Category Archives: Side Dish

Greens — Mustard, Collards, even Kale. They’re a Traditional American Side Dish. How About the Rest of the World?

Watch the the ODCW Cooking show on how we devloped this recipe.

With so many varieties of green leaf vegetables to choose from – you would think this dish would be a simple as making a pie. We discovered that the subtlety of flavor and the concern for an optimal texture was a complex endeavour indeed.

We collected recipes and methods from the folks that have held on to a tradition that passed their family recipe from the ancestors to the descendants. This may not be the most glamorous dish in the hierarchy of American food, however there is a strong affection and reverence for it. Here’s how we did it as…

Part Three of
the Traditional
New Year’s Good Luck dinner

Ingredients;

  • 2 Lbs. Mustard Greens
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 Slices Bacon
  • 2 Ham Hocks
  • Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • garnish with Mild Jalapeno Slices (when served)
  • garnish with 1 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (when served)

Steps:
Brown the bacon in the same pot you’ll use to cook the greens. Remove Bacon and cut into pieces. Pour off excess bacon fat. Add two cups of water. Add 1 pound of the greens. Bring to a boil for 8 minutes. Set heat to simmer.

Add the bacon pieces. Add all of the seasonings. Stir into the greens. Add the remaining greens and add the ham hocks.  Reduce heat. Cook for 1.5 – 2 hours on a very low simmer. Check the amount of water after an hour to make sure your greens have enough water to cover about a quarter of the bottom of the greens. We added an extra cup of water at this point in time.

Serve with jalapeno slices and a splash of apple aider vinegar or your favorite pepper sauce.

Outside of the United States?

I would love for you to send me your recipes from around the world. I’m fascinated to see how other cultures and countries prep and create this staple. Send me your recipes in the comment section of this posts. Or register (Left side menu at the bottom, under META) to become a contributor and post your own recipes for this dish and any you may have.

Black-eye Peas for Good Luck in any New Year

I must admit I have always been kinda lazy when it comes to making peas and beans. Only because of task of cleaning them and soaking them overnight.

This time around I researched a new method that quickens that process and has them ready to soften and absorb flavor with just a few hours of cooking. First my recipe.

  • 1 pound of Black-eye peas
  • 1/2 of a Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoned pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • 4 Cloves of fresh garlic crushed and chopped
  • 1 Kielbasa sausage cut into bite sized discs. I browned 1/2 of them in a hot skillet and left the other half alone adding them in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • 4 slices of pickled Deli-sliced Jalapeno peppers (tamed or mild) chopped lightly
  • 2 Ham Hocks with the skin removed

Fast Soaking

Sort the peas to clean out any non pea elements. Rinse them and place them in a large pot. Add 8 cups of hot water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the peas and rinse them again.

Cooking

Brown the sides of 1/2 of the Kielbasa sausage in a hot skillet. Drain any excess fat.

Add 6 cups of hot water to the peas. Add all the remaining ingredients. Reserve 1/2 of the Kielbasa for adding in the last twenty minutes.

Cook for 1 – 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cabbage and Cocktail Weenies. What’s not to Love?

Chef Carl Binus “The Duke” was out west for New Year’s Eve 2019 festivities. We hit the night spots and ended 2018 at a huge party at Union Station. So what are two hungry bachelors ready for on New Year’s Day? We decided to assemble what is considered a good luck meal, based on a tradition that goes way back. I’m pretty sure it originates from the deep south.

SAMSUNG CSC

The traditional Southern and Soul food of black-eyed peas, mustard greens and pork cutlets. Just to add a nod to old Germany (where both of us started on the journey to become decent cooks) we came up with a cabbage dish with a uniquely party style accoutrement known as the cocktail weenie. Perhaps a bit for the humor yes. But the flavor and finished dish was outstanding.

This recipe is going in my Good Eating Pantheon of excellent side dishes for grilled beef and pork. It goes a little something like this.

