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Green Beans, Pecan Pie, & More Soul Food from Carla Hall

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Green Beans, Pecan Pie, & More Soul Food from Carla Hall


November 8, 2018

More of Carla Hall’s soul food recipes in your life means more compliments on your cooking! Wendy couldn’t get enough of Carla’s food when she came to share dishes from her new cookbook “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday & Celebration” on the show. Wendy liked them so much, we had to ask for more! Carla has the hookup for the ultimate comfort food dishes to impress your friends, or keep for yourself (because it is that good).

Green Bean Salad with Pickled Red Onions

Serves 8

Green Beans Salad

“Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday & Celebration” | Gabriele Stabile

In Granny’s garden in Nashville, pole bean plants poked their little heads out in spring and ended up taller than me by summer. When I was little, Granny’d ask me to pluck the beans and I’d whine the whole way across the yard. But once I faced those vines, I’d be awed by the magic of their stalks. The pretty little tendrils looked thin as thread, but they had a monster grip on those garden stakes. And the beans, soft and dry as worn leather, nearly dripped juice when I snapped them. Every time I stopped to snack on my little harvest, I’d be shocked by how something so green could be so sweet. I try to capture that sweetness here by tossing blanched beans in a wisp of oil, salt, and pickle juice. In season, there’s no need to smother fresh beans with tons of gravy! Simply cooked until bright and crisp, slender beans need only the pop of quick pickles.


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 11/2 pounds green beans, tipped and tailed
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red Onion Pickles
  • 1 hot chile, very thinly sliced


  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and generously salt it. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Add the beans to the boiling water and boil until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to the ice water. When cooled, drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Toss the beans with the oil and 2 teaspoons liquid from the pickles. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the red onion pickles and chile and serve.
  • Make ahead: The cooked green beans can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Spoonbread Dressing

Serves 8-12

Spoonbread Dressing

“Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday & Celebration” | Gabriele Stabile

Oh. My. God. Did I just create the best Thanksgiving dressing ever? Why yes, yes I did. You’re welcome. I got all the flavors of classic dressing (that’s stuffing to you Northerners)—onion, celery, sage—and suspended them in a creamy one-pan cornbread. With this recipe, I’ve saved you the step of baking a whole loaf of cornbread just to crumble into a side dish. Anything I can do to make your home cooking easier and tastier, I’ll do. This just saved you a whole lotta time on Thanksgiving and it’s gonna get you a whole lotta praise.


  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
    or store-bought salt-free poultry seasoning
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup fine yellow stone- ground cornmeal
  • 1 (11-ounce) can sweet corn niblets, drained
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to generously grease a shallow 3-quart casserole, Dutch oven, or baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and 11/2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the poultry season- ing and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add the milk, sugar, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Continuously whisk the mixture while you pour in the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream. Keep whisking while the mixture bubbles rapidly until the cornmeal has absorbed all the liquid and is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the corn and baking powder. Cool, stirring often, until lukewarm. Don’t let the mixture clump.
  • Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until pale yellow and very foamy with no liq- uid remaining. Add one third of the beaten eggs to the cornmeal mixture and stir to loosen the cornmeal mixture. Add half of the remaining eggs and fold gently until incorporated, then repeat with the remaining eggs. Spread evenly in the prepared dish.
  • Bake until golden brown and set without any jiggling, about 25 minutes. When you press the top, it should spring back. Serve hot or warm.

Pecan Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

Pecan Pie

“Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday & Celebration” | Gabriele Stabile

Of course you want this for Thanksgiving, but it’s great any time of year. An almost oozy butterscotch custard with toasted pecans gets a shot of vine- gar to balance the sweetness. And a shot of bourbon too. That bit of booze deepens the buttery brown sugar blend. And its oaky scent takes me right back to Granny’s. After a long day, she’d fix herself a drink at her barrel- shaped bar. Strolling around the living room, she’d swirl and clink the ice in her black-and-gold-striped highball glass or one of her brightly colored tin cocktail cups, unwinding with each sip of her bourbon. I don’t drink, so this pie is my way of taking the edge off when life gets crazy. Each bite will make you feel as good as any drink.


  • 1 disk Carla’s Classic Pie Dough, fitted into a deep-dish pie plate and frozen (or your choice of pie crust)
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3 large eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup dark corn syrup
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon bourbon
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted


    • Preheat the oven to 425°F
      • Line the frozen dough with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until dry and set, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil with the weights and bake the dough until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Let cool completely, then place on a half-sheet pan.
        • Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F
          Cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or by hand with a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy. While beating, add the eggs in a steady stream, then beat in the corn syrup, vinegar, salt, bourbon, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the pecans and pour into the cooled pie shell.

          • Bake until golden brown and mostly set but still a bit jiggly, about 45 min- utes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
            Make ahead: The unbaked crust can be frozen for up to 1 month.

“Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday & Celebration” is available now!


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