Happy New Year! I know, I know, I'm a little late. So, I don't know how many of you know this, but it's a Southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens and pork on New Year's Day for a year of good fortune. I know this may sound sacrilegious but I was never a fan of collard greens. Sorry, all of y'all Southerners! They've just always been bitter no matter who cooked them for me. Plus, "collards" sounds as appetizing as "innards...especially when pronounced with a southern twang" lol..I know, I'm weird. So anyway, my parents came up for the holidays this year and my momma was all excited to make us our good-luck dinner. I was not excited. (Sorry mom :) ) So, in honor of my mom's hard work, I was going to be polite and eat her dinner, but much to my surprise...it was AMAZING! Honestly! I had two helpings and even had it for lunch a few times that week. My sister came to visit and I didn't even want to share it with her..lol. My mom was right! These were delicious and the collards had a little kick to em and weren't even bitter! I'm thinkin that I may have to make these withOUT it being New Year's day! I hope y'all try it, because you won't be disappointed! (For a little history on the tradition click here...but not until after you've checkout out the recipe :))
Southern Black-Eyed Peas
1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
1 large onion, diced
1 large ham hock
2-4 slices of cooked bacon
2 large carrots diced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of red pepper flakes
You have two options with the beans. Option #1: Place beans in a large bowl. Cover with 3 inches of water above the beans. Soak overnight. Drain.
If you do this, it'll eliminate the hour prep in the morning of power soaking them. Just depends on what you want to do.
OR Option #2 Power Soak: Place beans in a pot and cover with 3 inches water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour. Drain. (Since we could not find dried black-eyed peas at three different stores, Mom got a bag of frozen black-eyed peas and green beans and picked out the green beans. Then we did the power soak option)
Don't ya love my momma's sexy heart robe..lol :) Prepping the chopped onions.
While beans are cooking, place ham hock, sliced bacon, diced onion, diced carrots, pepper, garlic and salt in a slow cooker or crock pot. Pour in 3 cups water. Cover and cook on High until peas are tender, and ready to go in, OR if you soaked the peas overnight then add the beans right away with the other ingredients and cook on high 1 hour.
When peas are ready, transfer to the slow cooker. We used a strainer spoon to transfer them to the slow cooker. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 7-9 hours.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with collards and my hot cornbread!
Say hi to my momma...isn't she cute?! :)
Now, onto the collards....
Collards with Kick
1 T. olive oil
3 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
3 c. chicken stock
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
1 lb. fresh collard greens
First, heat oil in a large pot over medium to medium-low heat. tear leaves off of the long thick stem down the middle. That part is a little more bitter.
Next, tear the leaves into small pieces, removing any really thick parts of the stems remaining.
Add bacon and cook until crisp.
Turn heat to medium high and add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Next, add collard greens and saute until they start to wilt. It may look like a lot, but trust me, they will cook down.
Pour in chicken stock and season with salt, pepper, sugar and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until collards are tender.
Serve with black-eyed peas and my homemade cornbread.
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