Simple collard greens
- 1 large bunches of collard greens, de-stemmed, washed, and chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 Tablespoon lard, ghee, or avocado or coconut oil
Heat large pot over medium heat. Add lard, ghee, or oil of choice. Add onion and saute until translucent and starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add 3 quarts water, ham hock, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil and add collard greens. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Add hot sauce if you like it.
There are a myriad of schools of thought on the perfect cornbread, and I’ve been a willing guinea pig for testing most of them. There are those who believe you should be ex-communicated from the South if you put sugar in your cornbread, those who feel it should contain only cornmeal – no flour, those who think it should always be cooked in a cast iron skillet, and those who believe the fat component of cornbread can’t be anything other than bacon grease. If you have a favorite recipe, by all means stick with what you know and love. I have to say that I’m not a diehard one-way-or-the-other girl, but I do believe your cornbread should absolutely have some melted, fatty goodness in the form of butter, lard, or bacon grease, and I do believe it turns out best in a cast iron skillet! Oh, and for heaven’s sake, it shouldn’t fall apart on ya, when ya cut it! OK, so maybe I do have a definite opinion. Last year we grew Virginia Gourdseed corn in our garden. It was one of the varieties Thomas Jefferson grew at his home, Monticello. It grew beautifully, and we dried it and put it in the freezer to grind into cornmeal. When we don't have homegrown cornmeal, we prefer to use Anson Mills or Geechee Boy coarse ground cornmeal. Here's one of our favorite cornbread recipes:
- 2 cups coarse ground cornmeal
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ cup lard, butter, or ghee
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put lard, butter, or ghee into cast iron skillet, and place it in the oven to melt the fat. When melted, remove skillet from the oven. Tilt skillet and swirl the melted fat around to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet.
- Pour melted butter, lard, or ghee into a medium bowl. Return skillet to the oven.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Put egg and buttermilk into the bowl with the melted fat, and whisk to combine.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Cut into wedges and serve with indiscriminate amounts of pastured butter! Mmmm, mmm, mmm!