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 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
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.
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.
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.
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!”
(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
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.
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.
Winston’s Restaurant in Louisville is a favorite stop when haunting the environs around that annual event called the Kentucky Derby. This recipe is a variation on the one served from under a broiler. I designed it to cook from the bottom up using a black bottomed skillet directly on the grill. Similar to the original recipe for the Hot Brown, note the seafood switch from turkey.
2 cups whole milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large shrimp with the tail on
2 thick cut fried green tomatoes
2 Tablespoons cooked and shredded crab
2 Tablespoons steamed spinach
4 slices of cooked bacon
2 large slices of Texas Toast or thick French bread. Toasted lightly.
For (2) servings of Not Browns on the Grill start by prepping a mornay sauce. In a 2-quart saucepan, Melt butter over low heat. Add flour. Cook over low heat whisking constantly for no longer than 3 minutes. Add milk continually while whisking. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce to low heat. Allow the mornay to gently simmer. Whisk occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Fold in the Gruyere until it is melted. Stir in salt and pepper. Lastly add nutmeg.
For each Not Brown, place a slice of bread in a black bottomed skillet. Cover with shredded crab. Top this with spinach. Cross with two slices of cooked bacon. Add the slab of fried green tomato. Pour mornay sauce over each Not Brown. Crown with cooked shrimp. You can leave the shrimp off and add after bringing the sandwich up to a suitable heat for serving.
Set on top of a hot grill. Cover, and cook until sauce bubbles and the entire stack is hot. Watch the shrimp so it doesn’t over cook, or leave it off and add just before serving.
Attributed to: John Castro’s version at Winston’s Restaurant in Louisville Kentucky.
When working up steaks on a hot grill, nothing goes better than cubes of steak served as a grilling time appetizer. Break out the oil and the Fondue and let your guests get the taste buds ready for action with this one.
2 pounds of steak fillet (at least 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
1 Tablespoon oil
2 shallots, chopped into fine pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato puree (from paste tube or tin)
1 Tablespoon lightly chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Heat oil in a saucepan until it pops. Add the shallots and cook until soft. Lower heat to medium. Add the garlic and the chopped tomatoes with their juice from the can. Bring to a simmer add the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer the tomato sauce mix for about 30 minutes allowing it to thicken. Stir in the parsley and pour into a dipping bowl or into individual dipping trays. In the meantime fire up the fondue and bring about 1 to 1 – 1/2 to 2 inches of oil to a boil. Control heat to avoid smoke.
Slice the steak into 1 inch cubes, lightly season with fresh ground black pepper and coarse Sea Salt directly before serving ready for immersion into the hot oil of the fondue. Pass out the fondue forks and offer the tomato sauce as a finishing dip.
Attributed to: A memory of Switzerland all along the Alpe de Suisse.
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.
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.
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.
Randy Ferguson from California provides this recipe for a side that “is great with grilled steaks, chicken, or seafood.
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
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.