform turkey into a fiesta of a meal with these tostadas. A few add-ins kick up the spice of cranberry sauce to round out the Tex-Mex combination of veggies, turkey, and cheese.
Streusel Coffee Cake
Recipe: Streusel Coffee Cake
The buttery pecan streusel takes this dessert-like cake from ordinary to extraordinary. Make it a day in advance so it's instantly ready to serve for brunch.
Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue
This dessert showcases one of fall’s sweetest gems. With simple prep and make-ahead ease, it only looks like you spent hours in the kitchen.
DecemberRoasted Tomato-and-Feta Shrimp
Recipe: Roasted Tomato-and-Feta Shrimp
This Greek-style shrimp became an instant favorite in our test kitchen. Better yet, it's ready to eat in just 35 minutes. Easy side: Serve with 1 (5-oz.) package mixed salad greens and your favorite Greek dressing.