I was born and raised in the South – the land of heat and high humidity, rickety old porch swings and deep-fried everything – all of which I love….yes, you read that right: I loooved those late summer days when the air was heavy with moisture and the thermometer hovered right around 98 degrees. I know this places me in a very small fraction of the population but luckily my husband shares this love for being hot and sweaty.
But let’s get back to food, shall we?
Southern cooking is the result of patience, love and …. fat. We loooove our fat. Making green beans? Throw some fat in there.Â Got a mess of collards? Toss some fat in.Â Cornbread? Let’s heat up some fat and fry the bottom of that bad boy!
One of my favorite meals is black-eyed peas and greens with good old southern cornbread to sop up the juices.Â The recipe for these peas and greens relies on vegetable broth for flavor rather than fat, cutting the waistline a little slack.
But the cornbread… oh, the cornbread. Don’t you dare skip frying the bottom of it in oil. That crispy crust is what makes it so tasty. (And don’t even think of putting sugar in it!!)
All right, ya’ll…here you go
Southern Comfort: Peas, Greens & Cornbread
Peas & Greens
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 lb black-eyed peas, frozen
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 4 cups vegetable broth (2 for peas, 2 for greens)
- mess of collard greens
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
- 1.25 cups ‘buttermilk’: 1 cup soymilk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar + 1/4 cup melted vegan margarine
- 1.5-1.75 cups cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
Peas & Greens
- Heat oil in high-walled pan over medium heat. Add in onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in peas, cook for another 2-3 minutes then add in 2 cups broth, oregano and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium/medium-low, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Bring other 2 cups of broth to a boil in separate pot. Cut/chiffonade greens and add to broth.
- Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook at a very gentle boil for ~ 45-50 minutes.
- Heat oil in an 8-inch iron skillet in a 450 degree oven for 4-5 minutes.
- Combine wet ingredients (soymilk, vinegar, melted margarine).
- Combine dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt). Start with 1.5 cups of cornmeal and add more if batter seems too runny.
- Combine wet and dry, then pour into heated skillet. Watch out for the sizzle!
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. For extra southern-ness, spread more
fatmargarine over the top in the last few minutes of cooking.
- Plate up: serve beans over greens (make sure to get the liquid from the greens) and add a slice of cornbread. Enjoy!
Results & Conclusions