  • 1 Large head of Cabbage cut into slices about 1/2″ thick
  • 1 package of fully cooked Cocktail Smokies. Ours were from Kroger.
  • 3 Cups of water
  • 8 Wax Peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama. Cajun seasoning by Walker & Sons (SlapYaMama.com)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 large Yellow Onion diced from 1/4″ slices
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Chef Duke likes to do it like this…

First, season one half of the cabbage with Cayenne Pepper. Dust the cabbage with a sprinkling of Slap Ya Mama. Lay a layer of onion pieces. Place another layer of chopped Wax Peppers. Allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for a few hours. Take the other half of the cabbage and add to boiling water (3 cups) in a large Dutch Oven or pot. If you like it spicy hot and more salty, sprinkle this first layer with cayenne and a bit of Slap Ya Mama.

Reduce to simmer. At about 20 minutes and when the first layer begins to reduce, place the remaining cabbage into the pot and cook for another 20 minutes. Add water if the reduction has allowed the tops to become dry. Add Vinegar and salt and pepper. Cook for another 20 minutes or until all the cabbage leaves are glassy and a darker green. Stir. Let rest while all the flavor infuses itself into the cabbage.

Serve it up hot and shout to the New Year, “Oooooh That’s Good!”

Drunken Ears

(Corn on the Cob, Rolled in Butter and Cooked in Beer)
This is a recipe that works equally well on the grill or in a smoker. The use of an aluminum foil boat is the key to keeping the corn tender, and will protect it from over cooking.

  • 6-12 Frozen Ears of Corn on the Cob.
  • 6-12 medium cooked strips of Bacon (1 for each corn boat)If you’re afraid of uncooked bacon, cook it for 10 minutes in a skillet on low, long enough to cook it through, but not so long that it becomes brittle.The Rolling Sauce…
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1-2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire

Top with…

  • an aromatic Beer
  • Chili Powder (sprinkle a little on top of each ear, after the boats are ready).
  • Pepper to taste

At the market, look in the frozen food section and grab a bag of pre-cut frozen corn on the cob. If you want to use fresh corn, shuck it and chill it for an hour or two. Make an aluminum boat with the sides tall enough to hold the corn and allow you to nearly cover it with the beer.

Add all the seasonings to the melted butter and mix well in a shallow bowl or cooking dish. Take the frozen corn and roll it 4 to 6 times in the mixture. The frozen corn will solidify the butter and create a solid coating on each ear of corn.

Place in aluminum boats. Place a strip of bacon on top of each ear. Place the corn boats on the grill. Fill each boat to the 3/4 point with beer. Be careful you don’t “wash off” the seasoning with the beer. Top with a light sprinkle of chili powder.

DrunkenEarsPreppedRedux.jpg

Cook for 20-30 minutes on a hot grill, or smoke cook them for 120 minutes if using a smoker.

This is a very tasty side dish. Don’t waste the juices that are created as the corn boils lightly in the boat. Indeed, pour it over the main cut or on the side, for an extra delicious sauce.

Hot Brown (traditional)

At Churchill Downs for the 142 running of the Kentucky Derby this year, I was entrusted with so many variations on the traditional Hot Brown that I initially found it hard to believe. Although it can be cooked on a grill with a quality skillet, it is best under a broiler. Highly suggested as a late night snack or better at breakfast in the early hours of the day when those who call themselves your guests are still around. Here then is what locals call “the Louisville alternative to late night ham and eggs”.

INGREDIENTS:
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 – 1/2 Tablespoons of salted butter
1 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
About 1 pound roasted turkey breast. Slice thick.
4 slices of Texas toast. No crusts and cut diagonally in half
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half (lengthwise)
Paprika to dust over the top
Parsley lightly chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Grab a 2 quart saucepan. Melt butter. Slowly whisk in flour until it becomes the consistency of a roux or like thick paste. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes on medium – low heat, stirring frequently.

Whisk in heavy cream and continue to cook over medium heat until simmering, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in the Romano cheese. Whisk until very smooth. Add nutmeg and then salt and pepper to your taste.

For each Hot Brown; place two halves of one slice of toast into a skillet or oven proof dish cover with one half of the turkey slices. Take two halves of the tomato and two of the diagonal corners of toast and set them along side the first piece of toast. Cover by pouring half the sauce over everything. Sprinkle with more grated Romano.

Place both dishes (or one at a time) beneath a broiler just until the cheese begins to melt and bubble up. When the cheese gets brown a bit, remove and cross the top with two pieces of cooked crispy bacon. Dust with paprika and also top with fresh parsley.

Suitable for the late evening or early morning hours.

