Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Black-eyed peas and Collard greens - Imani/New Year's Eats

Happy New Year 
- 13 years into the new century.
Happy Kwanzaa!
Principle of the day
- Faith!
Resolving to do MORE in 2013; 
in whatever way MORE presents itself.
For today, MORE home cooking!
New Year's traditional food
Black eyed peas and greens, with grits.

Creole Hoppin' - Jean (Jon) 
(Black eyed peas, brown rice and tomatoes)
Bryant Terry's
Vegan Soul Kitchen

Grits, aka polenta to some.
My own basic recipe:
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups organic (non-GMO) stone ground corn meal
pinch seasoned salt 
(more or less depending on saltiness of your broth; 
we like Tony Chachere's)
In medium saucepan over high heat, bring broth to boil.
Reduce heat to medium high; slowly whisk in corn meal and salt,
whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
If any lumps do form, break them up with whisk.
Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Collard greens and tomatoes
2 bunches collards, washed and chopped
(do not dry greens; moisture helps steam them when cooking)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 large tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
In large skillet over medium high heat, saute onion in oil until softened, 3-5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium.
Add garlic, pepper flakes and tomato. Saute for a minute. 
Slowly stir in broth to de-glaze pan, 
if any bits of onion are sticking to pan.
Add greens, handful at a time, adding more as the greens "cook down" or wilt. 
Stir in salt.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until greens are completely wilted.
Remove from heat, serve.

For this dish, I spooned grits into middle of plate,
and surrounded them with the "hoppin-jean" and greens.
Grits take the place of the usual cornbread.
I prefer the texture of the stone ground corn meal for grits,
instead of the packaged grits sold in most stores.
The tomatoes in both the peas and the greens 
are from my summer garden frozen stash. 
A 14oz can of diced tomatoes will work, or just omit them.

Inspiration for this plating was a vegan "grains and greens" meal enjoyed at an Abyssinian restaurant last summer in San Diego, 
where the grits were surrounded by the greens and scooped up with one's fingers to "spoon" the greens into one's mouth
Because of the peas and rice, I used a fork.

Blessed, Healthy, Happy, Prosperous

Jill Scott's BLESSED.

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