The sides on our New Years meal (that I'm posting 3 weeks late) were the traditional southern black-eyed peas and collards. Neither Jessi nor I had ever made any of these dishes. As a child I hated collards but as I got older I learned to love them as long as I had some pepper vinegar standing by. I think I just hated them as a kid because they would make the house stink so bad. However, when we made these they didn't seem to smell as bad as I remembered. For the beans, I knew I needed a recipe that utilized meat during the cooking process. I spent some time searching through our cookbook collections but ended up going with this awesome video-recipe I found on You-Tube. The music is what really sold me.
As you can see this video recipe just looked too good to pass up. I had to make it. The smoked turkey added so much flavor to the beans. We made a bunch and they were scrumptious all week long.
The second side was our collards. Keeping with the meat-infused cooking liquid, we found a recipe that used ham hock. Low and behold I had actually saved one in our freezer from an old spiral ham we had. I found the recipe in our bible of a cook book that my mother insisted we have a while back, Gourmet Today. If you don't have this in your library we highly recommend it. The collards were cooked with some turnips which added a great starchy, texture-flavor to the mix. The last thing we made was some cornbread. We tried to get crafty and mix some recipes around. Unfortunately, it turned out poorly so we will not even talk about it.
- 6 cups water
- 1 large ham hock (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3 pounds collard greens (1 large bunch)
- 1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Pepper vinegar, to accompany
- In a 6-quart pot, bring water with ham hock to a boil (water will not cover hock) and simmer, covered, turning hock over halfway through cooking, 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, remove and discard stems and center ribs of collard greens. Cut leaves into 1-inch pieces.
- Add half of collards to hock mixture and stir until wilted. Stir in remaining collards and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 35 minutes.
- Remove ham hock and cool slightly, then remove and coarsely chop meat. Discard bone and gristle.
- Stir turnips into collards and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until turnips are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in ham and pepper.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer to plates. Serve with pepper vinegar.
- Olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Smoked turkey, chopped
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh black-eyed peas (not dried)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic and scallions.
- Add turkey, chicken broth and black-eyed peas.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour or until tender.