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
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.
I cannot believe how much I love food cooked in a smoker bag. Chop and toss a medley of veggies in your smoker bag and have one unique flavor for veggies separate from the meat on the grill.
1 cup of mushrooms
1/2 to 1 cup cup minced onions or leave in chop into ring edges
1 cup sliced zucchini. Slice diagonally for greater surface exposure
1 cup of sliced red or bell peppers. Chopped into 1/2 or 2 inch pieces
1 cup of small potato pieces. Grill for 20 minutes or boil until halfway cooked through
2 Tablespoons garlic salt
Toss all of the chopped vegetables in a bowl with to evenly coat each piece with a bit of garlic salt.
Place the medley in a smoker bag and seal. Cook on a hot grill for about 15 minutes until all vegetables are tender. If potatoes are added without pre-cooking add about 5 more minutes.
Jennifer Honeycutt sells smoker bags direct in the U.S. from her company found at Hot Diggity Cajun. Google it!
One cannot complain about the addition of a tasty corn on the cob when added to a plate heaping with grilled chops. Especially if that corn on the cob wafts up with a distinct flavorful aroma of smoked wood.
4 ears of corn
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Prep ears of corn by dehusking and washing. Soak the ears for 20 minutes in cold water. Remove from water and pat dry.
Rub the butter or margarine over the corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the corn in a Smoker Bag, seal it and cook on a hot grill for about 40 minutes.
You might not think that potatoes and other veggies benefit from a smooth smoke flavor. You might be wrong.
4 medium potatoes
2 Tablespoons garlic salt
Slice each potato into 1 inch cubes, I leave the skin on. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the garlic salt. Place the potatoes in a Smoker Bag. The best Smoker Bags for grill or oven are imported from Finland. Jennifer Honeycutt tells me that that you can buy these bags direct in the U.S. from her company found at Hot Diggity Cajun. See her comment below.
Cook on a hot grill or in a covered grill over medium hot coals for 20 to 40 minutes.
There are so many variations on this popular casserole, however Mom and you will love this one.
1 – 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 – 1/2 cups of milk
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 teaspoons of ranch style dressing mix (my fav; Hidden Valley)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 – 1/2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms
1 – 1/4 pounds of fresh green beans, cooked or steamed until crisp but tender
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs
Make a rue based on the traditional white sauce recipe. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the dressing mix and the white pepper and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Apply non-stick cooking spray to a medium skillet. Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until glassy. Remove half of the onion mixture and set it aside.
Add mushrooms to the remaining onion and garlic mixture in the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Combine mushroom mixture, green beans and white sauce in a 1 – 1/2 quart casserole. Combine bread crumbs with the rest of the onions (set aside) and sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered until hot, about 20 to 30 minutes.