What is so-called Hillbilly Stir Fry? It is just about whatever you want to make it with and the ingredients you like.
Opening in 1960, The Silver Dollar City Theme Park in Branson, Missouri, has been a vacation destination for several generations of families from this area. As with many of you, I have attended the park with my Grandparents, as well as with my grandchildren. Although the park has made many changes through the years, when it comes right down to it, much has not changed, and that is part of the uniqueness of the place. We can all associate memories of days gone by, not just from the old time atmosphere displayed there, but also, the memories of times in the past spent there with our own loved ones. Each time you go to the park, you are making new memories. Whether it is with family or friends, you always bring home something that will last a lifetime in someone’s mind.
I once had an Old-timer tell me, that we are ALL hillbillies; we just come from different hills. There must be something to that, as millions of people have been drawn to Silver Dollar City over the years to be part of the hillbilly atmosphere. A lot of people don’t realize that what first started drawing people to the area was Marvel Cave. Harold Bell Wright, author of “Shepherd pf the Hills”, first came to the Branson area because of the cave, and ended up writing his book, based on the people living there. His book started the infiltration of tourists to the area to see these “Hill People”, and was the basis of a movie starring John Wayne, as well as the “Live” Shepherd of the hills production, that played for many years on the “Old Matt” farm ground.
One of the constant things through years past and even today, is the food offered at the Park. We have all had our favorites over the years. I remember when they used to pop that kettle corn outside in those large black kettles, and you can’t even think about going to the park without going in the Candy Store! Many years ago, I was walking through the Park and spotted the Berries and Cream vendor. That became a must have for me on many of my trips there forward. That cold ice cream and strawberries on a hot summer day in the Park, was something I looked forward to. My new must have, is what I call Hillbilly Stir Fry. Yeah, they started out with what they called “Silver Dollar City Succotash”, but they now make 3 or 4 different concoctions of this stuff, that I can’t even remember the names of. Regardless, they are all good and filling.
So what is so-called Hillbilly Stir Fry? It is just about whatever you want to make it with and the ingredients you like. At SDC, they use, either chicken or polish sausage, and then sometimes both. The main players as far as veggies include corn, potatoes, onion, bell pepper, okra, and yellow squash. The meat and veggies are cooked on large seasoned aluminum grills, mixed together, placed in a bowl and served. When making it at home, I would recommend using a large seasoned iron skillet. I have made several different versions of Hillbilly Stir Fry, from the SDC Succotash, to copies of the others they serve, as well as my own creations. They are all good, but I am partial to the ones using the polish sausage. I do warn you though, if you choose a stir fry made with fried okra, you must fry the okra separately, and I also recommend cooking your chicken separate as well, to make sure it is done.
Hillbilly Stir Fry
IngredientsSmoked Sausage (sliced) Red Skinned Potatoes (sliced) Sweet Corn (frozen) Red and Green Bell Pepper (chopped) Onion (chopped) Butter ½ stick 1 teaspoon Garlic powder Salt and Black Pepper
Cut polish sausage in about ¾ inch pieces and lightly brown in an iron seasoned skillet. Remove from skillet and melt the butter in the same skillet, retaining oil from the sausage. Add potatoes, onion, bell peppers, garlic powder, and fry in the butter until tender. Add the frozen corn to skillet and cook until corn is heated through and veggies start to brown. Add the sausage back into the pan to heat through. Season with salt & pepper to taste.