I've been southern since the day I was born, but yesterday I heard about a traditional southern dish that I've never heard of before, and it got me curious.
The first and most popular use of "Cooter Pie" came from the Urban Dictionary.
An affectionate name said to someone jokingly with a southern, trucker like accent. Usually very loudly and followed typically by laughing and associated with boob slapping.
Well, that was a first, too. Boob slapping. Really??
Apparently a "cooter" is a turtle. That is, in the south. The Urban Dictionary had many interesting definitions for this word that simply don't apply to this post.
Turtles are hunted a variety of ways, including "noodling" which is a hunting style I was aware of, though I've never been cooter noodling. Once while frog gigging, one of the boys caught a turtle and cut off his head with plans for making soup. Personally the recipe for Cooter Pie sounds tastier that Turtle Soup.
I found two recipes, neither have been tested in my kitchen, but why not share them with you anyway? The second is a bit more colorful in language but it calls for topping the pie with dumplings. In my world, "dumpling" is a magical word.
Cooter Pie I
1/2 c. stewed tomatoes
1 c. sweet milk
1 c. liquor from stew pot
1 tbsp. whiskey
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut up
2 slices toasted bread, crumbled
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. sherry
Black pepper to taste
Next, cut up meat, liver, and eggs. Add stewed tomatoes, milk, liquor from stew pot, butter, whiskey, sherry, eggs (cut up), bread crumbs, and seasonings. Put in shell (which has been provided by the cooter and has been thoroughly cleaned). Cover with cracker crumbs, dot with butter, and bake in 375 degree oven about 45 minutes.
Cooter Pie II
First you take a live cooter and wait for him to stick his head out from under his shell. When he does, you grab it and whack it off.
Take a hatchet to the underside so you can get to the meat and remove it along with the liver, tripe and egg (if he has any). Set aside.
½ cup chopped bacon 2 medium onions, chopped 2 toes of garlic, crushed 1 stewed tomato, chopped 1 tsp thyme ¼ cup flour Saute the bacon, onion, garlic, tomato and thyme until brown. Then add the chopped cooter and continue to cook. Brown the flour in a frying pan stirring constantly until browned. Add to the cooter mixture. Add enough water to make it soupy and cook until meat is tender enough to fall off the bones. Mix up biscuit dough and drop small lumps on stew. Use enough to cover the top of stew. Bake in preheated 400F oven until biscuits are golden in color. A hunter will come out of the woods to get this!
If you try either of these recipes, let me know how you enjoy supper in a half shell!