Alan Jackson’s Country Cookbook Offers His Favorite Down-Home Fare

Alan Jackson’s Country Cookbook Offers His Favorite Down-Home Fare

Originally published in the September 26, 1995 issue of Country Weekly magazine.

Don’t worry, Julia Child. Alan Jackson’s hot-selling cookbook won’t tread on your *haute cuisine* turf. Alan’s *Who Says You Can’t Cook It All* is as countrified as his music.

*Who Says You Can’t Cook It All* contains 47 of the superstar’s favorite recipes from the kitchens of his mother, Ruth, and wife Denise. Among the entrees: country-fried steak with onion gravy, chicken pot pie and Alan’s sauce for grilled burgers.

“When you’re away from home as much as I am, it’s nice to have a meal or two just like you’d get at home,” he told COUNTRY WEEKLY as a way of explaining how the 77‑page cookbook came together.

“So after years of asking for certain menu items from the individual caterers at each concert hall, and then realizing they weren’t Southern cooks like my mama and wife, I decided to hire my mama to cook for me on the road ‑‑ no, I’m just kidding.

“I did the next best thing: I hired a caterer and gave him copies of all my mama and Denise’s recipes to cook. After we did that, I just thought that these recipes would make a good Southern cookin’ cookbook.”
The rest is country culinary history.

*(Who Says) You Can’t Cook It All*, whose title plays off Alan’s hit “Who Says You Can’t Have It All,” got a rousing kickoff when Alan and his mom appeared together on TNN: The Nashville Network’s *Music City Tonight* to prepare one of the book’s recipes.

Within 24 hours, Alan’s fan club had sold more than 2,500 copies. For two days thereafter, the phone lines to his merchandising office/fan club were tied up ‑‑ the phone company even got complaints about a problem with the line, but it was actually busy!

Alan’s favorite meal, included in the cookbook, is Brunswick stew and corn bread, with lemon ice box pie for dessert. Another favorite that’s not included in the book (but is pictured on Page 74) is his infamous pineapple and mayonnaise sandwich. It looks exactly like the name: pineapple rings between slices of white bread spread with mayonnaise. It’s a popular sandwich with Alan and many other residents in his hometown of Newnan, Ga.

You can’t get Alan’s cookbook just anywhere. You may write to the Alan Jackson Fan Club, P.O. Box 121945, Nashville, TN 37212‑1945, or call the merchandise office phone number (800‑893‑3429). The cost of the book is $13.95 plus shipping and handling.

You won’t be paying much more than that for *Alan Jackson: The Greatest Hits Collection*, which is slated for release Oct. 24. The 20‑song, 69‑minute album will retail for the price of a regular‑length compact disc or cassette.
That’s an amazing value considering it comes with a booklet containing an extensive photo and print history of the singer/songwriter’s career to date. There’s even an account of each cut’s production history and credits. Every entry also includes a special comment from the star himself, ranging from how the song was written to describing its meaning to him.

The album will include singles from Alan’s very first multiplatinum album, *Here in the Real World*, released in 1990, and his three subsequent multiplatinum albums: *Don’t Rock the Jukebox*, *A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘Bout Love)* and *Who I Am*. The release features 16 of his No. 1 songs, a collection that will perfectly complement one of Alan’s pineapple and mayonnaise sandwiches.

Chili Recipe

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 10-oz. can whole tomatoes, blended
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 talbespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 10-oz. can kidney beans
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  1. Brown ground beef and onions in large saucepan.
  2. Drain grease drippings.
  3. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer on low heat approximately one hour until thick.

Lasagna Recipe

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 oz. box of lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  1. Sprinkle beef with first six ingredients.
  2. Brown in frying pan with onion.
  3. Drain grease drippings.
  4. Add tomato sauce, sugar and water.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Cook uncovered on low heat until thick.
  7. Cook noodles as directed on box.
  8. In two pans, alternate layers of noodles, parmesan and cottage cheeses, and beef mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Place slices of mozzarella cheese on top of lasagna during last 5 minutes of baking time.

Barbecue Sauce Recipe

  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • red and black pepper to taste
  1. Boil 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Use with chicken or pork chops.

Alan Jackson’s Sauce for Grilled Burgers

  1. Salt and pepper burgers heavily before grilling.
  2. Mix 2 parts Heinz 57 Sauce with 1 part Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Brush on hamburger patties while grilling.

Angel Biscuits Recipe

  • 5 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  1. Combine flour, soda, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. Cut Crisco into dry mixture.
  3. Gradually add buttermilk.
  4. In separate bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  5. Add yeast mixture to the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Flour hands to handle dough.
  7. Roll out on floured board.
  8. Cut with biscuit cutters.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. (Dough can be covered and kept in refrigerator for a week.)

Sweet Potato Souffle Recipe

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

  • 1/3 stick margarine
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Peel and cut up sweet potatoes.
  2. Cover with water and cook until tender.
  3. Beat cooked potatoes.
  4. Add sugar, light brown sugar, eggs, salt, margarine and vanilla.
  5. Mix well and pour into casserole dish sprayed with Pam.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees until set in pan, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Separately, mix margarine, brown sugar and pecans.
  8. Sprinkle on top of casserole.
  9. Brown for 10 minutes.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

  • 1 15-oz. can French style green beans
  • 1 12-oz. can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 stack Ritz crackers (about 30)
  • 1 stick butter
  1. Stir all ingredients together except crackers and butter.
  2. Spray casserole dish with Pam cooking spray.
  3. Place casserole mixture in dish.
  4. Crumble Ritz crackers and place on top of casserole.
  5. Melt butter and pour over the top.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until crackers are slightly brown (approximately 20 minutes).

Corn Bread Southern Style Recipe

  • 1 cup self-rising corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Mix ingredients well.
  3. Spray iron skillet with Pam and wipe 1 spoon of oil around skillet with paper towel to prevent sticking.
  4. Pour batter into skillet.
  5. Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Wesson oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 1-oz. bottle red food coloring
  • pinch of salt
  1. Mix all ingredients at once until smooth.
  2. Grease and flour baking pan (one 9-by-13 inch pan or two 9-inch round pans).
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

Icing

  • 1 1/2 boxes powdered sugar
  • 12 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 sticks margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Blend together all ingredients except pecans until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in pecans.

Chocolate Meringue Pie Recipe

  • 1 8-inch baked pie shell
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour
  • dash salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In small boiler, mix cocoa, sugar, flour and salt.
  2. Add 2 egg yolks (saving the whites for meringue), evaporated milk and water.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick as pudding.
  4. Add margarine and vanilla.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Pour into baked pie shell.

Meringue:

  • 2 egg whites from above
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. In a small bowl, beat two egg whites until foamy.
  2. Gradually add sugar while beating.
  3. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Spread over pie mixture.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees until light brown.
  6. Serve warm.

 

Photo by Russ Harrington / SONY BMG

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