27 December 2011

A New Year's Meal {Hoppin' John & Collard Greens}

For those of you not "in-the-know," Hoppin' John is a simple combination of black-eyed peas mixed with rice, your choice of pork (bacon or ham) topped with chopped onions (yum).  Tradition says it represents good luck in the coming year.  I found a great  southern version in the recipe below which also gives great  history on this low-country fare.

The collard greens in this traditional feast represent prosperity.  The more you eat, the more prosperous you will be in the new year.  With famous Southern flair, this pot of usually unpalatable greens becomes quite a delictable dish. But never more so than in the low country Gullah version I was recently introduced to when our daughter & son-in-law were living in Charleston.  Rich in flavor, and rich in southern tradition, this is by far my favorite and one you must try.

We were introduced to it when this couple served it at their wedding reception.  It was a real hit with all ages & backgrounds.  A labor of love, but well worth it.  Served with cornbread patties & Hoppin John, this makes a hearty meal - one your guests will remember throughout the year! 

 Collard Greens Gullah-Style

3-4 slices hog jowl, cut into large pieces
1-2 ham hocks
Large bunch fresh collards - washed very well, ribs removed, & chopped into 1"strips
1-2 Purple-head turnips, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1T sugar (or more to taste)

In stock pot (I prefer cast iron) add 1 T oil.  Brown hocks & jowls on medium for 5-10 minutes.  Remove & set aside to cool.  Once cooled, dice ham hock into bite sized pieces.  

In same pot, add red pepper flakes, onion, garlic, & turnips, browning 1-2 minutes until soft.  To this mixture, add 2 quarts water then return the diced ham hock.  Let simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours to make a rich stock.  Add collards, along with sugar, & allow to cook until tender.

A cornbread patty with diced onion (or a fresh jalepeno if you're the daring type) finishes off this meal.

Happy New Year!!!





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1 comment :

  1. That looks so good! I can't wait to try it myself!

    ReplyDelete

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