31 December 2012

Southern Cornbread Dumplings - A New Year's Tradition

Happy 2013 {a day early}!!!

I had to repost this New Year's recipe for Southern Greens once again in the hopes that you'll give it a try.  It is so darn good!  This old SC "Gullah" version has that extra flavor I adore and has become my absolute favorite.

But this year I am going to add something new to the mix, cornbread dumplings.  These will be added to the juices of the greens {the "pot likker"} once the greens have been cooked down.

I found this recipe while going through my recipe box during the holidays.  It's one my mother passed on to me.  I somehow missed seeing it over the years and was excited to rediscover this little treasure.  If she deemed it worthy to pass on, I'm confident it's going to be good, as the women in my family held their southern roots dear - especially when it came to cooking!

Start with the greens:

  Gullah-Style Collard Greens

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.  10-12 minutes prior to serving, add the dumplings to the juices.
Cornbread Dumplings

2C plain cornmeal
1/2 C plain flour
1 tsp salt
warm water

Mix dry ingredients.  Add enough warm water to a consistency that is easy to handle.  Pat into a small dumpling approx 1" in size.  Place dumplings in pot during the last 10-12 minutes of cooking time for the greens.
{This recipe is from the NC cookbook "Island Born & Bred."}
Sounds easy enough.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.  I've found other recipes, but they all vary in the flour/cornmeal ratio, and many add baking powder.  If you want more of a true dumpling, a bit more flour may be your preference.  Also, I  believe that adding baking powder will create a "lighter" dumpling.  For me, I'm after a heavy cornbread style, so I'm going to stick with this original recipe.
I'll let you know whether or not it's a hit with the family.  And if you decide to try it at your home, let me hear!


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