Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Succulent Southern Sides

photo source:

How dare I post a recipe for Country Fried Steak and neglect posting an appropriate side dish?!?! I'm embarrassed of my oversight and for that reason I will give you a 2 for 1 bonus post with recipes of two of my favorite traditional southern veggie side dishes- Collard Greens and Green Beans with Ham. Can you find it in your hearts to forgive me?!?! One bite of either of these sassy sides and I have a feeling you'll be begging for more. ; )

Collard Greens
Collard greens (its tough to measure, but 2 large heads serves about 4)
2 ham hocks
Salt to taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp vinegar
Wash greens very thoroughly in cold water. Make sure to remove any sand, dirt or insects that might be caught in the head. Remove stems by folding green in half long ways and pulling from end of stem up leaf, stem should rip out entirely.
Put your ham hocks in a very large pot and add enough water to just cover them. Add  a pinch of salt and and cayenne pepper, and vinegar and let your ham hocks simmer just before a boil for about 35-45 minutes or until some of the meat begins to pull off. Add your greens. Let them simmer at a light boil for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You can give an occasional stir just to make sure they are all submerged but don’t go crazy. You want them to sit still.  To check doneness, test one. Should be tender, not fibrous but not as soft as spinach.
Scoop greens out with a slotted spoon and place in serving bowl. Remove ham hocks and pick off any meat you can and mix into the greens. Just before serving, give the greens a rough chop and add a little of the pot likker to moisten the greens and for flavor.
Southern Style Green Beans w/ Ham
 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ham shank, cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups diced yellow onions
3 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
Optional: crushed red pepper
In a large saucepan, with a lid, over medium heat, add the oil. Season the ham with black pepper. Add the ham and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the reserved ham and beans back to the pan. Cover the beans completely with water. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, partially cover and cook for 2 hours. Remove from the heat and re-season if necessary
*** To turn up the heat a tad, add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper to water.***



The Duo Dishes said...

The Southerner in both of us can appreciate this. :)