A Southern New Year’s Day: Must have collard greens

December 29, 2013

Collard Greens

Collard greens is one of those things that I kept trying to like, but for the life of me I couldn’t. It never made sense, because I like spinach, stir-fried mustard greens, kale… so why not collard greens? So when I recently made Hoppin’ John, which almost has to be accompanied by greens, I decided to give it another spin. If anything, my husband loves all kinds of greens, so he could eat them. Lucky for me, this time I hit upon a magical combination of ingredients that made me love these as much as all the other greens I’ve fell in love with over the years. I took the preparation approach of an Italian-stewed kale I love, mixed in my favorite dressing approach from spinach salads, and was careful not to overcook the greens so there was still a bit of bite to them. The result was nothing short of fantastic, and I foresee serving this dish a few more times this winter before collard greens disappear. (more…)

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Southern Favorite with a French Twist: Soup Beans with Red Wine

October 22, 2012

French Soup Beans

At the age of 18, I moved away from Tennessee to the midwest, and I had more than my fair share of culture shocks. Most of these had to do with food. A ham biscuit at Hardee’s was made with deli ham, because no one north of Kentucky had ever heard of country ham. White Lily flour was only sold in Williams-Sonoma, and a small bag would cost you eight dollars. Barbecue was most often beef, most often ribs. And in the self-proclaimed barbecue capital of the world, being invited to a barbecue didn’t mean you were going to get smoked meat, but that you were simply grilling out some burgers and hotdogs. And soup beans… no one knew what these were. How was I to explain it? I had no other words for soup beans – they were soup beans, cooked and served with cornbread most usually. (more…)

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Easy Apps: Figs with Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon

September 13, 2012

Figs with Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon

When fresh figs start appearing in the market, I get excited. There’s something about a fruit so fleeting that you can only get it a couple of times a year. When I made my locavore-inspired dinner a while back, the first figs had hit the market, and luckily Whole Foods wasn’t just carrying the black mission figs I’m not a fan of, but also the greenish-brown calmyrna figs that are my favorite, fresh or dried.

I had picked up a basket of these guys with no idea what I planned on doing with them. The next day, I decided on the summer vegetable gnocchi for dinner, so I began my fig brainstorming with an appetizer in mind. Wine-poached figs? No, that seemed more suitable for a dry fig. Balsamic-glazed figs? Now we’re talking! (more…)

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Spuds and Sprouts

January 25, 2011

Sprouts and Spuds

I’m continuing my brussels sprouts love with a recipe I picked up on YumSugar. This is the first way I ever cooked brussels sprouts, and from that point on I was hooked. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly, but the basics are here – a baked potato, smothered with brussel sprouts that have been cooked with bacons, onions, and golden raisins. (more…)

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First recipe with my home-grown brussels sprouts!

January 18, 2011

Mother-In-Law's Tongue with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

This weekend, after 10 months of growing, I finally harvested my brussels sprouts, one of the first vegetables I planted in my garden. We yielded a little over 4 pounds, so it was time for me to find some new, delicious recipes to try out.

A while back I remembered seeing a pasta with brussels sprouts, and since I just picked up a box of Mother-In-Law’s Tongue at World Market (beautiful, striped pasta – like a candy cane, only better!), I thought this might be the perfect recipe to search out.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the pasta I was thinking of, with shaved brussels sprouts, but admittedly, I didn’t try too hard because I stumbled upon this recipe at Martha Stewart for a pasta with bacon and brussels sprouts – one of my favorite pairings! (more…)

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