Attributed to: Nyquist, Number 13. Winner of the 142nd Kentucky Derby.

Foster’s Favorite Tequila Shooter Chase Car

Tradition can give way to an interesting variation when it comes to lemon and salt after every Tequila shot. Here’s a recipe I created on a weekend in Baja California. And no. I wasn’t wasting away again in Margaritaville.

INGREDIENTS:
1 – 1/2 Cup of Orange Juice. Fresh squeezed is best.
1 Tablespoon Grenadine
1 Tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce. I prefer Cholula for this one.

DIRECTIONS:
Mix all ingredients using a spoon or a bartender’s mixing cup. Do not blend. The unique pairing of hot and sweet needs to be maintained. This helps to enrich the flavor as each replaces the more robust elements of the preceding shot of Tequila.

Shoot a shot of Tequila. Pause judiciously. Sip a shot of this smooth yet spicy chaser. Repeat.

Attributed to: A small saloon on the Northeast entrance to Old San Felipe.

Vegetable Stuffed Onions

Randy Ferguson from California provides this recipe for a side that “is great with grilled steaks, chicken, or seafood.

INGREDIENTS:
6 large white onions
1/2 red bell pepper, trimmed
1/2 green bell pepper, trimmed
1 carrot, trimmed and peeled
1 stalk celery
1 small tomato
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or substitute melted butter
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Cut off the tops of the onions. Leave the bottom (roots) intact. Peel outer onion skin from the top down; discard the outer skin. Rinse onions in cool water and drain. Hollow out the centers, leaving two or three outer layers. Reserve the centers and chop fine. Finely chop red and green pepper, carrot, celery and tomato.

Combine 1/2 cup chopped onion with red pepper, green pepper, carrot, celery and tomato. Place in large mixing bowl. Add oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Toss. Fill onions with equal amounts of the vegetable mixture.

Brush onions with additional olive oil. Place each onion upright in the center of a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bring up the edges and seal, leaving a small space for steam to expand.

Over indirect or medium heat place foil onion packets upright in the center of the cooking grate. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Check for tenderness and serve when done.

Cornbread with Broccoli Goodness

You don’t have to be from the South to love cornbread. This recipe witch includes broccoli and onion results in a delicious surprise.

INGREDIENTS:
4 eggs
1 stick butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 package of frozen broccoli
Substitute fresh broccoli of about 1 – 1/2 cup, cooked
1 cup cottage cheese
1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1/8 to about 1/4 teaspoon of Your favorite extra hot hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and in it melt butter in a 9 by 13 inch oven proofed baking pan.

Beat the eggs and add the remaining ingredients. Blend the Jiffy Cornbread Mix until smooth.

Pour on top of melted butter in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Roasted Hazelnut Butter

This sweet custom butter recipe creates a fine balance of country style nuttiness and spreadable goodness. It’s like Nutella without the look and consistency of auto yard mud.

INGREDIENTS:
4 ounces of fresh hazelnuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest

DIRECTIONS:
Bring the butter just to the softening point.

Roast the hazelnuts in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove the skin after they cool down a bit. Chop them into small pieces or blend half chopped with half crushed.

In a storage crock or bowl that can be covered tightly, mix the hazelnuts with the butter. Add the lemon zest and store in the fridge.

Goes well with any bread or breakfast style rolls or muffins. Excellent for waiting around a noon time grill.

Carrot Soup Smooth and Creamy

Carrot soup might not get you all excited as far as side dishes go. This recipe however, delivers a creamy and slightly silky blend that goes well with any meat dish typically served with mashed potatoes.

INGREDIENTS:
4 and 1/2 cups of sliced carrots
1 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of butter, cut into pats
1 large white potato, peeled and cut into cubes
Two 14-1/2 ounce cans of chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups of whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:
Grab your Dutch oven and saute the onion and the butter until glassy and just tender. Add the sliced carrots, the potato cubes, the broth and the ginger. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Set off of the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the soup in small amounts to a food processor or a blender. Process or blend until silky smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the Dutch oven. Return the heat to low. Stir in cream. Add rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 – 20 minutes until well heated.

Serve bowls of this tasty soup on those winter and fall grilling nights instead of mashed potatoes. You will be well rewarded by the happiness of friends and family.