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Fleur de Lolly column: Sharing my family’s favorite dishes

Laura Tolbert
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Andrea's Favorite Onion Rings.

I’ve received many emails inquiring what my family’s favorite dishes are. This week, I decided I’d share them with you. I asked my husband and two (adult) children for their all-time favorites. Here we go!

ANDREA’S FAVORITE ONION RINGS

My daughter is an onion ring aficionado. Each year for her birthday meal, she always requests onion rings to go along with whatever I cook for her. We’ve had onion rings with ribs, lasagna, grilled chicken and ribeye steaks. If you like a thinly sliced, lightly battered onion ring, you’ll love these.

When choosing onions for your onion rings, select the flattest and largest you can find.

• 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings

• 3 cups buttermilk

• 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce

• 2 cups self-rising flour

• 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

• Peanut oil

Whisk buttermilk and hot sauce together in a large bowl. Place onion slices in buttermilk to soak for at least 30 minutes. Combine the flour and Creole seasoning together in another large bowl. Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees. Using a fork, remove onion rings from buttermilk and dredge (a half dozen or so at a time) in flour and shake off excess. Fry in hot oil until well browned. Drain on paper towels and lightly salt. Devour immediately.

NATHAN’S FAVORITE CHICKEN POT PIE

This has been my son’s favorite since he was in elementary school. During his high school football playing days, he was known to eat an entire chicken pot pie by himself!

• Two pie crusts (either homemade or store-bought)

For the filling:

• 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

• 8 ounces sour cream

• 1 can cream of chicken soup

• 16-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies, thawed

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 3 tablespoons chopped parsley

• 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a pie plate with one of the pie crusts.

Add all ingredients (except egg wash) to a large bowl and stir well to combine. Carefully spoon into pie crust and gently place second pie crust on top. Either make a gorgeous decorative border for the edges, or do like I did and crimp the edges together with a fork to seal. I call this version “rustic,” which sounds better than “I can’t make a gorgeous decorative border.” Using a pastry brush, coat the entire top of the pie crust with the egg wash you mixed up earlier. Cut a few slits in the top crust with a knife.

With a sharp knife, cut a few quarter-inch slits in the top pie crust. Place in oven and cook for 35 to 38 minutes. Near the end of cooking time, check the crust. You don’t want it to get too brown. If needed, cover the edges of the crust with foil during the last few minutes of cooking. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

SWEET HAROLD’S FAVORITE FRIED PORK CHOPS

I knew before I asked him what he would immediately answer when asked for his favorite meal. He absolutely loves my fried pork chops. You can use either boneless or bone-in for this recipe.

• 6 to 8 bone-in pork chops

• 1 cup self-rising flour

• Salt and black pepper to taste

• 1 cup vegetable oil

Mix flour with salt and pepper on a shallow plate with a fork until blended. Press each pork chop into the flour mixture on both sides until well covered. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering.

Cook two to three pork chops at a time (depending on the size of skillet) for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. You will need to lower the heat to medium-high to control the browning of the pork chops.

As pork chops are cooked, place on a plate in a warm oven to keep warm while the remainder cook.

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. She won the Duke Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram and fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.

Nathan's Favorite Chicken Pot Pie.